Science Fiction Authors Are Some Of The Best Futurists
Interesting list, but I’d argue that some of the older stuff he has on here is no longer that interesting when it comes to scenario planning since many of this had already come to fruition.
I use science fiction to help me break out of the box and envision new products and services. Some of the most interesting inventions that I’ve come up with are basically looking at something in the novel and then working backward to how that service could have evolved.
For example, there was a Samuel R. Delaney novel that I read a long time ago called Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, which postulated a system called General Information, where learning was no longer required since you were implanted with a chip when you were born which instantly inserted the answer to any question that you thought of into your brain the moment you thought of the question. The answers were provided by orbiting supercomputers in the novel. Still, I thought – what would be the origin of that service, which became the basis for one of my earlier startups, which was likely, just a little ahead of its time. Some of the other science fiction I really like is Iain M. Banks Culture series.
So yes – read, expand, use sci-fi to think outside the box. I tell you, if half of the sci-fi authors out there thought to patent some of the ideas that they come up with, they may be richer on licensing revenues than they would be on their books.
One of sci-fi’s jobs is to give humanity a map of where we’re headed. From Jules Verne to William Gibson, sci-fi authors have described their versions of the future, and how people might live in it.