Have you thought about miniaturization as a technology trend that can enable you to create a unique capability for yourself in the coming services revolution? Many people are worried that jobs are going to be lost to technology and robots, but, in fact, you can make sure that technology insulates you from disruption.
From the days of large corporations, big factories, and mass-produced branded products and services, we are now headed towards a miniaturized, customized, co-developed future. Factories, farms and energy flows are miniaturizing. For example, Farmshelf is a smart indoor farm the size of a refrigerator that makes growing fresh food in a home, garage or restaurant easy. Custom LED lighting and advanced nutrient systems mean that the unit grows plants 2-3x faster and with 90% less water than traditional agriculture. Restaurants can get the freshest product, the best ingredients, and also massively decrease waste by using only use what they need. If you are a restaurant owner, you can tailor the indoor farm to your own recipes, for a truly unique offering.
Similarly, 3D printing (intelligently utilizing recipes and designs in the cloud available to interconnected individuals with miniaturized hardware) brings manufacturing to the home. We recently wrote about Amos Dudley who 3D printed custom orthodontic retainers for himself, instead of paying the astronomically high prices required by the healthcare system.
Solar panel installations and storage batteries turn houses into energy generation plants, promising a future in which we can control our own energy sources and usage. Open artificial intelligence will give the apps on our smartphones new capabilities (e.g., voice interfaces, conversation interfaces, episodic memories, etc.) and transform them into low-cost digital workers as Moore’s Law continues.
This trend is the miniaturization of the expertise economy of nations, and all of these examples are better building blocks for a new individual economy. Individuals empowered by eventually hundreds of low cost intelligent digital knowledge processors, and supported by miniature factories and farms and energy flows, will utilize these “better building blocks” to generate their individualized economic, social, and recreational futures.
Miniaturization is one more example of individual access to great empowerment and self-efficacy in the new technology era. But the opportunity comes with responsibilities. The ultimate responsibility is to pursue knowledge and uniqueness.
The path to your individual uniqueness, insulating you from competition because the service you offer can not be reproduced or replaced, is through knowledge. Here’s what Kartik Gada says in his book ATOM: The Accelerating TechnOmic Medium. It’s Time To Upgrade The Economy.
Have you done enough aggregate Internet searching and forum commenting to capture all the low-hanging fruits available to you for your personal advancement and risk management? If you answer that question in the affirmative, I am here to tell you that you have not come even close to realizing what is possible. Even heavily committed people barely access 10% of the information that could greatly improve their careers, finances, health, and relationships, and I don’t think there is anyone in the world, no matter how successful, who has implemented more than 50% of what is available to them.
Economic specialization has been with us since the days of Adam Smith’s pin factory. Today, it is more finely articulated than ever before. In the service economy, our individual task is to serve others by applying knowledge. When an intelligent knowledge-connected app can do that, the human must stay one step ahead in the only way that humans can: individual uniqueness.
We must become acutely conscious of our capabilities, our values and our desires. To do what we love, what we know, and what we are good at doing requires very rigorous and sophisticated self-examination. Then we must integrate ourselves with the global interconnected world, working with other like-minded people and machines and teams and organizations to realize our maximum individual potential. We must utilize the potential of accessible knowledge, intelligent digital assistants and miniaturization to augment ourselves, and to be as smart as interconnectivity enables us to be. We must be super-efficient, not wasting an iota of energy on anything that detracts from our personal mission of self-realization.
If we accept this responsibility and act upon it, the future is bright for the interconnected individual.