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Star Trek shows us the future!
As an economic futurist, I get to go down a lot of research rabbit holes.
Sometimes I discover a new bar, like Charlotte’s Rabbit Hole.
Sometime I discover a new bourbon, like Louisville’s Rabbit Hole distillery.
Sometimes I discover new ideas like DNA data storage.
Like 0s and 1s into As, Cs, Gs & Ts.
All of these help me understand the challenges and opportunities for the economic future today.
Data storage impacts all major tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft.
It also impact every company under the sun and can give you an edge for an interesting talking point to hit up clients on.
Please share the post below with clients needing a fresh perspective on their business and where the economy is going in the future.
Moving from Binary to DNA
Data Storage
(Sounds boring unless you care about climate change, healthcare and Bitcoin)
For our consulting/keynote clients, we have shared our views on the main driver of the big 4 tech companies aggressively moving into healthcare. They are all trying to generate new cloud storage clients. This is the major battle in the tech space as humanity will generate an estimated 33 zettabytes by 2025 (that’s 3.3 followed by 22 zeros) and they will need it stored somewhere. According to Gartner, the global public cloud services market is expected to grow to $364B by 2024, up from $242.7B last year.
Enter a little known US government program called IARPA: Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity and the MIST program. MIST or Molecular Information Storage (MIST) program aims to bring cheaper, bigger, longer-lasting storage to big-data operations in government and the private sector according to the Los Alamos Reporter. “The short-term goal of MIST is to write 1 terabyte—a trillion bytes—and read 10 terabytes within 24 hours for $1,000.”
Why DNA? The potential data storage density is mind-blowing. The 33 zettabytes of data mentioned above could fit into a ping-pong ball with room to spare.
If successful, this new data storage has big implications for a wide-range of sectors in the US economy. Storing the blockchain associated with crypto currencies is one possibility, making the currencies more viable as a medium of exchange and reducing costs. Quantum computing is another area where data storage could help speed the ability of algos to manage the massive amounts of data needed and thus make it viable(read more here). Lastly, healthcare has the potential to significantly speed up genome, mRNA and other critical research.
On this last point, all of the major tech companies are vying to expand their reach into healthcare and cloud. As an example, Microsoft recently agreed to purchase Nuance to rapidly expand the footprint into this space. Nuance’s speech recognition software is an expanding opp into medicine as doctors seek to speed up documentation of patient work with dictation rather than getting bogged down taking notes, executives said according to WSJ. Healthcare has been a sector woefully behind in adopting technology and data analysis.
Cloud plus DNA storage might be the type of breakthrough that brings real change and success for solving perplexing health problems like diabetes and cancer.
Hey, we all want Dr. McCoy’s tricorder and this new technology takes us one step closer to making that happen.

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I'm Andy Busch

If things feel crazy in the world today, that's because they are. We are seeing huge shifts in risk and reward, leading to a lot of economic uncertainty and confusion about where we go from here.

As an economic futurist, I do things a bit differently than your typical economist — going beyond analyzing how today's financial policies impact economic growth, to focus on the super-charged trends driving much of today's global chaos and change.

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