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I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but I was fairly slow to jump on the Facebook bandwagon. Even when the social media site had become relatively mainstream, I was still resistant to join in, dismissing it as time-wasting and superficial. I often caught myself judging my wife as I’d notice her scrolling through Facebook for what felt like hours at a time.

However, when we went on a month’s holiday to the US and my wife was regularly posting pictures of our travels, even I could not resist looking over her shoulder to see the likes and comments we were getting. Eventually one day I actually asked if I could use her Facebook login to jump online to have a look at some photos posted by one of our friends back home who’d just had a baby.

“So now who doesn’t like Facebook, hey!?” she asked with a knowing grin. It was one of those awkward moments where my self-righteousness and hypocrisy was laid bare. Within a few days, I had created an account myself and have been as hooked as most of us are ever since.

Despite our constant frustrations with inconsistencies in others, none of us can honestly deny the presence of incongruence within ourselves. In psychological terms, this behaviour is referred to as cognitive dissonance.

In the past few years, countless businesses have found themselves in crisis. As the world spiralled out of control and circumstances changed at an unprecedented pace, many found themselves in places of irrelevance before they even had a chance to catch up with the times. However, it is all too easy to forget that, despite the varying circumstances, relevance in business follows an incredibly predictable cycle or pattern – one which can be best depicted by a model I call the Relevance Curve.

In a world of seemingly unlimited options, it has become necessary for nearly all successful businesses and brands to personalise products according to the customer. Personalisation is now widely recognised as a powerful tool for selling and engaging customers. However, there is a range of contexts in which this same strategy of personalisation can serve just as powerfully.

While current trends like the Great Resignation are placing powers in the hands of employees, the technological advancement that the pandemic accelerated is highlighting the many industries that are increasingly vulnerable to disruption. The lockdowns and distancing measures of the past few years have resulted in more and more businesses embracing automation, and recent technological developments reveal just how few jobs are immune to the effects of automation.

More than any other point in history, our era idolises the individual. Especially in the West, our ideals, advertising and algorithms place the individual at centre stage of their own lives. Laws, instructions and requests that once would have been seen as serving the greater good are now likely to be interpreted as fundamental threats to freedom and autonomy.

With the last couple of years boasting an unrivalled pace of change, 2022 is approaching with promise of further transformations in the way we live, work and shop. With global crises exposing inefficiencies and issues of remote living raising demands for new solutions, technological innovations have been quickly adopted by businesses and are set to continue taking over our work and play.

Tue Dec 12 2021

3 KEY POWERS OF 3D PRINTING

With abilities that seem to have come straight from the future, 3D printing is gaining traction across all industries. While 3D printing has been a fringe technology for decades, the numbers give some indication of how quickly it is moving towards the mainstream. Recent years have seen worldwide sales of desktop 3D printers triple with estimates that annual sales will exceed 100 million units by 2030. Siemens predicts that 3D printing will become 50% cheaper and up to 400% faster in the coming decade.[1]

The powers and potentials of 3D printers are hard to overstate. Here are 3 of these key powers, driving this technology’s march to the mainstream.

Trust is a non-negotiable in today’s economy. For obvious reasons, businesses that are trusted are more lucrative and more loved than their competitors. However, time has told that trusted brands also outlast their competition. Trust consistently emerges as the common denominator between the world’s longest lasting companies, proving to keep them afloat through every new fad, wave and trend.

Working from home raised a range of challenges, but as life continues getting back to normal post-Covid, it is the return to work that might pose the most difficulty. Clashes between the expectations of employees and employers are becoming more frequent, as are debates surrounding how work should function in the post-Covid world.

Here are 3 questions surrounding the nature of work that are now unavoidable in our post-Covid world.

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been popular gimmicks in recent years, used by futuristic companies to exhibit the potentials of technology. However, events of recent weeks and months are seeing what was once considered technological potential become a fast-approaching reality from the retail sector to health to the real world itself.

To clarify the distinction between these two technology applications, AR overlays digital information on real-world objects by using the camera on a mobile device, while VR obscures the real world and the user is immersed in a fully digital experience.

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