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‘Forbes’ editor: Digital revolution to take on traditional Louisiana industries next

February 16, 2017
By Sam Karlin
Originally Posted on Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Forbes Editor-at-Large Rich Karlgaard today predicted the digital revolution that has disrupted the news, retail and software industries in the past decade also will begin to transform more traditional sectors such as energy and manufacturing in the coming years.

For Louisiana, whose industries are largely composed of energy, manufacturing, agriculture and the like, that means businesses will have to quickly adapt to innovation to stay ahead of the curve.

“There is a great opportunity for Louisiana to be a hub of reinvention,” Karlgaard said. “If you’re in Detroit, you can’t go run and hide from Uber—you have to figure out how this works with your industry.”

Drones, automated vehicles and Amazon distribution centers are already beginning to alter markets, Karlgaard said. As innovation continues to drive “relentlessly declining costs,” companies that don’t embrace the shift will be left behind, he said.

Karlgaard’s remarks came at the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry’s annual meeting today. Dozens of Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Taylor Barras and Senate President John Alario, attended the meeting, as did at least one Democrat. LABI has four political action committees, one for each region of the state, that donate to political campaigns.

President Donald Trump dominated the talks throughout the day at LABI’s annual meeting, with Karlgaard lauding Trump’s assumed economic policies and those of the Republican-majority Congress.

However, Karlgaard noted that uncertainty dominates the new administration, and it is unclear what exact positions Trump will take on trade, taxes and currency.