Tag Archives: Digital Renaissance

New Foreword for Digital Renaissance

Digital Renaissance was meant to be a nonfiction essay on some of the changes our society is going through. Digital Transformation is a term very much used in business to address how the Internet, computers and mobile have blown everything to bits, and disrupted entire industries.

There are plenty of examples of large companies taken by the digital storm.

Digital photos took over film, and now smartphones are quickly eroding the market of compact digital camera makers that either create new categories, as GoPro did, or extinguish. Change is disrupting even the disruptors. Microsoft is no longer the company that powers most computer gear, also because computers now fit in the palm of your hand. Blackberry went from leader to laggard at fast as it rose in the first place. It is it not only industries and companies that have transformed. Our society is under huge change.

Social media changed how people discover things, how they share what they like, complain or fight for a cause. Narrow-agenda movements like vegans, animal welfare or even separatist and radicalism move faster than ever with social media echo chambers helping them create polarized viewpoints. With an amount of information that overwhelms people, complex issues are oversimplified. To make it worse, Media does not help with headlines that seek traffic and audience rather than truth. Conspiracy theories are easier to frame and fake news spread in a post-truth politics world.

With the rise of sensors, wearables and the Internet of Things, more data is generated than ever before, which make us more traceable and predictable. In two days we now generate as much data as all that was generated by humankind up to 2012.

Robots are coming, though not in the humanoid shape of sci-fi movies, but in the invisible shape of driverless cars or digital assistants in your phone or smartwatch. It is not a coincidence that Android gives name to the software behind so many of those invisible robots.
The key role of algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence in shaping our future is not yet fully grasped.

The future was not as we imagined it and the future won’t be as we imagine it now, yet we must imagine it in order to build it.

Digital Renaissance was drafted by end 2011 and it was meant to showcase through the eyes of a millennial the powerful changes that technology is bringing to our society. It takes some of the key elements that still today are the driving forces behind the society of the 21st century.

Through the eyes of a millennial we explore different angles and implications of technology changes and of the values that could lead us to a new cultural Renaissance of prosperity and arts, or to a nightmare in which inequality breeds populism and unpredictable consequences.
• Open-source Vs. patent protection (or over-protection)
• General interest Vs. corporate greed
• Long tail power Vs. winner-takes-all due to the network effect
• AI/robots/algorithms for the benefit of all Vs. for the profits of a few
• Stand up for your ideals Vs. go with the flow

This story is about all those elements that are part of the everyday debate among the people that are creating startups, putting ideas together, and that share values that will shape how our future will be.

It is about the nature of jobs, of intellectual property, about the role of startups and the role of money. And especially it is about the impact that each of our decisions play in the society we want to create.

Are you doing what you love right now?

You do not need to be a millennial to ask yourself that question.
The digital revolution has brought an era where rules are changing and change is the rule.

Social Media gives a loud voice to independent artists, to social activists, to entrepreneurs. It is a Digital Renaissance.

Though it can be a long and tough way, it has never been easier to become an Indie artists or a social entrepreneur: musicians, authors, film-makers, graphic designers, app developers, DIY rocket scientists…

Millennials do not work just for money and status. They want to make a difference. They want to change the world for better.

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Do you ever wonder if it’s time to quit your job and start your own business?


So does the main character in this book.

Digital Renaissance is a story about a young engineer that finds his dream job in a startup accelerator in Shanghai. Soon he discovers he is working for the dark side. Things get worse when a colleague dies in strange circumstances.

It’s a story about being true to yourself and standing for your own beliefs.

Until March 20th, Digital Renaissance goes from $5.99 to $0.00. Don’t miss the chance to download it for free.

Enjoy reading!

You do NOT need a Kindle to read the book! You can still read it for free on any computer or tablet using Amazon’s free software available here: http://amzn.to/13aluuF

Why a novel on startups?

I admit it. I read far more non-fiction than fiction. That doesn’t mean I have not read my own doses of Asimov, Crichton or Forsyth. So, why my first book is a novel?

On one side because it’s more fun. You are the Creator of the world in your story. It is not that you command what happens in the story (I couldn’t), but you do become the instrument through which characters come to life, and action happens.

On the other side, Asimov used to say that it is more difficult to write fiction than non-fiction. I hate to say I love challenges and that influenced me to pick the fiction path — not the less transited though.

But mainly writing fiction gives you the opportunity to have your characters argue on ideas which don’t have a simple answer. And this story gave the ‘guys’ the chance to talk about startups, about open source, about patent trolls, about new mobile app ideas and specially about what moves most entrepreneurs: the dream to change the world.

I couldn’t have talked about all those diverse points, and some more I made about human matters as love and finding yourself, without the excuse of Mike and his journey in Asia.

For me it was really fun to write. I hope it is as fun to read for you.

If that’s the case, let me know

A story about a dreamer that wants to change the world.
After joining a startup accelerator, Mike Marquez comes across an algorithm that can change music creation forever. But soon he will find he is working for the dark side.

The fist fiction work of Jose Miguel Cansado is now on Amazon.
You can get a free pdf sample here.