Kevin Kelly – The Inevitable
In this episode, my guest is Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick at Wired magazine and author of a new bestseller book, The Inevitable.
Kevin co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor for several years. He is founder of visionary nonprofits and a co-publisher of the Cool Tools blog that has been reviewing tools daily since 2003.
He’s admired for his acute perspectives on technology and its relevance to history, biology and society. Kevin shares some of his insights on this episode as we cover some of the topics addressed in his book The Inevitable.
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Listen to the Podcast
Key points and take-aways from this episode Kevin Kelly include:
- Lifelong learning is the meta-skill or the superpower that you want to acquire. Learn to optimize your own type of learning to scientifically dissect and come to master how you learn best.
- Every job is a bundle of different tasks. The more routine and mundane tasks will eventually be done by technology. As a result, our job, is to keep inventing jobs to automate!
- There is a general shift towards being able to use things that we don’t own, a shift from ownership to access. Examples are the music, video entertainment industries. Cars are heading the same way. What else can we imagine being accessible, latest technology and taken care of, without owning that.
- Human attention is the most precious thing we have – we “own” a limited amount, but it doesn’t accumulate. We have to spend it every day, so what we spend it on should be valuable. In the future, advertisers may pay for “human attention”. This shift may well disrupt the entire advertising industry, with a possible shift to a peer-to-peer advertising industry.
- Future shared ownership of data, where we use apps to measure something like our physiological data (e.g. with a Fitbit), will be complex. Who owns that data? Is it me because it is my heart rate, or the data carrier or the device manufacturer? The idea of ownership is really outdated. All data has ownership in the Creative Commons – there may be a temporary monopoly for one party, but then it returns to Creative Commons.
- The real challenge to innovation these days is to think differently and it is especially challenging as we are more connected. The more we are connected with everything else, the more we are connected to the news, engaged with social media, the more difficult it is for us to think differently.
- You have exactly 10 minutes to act upon an idea where you first have it or else you lose it.
The Buzz – Our Innovation Round
Here are Kevin’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the interview to get the full scoop.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – One of the things that help me think differently is consistent travel. It forces me to come to a different angle to see things from a different perspective.
- Best thing for new ideas – New ideas is not a problem for me – execution is critical. Act upon an idea quickly and keep it alive.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Upwork. Outsourcing as much as you can to people who are world class in that area. Delegate as much of the work to others.
- Keep project / client on track – Have other people hold you accountable! Involve other people, make public announcements.
- Differentiate – Look to where you spend your time when you think you are not working as an indicator of where you’re true distinctiveness lies.
To Be a Leader
Be a life-long learner – it’s the meta-skill that you must have or should acquire.
Kevin suggested his “Cool Tools” partner, Mark Frauenfelder, who also runs the collaborative weblog Boing Boing, for me to interview on a future InnovaBuzz podcast.
So Mark, keep an eye on your inbox, for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Kevin Kelly.
Links and Books
- The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future
- Kevin Kelly on LinkedIn
- Cool Tools Blog
Cool things about Kevin
- He was a science nerd kid.
- He dropped out of college to travel in Asia and fell in love with that part of the world.
- He became a passionate photographer and photojournalist on his travels.
- He loves and learns from “how to books” and has a multistory library in his home.