"It’s our job to enable change by working with industry to focus on the right things, making sure policy settings are right, and welcoming in new players."
As the NPP starts to embed a new way to pay and we start to look ahead at the next big and exciting development, I’m struck by the increasing pace of technology development. William Gibson, the Science fiction writer of Neuromancer says that “The future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed”. And this couldn’t be more relevant for technology.
It’s our job to enable change by working with industry to focus on the right things, making sure policy settings are right, and welcoming in new players. As we embrace this change, and with the Winter Olympics not long behind us, I am reminded of Wayne Gretzky’s perhaps overused advice that we need to “skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been”.
But in this technologically advancing world, this is easier said than done. Development cycles are increasing. Keeping your eye on the puck is getting harder and harder, and trying to move an industry to where it needs to be, is increasingly challenging.
Many of the changes we are facing are exponential – the puck is moving faster and faster. The problem with exponential technology is that it creeps up on us because it looks flat for a long time. Our brains are not wired for it – most of us are linear and continue to predict linear. Experts continue to predict linear outcomes. Any exponential technology starts off expensive and needs early adopters that are willing to pay a premium. It’s difficult to pre-empt which of these ideas will win and create a network effect for payments. Three trends in technology indicating where the puck might be going are worth noting:
While the technology developments currently underway are the source of big and exciting developments, technology is not enough. We need a new way of thinking, a new approach to collaboration, as we sharpen our ice skates and become better at skating to where the puck is going.