The Six Million Dollar Man | Die Man van Staal

In a fast pace and ever-changing world, digital transformation is a reality that individuals and companies must embrace. More and more, people and businesses need leverage these digital technologies to become bionic. This notion of being bionic is key to embracing uncertainty. What does it mean to be bionic? In the 80s, there was a science fiction television series The Six Million Dollar Man.  The opening scene starts with an old green screen computer terminal, with the word

CY’ BORG_                                _

being typed out letter for letter. The text then proceeds to display on the screen:

“A HUMAN BEING WHOSE ORIGINAL           _

HUMAN PARTS HAVE HAD TO BE               _

REPLACED TO ONE EXTENT OR                 _

ANOTHER BY MACHINES THAT                  _

PERFORM THE SAME FUNCTION S.”           _

The series is about Steve Auston, a former astronaut and United States Air Force Colonel, who was severely injured in an aircraft test. He is then taken to a lab and undergoes surgery to “rebuild” parts of his body, including his right arm, left eye, and both his legs using technology. These “Bionic implants”, enhance his strength, speed and vision beyond human norms.  His eyes allow for a 20:1 zoom vision, and his limbs allow for super strength and speed.

These technologies do not replace his human capabilities, but instead, augmented his capabilities, to allow him to perform with more speed, strength and accuracy.

Similarly, businesses today need to become more bionic, leveraging new technologies to augment humans in achieving better results. Companies need to leverage data and technology to improve insights, move at speed and scale, and drive improved customer centricity.

While Steve Austin’s bionic implants cost six million dollars in 1973, this equates to approximately, 36 million dollars in 2019, the cost of technology, through Moores law has become exponentially cheaper. The law developed by Gordon E. Moore, in 1965 is the observation that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles about every two years. The observation also considered that, as you increase the number of transistors on a circuit, the costs start to decrease at the same time, which means that you have the doubling of price/computing performance.

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