Driving Our Economy

TechnologyThis week I watched my car’s odometer roll past 40,000 miles. Not exactly an especially exciting time for most car owners. But for me and my Chevy Volt, it’s a great time to stop and think about the broader implications. In the past 3 years since I bought the car, I’ve now driven over 40,000 miles, and have used 29 gallons of gas. I did the math, and that means I’ve averaged 1,369 miles per gallon.

Now if at this point you are thinking this is an article about me and bragging about gas mileage, it’s not. Rather it is a look at where technology has brought us so far, but much more about where we are headed. Driving my grandson to get a haircut with me earlier today, on the way back we talked about how quickly technology has brought changes to so many parts of our economy. There are so many examples – from the way we consume entertainment to the way we communicate and the way we are all connected. Remember way back when there were DVD’s and watching one meant a stop at Redbox or getting them in the mail from Netflix? Seriously?

Five years from now, it’s not likely that kids in grammar school will know what the heck a DVD is and they’ll imagine that Blueray must be some type of alien laser. You used to put WHAT in your car? Gasoline? OMG! The internet-of-everything will connect us to our cars, homes, offices and the world in ways we can’t even imagine. Geez! Just think if Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet…

What will we be driving 10 years from now? Very likely, we will see self-driving, intelligent cars that run on just about anything other than gasoline, and that’s just fine by me. The implications for the U.S. and global economy are tremendous – increased productivity, reduced reliance on fossil fuels, revolutionary changes in the way all information is delivered, from education to virtual medicine and cures for life-threatening illnesses, to smart appliances, new forms of transportation and a greater understanding of our universe. Those methods and technologies and devices will emerge from the creative minds of entrepreneurs – people just like you. Why NOT you?

Creativity and innovation are at the very soul of who we are, and silly phrases like: “If you can think it, you can do it” are… well, not so silly. If the last 10 years have seen such dramatic technological change, just think what’s ahead in the next 10! Hang on, it’ll be a helluva ride!

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