Since he ”almost” became a high school engineer back in the early 1990s, Bergman has shouldered more titles than he has socks in his drawers. Including becoming an economist with an MBA. But most of all he’s an entrepreneur, whose tech and business ventures began by building up Volvo’s presence in Romania.
Today, and 20+ major tech investments later, his knowledge of how to navigate in the upcoming tech storm is flying him around the world to advise business leaders and adventurers alike.
“There’s no use being afraid of the future and trying to resist it, that’s what will make you obsolete. Instead, you need to equip yourself with a mindset and accept that change is not something temporary, but something constant.”
“Put yourself in the driver’s seat and make active choices about what’s out there. Stay informed, but most of all think. Think as creatively and freely as possible and come away with the bigger perspective that will take you places.”
Google Glass failure
Bergman is like a dictionary when it comes to tech innovations, hypes and trends. He can talk for hours about the latest within the Internet of Things, why Google Glass didn’t stick for more than two summers and how he is annoyed about the fact that his activity bracelet, in some weird way, is giving him a sense of satisfaction. But, he says, whether these innovations last or fail, they all contribute to the world we live in today. But more importantly, he says, is that they give us hints about the future we will face tomorrow.
Take music sites like Napster and Kazaa. OK, they didn’t survive, but they paved the way for the development of iTunes, and then the iPod. Now we have Spotify and iPhone.
The question you have to ask yourself now is, what’s next? If you think about it, a service like Kazaa actually changed the Internet forever, and its founder went on to start Skype and is now a happy billionaire working on new investments somewhere else.”
Convinced that AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is one of the next big things in the tech world, Bergman says there are opportunities everywhere. If you’re not into the science of AI, why not pursue and develop all the things that a robot will never be able to do?
Bergman, who stays on top of nanotechnology, electron microscopy and pretty much all things physics-related thanks to over a dozen digital newspaper and magazine subscriptions, is more than aware of the risk of getting lost in this overwhelming river of information and innovations. He calls it the “techstorm” and he has even written a book about it.
Instead of just trying to catch up with everything, we need to be on par with what’s happening around us. And we have to be conscious of these big developments so that we can make the right decisions.
Bergman says technology will essentially redefine who we are, meaning it’s no longer just a question of what technology can do for us, but also what we should allow technology to do.
In the coming decades, society will go through a painful and challenging transformation. With automation comes unemployment and a smaller tax base. Increased longevity means greater pressure on the pension systems. Easy access to our genetic information raises ethical issues of what we want to know about ourselves, and also what we want to share with others.
Surviving the “Techstorm¨ is also a book about not being afraid of pushing past your comfort zones. Bergman is rarely afraid, he says. But that’s not really true.
Long and boring business meetings scare me. I don’t do those anymore. Instead, I try to use that time to ponder, stretch my imagination and come up with new perspectives. And you know what, it works!
- Futurist and keynote speaker
- Scandinavian advisor to the TechCast Technology Think Tank in Washington DC
- Author of the book ”Surviving the Techstorm”
- Serial entrepreneur and direct and indirect investor in more than 20 companies