A Deep Dive Into State Changes

be radical Briefing | May 16th, 2023


With the release of Raycast Pro, a macOS tool giving me access to OpenAI’s LLMs with a single keystroke, I have embarked on a little experiment and tried to replace every Google search (and many other online interactions) with a ChatGPT interaction.

Two weeks into the experiment, I find myself using traditional search engines less than 20% of the time – mostly to validate very specific facts where I do not trust ChatGPT to get the details right. Meanwhile, I find myself interacting with my questions on a much deeper level, asking follow-on questions on tasking ChatGPT with summarizations, comparisons, etc.

Someone recently compared using the Internet to riding a bike. With the help of an LLM, such as ChatGPT, it becomes an e-bike: less effort, better result. 🚴‍♂️

Read on to unpack the three phases regularly happening inside of State Changes.

Decode. Disrupt. Transform.

As someone who has been around us and our thinking, you certainly have heard us talk about State Changes – our model to make sense of disruptive change. We write extensively about State Changes and the three-factor-deep dive in our book Disrupt Disruption.

Recently I was asked to explain in more detail not just what leads to a State Change and how to navigate them best, but also what happens within a given State Change.

It’s useful to borrow an often discussed and still largely misunderstood example: Music. We all know the story of the music industry going from analog (mostly vinyl and cassette tapes) to digital (CDs and other, less successful formats such as MiniDisc) and, of course, MP3s – and with that, the shift from owning to “renting” (aka streaming).

On a different level, the history of music consumption also provides us an insight into what goes on within State Changes. The first phase of a state change can be described as the “copy & adapt” approach: We put the old stuff into the new thing. We rip our CDs and put them on our iPods. An iPod looks, feels, and works like a Walkman on steroids. We still listen to our CD collection. Don’t forget that Apple ran campaigns when the iPod was released with the slogan “Rip, Mix, Burn.

Then comes the second phase, where we create the first truly native applications of a technology. They tend to look like toys and don’t really work all that well. MP3s are digital files, which, as it turns out, are rather easy to share – so share we do, and Napster provides a glimpse of what is possible. It’s messy, somewhat complicated, takes effort and time, and – not to forget – is illegal.

But then, as technologies and our understanding of them matures, they grow up to be something that is obviously better than the legacy technology (and all the iterations which came before). Once Spotify came along, it was game over. Gradually, then suddenly.

This brings us full circle to our State Change model and it’s connection to our work on Weak Signals – the crappy, buggy, toy-like but, at the same time, first uses of a new technology in its native environment, are the signals which indicate an upcoming State Change. Learn to spot those, and you will surf the waves of the future. (via Pascal)

What We Are Reading

🛍️ It’s confirmed: The internet is one big shopping mall Love or hate it, the Internet is “one big shopping mall.” Pinterest was one of those last havens, but this week they have finally fallen to link-and-click sharing. Good for consumers and sellers, and personally, I’m lamenting the few inspirational ad-free spaces on the Web. JaneRead

🐾 Your Dog Is a Secret Weapon in the Fight Against Cancer Cancers that arise in pet dogs are molecularly and microscopically similar to cancers in people. Clinical drug trials with dogs are proving to be very succesful and there is high hope that these will soon translate into progress for a similar drug for humans. MafeRead

♟️ The Middle Kingdom Vs. Silicon Valley The future of AI isn’t just about technology: It’s a question of global economics, politics, and culture. JeffreyRead

🧠 Power Causes Brain Damage A curious reminder and exploration of the many side effects of power that are easy to neglect. Reflection might be a good way to balance them. JulianRead

📺 10 Lessons From Ted Lasso For many, Ted Lasso is just a silly show, but there are many valuable lessons on empowerment, positive thinking, and accepting change when you look beyond the humor. PedroRead

🤖 Why Conscious AI Is a Bad, Bad Idea Conscious AI raises ethical, safety, and societal challenges beyond those posed by AI. We need to think carefully about the implications. PascalRead

The Thin Wisps of Tomorrow

🍟 Do you want fries with that? Wendy’s tests an AI chatbot that takes your drive-thru order.

🇨🇳 Different countries, different approaches: Chinese authorities arrest ChatGPT user for generating fake news.

👗 Fashion becomes (un)real.

👸Your AI girlfriend is here – and makes $71,610 in just one week.

🕵️‍♂️ A major security concern for LLMs is “Prompt Injection” – here is how this works.

Internet Finds

As someone who is married to a Brit, I heard the term “smidgen” many, many times. Now – how big (or small) is a smidgen, actually? 📏

In Other Parts of the Radical Universe

🏴‍☠️ The Heretic: Poke Life 🎧 Listen 📺 Watch

🧨 Disrupt Disruption - The Podcast: We brought Christina Nesheva, CEO at Officinae Bio, back to talk about leadership. Listen now.

📕 Disrupt Disruption – The Book: Get your copy of our bestselling book and learn how to decode the future, disrupt your industry, and transform your business here.