Recommending ‘The Future, this week’ podcast

May 6, 2019 9:25 pm

In the 100th episode of ‘The Future, this week’, Sandra and Kai explore two very different examples of business disruption canvassed in the mainstream media this week: Lil Nas X and country music’s problem and David Whitlock and the good microbes.

They highlight that while both individuals ultimately created successful businesses, neither had previously worked in the industry – both came from the fringes. Similarly, Sandra and Kai emphasis that while these stories were portrayed in the media as ‘individual success stories’, in both cases the role of changing technology is critical in explaining how they achieved success. They conclude (among many other insights) that the confluence of new technology that makes it possible for these individuals to ‘disrupt’ traditional business (country music and health/cosmetics) and achieve business success.

As I listened to the podcast, I was also struck by how well connected both Lil Nas X and David Whitlock are. For Lil Nas X, his connections/relationships are with powerful influencers created through social media. His connections through social media played an essential role in exposure, advocacy and engagement. David Whitlock’s success is a demonstration of the role of more ‘traditional’ relationships with people who had access to money and influence. Early investment and exposure made possible through great personal connections helped to propel this business forward.

In both cases, their connections were built over years. These essential relationships were not the product of a ‘transactional’ approach to networking. I see this as another great example of the continued importance of relationships even as technology continues to have a huge impact on how work evolves — It is still the case that people who build relationships both close connections and lose associations over time are in a great position to tap into the diverse perspectives, emotional and instrumental support that exists in their social network when needed.


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