If you are just starting to become aware of some cool new productivity gizmo, some slick marketing tool, or perhaps a cutting edge virtual collaboration application to adhere your team projects, then you can bet your partners and competitors are already using it. So then you think you just need to figure a better way to find out what’s coming next so you can be an even earlier adopter. So you dig deeper into the futurists who make prognostications in your market or field of expertise, and you find plenty of intriguing things but not – the next killer app. This is because the experts are looking at the past, and extrapolating in a linear fashion to predict what’s to come. The catch is that the next killer app isn’t a continuation of the past. Innovation and change is, by nature, full of discontinuity.
Alan Kay, an early mentor to Apple, said “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Nigel Barlow describes three ways we can start today to invent the future. Create and live your narratives, get paranoid, and listen to our children.