Crystal Ball

How to Predict the Future

Trying to accurately predict the future is hard to do.  Most who try their crystal ball do so get it so totally wrong that it’s embarrassing.  Some people perpetually get it right, like Steve Jobs. What’s the difference?  The people who are wrong are on the outside looking in. The people who get it right are cheating.  Don’t believe me? Here’s what Alan Kay (one of the people who your grandkids will learn about in American History and tell you about) has to say:

[box] “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” — Alan Kay, noted (understatement) computer scientist. [/box]

So, instead of guessing, those that can predict the future do so because they stacked the deck and invented the future.

I can’t think of a person who has done more in my lifetime to change the world than has Alan Kay.  Kay’s work in the 1970s literally defined the future we live in now. Kay was instrumental in defining how we use computers (the windowed graphical user interface), how we program them (object-oriented programming) and even in what shape and what features they have (laptop computers via the Dynabook project).

The hard part in all of this is transforming from participating to inventing.

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