Living Futures

with Brian Solis

Living Futures

with Brian Solis

Brian solis V1 GTA BW glow style-500x500

In this week’s show futurist, digital analyst and anthropologist, along with being a Global Innovation Evangelist for Salesforce, Brian Solis joins us to talk adapting to life in the future. As a renowned specialist on engagement, CX and digital transformation, Brian discusses what it’s like to be a futurist at one of the worlds largest tech companies that is increasingly mission focused. And we get into the implications of his book Lifescale as we emerge from the pandemic.  Follow @briansolis

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[Music] this week on the futurist Brian Solis even when presented with facts and solutions Humanity doesn’t want to see it or deal with it and they’ll pretend that it doesn’t exist and so 30 years from now I feel like we have to control alt delete and reboot Humanity

welcome back to the futurists I am Brett King with my co-host Rob turseck in the hot seat I just came in um you know we’re recording this just in the midst of hurricane Ian isn’t it Rob that’s what it’s called the hurricane and I just landed at rally and I was telling Rob and and Brian before I landed it was it was an insane Landing so um I’m glad to be here to be able to bring you this recording because um it was quite quite a uh Quite a feat but um we have quite a show for you today we have um the inimitable Brian Solis joining us a good pal um we we met um more than I think a decade ago on the speaking circuit and uh since then you know became fast friends if you don’t know him he’s a global Innovation evangelist for Salesforce he’s an eight times best-selling author um we had him on breaking Banks to review his book life scale which came out a couple of years ago continues to do very well um really interesting book he’s he’s a digital Anthropologist he’s obviously a futurist that’s why he’s on the show you can check out more about Brian and Brian but Brian Welcome to the futurists wow well it’s uh it’s wonderful to say that I already predicted this a few years back that it would happen today it’d be on the show we will talk about prediction won’t we rob we we do talk about that and some futurists don’t like to do predictions and they they dance around it and say forecasting um you know and that’s that’s something like forecasting we had someone out who said I don’t do breakfast what exactly or scenario planning yeah but um you know that is at the heart of futurism is is being able to sort of at least say where the um you know where things are going and you have to make some form of uh guesstimates or prediction although it is as you rightly point out you know scenario building and so forth um but uh you know uh what what’s it like you know you you were a free spirit out on the road you know you’ve got your books and you’re on the speaking circuit and now you’re working for uh for Salesforce admittedly quite a dynamic Innovative organization but um you know how has it been you know sort of being hemmed in I guess or or is that accurate I don’t know it uh you’re coming from a free spirit an entrepreneur in one of the world’s um one of the world’s most foremost thought leaders in a variety of subjects and also authors I mean I get I get where you’re coming from you’re like what basically you could have asked in another way what made you go inside of a corporate gig you know or uh yeah uh I joined I probably joined the only organization that I could have imagined joining you know it is it is rightly so an Innovative company but it’s also one that’s living its Mantra of uh business is the greatest Catalyst for change or could be uh you know Mark benioff is certainly of all of the the leaders out there whom we look to or quote often or cite often he is he’s the real deal and he’s trying to build a better future he puts uh he puts his money you know towards that better future he’s he’s really all about sustainability and empowerment and and uh diversity and inclusion and it’s it’s a pretty uh it’s a pretty special place to be plus it’s a role that was created for me yeah Brian for our listeners who aren’t familiar do you mind sharing with us exactly what it is that Salesforce does because we hear the term sales automation what does that really mean in practice what is it that Salesforce makes for sure well if you if you look us up you’ll buy the ticker symbol it’s CRM and that is it customer relationship management it’s basically the platform for your business uh it’s the integration of all the data all the customer data across the organization so whether it’s Marketing sales service Commerce uh and then the ability you know barring your your own operational infrastructure which which we can also help change the technology itself allows you to move at the speed of the customer have insights at the speed of the customer be able to personalize the speed of customer across all of those departments and then you add AI automation things like Einstein within within that mix and you really get the single view of a customer who you could not only just personalize that engagement deliver the type of personal services that they start to expect so essentially it’s like an operating system for your for your business that’s just like the 10 second or less yeah no that’s good that’s helpful because I think like the problem that it solves like 20 years ago uh big organizations were quite aware that inside of their company they had a lot of employees who had a lot of knowledge about customers but all that knowledge was stuck in their heads so there was no way for them to lift when they left the organization yeah that’s the other problem is when they when they switched to a new job that knowledge walked out the door and so companies were trying all sorts of Arcane things like cobbling together intranets to try to get people to like post their contacts and share their leads which of course salespeople are going to be resistant to quite naturally but it seems like Salesforce has actually solving that problem and that’s a pretty big problem it’s basically like institutional memory and awareness for an organization uh that otherwise is all just you know in the heads of the employees it forces the transformation of an organization not that we have to get stuck on this but if you think about it businesses for the most part let’s let’s use the word legacy businesses they’re built upon 50 60 year old models that Were Meant to optimize the specific disciplines within the company whether that was your customer service or marketing or sales uh and marketing itself for example production broke it into 10 or 15 different organizations whether that’s email or web or what have you and the ability to sort of bring those groups