Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
July 23, 2021

How to Predicate the Future of Technology with Best Selling Author and Futurist Daniel Burrus

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BY: TARTLE

Trends of Disruption

Daniel Burrus is an entrepreneur’s entrepreneur. He has started six businesses and written seven books, two of them bestsellers. He is also one of the leading tech forecasters on the planet. Daniel has been right in his predictions of where we are going in regards to technology so often that he has acquired the status of a prophet in the field. 

Given his area of expertise, it seems logical to ask Daniel his opinion on the way technology has been developing in recent years. It seems that as the pace of technological development accelerates that it is no longer doing so in a way that benefits people but rather in a way that simply leads to more technology. Does he see this trend continuing or will the technology in the end actually bring people up so that we really can benefit from all of our hard work? 

Daniel’s response is that the answer is really up to us. Technology is merely a tool. In and of itself, it is not necessarily good or bad. We can use radiation to give cancer or to cure it depending on how we use the tools at hand. That means that we are in control if we want to be. We can be lazy and let technology shape our future for us or we can be proactive and use it to build the future we want. 

That means you can’t just coast. Unless you are content with going downhill. As my football coach said, you are either getting better or you’re getting worse. You never stay the same. It’s the same with everything. You can either work to make the change you want or you just wind up getting swept along by the change someone else wants. It really is that simple. Work for what you want or be content with what someone else gives you. 

The good news is that there are literal mountains of opportunity available for the proactive. It may not seem that way, but that’s because you are probably watching too much news and letting it turn you into a pessimist. If we could send people to the moon with slide rules while fighting the Vietnam War, what couldn’t we accomplish now if we just put our minds and resources to it? This kind of optimism is usually met with a chorus of ‘buts’ and ‘what ifs’. However, it is the optimist who gets things done, the pessimist usually does very little because he is sure it will fail. Don’t be that guy. 

The truth is, there is a lot we take for granted today that would not have been possible just a few years ago and that trend is likely to continue. How likely it is depends on which trend you are talking about. One of the things that has made Daniel so successful at predicting technological development is that he has realized that there are hard trends and soft trends. Hard trends are things that will develop in a predictable pattern so long as we don’t get hit by a stray comet. Think of cellphone technology. We went from 3G to now 5G on a predictable path, a path that will continue through 6G and beyond. A soft trend is one that depends on a variety of variables and can be directed or stopped. Here, think of health care costs. The trend has been a sharp increase but a number of variables can be changed to alter that trend.

All of those trends, all of that change is disruptive to some degree. And it will happen. The question then is not whether or not there will be disruption but what will you do with it? Will you ignore it and allow it to shape you? Will you be a negative disruptor and harness it for your own gain at the expense of others? Or will you be a positive disruptor and harness it to benefit others and bring about needed change? The choice is yours.

What’s your future worth?

Feature Image Credit: Envato Elements
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For those who are hard of hearing – the episode transcript can be read below:

TRANSCRIPT

Alexander McCaig (00:06):

Hello, world. Welcome back to Tartle Cast. In the great interest of time and our special guest here, Daniel Burrus, if you don't know him, you should because, as I was talking to him before this, he's like the Nostradamus of technology and where the world's headed. And because of how many times he's gotten it right, he's considered one of the world's leading futurists on global trends and innovation. So, Daniel, thank you so much for joining us here on Tartle Cast.

Daniel Burrus (00:31):

Oh, it's really a pleasure. Thank you.

Alexander McCaig (00:34):

Oh, most definitely. Most definitely. By the way, beautiful backdrop. Just want to rehash that again for everybody. If you're watching this on video and not hearing it, San Diego is quite a beautiful place.

Daniel Burrus (00:44):

I love San Diego. It's usually blue back there, so that's good. Seldom rain. Unfortunately, we could use a little. Anyway.

Alexander McCaig (00:52):

Blue enough for all. Here's how I really want to tee this up. When we are looking at technology, especially in the perspective that Jason and I share and the rest of our company, is that technology has evolved at such a great pace. It's had this wonderful hockey stick effect and because of the exponential growth, it seems that technology is evolving for technology's sake, but it's left human evolution behind where we're not seeing that the technology is being created to help uplift us as human beings so we find better understanding of ourselves and how we work with one another. How do you see that actually moving into the future? Do you think that trend will continue? Or do you actually see technology coming to help bridge this gap that's been missed and bring humans up with the hockey stick itself?

