In thinking about innovation, history can teach us much…

In 1830 an English engineer Edwin Budding invented the first lawnmower designed for larger sports grounds. While this may not seem significant, his invention, by enabling a simple and inexpensive solution to create major lawns and sports fields, opened the door for sports democratization.

Between 1860 – 1880 sports like baseball, tennis, soccer, rugby and football became official and available to the common person. Today these sports are a $620 billion annual business. I believe this story is important because it shares the nature of transformation — a single invention can have far reaching and unanticipated results decades after the initial invention.

So as CEOs, consider, what repercussions will AI, IoT and Virtual Reality have two decades from now?

What can your business do to capitalize on these opportunities before anyone else?