At our Raising your Game event at Silverstone on the 8th March 2018 we presented experts from Majenta Solutions, Dassault Systemes and inspiring, well-valued industry leaders to share experiences and knowledge to help the guests keep their companies relevant and be ahead of the competition throughout 2018.

Simon Campbell is the IT Director at Ricardo, he is a fountain of technology knowledge and we were very intrigued with what his 3 Geeky Laws and 2 Macro Trends, and where the fight was breaking out. Simon certainly fascinated us and our audience with his insights and logic behind the huge, sudden expansion of autonomous vehicles, watch Simon’s presentation video for all the juicy information!

Key insights from Simon:


We’ve been through three eras, agricultural, Industrial and Computing, what is important is what powered these eras…

  • Agricultural – Muscle Power
  • Industrial – Artificial Power
  • Computing – Uses the same tools but we have artificially automated and that we now artificially controlled – uses 200 minds!

Three Geeky Laws:

1. Amara:

We overestimate technology in the short term and underestimate in the long term.
e.g. GPS originally was developed to support launching missiles. But phones no collect data and can track us, and watches tell us where we are
We often struggle with new technology to start with then it takes hold…

2. Koomey:

At a fixed processing capacity you will drop the amount of energy you need every 18 months. Drives computing; IOT is run on Koomey’s law.

3. Reed:

Like Metcalfe’s law: the value of any network is a factor of the number of people in that network. But Reed says that Metcalfe’s law understates the value, as you forget about the effect of a ‘group forming network’ – e.g. LinkedIn.
Power of the swarm – how our business change products into a service-based model.

Any new form factor has come from what came before it.

  • Industry – filing cabinets
  • Web – reactive network
  • Streams – “data loves to hang out” computers are catching up with us – action is predictable “real time” AI is computers catching up with people.

“Not talking about yesterday tomorrow computers are deciding what I want to do now!”…

Twitter passes you by.

Macro Trends:

1. Decentralisation:

Encarta vs Wikipedia

Microsoft took the encyclopaedia and put it on a disc…

If you are centralised – you get the product as ready as possible

De-centralised – in the right conditions it will flourish

Hence Encarta vs Wikipedia.

2. Dematerialisation:


Changes you from buying a CD to buying the rights to listen to a track on any device… but you can’t take that track and give it to your friend.

No ownership

Dematerialisation lends itself to services – products become a service

The fight is playing out…

Take Dematerialisation and Decentralisation then you become a platform, take the network effect that comes from a Decentralised model, e.g. Uber and then think of Uber and the Dematerialised product, they don’t own any vehicles – they use products but provide a service.

Autonomous Vehicles

When we go running, we take in a rich 3D image of our surroundings, we can make decisions – adjust strides and direction around our surrounding, just like what we do when we drive. Vehicles – artificial sensors; eyes and ears become sensors, become maps, then make decisions, with maps and decisions you can make autonomous vehicles.

Data = Decisions = AI

Data from sensors continually transmits back to the vendor, always improving the product and its knowledge.

See the network effect and Reed’s law – the further the distance that that a car drives, the more its map updates and the more refined the algorithms become based on real-world data and decisions.

Tesla vehicles have sent data back to Tesla ever since they’ve been released

What is the network effect on autonomy? It depends on your philosophy. But you see all the automotive manufacturers going mad for autonomy.

A strong network effect is where companies have strong competitive advances, e.g. data and maps

The platform will be what helps you to remain relevant…

Product companies need to become a service.

…The starting gun has already been fired…

Ford want’s to be the operating system – another word for a platform. Ford doesn’t want to sell you a product; they want to be the apple of city-wide transport optimisation…


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