together to create a sort of this cross-functional real-time business that that is is of the times that’s what this is also about so it’s part you know it’s part software but it’s also part business transformation and that’s that’s where I live is working with c-suites of companies to help them not just see what technology can do for them but what technology allows for them to do differently and awesome that that’s really uh that’s what inspires me before we jump into the full-on futurist conversation um you know we have a we have a bit of a thing we’re trying out here which is um we like to look at some of the future focused stuff in the news did you find anything this in this week of Interest Rob oh yeah I’ve got a couple news items let’s do the news Okay so uh these are developments that we’re going to keep track of on the futurists uh there’s always a few topics that we come back to they seem to be recurring topics for us and one you brought up already Brett which is climates uh it seems like not a week can go by with what without out I’m one of the futurists on our show bringing up the concept of climate change it’s been a year of you know heat waves floods other kinds of fun you know on here in California fires as always it’s like a new season for Fire season and hurricane Ian is in the news today uh all over the place because in in the words of Wired Magazine where there’s a great article they talk about it as a message from the future in other words this is the kind of storm we can expect to see more and more in the future as um as the water temperature increases that increases the force and the volatility of the storms and um and in addition to that the currents are moving North uh the heat is moving North so actually we’re going to start to see more and more hurricanes forming off the east coast of the United States so that pretends some real serious trouble in the future and in that article they have a really interesting quote from a climatologist who says that we can no longer consider these natural disasters they’re going to have to be reclassified as man-made disasters aren’t taking any effort but we’re still building we have this new notion of like rebuild on the coast rebuild restore everything and it was like you know wiped out and he’s saying that that’s not going to hold we’re going to stop doing that eventually so that’s that’s Story number one uh sorry but you were about to say I didn’t mean to step on no no no I no I just think that’s that’s right like that you know yeah it’s a powerful story it’s in wired I recommend you check it out it’s it’s hurricanein is a message from the future the second Point uh is that um Google made a pretty big announcement as you may be aware Google has been cutting back on spending like many big tech companies since the downturn and beginning of this year and uh this week they did quite a surprising thing they shut down Google stadia Google stadia was a Innovative project a streaming game platform basically a game platform without any any uh Hardware and novel idea and it wasn’t unsuccessful uh they kind of a rough launch in 2019 but it had been going along and they actually had users and it seemed like it was going fine but apparently uh Google higher up in the organization decided they could no longer afford to pay for the service and they just chopped it with really no notice uh so the Google has said they’re going to make good on any consumers that spent money on Hardware they’re going to reimburse them that’s cool or for game purchases that they made but the big issue here is that there are a lot of game developers that signed up for this service and they have been investing a lot of effort and time in building games if you’re familiar with the game industry you’ll know the game developers don’t really invest money they invest time that’s what that’s what they have that’s the resource they have to invest and so when they bet on your platform they’re betting with their scarce resource time and now there are a lot of disappointed developers who have been working hard to build games to stadia specifications at Google’s request and these people are now going to be out of an outlet completely cut off cut off from customers and revenue uh it’s very unclear and it has been handled very very poorly uh one of the points that was raised which I think is really noteworthy as you’ll know I’m a huge fan of the concept of dematerialization and the idea of replacing physical stuff with software so this was an interesting experiment to me um when a dematerialized service goes out of business what goes with it isn’t just the service but the content and so it looks like there’s a bunch of games are going to be taken offline and they’ll be gone for good so that’s Google stadia big change sort of abrupt change from Google this week um the last one is one that I’m most excited by and we’re definitely going to drill deeper into this topic which is about AI assisted art generation has been a lively topic for the last few months uh first with the introduction of um uh Dali 2 the second edition of open ai’s um software AI driven software that’ll develop images for you based on a text input so basically you type in keyword prompts and it generates an image a couple of months ago an alternative AI was introduced called mid-journey which quite a few artists gravitated towards and there’s quite a lot of innovation if you search on the web you’ll see a lot of great Innovation around mid-journey and then just over a month ago another one was introduced called stable diffusion and stable diffusion is actually provided as open source free of charge software that you can download and as a result in the last month there has been a phenomenal number of Innovations introduced on that platform it’s breathtaking because it’s breaking every day there’s new news but people are using stable diffusion in a number of expected ways and I guess the point here is for a long time people thought that creative uh work creative Services were something that would be immune to automation what we’re seeing now in this summer is that that myth has been dismantled it’s not just gpt3 which can write compelling copy and of course gpt4 which will probably be coming be coming soon and we’ll probably be able to generate copy akin to what you get from a copyright it is going to be indistinguishable but now you’re starting to see artwork by AI generators that is akin to artwork that can be done by an art by a human artist again these are early generation they’re going to improve over time but I guess the point I’m making here is that just in the last couple of weeks we’ve seen tremendous amounts of integration and Improvement now just this week There’s been an announcement of three new Services one where you can