Stan Davis
Information collected by Julia Cobb ( * )
[2002, Apr 9th]

Stan Davis is a renowned business adviser and the author of eight works. He taught at the Harvard Business School and Columbia and Boston universities for over two decades: he now addresses audiences globally. He lives and works in Chestnut Hill, Boston, Massachusetts.

"Blur: The Speed of Change in the Connected Economy"

by Stan Davis and Christopher Meyer

Blur: the speed of change in the connected economy is a recent and provocative book about the modern-day economy. Written by Stan Davis and Christopher Meyer of the Ernst and Young Centre for Business Innovation, the book stimulates the reader to think about the changes and new rules of the contemporary economy.

Davis and Meyer have seen the future – and it’s a blur, Products are services. Buyers are sellers. Homes are offices. Workers are capitalists. The line between structure and process, owning and using, knowing and learning is dissolving. The pace is so furious, the meltdown so severe, the erasing of borders so complete, that the whole picture is going out of focus. The authors also ask readers to submit their own observational blurs, promising to post them on the Web site and to award a $100 prize to the best idea submitted during each month of 1998.

The book jacket states:

"Welcome to the new economy – a world where the rate of change is so fast it’s only ablur, where the clear lines distinguishing buyer from seller, product from service, employee from entrepreneur are disappearing. To profit from these revolutionary patterns of business, you need a dynamic guide to the new economy. You need BLUR."

What is BLUR? To quote Davis and Meyer;

"An "economy" is the way people use resources to fulfil their desires. The specific ways they do this have changed several times throughout history, and are shifting yet again – this time driven by three forces – Connectivity, Speed and the growth of intangible value.

Because we are so newly caught up in the whirlwind of this transition, we are experiencing it as a BLUR. The BLUR of connectivity, as players become so intimately connected that the boundaries between them are fuzzy: the BLUR of speed, as business changes so fast it’s hard to get your situation in focus: and the BLUR of intangible value, as the future arrives at such a pace that physical capital becomes more liability than asset. Increasingly, value resides in information and relationships – things you can’t see at all and often can’t measure."

To sum up, everything is a blur because of three important factors:

  1. CONNECTIVITY – Everything and everybody are becoming more and more interconnected, so that no person or company can act on its own.
  2. SPEED – the speed of economic activity is continuously accelerating, so that fast business reaction time is becoming a major key to success.
  3. INTANGIBLES – Intellectual and emotional involvement are becoming more important factors than the specific product or service you sell, so that these intangibles must be placed high on your marketing-priority list.

Among the many areas where they claim blurring is going on, here are three:

    1. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES – Products are becoming software intensive and possess many aspects of service. Services are standardized, modularised and packaged, just as products are. What do you call what you are selling? The authors day, call it an "offer".
    2. BUYER AND SELLER – Today there is more than an economic change: you provide a product or service: the consumer gives money. Often there are two other channels: one for the exchange of information, the other for the exchange of emotion. And in these latter exchanges, the roles of buyer and seller may be reversed.
    3. ORGANIZATION AND MARKET – There no longer is a clear boundary between business and the outside world. It’s becoming harder and harder to distinguish between what happens inside your business and outside.

" The truth is, no company today can act alone. Success rises from networks."

Some other publications written by Stan Davis include:

"Lessons from the Future: Making Sense of a Blurred World from the World’s Leading Futurist ", Stan Davis

"… contains some of the most visionary business thinking of the moment, including mind-stretching pieces on the information economy, the foundations of wealth, the next bio-economy, connectivity, emotional bandwidth and mass customisation… it will help managers and entrepreneurs identify the business and social sea changes that are transforming everything, everybody and every enterprise"

"The Monster Under the Bed", Stan Davis, Jim Botkin (Contributor)

…explains why it’s necessary for businesses to educate employees and consumers. Consider the fact that the vast majority of 60 million PC owners, for example, learned to use their computers not at school but at work or at home. Davis and Botkin explain how any high-tech, low-tech, or no-tech company can discover new markets and create new sources of income by building future business on a knowledge-for-profit basis- and how, once it does, its competitors must follow or fail".

…"an insightful exploration of the many ways that the knowledge-for-profit revolution will profoundly affect our businesses, our educational processes, and our every day lives."

"2020 Vision", "Transform your business today to succeed in tomorrow’s economy" Stan Davis, Bill Davidson (Contributor)

" a clear eyed look at what the next thirty years of information technology will do to business"

(John Naisbitt, author of Megatrends, 2000.

(Information taken from

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