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What would you do with an immortal mouse? January 8, 2013

Posted by Jason in Management.
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This fascinating infographic highlights many possibilities – not just in discrete areas of science, society, and politics, but in your own life and business.

Tomorrow's World

I’ll place my own dubious odds that most people don’t think five years in the future, let alone ten or twenty.  It’s no mystery why: with too many unknowns, our brains freeze up and we regress to the much easier task of simply making it through the present.

But predictions like these – even if they have only a tenuous connection to reality – provide a unique chance to focus our thinking.  Using our future-mouse as an example, it’s an excellent chance to brainstorm a bit about how life and business will be different if that were to happen.  Not that it necessarily will, but by undertaking the exercise, you are training your brain to recognize these little opportunities when they do finally arrive.

What are the implications of an immortal mouse (and, by extension, a human)?  What would such an event mean for health, aging, retirement, education, or tourism?  Would people postpone “bucket-list” activities, anticipating human immortality by 2040?  Perhaps not, but if you’re in the tourism business, this could become an interesting aspect of your future strategic plans.

More down to earth (or above it), consider all the advances we have made that are dependent on the aging GPS satellites – such as agriculture noted in the figure.  This technology pervades virtually every aspect of the modern world, and there is no shortage of concern about its long-term viability.  Despite that new satellites are slowly coming on line, one must certainly wonder if there will be a change in ownership somewhere in the future.  Just as we are beginning to see private space flight take to the skies, will there someday be a subscription GPS service?  Will SiriusXM begin looking at a private GPS network in 2030?  Will your business be ready if it does?

Focused predictions like these provide a great seed for your company’s strategy sessions.  Surely they don’t indicate immediate action, but if you’re already thinking about them years ahead of time, you may just have that much more advantage when things really do change.