The Soda Academy

The Next Wave of Disruption is Here

None of us are totally ready. And that’s OK. Because we’re in it together.

One of the most incredible things about SoDA - and the friends that the organization has gathered – is the singularly unique glimpse into the future that can be distilled when so many intelligent voices enter into a conversation. My favorite satirical de-motivational poster boldly states that “None of us is as dumb as all of us.”

While it always makes me laugh, how untrue it is when one is in good company.

For most of us, our days are filled with elbow grease, fire extinguishers, a good wrench and a drafting table covered in the scribbles of a thousand modifications to a beautiful blueprint.

SoDA is the step back. The moment when everyone can take off their hard hats, enjoy an ice cold Pepsi* and see the bigger context that we’re building within.

2016 has barely started, and we’ve already seen the first test of Elon Musk’s Hyperloop, self-driving cars racing down highways and a law firm hire an artificially intelligent (AI) lawyer named Ross. You’d be hard pressed to find a building that isn’t somehow connected to the “Internet of Things”, drone racing is actually a sport now, and most people have stopped paying attention to the number of new planets being discovered each week. 3D printing is so 2015. Forget about vertical landing rocket ships, or that inflatable space station module.

Billions are being poured into Virtual Reality by companies ranging from Facebook to Sony to Samsung, and – so far - production can’t meet up with demand. Google’s Daydream will make it a mass market platform. We used to joke that Second Life would have a Third Life someday – now that the 3D virtual world is Oculus compatible, it’s not really a joke. Nor is the fact that you’ve probably had at least one conversation with a client who’s asking about how VR is relevant to their business.

The broader day-to-day impact of Mixed Reality Platforms like Hololens and Magic Leap is even greater, as they represent a wholesale reimagining of how we perceive the world around us.

Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google Voice are just beginning to break new ground, transforming how we access information and control technology without any visual interface whatsoever. The most disruptive thought is that even those – the big 4 – should be nervous about Viv’s voice-interaction AI. The microphone in your phone or in your new television might become the most important UX element in every application you use.

And that’s why SoDA exists. None of us is as smart as all of us. Change is a constant, but it’s becoming clear that we’re coming up on a new inflection point that will change our businesses and culture as a whole in a manner similar to the invention of the Internet.

So without further ado, welcome to this issue’s Industry Insider Section of The SoDA Report, another round of brilliant thinking from some of the best brains in our business.

*No consideration has been received for this product placement.