Daniel Burrus (01:47):

Well, great question. Thank you. Well, technology is a thing. It's not good, it's not evil. It's there for us to use. You can use the same technology to cure cancer as to give cancer. So the key is, we can let technology shape our future for us, which I don't like, or we can decide to use the new tools as well as the old tools of technology to shape the kind of world we do want. So if we want a more humane future, if we want a more enlightened future, if we want a more engaged future that is abundant for all, hope is not a strategy. Instead, I like hope, by the way. Hope is a wonderful thing, but more than hope, I would like to take these new tools and use them to create more relevance if you're in business, because you're either going to be more relevant or less relevant. You can't coast. You're either going to be the disruptor or the disrupted. You can't... Well, you can coast, but remember, you can only coast downhill, and there is a bottom.

Alexander McCaig (02:54):

Unless you go into the core of the earth, right?

Daniel Burrus (02:57):

Yeah. Well, some people do get down there, you know.

Alexander McCaig (02:59):

It depends on the tunnel-digging machine you have. So do you have an example of a tool that we're currently using that is really changing that dynamic of human evolution and technology itself? When I think about this, like you said, technology is neither good or bad. It's just how we choose to use it. We're all here, fortunately, in New Mexico, and this is where the atomic bomb was really developed. And then from that Santa Fe Institute, blah, blah, blah, where we split the atom. And with that, a weapon was created, but at the same time, there were many other things that came out of the military industrial complex that were actually quite beneficial to society. But the technology happened in the fact of elevating the technology first, but then you got MRIs, you got CAT scans, certain aspects of nuclear medicine and all these other things. So, do we have any examples today where, because technology has now grown so much that it's helping bridge that gap, fix that dynamic we're currently seeing?

Daniel Burrus (04:02):

Well, yeah. I mean, first of all, it's hard not to be optimistic about the future. Now I know a lot of people aren't, and the reason is they're watching too much news. What I mean by that is, there's a mountain of opportunity that's as solid a mountain as any granite or any other kind of mountain out there, but it's fogged in. The fog is news because bad news sells, good news doesn't sell, and if there's no bad news, well, you know what? We'll give you the anniversary of bad news. So, what you need to do is to blow away the fog and get the news you need. In other words, see the real, amazing opportunity. So an example. I mean, let's face it, we put a man on the moon in the '60s. In the '60s. I don't know if you had a chance to go to the Smithsonian or any of the places where they have the early capsules that went to the moon and you look at the controls. There are big knobs that you turn, there aren't digital displays.

Daniel Burrus (04:58):

And it's like, "Holy cow! They went there in that?" It looked like an old-fashioned bucket. Well, in today's terms, it was. And when you look at what Pfizer and Moderna did when we put humans to work on a global scale with money, kind of like what you were saying we did when we developed the atomic bomb, we put our best thinkers together with funds because we're in the middle of a major war. When you put people together that are smart, especially on a global level, and there's money to fund it, you know what? There's not a problem we can't solve. There's plenty of history to prove that. Again, you can't help but be optimistic. By the way, for those that are pessimistic out there, the reason pessimists never really do anything is because they already know it's going to fail. That's what a pessimist does. "Well, it's not going to work, anyway. Why bother?"

Daniel Burrus (05:50):

But that's why entrepreneurs tend to be optimistic. So I think there's plenty of reasons to be that way because, and I'm going to give you what I want us all to keep in mind, there's more opportunity right now than any other time in the history of the human race, because technology lets you do things that were impossible. In this case, just a couple of years ago. And two years from now, we're going to be doing things that are impossible today. Now, one of the things that I've done is found a way to make those visible, those invisible things visible, so that we can see them. And I've got a methodology for that, which I'd love to talk to you about if that's where you want to go.

Alexander McCaig (06:30):

So, does that methodology breed an awareness? When I walked into the Smithsonian and I see the lunar capsule, it's small. I'm 6'5". I don't fit in it. I'm actually amazed that someone jammed themselves in something that's as thin as the aluminum on a Cessna aircraft, in my sense. And they're launching themselves into space, you know, microgravity and then going over to the moon. And for them, at the '60s at that time, that's so forward-thinking. It looks like the future. When we look at it, it looks like it's the past, but we're in the future now. So, what's the methodology of mindset that gives someone that sort of growth starter, futurist, technology-driven, very opportunistic mindset, in the positive sense? Is that what your methodology drives individuals towards? Or corporations?

