Tuesday Trends

meeting internet friends, the electricity revolution, and Amazon department stores

August 24, 2021

Happy Tuesday,

I’m back in sunny San Diego catching up on work.
Last week I was up in the Bay Area to visit with family and friends.

While there I had the chance to meet up with a buddy from one of my writing groups and go to dinner.

It was great to hang out and chat in real life after having become zoom and slack friends over the last 6 months.

During my hang out with Kevin he gave me the key to unlocking the next phase of my freelance consulting business and how to connect it better to my writing (more on that in future newsletters).

people sitting in front of table

Don’t be too busy to have dinner with a friend. It’s in those times and spaces that we often make large leaps forward in our thinking, strategy, or visions.

Thanks Kevin!

The electricity revolution and parallels to the Metaverse

The infinitely epic Matthew Ball recently wrote a 9 piece primer on the Metaverse worth digging into, but his intro to the primer is fascinating in it’s own right and worth the read. It goes into detail on the electricity revolution and then the mobile revolution to shed light on how technological change happens.
Read Matthew's full post here


1. It’s hard to identify precisely when a new era begins because technological change happens when numerous technological and often societal changes come together

2. The electricity revolution came in two separate waves of technical, industrial, and process-related changes

3. In 1881 Edison built the first two electric power stations. 30 years later less than 10% of mechanical drive power in the United States came from electricity. This is insane given how revolutionary electricity has been.

4. When factories first implemented electricity it was usually for lighting or to replace the on-premise steam engine. They didn’t rethink the factory or how electricity could change everything. They kept right on using their lumbering network of dangerous cogs and gears that were previously continuously running on a steam engine to now be run on an electric engine.

massive, always-on steam powered machinery

5. Over time they figured out how to redesign a factory end-to-end with electricity. They replaced cogs with wires. They created individual stations with electric powered motors, for example for sewing, cutting, pressing, or welding.

a lot less machinery

6. The second wave of electricity adoption didn’t come from Edison or a singular innovator, but it came from “a critical mass of interconnected innovations, spanning power management, manufacturing hardware, production theory, and more.”

7. The same is true for the mobile revolution. The iPhone feels like the start of the mobile internet because it brought together all of the things we now think of as ‘the mobile internet’ into a single product that we could touch and hold and love. But the mobile revolution came about over time with many different companies and industries coming together.

8. “The Metaverse is often mis-described as virtual reality. This is like saying the mobile internet is the iPhone. The iPhone isn’t the mobile internet; it’s the consumer hardware and app platform most frequently used to access the mobile internet.”

9. The Metaverse is in an infancy stage, much like electricity just after Edison, or the early days of mobile before the iPhone. Many different companies, inventions, changes, and processes will come together that lead to a Metaverse revolution that will be clear when looking back in time - right now we’re in the change.

Read Matthew's full post here

2 crazy things ✌

📦 → 🏪 Amazon department stores

Amazon is like becoming Sears?

In a strange twist of irony Amazon is looking to open department stores after having put many out of business. Turns out physical locations are great for returns, for simple browsing, and as small logistics centers.
WSJ: Amazon Plans to Open Large Retail Locations Akin to Department Stores

🚫🚗 Remote is here to stay

What is temporary becomes permanent. The pandemic forced remote, but will be kept on as people reassess priorities. Most people would prefer more time with family than sitting in traffic. Plus countless families have moved closer to relatives or somewhere less expensive to buy a house. They’re not going back to the office.
WP: Remote work should be a permanent employee benefit

What changes are we in the middle of that will only be clear in hindsight?

I’ve been writing about 2 major changes lately, 1 technical in the Metaverse, and one sociological in the fall of the United States.

What other changes do you think we’re in right now that everyone will only realize when looking back?

Let me know. Just hit reply, I read and respond to everyone!

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Have an awesome week and see you next Tuesday!


Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.
Noam Chomsky

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