Over the last 30 years or so, certain books have had a major impact on my thoughts, perceptions, and my  understanding of technology adoption, and integration into our society, our cultures, and our businesses. Books which helped me create and shape the socializing messages required to drive the adoption of new ideas and tools in the real estate industry. I still refer to them as they are just as relevant now as they were when I first read them.

Books such as MegaTrends,by John Naisbitt, and 3 works by Alvin Toffler…Future Shock, Third Wave, and Powershift, where I learned that “Information is the currency of the Twenty First Century.”

There was a little known book entitled Managing the Future by Robert B. Tuck, where I learned for the first time about driving consumer demands and turned it into, The Eight Driving Forces of Consumers and delivered this message to real estate professionals across the US and Canada: Speed, Convenience, Choice, Value Added, Quality, Service, Discounts, and Information.

As I dug into the technology transformation that lied ahead of me in the 1980s, I learned about incredible future technologies and imagined ways they would be put to use, after reading Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte, where he emphasized the “Ubiquity” of the technologies we were all about to experience.

As I delved deeper into the ideas and concepts of Online Communities after creating NAR’s first online community on the RIN Network Desktop in 1995, RealTalk, I picked up the book Net Gain by Hagel and Armstrong in 1997, and it and its ideas became our bible as we created and then later constructing the online communities for ePRO, the Technology Certification Program of the National Association of REALTORS.

There have been a number of others (including The Hype Machine by Sinan Aral (my favorite book of 2020), and Wikinomics by Tappscott and Williams). These books stand out, as does a 2018 book by George Gilder entitled:

Life After Google – The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of The Blockchain Economy

I highly recommend it for those who want to glimpse the future a few weeks before your friends! It is also a great historical reference written by someone who was there, It was a Financial Times Book Of The Month.

The Wall Street Journal summarizes:

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“Nothing Mr. Gilder says or writes is ever delivered at anything less than the fullest philosophical decibel… Mr. Gilder sounds less like a tech guru than a poet, and his words tumble out in a romantic cascade.”

“Google’s algorithms assume the world’s future is nothing more than the next moment in a random process. George Gilder shows how deep this assumption goes, what motivates people to make it, and why it’s wrong: the future depends on human action.” — Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies and author of Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

The Age of Google, built on big data and machine intelligence, has been an awesome era. But it’s coming to an end. In Life after Google, George Gilder—the peerless visionary of technology and culture—explains why Silicon Valley is suffering a nervous breakdown and what to expect as the post-Google age dawns.

Google’s astonishing ability to “search and sort” attracts the entire world to its search engine and countless other goodies—videos, maps, email, calendars….And everything it offers is free, or so it seems. Instead of paying directly, users submit to advertising. The system of “aggregate and advertise” works—for a while—if you control an empire of data centers, but a market without prices strangles entrepreneurship and turns the Internet into a wasteland of ads.

The crisis is not just economic. Even as advances in artificial intelligence induce delusions of omnipotence and transcendence, Silicon Valley has pretty much given up on security. The Internet firewalls supposedly protecting all those passwords and personal information have proved hopelessly permeable.

The crisis cannot be solved within the current computer and network architecture. The future lies with the “cryptocosm”—the new architecture of the blockchain and its derivatives. Enabling cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether, NEO and Hashgraph, it will provide the Internet a secure global payments system, ending the aggregate-and-advertise Age of Google.

Silicon Valley, long dominated by a few giants, faces a “great unbundling,” which will disperse computer power and commerce and transform the economy and the Internet.

Life after Google is almost here.

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