May 16th, 2020

The Future of (Most) Everything

Prof Scott Galloway (of No Mercy / No Malice) recently made some pretty bleak predictions about the future of higher-ed in light of COVID-19. The tl;dr: As classes move online, campuses enforce social distancing and the whole allure of a $100,000 have-as-much-fun-as-possible while building a network-for-life essentially gone, money will dry up for colleges. This will lead to a dying of the middle (here it is again, our hourglass economics model). Stanford, MIT and the like will be fine. Cheap (free?), good online education will be fine. Everything else is dying.

But this is not about higher-ed. It isn’t even about (part of) the business we are in with be radical: Corporate Learning & Development — which will see very similar disruptions as Scott outlined.

This is about almost everything. Because (and we see the emerging evidence) that most industries, sectors and businesses will go through a similar transformation. Many won’t look anything like what they did before this whole pandemic thing hit them on the head.

Now — you can bemoan this. You can curse, shake your fists, freak out, be angry or put your head into the sand. Or you can embrace it, ask questions, figure it out and create the future.

The pandemic created the COVID-bump — the massive acceleration of what was inevitable: Remote work, education moving online, delivery services booming, streaming movies the day they premier in cinemas

Time to ask one of the favorite questions of my dear friend and colleague Jeffrey Rogers: “What does the future need?”

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