Today, we welcome to the show for a 3rd time, the one and only Tim Harford. Tim is an economist, author, TED speaker, journalist and broadcaster. He is author of “Messy” and the million-selling “The Undercover Economist”, a senior columnist at the Financial Times, and the presenter of Radio 4’s “More or Less” and host of the popular BBC podcast, “50 Things That Made the Modern Economy”, which is incidentally enough, the name of his new book and the subject of today’s conversation.
From the plough to artificial intelligence, from Gillette disposable razor to Ikea’s Billy bookcase, Tim recounts each invention’s own memorable story and introduces you to the characters who developed them, profited from them, and were ruined by them. Former Future Squared guest and widely respected economist and custodian of MarginalRevolution.com, Tyler Cowen, says that Tim’s new book “reaffirms his status as one of the great (greatest?) contemporary popular writers on economics”.
Tim and I go an inch deep and a mile wide in this episode. In particular, we discuss 3 key topics:
Why most companies that invest in technology and innovation fail and what those that succeed do differently
What should Government’s role be in developing and regulating technology
Why we shouldn’t be looking at emerging technologies in isolation and how the most transformative technologies often aren’t the most glamorous
I really enjoyed my last two conversations with Tim as well as the 50 Things podcast so couldn’t wait to have him back on the show to broaden my thinking so with that, I bring you, Tim Harford.
The inspiration for the podcast and book
How inventions and innovations often have far-reaching and unexpected implications
UBER getting banned in London
Government intervention and regulation of technology: how much is enough?
Government: an unlikely source of technology innovation?
How the gramophone gave rise to the ‘superstar economy’
How the superstar economy goes beyond musicians and athletes and today includes big business
Elizabeth Billington and the English Premier League
What do air conditioning, computers, the subway, skyscrapers, Dubai and Singapore have in common?
Technology creates winners and losers
Can we truly forecast the impact of technology?
Why companies need to change the entire system around a technology to truly leverage it and capitalise on promised performance gains (this feeds into why most digital transformation projects today fail)
Key lessons for corporate executives
How the plough started everything
TimHarford.com @TimHarford on Twitter
Get the book: www.amazon.com/Fifty-Inventions-…omy/dp/0735216134
Listen to the podcast: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04b1g3c
Vote for the 51st thing: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/article…for-the-51st-thing
Get ‘Adapt - Why Success Starts With Failture’: www.amazon.com/Adapt-Success-Alw…ure/dp/1250007550
Listen on iTunes @ goo.gl/sMnEa0
Listen on Stitcher @ www.stitcher.com/podcast/future
Listen on Google Play @ bit.ly/FSGoog
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