The Industries of the Future

The Industries of the Future

Book - 2016
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Leading innovation expert Alec Ross explains what's next for the world: the advances and stumbling blocks that will emerge in the next ten years, and how we can navigate them.

While Alec Ross was working as Senior Advisor for Innovation to the Secretary of State, he traveled to forty-one countries, exploring the latest advances coming out of every continent. From startup hubs in Kenya to R&D labs in South Korea, Ross has seen what the future holds.

In The Industries of the Future , Ross shows us what changes are coming in the next ten years, highlighting the best opportunities for progress and explaining why countries thrive or sputter. He examines the specific fields that will most shape our economic future, including robotics, cybersecurity, the commercialization of genomics, the next step for big data, and the coming impact of digital technology on money and markets.

In each of these realms, Ross addresses the toughest questions: How will we adapt to the changing nature of work? Is the prospect of cyberwar sparking the next arms race? How can the world's rising nations hope to match Silicon Valley in creating their own innovation hotspots? And what can today's parents do to prepare their children for tomorrow?

Ross blends storytelling and economic analysis to give a vivid and informed perspective on how sweeping global trends are affecting the ways we live. Incorporating the insights of leaders ranging from tech moguls to defense experts, The Industries of the Future takes the intimidating, complex topics that many of us know to be important and boils them down into clear, plainspoken language. This is an essential book for understanding how the world works--now and tomorrow--and a must-read for businesspeople in every sector, from every country.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Simon & Schuster,, 2016
ISBN: 9781476753652
Branch Call Number: 338.064 Ros
Characteristics: viii, 304 pages


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Dec 01, 2017

A reasonably good survey of technology. If you do not follow technology this is a reasonably good survey of technology industries including: robotics, genomics, health care, fintech, precision farming, cybersecurity, among others. However, this book is not as good as “The Second Machine” and “Race against the Machine” by Erik Brynjolfsson; and “Rise of the Robots” by Martin Ford. However, where Ross does add value is when he does delve into the intersection of geopolitics, technology, and social change in the last and longest chapter “The Geography of Future Markets.” That’s where Ross is at his best.
On the other hand, Ross makes numerous errors and questionable assertions.
He states the European Union was created in the 1990s. Instead, it was created in 1957.
He also indicates that “the highest-skilled labor markets in Europe are producing start-ups that make Silicon Valley green with envy.” But, he contradicts himself later in the book when he is asked “What can we do to create our own Silicon Valley?” He responds: “You can’t, it’s already too late. Silicon Valley had a decades-long head start creating the perfect environment for creating internet businesses.”
He states that the sharing economy platforms are strengthening the middle classes. However, the resulting efficiencies could decimate the middle class (you can study the superior mentioned books on this specific topic).
He mentions that “serious bitcoin miners can spend upward of $150,000 a day on electricity nearby.” This is unlikely. This is equivalent of the energy need for about 40,000 homes!
He says that the World GDP is over $100 trillion. No it is not, it is $75 trillion.
He indicates that 1 out of 9 person do not have enough food. And, that when our population will reach 9 billion (currently 7 billion) we will need to increase food production by 70%. However, given the inputs mentioned the figure is around 40% (36% if you assume that the 1 out of 9 receive only half of the calories needed not to be hungry; or 44% if you assume they receive no calories at all (highly unrealistic)).
He states that the Palantir software was used to help uncover the Bernie Madoff fraud according to their prospectus. Palantir may have stated that. But, the truth is that it is Harry Markopoulos understanding of market option math that uncovered the Madoff fraud at least 10 years before the World uncovered it a short time after the Lehman bankruptcy in September 2008.
He frequently hypes up technologies: “Big data … will enable to discover cancerous cells at 1% the size of what can be detected … today, saving tens of millions of lives.” Improving today’s cancer diagnostics sensitivity (detecting smaller and smaller cells) could just boost false-positive rates and not save any lives.

Feb 14, 2017

Easy read. Excellent explanation of new technologies (like blockchain for example.) Fairly up-to-date. "Close to earth" predictions of very near future focused on trends that actually already are more than in embryo stage. I wish I've read a similar book when finishing high school (many, many years ago).

Jan 24, 2017

Ross was incredibly thorough in how each innovation has/would impact global markets. A little tough to read (because there are SO many statistics), but I thought he gave great insight into not only how each innovation works but how it will change our lives – for better or worse. The section on the commercialization of our genome was my favorite.

Jan 11, 2017

Wow! Every parent, grandparent and educator will find this book enlightening. It is well written making it an easy read. It unfolds the global changes coming in many areas of human endeavor that will shape the jobs available for the next 20 - 40 years. It is written by, Alex Ross, a man who traveled the world as a part of the State Department with Hilary Clinton. His job was to find and speak with the people creating the next generation of just about everything. He knows where the research and development is happening, the state of the development and what will be the next steps.

I am finding it fascinating, and often completely mind blowing to read what is available right now in so many areas and then to learn what is around the corner. This stuff sadly isn't in the news, but it is going to completely change our world as we currently know it. Just as global warming is galloping down upon us, so are these changes.

Mar 07, 2016

Anything StarG is against, I'm for. I'm not sure he reads any of these books. He seems to enjoy pontificating. I'm looking forward to this interesting book. Thanks, Star!

Sep 21, 2015

[Update: The Trans-Pacific Parntership, all 26 chapters structured to destroy all workers' rights! Supported by Hillary Clinton.]
Hillary Clinton's Senior Advisor on Innovation? Hillary Clinton who, as senator from New York, brought the Indian [American] jobs offshoring firm, the Tata Consultancy, to Buffalo, NY? Hillary Clinton, whose two major donors as senator were the aforementioned Tata Consultancy, and Rupert Murdoch? Hillary Clinton, whose husband made the family fortune after he left the White House by lobbying for the offshoring of American jobs through various free trade agreements? Hillary Clinton, whose daughter, Chelsea, worked at McKinsey & Company, offshoring American jobs? This author is that Hillary Clinton's Senior Advisor on Innovation?

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