by Peter Diamandis

We live in an age of disruption – and that’s a good thing.

Industries will be transformed. Major companies will fall.

Old systems will collapse as entrepreneurs figure out how to optimize and reinvent inefficient businesses, products, and services to provide consumers (us) with all things better, faster and cheaper.

Diamandis

According to the Olin School of Business, 40% of today’s Fortune 500 companies will be gone in the next 10 years.

This blog is a quick look at three industries (Healthcare, Finance and Insurance) that are ripe for disruption this decade due to big data and artificial intelligence.

Clearly big data and AI will change almost every industry this decade… but none more than these.

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Healthcare

Healthcare is so massively broken, that its disruption will come easy and happen fast. Hundreds of startups are working to make you the ‘CEO of your own health’ — to augment (or replace) doctors and hospitals.

I expect new AI-enabled healthcare options to be free or near-free, and so much better, that people will forgo traditional medical care in favor of these superior options. This will cause today’s healthcare system to crater.

Think libraries in an age of Google… Think traditional wired landlines in an age of mobile telephony… Think taxis in an age of Uber… Think long-distance in an age of Skype… the list goes on.

So what’s coming?

The $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE will give birth to devices (i.e. the Star Trek Tricorder) that allow you, the consumer, to self-diagnose, anytime, anywhere.

Sick of going to the hospital? Companies like Walgreens and CVS are working to become your healthcare center.

My company Human Longevity Inc. (HLI) will sequence all 3.2 billion letters in your genome, plus your microbiome and compare your data to a massive database of millions of consumers.

Such data mining will allow you (your AI or your physician) to know in advance which diseases threaten you, and make your healthcare proactive and preventive.

HLI’s goal is to enable “n of 1” care, where the medicine prescribed for you is the perfect medicine just for you. HLI’s goal is also to add 30+ healthy years onto your life, making “100 years old the new 60.”

Beyond genomics, there’s a revolution in Stem Cell science unfolding, which to quote my friend and HLI co-Founder Dr. Bob Hariri, “will allow us to rejuvenate the regenerative engine of our body.” Rather than treating chronic organ disease, we are not far off from growing a replacement lung, liver, heart or kidney.

As powerful as genomics and stem cells are, there is an equally important revolution in biometric sensors under development.  If you can’t measure it, you can’t effect it, and companies like Google, Apple, Samsung and dozens of other companies are investing billions to lead the way.

These sensors will constantly monitor your health… heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose, and even small molecules released from cancers or cardiac trauma.

Coupled to your genomics, this sensor data will be uploaded seamlessly to your health app, giving you the needed warning to stop disease or damage before it happens. To quote SU professor and friend Dr. Daniel Kraft, think of this as “OnStar for your Body.”

Who will pay for it? Probably not you. Probably your insurance company, which makes a lot more money when you stay out of the hospital and live longer (they collect more fees and pay out far less).

Finance

Finance is another trillion-dollar industry that is in for a lot of interesting times ahead.

The days of a middleman financial advisor or broker will diminish this decade.

Big data-enabled AI is going to make everything cheaper, faster and better for you, the consumer.

As just one example, my friends at IBM Watson have been developing finance applications for the Watson ecosystem which, in my opinion, are excellent.

Imagine a service that can read through your social media posts from the past couple of years and determine from sentiment analysis which industries and values you like and which you don’t. You love tech and fashion, but hate alcohol and violence. You love Europe, but are not a fan of Russia, etc.

In an age of millennials where what you stand for is as important as the profits you make. This gives the upper hand to an AI that can sort through 10,000 possible companies and recommend to you those investments which are most aligned with your values on a risk-adjusted basis.

Plus, it can monitor your social media and the global marketplace and adjust your portfolio as often as you wish.

Another revolution upon us are AI firms (Sentient Technologies is just one example) that are using advanced machine learning and data mining techniques to perform algorithmic trades on the stock market that no human will ever match.

Even better is AI trading based on massive bid data. We’re heading towards a world of a trillion sensors, riding on top of a world filled with 100 billion connected devices.

