I’m a voracuious reader, and for ages I’ve been consuming the books of Bruce Sterling with red glowing ears. Sterling, along with William Gibson, and Rudy Rucker is one of protagonists of the cyberpunk movement in science fiction. Chairman Bruce was not only intellectually leading cyberpunk movement, he proved to be an amazing visionary as well, predicting the impact of internet, connected things and augmented reality way before the average people had computers in their homes. Visionary in residence at numerous universities, Bruce Sterling is one of the most erudite futurologists on the planet.
And… I met him at breakfast. Meeting Chairman Bruce is like getting your brain upgraded with bubbly things. “I’m glad I do not have to consult brands these days on how to deal with the fast changing concepts of today. I could have consulted Nokia. It would not have done them any good’.
Sterling sees only one option for brands to stay afoot in the game: agility and flexibility. Social media and the steampunk metaverse are becoming more and more prominent in today’s society, and sterling thinks that assuming it will ease down, or go away is foolish: ‘It’s only the beginning. Social media is as big a thing as the internet ever was. It’s changing everything it touches.’ He sees a clear connecting in fast moving hardware, changing habits, and endless software possibilities “Soon, the furniture, the house, will be your computer. People will not have interfaces, people will ask to have things, and their environment will react.”’
Only when brands are prepared to stop thinking static, and only when they are prepared to re-invent themselves every morning, will they survive. ‘It’s like living in a cataclysm zone. What you build today can be gone with the flood tomorrow. Rebuild, or vanish’. Brands that are willing to continuously rethink their ways in connecting to their markets will stand a chance: ‘we’re talking massive changes. Gadgets like telephones will cease to exist. We will be connected to our environment; we will be part of this metaverse. Find out as as brand how to deal with that.’
Knowing that Bruce Sterling always is a decade or two ahead, there still might be time….