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November 2nd, 2021 4 Minute Read Press Release

THE CLOUD REVOLUTION: How the Convergence of New Technologies Will Unleash the Next Economic Boom and A Roaring 2020s

“Makes the exciting―and convincing―case that we’re on the cusp of a fantastic new era of technological breakthroughs that will vastly enrich our lives.”

―Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media

NEW YORK, NY ― The future is hard to predict. But in today’s changing world, many have tried their hand. Some argue for the emergence of a “new normal,” where ordering a ride or food on a smartphone or trading in bitcoins is as good as it’s going to get. Others warn of a looming dystopian era of widespread, digitally driven job- and business-destruction. Yet other predictions hinge on the belief that the epicenter of technological revolution will be found with renewable energy and electric cars.

But in a new book The Cloud Revolution: How the Convergence of New Technologies Will Unleash the Next Economic Boom and A Roaring 2020s (Encounter Books: November 2, 2021), Manhattan Institute’s senior fellow Mark Mills explains why these predictions get it wrong, and miss the proverbial “forest for the trees.” A roaring 2020s is arriving, and it won’t come from any singular invention but from the convergence of radical advances in the three primary technology domains: microprocessors, materials, and machines. Microprocessors are increasingly embedded in everything. Materials, from which everything is built, are emerging with novel, almost magical capabilities. And all manner of machines, which make and move everything, are undergoing complementary transformations. Unique to our time, accelerating and enabling all of this is the Cloud, history’s biggest infrastructure, which is itself made possible by the revolutions in precisely those three technological domains.

Mills argues that we’ve seen this pattern before. The technology revolution that drove the great economic expansion of the twentieth century can be traced to a similar confluence, one that was first visible in the 1920s: a new information infrastructure (telephony and radio), new machines (cars and power plants), and new materials (plastics and pharmaceuticals). Single inventions don’t drive great, long-cycle booms. It always takes convergent revolutions in technology’s three core spheres—information, materials, and machines. Over history, Mills finds that convergence has only happened a few times.

We have wrung much magic from the technologies that fueled the last long boom. But the great convergence now underway will ignite the 2020s. And this time, unlike any previous historical epoch, we have the Cloud amplifying everything. The next long boom starts now.


Mark P. Mills, a physicist, is a Manhattan Institute senior fellow, a faculty fellow at Northwestern University, and a partner in Montrose Lane, an energy-tech venture fund. He is author of Digital Cathedrals (2020) and Work in the Age of Robots (2018), and he is the co-author of The Bottomless Well (2006). He served as chairman and CTO of ICx Technologies, helping take it public in 2007. Earlier, Mills co-authored a successful tech investment newsletter, the Huber-Mills Digital Power Report, and prior to that he served in the Reagan White House Science Office and worked for a number of firms in the commercial nuclear industry. He began his career as an experimental physicist and development engineer in microprocessors and fiber optics at the dawn of the semiconductor revolution, earning several patents while working at Bell Northern Research (Canada’s Bell Labs) and at RCA’s microprocessor factory in New Jersey.


“Entertaining and educating while linking history, technology and unusual savvy, Mark Mills’s The Cloud Revolution shows an unprecedented upcoming convergence of technological forces from whose acquaintance you can’t help but be a much better investor.”

Ken Fisher, founder and executive chairman of Fisher Investments, multi-national columnist, and bestselling author

“Makes the exciting—and convincing—case that we’re on the cusp of a fantastic new era of technological breakthroughs that will vastly enrich our lives. What a timely—and much needed—antidote to the debilitating pessimism that now reigns.”

Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media

“A compelling case for optimism: An economic boom in the immediate future driven by the convergence of three evolving technologies aided by the Cloud. Tons of verifiable data support the case… An antidote to the doomsday scenarios that seem to tint everything today.”

Julio M. Ottino, dean of the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Northwestern University

“This is a book about how the future will work. The ‘20s’ will roar because of the new economy made possible by the Cloud. ‘Data is the new oil’ not because it replaces oil but because of the wide range of new industries and innovation it will spawn. This is a book that one will learn much from—and be amazed by.”

Daniel Yergin, vice chairman of IHS Markit, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Prize and The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations


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