Never before have we had so much Opportunity

In 2014, the world had 2.9 billion people online globally. By 2020, that number will reach five billion. Nearly three billion more people and their brains will be available to work via smartphones, tablets or at Internet cafes. The capabilities that will be unleashed are beyond imagination. Against this onslaught, what traditional organization, bogged down with permanent, full-time employees, can endure? Never before have we had so much opportunity, and yet never have we felt so powerless to grasp it.

While the ageing demographic increase their spending on Healthcare and Wellness the Millennium generation continue to re write the rules. Millennials care far less about ownership than their older generations, they are more and more open and likely to just want access. Research shows that Millennials—those born between 1984 and 2002—are showing an orientation towards seeking meaning and purpose in their lives.

This social trend has major longer term implications for housing, autos, furniture and many other areas. Record auto sales in the US may very well be masking the falling ownership among young adults. The growth in the sharing economy has enormous implications for economies and markets globally. The music business was one of the first industries to feel the blowtorch of the access all areas economy and gains from the share of music revenue from digital distribution have accelerated each of the last five years, and music subscription services have soared more than six fold.

Including advertising supported streaming services music subscription revenues now comprise 23% of the industry total. Recalling that music was the first domino to fall is this a harbinger for other industries where sharing puts further pressure on pricing, margins and profits. The subscription / streaming markets are growing exponentially at the expense of permanent downloads IE purchasing and owning the song.

As we move towards more mobile, the natural transition will be towards services that are subscription based rather than ownership. Ownership and access are at two ends of a continuum, and right now the pendulum is swinging away from owning. As individuals grow frustrated with the burdens of owning, caring for, and storing too much stuff, they are looking for ways to minimise that stress.

Richard Foster of Yale University estimates that the average lifespan of an S&P 500 company has decreased from sixty-seven years in the 1920s to fifteen years today. And that lifespan is going to get even shorter in the years to come as these giant corporations aren’t just forced to compete with, but are annihilated—seemingly overnight—by a new breed of companies that harnesses the power of exponential technologies, from groupware and data mining to synthetic biology and robotics.

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