So I was sitting on the couch last night when i was completely wrapped up in a great discussion on information with my new fiancee. As we talked, I began to realize the fundamental shift that is taking hold of the global marketplace. Historically speaking, society began as an agrarian society, where foodstuffs, grain, livestock etc... were what was considered valuable and to a large extent the land/real estate owners who produced these goods were the ones who realized the profits after the harvest.
Of course we made a couple other shifts, (please excuse my abridged version of macro economics) but to me the next significant change was the shift to an industrialized society. In this society, the owner of the factory reaped the rewards of profit. Raw materials and products were transformed through an industrial process into usable components or machines that made life easier (in theory).
So with the development of tools and technology, that not only changed the face of the agrarian markets (combines, balers, etc..) but also began to automate the industrial processes we began to see another shift which moved us into technology and the digital age. By utilizing the technology and letting the tools do the work for us we began to see less and less of a need for dedicated workers in each of these market segments.
Now with the ability to learn and further all fronts in technology, science and innovation the last couple of hundred years have been nothing less than astounding. And everyone drones on about the exponential path that technology has been on. However, what's really interesting to think about is the new process of gathering, processing and selling....you guessed it...information. Almost in an agrarian sense, companies are making billions of dollars off of harvesting data and presenting it to a user in a processed format. Don't believe me. Try this website.
Google makes billions off of sifting through enormous amounts of data and presenting it to a user in a processed format that makes it usable. Now how does all of this tie to BIM you might ask?
Buildings contain enormous amounts of complex documentation, think about even with a good completed set of documents, how much information is still missing. I think we have really only begun to scratch the surface of where BIM will take us. When you begin to think about the enormous opportunity software developers have in this new and uncornered market to make information easier to input, extract, gather, and visually represent I think we will start to see our industry change significantly in the next 10 years if not sooner.
I was joking that we might even have google for buildings in the future where I can enter a keyword into a search engine and scan the BIM for relative components such as poly-iso insulation and see where it's located in the building.
Just a thought.