How the World Will Change in the Next 20 Years

August 1st, 2017

world in 20 years

By Rishon Blumberg, 10x Management Co-Founder

In 2004, Blockbuster employed 84,300 people worldwide, had over 9,000 stores and had a market value of $5 billion. In 1996, Kodak was the 5th most valuable brand in the world, commanding over two thirds of the global photography market with revenues of nearly $16 billion and a market value of over $31 billion. What do Kodak and Blockbuster have in common? For one, both companies filed for bankruptcy around 2010. More importantly, both companies filed for bankruptcy because they failed to keep up with technology. It’s sad but true that the world changes faster than we realize. Only with hindsight can we look back and say, “they should have seen it coming.”

What else should we see coming in the next 20 years? According to Udo Gollub, we should be prepared to see quite a few changes. Markets will continue to be disrupted as innovation explodes at an exponential rate. Many companies will face the same fate as Kodak and Blockbuster, failing to keep up with technology. Here are some of the trends we can expect to see:

  • Software will disrupt everything:
    • Uber is the biggest taxi company in the world and owns no vehicles.
    • Airbnb is the biggest hotel company in the world and owns no properties.
    • Facebook is the biggest content provider in the world and produces no content.
  • Artificial Intelligence will exceed human intelligence by 2030. Facebook today shut down 2 robots for developing a new language that humans could not understand.
  • IBM’s Watson is 4 times more accurate at diagnosing cancer than human nurses.
  • Autonomous cars will completely change the demand for cars and the amount of cars on the road. Instead of having to find a parking space, a car will drive itself home or continue picking other people up. Parking lots will fade from society, potentially being turned into green spaces.
  • 70%-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. Only time will tell if they will be replaced by new industries.
  • Solar production will increase and electricity will become very cheap and clean.
  • The world will live on your phone – nearly 70% of the population already owns a smartphone.
  • Bitcoin may become the default currency.

Of course, the world will also change in ways that we cannot predict. But the above changes should be on our radar screen today.

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