This will give your AI a ‘god-like knowledge,’ allowing you (or your AI) to know anything, anytime, anywhere…

What do you I mean? Today there are companies that are using satellites to image and count cars in the Toys-R-Us or Home Depot parking lots every day, and based on that knowledge project the company’s revenues ahead of quarterly earnings reports.

Now extend this concept of ubiquitous knowledge to everything (and I mean everything) and you can see how finance might change.

Insurance

Insurance is an old business that deals with probabilities and imperfect knowledge. But in an era of ‘perfect knowledge’, a lot is going to change. Here are just a few examples.

Health and Life Insurance…

Today Progressive Automotive Insurance will offer you a rate discount (Snapshot) if you allow them to install a sensor in your car that reports speed and acceleration — basically the data to show if you’re a good or bad driver.

Now imagine the same for your body… Want cheap insurance? Allow the insurance company to monitor your health and sequence your genome.

Again, this is not about denying you insurance or giving you a higher rate if you have bad genes (there’s actually a law against that called the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, the GINA law, which prohibits prejudice again a single individual on behalf of their genome). This innovation is about giving you a discount if you’ll allow the insurance company to assist you in living healthier and longer. A total Win-Win.

Here’s another BIG scenario that could see the collapse of today’s insurance industry.

Let’s say that I have a genome relatively free of major disease, I don’t smoke, I eat healthy and I work out every day.

Let’s also say that I publish this information (validated by my sensors) to my social graph and say, “Hey, anyone else with good genes, healthy eating and workout habits who wants to self-insure along with me, let’s do it… We’re a low-risk partnership!”

If this was to happen, and the top 10% of the insurance pool pulled themselves out of the marketplace, this would crush the economics of the industry.

Up until now, this kind of knowledge and “peer-to-peer insurance” would never have been possible. It is now.

“Hold it,” you say… “There’s regulation that will stop you.” Yes, sure, there is, for the moment. But just like Uber versus the taxi industry, regulation can only be a stumbling block for so long.

Eventually the buggy-whip manufacturers die off as the automobile comes on the scene.

Automotive Insurance…

Above I already mentioned Progressive Snapshot Sensor Program, but imagine the next step…

In an era of autonomous cars, there may be no more need for auto insurance.

Autonomous cars don’t (rarely?) crash, so why insure?

Even worse for the insurance industry, people will stop buying cars altogether.

You won’t own a car any more, but instead you’ll have access to a 24×7 autonomous car service.  Just like companies today that don’t own their servers anymore; instead, they use the cloud from Amazon or Google.

If you don’t own a car, there’s nothing to insure.

Farming/Crop Insurance…

Lastly, let’s focus on farming and crop insurance. The following also applies to many other types of insurance that I haven’t mentioned.

Today, when crops are insured for hail damage (for example), the process of assessing damage is expensive and inaccurate. It involves farmers or insurance assessors walking out into the fields and taking photographs.

But in an age of ubiquitous imaging (i.e. low-Earth orbit satellites and drones) and ubiquitous sensing (in-field sensors), this assessment is global, instant and effectively free.

An explosion of startups accurately and cheaply gathering massive amounts of data will reinvent every aspect of this particular niche, and in fact, every aspect of the insurance industry as a whole.

Join Me

If you are an entrepreneur, I encourage you to try to tackle problems in these industries that are ripe for disruption.

Remember, the world’s biggest problems, are the world’s biggest business opportunities.

This is the sort of conversation we discuss at my 250-person executive mastermind group called Abundance 360.

The program is highly selective and we’re almost full, looking for a few last CEOs and entrepreneurs who want to change the world. You can apply here.

Share this email with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above.

Best,
Peter

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P.S. Every week I send out a “Tech Blog” like this one. If you want to sign up, go to PeterDiamandis.com and sign up for this and Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. I’ve just released a podcast with my dear friend Dan Sullivan called Exponential Wisdom. Our conversations focus on the exponential technologies creating abundance, the human-technology collaboration, and entrepreneurship. Head here to listen and subscribe: a360.com/podcast

Part 2:

We live in an age of disruption – Industries will be transformed.

This blog (Part 2 of 3) is a quick look at three multi-billion dollar industries (Consumer Electronics, Education, Retail) that are ripe for disruption this decade as a result of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).

