Disrupting the Cow
“Mom, can you print me up a hamburger!”, such were the prophetic word of George Jetson’s boy Elroy, to his mom Jane in the famous 1960’s eponymous cartoon series “The Jetsons”.
Well is looks like this day is getting closer and closer to reality based on the current view of RethinkX founder Tony Seba. Seba is predicting that the number of cattle in the US will decrease 50% by the year 2030 based on Silicon Valley’s “food-as-a-software” technology for manufacturing protein. This clearly has a huge impact on the Australian Beef & Diary Industries.
A Disrupted Business Model
A perfect storm of fast-improving technology, new business models, and fast-falling costs is set to create the deepest, most consequential disruption of food and agriculture in ten thousand years. Australia faces the end of the beef & diary industry as we know it, and the exponential market growth of inexpensive, high-quality, tasty modern food designed using technology based on precise consumer specifications. At least this is the prediction coming out of the Tony Seba’s US based RethinkX Think Tank who are devoted to predicting and analysing the future economic consequences of technology disruption.
What is scary is that this potential disruption is following a very predictable path. Originally very expensive to produce, technology advances have accelerated to a position where Silicon Valley now uses the term “food as a software” technology to describe this industry disrupter. Technology created protein is predicted to be 10 time cheaper than animal produced protein by 2035. Whilst many could not ever see themselves eating anything else than a big juicy T-Bone Steak, there was a time where I could never see myself reading a newspaper online and who would ever think that KFC would offer meatless chicken.
“Your organisation is perfectly designed for the results that you achieve” – W.Edwards Demming