simply text in and it’ll generate a 3D item for you so they’re now using the same concept to generate three-dimensional objects which will be quite useful if the metaverse actually comes to pass another version will generate a 3D animation and a third which was introduced by meta formerly uh Facebook it’s called make a video and you can just type a text to strip description and it will generate a video so you can type in a description that says show me an astronaut riding a horse on the surface of of Mars and it will generate that video for you uh as goofy as that idea sounds there’s something here that’s linked in my mind to uh the Advent of desktop publishing believe it or not in the late 1990s where um you know the first wave of innovation that came from desktop publishing was a bunch of truly awful yard sale signs and restaurant posters and stuff that were just terrible like people with zero Talent whatsoever were able to generate a print a printed thing that looked you know I guess it’s okay but it was really poorly designed really quickly after that we saw a design breakthrough to a new level where you know a report or a document that you would produce actually had to be presented at a certain level there’s an expectation you know even a PowerPoint presentation I think something similar is going to happen with clipart um you’re going to start to see people adopt AI generated imagery and possibly video uh across the board so those are three breaking stories from the future we’ll be covering the last one for sure in the in the very near future so let me kick this off Brian with asking you a fairly simple question when did you know you were a futurist when did you know that this is what you wanted to do to talk about the future uh it it it wasn’t a choice to be honest it was just sort of a necessity I came up in Silicon Valley right that’s where talking about the future is is part of your calling card you know every every sense every sentence begins with imagine if so I guess it was just sort of by um you know by proximity but the difference was is that in the mid 1990s with the rise of you know I was there for the shift between hardware and software uh in Silicon Valley and what really inspired me was most people there get caught up in the tech and it’s still the case I was more fascinated with Market development and adoption and I was really inspired by Jeffrey Moore’s crossing the chasm and realized that part of those baton passes from you know early adopters to mass-market majority were it was the human humanization of that story so the ability to sort of take that tact and play it out immediately and over time and what those scenarios could look like in the day-to-day aspects of whomever our stakeholder was whether it’s a business customer or consumer that discipline I guess you could call a practice of futurism and it was then that that practice I didn’t call it the futuristic or futurism but that practice was was honed in in that time and still continues to this day I like that that’s uh that’s like practical future is a more applied futurism to solve a problem and I really like that that’s that’s really consistent with the approach we’re taking on this show you know in a sense we’re trying to reclaim that word futurism because there’s a lot of futurism in his entertainment you know a Fluff uh you know kind of like well you know like someday this will happen it’s pretty easy to make those kinds of armchair predictions uh but Brett and I have been trying to drill a little deeper and say okay will how do you pin that prediction down or how do you you know relate that forecast to trends that are actually happen that we can identify today what are the telltale signs that it’s going to come true and so forth and what you’re describing is that you’re doing that in the context of a real business my belief is that every business needs somebody like that on their team because the world is changing very quickly and we need more people who are discussion and thinking about the future yeah what what’s what’s your process for staying on top of this you know this sort of subject matter Brian you know I could I could have answered that uh much more successfully 10 10 years ago yeah and and I I know you I know you get this I’ve been following your career I’ve been following your books and to watch watch your own story arc evolve has been sort of I got to imagine a reflection of the same challenge I have which is yeah what doesn’t Intrigue you uh yeah and and originally I I aim to just focus on consumer facing Technologies yeah and and at the at that time it was consumerization of the internet it was the digitization of a lot of Hardcore devices that were going to change consumer engagement and communication so like smartphones uh digital cameras online photo sharing which would eventually lead to the Instagrams of the world social media like those those things were were truly fascinating but then I started to the more you plan outward you start to say you start to see other factors that are going to start to reshape everything so as Rob referred to things like AI video and image creation AI artificial intelligence uh RPA robotics those things started to to fascinate me because I I knew that the direct applications would be in things that we would see every day so I studied I published one of the first reports on autonomous vehicles and where the where where self-driving cars were going to go I looked at uh how that that technology was going to affect things like digital Twins and the ability to develop intelligence so that you played out in a variety of things of Music Hollywood wrote some of those first reports yeah those those things started to I wrote some I presented in India right before as coven was shutting down the world on Quantum Computing it it’s too much it’s too much this is the answer and so I’m trying to reel it back in and it is quite fascinating though because like literally in the past you could follow a certain threat into the future but like you’re saying each Innovation introduces other Innovations and so it’s an ever expanding cone of possibility and if you try to follow them all you’re going to dissipate your energy what’s your methodology for staying on track like dissipating but not important how do you filter how do you filter I’m filtering now around very specific things uh so they they have to they have to either affect customer experience and or they have to affect innovation and Innovation can apply to business transformation product development as it relates to Market Evolution uh so I guess that’s probably the best way uh as you can hear the dogs barking here they really are fascinated by market Evolution yeah absolutely anytime I say that they just go crazy it’s like all of us

