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The Industries of the Future

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  4,406 Ratings  ·  429 Reviews
This book answers the question: 'What's next?' The Internet had a world-changing impact on businesses and the global community over the twenty years from 1994 to 2014. In the next ten years, change will happen even faster.

As Hillary Clinton's Senior Advisor for Innovation, Alec Ross travelled nearly a million miles to forty-one countries, the equivalent of two round-trips
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 2nd 2016 by Simon Schuster
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Rachel Bayles
Feb 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: professional
First, the good. These are interesting topics. It's good to be reminded of how much has changed in the last couple of decades. This is a fun read with some interesting stories. If you read the newspaper, you will find nothing new here. But getting a 10,000 foot view of the world can be a useful way to orient yourself.

He also points out the troubling aspects of what he's highlighting, and at no point in the book does he come across as being way off base. His ideas about the future are probably as
Nov 24, 2015 rated it liked it
If someone can invent a trustworthy robot that will stop cybercrime while taking care of grandma, they'll have the future made.
Ryan Mcconville
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fast, informative read from former Innovations advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Alec Ross, who discusses five emerging industries that he predicts will dominate the next twenty years.

1. Robotics - "47% of [current] American jobs are at high risk for robot takeover, and another 19% are at medium risk," in the next twenty years. Best anecdote: China's Foxconn has made some of the most aggressive investments in robotics because, according to founder, Terry Gou: "Human beings are also
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: economics
This is an odd book – and although I think I learned many things from it, I’m not sure I could say I enjoyed it or that I would necessarily recommend it. This guy worked for Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State, and it reads a bit like something someone who worked for the US government and was keen to promote the benefits of US foreign policy might write if they were to write a book about modern technology and how it is about to impact the world.

A lot of this is much more positive th
Undrakh Ganzorig
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own, favorites
This is by far the most useful, eye-opening, mind-blowing, and mildly-distressing book I’ve read this year amid the indulgence in fiction. Robots taking care of us, discoveries in genomic technology saving lives, farmers optimizing pastureland through a mobile app, and the countries entering a code war. Suddenly the seemingly far-fetched ideas are not crazy at all, in fact, technological breakthroughs are changing the way the we live while I’m sitting here and being left far behind with little i ...more
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was disappointed by the depth of this book. It is full of name-dropping and happy rose-tinted sci-fi view of the future without the in-depth grasp of the problems that the new technologies solve and their limitations.
Melinda Flaugher
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this uplifting book about future opportunities. The author recommends looking into countries such as Africa, India, and China. Children need to learn two languages coding and a foreign language. The future will be more about adapility. The world is already breaking apart in two divisions the old world and new world full of technology and unlimited opportunities to develop ideas to help humanity.
Ali Murat
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Kesinlikle tavsiye ediyorum.
Graeme Roberts
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book. Alec Ross worked on technology for Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, and as Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton he traveled to 41 countries and met many of the world's most accomplished and influential people. The early part of the book, talking about robotics and AI, genomics, and the coming disruption of financial markets by blockchain and computer science covered familiar ground (a little of which is already out of date). He seemed to hit his ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is easily one of my favorite books. Such a compelling read. Bought this at the airport; couldn't put it down. Author is right on target about the future of technology, even dips into parenting and what education will be optimal for children to get a leg up on these future industries. Travel, learn a second language, and code. Inspiring topics.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
35th book for 2017.

Having travelled to over a hundred countries as Hillary Clinton's Senior Advisor on Innovation at the State Department, Ross has a overview and access to what's happening the world of technology that is some ways unique. His book offers an accessible account of future technological trends (robotics, AI, cyberwarfare, crypocurrencies, genomics etc) from a global perspective.

Read this book for the broad perspectives (both thematic and geographic) it offers, then find other book
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents, employees, employers, government policy makers
I don't want to give this book five stars but I think that might just be because I don't really like the future? SO UNFAIR. I guess this is the first time I've really wanted half stars on Goodreads.


This book was fascinating. None of the industries surprised me, nor did Alec Ross' picture of the future. I've been in the tech industry long enough to know crazy crap is gonna happen. If you need a primer, CCP Grey did a great (and a bit depressing) video on it called "Humans Need Not Apply."

Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Taking readers from the future of robotics in Japan to genomic sequencing in China, Ross leaves readers pondering such seemingly farfetched questions as whether hackers halfway across the globe will someday use the computing power of our kitchen toasters to mine the borderless crypto-currencies of tomorrow. Drawing on a vast array of personal experiences, Ross provides a glimpse of the future built on empowering the people of today.
Sep 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
I found it quite superficial. A lot of anecdotes and very simplistic conclusions.
Oleksandr Golovatyi
Amazing book that I read with pleasure in two last evenings. The book covers a scenic story about the most interesting and most popular technologies of the present and their impact on the future of mankind. Key theses: work and their future in industry and human life, programming of money (cryptocurrency and blockchain), cyber security and wars with software code, as well as large amounts of data as raw materials of the information age. If you are curious what awaits humanity in the near future, ...more
Tulga G
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading this great book, you realize that we are living as whole new generation because of the potentials the technologies and computers provide us for better future in our daily life. We are just entering to the digital age which give us much more connectivity without any border and beyond than any historical times. Also, this book underlined the hot topics today as Uber, Airbnb and even Bitcoin which are the businesses with new model, so it is quite interesting and readable.
The crucial p
Chad Warner
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: entrepreneurs, parents
Shelves: non-fiction, science
An interesting overview of several industries that will drive the next 20 years of change to economies and societies: robotics, advanced life sciences, digital money, cybersecurity, and big data. It raises (but doesn't devote much space to) philosophical and ethical questions about how changing technology will affect our lives. The book doesn't dive as deep as I would've liked.