Daniel Burrus (07:24):

Well, absolutely. It's really a methodology. I mean, a couple of things first of all. I think the two most important moments in a human's life is the day you're born and the day you find out why you were born. And I'm fortunate that long ago I found out why I was put on the planet, and that is to teach. So rather than just give people trends and say, "Good luck," I like to teach them how to be better at anticipating versus reacting. At shaping the future versus letting the future unfold for them day after day and wondering why it isn't getting better. So, it's more of an active involvement. So, just a brief history. I started out teaching biology and physics. I only share that to say I've got a science researcher background. I actually directed the first federal research grant as an undergraduate. So, I'm a research guy.

Daniel Burrus (08:12):

And then I taught for a number of years, had an idea for an airplane design that was radical and new, and did that. And in the first year I had... I have the test pilot, by the way, and my own thing. And in the first year I had 37 national locations. I started another company, another one and another one, all of them pushing boundaries, doing a lot of innovation, using new tools, new tech. But I got to a point where I was, unlike being teaching, I was making money and I was being an entrepreneur, which I love, but I missed the teaching part. So I sold those companies and 38 years ago I started Burrus Research, which is a research company. But, as you might know, I've given 3,000 speeches, I've written seven books that then thankfully have been bestsellers, thousands of articles, I'm teaching. That's why I'm here, by the way. I want to not just tell, I want to teach. So what I developed back when, and I'm talking 1983, and you brought this up a little while ago, so let me just tag onto it-

Alexander McCaig (09:14):

Go for it.

Daniel Burrus (09:15):

... and that is the exponential growth of technology. And so, in '83, whoa, a long time ago, when I started Burrus Research, I did a global research on all the innovations in all areas of technology, genetics, robotics, artificial intelligence, neural networks, all this stuff, fiber optics. By the way, it all existed in early forms back then, and came up with what I call the taxonomy of high technology. It was a list of 20 technologies that would exponentially grow in a amazingly predictable manner. By the way, on that list was the internet. This is '83, remember. On that list was fiber optics. On that list was genetic engineering. On that list was neural networks.

Daniel Burrus (09:56):

I mean, if you look at the list, you'd say, "Wow, it's still there." So what I did was I used that as, think of those 20 as the mothers of the technological future. And they will give birth to all the bouncing baby tools going forward. If you know what the mothers are, you get an idea of the lineage. And I applied biology to that putting a taxonomy together.

Alexander McCaig (10:20):

Love It.

Daniel Burrus (10:20):

But I needed a timeframe. So the timeframe came from Moore's law. So I discovered Moore's law back in '83, and I can tell you, most of us know Moore's law now processing power doubles every 18 months and the price drops in half, but in '83 it was pretty obscure. But I was a research guy. I came across it and I went, "Holy cow," because if I look out at 2000, 2010, 2020 with Moore's law, I would know how powerful a computer would be and how much it would cost. If I know those two things I could tell us how we'd be using them. So I did predictions like that. For example, in '83, I said we would sequence the human gene code in 2000, which we did. I have a lot of those that were unlikely back then, and because I had that timeframe, that prediction.

Daniel Burrus (11:08):

But I needed more than Moore, so I added two to it, and that is the law of storage and law of bandwidth. The three are close. They drive close, but not exactly. So when you put bandwidth, storage and processing power, which is no longer, by the way, processing power that's tied to the chip. Now it's computing power tied to the ecosystem in the cloud, because a lot of exponential to go, by the way, and then you got the pandemic which drove a lot of those beyond exponential. I'll get to that in a little while. So we went way beyond exponential.

Daniel Burrus (11:46):

And you have a predictable path. So, for example, after 4G we got 5G. Is that it? No. And in fact, you can predict what they're going to call the next one. 6G. And, by the way, I can tell you exactly when it'll come out and how powerful it will be because it's on a curve that's fully predictable. That's why I teach people to anticipate and how you can actually find certainty in an uncertain world. How you can predict not only the technologies that are the disruptors, but so much more. So you get timeframes, and now one last little envelope that will frame our discussion. And then I'll let you ask me more questions, but let me get this frame together.

Daniel Burrus (12:28):

So, there's no shortage of trends, right? And most people aren't even looking at them because some will happen, some won't. That's why they do a lot of scenario planning. And again, maybe one of those will actually happen, but at least we've covered our bases. What I did was, I had come up with a way of overlaying a methodology on top of all trends that makes them much more useful. It's being used by the Pentagon, it's being used by major companies, defense contractors, Google, others. Well, I want this audience to use it, and that is all trends are either a hard trend based on a future fact that will happen. Now, the key here is, it cannot be stopped. It will happen. It's a future fact.

