I attended (despite the stormy weather) the much talked about ‘Nice To Meet You’ event last week held on Dalston Roof Park and organised by the fantastic Art Wednesday collective. The most entertaining part of the evening was not accidently tripping over Nick Grimshaw, nor the new angelic sounds of Pixie Geldof’s band Violet it was in fact listening to the musings of digital visionary Ben Hammersley who spoke of the ‘Future’ (A hard topic to master).
‘If you’re an artist you’ll be ok.’ Technology can’t automate art and music. Ben explained if you followed your fathers guidance and became a doctor or lawyer… you’re screwed. I see his point although drastic, any process in time will be automated so what will we do if we’re not stuck in our 9-5? Would we Job share and have more free time, would we do more charity work? Sounds like a dream come true but how will we get there?
I’m not going to begin to explain Moore’s Law I’ll let wiki do that but at the very basic level, every 18 months computers get twice as good and thereafter they get twice as good again and again and again. Society is being driven by technology and so it makes it hard for anyone to plan for the future be it the government or businesses.
Ben explains how your iPhone4S will in 8 years’ time be totally redundant.. ‘free with cornflakes.’ To put it in context we’ll have iPhone15 in our pockets and we can’t begin to imagine what it will look like or what capabilities it will have because we need to experience another 10 iPhones first.
His advice was clear: when listening intently to futurists talking about the future or when planning for the future yourself, don’t question the powers of the internet or computers. The technology will inevitably come with time.
The next interesting point Ben discusses is the idea of the ‘Network’ as the new society. Gone are the days of hierarchy both in business and at home. The Father is not always the head and in business we don’t have the same career for 20 years and retire at 65. Now we work on projects, we collaborate with each other and move around industries sharing knowledge. If you’re born before 1989 (the year Tim Berners-Lee created the Web — and made the Internet a mass medium) then you remember the days without the internet, but if you’re born after 1989 you have grown up with instant access – it’s our 6th sense. When I say instant who remembers the dialing tone? Or not being able to make a call on the home phone if someone in your home was on the internet? That was only really 10 years ago and now the internet is in our pockets on the device we use to make a call, take a video or tweet from.
Now we don’t need to know the facts of life we just need to know the pathway to find the facts, aka ‘Google’!
Ben explained how the Internet came and tore down industries like a Godzilla tearing through New York. BANG… Music industry bought to its knees.. BANG… film industry, even the art industry has changed. It’s destroyed, and rebuilt them and created online networks.
You only need 2 people to form a network but the more people that join the community the more powerful it becomes. The best example being Facebook; in 8 years Marc Zuckerberg built the community from 1 to 1 billion users. Communities are not seen as your local neighborhood, rather as an online global community where you can share interests and opinions with people you really want to connect with rather than your neighbour (whom the only thing you may share in common is your postcode).
So undoubtedly, technology is driving the future and it’s up to us to be revolutionary and creative to drive the digital industry forward. Automation and IMM solutions are key to setting marketers free to be more innovative in order to engage with our ever changing and growing communities. I think I might start making art again just in case Ben’s right…
Over and out.
Winners of the best subject line go to Art Wednesday for their Welcome email subject line ‘Boom! You’re all set:
Thanks for a great show!