Martijn Aslander at the Finance & HR Indaba 2018

Thank you for listening to Martijn Aslander at the Indaba 2018. On this page you will find some interesting links and must read books.

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Must reads




In my lecture I mentioned the importance of digital skills more than once. One of the tools that I use mostly for personal development and project planning is Workflowy. You can also watch this video for a first impression.

These kind of developments show how technology can change labor in Africa. And this is one of the examples, there are many more.

Leonardo Da Vinci – Homo universalis

We live in a network society and an information society, those two together create as I call it a 'new renaissance', a period of incredible convergence of ideas and technology. That means an explosion of possibilities and opportunities. Do you want to get the most out of it? then you can better delve into homo universalis Leonardo da Vinci.

Metcalfe’s Law

Most people have an idea on how important networking is, but network effects most people have never heard of. And there is a real law for: Metcalfe's law. The first man who had bought a fax, could not do anything with it.This also applies to the man with the first phone. Briefly by the curve, the more phones and faxes you aligned, the more valuable the network becomes.

Half a Million DVDs of Data Stored in Gram of DNA | WIRED

The amount of information that is available worldwide, is infinitely greater than before.The developments in this field are hard to contain. We're going to experience that information simply can be stored in our DNA. In fact, they are already doing it. And the storage capacity of 1 gram of DNA is the same as that of half a million (!) DVDs. And you can make millions of copies per hour. DNA provides an information carrier that can last for a couple of hundred years.

Abundance | Peter H. Diamandis

The convergence of exponential technology is clearly described in the book Abundance.The scarcity is over, we live in times of abundance. We only have to adjust our mindset.

Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper than yours (and what to do about it)

Where Abundance is about the end of scarcity and the convergence of technology, Exponential Organizations is about what this all means for organizations. One of the authors of the book is Dutchman and good friend of mine: Yuri van Geest. 

It is about Exponentially vs linear (and where the disruption occurs) Linear developments are very predictable. Exponential developments are difficult to predict; our brain is not able to keep up with it. Exponential means the multiplication of the multiplication (of the multiplication etc.) At first it will go very slowly, but it will get faster and faster. By the time you get it, it is often too late to do something about it.

Model S | Tesla Motors

Tesla, an example of an exponential organization. Tesla makes electric cars but they do it way smarter than other major companies: transparent and open source. for example, they make their patents public. With which they are actually saying: 'we can come up with new ideas faster than you can steal them’. I think that this is the way to go!


Uber is another example of an exponential organization. Not a taxi company in the strict sense of the word, but a data-driven company that is primarily involved in learning from feedback loops based on a huge amount of data.


SpaceX is a hobby project of Tesla owner Elon Musk, which hardly can be called a hobby anymore. Space is no longer the strict domain of Nasa and Esa; We now live in an era where individuals are fascinated with space traveling, with all its consequences. If you had told me a few years ago that space was 'the next frontier' I had laughed at you very hard. And yet that is what’s going on. Science fiction is now.

Asteroid mining

Take for example mining on asteroids. Whole tribes are currently working on that. Asteroids are full of gold, nickel and Platinum.The only thing is that the are a bit far away. But we are already able to land on a comet, the next step is to obtain one and get it in the earth orbit.

We landed twice: Philae comet probe may have bounced after harpoon failure –

EVE Online

Eve Online is a game where the best data analysts and econometricians in the world are busy with fictional mining on asteroids. This 'gamification' leads to insights and scenario’s that will be useful between now and 15 years.

Graphene Supercapacitors Ready for Electric Vehicle Energy Storage, Say Korean Engineers | MIT Technology Review

Another area with an explosion of possibilities is formed by the so called super materials; materials with a number of unique and special qualities whose possibilities seem to be endless. For example, perovskite, is a super material that can be a real game changer for solar cell technology. And it is not inconceivable that Graphene is going to be responsible on its own for a radical change in the way we store energy in batteries, which will turn the automotive industry upside down.

SCiO: Your Sixth Sense. A Pocket Molecular Sensor For All!

A wonderful example of a physical device where many technologies come together is the Scio.The Scio is called a spectrometer, which can measure the molecular composition of a substances. For example, you can detect nutrients, what can be very useful if you have a food allergy. Please note: the Scio now costs $120, the next will be a lot cheaper and smaller, faster, better and more accurate. Because that's the way technology works.

Scanadu Scout

This device that was invented during a startup bootcamp in Brussels comes closest to the Tricorder from Star Trek. In just two minutes time it measures all your vital body functions. This will replace time consuming work that now has to be done by general practitioners.The Scanadu costs $140. Again: the next version will be better and cheaper.

IBM Watson: The inside story of how the Jeopardy-winning supercomputer was born, and what it wants to do next

A few years back IBM’s super computer Watson has won the popular tv game Jeopardy, by memorizing the whole Wikipedia. Yes, and if a computer can memorize the Wikipedia, then he can also do that with all the laws, all the decisions and all the comments and statements about it.That means that a lot of work of the legal profession can be automated. And if that can be automated, what else?

The Age of Access: The New Culture of Hypercapitalism, Where all of Life is a Paid-For Experience

There is a shift going on from ownership to access. Jeremy Rifkin wrote it already in 2001. We no longer need to own a lot of things, because we can just use them when we need to. Think of Spotify and Netflix. For a few dollars per month you save hundreds of euros per year on DVDs and CDs.

Make: 42 Annual 3D Printing Guide

Another great driving force behind innovation is the maker-movement. In other words the DIY (Do It Yourself) community. If someone used to have crafted something nice and clever, then you did not know how he had done that.

Nowadays. All knowledge is available free of charge on the Internet. Nobody ever has to 'reinvent the wheel' again. And the crowd can innovate faster than the average corporate research department.

Thingiverse – Digital Designs for Physical Objects

Thingiverse is a nice database with construction drawings for 3d printers.

Nowadays, only one person needs to create a building plan that can then be viewed by everyone in the world, liked by 1.4 billion Facebook users and tweeted and retweeted by 300 million people on Twitter.

Example: Lego compatible train track look-a-like by 3daybreaker (A piece of lego-rails costs 8 euros in the store, the cost of printing the same thing is only 20 cents!)

Example: K'Next to Lego Someone has figured out how nice it is to combine K'nex and Lego and designed little pieces. This then inspires other people to make other forms of construction toys ‘compatible'.


Large companies like Philips do not take these kinds of developments seriously. Logical, but not very smart. The first self-construction MRI scanners already exist and will only improve from now on. At Philips, 300 people may work in the MRI department. But even if there were 3000; 30,000 people are working together on the web.

Jack Andraka, the Teen Prodigy of Pancreatic Cancer

A 15-year-old boy wondered about the complexity of diagnosing pancreatic cancer and developed a method that was 96 times faster, 400 times more accurate and 26,000 times cheaper, at home, from behind his computer, using Wikipedia and Google.

Barry Schwartz – Using Your Practical Wisdom

We don’t need intelligent people, we need wise people. A wise person knows when and how to make the exception to every rule.

Seth’s Blog: When everyone has access to the same tools

If everyone has access to (the same knowledge and) the same tools, how can you still distinguish yourself? Answer: With your attitude.