radical Insights.

Weekly Research and Commentary on the Future of Business and Technology.

For Predictions Ask About Message And Messenger.

May 23, 2022

Dear Friend,

This week, I had the honor and pleasure to be interviewed by Seo Beom-Sang, editor and publisher of the wonderful Nomad Interview magazine. Seo travels the world, meets interesting people, and asks them even more interesting questions. His first question to every one of his interviewees is always: “Who are you? What ideas, characteristics, and attitudes do you live by?”

The question struck me as such a wonderful opportunity for reflection (which seems to be such a rare occurrence these days) — and one I wanted to share with this community. So… Who are you?

Practical Futurism // Decode. Disrupt. Transform.

Not to pile onto last week’s Briefing too much — but watching the crypto space going through whatever-it-is-that-is-going-on is rather crazy and a good reminder to stick with Rodney Brooks’ observation: “I’m only suggesting that we properly gauge the difficulty of whatever we are told could be the next big thing. If the idea builds on practical experience, then guarded optimism is in order. If not, then not. Hope is a scarce thing; we shouldn’t squander it.”

What strikes me in this context is that the people who are building the core building blocks of our future technologies all seem to share the same sentiment. From Andrew Ng’s measured approach to Brooks’ perspectives on robotics — the comment you hear again and again is that it is (a) harder than some people make it sound, (b) takes longer than those same people claim, and (c) it is impossible to make reliable predictions about the exact timing of technology.

A good reminder to not just look at the message, but also the messenger. (via Pascal)

What We Are Reading

🗣️ The secret science behind the power of small talk We often overlook the importance of small talk, this deeply rooted yet habitual part of our social fabric. For those who dismiss it as a waste of time, studies now prove, small talk, often sets in motion some of our most-valued relationships. JaneRead

📉 Tech layoffs loom as more companies announce big cuts to their workforces From grow at all costs, to cutting as many costs as possible, tech startups are laying off thousands of employees amid a turbulent economy. MafeRead

👁️ Effective Leaders Decide About Deciding Nancy Duarte offers a simple, intuitive framework for leaders who want to clarify their role in decision-making processes and empower their teams to make faster decisions confidently. JeffreyRead

🧑‍⚕️ Wearable devices are connecting health care to daily life A fascinating increase in adoption of health wearables, with one type of smartwatch outperforming the entire Swiss watch industry, shows us what is possible. So, what comes next? JulianRead

🆙 Strategy: Go Big or Go… Oh, Just Go Big When our friend Kevin Starr speaks (or writes), we listen. His advice on going big is huge! PascalRead

Internet Finds

Finally! Add pants or blur out everything from the waist down for extra safety on Zoom calls. 📲

In Case You Missed It

🏴‍☠️ The Heretic:  How to Combat “Squirrel Brain”

⚠️ Disrupt Disruption: Listen in on our fascinating (and super fun) conversation with David Siegel, CEO of Meetup.com — we talk about failing, culture, pivoting, and many other things.


🚢 With more and more EVs on the road — and manufacturing being a global business, a/the question might become: Is It Safe to Ship Thousands of Electric Cars on Big Ships?

😲 From our friends Aza and Tristan: 8 Ways Social Media Distorts Reality

🤖 AI legend Kai-Fu Lee on AI’s Threats to Jobs and Human Happiness

🤢 Yum! You eat a Credit’s Card Worth of Plastic Every Week

💻 Steve Blank’s long and well-written Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning– Explained-Primer

🧠 What is more expensive for your brain: Talking or Thinking? Communication consumes 35 times more energy than computation in the human cortex, but both costs are needed to predict synapse number

Radically yours, take good care, friend!

— Pascal, Mafe and the three Js (Jane, Jeffrey, and Julian)