Toward the third Industrial Revolution: optimizing resources

The economist Adam Smith identified three key factors for economic growth: labor, capital, and resources. While the first and second Industrial Revolutions were mostly concerned with optimizing labor productivity and capital allocation, the third Industrial Revolution is expected to focus on optimizing resources. Resources are understood in a broad sense to include land, raw materials, energy, workspace, knowledge, human resources, and so forth. First Industrial Revolution: optimizing labor The first Industrial Revolution spanned from the late eighteenth century to the early nineteenth century and was characterized by dramatic improvements in the methods of producing material goods. The steam engine, invented by Jerónimo de Ayanz y Beaumont, commercialized by Thomas Newcomen and much improved by James Watt, replaced more traditional power

Read more

The Internet of Skills and Knowledge

This short chapter elaborates on works by Jeremy Rifkin and also Stefan Heck and Matt Rogers. They see our world entering a third Industrial Revolution. The first Industrial Revolution, which took place during the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries and was associated with steam and steel, boosted industrial productivity. The second Industrial Revolution, also called the Technological Revolution, took place during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and was associated with urbanization and corporate creation, mainly with regard to corporate banking and research and development (R&D). We are entering a new period, during which the focus will be on sound management of resources. Although Rifkin focuses mainly on energy, we agree with the prediction of Heck and Rogers that nearly all resources

Read more

We had to impose ourselves on IT: Interview with Frédéric Sutter, Digital Transformation Program Director, Airbus Group

Frédéric Sutter has been the Digital Transformation Program Director of Airbus Group for about a year. Frédéric and I have crossed our paths several times in the past, most notably among which the CTO Senior Staff Meeting I had been invited to attend. But we hadn’t had the opportunity to much talk together. Today we are both in Suresnes at Airbus Group and Frédéric took the opportunity to explain to me what his job consists in, and what digital transformation means at Airbus. What follows is a short report of our conversation. The digital transformation of Airbus contains three components: Optimization: optimizing existing activities through industrial and work processes. Supply: coming up with new products, services and business models. Culture:

Read more

The Entrepreneur Generation

It started in the late 1990s. Internet entrepreneurs were a new breed, low on the radar of these placid pre-9/11 years. Back in those days, the EU was self-confidently marching into a post-historical and post-heroic age. The tragic echoes of pre-market, pre-democratic times were fading into a distant memory. Nobody imagined the possibility of Brexit. People basically focused on making money, and everybody had decided the Internet was a good bet for that purpose. A popped bubble and several years later, this bet was proven to be fundamentally correct. Some of the biggest digital titans were born in this period. But most people coming into their twenties during the 2000s just tried hard to fit into existing economic structures. The

Read more

Three Factors Driving the Uberization of Talents

[This article was originally published in the French edition of the Harvard Business Review] The third industrial revolution: optimization of resources The economist Adam Smith identified three key factors for economic growth: labor, capital, and resources. While the first and second Industrial Revolutions were mostly concerned with optimizing labor productivity and capital allocation, the third Industrial Revolution is expected to focus on optimizing resources. An incredible number of new services are trying to address such inefficiencies in various domains. Apple, and then Spotify changed the way people listen to music. Amazon.com changed the way people buy books and many other products. Airbnb changed the way people rent accommodations when traveling. This list could go on and on. The bottom line

Read more