Disruptor League

Greg Satell

We Need To Start Investing In Resilience

In 1964, as the financial revolution was gathering steam, an MIT economist named Paul Cootner published a collection of essays called The Random Character of Stock Market Prices. Based largely on an obscure dissertation by a forgotten frenchman, it laid the foundations for a new era of financial engineering. Yet among the papers included was …

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We Need To Prepare For Future Crises Like We Prepare For War

In a 2015 TED talk, Bill Gates warned that “if anything kills ten million people in the next few decades, it’s most likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war. Not missiles, but microbes.” He went on to point out that we have invested enormous amounts of money in nuclear deterrents, but relatively …

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Why Business Strategy Shouldn’t Be “Scientific”

When the physicist Richard Feynman took the podium to give the commencement speech at CalTech in 1974, he told the strange story of cargo cults. In certain islands in the South Pacific, he explained, tribal societies had seen troops build airfields during World War and were impressed with the valuable cargo that arrived at the bases. After the troops left, …

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As Our Technology Becomes Infinitely More Powerful, We Are Entering A New Ethical Universe

We take it for granted that we’re supposed to act ethically and, usually, that seems pretty simple. Don’t lie, cheat or steal, don’t hurt anybody on purpose and act with good intentions. In some professions, like law or medicine, the issues are somewhat more complex and practitioners are trained to make good decisions. Yet ethics …

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When Pundits Say That Robots Will Take Our Jobs, Remember These 4 Things

A 2019 study by the Brookings Institution found that over 61% of jobs will be affected by automation. That comes on the heels of a 2017 report from the McKinsey Global Institute that found that 51% of total working hours and $2.7 trillion dollars in wages are highly susceptible to automation and a 2013 Oxford study that found 47% of jobs …

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Why Software Won’t Eat The World

In 2011, technology pioneer Marc Andreessen declared that software is eating the world. “With lower start-up costs and a vastly expanded market for online services,” he wrote, “the result is a global economy that for the first time will be fully digitally wired — the dream of every cyber-visionary of the early 1990s, finally delivered, a …

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How Transformational Leaders Learn To Overcome Failure

When we think of great leaders their great successes usually come to mind. We picture Washington crossing the Delaware or Gandhi leading massive throngs or Steve Jobs standing triumphantly on stage. It is moments of triumph such as these that make indelible marks on history’s consciousness. While researching my book, Cascades, however, what struck me most …

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Do You Want To Make A Point Or Do You Want To Make A Difference?

I recently took part in an online open forum for thought leaders. While we were discussing a wide range of topics, including the economic and social impact of previous crises, somebody came out and said, “You know, when this is all over we’re probably going to have another #Occupy movement.” It was an apt observation. …

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