so but I have this whole I’ve actually had to develop it into a mind map and that mind map is what I share within our organization a sales force these are all the things that I will focus on and help our customers build upon but I could give you a just a quick sampling in the last two weeks we’ve explored uh how customer evolution in terms of behaviors expectations preferences are going to be uh in in what they’re going to look like 18 24 36 months 48 months from now and then how the evolution of business investments in say each discipline service marketing Commerce and overall leadership how are those are tracking towards those Trends and for the most part they’re not uh you know this is a giant topic I one of the things I really want to get into with you is CX and consumer experience and also I want to talk about the flip side of that which is consumer Evolution um so why don’t we do this um we’re going to go to a break in a minute but before we go to break we have this thing we like to do which is lightning round um that’s where we’re going to get a series of questions asked by my co-host Brett King hey Brett do the do the lightning round and then we’ll take a break all right this is not this is none of this is too serious Brian so you don’t have to stress out like I’m not going to ask you any family secrets or anything but let’s jump in What was the first science fiction you remember being exposed to either on TV or via books I think it was Edward James Burrows um

you mean like the John Carter books yeah exactly yeah we all read those oh my God that’s great yes and also it appears to be the same thing that uh it’s it’s led to all of us only wearing black shirts I guess yes true um although I do have I don’t know if you can see that I’ve got the Mars thing on on here but look at that yeah

um name a futurist that has influenced you and why Peter Schwartz yeah he’s uh he’s our chief futurist uh in Residence here at Salesforce uh and I believe it or not I was introduced to his his work in the in the in the nerdiest of ways which was uh Minority Report and understanding I really was fascinated by how someone could see so accurately what I I just believed everything that he envisioned was was was right on right on track but he’s also um one of the most approachable uh scenario planners ever uh he makes everything that’s so complicated seems so tangible I guess we’re gonna have to leave him on the show yeah his book is incredibly practical as well you can use it as a handbook for doing scenario planning awesome so what do you think is the best prediction or forecast a futurist has ever made my goodness that’s a tough one actually I don’t I don’t I’ll have to get back to you on that one all right

um what science fiction story or future World Vision is most representative of the future let me come back to that last one you know your book augmented uh was I thought really right on you know because thank you you had made um you had made very nice from from uh I forgot what iteration of the future Banks you were on uh and I I know I wasn’t the only one that felt that because didn’t I didn’t that book get optioned uh it did yeah we’re producing a TV show at New Zealand right now and it’s so yeah awesome thank you dude that’s really nice of you to say um and what future Tech and we’ll get into this a little bit more in the second half but what future technology do you most hope for

digital humans uh and digital twinning I’m really um that and I’ll be super fast with this answer I was originally inspired by the idea that you could feed uh the right engines and algorithms uh notes and sound bites and thoughts and answers and decisions from loved ones so after they pass it you could keep their sort of yeah yeah the idea of them alive but I’ve been doing work with companies like Soul machines and yeah we’ve been out of New Zealand out of New Zealand right and uh doing all kinds of really cool really cool experiments and it it the number one thing that when people think about digital humans or robots is that it’s going to replace human beings and I see it as being augmented uh pun intended uh to actually do some awesome stuff together awesome well that’s great so listen after the break we want to dive into a little bit more detail about some of the issues that you’re passionate about and where where you think humanity is going and and what we can do about it what each of us can do about it but before that let’s take a quick break you’re listening to the futurists with Rob turczak and myself Brett King and our guest for this week is Brian Solis we’ll be right back after these words from our sponsors

