Michael Mace on the Map of the Future

Monday, July 8, 2013

Technology forecaster Michael Mace uses his deep experience in product and business strategy in the new business strategy e-book titled "Map the Future". At a recent talk at Google, Mace showed how different company attitudes towards the future impacts the effectiveness of the strategies they create and follow.

Technology forecaster, Michael Mace finds the pace of change in technology and society is rapidly increasing. Moreover, the convergence between different industries is particularly difficult to predict. Changing social trends and user expectations complicate things even further.

There are no simple formulas for knowing how things are likely to unfold. Surprises abound - including risks of some very nasty surprises. Faulty forecasting can lead companies seriously astray.

In the video above, Mace shares his deep experience in product and business strategy in a hands-on business strategy e-book titled Map the Future. This talk focuses on a section of the book, which is how different company attitudes towards the future impacts the effectiveness of the strategies they create and follow.

adoption curves for technology
The chart above shows the real adoption curve for various products into American households over time. Although most people look at this chart and take away the lesson that eventually everything goes up, you have to keep in mind that this chart shows only the winners. It doesn’t show the adoption curves for, say, digital watches or 8-track tape players. But even if you do focus only on the winners, the most striking thing about the chart is how many glitches and reversals there are in the curves. Image Source: Map the Future
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Map the Future is a how-to book for business strategy. It instructs readers on how to manage the elements of strategy – competitive analysis, market research, and advanced technology – and how to tie them together to help shape the future. Readers will learn how to spot future opportunities and problems before they're obvious, which lets you grab those opportunities before anyone else, and prepare for competitors' responses before they happen.

Full of depth and real-world insight, Map the Future provides vivid reminders that we technology forecasters overall have a poor record of seeing what's just beyond the horizon.  The book also provides highly practical suggestions for how the odds can be improved.

Mace is a principal at Rubicon Consulting, where he helps technology companies plan strategies and products. His clients include Nokia, Adobe, Yahoo!, VMware, Symbian, Symantec, and Logitech. He's a well-known tech industry speaker and commentator, and has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, CNN, BusinessWeek, and numerous tech industry publications.

Michael Mace
Prior to Rubicon, he was vice president of product planning at Palm, and was also chief  competitive officer at Palm and PalmSource, where he worked closely with operators and handset manufacturers to plan for the future of mobile devices and software. Prior to joining Palm, he served as vice president of marketing for Softbook Press, a leader in the creation of ebook devices and publishing systems; and was director of marketing for Silicon Graphics' Windows products division. Mace held a variety of leadership positions at Apple Computer, including director of Mac platform marketing, director of marketing for the Home and Education Division, and director of Market Intelligence. He also founded a software firm and has worked as a journalist. 

SOURCE  Google Talks

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