The Next Technological Revolution: Discussion Guide

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital" by Carlota Perez. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is the next technological revolution? What phase of industrial revolution are we in, and can we tell where it’s going?

These are some of the discussion questions to consider after reading Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital. In the book, Carlota Perez examines the origins of industrial revolutions and the conditions that make them possible.

Consider the question “what is the next technological revolution?” and more with these Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital discussion questions.

Questions to Ponder: What Is The Next Technological Revolution?

Knowing the concepts of Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital, consider where we are now, and think about the next technological revolution.

The Current Information Age

Which of the four phases are we in now?

  • Many in the tech industry, like Marc Andreessen, believe we’re in the deployment phase. “Software is eating the world.”
  • Carlota Perez disagrees, saying we’re still at a turning point, and the 2001 and 2008 bubbles were a double bubble. In her view, finance continues to be decoupled from production; inequality and hopelessness are still the popular ethos. If we were in a golden age, everyone would be feeling it, like in Deployment post-WWII.

If we are in deployment, what industries are the best candidates for deployment?

  • Information-intensive industries only superficially affected by the internet to date – education, healthcare, law, government.

When will we transition into Maturity?

Predicting the Next Technological Revolution

What are possible candidates for the next technological revolutions? Remember that they tend to start with cheap disruption (like microprocessors) and allow cost-competitive innovations

What technologies were hyped as the new wave that then faltered? In other words, what seeming “revolutions” were false positives? How do you tell these are false positives as they’re happening?

The location of the revolution can change. Britain was the center of the industrial revolution, but the US became the center of future revolutions. Where might the next technological revolution arise?

The next technological revolution is incompatible with the current paradigm. What are disruptive technologies that would threaten today’s paradigm, and are thus resisted today?

What technologies would make existing titan companies obsolete? 

Finance tends to adopt new technology early. Can you use financial innovation and new organizational models as harbingers for the larger technological revolution to come?

The Next Technological Revolution: Discussion Guide

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Here's what you'll find in our full Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital summary:

  • What happened during the 2000 tech bubble and the 2002 crash
  • The 5 technological revolutions that reshaped society since 1771
  • How you might be able to predict and prepare for the next technological revolution

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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