You've heard of Bitcoin.
You may not have heard of the Blockchain.
In short, it's the distributed, immutable database that powers Bitcoin and, it's my guess that it's going to fundamentally reshape society as we know it.
Any business that relies on being a trusted intermediary (from notaries to clearinghouses to auditors) are in grave danger of being 100% displaced.
And that's just the beginning.
In my mind, it's not a question of if...it's a question of when.
I've become increasingly fascinated with the Blockchain not just as a technology, but as a business disruptor. In other words, how will the world fundamentally shift because of its arrival?
It's already begun, for sure, but we are at the beginning of the beginning.
This is the Internet circa 1994.
Not only will a huge number of "back office" jobs be affected, but some of the newest, biggest players on the block such as AirBNB and Uber are also at risk. And, similarly, the opportunities for value and wealth creation are going to be immense.
In short, if you aren't going to be above retirement age in the next 15 years, it would be worth your time to start familiarizing yourself with this next wave, no, tsunami of technological revolution.
One great place to start is with William Mougayar's book, The Business Blockchain.
Mougayar's street cred as a technologist and business leader can't be challenged and he dives into the Blockchain in tremendous detail.
It's a wonderful primer on the basics of the Blockchain, the industries and jobs that it will impact, and, my favorite part, an exploration of the new and, as yet, undiscovered lands, of opportunities that the Blockchain alone creates.
His knowledge is vast, his sense of urgency is present, and his advice is clear. "Get ready...and here's how."
On page 142, he hits a high note:
"Hopefully, you are convinced that just asking what problem the blockchain solves is a limiting question on its own. For example, if you look at the startup innovation around banks in FinTech, you will see plenty of cases where these new companies did not really solve a “problem” the banks had, but they tackled a particular market or service differently.
So the tipping point was to compete by reframing the opportunity, for example, peer-to-peer lending, unconventional home loans, really fast approval cycles, efficient robot investing, and so on."
You will see Blockchain, peer-to-peer solutions that will eventually replace much of the so-called Sharing/Collaborative Economy we currently have.
As the "old world" fights back against AirBNB in places like NYC and LA, and Uber/Lyft in Austin, there's a quietly brewing storm that will bring these same services to people, but without a centralized company. It will all be done securely via the network on a peer to peer basis...based on the Blockchain.
The implications of the Blockchain are enormous and I'm going to explore them a bit further in posts to come, with a particular focus on Marketing in a Blockchain World...it may not be upon us for a few years, but it will get here.
All I know is that it's going to be VERY different than how we do it today.
But that's a different topic entirely.
The thing you can do now is get yourself ready.