Disrupt, or be disrupted

November 2, 2015, 2:40 PM UTC
Key Speakers At The Google I/O Annual Developers Conference
Larry Page, co-founder and chief executive officer at Google Inc., smiles during the Google I/O Annual Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, May 15, 2013. Page disclosed a health condition that can result in hoarse speech and labored breathing, though according to doctors won?t impede him from running the Web-search provider. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
David Paul Morris — Bloomberg via Getty Images

I’m writing this note Sunday afternoon on a flight to San Francisco, where the Fortune Global Forum gets underway Monday. My hope is to be sleeping when this newsletter arrives in your inbox.

The Forum’s theme this year is Winning in the Disruptive Century. “Disruption” is an overused word in business these days – but overused for good reason. To reprise:

1) Change in business is happening faster than ever.

2) The change is more pervasive, reaching almost every corner of every company. The disruptive technologies – cloud + mobile computing; sensors + big data (the Internet of things); machine learning + artificial intelligence; advanced robotics + drones – are driving a new industrial revolution that is rewriting the rules of the 21st century corporation.

3) The rewards to winners are coming bigger and faster than ever before, while laggards are left fighting over meager remains. As a result, the lifespan of the average enterprise is shrinking.

That may not fit Clay Christensen’s classic definition of disruption, but no matter. Anyone trying to compete understands the dynamic. Disrupt, or be disrupted.

We are holding the Fortune Global Forum in San Francisco this year to bring the world’s leading CEOs together with Silicon Valley’s leading innovators and explore the implications of these fast-moving trends. I’ll be interviewing Alphabet CEO Larry Page (GOOG) at the opening dinner tonight, and wrapping up with J.P. Morgan (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon on Wednesday. In between, we’ll be talking and brainstorming with the best gathering of business talent this side of Davos. (And enjoying ourselves as well. Tuesday night, we spread out to some of the city’s most beautiful private residences for dinner and more discussion.)

You can read the full Forum schedule here, and follow the proceedings on fortune.com. I’ll bring you highlights each morning in this newsletter.

If you are attending, I look forward to seeing you there. If not, pay attention anyway. The future of business is coming fast.

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