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Living Futures


Brian Solis

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.

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[Music] this week on the futurist Brian Soliseven when presented with facts and solutions Humanity doesn't want to see it or dealwith it and they'll pretend that it doesn't exist and so 30 years from nowI feel like we have to control alt delete and reboot Humanitywelcome back to the futurists I am Brett King with my co-host Rob turseck in thehot seat I just came in um you know we're recording this just in the midst of hurricane Ian isn't it Robthat's what it's called the hurricane and I just landed at rally and I was telling Rob and and Brian before Ilanded it was it was an insane Landing so um I'm glad to be here to be able tobring you this recording because um it was quite quite a uh Quite a feat but umwe have quite a show for you today we have um the inimitable Brian Solis joining usa good pal um we we met um more than I think a decade ago on the speaking circuit anduh since then you know became fast friends if you don't know him he's a global Innovation evangelist forSalesforce he's an eight times best-selling author um we had him on breaking Banks toreview his book life scale which came out a couple of years ago continues todo very well um really interesting book he's he's a digital Anthropologist he's obviously afuturist that's why he's on the show you can check out more about Brian and Brian solis.com but Brian Welcome to thefuturists wow well it's uh it's wonderful to say that I already predicted this a fewyears back that it would happen today it'd be on the show we will talk about prediction won't werob we we do talk about that and some futurists don't like to do predictions and they they dance around it and sayforecasting um you know and that's that's something like forecasting we had someone out who said I don't do breakfast what exactlyor scenario planning yeah but um you know that is at the heart of futurism isis being able to sort of at least say where the um you know where things are going andyou have to make some form of uh guesstimates or prediction although it is as you rightly point out you knowscenario building and so forth um but uh you know uh what what's itlike you know you you were a free spirit out on the road you know you've got yourbooks and you're on the speaking circuit and now you're working for uh for Salesforceadmittedly quite a dynamic Innovative organization but um you know how has itbeen you know sort of being hemmed in I guess or or is thataccurate I don't know it uh you're coming from a free spirit anentrepreneur in one of the world's um one of the world's most foremost thought leaders in a variety of subjectsand also authors I mean I get I get where you're coming from you're like what basically you could have asked inanother way what made you go inside of a corporate gig you know or uh yeahuh I joined I probably joined the only organization that I could have imaginedjoining you know it is it is rightly so an Innovative company but it's also onethat's living its Mantra of uh business is the greatest Catalyst for change orcould be uh you know Mark benioff is certainly of all of thethe leaders out there whom we look to or quote often or cite often he is he's the real deal and he's tryingto build a better future he puts uh he puts his money you know towards that better future he's he's really all aboutsustainability and empowerment and and uh diversity and inclusion and it's it'sa 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 whoaren't familiar do you mind sharing with us exactly what it is that Salesforce does because we hear the term salesautomation what does that really mean in practice what is it that Salesforce makes for sure well if you if you lookus up you'll buy the ticker symbol it's CRM and that is it customer relationshipmanagement it's basically the platform for your business uh it's the integration of all the data all thecustomer data across the organization so whether it's Marketing sales service Commerce uh and then the ability youknow barring your your own operational infrastructure which which we can also help change thetechnology itself allows you to move at the speed of the customer have insights at the speed of the customer be able topersonalize the speed of customer across all of those departments and then you add AI automation things like Einsteinwithin within that mix and you really get the single view of a customer whoyou could not only just personalize that engagement deliver the type of personal services that they start to expect soessentially it's like an operating system for your for your business that's just like the 10 second or less yeah nothat'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 theircompany 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 themto 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 andso companies were trying all sorts of Arcane things like cobbling together intranets to try to get people to likepost their contacts and share their leads which of course salespeople are going to be resistant to quite naturallybut it seems like Salesforce has actually solving that problem and that's a pretty big problem it's basically likeinstitutional memory and awareness for an organization uh that otherwise is all just you know in the heads of theemployees it forces the transformation of an organization not that we have to get stuck on this but if you think about itbusinesses for the most part let's let's use the word legacy businesses they're built upon 50 60 year old models thatWere Meant to optimize the specific disciplines within the company whether that was your customer service ormarketing or sales uh and marketing itself for example production broke it into 10 or 15 different organizationswhether that's email or web or what have you and the ability to sort of bring those groups together to create asort of this cross-functional real-time business that that is is of the timesthat'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 