For those of you who believe that your SWOT™ and SoWOT™ research recaps, leading into your annual planning meeting represent a solid overview of your future business terrain, check this out + then start over with a few new and more insightful questions.

In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide.  All medical X-rays used Kodak film. Camera's, both commercial and industrial,  security camera's- imaging of all sorts. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. What happened to Kodak will happen in a lot of industries in the next 10 years - and most people won't see it coming.  Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later you would never take pictures on film again? Digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore's law. So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a long time, before it became way superior and got mainstream in only a few short years. It will now happen with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs.

Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Welcome to the Exponential Age.

Software will disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.

Uber is just a software tool, they don't own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world.

Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don't own any properties.

Artificial Intelligence:

Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go player in the world; 10 years earlier than expected.

In the US, young lawyers already don't get jobs. Because of IBM Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for more or less basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans.  So if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% less lawyers in the future, only specialists will remain.


Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, 4 times more accurate than human nurses. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.

Autonomous cars:

In 2018 the first self-driving cars will appear for the public. Around 2020, the complete industry will start to be disrupted. You don't want to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it, you only pay for the driven distance and can be productive while driving. Our kids will never get a driver's license and will never own a car.

It will change the cities, because we will need 90-95% less cars for that. We can transform former parking spaces into parks. 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide. We now have one accident every 60,000 mi (100,000 km), with autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in 6 million mi (10 million km). That will save a million lives each year.

This will increase world over growth and populations.

Most car companies will probably become bankrupt. Traditional car companies try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.

Insurance companies will have massive trouble because without accidents, the insurance will become 100x cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.

Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will move further away to live in a more beautiful neighborhood.

Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil. Energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that can't last.

Technology will take care of that strategy.

With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water. Desalination of salt water now only needs 2kWh per cubic meter (@ 0.25 cents). We don't have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Imagine what will be possible if anyone can have as much clean water as he wants, for nearly no cost.


The Tricorder X prize will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the "Tricorder" from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it.

Over time it will be able to analyze a broad spectrum of  bio-markers that will identify the most common diseases. It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis, nearly for free.  Goodbye, medical establishment and their absurd medical fees.

3D printing:

The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster.

Some spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to have in the past.

By 2027, 10% of everything that's being produced will be 3D printed.

Business opportunities: If you think of a niche you want to go in, ask yourself: "in the future, do you think we will have that?" and if the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner?

If it doesn't work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed to failure in the 21st century.


70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time.


There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all day on their fields.


This type of agriculture will need much less water. The first Petri dish produced veal, is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal by 2020. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces is used for cows. Imagine if we don't need that space anymore.

There are several startups bringing insect protein to the market right now. It contains more protein than meat.


There is an app called "moodies" which can already tell in which mood you're in.  By 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions, if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where it's being displayed when they're telling the truth and when they're not.


Bitcoin could become the default reserve currency. Of the world.


Right now, the average life span increases by 3 months per year Four years ago, the life span used to be 79 years, now it's 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, there will be more that one year increase per year. So we all might live for a long long time, probably way more than 100. But over population will create severe food problems.


The cheapest smart phones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia By 2020, 70% of all humans will own a smart phone. That means, everyone has the same access to instant world class education.

Every child can use The Khan Learning Academy for everything a child learns at school in First World countries. Khan Academy reaches all corners of the globe. While 70% of our students are from the United States, the rest hail from countries like India, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and beyond. Their resources are being translated into more than 36 languages including SpanishFrenchBrazilian PortugueseHindiPolishGerman and Turkish versions of our site, too. Since 2008 they have delivered more than 580 million lessons and learners have completed more than six billion exercise problems. 





Oscar Wilde thinks “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”.

I think it’s bullshit.

In the corporate world it’s trademark infringement. T.I. cases are challenging to say the least – which is why companies like this skirt the law, because leveraging an existing brand builds awareness faster and helps sustain their brand’s memorability.

Can I make a logical + strategic case for trademark infringement? Yes.

Should I? No. It’s unethical. 

If this happened to you personally – you’d sue me for identity theft.

If your agency or design shop comes to you with a trademark infringement strategy or tactic, think very long and very hard. What does that (behavior) say about you personally, about you as a brand manager or about the brands you manage?  

What you put out in slices will come back to you in loaves.

Be careful what you “put out”.





My mother used to tell me that she hated sleigh rides because you were down the hill in a flash but had to struggle for a long time to get back up to the hilltop.

Apple’s new bedtime app is a slippery slope app.

This app sends all of your personal sleeping habit data back to Apple as meta data. Use the translate app and every word you translate is recorded by Apple as well. Your Safari browsing data as well. The list goes on and on. The more you use your apps the better organizations like Apple and Google are able to profile your cohort – and ultimately you. 

Once you’ve provided your consent to use the app and personal data collection you’ve donated that data for life. You cannot get it back – or expunged.

The trend troubles me.

The (traditional) mass media advertising model assumes that on any given day a certain percentage of people enter or exit the “buying cycle”. Mass media campaigns are designed to reach a certain percentage frequently of the people in cycle often enough to ensure message comprehension could take place. The reach / frequency equation is based on tons of empirical research that models message comprehension and memory decay. Brand awareness and purchase behavior were two important measures of campaign success.

Almost all of the campaigns you see today are ROI (retail sales) driven.

Cookies are used to track online behaviour and drive campaigns. Along with other tracking data sets this has led to more intrusive online media channels and far more frequent advertising exposures. And while PPC makes campaigns VERY cheap, in many cases they're not very effective. 

The future is here and it's in re-marketing.

Basically I identify you with a digital profile and hound you until you buy my stuff. No matter what online media you select I’ll find you. I can use your phone to tell me in which store you are, which isle you’re in and which product display you’re approaching. You profile will activate a text message and the shelf – talker, encouraging you to buy my stuff now because you, dear reader will get a special + unique discount or GWP from me.

Off-line that's called stalking.

Where will this end?

What will this mean to you and your family?

Is this really what you want?          









To do great work David Ogilvy asked his clients to give him the freedom of a tight brief. It’s a polite way of saying: “tell me exactly what you want, and please, let’s not play that stupid I’ll know it when I see it game.”

If most variables in the marketing, sales, advertising and internal communications mix will remain the same and you’re only making a few minor changes to an ad for example, you might want to try this “reframing” approach.

Simply summarize the facts, the feelings + the future.

Here’s an example:


Apple supports HIV/AIDS programs that provide counselling, testing and medicine that prevents the transmission of HIV from a mother to her unborn child. In the last ten years, Apple has raised over $130 million through the sale of their (RED) products. The new Special Edition series is Apple’s latest blended HIV awareness raising series of products which function as HIV awareness media too.


We want to let people know that each time they buy a red iPhone case, smart battery case, watch sport band, wireless headphones, portable speakers, iPod shuffle, nano or iPad case, Apple will send a contribution to the global fund, and my (public) use of these red cases will draw attention to, and promote greater awareness of this important cause. Each person's little contribution, in conjunction with other small contributions the world over, will make a real difference in this and future generations.


Fewer mothers and children with HIV/AIDS.