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welcome back to the futurists I’m Rob jersic with co-host Brett King and our guest this week is Brian Solis who’s been giving us a download on Innovation consumer experience and customer Evolution we’re going to continue with that conversation in a minute but first I want to share with you one more news item this is all about starlink and as everybody knows spacex’s starlink has been providing a decisive advantage to the Ukrainian Army in their defense against the Russian invasion that’s occurred and what I thought I’d do today is share with you some interesting background on that that might have been might not be as well known um so last week the Russians made an unambiguous threat to attack starlink uh this happened in the context of the United Nations open-ended working group which is a group that meets in Switzerland and they’re working on reducing space-based threats including the militarization of space and Russia’s Russia’s Emissary to that group uh representative there is a person named Constantine varanzov who’s a member of the Russian foreign Ministry and he released this interesting statement that caught my eye and I thought I’d drill into it a little bit further today on the futurists he said we reiterate Our concern about the realization of policies aimed at the placement of weapons in outer space and the use of outer space for military purposes uh and he made the claim in that report that Russia has always been very peaceful in his approach to space and he wanted he wanted to add this piece this is what stood out we would like to underline an extremely dangerous Trend that goes beyond the harmless use of outer space Technologies and has become apparent during the events in Ukraine namely the use by the United States and its allies of elements of Civilian including commercial infrastructure and outer space for military purposes quasi civilian infrastructure may become a legitimate Target for retaliation wow this is an unambiguous threat to starlink and everyone immediately responded by saying are they suggesting that they’re actually going to attack starlink uh with some sort of missile attack weapons yeah yeah I’ll tell you what Elon Musk had to say about that but hold on because there’s a little bit more to the story so critics heard this and we’re very quick to point out that Russia is being kind of hypocritical here because in November of the last year Russia tested an anti-satellite attack by firing a missile at one of their own out of commission satellites and this was disastrous and he also took the World by yeah but I took the World by surprise uh it caused this the the astronauts on the space station they had to retreat into the shelter into their uh rescue vehicles and the U.S state Department spokesman issued a statement that said that so far Russia’s test of blowing off the satellite generated 1500 pieces of trash attackable orbital orbital debris and hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris that now threaten the interest of all Nations because all those little pieces when you’re moving at the speed of a rocket that’s like you know ballistic this is the plot of gravity right exactly right um so for those who are listening I thought it’d be useful to summarize a little bit how yes starlink is being used in the Ukraine there are more than 11 000 starlink stations uh the downlink is actually based in Poland for security reasons but this gives uh this gives the Ukraine the ability to maintain contact with their forces tour in the field it’s important for people to know that previous to the war start Ukraine was using via set for this service for their military Communications which is also what the United States uses for military communication it’s a satellite private satellite system uh that that runs military Communications however the Russians hacked via set a day before their attack in the Ukraine and disable all the Ukrainian Communications that was part of their lightning strike strategy now what’s amazing and in a moment I’ll share with you how fast Starling was able to respond but here are some of the ways that starlink is being used right now so uh Ukraine’s aerial reconnaissance Force uses starlink to control drones and of course those drones have been used to knock out tanks and mobile command centers and military vehicles but it’s also used for hospitals more than 500 Hospitals and Clinics have received Starling Terminals and that helps them stay connected and online and of course the Ukrainian soldiers are able to communicate with their families and I was surprised to learn that even in the uh as of style steel plan in marubia poll which is that town that was under assault for so many many weeks by the Russian army even while they’re under assault and cut off those soldiers were still able to communicate with the Ukrainian Army and with their families and with the president president zielinski uh so for those who aren’t familiar with starlink it is a satellite system private system of satellites that’s operated uh by SpaceX Elon Musk space company the goal ultimately is to launch 42 000 satellites into low earth orbit in the coming years but they have that in two phases and we’re currently in the middle about halfway through phase one the phase one launches to put up 4 000 satellites and right now there’s just about 2 500 satellites that have been launched but that’s sufficient for them to give coverage in the northern hemisphere they launched that in October of 2020 and by just five months later February 2021 they had already masked their first 10 000 users and it’s estimated that they have about 500 000 users today and by the end of 2022 they’ll have about a million uh subscribers also last week’s starlink introduced a premium tier plan so the cost of the service is um if you subscribe to the basic tier service it’s 99 a month and there’s a 500 setup fee but they introduced in February of 2022 they introduced a Premium plan that is has a startup cost of 2500 and then 500 a month and for that you get speeds up to 500 megabits per second so that’s that’s pretty kind of progressive yeah