isworking with c-suites of companies to help them not just see what technology can do for them but what technologyallows for them to do differently and awesome that that's really uh that's what inspires me before we jump into thefull-on futurist conversation um you know we have a we have a bit of a thing we're trying out here which is umwe like to look at some of the future focused stuff in the news did you find anything this in this week of InterestRob 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 keeptrack of on the futurists uh there's always a few topics that we come back to they seem to be recurring topics for usand one you brought up already Brett which is climates uh it seems like not aweek 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 heatwaves floods other kinds of fun you know on here in California fires as always it's like a new season for Fire seasonand hurricane Ian is in the news today uh all over the place because in in the words of Wired Magazine where there's agreat article they talk about it as a message from the future in other words this is the kind of storm we can expectto see more and more in the future as um as the water temperature increases thatincreases the force and the volatility of the storms and um and in addition tothat 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 eastcoast of the United States so that pretends some real serious trouble in the future and in that article they havea really interesting quote from a climatologist who says that we can no longer consider these natural disastersthey're going to have to be reclassified as man-made disasters aren't taking any effort but we're stillbuilding 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'snot 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 Ididn'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 powerfulstory it's in wired I recommend you check it out it's it's hurricanein is a message from the future the second Pointuh is that um Google made a pretty big announcement as you may be aware Google has been cutting back on spending likemany big tech companies since the downturn and beginning of this year and uh this week they did quite asurprising thing they shut down Google stadia Google stadia was a Innovativeproject a streaming game platform basically a game platform without any any uh Hardwareand novel idea and it wasn't unsuccessful uh they kind of a rough launch in 2019 but it had been goingalong and they actually had users and it seemed like it was going fine but apparently uh Google higher up in theorganization decided they could no longer afford to pay for the service and they just chopped it with really nonotice uh so the Google has said they're going to make good on any consumers that spent money on Hardware they're going toreimburse them that's cool or for game purchases that they made but the big issue here is that there are a lot ofgame developers that signed up for this service and they have been investing a lot of effort and time in building gamesif 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 havethat's the resource they have to invest and so when they bet on your platform they're betting with their scarceresource time and now there are a lot of disappointed developers who have been working hard to build games to stadiaspecifications at Google's request and these people are now going to be out of an outlet completely cut off cut offfrom customers and revenue uh it's very unclear and it has been handled very very poorly uh one of the points thatwas raised which I think is really noteworthy as you'll know I'm a huge fan of the concept of dematerialization andthe idea of replacing physical stuff with software so this was an interesting experiment to me um when a dematerialized service goes out ofbusiness 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 begone for good so that's Google stadia big change sort of abrupt change from Google this weekum the last one is one that I'm most excited by and we're definitely going to drill deeper into this topic which isabout AI assisted art generation has been a lively topic for the last fewmonths uh first with the introduction of um uh Dali 2 the second edition of openai's um software AI driven software that'll develop images for you based on a text input so basically you type inkeyword prompts and it generates an image a couple of months ago an alternative AI was introduced calledmid-journey which quite a few artists gravitated towards and there's quite a lot of innovation if you search on theweb you'll see a lot of great Innovation around mid-journey and then just over a month ago another one was introducedcalled stable diffusion and stable diffusion is actually provided as open source free of charge software that youcan download and as a result in the last month there has been a phenomenal numberof Innovations introduced on that platform it's breathtaking because it's breaking every day there's new news butpeople are using stable diffusion in a number of expected ways and I guess the point here is for a long time peoplethought that creative uh work creative Services were something that would be immune to automation what we're seeingnow in this summer is that that myth has been dismantled it's not just gpt3 whichcan write compelling copy and of course gpt4 which will probably be coming be coming soon and we'll probably be ableto generate copy akin to what you get from a copyright it is going to be indistinguishablebut now you're starting to see artwork by AI generators that is akin to artworkthat can be done by an art by a human artist again these are early generation they're going to improve over time but Iguess the point I'm making here is that just in the last couple of weeks we've seen tremendous amounts of integrationand Improvement now just this week There's been an announcement of three new Services one where you can simplytext in and it'll generate a 3D item for you so they're now using the same concept togenerate three-dimensional objects which will be quite useful if the metaverse actually comes to pass another versionwill