There are three major forces reverberating through our world today, transforming everything they touch and creating unlimited opportunities for the creative minority. These three forces are the incredible growth in information, technology, and competition.
> Information and Knowledge Explosion
The information revolution, combined with the speed of computerized information processing, the Internet, and wireless communications, is enabling knowledge in every field to double every two or three years. Fully 90 percent of all the thinkers, inventors, engineers, scientists, writers, entrepreneurs, and creators of all kinds who ever existed are living and working today. The results of their efforts are becoming almost instantaneously available to each other, thereby doubling and tripling their outputs.
> Technological Advances
The explosion in technology and high-speed computers is literally breathtaking. Today, you can e-mail a message around the world to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people simultaneously, in a matter of seconds, at a cost of pennies. The World Wide Web gives you access to tens of millions of other Internet users, as well as to the accumulated knowledge stored in more than 50,000 libraries and research institutes. Instantaneous transmission of data enables the money markets to move a trillion dollars per day, sometimes in seconds, making it impossible for countries to control their currencies, much less their economies.
In the twenty-first century, you will own a laptop computer with a microchip that can process one billion commands per second. It will have a long-life battery and a built-in cellular telephone, connected to cells and satellites that will enable you to communicate instantaneously with almost anyone, almost anywhere in the world. You will have your own personal telephone number that will enable anyone in the world, anywhere, to telephone you, wherever you are, whether or not they even know what country you are in. And this telephone technology will probably fit on your wrist like a large digital watch does today.
> Thriving Competition
The third major factor driving our lives is competition. Every business organization wants to generate sales and make profits, locally, nationally, and internationally, if possible. To survive and thrive, each person and business must be continually seeking faster, better, newer, cheaper, easier ways to deliver value to their customers.
Every advance in knowledge and technology creates opportunities that fleet-footed competitors can grab and run with to create new products and services to leapfrog each other in their markets. All three forces—information, technology, and competition—are multiplying times each other to create the greatest rate of change in human history. And if anything, the rate of change is going to increase in the years ahead.
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