Industry to knowledge transition quotes and references

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From the WIFO theory of change:

Knowledge (inclusive of tools and processes that embody or improve knowledge, e.g., software, innovation) policy and the structure of the knowledge economy are crucial determinants of macro outcomes, and will become much more so as we speed through a transition more profound than the previous hunter/gatherer to agriculture to industry ones.

Collection of evocative quotes and to come, substantive references and debate, here. There must be many thousands of singulatarian and other futurist quotes in this direction; I’m more interested in mainstream and academic recognition, but particularly influential futurist quotes and references welcome.


“Data is the new oil” (first use?)

“Software is eating the world” Marc Andreesen, 2011

“The era of separating traditional industries and technology industries is over—and those who fail to adapt right now will soon find themselves obsolete.” , David Kirkpatrick, 2011

“We believe that every industrial company will become a software company; that ultimately deep domain knowledge is tougher to come by than writing code.” Jeffrey Immelt, 2013

“We Used to Build Steel Mills Near Cheap Sources of Power, but Now That’s Where We Build Datacenters” Dan Luu, 2015 (discuss)

“In human history, there have been three great technological revolutions and many smaller ones. The three great ones are the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution, and the one we are now in the middle of—the software revolution.” Sam Altman, 2015 (discuss)

“It makes sense to me that software is the oil of the information revolution. Companies that control the software infrastructure of the information revolution will sit back and collect the economic surplus of the information revolution and that will be a path to vast wealth and economic power. It has already happened but I think we are just beginning to see the operating leverage of these software based business models.” Fred Wilson, 2015


The perils of ignoring software development, McKinsey, 2015. Finds large and impactful variation in software development across 1300 companies.

(Superior references to come/wanted.)


Firms Now 5/6 Dark Matter! Discussion of observation that in 1975 under 20% of S&P500 market capitalization attributed to intangible assets, over 80% in 2015.