Daniel Burrus (13:10):

And what that does is it gives you certainty in an uncertain world. What that does is it lets you predict problems before you have them so you can pre-solve them, instead of having them and saying, "I knew that would happen. And, by the way, why did we let it?" Anyway, now, we can see the problem and pre-solve it, or let it play out. But we have a choice. We can see disruption before it disrupts allowing you to have the choice to be the disruptor or the disrupted, because as I said earlier, there's no middle. And the other thing I'm implying here is that a trend by itself has no power. Frankly, it's boring, till you're tying opportunity to it.

Daniel Burrus (13:48):

But I gave you two things here, two types of trends. I'm going to name the second one in a second. All trends fit in one of those two categories here. They're a hard trend based on a future fact, or a soft trend based on an assumption that may or may not happen, which changes certainty and changes risk. Both have to be tied to an opportunity. By the way, what's the opportunity of a soft trend? Don't like it, you can change it. So I just gave you a quick example before, after 5G is 6G followed by 7G in a predictable path. We're putting more and more in the cloud. Was the cloud getting full? Ah, no. And AI. Some people don't like the future of AI. Well, the future of AI can be determined by us, but you're not going to slow the exponential growth of AI.

Daniel Burrus (14:31):

We have to determine how we're going to use it. And then soft trend. Quick example, so you know what I'm talking about. US health care. Costs have been going up, up, up for a long time, like crazy. By the way, that's a trend. Is that a hard trend or a soft trend? Well, if you assume it's a hard trend — notice it's an assumption — then you just try to figure out how we're going to pay for the mess the baby boomers will cause as they get older, because we know it's going to be more expensive.

Daniel Burrus (15:01):

But if we realize it's a soft trend, and you can use blockchain, and you can use all these different tools to bring transparency and trust and more competition and lower prices and redefine the system, you can bring costs down. So when you realize what is hard and what is soft, you realize what you can change and what you can take advantage of. So, distractor trends have to be tied to an opportunity. And when I look at that beyond exponential growth, when I look at what we're at right now, we're at the base of a mountain of opportunity. We just got to [crosstalk 00:15:38]

Alexander McCaig (15:37):

What happens, Daniel, whenever you have a disruptor that you didn't anticipate, like COVID?

Daniel Burrus (15:44):

Well, that's a good one, and that is that COVID was pretty easy to anticipate. It didn't come out of nowhere. Back in December... Now, again, I'm an advisor to the Department of Defense and the DoD, and I have some access, and I'm working with government things, but back in December when it was already hitting China, satellites could pick that up. Satellites actually detected high amounts of smoke, which is the kind of smoke that burning human corpses give, because there was so many human corpses being cremated because there were so many died. And you could see all of the caskets and all the stuff going on.

Daniel Burrus (16:29):

So in January it was known, not so much to the public, but it was known that this was big and it was global, and because people fly all over the world it would spread. And we also knew it was airborne. And again, I've done a lot of work with health care and when you know something as airborne, you know that it travels around the world and it can travel quickly. As a matter of fact, we knew that it would multiply by three to four times every seven days if we didn't lock down, wear masks, do the kinds of things that we did, which some countries did and some countries did less well. So, anyway, here's the way I like to explain it. We call this a black swan event, right?

Alexander McCaig (17:14):

On the [inaudible 00:17:16].

Daniel Burrus (17:15):

[inaudible 00:17:15] is a black swan event. So here's what I'd like you to imagine. Imagine yourself right now on the shore of a nice size lake, and there are swans and other birds on that lake. And near you are a whole bunch of white swans and other birds. On the distant shore is some white swans, but there's also a black swan swimming right towards you on the distant shore. Now, some people are going to notice it, most of us aren't, because we're looking here, we're not looking there. And that swan's heading for us. And at some point it's visible and we can all see it. And by the way, at some point, it's right here. So when we know where to look and how to look, and we realize the swan is indeed getting closer, it's not swimming that way, it's not someone that way, which we did know quite a long time ago, we could have done some things to stem the tide quite better.

Alexander McCaig (18:04):

Makes sense.

