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Why don't we get the future right?

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Why don’t we get the future right? Here are Tom's slides from a presentation he gave in a Pii Chat at Microsoft Consulting Services Campus in Reading on Friday 8th April. Microsoft Pii Chats are personal, innovative and inspirational talks from a diverse range of speakers to stimulate debate and creativity. Tom gave four reasons why we get our predictions wrong from overlooking the obvious to forgetting that form and function have fallen out.

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Why don't we get the future right?

  1. 1. Why don’t we get the future right?Tom Stewart, System Concepts<br />
  2. 2. Billy Connolly quotes<br />“there are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter”<br />“there is no such thing as ‘bad’ weather, just the wrong clothes”<br />so maybe<br />“there is no such thing as bad predictions, just how we interpret them”<br />
  3. 3. The telephone took off so rapidly that a statistician at Bell Telephone System forecasted that at the then current rate of increase, every woman in the United States would have to become a telephone operator!<br />Emma McNutt 1878,<br />
  4. 4. AlmonStrowger<br />
  5. 5. No, there are bad predictions<br />Edison’s Light Bulb- “good enough for our transatlantic friends ... but unworthy of the attention of practical or scientific men.” British Parliamentary Committee, 1878. <br />“The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878. <br />“Very interesting Whittle, my boy, but it will never work.” Cambridge Aeronautics Professor, when shown Frank Whittle's plan for the jet engine.<br />
  6. 6. Why our predictions fail<br />we overlook the obvious<br />technology changes, people don’t<br />metaphors are dangerous<br />form and function have fallen out.<br />
  7. 7. Star Trek was unrealistic<br />
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
  10. 10. Technology changes – people don’t<br />“...[there] has been great disorder in …Manchester …windows broken yearly and spoiled by lewd and disordered persons …playing … football in the streets”<br />The problem in Manchester with the banned activity of “ffotebale” in 1608.<br />
  11. 11. “people need holes not drills”<br />
  12. 12. Or do they<br />visual slide me with drills<br />wants are not the same as needs and do change<br />but I want drills!<br />
  13. 13. Metaphors are dangerous <br />
  14. 14. Telegraph ipad edition<br />
  15. 15. Form and function have fallen out<br />
  16. 16. Smaller is not always better<br />RIDE IN<br />RIDE ON<br />CARRY<br />TWO HAND<br />ONE HAND<br />ON<br />IN<br />
  17. 17. the power of negative thinking<br />
  18. 18. identify constraints & show stoppers<br />
  19. 19. many suffer from...<br />“hardening of the categories”<br />
  20. 20. pretend you have Super Powers<br /> imagine what you would do if the constraints were lifted – remember the brick<br />
  21. 21. then, evaluate, but…<br />... avoid Premature Evaluation!<br />
  22. 22. RIPE approach to the next big thing<br />Research – put in the hard work<br />Identify constraints – know the box<br />Pretend you have superpowers to challenge assumptions and explore options<br />Evaluate – but not too early <br />
  23. 23. Thank You!<br />

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