half the satellite Network at this stage so you know the density of the satellites will help speed that up over time now the service has degraded us they’ve added more users that’s quite naturally the case but what’s really remarkable is the ambition behind this project and this is really what I wanted to drive at because people heard about them they’re like yeah great satellite internet that sounds cool um for those who aren’t living in the rural area or don’t have like a second house in a rural area don’t ever deal with people on a farm you might not be aware that most rural areas don’t have broadband uh it’s just not economically viable to pull cable through the ground and as a result those areas are neglected in the U.S our big telcos always make the right noises politically about you know Universal service and Universal coverage but the reality is if you live far away you’re very unlikely to get Broadband from your Telco and so uh starlink is actually addressing a really important need but on a global basis the number of people who are far from their telcos network is actually a staggering number and so the economics get extraordinarily interesting as you scale startling up so the Brian Wang at next big future wrote a good piece about this and he said get past five million Subs and starlinks uh starlink service becomes profitable and it’s a pretty good business well this this is this is probably you know in in you know talking about predictions in in techno-socialism I predicted starlink is what is going to make Elon Musk the first trillionaire well it’s not just that Brett it’s what’s going to pay for his trip to Mars exactly it’s going to be the funding for it he’s he’s been very clear about that what he’s about to say is so you know they’re about to hit the 1 million threshold this year if they get to 5 million the service pays for itself if you get to 10 million then all of a sudden it starts to fund SpaceX itself and at Beyond 20 million subscribers Starling is printing money because once you’ve got the satellites in space and that fixed cost is covered then it’s just a matter of keeping the saddle it’s refreshed and I’m uh so I won’t take you through all the economics but this is all still generation one there’s a generation coming right so gen one is just four thousand satellites and they’re going to use this they’re going to use the Starship to launches his cost of launching goes down with the Starship and of course starlink Hayes for the development of the Starship this is all like perfectly logical um so generation two will add 30 000 more satellites and then that’ll give them the capacity to serve 200 million Global customers these are people who otherwise can’t get broadband uh so at that point they’re going to be generating 2.5 trillion dollars over a five-year span and that’s where the revenue for this the the Mars mission will come from well I’m wearing my maths t-shirt in support of the mission yeah no this is like one of the most exciting things I’ve it’s fun to read about right so um uh SpaceX was able to move satellites into into Ukraine uh within a matter of days um so just after the invasion on February 26th um the they had already been in discussion uh with the Ukrainian government but just after the invasion the foreign minister the vice prime minister and the country’s digital Minister sent a tweet to Elon Musk and that’s when he authorized starlink to start the service two days after that the first shipment of of uh satellite dishes started to show up so there’s a brigadier general in the United States Army Steve boutow who runs the space space portfolio at the defense Innovation unit and this is what he said The Invasion happened on a Thursday and by the next day Elon had called together a meeting and said I want to get starlink up over Ukraine by Sunday the link was active by Monday 500 ground terminals showed up in the Ukraine by Wednesday of that week all the 25 of those terminals were alive and providing real-time data that’s commercial speed that’s amazing so one of the things we talked about in a recent episode with Mark Pesce was how militaries are going to be affected by and having to respond to commercial Innovation and Commercial Tech and consumer technology this is a brilliant example of it the Russians thought they disabled the communications for the Ukrainian Army and it’s exactly what they got instead was an upgrade a massive upgrade to their service there are of course a number of disadvantages to low earth orbit satellites uh the uh as astronomers complained that they blocked the view of space you can imagine that 40 000 small satellites flying around is also going to create a collision Hazard today overwhelmingly the number of collision hazards that have been detected are from starlinks 2000 500 satellites that are up and starlink’s not the only company that wants to do this Jeff Bezos is his blue origin also has an intention of doing something quite similar and the Chinese the carpet Network yeah that’s right and the Chinese government has also indicated that they wish to launch such a thing you might wonder well okay how did Elon Musk respond to this unambiguous threat from the Russian government and here’s his quote from an interview in Business Insider Elon Musk said it was interesting to view the Russian anti-satellite demonstration a few months ago in the context of this conflict because that caused a lot of strife for satellite operators and it even had some danger for the space station where there are Russian cosmonauts so why did they do that it was a message sent in advance of the Ukrainian invasion if you attempt to take out starlink this is not going to be easy because there are 2 000 satellites so that means an awful lot of anti-satellite missiles I hope we do not have to put this to the test but I think we can launch satellites faster than they can launch anti-satellite missiles so that’s Elon Musk and a little view of the starlink program and its Effectiveness and of course we’ll be be using them on T-Mobile handsets as well and you know Apple iPhones are now satellite capable so the people with RVs have them they just and cruise ships now they’ve done a cruise ship edition so pretty amazing yeah all right Brian let’s jump back in what do you think of Elon Musk by the way Brian um I I it’s it’s it’s hard not to admire the man at the same time he does probably say a little too much