Daniel Burrus (18:05):

So, again, black swans, how black are they really? Well, they're black, but you can see them when you know how to look. What I'm about, really, is trying to get people to not just be reactionary. And by the way, agility is fast reaction, because everybody's jumped on being an agile preparation, agile innovation, but remember the definition of it, and that is, agility is reacting as quickly as you can to a disruption after disrupt as quickly as you can do a problem after it occurs. And by the way, I like agility. You need to be agile. You can't predict everything. However, there's two sides to this strategy coin. What I am bringing to the world is the other side, anticipating disruptions before they disrupt. Anticipating problems before you have them so you can pre-solve them. And when you see those things and you make that invisible visible, you have huge opportunities.

Alexander McCaig (19:02):

This is interesting here. When I think of a hard fact, or a hard trend, I know that human beings will continue to be here and they will continue to exist. I know that they will continue to make more technology because we're just an engineering civilization. And I know that the basis of that with computer technology will continue to advance and data will be that key driver. So when I look at those hard trends and I combine it, that's where we have our marketplace. And when I think of health care, like you spoke about in getting that soft trend to decrease, about that cost, well, we have the ability to pair together genetic data with location, social determinants of health, behaviors, all those things that come together under whatever sort of analysis you like to get from whatever locale in 222 countries. That's that, right?

Alexander McCaig (19:56):

But the way I see that happening is that those are the hard trends or hard facts that we look at. And when I focus on those, it becomes more of a fundamental thing that bakes into the processes of how we operate. And then from that, that can transition over to the end consumer or end business so they can benefit from our analysis of those hard facts. And when I look at something like climate stability, I would actually look at that as a soft trend because we have every choice to change that when we choose to do it. I've shared this with Jason before. It's not impossible for us to do it tomorrow. It's just improbable that we do it. So-

Daniel Burrus (20:46):

You're exactly right. So, in other words, because a soft trend is based on an assumption, first of all, there's... To make it easy, there's two types of assumptions. I call them a hard and soft assumption, just to make it in the theme. A soft assumption is based on all of your past experience and it's logical and it makes sense. By the way, that has got a certain lower level of risk or a higher level of risk to it, then doing the added research to see if it's still valid.

Alexander McCaig (21:15):

Right.

Daniel Burrus (21:15):

And that elevates it at least to a hard assumption, which lowers your risk. And you are right. If you look at climate, actually the earth is in the long cycle of warming that has been going on for a long time. Remember, I'm a science teacher from the beginning. So, that was warming already. What we've done, and it's kind of like having a campfire and throwing a little cigarette lighter fluid on [crosstalk 00:21:45].

Alexander McCaig (21:45):

Kerosene and stuff on it?

Daniel Burrus (21:45):

Yeah, exactly. So we're just heating it up. But, you see, that's something we can control. So in reality, we can do something about it. Now, the likelihood is, because we tend to be reactionary versus anticipatory, what we tend to do as humans and governments is we wait until the house is burning to do something, instead of saying, "There's some flames down there. Maybe we ought to put them out." So as humans, we tend to do that and we wait until it gets a lot worse before we do something about it. And in my little way, I mean, I'm just one guy, but I'm out there, thanks to you, helping to get the word out on being more anticipatory and saying, "You know what? There's things that we can control." And you're absolutely right. As a matter of fact, think of it this way. I want to make a short-range prediction.

Alexander McCaig (22:42):

Go for it.

Daniel Burrus (22:42):

By the way, most futurists never do that because you might remember it.

Alexander McCaig (22:47):

I'm going to put a hundred bucks on this right now with Jason.

Daniel Burrus (22:50):

Yeah, yeah. But I do make this because it's based on hard trends, it's going to happen, then it's going to... So, over the next... I'm going to give you a short-range, three years. Wow, that's short. Over the next three years, we will transform every business process. How you sell, how you market, how you communicate, how you collaborate, how you invade, how you train, how you educate. All the tools to transform. Not change, there's a difference, but transform every business process, those tools are already there. That's the hard trend. Now here's the soft trend. Will you transform them in your business? Well, that's soft. You may or may not do that.

Daniel Burrus (23:30):

That's up to you. What I want you to know is, there is a choice. Disruption is a choice. And you know what I'd like people to do, is to be positive disruptors of themselves and of their own business. You see, we see disruption as negative because it happens to us, and now we've got to do something and put out fires and prices manage once again. But what I'm suggesting is that using this hard trend methodology, and you can see the disruptions coming, what you can do with that is become the positive disruptor.

