Why I'm Bullish About the Third Industrial Revolution
Robert Bruner: This third wave that I am witnessing is stemming out of computing power and digital communication technology combined with globalization, liberalization of trade and big demographic shifts, immigration and the like.
Bob Bruner is the eighth dean of the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia. He teaches and conducts research in finance and management. Before his appointment as dean in August 2005, Bruner served as the founding executive director of Darden's Batten Institute, which focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation. There, he expanded Darden's Business Incubator.
As a financial economist, Bruner is best known for his research on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and financial panics. His books include "Deals from Hell," "Applied Mergers and Acquisitions" and "The Panic of 1907: Lessons Learned from the Market's Perfect Storm," with Sean D. Carr, which attracted wide attention for its discussion of the underpinnings of financial crises.
This is a terrific time to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs succeed when the rules of the game are changing. Entrepreneurs thrive in a moment of uncertainty and relative instability. Entrepreneurs exploit the changing rules.
I believe that we are in the early stages of what might be characterized as the third industrial revolution in world history. The first one sprang out of the invention of steam power and the steam engine, the second one out of electro-motive power and electricity, and this third wave that I am witnessing is stemming out of computing power and digital communication technology combined with globalization, liberalization of trade and big demographic shifts, immigration and the like.
All of these are creating, and will create extraordinary business opportunities that I believe will take the better part of this current century to play themselves out. What better time to embark on a business career, indeed to try to launch a business than right now? This is like catching a wave, as surfers would say, where you can ride the crest of the wave for quite a ways to come. There will be choppy water, there will be uncertainties, there will be moments of great distress, but for the next 50 years at least, anybody in his or her 20s plus, can look forward to an extraordinary run in the economy.
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