very positive one doesn’t but I think if if I’m not mistaken a photograph that I took of him when he opened his first Tesla dealership in Menlo Park we were we were all invited as as nerds uh to celebrate his first his first foray uh into the automotive business picture I took of him as we were talking I think is is still his Wikipedia picture oh really oh cool we’re not that’s cool I didn’t know that you know you mentioned that a lot of a lot of people actually believe it or not uh their photograph is I’m looking it up right now by the way let’s pivot to that for a second though so um to bring us back into the discussion we were having a minute ago um here is a very unsubtle segue back to customer experience you know Tesla is actually a very good example other than that look it really is though because they got rid of the dealership right there’s showrooms where you can see all the pretty toys but they are a non-dealership car organization um and and the reason car dealerships exist and the reason reason they persist are for reasons that are far outside the control of the auto companies so Brian when you talk about customer experience and the evolving consumer I totally am with you I mean I get that the consumer is devolving but I think big established companies are having a lot of trouble keeping up with their customer and their expectations and this is the source of some disruption can you talk to me a little bit about that about that gap between the evolving consumer and the companies that can’t evolve fast enough to meet them you know one of the things that I that I do to put this conversation in perspective is I I take a step back to to humanize the words customer experience because it’s certainly one of those like digital transformation sort of loses its meaning with every conversation I had an apostrophe s to it it’s customers experience it’s the customer’s experience that we need to pay attention to so how they experience something should either tell us what we need to fix or these those insights tell us what we need to create in the Steve Jobs fashion of introducing something they didn’t know they wanted and then they can’t live without it once it exists and the reason I say that is because you tell me what customer wakes up and says I can’t wait to go to the dealership today to buy a car or I can’t wait to go to a dealership today to have my car serviced and you’ll find someone who’s never going to be a Tesla customer in reality those experiences have sucked for a very long time they still suck and auto manufacturers are realizing that especially during a time of covid during these the chip shortage supply chain challenges where uh cars that were highly anticipated became cars that were also dramatically overpriced because dealerships could command that price even though the brands themselves objected to that saying you’re going to ruin the customer experience you’re going to ruin our relationship with customers all in the all the sake of gouging and taking short-term profitability and that’s sort of been uh maybe maybe a high level you know nod to the the challenges capitalism has faced in general but with with that said when Tesla introduced an apple-like model for direct consumer engagement the ones who stood up to fight it were the dealerships and the lobbies the lobbyists who represented all franchisees and and dealers uh saying you can’t sell a car unless you go through a franchise or dealer model uh and no no customer you would stand up and say they’re right and that’s that’s the thing that we have to consider when we’re talking about the customer’s experience it isn’t thrusting or forcing or imposing upon the customer the models that you have that keep you afloat or keep you thriving it’s to deliver an experience that the customer is going to love and refer and come back to you and stay loyal to you and those times have changed and they’re changing fast and faster and with every new innovation whether it’s Starling or whether it’s Tesla or you name whatever’s next those things push the standards for experience further and further and further and when they come back to a legacy model or a legacy experience it feels outdated it feels painful it feels all of the things that create that decision in someone’s mind as do I do I continue to put up with this do I continue to have a reluctant relationship with these services or these companies or do I make the break so why that’s important right our our own research and we have published this report called the state of the connected customer we found that 71 percent of customers have tried a new brand in the last year McKenzie’s research has that pegged closer to 90 percent and the reason why is for things that we’ve discussed but also it with this connectedness that has happened since 2020 this you know rapid acceleration to everybody becoming digital first with things like starlink empowering everybody to become digital first you have a more connected and then as a result an informed or over informed or misinformed customer we talk about that later but you also have this this this Consciousness that happens with that empowerment which is wow I’ve never seen the world this way though these conveniences have changed my this is fantastic uh and I’ve I’ve and Brett’s heard this a million times I talk about that connectedness and Consciousness as a form of uh creating an accidental narcissist which is once people start to taste these experiences and conveniences and speed and personalization they don’t go backwards uh and every every aspect of it tells them that they should and should have a better experience so with someone’s entitlement somebody said to me the consumer has gone from being empowered to entitled and that’s a really scary thought right for marketers like whoa you know I gotta please this impossible customer I’ve had to experience myself you know I have a BMW and I love it I’ve always loved BMWs like the way they handle um but I’m also aware that Tesla has been doing software upgrades over the air for 10 years without any kind of glitch and I’m stunned next month like type delivery of my Tesla by the way uh good for you you still got to take your car back to the dealership um for a software upgrade if it’s not a Tesla and this is astonishing to me um because anyone who’s got a smartphone of course has been used to getting over I know right this thing for you know same but these companies act like they’re working you know in a vacuum as if the consumer doesn’t have that experience or that smartphone and they are unable to the grock the fact that the consumer is getting conditioned you know every time they use Spotify or every time they use uh you know an app like Netflix they’re getting conditioned to getting satisfaction immediately on whatever device they want uh and then of course your bank let’s say your Healthcare but yeah they’ve got a mobile app but it always feels like they’re kind of just going through the motions because the mobile app doesn’t actually get you the answer you need you still have to show up in person and I find that