Hot Takes from the Digital World This Week – Episode 2
Surprise, surprise, the digital age did not let up last week. Don’t worry, I have you covered with my curated stories and insights on the best from the digital world, and a little bit more (in case you missed the last episode click here to read it). My interview with Cheddar News during the North American Bitcoin Conference last week is also included at the end of the email as a bonus.
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Knowing the economic and societal change happening in different parts of the world, and the role that that emerging technologies are playing, helps to contextualize the world’s transformation in the digital age. Consider for example that India produces around 1.7 million graduates a year with science, tech, engineering, and mathematics degrees—more than the total of STEM graduates produced by all G-7 countries. Or that AI adoption could raise global GDP by as much as $13 trillion by 2030. Or even that over half a billion new jobs could be created from productivity and innovation in the next decade. At Rokk3r, we are strengthening and creating new infrastructures to enable, fund and scale this innovation and entrepreneurship for businesses, governments organizations and startups at a global scale and beyond for the digital age.
Sneakers are one of my passions. Learning about the cosmos is another. When I heard about this collaboration between Nike and NASA to create NBA star Paul George’s new sneaker, I was hooked. The story behind the shoe design was even more fascinating with space as a metaphor to reach our goals here on earth. When the notification popped up on my Nike SNKRS app that these were available, it was a no brainer.
Adopting a singular management mindset for your company can be a recipe for disaster. Never has this been more true than today, when workplaces are full of multi-generational teams bringing varied life and work experiences into one microcosm. Generation Z, those born after 1995, have grown up in a fully connected world that has evolved past traditionally understood setups of relationships, professional aspirations and most interestingly, hierarchical perception. And more importantly, it’s this generation that is becoming a larger percentage of the workforce.
The sci-fi nature of progress can seem overwhelming at times. Yet, consider that there exists space-based manufacturing companies like Made in Space (which already has two 3D printers aboard the International Space Station), Techshot (which aims to grow complete human hearts in space), and many, many others across every industry that are pushing the boundaries past linear innovation. Monitor progress, ask critical questions, and most importantly, remain curious.
The soundtrack of my childhood was pretty amazing. My parents were what you’d call, ‘giant music nerds’. There was rarely a dull moment at home or in car rides – everyone from Elvis and Cliff Richard to the latest Swahili and Bollywood jams would be blaring over the speakers. As I grew up, I was introduced to the musical art form that is hip hop. The beats, the production, and the lyricism were nothing short of mind blowing. I found this data analysis showing rappers ranked by the number of unique words used in their lyrics to be quite interesting as I considered where some of my favorite rappers fell on this visualization. It was also interesting to note the growing trend of fewer unique words being used among newer artists.
When I say ‘industrial revolution’, what images come to mind? Based on time that has passed since these historic changes, it seems almost comical to think that we are in an industrial revolution of our own: the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Technologies like AI, synthetic biology, Internet of Things, and robotics are powering colossal disruption. Strategies to stay prepared and stay competitive now are more crucial than ever.
It’s not the NBA, NFL, the Premier League or any other traditional sports league that is poised to experience the most growth. Close to 500 sports industry leaders across the world are looking to Electronic sports as the fastest growing, with revenues of 1.6B forecasted by 2022. The world’s biggest brands such as Toyota, Intel, P&G, and more are already engaged in sponsorship with individual e-Sports teams and leagues. Major networks like ESPN and Disney have already signed deals with video game makers to broadcast leagues and tournaments. Even VC investing in e-Sports startups reached almost 2B in 2018. By all accounts and measurements, we are in the middle of a sports revolution.
Not many technologies have blurred the lines between the digital and real worlds quite like Augmented Reality (AR). Consider tech that integrates the digital world so comprehensively that info about the real world becomes interactive. Education, Health, Marketing, Tourism, and Auto are all industries that have already begun implementing AR solutions. Studies predict a 3x increase of the current AR adoption rate, which sits at approximately 13%.
Growth in global internet connectivity has been the major characteristic of our new digital age. Consider 4 billion people connected online around the world, and that number continuing to grow in the coming years. On top of that, the average internet user spends close to 6 hours a day using their devices. Even the most traditional organizations and industries are going to make an effort to meet people where they are.
Arguably the biggest technological advancement we’ve seen in recent times has been the ability to modify genes. CRISPR/Cas9 is the tech used to edit genes within an organism. In a simplistic way, the Cas9 enzyme can be thought of as molecular ‘scissors’ that facilitate modification. It’s hard to comprehend that innovation can go beyond molecular scissors. But scientists have engineered another CRISPR system, Cas12b to improve on the capabilities of Cas9.
Track of the Week:
Above, I mentioned the ‘soundtrack of my childhood’ and the influence of music in my life. Here’s a playlist with some of my favorite musical influences growing up: