Manufacturing, packaging and distribution may be prime areas for disruptive change in the 2016-2030 time frame. That view comes from Rich Karlgaard who spoke at FPA’s Fall Executive Conference in early October. Karlgaard is the Publisher at Forbes and a global futurist.

Digital disruption will transform everything, Karlgaard says. Exploding computing capacity will give us the sub-$100 smart phone around the world. The connectivity that results will impact business as more and more organizations are run on software. Significant results for businesses include:

  • Outside entrepreneurs with software innovation — and lots of money — will change business models. Karlgaard suggests that businesses partner with software companies.
  • There is a current business model of finding an edge and building a long-term advantage by throwing up barriers to competition. That model will decline. Karlgaard suggests that businesses look to this new paradigm: Recognize transient advantages and exploit them to the fullest.
  • Too much connectivity can drown an organization. Effective creative tech teams have from four to nine members, Karlgaard says. Bigger teams slow decision making, dilute accountability, and erode trust.

In the long-term, Karlgaard also suggests a long era of cheap energy. The break-even cost of producing shale oil will continue to drop. He also expects continued low interest rates as technology acts as a large deflationary source.

For More Info

To see the presentation slides, FPA members can go to and click “Download Presentations from the FPA Fall Executive Conference.”