From exclusivity to mass inclusion – How Technology is transforming the economic landscape
Till a decade before, the more you paid got you the best world had to offer. Had there been no exclusivity with owning one, Rolex might not have been so sought for. Prices they demanded had reasons too. For the precision and material that went on to make them, it seemed fair to pay the price. Cost was of time in labour and those desired materials that went on to make something worth owning. With technology gaining the centre stage, it’s neither materials nor effort in labour to manufacture that’s driving the price, but technology through Research and Development. As more units are made, finer the technology gets, addressing the masses got to be a need rather than an opportunity. This is the crucial one economic change that was brought in by mass manufacture, the era more known as manufacture 3.0.
Manufacture is now leaping to an ever larger more complex dimension with manufacture 4.0 round the corner, where material manufacture is driven autonomous and the utility value product carries, driven by the software that drives. Cars are moving on to autonomous driving, Televisions are moving from being an idiot box to automated entertainment systems and the least a smart watch could do other than track your health is keeping time. This change more driven by the virtual world of endless lines of code, needs more hours invested in research and development, pushing a further drive for value generation from the masses. Yet this trend towards mass inclusion can be highlighted no more than the leverage it gets from Artificial Intelligence.
The word Artificial Intelligence might ring some wrong bells in your mind of robots walking round, though the real life meaning is quite different. Artificial Intelligence or AI as is more known represents those software algorithms, which uses sophisticated statistical models (regressive) to predict behavioural patterns based on which further instructions are added. For an AI that drives car, it learns from the vehicular movements on the road and with it teaches itself to how better drive in a particular scenario. More scenarios an AI is exposed to, smarter it becomes. With this principle understood, a Toyota with much diverse set of customers should have a better autonomous driving system than a Pagani Zonda and yes, there is a 90% chance you might not have heard of it. And this is not far away to see. The luxury mark of smart phones, the Iphone though is brilliant in its own ways, plays an underdog with its Siri (apple’s personal assistant) when compared to Android’s OK Google. This brings and re-affirms the desire a company or conglomerate should align to. The desire to address the larger audience. By this, it never implies to vanish off exclusivity, though certain platforms like autonomous driving shared across diverse range of customers could further enhance brand endurance and competitive edge. The Toyotas could very well share their AI engine to its exclusive brand, Lexus and of course the BMWs could do the same to the Rolls. Google’s autonomous driving platform could very well be one that could cover varied platforms end to end.
Cross Sharing and inclusive market is one that the future would have and is very much what market would impose to its players for sustenance. No more can business houses live inside stonewalled fortresses and hope to be market leaders. Mutual win-win collaborations, consolidation inside the industry and diversified conglomerates is what the future is looking forward to.