You’re reading this. And thank you for doing so. Now stop reading for 5 seconds and take into account all of the matter around you – the wall, the desk, your phone or computer, your water bottle, the door you last entered, the clothes you’re wearing. Now, with any predictive mental capacity you have, fast forward 1,000 years. The year is 3019.
What does the wall look like? What does the desk you’re sitting at look like? Are you reading this blog post on a phone or computer? Did you have to manually open the last door you entered? Your clothes – are they your definition of “stylish”, as they may have been in 2019?
No matter what you were able to imagine with your mind, the material objects around you probably look different in 3019. That table may have the same form, the same use – but has it been replaced nonetheless? It has. All of it has been replaced. The buildings, the cars, the clothes, the water bottle, the door. Even if it looks familiar, it has nevertheless been swapped for an updated version of itself or something totally new (as all things eventually are).
Chances are, in 3019, that door you entered operates better. That phone or computer is FINALLY SUPER QUICK, intuitive beyond belief, and allows a miraculous level of efficiency (if it is even a phone or computer at all). That wall is better – but you don’t know why. You notice that desks are now specifically and custom made for every different person – in fact, everyone has their own that looks slightly different, based on their individual needs, AND it cost them less than most desks in 2019. And your clothes – well, your clothes look weird. You think, “how did we get to wearing something like this?”!
With the trajectory of innovation, technological advancement, and a burgeoning entrepreneurship trend, basic everyday materials will all become better. Slightly better of course, with little improvements every few years. The creator of this better object will reap his or her financial reward by giving some identified user group a slightly better replacement to their old means of doing something. Now lets hop back to present day, 2019.
Several hundreds of companies provide consumers with their wants and needs. Their most important objective is to meet those needs as times change.
But why, in 3019, will every material object around us be TOTALLY different? SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, SOMEHOW, will put together available resources and methods of creation (or discover a new method) to REPLACE the previous object for individual consumers. And this will happen multiple times throughout the next 100 years – and exponentially so throughout the next 1,000’s of years.
You don’t have to invent a flux capacitor, teleportation, or light-speed space travel in order to innovate tomorrow. Innovation’s place may lie within creating something of value, inch by inch, and putting it out into the market for others to take a stab at both consuming and creating something better.
Product segmentation has been ALL around us this past decade of rising consumer demand, to be followed by an even larger consumer realization of wants & needs in the 2020’s. If you don’t believe me, then please browse some of the products on kickstarter.com or indiegogo.com. The products are just slightly better (in scope of seemingly endless attributes and benefits offered). This proves PERFECTLY that we are in the age of hyper differentiation, and I believe this will compound as time goes on, provided that human innovation/capitalism isn’t interfered with socially throughout the future consecutive ages.
I believe the entrepreneur will go back to making things to fulfill a micro market – an individual human. But, unlike the days of olden, innovators won’t spend a full week making unique products by hand for customers… I believe they may be serving individualized micro-markets through macro-methods of production.
In imagining 3019, I mentally observe that the entrepreneur has found a way to make individualized product for individual people. But why? Perhaps, every human is an independent variable – one that cannot fully be interfered with nor influenced by the outside world. For example, when people speak of the United States, they are speaking about the collective median perception of 327.2 million independent factors making up this country’s perception. If we each live in the United States, then we have an inherent duty and purpose to represent the United States as how we’d like the world to view us – as, if not us, then who?
Humans want to be seen and catered to as their own independent variable – this may be what people TRULY want. Of course, this theory will only continually show to be true if our society is able to get away from the stigmatized fear of missing out. Additionally, we must get away from the crowd mentality present in all human environments. In other words, perhaps society will continue to evolve towards an individualized self-awareness and social aptitude (provided that we humans do evolve).
Innovation’s place will never end until the resources of this planet are fully depleted – but even then, I take it, entrepreneurs and innovators will find a way of using “trash”, used and discarded excess resources, and making them into a valuable unit for consumers to exchange value with. As such, innovation’s place will always be in the not-so-distant future. And the future is not a real thing if it does not exist within our present imagination.
Anyone can be an entrepreneur by thinking into the future, seeing what’s better – and creating it. If YOU don’t, then don’t worry -someone else will. Someone else will meet the demands of our individual wildest dreams of better futures. Are you going to let that someone be you?
“The choices you make today shape your world tomorrow”– Principal Tibbit (my elementary school principal)