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Consumer Electronics – Displays/Screens

Today, displays (or screens) are everywhere.

Your phone, computer, tablet, 50-inch living room TV, watch, etc. all use electronic displays to present digital information and entertaining content to your eyes, all day long.

Most of these displays are fragile, typically glass, and expensive.

The display market is projected to top $155 billion in 2020, dominated by companies like Apple, Samsung, LG and Sony.

But this is about to change, disruptively.

Companies like Magic Leap (and Microsoft with Hololens) are producing augmented reality platforms that could render screens completely obsolete.

How? Soon, you will be wearing a pair of fashionable glasses (think reading glasses) that “paint”, with light, an image onto the back of your retina (where the optic nerve receives the photons and transmits them to the visual cortex of your brain).

This concept is called Augmented Reality. It’s the mixing of the real world with the computer generated world.

This is very different, and much more powerful than VR (like Oculus Rift), which blocks out the real world and only displays a computer generated world.

In Augmented Reality, with the incredible technology being developed by Magic Leap (expect their product to be demonstrated in Beta sometime next year), all of a sudden, everything becomes a “screen”.

You will be able to hold up your hand and check your “virtual email” on your palm

  • You can watch the Sunday football game on your blank living room wall
  • You can see your Google Map projected onto the road in front of you as you drive
  • You can watch movies on the side of buildings from your car
  • You can read a book on your kitchen counter or on the back of your briefcase as you ride the subway home.

And this is just the beginning – these are just a few of the “normal” functions that augmented reality will replace. The new capabilities they will unlock are astounding.

VR/AR is expected to exceed $150 billion market by 2020 as well.

Education

Today’s ‘teacher in front of a classroom” model of education is antiquated. It’s another billion-dollar industry that deserves disruption and reinvention.

Today’s primary education system is forcing kids to memorize information to pass standardized tests. University programs have skyrocketed in cost. And education in general is teaching to the median where half the students are lost, and the other half are bored.

How do we fix education?

We make it fun, taught by the world’s best, on a personalized basis. And we make it free.

With the help of virtual reality, a young student learning about dinosaurs in the Jurassic period won’t have to just read about it in a textbook – they’ll be able to put on a VR headset and literally explore the VR-equivalent of Jurassic Park.

Students studying physics will be able to “step inside” a virtual environment where they build (and destroy) huge structures, fly through the planets, and stand next to a virtual Isaac Newton as he discovers his laws of motion.

Remember the Holodeck from Star Trek? There are a handful of startups that are trying to re-create this exact experience.

Add to this the ability for Artificial Intelligence and VR to work collaboratively, where a virtual version of world’s best history professor delivers a personalized lesson for your child at a pace and in a language best suited just for them.

We will see these technologies dematerialize, demonetize, and democratize access to educational resources that the best and the brightest don’t even have today.

In other words, the software will become freely available to the world, and a child in rural Tanzania will have access to the same resources as a student at Harvard or MIT.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality will unleash a creative revolution in education unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

Retail Shopping

In my humble opinion, the retail shopping experience is in need of a massive makeover.

In 2012, total sales in the United States reached $2.5 trillion, and ~$20 trillion around the world.

This is a big market that is ripe for disruption by VR/AR

  • In my mind, here’s one version of the future of retail clothes shopping…
  • You won’t drive to a store. Ever.
  • Eventually, clothing stores will go away, dematerialized and significantly demonetized — just like Amazon has done to most bookstores.
  • Your body is scanned and the data file is private. It’s your exact body on that exact day.
  • You put on your VR goggles, and appear in a virtual store. Zero time to get there. No traffic, no parking hassles, no walking across the mall to get to the store.
  • You enter YOUR personal clothing store. Everything in this store is your exact size. Everything fits. The store has every designer and every design on the planet. Forget “re”tail – this is “me”tail.
  • Your friend, who you called a few minutes ago, joins you via their VR headset, and he or she sees everything you see. The experience is social and fun.
  • You voice what you’re looking for: “Red high-heeled shoes to match my new dress, which has a long black skirt.” Suddenly (think the movie Matrix), racks of perfectly fitting products appear like magic.
  • When you see an outfit you like, you just point and instantly, an image of your virtual avatar that you see in the mirror is wearing it. No frustration of getting undressed or dressed.
  • Your virtual reflection in the virtual mirror moves as you do. It feels and looks perfectly real.
  • You wonder aloud how these virtual shoes would look with a particular blouse in your closet at home. No problem: every piece of physical clothing you own in the real world is also available for you to wear in this virtual world. You ask, and instantly you’re wearing it.
  • When you’re done, and you have the exact, perfect clothes you need, you pay the bill and your clothes arrive the next day. (And, if the warehouse or robotic manufacturer is local, perhaps the same day.)
  • Oh, and by the way, the cost for an outfit is at least half of what they are today — no middle man.

