The next big thing?

 

“The relentless parade of new technologies is unfolding on many fronts. Almost every advance is billed as a breakthrough, and the list of ‘next big things’ grows ever longer. Not every emerging technology will alter the business or social landscape — but some truly do have the potential to disrupt the status quo, alter the way people live and work, and rearrange value pools. It is therefore critical that business and policy leaders understand which technologies will matter to them and prepare accordingly.”

— from “Disruptive technologies: advances that will transform life, business and the global economy,” a report by the McKinsey Global Institute, May 2013.

Technology is as fascinating for its social implications as its material accomplishments. McKinsey’s choice of the word “disruptive” rather than “transformational” to describe this and other new technologies is felicitous as well as accurate.

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