generate a 3D animation and a third which was introduced by meta formerly uhFacebook it's called make a video and you can just type a text to strip description and it will generate a videoso you can type in a description that says show me an astronaut riding a horse on the surface of of Mars and it willgenerate that video for you uh as goofy as that idea sounds there's something here that's linked inmy mind to uh the Advent of desktop publishing believe it or not in the late 1990swhere um you know the first wave of innovation that came from desktop publishing was a bunch of truly awfulyard sale signs and restaurant posters and stuff that were just terrible like people with zero Talent whatsoever wereable to generate a print a printed thing that looked you know I guess it's okay but it was really poorly designedreally quickly after that we saw a design breakthrough to a new level where you know a report or a document that youwould produce actually had to be presented at a certain level there's an expectation you know even a PowerPoint presentation I think something similaris going to happen with clipart um you're going to start to see people adopt AI generated imagery and possiblyvideo uh across the board so those are three breaking stories from the future we'll be covering the last one for surein the in the very near future so let me kick this off Brian with asking you a fairly simple question whendid you know you were a futurist when did you know that this is what youwanted to do to talk about the future uh it it it wasn't a choice to be honest itwas just sort of a necessity I came up in Silicon Valley right that's wheretalking about the future is is part of your calling card you know every every sense every sentence begins with imagineif so I guess it was just sort of by umyou know by proximity but the difference was is that in the mid 1990s with the rise of you know Iwas there for the shift between hardware and software uh in Silicon Valley and what really inspired me wasmost people there get caught up in the tech and it's still the caseI was more fascinated with Market development and adoption and I wasreally inspired by Jeffrey Moore's crossing the chasm and realized that part of those baton passes from you knowearly adopters to mass-market majority were it was the human humanization ofthat story so the ability to sort of take that tact and play it out immediately and over time and what thosescenarios could look like in the day-to-day aspects of whomever our stakeholder was whether it's a businesscustomer or consumer that discipline I guess you could call apractice of futurism and it was then that that practice I didn't call it thefuturistic or futurism but that practice was was honed in in that time and stillcontinues to this day I like that that's uh that's like practical future is a more applied futurism to solve a problemand 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 wordfuturism because there's a lot of futurism in his entertainment you know a Fluff uh you know kind of like well youknow like someday this will happen it's pretty easy to make those kinds of armchair predictions uh but Brett and Ihave been trying to drill a little deeper and say okay will how do you pin that prediction down or how do you youknow relate that forecast to trends that are actually happen that we can identify today what are the telltale signs thatit'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 everybusiness needs somebody like that on their team because the world is changing very quickly and we need more people whoare discussion and thinking about the future yeah what what's what's your process forstaying on top of this you know this sort of subject matter Brianyou know I could I could have answered that uh much more successfully 10 10years 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 storyarc evolve has been sort of I got to imagine a reflection of the same challenge I have which is yeah whatdoesn't Intrigue you uh yeah and and originally I I aim to just focus onconsumer facing Technologies yeah and and at the at that time it was consumerization of the internet it wasthe digitization of a lot of Hardcore devices that were going to change consumer engagement and communication solike smartphones uh digital cameras online photo sharing which wouldeventually lead to the Instagrams of the world social media like those thosethings were were truly fascinating but then I started to the more you plan outward you start to say you start tosee other factors that are going to start to reshape everything so as Rob referred to things like AI video andimage creation AI artificial intelligence uh RPArobotics those things started to to fascinate me because I I knew that thedirect applications would be in things that we would see every day so I studied I published one of the first reports onautonomous vehicles and where the where where self-driving cars were going to go I looked at uh how that that technologywas going to affect things like digital Twins and the ability to developintelligence so that you played out in a variety of things of Music Hollywood wrote some of those first reports yeahthose those things started to I wrote some I presented in India right before as coven was shutting down the world onQuantum Computing it it's too much it's too much this is the answer and so I'mtrying to reel it back in and it is quite fascinating though because like literally in the past you couldfollow a certain threat into the future but like you're saying each Innovation introduces other Innovations and so it'san 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 ontrack like dissipating but not important how do you filter how do you filter I'mfiltering now around very specific things uh so they they have to they have to either affectcustomer experience and or they have to affectinnovation and Innovation can apply tobusiness transformation product development as it relates to Market Evolution uh so I guess that's probablythe best way uh as you can hear the dogs barking here they really are fascinatedby market Evolution yeah