From a keynote in 2018, a short clip where I’m talking about the reality going forward.
Archives for September 2021
“Cars and trucks? They’re becoming upgradeable, hyperconnected, intelligent, data gathering electric technology platforms (with wheels!)” – Futurist Jim Carroll
A keynote for the Canadian Finance and Leasing Association – with the basic premise that what they lease in the future, how they do it, the nature of the contract in place, and the person or organization they are leasing to – are all undergoing a massive and fundamental change.
I covered the role of cryptocurrency and blockchain in future contracts as well as vehicle maintenance and tracking; self-driving and electric vehicle technology; legacy car companies vs. disruptive upstarts such as Tesla; the fact that we probably won’t even buy cars at some point in the future (“mobility as a service”), and the collapsing attention spans of the next generation when it comes to purchase and lease decisions.
It’s a FAST moving industry, with SEISMIC changes underway.
Basically, vehicles have been built the same way for the last 100 years — they run on carbon, are driven by people, don’t connect with other vehicles, and operate independently. The business model has involved “car dealerships” and “car salesmen”, and manufacturing models that involve putting vast quantities of product into inventory in traditional showrooms.
Now, for the first time in over 100 years, massive change is underway. More vehicles will be based on alternative energy sources rather than carbon. A growing number will drive themselves, at the same time that they interconnect with other vehicles. They’ll operate on very sophisticated, intelligent highway infrastructure that will have a profound impact on energy efficiency, traffic patterns, and urban and highway design. It’s a future in which a large number of the next generation of transportation users might not even actually purchase a car, but simply use some type of vehicle or community sharing service. If they do actually purchase a car, they will likely do it online. All this is occurring as the speed of innovation in the transportation sector is shifting from the traditional pace of automotive/trucking to that of the hyper-innovation of Silicon Valley.
These trends promise a massive shakeup not only to the automotive and trucking industries but to parallel industries such as manufacturing, finance, insurance, urban and municipal services, government roles, and economic development.
Much of my talk was built around my post “54 Things You Haven’t Thought About with Electric, Self-Driving Cars”. Read it here – and be prepared to admit that your view of the future is pretty limited.
THIS is reality – watch this highlight clip:
Change? Your car is about to become your concierge. A personal robot. And so much more.
Check out my page, The Reality of Disruption: (24 Reasons Why Your Company Might Die Before You Get Old). It’s right here: http://disruption.jimcarroll.com
Study the list. What trends are you likely at risk from?
Then watch this short video about caskets and disruption – and consider why your business model might actually die before you get old!
Here’s the thing: in the 1990s, when e-commerce arrived on the scene, someone thought it would be a good idea to allow you to buy a coffin online.
The funeral industry fought back — after all, they had margins and business models to protect.
Of course, that failed. Today, you can buy a coffin online. (Which begs the question — if you buy it in advance, what do you do with it? Stick it in the living room for now and use it as a coffee table? Used it as a toy chest for the kids?)
Disruption was all over the early days of the Internet, and entire industries tried to ignore it. Along came Napster, and with it, outright music theft through online haring. Yet at the same time, folks experimented with business models involving the sale or licensing of music via digital music files. The music industry fought against that — they essentially fought a war against the idea of digital media.
How did their battle against the future turn out? Not well — eventually Apple came along with iTunes and a business model that worked. It took a while, but the music companies eventually figured out they had to adapt and align to the future, rather than fight it. Today, Spotify owns the industry; record companies, who tried to fight back, play an old, marginal role.
History has a nasty tendency of repeating itself, and legacy companies keep making the same mistakes. So it is with car companies and the massive disruption occurring in the auto industry today. It seems many would still rather fight the future than be a full participant in it.
I give you Toyota. LOL.
You aren’t ready for the big disruption? Deny it, fight it, spread fear and loathing around it. LOL.
This is not new though – a few years back, I reported on GM doing the same thing. It seems they’ve had a bit of a change of heart since – but they are now a LONG way behind.
The company was busy battling back against the disruptors and upstarts, trying to suggest only established car companies should be able to innovate in the space:
“With states seizing the initiative on shaping the future of self-driving cars, General Motors is trying to persuade lawmakers across the country to approve rules that would benefit the automaker while potentially keeping its competitors off the road. ” New York Times, February 23, 2017
In other words, GM was doing the same thing that the funeral and music industries did in the 1990s and early 2000s.
How do you think this will end up?
Two key points come from this:
- GM and Toyota deserve to fail with these efforts. You don’t innovate through legal action on innovation. Where’s the CEO on this? What type of message does this send to the organization on its innovation efforts? Is it so far behind in the race that it believes the only way it can win is by sending in the lawyers?
- the lesson for anyone else is this: disruption, the future, and business model change will happen. Deal with it through innovation and aligning yourself to the future, rather than trying to protect the status quo
There should be a lesson for anyone! Here’s what I wrote some months back. This is your reality! “Your effort in ‘business model preservation’ to avoid ‘business model disruption’ will probably be the death of you!”
Here’s a little more about selling coffins online. Back in the dot.com days, my co-author and I wrote a book – “Selling Online: How to Become a Succesful E-Commerce Merchant.” Released around 1999 and updated with later editions, the book saw editions being sold in Canada, the US, Germany, Russia, and (unauthorized) India. We were told by many, of course, that the idea of e-commerce was doomed to fail – the Internet would never amount to much when it came to being a sales channel! Retail would always see in-store traffic! Selling online was but a fad! And the dot.com collapse of 2001, driven by a wave of hysterical expectations, certainly put some wind in the naysayer’s sails.
