Nicklas Bergman on Surviving The Tech Storm
Nicklas Bergman is a futurist based in Stockholm. He is the author of the book Surviving the Tech Storm and he tells us about te main technologies trends… and hypes. He also gives us advice for our children.
Who is Nicklas?
My story is that, I wanted to become an architect. That didn’t happen. Started a business in my family so I went into business school at the same time. Always been interested in technology and science. So around, maybe, end of the nineties, I started working more and more as an investor, deep tech investor. Nanotechnology, elctronmicroscopic semi-conductors, things like that. And also, being very early in the cases. So, I am an entrepreneur, co-founder, slash investor. Being very operational in my companies. Usually not the CEO, but very active owner and builder. Enjoyed that, it was a lot of fun, it’s challenging, hard. Somethings went very well, some things went completely bad. Epic failures. Actually, a good experience!
Three advice you would give a tech investor today?
The advice for anyone interested in technology from the business perspective, as an investor, as an entrepreneur, or as a manager in a large corporation: you need to be curious. It’s very easy not to have the time to look at technologies. But, I think the key to that is to even as a CEO of a large corporation you need to think about technology. At least have it in the background that when you read something, when you talk to someone, you go to a conference, you see a science fiction movie, you listen to something on the radio, when you hear the same specific thing, this thing specifically, this thing. I’m curious about that. Spend some time looking into that. You’ll get some basic trend spotting …
Do some of this trend spotting yourself. When you find something, you have to look at it from a business perspective:
- How will the market change?
- How will the industry change?
- Can I provide something new to my customers with this technology?
- Will my customers demand something new from me?
- Can I improve my processes?
- Will my organizational structure change because of this technology?
Artificial intelligence for example, will affect how the industry is working, how I relate to my clients, and also how we make decisions as a company. Meaning that the organizational structure will be different.
The big trend
I think the biggest trends, where were going to see a lot of impact in the coming years, which is also beginning to be one of the biggest hypes is artificial intelligence.
Different ways of it. A year ago, no one was talking about it. I’ve said for a couple of years that if you look into artificial intelligence, you’re gonna be able to stay ahead of the crowd.
In three to five years, it will be pure necessity to have an artificial intelligence being part of your offering.
That’s also a big hype. In a bad sense. All startups are suddenly artificial intelligence products. Like they were, clean tech startups ten years ago. Everyone is trying to rebrand themselves. They say “We’re an artificial intelligence company.” And then in the reality they have actual humans in the background pretending to be bots!!!
The big hype
The biggest hype right now. I think is in virtual reality.
There are some really interesting things happening. It’s gonna be good. Gonna see some tremendous applications. It’s going to change the way we consume media or play games, whatever. But it’s too much of hype yet.
The advice to my kids
The most important is: curiosity and creativity. Be curious try to see new things, find it for yourself, don’t accept everything that someone else is saying. Be a bit skeptical. Find the sources. And then combine that with your own creativity. Creating things. Looking at things in new ways.