Research Library

Of Wonders and Disruption – report

While we don't pretend to be able to see the future in detail, we believe that the overall pattern of business and technology change is more predictable than many people think. 

Our research shows that business competition tends to go through 3 main phases - peace, war and finally wonder. Consider the war between Edison and Tesla which led to utility electricity, which then enabled wonders such as air conditioning, home appliances, radio and motion pictures. We are on the verge of many such wars and wonders now. 

This report provides a strategic framework for envisioning how areas such as 3D printing, self-driving cars, robotics, the internet of things and the IT industry itself might change in the years ahead, as they evolve through the peace, war and wonder stages.

/publication/the-age-of-wonder-mapping-and-strategic-plays-2409/Watch a video which describes IT as a weapon in a time of war and an age of wonder.


Executive Summary

PDF (1.4 MB)

Single Topic Report

PDF (3.2 MB)



Simon Wardley
Simon Wardley, based in the UK, is a Researcher for Leading Edge Forum and the lead practitioner for Wardley Maps advisory service helping clients anticipate market and ecosystem developments. Simon’s focus is on the intersection of IT strategy and new technologies, and he is the author of multiple reports including Clash of the Titans – Will China Dethrone Silicon Valley?  where he assesses the hi-tech challenge from China and what this means to the future of global technology industry competition. His previous research covers topics including Of Wonders and Disruption,  The Future is More Predictable Than You Think - A Workbook for Value Chain Mapping, Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts: Strategies for an Increasingly Open Economy, Learning from Web 2.0 and A Lifecycle Approach to Cloud Computing. Simon is a seasoned executive who has spent the last 15 years defining future IT strategies for companies in the FMCG, Retail and IT industries.  From Canon’s early leadership in the cloud computing space in 2005 to Ubuntu’s recent dominance as the #1 Cloud operating system. As a geneticist with a love of mathematics and a fascination in economics, Simon has always found himself dealing with complex systems, whether it’s in behavioural patterns, environmental risks of chemical pollution, developing novel computer systems or managing companies.  He is a passionate advocate and researcher in the fields of open source, commoditization, innovation, organizational structure and cybernetics. Simon is a regular presenter at conferences worldwide, and has been voted as one of the UK's top 50 most influential people in IT in recent Computer Weekly polls.