Fun times ahead.
_______________
Sensors and Robotics are two exponential technologies that will disrupt a multitude of billion-dollar industries.

This blog (Part 3 of 4) is a quick look at how three industries – Transportation, Agriculture, and Healthcare/Eldercare – will change this decade.

Before I dive into each of these industries, it’s important I mention that it’s the explosion of Sensors that is fundamentally enabling much of what I describe below.

We forget that we are heading towards a trillion-sensor global ecosystem. Cheap, powerful, microscopic sensors are ubiquitously entering every aspect of our lives, allowing us (and our robots) to know anything we want, anywhere, anytime.

Okay, let’s dive in…

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Transportation

Today, the automotive industry pulls in close to $2 trillion in revenue each year.

It’s a big, inefficient, wasteful and, frankly, dangerous industry. According to Singularity University’s Brad Templeton, here’s how the annual numbers stack up for the U.S.:

  • 33,000 lives are lost and a million injuries. (Over 1.2 million lives/year lost around the world.)
  • $230 billion of accident cost in the U.S. (NTSB). About 2-3% of GDP.
  • 50 billion hours (or 1 trillion dollars) of people’s time. Around 8% of GDP.
  • 50 billion gallons of imported gasoline (12-15% of the USA’s CO2 emissions).

So what’s coming?

Obviously, autonomous cars are coming fast.

Google is leading the way, but Apple, Tesla, Uber and every major car company are following. Today, Google’s self-driving cars have driven far more than 1.5 million miles, safely and fully autonomously.

Google’s car (and all others) are made possible because of their suite of Sensors. One in particular is a 64-beam Velodyne LIDAR sensor (Laser Imaging Radar) that, combined with cameras, sonar and GPS, is collecting and analyzing 750 Mb of data per second. The car knows everything that’s happening within 100 meters of the sensor.

So what is the impact? By 2035 there will be more than 54 million autonomous cars on the road, and this will change everything:

  • Saved Lives: Autonomous cars don’t drive drunk, don’t text and don’t fall asleep at the wheel.
  • Reclaiming Land: You can fit eight times more autonomous cars on our roads, plus you no longer need parking spaces. Today, in the U.S. we devote 10% of the urban land to ~600 million parking spaces, and countless more to our paved highways and roads. In Los Angeles, it’s estimated that more than half of the land in the city belongs to the cars in the form of garages, driveways, roads, and parking lots.
  • Saved Energy: Today we give close to 25 percent of all of our energy to personal transportation, and 25 percent of our greenhouse gases are going to the car. If cars don’t crash, you don’t need a 5,000-lb SUV driving around a 100-lb passenger (where 2% of the energy is moving the person, and 98% is to move the metal womb wrapped around them).
  • Saved Money/Higher Productivity: Get rid of needing to own a car, paying for insurance and parking, trade out 4,000-lb. cars for lighter electric cars that don’t crash, and you can expect to save 90% on your local automotive transportation bill. Plus regain 1 to 2 hours of productivity in your life (work as you are driven around), reclaiming hundreds of billions of dollars in the U.S. economy.

Best of all, you can call any kind of car you need. Need a nap? Order a car with a bed. Want to party? Order one with a fully-stocked bar. Need a business meeting? Up drives a conference room on wheels.

Agriculture

In 2012, US farms alone sold close to $395 billion worth of crops and livestock.

Globally, agriculture is a 2+ trillion dollar industry, humanity’s largest endeavor.

Agriculture is a remarkably fragmented, complicated, and old-school industry.

