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The coauthor of The Second Machine Age explains how digitization will change companies and the lives of those who work for them.
Wonder what tomorrow’s business enterprise might look like? A good place to start looking for answers is Andrew McAfee.
McAfee, a cofounder of MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy and Principal Research Scientist at MIT Sloan School of Management, has spent most of his career studying how information technology changes the way companies perform, organize themselves, and compete — and, at a higher level, how computerization affects competition, society, the economy, and the workforce. His 2009 book Enterprise 2.0: New Collaborative Tools for Your Organizations Toughest Challenges showed how companies could effectively use the collaborative philosophy and technologies of the web both inside their organizations and externally with customers and partners.
In Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy, McAfee and coauthor Erik Brynjolfsson (also a cofounder of the Initiative on the Digital Economy and Director of MIT’s Center for Digital Business) focused on how advances in technology threaten to automate not only many manufacturing jobs but also those held by today’s service and knowledge workers.
McAfee and Brynjolfsson’s latest book, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, builds on their previous book, but with greater emphasis on the benefits to society of advancing technology. In the book, a New York Times bestseller when it was published earlier this year, the authors argue that digitization has brought society to “an inflection point in the right direction — bounty instead of scarcity, freedom instead of constraint.” In fact, the word “bounty” appears more than 30 times in the book.