absolutely anytime I say that they just go crazyit's like all of us so but I have this whole I've actuallyhad to develop it into a mind map and that mind map is what I share within our organization a sales force these are allthe things that I will focus on and help our customers build upon but I couldgive you a just a quick sampling in the last two weeks we've explored uh howcustomer evolution in terms of behaviors expectations preferences are going to be uh in in what they're going to look like18 24 36 months 48 months from now and then how the evolution of businessinvestments in say each discipline service marketing Commerce and overallleadership how are those are tracking towards those Trends and for the most part they're notuh you know this is a giant topic I one of the things I really want to get into with you is CX and consumer experienceand also I want to talk about the flip side of that which is consumer Evolutionum 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 havethis 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-hostBrett King hey Brett do the do the lightning round and then we'll take a break all right this is not this is noneof 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 thefirst science fiction you remember being exposed to either on TV or via books Ithink it was Edward James Burrows umyou mean like the John Carter books yeah exactly yeah we all read those oh my Godthat's great yes and also it appears to be the same thing that uh it's it's ledto all of us only wearing black shirts I guess yes trueum 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 yeahum name a futurist that has influenced you and why Peter Schwartz yeah he's uh he's ourchief futurist uh in Residence here at Salesforce uh and I believe it or not Iwas introduced to his his work in the in the in the nerdiest of ways which was uhMinority Report and understanding I really was fascinated byhow someone could see so accurately what I I just believedeverything that he envisioned was was was right on right on track but he's also um one of the most approachable uhscenario planners ever uh he makes everything that's so complicated seems so tangible I guess we're gonna have toleave him on the show yeah his book is incredibly practical as well you can use it as a handbook for doing scenarioplanning awesome so what do you think is the best prediction or forecast a futurist hasever made my goodness that's a tough one actually I don't I don't I'll have to get back toyou on that one all right um what science fiction story or futureWorld Vision is most representative of the future let me come back to that last one you know your book augmented uh wasI thought really right on you know because thank you you had made um you had made very nice from from uh I forgotwhat 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 Ididn't that book get optioned uh it did yeah we're producing a TV show at New Zealand right now and it's so yeahawesome thank you dude that's really nice of you to say um and what future Tech and we'll getinto this a little bit more in the second half but what future technology do you most hope fordigital humans uh and digital twinning I'm really umthat and I'll be super fast with this answer I was originally inspired by the idea that you could feed uh the rightengines and algorithms uh notes and sound bites and thoughts and answers anddecisions from loved ones so after they pass it you could keep their sort of yeah yeah the idea of them alive butI've been doing work with companies like Soul machines and yeah we've been out of New Zealand out of New Zealand right anduh doing all kinds of really cool really cool experiments and it it the numberone thing that when people think about digital humans or robots is that it's going to replace human beings and I seeit as being augmented uh pun intended uh to actually do some awesome stufftogether awesome well that's great so listen after the break we want to dive into alittle bit more detail about some of the issues that you're passionate about andwhere where you think humanity is going and and what we can do about it what each of us can do about it but beforethat let's take a quick break you're listening to the futurists with Rob turczak and myself Brett King and ourguest for this week is Brian Solis we'll be right back after these words from our sponsorsprovoked media is proud to sponsor produce and support the futurist podcastprovoke.fm is a global podcast Network and content creation company with the world's leading fintech podcast andradio show Breaking Banks and of course it's spin-off podcast breaking Banks Europe breaking Banks Asia Pacific andthe fintech 5. but we also produce the official phenovate podcast Tech on reg emergeeverywhere the podcast of the Financial Health Network and next-gen Banker for information about all our podcasts go toprovoke.fm or check out breaking Banks the world's number one fintech podcastand radio showwelcome back to the futurists I'm Rob jersic with co-host Brett King and our guest this week is Brian Solis who'sbeen giving us a download on Innovation consumer experience and customer Evolution we're going to continue withthat conversation in a minute but first I want to share with you one more news item this is all about starlink and aseverybody knows spacex's starlink has been providing a decisive advantage tothe Ukrainian Army in their defense against the Russian invasion that's occurred and what I thought I'd do todayis share with you some interesting background on that that might have been might not be as well knownum so last week the Russians made an unambiguous threatto attack starlink uh this happened in the context of the United Nations open-ended working group which is agroup that meets in Switzerland and they're working on reducing space-based threats including the militarization ofspace and Russia's Russia's Emissary to that group uh representative there is aperson named Constantine varanzov who's a member of the Russian foreign Ministry and he released this interestingstatement that caught my eye and I thought I'd drill