When Future Crosses Extrapolation - Roadmapping for 15 Years And More

Limits of Extra- and Interpolation in Product Road Mapping

If you are about to extrapolate your current product portfolio, usually it is done by adjusting and extrapolating the as-is state. Starting with those products, that you currently develop, produce and sell.More often than not this has to do with recently made success (or even failure), as well as current experiences in markets and competition. Also with your own core competencies. And sometimes with obviously emerging technologies.As it is visible where we come from and where we are now, this approach gives certainty. And it is strongly and emotionally binding.For example, the appearance of cinema and television was very much upsetting for the environment of theatre. It was controversial and declined in the old world. The audience still was in the theatre, but who could know for how long?But, what if you have to think about a longer period of time? Ten, twenty years, or more?Someday a merely prolongation of the as-is state into a still proceeding „faster“, „smaller“, „cheaper“, „more integrated“, „more efficient“, „with more service“ will not be adequate anymore.When asking questions like-    What will we live from in business in 2037?-    If androids will assume our services in 2035, what will WE do then?it needs a different kind of thinking tool: to lose as-is (which sometimes is also the limiting base). Because the status quo will probably not exist any longer or just be completely different.Smartphones and route guidance systems are just two out of millions of examples of change or disruption. It for example needs science-fiction literature. Science fiction is a literary genre, which deals with a future world, that is far developed in technological-scientific concerns.Science-fiction literature always has described future, as it finally developed. It was forward-looking and was driving fantasy.Not always, but consistently…  (q.v.:)http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38026393 orhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP8DiaFgj4w orhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqNTZH-gR0c  Science-fiction?If the current way of thinking is not purposeful anymore, it might work the other way round: deductions back from the future.

With deductive and retrospective methods, you may work in a different, novel way. Traditional liaisons to previous blockbusters might be detached.

How to do that?

Describe with your team a remote future. How will our world will be in 2055? What diseases will we have? What mode of transportation? How will we be fed? How do we work?
How do people (humans?) live together on earth? And will we still live on planet earth?

With the next step you can deviate development backwards from there, for example in 10-years-steps, until you approach your current forecast. It must not, but might have confusing consequences. Also some clients realise, that their business model will not work for the future under certain conditions. But they have enough time for reconstruction.

Others will approach completely different technologies for the same area of application.
And some will just find out, that „Keep it up!“ is absolutely sufficient.

Nice perception too!

I will be happy to introduce to you how to work like this at any time!


An example: