Adults ring doorbells with their forefingers. Thanks to Sony and Apple, teenagers now use their thumbs

This week I went to a breakfast briefing where three speakers discussed their perspectives on the future and the role that technology would play in human development. Although it could have been off-the-wall, it was actually less futuristic than an episode of Star Trek from the 1960s.

Secret Marketer

One conclusion that caught my attention was that every company needs a director of foresight and that the government needs to appoint a minister of foresight. Just think of that. While a few enlightened companies have directors of insight, and everyone has a strategy director or two lurking around, to have someone on the board predicting the future and the impact on your brand would certainly take the debate away from simply hitting this year’s numbers. If only HMV and Kodak had had the foresight to install such an individual.

Then they talked about how technology was affecting our children. 

Did you know that kids don’t call mobile phones ‘mobile phones’? They call them ‘phones’. To them, there is no distinction between a fixed line and a mobile. What does that mean to traditional home phone providers?

And then the pièce de résistance: have you ever seen a teenager ring a doorbell? An adult would usually use their forefinger but a teenager uses their thumb – a direct result of texting on mobile phones (sorry, ‘phones’) – and using remote controls and joysticks. It took us millions of years to lose our tails. Sony and Apple achieved the doorbell feat in a decade.

But the biggest innovation of recent times – an invention that I use so many times a day, it has changed my approach to risk-taking and boldness – is the ‘undo’ button. The concept that you can draw, write or calculate something but with a simple keystroke go back to a previous state – wow! 

Wouldn’t it be something if you could do that with everything in life – turning back the clock after that poor business decision, that somewhat indiscrete piece of feedback to your boss or even that foolish agency appointment?

Well, perhaps my soon-to-be-appointed director of foresight can help with this…

Latest from Marketing Week

Influencers, consultancies and the recruitment crisis: The key topics of conversation at Cannes Lions

cannes lions

Cannes Lions 2018: Marketers turned out in force to advertising’s biggest annual event. But away from the usual talk of purpose and creativity, some big issues such as the recruitment crisis, how advertising responds to the #MeToo movement and cleaning up the influencer marketing space were discussed.

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here