into it a little bit further today on the futurists he saidwe reiterate Our concern about the realization of policies aimed at the placement of weapons in outer space andthe use of outer space for military purposes uh and he made the claim in that report that Russia has always been verypeaceful in his approach to space and he wanted he wanted to add this piece this is what stood out we would like tounderline an extremely dangerous Trend that goes beyond the harmless use of outer space Technologies and has becomeapparent during the events in Ukraine namely the use by the United States and its allies of elements of Civilianincluding commercial infrastructure and outer space for military purposes quasi civilian infrastructure may becomea legitimate Target for retaliation wow this is an unambiguous threat tostarlink and everyone immediately responded by saying are they suggesting that they're actually going to attackstarlink uh with some sort of missile attack weapons yeah yeah I'll tell you whatElon Musk had to say about that but hold on because there's a little bit more to the story so critics heard this andwe're very quick to point out that Russia is being kind of hypocritical here because in November of the lastyear Russia tested an anti-satellite attack by firing a missile at one of their own out of commission satellitesand this was disastrous and he also took the World by yeah but I took the Worldby surprise uh it caused this the the astronauts on the space station they had to retreat into the shelter into theiruh rescue vehicles and the U.S state Department spokesman issued a statement that said that so far Russia's test ofblowing off the satellite generated 1500 pieces of trash attackable orbital orbital debris and hundreds of thousandsof pieces of smaller orbital debris that now threaten the interest of all Nations because all those little pieces whenyou're moving at the speed of a rocket that's like you know ballistic this is the plot of gravity right exactly rightum 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 than11 000 starlink stations uh the downlink is actually based in Poland for securityreasons but this gives uh this gives the Ukraine the ability to maintain contactwith their forces tour in the field it's important for people to know that previous to the war start Ukraine wasusing via set for this service for their military Communications which is also what the United States uses for militarycommunication it's a satellite private satellite system uh that that runs military Communications however theRussians hacked via set a day before their attack in the Ukraine and disable all the Ukrainian Communications thatwas part of their lightning strike strategy now what's amazing and in a moment I'll share with you how fastStarling was able to respond but here are some of the ways that starlink is being used right now so uh Ukraine'saerial reconnaissance Force uses starlink to control drones and of coursethose drones have been used to knock out tanks and mobile command centers and military vehicles but it's also used forhospitals more than 500 Hospitals and Clinics have received Starling Terminals and that helps them stay connected andonline and of course the Ukrainian soldiers are able to communicate with their families and I was surprised tolearn that even in the uh as of style steel plan in marubia poll which is thattown that was under assault for so many many weeks by the Russian army even while they're under assault and cut offthose soldiers were still able to communicate with the Ukrainian Army and with their families and with the president president zielinskiuh so for those who aren't familiar with starlink it is a satellite system private system of satellites that'soperated uh by SpaceX Elon Musk space company the goal ultimately is to launch42 000 satellites into low earth orbit in the coming years but they have that in two phases and we're currently in themiddle about halfway through phase one the phase one launches to put up 4 000 satellites and right now there's justabout 2 500 satellites that have been launched but that's sufficient for them to give coverage in the northernhemisphere they launched that in October of 2020 and by just five months laterFebruary 2021 they had already masked their first 10 000 users and it's estimated that they have about 500 000users today and by the end of 2022 they'll have about a million uh subscribers also last week's starlinkintroduced a premium tier plan so the cost of the service is umif you subscribe to the basic tier service it's 99 a month and there's a 500 setup fee but they introduced inFebruary of 2022 they introduced a Premium plan that is has a startup cost of 2500 and then 500a month and for that you get speeds up to 500 megabits per second so that's that's pretty kind of progressive yeahhalf the satellite Network at this stage so you know the density of the satellites will help speed that up overtime now the service has degraded us they've added more users that's quite naturally the case but what's reallyremarkable is the ambition behind this project and this is really what I wanted to drive at because people heard aboutthem they're like yeah great satellite internet that sounds cool um for those who aren't living in therural 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 beaware that most rural areas don't have broadband uh it's just not economically viable topull cable through the ground and as a result those areas are neglected in the U.S our big telcos always make the rightnoises politically about you know Universal service and Universal coverage but the reality is if you live far awayyou're very unlikely to get Broadband from your Telco and so uh starlink is actually addressing a really importantneed but on a global basis the number of people who are far from their telcosnetwork is actually a staggering number and so the economics get extraordinarily interesting as you scale startling upso the Brian Wang at next big future wrote a good piece about this and he said get past five million Subs andstarlinks uh starlink service becomes profitable