Over the past several months I have been reading multiple articles and books on the subject of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning/deep learning, and the massive impact they are currently having and will have on the global economy—in other words: the businesses and business leaders. In particular, I am interested in the explosive growth of the global digital economy (intangible currency) and the rapidly dismantling or devolving of the traditional economy (tangible currency), which has existed since the Sumerians, considered by some as the cradle of civilization on the Earth.
This growth and rapid transformation can be linked to what is called a singularity or technological singularity, which I will explain in detail over the next few paragraphs. I recently read The Economic Singularity by Calum Chace. He provides a detailed analysis on the current and future impact this singularity will have globally on cultures, societies, governments, and businesses. This article will mainly discuss its effect on businesses, and in particular, the small business and its leaders (astropreneurs/entrepreneurs).
Business practices, processes, strategies and financial transactions are changing at a breakneck speed. A little change can be a little unsettling for some, but unprecedented change such as the transitioning towards a new and altogether different global economic system can be frightening for many because of the array of unknown factors, job securities, inflation…
However, others (i.e adventuresome and risk-taking entrepreneurs) welcome the array of unknowns.They see it as a calculated risk with the potential of an ocean of opportunities, endless possibilities, and the vision to push boundaries into unknown and uncharted waters.
Before getting into the main part of the article let’s dive into some definitions:
Singularity or Technological Singularity, according to Investopedia “is the idea that the creation of artificial superintelligence could result in unstoppable exponential growth. This rapidly advancing technology could alter the world as we know it because humans may not be able to keep up with or control these advances.”
In order for this singularity to happen, several technological advances which are currently being developed are often cited. Among these we highlight:
- Artificial Intelligence is “an intelligence that did not arise naturally by evolution, but was created by humans (or perhaps aliens)”, page 54, The Economic Singularity, by Calum Chace
- Machine Learning/Deep Learning “is the process of creating and refining algorithms (sets of rules or instructions that can be followed to solve a problem) which can produce conclusions based on data without being explicitly programmed to do so”, page 58, The Economic Singularity, by Calum Chace
These technologies and other advancements are creating a so-called Digital Transformation, which “is the profound transformation of business and organizational activities, processes, competencies, and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of a mix of digital technologies and their accelerating impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way, with present and future shifts in mind.”
Therefore we are increasingly shifting towards a more Digital Economy, which “is the worldwide network of economic activities, commercial transactions and professional interactions that are enabled by information and communications technologies (ICT).”
As well as posing a number of risks and doubts for the future of our society, the combination of the above-mentioned trends leads to so-called Blue Ocean opportunities, arising from “the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open up a new market space and create new demand. It is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby making the competition irrelevant. It is based on the view that market boundaries and industry structure are not a given and can be reconstructed by the actions and beliefs of industry players” according to the Blue Ocean Strategy website. These are opposed to the Red Ocean “all the industries in existence today—the known market space. In red oceans, industry boundaries are defined and accepted, and the competitive rules of the game are known.”
Is space the next frontier for the Digital Economy?
“Industry is looking to the stars for a new commercial frontier” according to a recent Harvard Business School Digital Initiative article which confirms that there are Blue Ocean opportunities to be grasped beyond LEO.
We are witnessing the singularity of the global economy, and on the forefront we see the blending of the New Space economy and the digital economy. Rapid technological advances are enabling radically new business models which will be the key drivers of new opportunities.
Barriers that once existed between market segments are being broken, and within the space sector, that was born as an intensely multi-disciplinary field, this process is a natural evolution. This theme will take centre stage at the upcoming New Space conference being hosted in Luxembourg on the 27th and 28th of November. Breaking down barriers is the first step to promote economic growth and propel the commercial space market. This message is targeted to both large and small organizations and the Astropreneurs are looking forward to attending the event!
Generally speaking, most people equate the know-how, investment, and cost surrounding the machine learning technology (in particular the one being used in the New Space sector) to something exclusively covered by the billionaire boys club: Jeff Bezos, Sir Richard Branson, and Elon Musk. They are the owners/business leaders of Amazon/Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Tesla/Neuralink/SpaceX, respectively.
In addition, other titans of the rapidly developing digital market, like Alphabet, Apple, and Facebook, have vast resources to tap into the blue ocean of opportunities to grow their e-commerce and eventually move into other growth markets like the New Space economy. Things may appear very bleak for the small business leader when looking at the vast amount of capital, human resources, and technology the digital New Space titans have.
However, according to a report on The Balance Small Business and FlexJobs, the gig economy—mostly providing services to larger companies—is one of the fastest growing segments. Small business leaders have an opportunity to thrive by embracing digital transformation processes, and the advantages of having flexible workforce (gig workers) at lower costs.
Small businesses are considered to be drivers of the economy because of their flexibility and dynamic nature that helps them to adjust their business to new trends and market demands. The advantage that small business leaders enjoy during the the non-digital economy can be experienced during the singularity of the digital and New Space economies, finding the right niche and the best opportunities that can create uncontested market space. Making competition irrelevant is key to uncovering and/or discovering Blue Ocean opportunities for the astropreneurs.
So what is your astropreneurial blue ocean strategy?
Posted by Michael Clanton