The power of Emerging Technologies…How the world changed in the blink of an eye
The World has changed so much in one short lifetime: less than forty years ago, there were no mobile phones, no internet, and no social media, and in 1976 two Californian kids (Jobs and Wozniak) set up business in the family garage. They were making computers, with no monitor, no keyboard and no casing, but four years later their company, Apple (as if you hadn’t guessed) went public, with annual sales of $117 Million. Today Apple has a market capitalisation of $2.912 Trillion (more than UK GDP last year), and the company generates sales of $151 Billion every day, seven days a week: that’s $1,752 every second.
But it’s about so much more than generating untold riches for its founders (one of whom is sadly no longer with us): Apple also changed the World along the way. Who uses a landline these days, not when you have an iPhone (and all its Samsung inspired imitators); and how do we reach out most frequently to connect with our ever more connected planet: why are nine out of ten commuters reading the phone on the train rather than a newspaper?
All of that was unthinkable forty years ago…but Apple, and a handful of global innovators, made it possible. Something so seemingly small and so localised has changed our World forever.
And then take Tesla: Elon Musk might well be the most admired and derided person on the planet (at the same time), but Tesla changed the World too. And, like Apple, it did it by harnessing the fundamental power of emerging technologies. Musk’s company is worth $1,145 Trillion today (twelve times more than gas guzzling, smoke belching General Motors), which shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone. Elon Musk has as much talent for innovation as he has for self-publicity, and it’s obvious to everyone that electric cars are the future: he also worked out that getting from here to there is as much about need as it is process (hence his, perhaps unfairly derided, Tunnel Transport System (www.dezeen.com).
Irreducible Societal Need
Elon Musk knows, more than most, that emerging technologies are most likely to generate profound societal change when they most closely converge with irreducible societal need. People will always want to move from A to B, so why make it all about the process? Why not think laterally, and make it about the need? After all, that’s what Apple did…they knew it was as much about a need to connect, as about a polished slice of oblong technology.
And when it comes to societal need, nothing currently overshadows the demand for affordable housing, with 900 Million people across the planet currently either homeless or in severe housing need (and that’s just in metropolitan areas (www.citymonitor.ai/housing).
It’s why enlightened construction companies have turned to harnessing the power of emerging technologies too: moving away from dinosaur business models and embracing Modular Construction: prefabricating units off-site in climate controlled conditions to reduce lead times (without the hazards of mud and rain); carefully calibrating orders to avoid wastage, and securing faster (way faster) delivery times, that are up to 50% quicker (www.mckinsey.com). And radically improving the bottom line in the process, by delivering operating margins in excess of 30%. Which doesn’t just mean more affordable homes…it means more homes full stop.
So isn’t it about time we embraced emerging construction technologies where they matter most…Isn’t it time to leave history to the dinosaurs?
Modular Technologies are a paradigm example of just how effectively emerging technologies can come together to meet societal need: and nowhere is that need more obvious than affordable housing.
Modulex Construction (www.modulex.in) is the World’s largest Steel Modular Building Company. It was established by Red Ribbon (www.redribbon.co) to harness the full potential of fast evolving technologies, and deliver at pace to meet social needs within global communities.