and it's a pretty good business well this this is this isprobably you know in in you know talking about predictions in in techno-socialismI predicted starlink is what is going to make Elon Musk the first trillionairewell 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 forit 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 5million the service pays for itself if you get to 10 million then all of a sudden it starts to fund SpaceX itselfand at Beyond 20 million subscribers Starling is printing money because onceyou'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 youthrough all the economics but this is all still generation one there's a generation coming right so gen one isjust four thousand satellites and they're going to use this they're going to use the Starship to launches his costof launching goes down with the Starship and of course starlink Hayes for the development of the Starship this is alllike perfectly logical um so generation two will add 30 000 more satellites and then that'll givethem the capacity to serve 200 million Global customers these are people whootherwise can't get broadband uh so at that point they're going to be generating 2.5 trillion dollars over afive-year span and that's where the revenue for this the the Mars mission will come from well I'm wearing my mathst-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 rightso um uh SpaceX was able to move satellites into into Ukraine uh within amatter of days um so just after the invasion on February 26thum the they had already been in discussion uh with the Ukrainian government but just after the invasion the foreign minister the vice primeminister and the country's digital Minister sent a tweet to Elon Musk and that's when he authorized starlink tostart the service two days after that the first shipment of of uh satellite dishes started to show up so there's abrigadier general in the United States Army Steve boutow who runs the space space portfolio at the defenseInnovation unit and this is what he said The Invasion happened on a Thursday and by the next day Elon had called togethera meeting and said I want to get starlink up over Ukraine by Sunday the link was active by Monday 500 groundterminals showed up in the Ukraine by Wednesday of that week all the 25 of those terminals were alive and providingreal-time data that's commercial speed that's amazing so one of the things wetalked about in a recent episode with Mark Pesce was how militaries are going to be affected by and having to respondto commercial Innovation and Commercial Tech and consumer technology this is a brilliant example of it the Russiansthought they disabled the communications for the Ukrainian Army and it's exactly what they got instead was an upgrade amassive upgrade to their service there are of course a number of disadvantages to low earth orbit satellites uh the uhas astronomers complained that they blocked the view of space you can imagine that 40 000 small satellitesflying around is also going to create a collision Hazard today overwhelmingly the number of collision hazards thathave been detected are from starlinks 2000 500 satellites that are up and starlink's not the only company thatwants to do this Jeff Bezos is his blue origin also has an intention of doing something quite similar and the Chinesethe carpet Network yeah that's right and the Chinese government has also indicated that they wish to launch sucha thing you might wonder well okay how did Elon Musk respond to this unambiguous threatfrom the Russian government and here's his quote from an interview in Business Insider Elon Musk said it wasinteresting to view the Russian anti-satellite demonstration a few months ago in the context of this conflict because that caused a lot ofstrife for satellite operators and it even had some danger for the space station where there are Russian cosmonauts so why did they do that itwas a message sent in advance of the Ukrainian invasion if you attempt to take out starlink thisis not going to be easy because there are 2 000 satellites so that means an awful lot of anti-satellite missilesI hope we do not have to put this to the test but I think we can launch satellites faster than they can launchanti-satellite missiles so that's Elon Musk and a little view ofthe starlink program and its Effectiveness and of course we'll be be using them on T-Mobile handsets as welland you know Apple iPhones are now satellite capable so the people with RVshave them they just and cruise ships now they've done a cruise ship edition so pretty amazing yeah all right Brianlet's jump back in what do you think of Elon Musk by theway Brian um I I it's it's it's hard not to admirethe man at the same time he does probably say a little too muchvery positive one doesn't but I think if if I'm not mistaken a photograph that Itook of him when he opened his first Tesla dealership in Menlo Park we were we were all invited as as nerds uh tocelebrate his first his first foray uh into the automotive business picture Itook of him as we were talking I think is is still his Wikipedia picture ohreally 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 actuallybelieve 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 thoughso um to bring us back into the discussion we were having a minute ago um here is a very unsubtle segue back tocustomer experience you know Tesla is actually a very good example other than that look it really is though becausethey got rid of the dealership right there's showrooms where you can see all the pretty toys but they are a non-dealership car organizationum and and the reason car dealerships exist and the reason reason they persist are for reasons that are far outside thecontrol of the auto companies so Brian when you talk about customer experience and the evolving consumer Itotally am with you I mean I get that the consumer is devolving but I think big established companies are having alot of trouble keeping up with their customer and their expectations and this is the source of some disruption can youtalk to me a little bit about that about that gap between the evolving