Daniel Burrus (24:01):

For example, the founder of Amazon, does he see disruption as negative? No. It's all the people he's disrupting. We can do that. I've done that with seven companies. We can all do that. And so what I want us to do is become positive disruptors, creating the transformations that need to happen to increase your relevancy, to increase your sustainable growth, and to build a better life for yourself, your organization, and for all the people that you serve.

Alexander McCaig (24:36):

That's spot-on, right? And I love the value prop in that. And so, I'm looking at this total picture of what you're talking about here, and I'm going to make a bridge to a company, Kodak. You talk about the black swan. It's on the other side of the lake. Now, I've never seen a black swan. I don't know how to identify it. It might not even show up in my mind, but I know the white swans and everything else, right? The founder of Kodak wasn't actually interested in photographing technology. His research was funded on how the eye and the mind perceives objects.

Alexander McCaig (25:18):

And what he did is, he looked back to the early conquistadors and then the tribes of the coast of Central America and the northern part of South America, where they did not see the ships, even though it was right in front of them, because they didn't have a conscious frame of reference for them to actually see it. So it's essentially invisible, even though you have this huge wooden ship from Spain sitting right in front of you. But then the thing is, it's there. So how is it that we can train human beings in corporations to be aware of what they have no frame of reference for right now? How do you build self-awareness to look for things you typically wouldn't look for that are so new to you?

Daniel Burrus (26:02):

Well, that's another great question. Now I know why you have such a great show, because you ask really good questions.

Alexander McCaig (26:08):

Thank you.

Daniel Burrus (26:10):

Because you got to pull things from me that can be useful. So, first of all, it's all about mindset. Again, in my work around the world and all the people that I've worked with, which over 38 years it's a lot, what I've come to realize is, it's all about mindset. If you change your mindset, you can change your results. You can change your reality. I like to think of it this way, to use a simple metaphor. I want to teach people how to get their opportunity antenna up and have it stay up, instead of go back down again. And when you read or hear about something that's really amazing and cool, some new technology, what do we say? We say, "Wow, that's cool." And then we go back to doing what we've always done, instead of, "Oh, you know, let's keep that antenna up there and just ask a few more questions. And let's also keep it up there and look around."

Daniel Burrus (27:07):

So, again, once you start having a way to look, most of the people, again, in my books and in my Anticipatory Organization Learning Systems and so on, what I'm really doing is changing your mindset and giving you some tools so that the invisible becomes visible, because it's really about how do you make the invisible visible? And there are some methodologies to be able to do that. There are some strategies. One of them is hard trend, soft trend. There are others. Again, I write about a bunch of them, but that's a core, especially when we're talking about technology like we are today.

Daniel Burrus (27:46):

So, let's take a look at why didn't a taxi driver think of Uber, right? And then, I think of Airbnb. And I know the reason. They were all busy doing what they've always done. And why didn't... When the CEO of Research In Motion, Blackberry, saw the first iPhone on... And he did this in an interview. He said, "Why would anybody want to watch a video on a phone?" But he was using his... I know, it's funny, but he was using his own context of, "I watch video on a big screen. Why would someone want to do that?" And he stuck without thinking a little bit more. Let's just investigate that why a little bit with an opportunity antenna up. Let's think about that a little bit more. And all of a sudden, the invisible become visible.

Alexander McCaig (28:39):

So it's really, it's the why-based approach then, right? So, if we're trying to make ourselves visible... I'll use a personal example, and you shared this and I hope you don't mind, before you came on, when we were talking. You ride a motorcycle, and you said, "There's typically two things that you have to remember when you're on a motorcycle. There are no fender benders. And the second one is that you're invisible." So then I want to ask you something, Daniel. In your own personal life, how do you make yourself visible on the motorcycle? Because I think this is a metaphor that will also work for everything else.

Daniel Burrus (29:15):

Well, that's a great question again, and I think that it's kind of similar to, there's a difference between having a lot of followers and being a thought leader. And it's the same kind of question. And here's the answer I give you. I was giving a commencement speech not long ago to a large group of people getting various degrees, and one of the things that I shared I think is relevant to your answer. And I'm sure it freaked out all the parents when I said it, and all the teachers and everybody, because I said, "I don't want you to focus on living a successful life and being successful." And I kind of let that sit for a second, and I'm sure they were going, "Oh, gee."