Stakeholders are resistant to change, and many farmers are struggling to produce enough yield to maintain their own livelihoods, much less feed a growing global population.

What’s next?

Two revolutions are in play. The first is synthetic biology (I’ll save that for a later blog). The second is the impact of sensors and robotics – a combination that is yielding the dramatic improvements in the following ways.

  • Knowing the global yield and health of humanity’s crops: If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. And oh BOY, are we about to get incredibly good at measuring crops. A combination of ground, drone and satellite-based sensors will soon give us ‘god-like’ knowledge of what is growing on every acre of crop land on the planet. Better yet, we’ll know the yield, green-up rates, water saturation levels, and fertility of the soil from these sensors.
  • Autonomous robotic farming equipment: In 1840, 70% of the American workforce were farmers. By the year 2000 it was down to 2%. While automation has made a huge dent in productivity and cost reduction (food is today 13 times cheaper at the grocery store compared to 100 years ago), there is still a lot more progress at hand. This progress will come from robotics. Robots in the form of autonomous, GPS- controlled farming equipment that can fertilize, plow and harvest a crop. And humanoid robots that will eventually be so cheap that they will replace migrant workers, operating 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
  • Vertical (Urban) Farming: The average American meal travels about 1,500 miles to get from farm to fork. Imagine instead if the food for Detroit was farmed in downtown Detroit in a high-rise farm (known as an ‘urban’ or ‘vertical’ farm) that reduced the trip from 1,500 to 15 miles. Robots and sensors will provide 24-hour-per-day lighting at finely tuned frequencies, sensors will maintain hydroponic water at perfect pH, and nutrients at exact levels will drive hyper-fast growth and maximal yields, far more than possible on a farm. Robots plant, maintain and harvest. Ultimately, these farms deliver yields hundreds of times higher per square meter of real estate.

Healthcare and Eldercare

Elderly care is projected to be a $319 billion market in the US by 2016.

Today the average annual cost of a nursing home is more than $75,000. Elderly care is expensive, degrading and inefficient. And it’s ripe for disruption.

But what if robots and sensors could allow an elderly person to continue living on their own, in the dignity of their own home?

  • Telepresence robots like Suitable Technologies’ Beam will allow families and doctors to periodically check in and visit with the elderly.
  • Wearable health sensors monitoring heart rate, blood glucose,”fall-detection,” even blood chemistries will allow doctors to remotely monitor a patient’s health and even whether they are compliant with their meds.
  • Personal assistant robots will eventually clean rooms, do the dishes, wash the clothes, and help the elderly get out of bed and go to the bathroom.

In the general arena of healthcare, dozens of wearable and implantable biometric sensors will make us all the ‘CEOs of our own health’ within the next decade.

Companies like Google Health, Apple and Samsung (to name a few) are investing billions to develop this tech.

Plus, next year I expect the winner of the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE will give birth to sensor-packed devices (i.e. the Star Trek Tricorder) that allow you, the consumer, to self-diagnose, anytime, anywhere.

On the robotics front, expect robots to become the surgeon of choice for all conditions.

Need bypass surgery? An appendectomy? Which would you prefer: the surgeon who slept too little… drank too much coffee… fought with their spouse… or the Robot Operating System that has performed that exact surgery perfectly 100,000 times?

Join Me

If you are an entrepreneur, I encourage you to try to tackle problems in these industries that are ripe for disruption.

Remember, the world’s biggest problems, are the world’s biggest business opportunities.

This is the sort of conversation we discuss at my 250-person executive mastermind group called Abundance 360.

The program is highly selective and currently full. If you’d like to be considered for the waitlist, we are looking for a few last CEOs and entrepreneurs who want to change the world. We imagine a few spots will open up over the next few months. You can apply here.

Share this email with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above.

Best,
Peter

P.S. Every week I send out a “Tech Blog” like this one. If you want to sign up, go to Diamandis.com and sign up for this and Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. I’ve just released a podcast with my dear friend Dan Sullivan called Exponential Wisdom. Our conversations focus on the exponential technologies creating abundance, the human-technology collaboration, and entrepreneurship. Head here to listen and subscribe: a360.com/podcast

Peter’s TED Talk: