Four Things You’ll Know After Reading The Future Is Faster Than You Think

Written by
Steven Kotler

Four Things You’ll Know After Reading The Future Is Faster Than You Think

Written by
Steven Kotler

Four Things You’ll Know After Reading The Future Is Faster Than You Think

Written by
Steven Kotler
Future is Faster Than You Think Lesson 1 — Science Fiction Is Becoming Science Fact…
(and it’s happening in plain sight)

In classical computing, a “bit” is a chunk of binary information, either a one or a zero. A “qubit”

is the newer version of this idea, or a quantum bit. Unlike binary bits, which are an either/or

scenario, qubits utilize “superposition,” which allows them to be in multiple states at once.

Think of the two options of flipping a coin: heads or tails. Now think about a spinning

coin—where both states flash by at once. That’s superposition.

Superposition means a lot of power. A classical computer requires thousands of steps to solve a

hard problem. A quantum computer can solve that same problem in just two or three steps.

Deep Blue, the supercomputer IBM used to beat chess master Gary Kasparov examined some

200 million moves a second. A quantum computer can bump that up to a trillion or more a


Quantum computing, another science fiction idea that has become a science fact reality has

already joined the ranks of artificial intelligence, bionic limbs and flying cars. This reality will in

return change our reality.

Which industries will undergo change first? Materials, science and biotechnology are low-

hanging fruit for quantum computers. We’re about to experience “a golden age of discovery in

new materials, new chemicals, and new drugs” as Oxford’s Simon Benjamin points out.

Instead of large-scale wet labs testing one compound at a time, we are starting to use quantum

computers, a type of small-scale dry lab—to test hundreds of thousands of compounds at once.

We are now able to massively shrink the time between an idea for a new drug a medicine ready

for market.

Complex simulations are also possible with quantum computers. For the first time ever, we are

able to simulate entire ecosystems. This is a big deal. The world is facing an increasingly

dangerous slew of environmental challenges. If we need to attempt mega-engineering projects

to fix these issues, we need to know what we’re doing ahead of time. Quantum computing

makes this possible.

The Future Is Faster Than You Think examines the converging, exponential growth curves,

which enables us to make solid predictions about the future. We know that that an 80-qubit

computer is coming soon. How powerful is an 80-qubit computer? If all the atoms in the

universe stored a bit of information, an 80-qubit computer would still have more storage capacity

than all the atoms in the universe.

Quantum computers already have user friendly interfaces, so non-experts can utilize the

technology. Soon, anyone with an internet connection will have access to this kind of power

through the Cloud.

And the power we’ll all harness from quantum computing, and other technologies mentioned in

The Future Is Faster Than You Think, will only accelerate our acceleration, making our

transformation from science fiction into science fact that much faster.

Future is Faster Than You Think Lesson 2 — Industries Will Transform Beyond

Real Estate used to be a stable industry. There was a time, not too long ago, when brokers

used to work for companies that had offices. Well, the offices are already gone.

eXp Realty’s is an international real estate agency, without any actual real estate. Their

employee campus is home to sixteen thousand agents from all fifty US states, three Canadian

provinces, and four hundred major real estate markets—all without a single “physical” office.

Instead of coming to work, all the employees stay home.They gather virtually, on a campus

featuring lobby, library, theaters, meeting rooms and a sports field, using either a VR headset or

their laptop.

eXp Realty is only the beginning. The entire enterprise sits at the convergence of exponential

technologies: computation, networks, and virtual reality. Over the next decade, five more

technologies are converging on this field: AI, 3D printing, autonomous cars, aerial taxis, and

floating cities.

First the offices vanished, next up are the brokers themselves. Soon, human real estate agents

showing you properties you might like to buy will be gone. Personalized artificial intelligences

will run the show instead.

The AI invasion of real estate has already begun. Zillow, Trulia and a half-dozen other

companies have already invested heavily in the technology. Property searches, evaluation,

consulting, and management are easier, faster, and more accurate than ever before. Investors

have analytical capabilities far beyond any human, blending established real estate variables

such as rent, occupancy rates and local school data, with novel inputs: web clickstream data,

satellite imaging, geolocation tracking.

In a future where always-on preference-tracking is a standard feature of any personal AI, why

hire a stranger to sell you real estate? Your AI already knows you, via your likes and dislikes,

possibly better than you know yourself. Soon most of your real estate search will be conducted

from your couch, via a VR headset, with the help of your AI. It’ll be like talking to Siri if Siri were

an interior designer: “Industrial modern loft, concrete floors, close to a Whole Foods,” etc. AI will

provide options that fit your criteria, and VR will facilitate immersive, 24/7 tours at a distance.

