Speed Summaries

Speed Summary: McKinsey’s 12 Disruptive Technologies Changing the World

Forget one hour photo processing, in the next decade you’ll be able to sequence your genome in one hour – for just $100. Here’s a speed summary of McKinsey’s latest 2013 report on disruptive technology (PDF) – enumerating the 12 disruptive technologies that will transform life, business, and the global economy – including the 1$ trillion marketing economy

From a marketing perspective – the $1trillion spent on communicating the value of products or services to customers in order to sell them –  the usual suspects of the Mobile Internet, the Internet of Things, Automation of Knowledge Work (marketing decisions!) and Cloud Technology are the big disruptors…

  1. Mobile Internet: Increasingly inexpensive and capable mobile computing devices and Internet connectivity will transform the $1.7 trillion Internet economy, and bring 2-3 billion more people online
  2. Automation of knowledge work: Intelligent software systems that can perform knowledge work tasks involving unstructured commands and subtle judgments, impacting on the 230+ million knowledge workers with a $-7 trillion economic impact
  3. The Internet of Things:Networks of low-cost sensors and actuators for data collection, monitoring, decision making, and process optimisation that make up the 100 million 100 million global machine to machine (M2M) device connections
  4. Cloud Technology: Use of computer hardware and software resources delivered over a network or the Internet, often as a service – renting in the cloud costs 1/3 of earning a server
  5. Advanced robotics: Increasingly capable robots with enhanced senses, dexterity, and intelligence used to automate tasks or augment humans – and cost-effective too; the new Baxter industrial robot costs 75–85% less than a typical industrial robot
  6. Autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles: Vehicles that can navigate and operate with reduced or no human intervention – potentially saving 1.5 million driver-caused deaths: Google’s autonomous cars have driven over 300K miles with only 1 (human-cased) accident
  7. Next-generation genomics: Fast, low-cost gene sequencing, advanced big data analytics, and synthetic biology (“writing” DNA): sequencing speed (per dollar) doubles every 10 months
  8. Energy storage: Devices or systems that store energy for later use, including batteries – electric vehicles batteries have dropped 40% in cost since 2009
  9. 3D printing: Additive manufacturing techniques to create objects by printing layers of material based on digital models – prices for home 3D printers have dropped 90% vs. 4 years ago
  10. Advanced materials: Materials designed to have superior characteristics (e.g., strength, weight, conductivity) or functionality – $1,000 vs. $50 materials Difference in price of 1 gram of nanotubes over 10 years
  11. Advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery: Exploration and recovery techniques that make extraction of unconventional oil and gas economical – fracking and horizontal drilling are set to increase US oild production 100-200% by 2025 – already there’s 3x increase in efficiency of US gas wells since 2007, 2x Increase in efficiency of US oil wells
  12. Renewable energy: Generation of electricity from renewable sources with reduced harmful climate impact will account for 16% of global electricity generation by 2025 (85% Lower price for a solar photovoltaic cell per watt since 2000)


Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour, wellbeing and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

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