And yet, over time, the idea took hold – and in 2020, Covid-19 had different ideas about the role of online shopping, forever shaping the future of retail! We are now at the point of no-looking back – by way of example, Nike recently announced it was going to concentrate on e-commerce as its primary channel for the future.
But back to 2000 – as reported in the media, the results were predictable when someone tried to sell coffins online – the funeral industry saw it as a threat:
In March 2001, an Internet casket retailer brought suit in the federal district court in Oklahoma, challenging an Oklahoma law that allows caskets to be sold to state residents only by state-licensed funeral directors. Last month, the FTC filed an amicus brief in support of the online retailer. The suit, Powers v. Harris, is ongoing.
The funeral industry suggested only they – being properly licensed, accredited, approved – had the expertise to sells coffins. Today, car companies and automotive dealers are arguing the same thing when it comes to Tesla selling cars directly online – ‘it should not be allowed.‘ There are countless other examples – music companies tried to preserve a dying business model for decades.
These efforts are almost always doomed to fail. And it raises a valid point – far too many industries try to preserve their existing business model in the face of business model disruption. They don’t understand that it’s not about ‘preservation,’ and that their efforts are pretty much guaranteed to fail. The same thing is happening today with efforts by Tesla to sell cars online.
If preservation is your mindset, you might want to check your assumptions, because you’ll probably find your idea soon to be embalmed.
The funny thing about the future is this: it happens, whether you like it or not. It’s better for you to participate in it rather than fighting it.
“Initiative is the best medicine. Commitment is the cure!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
This is a frame grab of a show I did last year – I was busy figuring out how to do innovative things in the studio, and one of my small projects had me figuring out how to place myself in small spaces. Whatever.
Back to my main point: during a conversation with a few folks about change, I found myself emphasizing a key observation in my mind: the scariest thing about taking the first step towards big change is the first step. After that, one day at a time, walking becomes a little bit easier. But while taking initiative is a great first step, it can quickly become meaningless without commitment!
Because otherwise, it’s just a failed bit of initiative.
At a personal level, I see a lot of people give up way too early – they can do the ‘initiative’ part, but they fail at ‘commitment.’
And at a corporate level, this type of failure happens all the time. A senior executive announces some sort of sweeping, bold change initiative. Everyone takes a deep breath and plunges in, full of restless anticipation as to the impact of the ‘big change.’ But over time, enthusiasm wanes, inaction bleeds in, commitment disappears. The entire initiative is ruled a failure. Here’s the thing – once this happens, the second time around, it is far more difficult to take the first big step, and the process of commitment will seem absolutely overwhelming.
That’s why the only thing that really works with change is an absolute commitment from the start.
By the way – the image? It’s a frame grab from a virtual ‘thing’ I was playing around with last year while learning things in my home virtual broadcast studio.
“Live your life for the opportunities you will always find in version 2.0!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Version 2.0 is all about capitalizing on the lessons you learned and avoiding the mistakes you made in 1.0!
Such is the case with my new virtual broadcast studio, which I launched yesterday in a short live video I sent out on social media. As you might have heard, my wife and I moved from our original home of 29 1/2 years outside Toronto to a wonderful, smaller community – Guelph, Ontario. Look it up!
Examine the photo in the inspiration quote above – and then consider that the space in which this happened is seen in this photo, moments after we took possession of the house close to a month ago.
That’s it – that’s the room. From that, I’m able to create the look of a massive broadcast facility! (The panel is open because we needed to get a lot more plugs into this small space!) We turned that space into this marvelous location of green opportunity!
With that, we had to rebuild my virtual broadcast studio – it took over a month. But the result – both visually as well as the infrastructure behind the scenes – is fantastic! Here’s the first short broadcast I did as a test, as well as a peek behind the scenes.
This time, I wanted to ensure a nice, clean, organized looked, and a less chaotic jumble of wires that might disturb my production flow. To do that, I enlisted the help of my secret weapon – my 28-year-old son Willie!
The interesting thing is that he has grown up with a dad who has spent most of his working life on a stage somewhere. Willie would travel with me to a few events over the years and was always fascinated by the staging, gear, and audiovisual crew who manage it. When he got to high school, he knew exactly what he wanted to do – and became stage crew manager for his extracurricular activities.
The effort to get to 2.0 was truly a magical, family affair – particularly for my wife who spent hours painting the small space the appropriate green and chasing down small moments of interference with green tape. And I have to give a shoutout to Tom, Kim, and Laura for putting up with me all this time!
Not only that, but I must give a massive shoutout to the fellow who designs most of my virtual sets – on Instagram, @mus_graphic_/ . Located in Nizwa, the 2nd largest city in Oman (and one of the favorite countries I’ve ever visited!), he does fantastic work!
Moments ago, I did a short little live broadcast. The first is from my new studio!
My wife and I moved from our original home of 29 1/2 years outside Toronto to a wonderful, smaller community – Guelph, Ontario. Look it up!
With that, we had to rebuild my virtual broadcast studio – it took over a month. But the result – both visually as well as the infrastructure behind the scenes – is fantastic! A shoutout to my wife for all her hard work; to my son Willie for a spectacular job in organizing all the gear – and to Tom, Kim, and Laura for putting up with me all this time!
Here’s the first short broadcast I did as a test, as well as a peek behind the scenes.