consumer and the companies that can't evolve fastenough to meet them you know one of the things that I that Ido to put this conversation in perspective is I I take a step back to to humanize the words customerexperience because it's certainly one of those like digital transformation sort of loses its meaning with everyconversation I had an apostrophe s to it it's customers experience it's the customer's experience that we need topay attention to so how they experience something should either tell us what we need to fix or these those insights tellus what we need to create in the Steve Jobs fashion of introducing something they didn't know they wanted and thenthey can't live without it once it exists and the reason I say that is because you tell me what customer wakesup 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 havemy car serviced and you'll find someone who's never going to be a Tesla customer in reality those experiences have suckedfor a very long time they still suck and auto manufacturers are realizing that especially during a time of covid duringthese the chip shortage supply chain challenges where uh cars that were highly anticipated becamecars that were also dramatically overpriced because dealerships could command that price even though thebrands themselves objected to that saying you're going to ruin the customer experience you're going to ruin ourrelationship with customers all in the all the sake of gouging and taking short-term profitability and that's sortof been uh maybe maybe a high level you know nod to the the challengescapitalism has faced in general but with with that saidwhen Tesla introduced an apple-like model for direct consumer engagementthe ones who stood up to fight it were the dealerships and the lobbies the lobbyists who represented allfranchisees and and dealers uh saying you can't sell a car unless you go through a franchise or dealer model uhand no no customer you would stand up and say they're right and that's that'sthe thing that we have to consider when we're talking about the customer's experience it isn't thrusting or forcingor imposing upon the customer the models that you have that keep you afloat or keep you thriving it's to deliver anexperience that the customer is going to love and refer and come back to you and stay loyal to you and those times havechanged and they're changing fast and faster and with every new innovation whether it's Starling or whether it'sTesla or you name whatever's next those things push the standards for experiencefurther and further and further and when they come back to a legacy model or a legacy experience it feels outdated itfeels painful it feels all of the things that create that decision in someone'smind as do I do I continue to put up with this do I continue to have a reluctant relationship with theseservices or these companies or do I make the break so why that's important rightour 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 newbrand in the last year McKenzie's research has that pegged closer to 90 percent and the reason why is for thingsthat we've discussed but also it with this connectedness that has happenedsince 2020 this you know rapid acceleration to everybody becoming digital first with things like starlinkempowering everybody to become digital first you have a more connected and thenas a result an informed or over informed or misinformed customer we talk aboutthat later but you also have this this this Consciousness that happens with that empowerment which is wow I've neverseen the world this way though these conveniences have changed my this is fantastic uh and I've I've and Brett'sheard this a million times I talk about that connectedness and Consciousness as a form of uh creating an accidentalnarcissist which is once people start to taste these experiences and conveniencesand speed and personalization they don't go backwards uh and every every aspect of it tells them that they should andshould have a better experience so with someone's entitlement somebody said to me the consumer has gone from beingempowered to entitled and that's a really scary thought right for marketers like whoa you know I gotta please thisimpossible customer I've had to experience myself you know I have a BMW and I love it I've always loved BMWslike the way they handle um but I'm also aware that Tesla has been doing software upgrades over the air for 10 yearswithout any kind of glitch and I'm stunned next month like type delivery of my Tesla by the way uh good for you youstill 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 umbecause anyone who's got a smartphone of course has been used to getting over I know right this thing for you knowsame but these companies act like they're working you know in a vacuum as if the consumer doesn't have thatexperience or that smartphone and they are unable to the grock the fact that the consumer is getting conditioned youknow every time they use Spotify or every time they use uh you know an app like Netflix they're getting conditionedto getting satisfaction immediately on whatever device they want uh and then of course your bank let's say yourHealthcare 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 actuallyget you the answer you need you still have to show up in person and I find that this is like the biggest blind spotthese companies have is that they're unaware their consumers have multiple experiences all of which are better thantheir mobile presence how do you help a company like that Brian I mean that must be a golden opportunity to give free advice out tocompanies I uh I wrote this earlier I'm I'm just trying to see if I could if I could findit uh it said when I need service I hope a chatbot is available said no customerever uh it's this idea that you know chat Bots or service or productInnovation or service Innovation aren't the failure of Technology it's a breakdown in approach and design rightit's this it's this mindset this fixed mindset that tries to take what exists and sort of build upon it to drivegreater ability exactly to feed stakeholder value or shareholder valueand to not