De-magification by thinking from first principles

Technology is too important to be left to people with advanced degrees. De-Magic: Making Sense is about understanding the fundamentals of technology and economics and how they apply to business, society, and your personal lives by reasoning from the first principles. Starting from the first principles allows you to appreciate the expected impact on your organization, country, and society. We'll help you connect the dots but will explain our thinking carefully so you can reproduce our thinking, question assumptions, and come up with different conclusions. 

Tools we use

We use strategic thinking tools like S-Curves, exponential growth, the theory of computing surfaces, creative destruction, and market adoption. We augment these with ideas from the world of economics, like externalities. 

We rely heavily on data visualization and analogies to create a narrative to understand the impact of analysis.

Shifting sands or plate tectonics 

Some changes are like sand flowing as the wind blows, while others are the cause of plate technologies. These changes can often change the gatekeepers opening new routes for the prepared. They can also change where value is created in the value chain. 

Fads, trends, and plate tectonics 

Some changes are fads. Like a firefly in summer, they are exciting and engaging for the short duration of their lives. Others are longer-term trends that will create monuments or fell but will not change the landscape. True, landscape-changing plate tectonics are rare. 

Some ideas we'll be exploring are Electric Vehicles, shifts in advertising dollars, cloud computing and how new business formation is changing, Crypto (NFTs and Web3), and AI and Generative AI. Some other ideas that we’ll touch upon are drones, lithium deposits, misinformation and democracy.

Some of these ideas are input metrics, while others are output metrics.

Why should you care about this? 

If foresight was as good as hindsight, you'll avoid shiny new fags, and capitalize and exploit trends while preparing for the upcoming upheavals of plate tectonic events. 

Plate tectonic events change how society makes money. It impacts individuals' employment and unemployment. On the other side of the spectrum, it affects countries' balance of power and geopolitics. Discussions about bias, fairness, and regulation in different countries impact everyone. 

Who are we writing for? 

All the writing here is for people in positions to make decisions. You might be 

  • An entrepreneur who is looking to understand how to calculate the market size and market share

  • A public policy worker who is trying to understand how 5G technologies will shape the future of self-driving cars

  • A product manager who is trying to understand if you want to use large language models in your following product or if that is snake oil

  • A journalist trying to get the lay of the land of advanced technologies like Machine Learning or Quantum Computing so you can ask informed questions

De-Magic: Understanding Deeply is not written for engineers and does not assume any technical knowledge. 

Who am I?

My name is Aseem Asthana, and I have been working in the technology industry for over 20 years. After doing some complicated programming deep in the guts of computers (evocatively known as the kernel), I moved into product management. As a product manager, I have overseen and been involved with three major technological transitions. The first was the move from businesses having to own, operate and maintain physical hardware servers to virtualized servers. Shortly after that came the tectonic shift to the cloud. In the last five years, the technology world is increasingly becoming data-driven and AI-crazy. 

As a product manager, I talked to many business owners and senior and middle-level managers. It has given me a unique vantage point to understand how technologists use complicated jargon to mystify everything and become high priests. 

Aloha! Namaste! Bienvenido! Nĭ hăo!

As George Clemenceau, the prime minister of France during World War I said, "War is too important to be left to Generals."

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We write about various topics in technology, business, strategy, and economics by removing the shroud of magic that makes these topics inaccessible. De-Magification helps you understand by working from the first principles.