I do a lot of research for my job. I read a lot of business news on sites like Forbes, Inc; market forecasts on BI sites like IBISWorld; and world news on sites like The Guardian. I’ve gotten used to scanning Info like a demon possessed junkie and living off of the high-lights instead of truly digesting the writer’s words.
Sometimes a subject catches my attention and I lose myself in the article. All reality disappears. I jolt awake ten minutes later and realize I was transported to another world.
It’s unhealthy for my job. But it’s the most exhilarating experience I ever have researching.
It’s been said to stop and smell the roses. Instead, I’ve been stopping and smelling the technological revolution we all should’ve seen coming, but I think we were wholly unprepared for.
While Americans are still trying to sort out their mobile payments and shop online, the majority of the rest of the world is cashless and never had a credit card. The next generation may not even know what physical money looks like. They will take for granted that every purchase or payment they make is recorded. The adoption of the bitcoin will decimate some economies and create stabilities for others, maybe even countries that we view as “developing” or “third world,” such as Nigeria.
The technological revolution will even some playing fields that haven’t been even since the 1700s.
And in this incredibly connected global economy, we are experiencing a level of cultural transfusion that is unprecedented. Technology is not just changing the way we move capital or interpret worth or affect the global economy. Technology is creating a world culture that mirrors fictional realities such as the Star Trek universe.
Connections are no longer enough. Adaptation is the future.
I recently researched WeChat, WhatsApp and LINE. These are all messaging apps that connect users through text, talk, images and video. LINE specializes in offering an insane amount of sticker sending and games. WhatsApp was bought by Facebook for $19 billion dollars, one of the largest tech acquisitions in history. And WeChat is the most popular social media platform in China, where Facebook is banned and email never really caught on.
Each of these apps is starkly different from the others, even though they were all created to do the same thing – connect users. WeChat is now an all-purpose eCommerce platform that allows users to pay for taxis, pizza, doctor’s appointments and more. LINE has created an entire merchandise base including TV shows based on their user-created stickers. And WhatsApp continues to offer no interruptions and no adds, free for life.
Each one is based on a distinct culture.
And each one is striving to be globally adopted.
I’m sure you know what that means at this point. We’re looking at a global culture that seeks to unite individuals through technology, and those individuals are making the decision for unity themselves.
The technological revolution is self-motivated and looks like it will result in the largest nation in history.
WeChat, because we can.