necessarily create the type of new value that truly defines what Innovation is all about and that thatrequires new models new thinking new new Roi uh formulas and not none of that isimpossible 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'rethey're so successful in the iteration part that there really is no incentiveyet no no company that's ever been disrupted probably and I'll say this you know justwith carelessness which is no company that ever got disrupted did so because they intentionally prioritize customerexperience yeah and uh and I'm sure there'll be examples of companies that probably over indexed on Innovation andnot enough on business business model Innovation but with that said look at every company that is historicallyregarded as like that that that cautious tale like look at look let's look at Blockbuster right and the story thatBlockbuster had the opportunity to acquire Netflix I I always tell the story like well that that story doesn'tquite put it correctly even if Blockbuster acquired Netflix both would still be dead todaybecause the people in charge weren't true Visionaries for that customer'sexperience and how technology was going to unlock new value now and over time especially as as markets evolved it wasconstantly on squeezing blood from a stone in New in different ways and that's really that's really thechallenge that people have so last but not least the the answer to your question is is it a golden opportunityabsolutely but that means that I have had to not you can't practice futurismin a scenario like that you have to practice psychology and social sciences and understand how no one wants to betold there's a lot of that to futurism though there is you've got to anticipate human behavior and when you're lookingat Trends and which Trends are going to impact you know you are looking at how humans behave and respond historicallyand so forth yeah we had two we had two Futures on the show who talked about psychology and communicationparticularly around people who've got a lot of resistance some people just aren't psychologically ready for the information and if you confront themwith it they're going to push back well like on that thought so so roll with me here this is actually where I believethat and I'm sure you'll hear it from others why I love Peter Schwartz and hisability is just Minority Report is just one of the many fascinating things that this man can do incredibly well it wasabout storytelling and storytelling is a the the best storytelling I I'minfluenced by the art of storyboarding which I learned from uh a Pixar storyboard artist and a Disneystoryboard artist I guess they're one in the same but in that the psychology ofit isn't how you tell the story it's how believable the story is and how relatable the characters become so asyou're telling that story about the future to someone who doesn't want to see it or can't see it or is biasedagainst it the story has to become how does that person need to hear it in order for them to rise the opportunityto do the right thing and if they do not then then we have to talk about whether they're the right person for the jobabsolutely well listen Brian to wrap this up we like to go full futurist okayso here's what I want you to do I want you to think 30 50 years out you knowthere's no limit on this what is the greatest Innovation that you hope for orlook forward to for the future that's going to change the world or change Humanityyou know I would have I would have said that we we that we would have had uhQuantum Computing in in full effect and that the idea of of predictions wouldhave would have shifted into this relationship between predictions and solutions that that Quantum would allow us to solve for but I think the otherthing that makes this answer difficult is thatmovie don't look up and that even when presented with facts andsolutions Humanity doesn't want to see it or deal with it and they'llthey'll pretend it doesn't exist and so 30 years from nowI feel like we have to control alt delete and reboot Humanity yeahum I agree because otherwise that answer is not there's definitely a philosophicalchange needed right one that is Humanity first rather thanyou know markets and capitalism first but listen um I know we've run out of timeBrian a couple of things before we go first of all um happy anniversary congratulations toyour new wife um I know that's what's kept coming up next and secondly uh I I speak on behalfof Robert and myself and I hope he doesn't mind this but we've really enjoyed having you on the show would youever consider coming back as a co-host oh well does that mean I get to spend more time with you guys absolutelyit would be my honor absolutely I mean apart from the obvious scheduling problems it'd be great to uh to have youback on you've been an absolute Delight um and uh you know we consider you part of the team so thank you againum that's it for this week on the futurist guys um if you want to check out Brian Solis you go to Briansolis.com that's www.brien s-o-l-i-s.com and you can read moreabout his profile and his books and his work and so forth um but if you like theshow don't forget to leave us a review post it on uh Twitter or social mediawherever you can you you uh you hang out um you know give it leave us a review oniTunes or wherever it is podcaster stitcher you know Spotify review listen to the show and um you know don't forgetto let us know your suggestions if you you would like to hear from on the futurist next but that's it for thisweek we will be back with another episode of course next week you can guarantee it and and we'll see you inthe future the future [Music] well that's it for the futurists thisweek if you like the show we sure hope you did please subscribe and share it with people in your community and don'tforget to leave us a five star review that really helps other people find the show and you can ping us anytime onInstagram and Twitter at futuristpodcast for the folks that you'd like to see onthe 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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