Thanks to an ongoing revolution in transportation technologies, the very idea of “prime real

estate” will shift as well. Autonomous vehicles, flying cars, and the high-speed trains such as the

Hyperloop will redefine proximity. Geographical options will become increasingly flexible.

Will these changes happen next year? Unlikely. But over the coming decade? No question

about it. By the end of the next decade, as explored in The Future Is Faster Than You Think,

real estate, like so many other industries, will be totally unrecognizable.

Future is Faster Than You Think Lesson 3 — Global Becomes Local

The world used to be a big place.

Two sets of changes will unfold over the next ten years that will shrink the size of our planet.

First, we’re seeing a revolution in networks. Today, the internet is the world’s largest network. In

2010, about a quarter of the Earth’s population, 1.8 billion people, were connected to it. By

2017, penetration had reached 3.8 billion, about half the world’s population. But over the next

five years, those connections will extend to all of us, the unwired masses, the total sum of


Right now, Google, SpaceX, Amazon and a half-dozen other companies are racing to put

satellite constellations capable of bringing 5G connections to every corner of the planet. At

gigabit speeds and very little cost, an additional 4.2 billion new minds are about to join the

global conversation.

It’s not an exaggeration: The Future Is Faster Than You Think.

The Hyperloop travels at 750 miles-per-hour. Flying cars can travel at 150 miles an hour. Once

these technologies arrive, they’ll make our already connected world even smaller.

What happens to the suburbs when the Hyperloop goes from Las Vegas to Los Angeles in

twenty-five minutes? What happens to the size of the local dating pool? What happens to the

size of the school district?

Education, dating, and politics will shift. Boundaries will blur.

Inventions that create seismic shifts are not new. What’s new is the speed they emerge at.

Groundbreaking inventions used to come along once or twice a century, nowadays once or

twice a decade. As The Future Is Faster Than You Think highlights, that timeline has sped up

considerably. We’re now witnessing game-changing, innovation on a yearly, sometimes monthly


Future is Faster Than You Think Lesson 4 — New Business Models Will Evolve

When we talk about innovation, we tend to focus on new products, services, and technologies.

This narrative misses an important aspect: The creation of new business models.

A business model are the systems and processes a company uses to generate value. For most

of history, these models were remarkably stable, dominated by a few key ideas, upgraded by a

few major variations. In the twentieth century, new models appeared about once a decade. The

1920s, were dominated by bait and hook models — we give you a free razor, but we’re going to

sell you blades forever. In the 1950s, franchise models like McDonald’s reigned supreme. The

1960s was the decade of megastores like Walmart.

This changed dramatically In the 1990s, with the arrival of the Internet. In less than twenty

years, we’ve seen network effects give birth to new platforms in record time. Bitcoin and

blockchain undercut existing “trusted-third party” financial models, and crowdfunding and ICOs

upend the traditional ways capital is raised. What do all of these new models have in common?

By shortening the distance between “I’ve got a neat idea” and “I run a billion-dollar business”

significantly, these models are more than an upgrade to our systems and processes, they act as

another force for acceleration.

This pace of development will only increase. Over the next decade, crowd economies, smart

economies, closed loop economies, multiple world economies will be invading “business as

usual”. New businesses will appear even more unusual than the traditional ones. As we said at

the start: The Future Is Faster Than You Think.

This is where flow comes into our story. Defined as an “optimal state of consciousness where

we perform our best and feel our best,” flow is what allows us to keep pace with this world of

exponential change.

Flow augments all the brain’s foundational information processing machinery, giving us the

ability to think at speed and at scale—which are the two key cognitive requirements for thriving

in an exponential world. 

Consider flow’s impact on creativity and innovation, which are the secret sauce inside business

model reinvention. Not only does the state significantly boost many of the core skills inside of

creativity—from problem identification through solution generation to idea testing—it also

increases our appetite for risk. Put together, we have less fear about bringing those new

business ideas into the world and, with critical innovation skills amplified, better ability to pivot

and redirect those ideas when necessary.

At the Flow Research Collective, we train companies in using flow to accelerate innovation, be

that business model reinvention or otherwise.. These ideas are starting to spread throughout the

mainstream because, in our accelerated future, they’re the only way the mainstream can keep


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