As they say, change is the only constant thing in life. There are points of inflection and disruptive changes during the entire course of evolution of human civilization. With the invention of fire, disruptions took place in the way early man lived. Fire gave them safety from wild animals, protection from cold, gave light in the darkness, helped them to cook food, freed them from diseases. Second disruptive change occurred after the invention of wheel. It paved the way for the birth of travel and transport systems. Together with the invention of combustion engines, we could travel or transport not only in any part of the world but also to outer space. The invention made conventional geography into history. As we write, we are going through another point of inflections to our journey causing great disruptions in the way we think and lead our life. Inventions of microprocessor chip and communication technology change forever our life in the way we gather and store knowledge and disseminate them and communicate with our fellow human beings. We failed to understand the intensity of the change and its impact in our life. Bill gates (in) famously said “If he had 4 computers with 64 KB memory, he would solve the entire world’s problem”. Collectively, we gather and transmit petabyte information every hour. Today’s leading business houses are Google, Microsoft, Amazon et al, the child of digital technology, inconceivable even 25 years ago, no one would have comprehended that these technology based industries would displace industrial giants GE, American Petroleum etc as most valuable companies.
Every inflection points of change caused great social upheavals. It has what is called a “butterfly syndrome” , at the end of each upheaval it created a beautiful butterfly out of an ugly caterpillar. There is a great concern about the prospective leftovers of the digital divide. However,it is heartening to see that poor and illiterates are opening bank accounts and receiving direct transfer of the govt. benefit into their accounts, helping them to be part of digital technology freeing them from shackles of shark s.
Moral of the story is that learn, adopt and be part of the change as quickly as possible. Imagine someone who had studied electrical or electronics engineering before the invention of microprocessor in 1971 ,and have not updated their knowledge subsequently. Their knowledge would become obsolete and they would cease to become engineers any longer and would be confined to recycle bin forever like once mighty Dinosaur which became extinct from the surface of the earth.
What is in store in future? Wait for another round of disruptive changes when your bandwidth capacity will reach exabyte level and communication with 3D holography will be reality. Then you will be holding 3D meetings with your customers in distant Antarctica negotiate and finalise contracts, exchange your digital documents duly signed digitally in real time when you and your customers are physically present thousands of miles away in New York, Delhi, and Kolkata. Travel will become history. Am I becoming little bit of Isaac Asimov? Who knows what will happen in future. When Asimov formulated 3 laws of Robotics did he realize that he was not writing a sci-fi? Prepare yourselves, adopt and enjoy the change.