The author was senior advisor for innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during Obama administration.

I've alwa
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book that looks at what fields are heading for a breakthrough and which ones are on the way out or will require less people in the future. Ross was an advisor to the State Department under Secretary Clinton. Ross traveled too many countries to learn about industrial development. Ross describes how Indonesia, Brazil, Chile, Peru and Mexico are positioning themselves in the global economy. He also describes how Africa is starting to emerge as governments become more stable ...more
Jose Papo
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
A great read about top trends for the future. I also liked the end of the book, where the author gives tips and ideas on how to educate and teach our kids for this new future. And the conclusion is interesting: learn about new cultures, expand the view of the children about the World, learn languages, learn at least one programming language.
Thijmen Smith
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very inspiring book to stimulate yourself in which skills and/or areas you should focus yourself on. It centers around 6 different themes/industries: robotics, genes, block chain, cyber security, big data and the geography disperity of the industries of the future (book is written in 2014). The book gives a goos overview with insightful examples of those topics, but it does not go very much into depth of those topics. I, however, got inspired very much to read this overview. For example, I lea ...more
Shana Yates
4.5 stars.

A very instructive look at the areas of innovation that are likely to become the pivotal industries in coming decades. Ross introduces the reader to robotics, cyber, genomics, AI, big data, and digitization/democratization of money/markets in crisp prose and language clear enough for the layperson but with enough complexity to keep more knowledgeable readers engaged. Ross is particularly interesting as an author extolling the industries on the horizon--he grew up in West Virginia and s
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to James by: Andrew
Shelves: non-fiction
An optimistic view of the industries of the future, Ross has a pair of rose colored glasses he rarely takes off. In this aspect of human affairs, there is a lot of room for hope, more than a billion people raised out of poverty, the developing world skipping past old tech and embracing current and future developments that require less infrastructure and education available to many more people. His list of future industries are the usual suspects and having broken my crystal ball I can't help won ...more
Apr 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Industries of the Future by Alec Ross

“The Industries of the Future” is an informative and accessible book about the next economy and how this next wave of innovation will affect our societies. Leading expert on innovation and former Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Alec Ross, explores the industries that will drive the next 20 years of change. This 320-page insightful book includes the following six chapters: 1. Here Come the Robots, 2. The Future of the H
William Harrison
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this at the same time as Yuval Harari's Sapiens. Nice complement. Shared themes about humanity's future. The changing landscape of currency (barter to Bitcoin), how societies evolve (public policy, micro level human interactions), how individuals evolve (mapping of the human genome).

Cool to hear some of Ross' big themes in the innovative landscape.
Marcus Goncalves
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Fast paced technology advancements are taking place at the speed of light, with several jobs becoming obsolete quickly. The education of leaders with critical thinking skills will be key for survival and career success. Sadly, most of those that should be reading this book may not.
Kevin Kelly
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Extremely relevant look at the current technological landscape and what is to come. Highly recommend to any entrepreneurs or individuals curious as to what the immediate future might hold. If anything, it puts you in the right frame of mind for thinking about the sociological and cultural impacts of what the future might hold and gets your brain thinking about how to potentially capitalize and benefit from it – while also empowering and assisting others.
Mar 24, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a tour of the technological future by the person who was Hilary Clintons's tech/policy wonk while she was at the State Department. The hook here is to move from the current economy and its levels of technological achievement to examine which technological trends will be more important and have the greatest impact on our lives in the future. To do this, Ross focuses on the "Industries of the Future." Ross uses each chapter to show how technological innovation and Silicon Valley innovation ...more
Taufan Satrio
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Robots, genomics, cryptocurrency, cyber security, and big data are the main subject matters of this intelligently written book, highlighting not only their delights but also their looming consequences. Written with historical contexts and data rich expositions, it successfully tells a story of global perspective and multitude of angles. It solicits its readers to anticipate, prepare, and ultimately, embrace the industries of the future
The Industries of the Future, by Alec Ross, was an interesting book looking at upcoming industries from a fairly global perspective. Ross was a US State Department employee for many years, and as such has had much experience and connection with both US and global development programs. He talks about Robotics, Medicine, Big Data, Computer Programming and so on, all industries loudly being trumpeted in many spheres. His book is refreshing, however, because he looks at the nuances of these industri ...more
Jason Cox
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4 stars

What I liked about this book: Generally good writing style that allowed it to flow. Interesting take on the concepts of globalization and how it will effect the choices our children will have to make in regards to their education and future jobs. Good examples of the effects of globalization with interesting people, places and situations coming into the new economy.

What was not so great: This book is very much an "overview" and almost seems more targeted towards non-Americans with
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Alec Ross is one of America's leading experts on innovation. He is currently a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Johns Hopkins University and the author of The Industries of the Future, being published by Simon & Schuster in February of 2016. The Industries of the Future explores the technological and economic trends and developments that will shape the next ten years, from cybersecurity and bi ...more
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