Daniel Burrus (30:00):

And I said, "The reason I don't want you to do that is because success is all about you. It's about how many degrees you have, all your plaques on the wall, how much money you make, the level of job that you're in, how cool your house and your cars are. It's all about you. What I'd like you to do instead is to live a significant life because significance is not about what you do for yourself. It's about what you do for others. And if you can elevate your personal significance, if you can elevate your organizational significance, if you could elevate that and keep elevating it, you know what? You'll find yourself being really successful." So ask yourself, if you're a successful company right now, because I know we've got a lot of C-suite people watching this or listening to this, ask yourself, you probably have a successful company. Is it significant?

Daniel Burrus (30:50):

Maybe you're a successful dad. You [inaudible 00:30:52] but are you a significant father or mother? Are you a significant brother or sister? Are you a significant employer? Or, are you a significant employee? Some of you may be a student going back to school, or are you just trying to be successful, or are you trying to be significant? So, as someone who's doing something significant won't just have a bunch of people that are following them, they will indeed be a thought leader. And if we're building significant companies, you know what's going to happen? They'll be using technology, I think, in the right way because I think humans can rise to any occasion.

Alexander McCaig (31:26):

Wow. And in a full-circle approach, I think that answers that initial dynamic that I'd asked at the beginning of the episode. Well, Daniel, this episode has been significant. The insights have been significant. And I think the realizations for those who listen and pay attention will be significant. And for them to find out more, purchase more of your books that you've written, because they should be supporting you and your significant mindset, where do they go to do so?

Daniel Burrus (31:59):

Well, all the books can be on Amazon or in bookstores, but to find blogs because, again, I write a blog a week. I've been doing that for decades and you can search a lot on that. Or to find any of my Learning System, Anticipate Organization, Anticipatory Leader, you can go to Burrus, B-U-R-R-U-S.com, and you can find whatever you would like. And tell you what. I'll do one other thing that people can have an option to do if they'd like for this show. Because I believe in my latest book, The Anticipatory Organization, so much, I would give anyone in this audience a free, get this, hardcover copy, I didn't say digital copy, of the book.

Daniel Burrus (32:45):

You'll have to pay a couple of bucks for shipping, but when you look at how much the shipping is, you'll see that I'm not making money on shipping because I know you're not even going to like it. You're going to tell a friend and then I will make some money. So, if you go to The AO Book, so, T-H-E-A-O-B-O-O-K.com, get your book and get into it, and now I just saved you from even having to buy it. So now I took away your excuse.

Jason Rigby (33:10):

I want to ask one last question because this is so interesting and it's something that you just kind of skipped over, but people need to understand this. You just said you wrote a blog a week for decades.

Alexander McCaig (33:19):

Yeah.

Daniel Burrus (33:19):

Oh, yeah. I mean, I surprised myself. The other day on LinkedIn, because again, I've got a, as I told you before we got started, just under 1.3 million followers and I published every week, I've been doing that since 2010 or something like that. And I just looked at just the titles of the blogs and I think it was... And then I printed it out just to see how many I had, and it was like eight pages that were typed of blogs. See, a book versus a article or a blog, as I have newsletters and so on, they're different in this form.

Daniel Burrus (33:53):

When you're writing a book, you can't talk about things so much that are right now because you're writing a book, probably, you started on it a couple of years before it comes out, and it's got to last. Like my book Flash Foresight, which is a 2011 book, I'm still getting royalties on that. It's still selling like crazy because it's got to have time and wisdom built into it. Articles can have that, but they usually are tied more into what's going on right now. And frankly, I'm a teacher, that's why I'm on the planet. I need both.

Alexander McCaig (34:28):

I love that.

Jason Rigby (34:29):

Yeah, I love that. That's awesome.

Alexander McCaig (34:30):

Well, if you want to dish some royalties this way, be my guest. Listen, Daniel, loved this. I will continue to champion you and your efforts. I hope everybody really does continue to pay attention. This has been super fruitful. There's a lot of things that are changing, a lot happening. We'd love to have you back on because I got a world of questions, and that's what I've been put on this planet for is to ask questions, and I'd love for you to answer them.

Daniel Burrus (35:02):

Well, I would love to do that, so thank you for that invitation. We'll make that happen.

Alexander McCaig (35:06):

Beautiful. Well, listen, enjoy that San Diego weather, and appreciate you coming on the show.

Daniel Burrus (35:11):

You got it. Thank you.

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