Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Combinatorial Nature of Digital Technologies and Legos


I came across the brilliant blog site of Futurist Frank Diana this week.  In one of his most recent articles he discusses the concept of combinatorial nature.  He states, "We are seeing exponential convergence across the areas of science, technology, economics, society, ethics, and politics. The combinatorial nature of an overwhelming number of building blocks drives an accelerating intersection across these areas."  As an expert Lego player, I can appreciate the concept of building blocks, and the near infinite number of combinations these blocks can be used to form.  The idea that we have now reached a critical mass of digital building blocks, and that we will now experience exponential growth through the combinatorial nature of them is compelling.


The World Economic Forum also describes the future in similar ways, “We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before... Billions of people are now connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge.  And these possibilities are being multiplied by breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing."

Both of these quotes, and the idea that we have reached a new era as a result of the combinatorial nature of digital building blocks, begs the question of what does this mean for for our organizations today?  The answer can be found in the Lego block.

Legos come in standardized shapes, sizes and integration points that allow for the rapid build of billions of different combinations.  The standardization of Lego blocks doesn't restrict our ability to create new and unique combinations, rather it enhances it. Organizations must recognize that the winners of today and tomorrow are not organizations that create their own bespoke building blocks, but that have the vision to use standardized digital building blocks to offer unique combinations faster than their opponents.

Follow Kevin Benedict on Twitter @krbenedict, connect with him on LinkedIn or read more of his articles on digital transformation strategies here:

  1. Digital Transformation from 40,000 feet
  2. Winning in Chaos - Digital Leaders
  3. 13 Recommended Actions for Digital Transformation in Retail
  4. Mistakes in Retail Digital Transformation
  5. Winning Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  6. Digital Transformation - Mindset Differences
  7. Analyzing Retail Through Digital Lenses
  8. Digital Thinking and Beyond!
  9. Measuring the Pace of Change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  10. How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards
  11. To Bot, or Not to Bot
  12. Oils, Bots, AI and Clogged Arteries
  13. Artificial Intelligence Out of Doors in the Kingdom of Robots
  14. How Digital Leaders are Different
  15. The Three Tsunamis of Digital Transformation - Be Prepared!
  16. Bots, AI and the Next 40 Months
  17. You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform
  18. Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
  19. Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  20. Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  21. Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
  22. Technology Must Disappear in 2017
  23. Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
  24. In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
  25. Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
  26. Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
  27. Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
  28. Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
  29. Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
  30. Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
  31. Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
  32. Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
  33. 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
  34. The End Goal of Digital Transformation
  35. Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
  36. Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
  37. The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
  38. From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
  39. Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
  40. Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
  41. Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
  42. A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
  43. Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
  44. Digital Transformation - A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
  45. Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
  46. Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
  47. Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
  48. Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time


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Kevin Benedict
President, Principal Analyst, Futurist, the Center for Digital Intelligence™
Website C4DIGI.com
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.
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