“Timing is everything: keep your powder dry!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
I’ll be on stage later today in Nassau, Bahamas, for a global wealth management firm. I’ll have clients, executives, investors, family office representatives: there will be some pretty massive investment value in the room.
My focus will be, of course, the future, but specifically, the issue of timing. To a large degree, we have a good idea of the trends that will unfold in our future: the big challenge is “when?” That’s the timing conundrum, and it’s the essence of my keynote today.
Take a look at the photo – that’s Gary Woolgar, a fellow I golf with. I often tell the story on stage of how he is showing up at my home golf course with a custom, 3D printed golf wedge. He keeps modifying the design, tinkering with it. He sends it out to a. Contract 3D printer manufacturer.
Who would have thought we would live in such a world! We talked about 3D printing for a long time – and then all of a sudden, a guy like Gary shows up and is actually doing it on a small scale.
Consider the trends swirling around you: self-driving cars, 3d printing, crowdfunding, the sharing economy, blockchains, personal drones, swarm-bots, smart dust, vertical farms, the Internet of Things, cognitive computing, smart factories, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, quantum computing, intelligent farms, smart clothing!
What seemed to be science fiction just a few short years ago has become a reality today, as time compresses and the future accelerates.
Yet the big issue with all of the trends that surround us today is the question of timing: when will any particular trend become real, mature, and have a major impact? There is no shortage of trends that will change our world in substantial fashion: but the issue of predicting the timing of their impact is fraught with risk.
Timing is a big issue, and that’s why you’ve got to keep your powder dry!