this is like the biggest blind spot these companies have is that they’re unaware their consumers have multiple experiences all of which are better than their mobile presence how do you help a company like that Brian I mean that must be a golden opportunity to give free advice out to companies I uh I wrote this earlier I’m I’m just trying to see if I could if I could find it uh it said when I need service I hope a chatbot is available said no customer ever uh it’s this idea that you know chat Bots or service or product Innovation or service Innovation aren’t the failure of Technology it’s a breakdown in approach and design right it’s this it’s this mindset this fixed mindset that tries to take what exists and sort of build upon it to drive greater ability exactly to feed stakeholder value or shareholder value and to not necessarily create the type of new value that truly defines what Innovation is all about and that that requires new models new thinking new new Roi uh formulas and not none of that is impossible it’s just that people don’t want to break from the status quo because it’s not the world that they know they’re they’re they’re they’re they’re so successful in the iteration part that there really is no incentive yet no no company that’s ever been disrupted probably and I’ll say this you know just with carelessness which is no company that ever got disrupted did so because they intentionally prioritize customer experience yeah and uh and I’m sure there’ll be examples of companies that probably over indexed on Innovation and not enough on business business model Innovation but with that said look at every company that is historically regarded as like that that that cautious tale like look at look let’s look at Blockbuster right and the story that Blockbuster had the opportunity to acquire Netflix I I always tell the story like well that that story doesn’t quite put it correctly even if Blockbuster acquired Netflix both would still be dead today because the people in charge weren’t true Visionaries for that customer’s experience and how technology was going to unlock new value now and over time especially as as markets evolved it was constantly on squeezing blood from a stone in New in different ways and that’s really that’s really the challenge that people have so last but not least the the answer to your question is is it a golden opportunity absolutely but that means that I have had to not you can’t practice futurism in a scenario like that you have to practice psychology and social sciences and understand how no one wants to be told there’s a lot of that to futurism though there is you’ve got to anticipate human behavior and when you’re looking at Trends and which Trends are going to impact you know you are looking at how humans behave and respond historically and so forth yeah we had two we had two Futures on the show who talked about psychology and communication particularly around people who’ve got a lot of resistance some people just aren’t psychologically ready for the information and if you confront them with it they’re going to push back well like on that thought so so roll with me here this is actually where I believe that and I’m sure you’ll hear it from others why I love Peter Schwartz and his ability is just Minority Report is just one of the many fascinating things that this man can do incredibly well it was about storytelling and storytelling is a the the best storytelling I I’m influenced by the art of storyboarding which I learned from uh a Pixar storyboard artist and a Disney storyboard artist I guess they’re one in the same but in that the psychology of it isn’t how you tell the story it’s how believable the story is and how relatable the characters become so as you’re telling that story about the future to someone who doesn’t want to see it or can’t see it or is biased against it the story has to become how does that person need to hear it in order for them to rise the opportunity to do the right thing and if they do not then then we have to talk about whether they’re the right person for the job absolutely well listen Brian to wrap this up we like to go full futurist okay so here’s what I want you to do I want you to think 30 50 years out you know there’s no limit on this what is the greatest Innovation that you hope for or look forward to for the future that’s going to change the world or change Humanity you know I would have I would have said that we we that we would have had uh Quantum Computing in in full effect and that the idea of of predictions would have would have shifted into this relationship between predictions and solutions that that Quantum would allow us to solve for but I think the other thing that makes this answer difficult is that movie don’t look up and that even when presented with facts and solutions Humanity doesn’t want to see it or deal with it and they’ll they’ll pretend it doesn’t exist and so 30 years from now I feel like we have to control alt delete and reboot Humanity yeah um I agree because otherwise that answer is not there’s definitely a philosophical change needed right one that is Humanity first rather than you know markets and capitalism first but listen um I know we’ve run out of time Brian a couple of things before we go first of all um happy anniversary congratulations to your new wife um I know that’s what’s kept coming up next and secondly uh I I speak on behalf of Robert and myself and I hope he doesn’t mind this but we’ve really enjoyed having you on the show would you ever consider coming back as a co-host oh well does that mean I get to spend more time with you guys absolutely

it would be my honor absolutely I mean apart from the obvious scheduling problems it’d be great to uh to have you back on you’ve been an absolute Delight um and uh you know we consider you part of the team so thank you again um that’s it for this week on the futurist guys um if you want to check out Brian Solis you go to Brian that’s www.brien and you can read more about his profile and his books and his work and so forth um but if you like the show don’t forget to leave us a review post it on uh Twitter or social media wherever you can you you uh you hang out um you know give it leave us a review on iTunes or wherever it is podcaster stitcher you know Spotify review listen to the show and um you know don’t forget to let us know your suggestions if you you would like to hear from on the futurist next but that’s it for this week we will be back with another episode of course next week you can guarantee it and and we’ll see you in the future the future [Music] well that’s it for the futurists this week if you like the show we sure hope you did please subscribe and share it with people in your community and don’t forget to leave us a five star review that really helps other people find the show and you can ping us anytime on Instagram and Twitter at futuristpodcast for the folks that you’d like to see on the show or the questions you’d like us to ask thanks for joining and as always we’ll see you in the future [Music]

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