History planted the magic beans for what’s next.
Open your eyes wide 👀 because “it” is happening. Beyond the tall silos of current day technological advances, what we are now seeing is an overload of scattered Web applications for which has become increasingly difficult to eek out new business models. And yet, to think about what’s next, if you look back at the history and the development of technology and the transportation systems, what we clearly see are several nouveau and emerging markets.
“The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet” — William Gibson
In October 2008, a “magic bean” 🌱 was planted into the soil of technology. As time went by, the seed grew into a gigantic 🌴 beanstalk, similar in its strength to that of the Internet, railroad and Interstate highway systems.
But there’s more. Eight years later, as the beanstalk thrived, its roots grew deeper, wider and the beanstalk became mighty and strong, resilient to hacking and security threats. Not only did it rise in height, it also grew in length as its branches 🌿 spread outward.
Think of the beanstalk like an open source — no one owns it, and no herbicide can control its growth. Breakthrough innovation is now born. 🌳
Discovering new and emerging markets 🔭
The best developers and entrepreneurs, early-stage investors and venture capitalists, have been notably good at finding inefficiencies between the commercial ecosystem and technology. But what has become even more challenging is to identify the void in existing business models, and to then capture the market share on Web-based applications. Why? The current databases, in general, do not have a standard for interchange. Without a universal data exchange format to share information, communication standards are set by dominating platforms. Similar to banks, platforms such as Facebook (or LinkedIn or eBay or Uber) dominate an entire ecosystem. Consequently, data centralization and access restrictions for developers stalls innovation. This “disconnect” is where we begin.
For many large corporations, developing these new business models is an ongoing challenge because they are defending and maintaining existing business models. Just as numerous big box retailers have seen Amazon (or Wayfare or Warby Parker) pick up market share. Couple that with, the sheer number of decision makers — like too many chefs in the kitchen — the problem, is compounded.
On the last point, we must come to the realization that to discover new business models so to drive top-line revenue requires us to think differently. Rather than launching new products/services off the core business (from the inside-out), or investing in mergers and acquisitions where focus groups end up stifling the passion behind the innovation, the strategic approach is to work across a multifaceted team environment (from the outside-in). Within this safe environment, developers and founders are free to create, from an understanding of the customer needs and the market needs.
So, it’s intriguing to look back at history to remember those visionaries who paved the way for what’s to come; the development of systems.
History of systems
Briefly, let’s consider the history of our transportation systems. Rail Transport is nearly as old as the United States itself. Dating back to the 1820s, the rail industry was controlled and owned by relatively few individuals who amassed a great deal of money.
Businessmen, such as J.P. Morgan and Leland Stanford, were early growth pioneers who played a dominant role in building the foundation of our national railroad network that over time connected entrepreneurs from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. As the rail system grew, so did commerce. More people became rich and influential, bringing to the table newer and newer approaches and ideas of business models.
Equally, as the rail system played an important role in the development of the US economy, I am reminded of the current day database brokers who control access, and ultimately the production of data.
Interstate highway 🚗 🚚 🚙
During the “Golden Age of Capitalism”, competition from the Interstate highways (and airlines ✈️) drove many railroads out of business.
This shift is important to think 💭 about because — the highway system was not owned by anyone. The cost to start a new business was very low, and small businesses flourished under the open system.
The Internet 📡
History of the Internet also dates back to the 1950s, with the development of electronic computers.
Soon after, in the early 1960s, the US Department of Defense (D.O.D.) awarded contracts for packet network systems. At this time, Silicon Valley was born and its success is partly due to the D.O.D. contracts.
World Wide Web 🌎🕸
Four decades later, in 1991, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web (“WWW” or “Web”) — a global information medium that connected users to the Internet. Even though many use the words Internet and Web interchangeably — they are not the same — just as highways are not railroads.
What’s next? 🔮
When people and the media mistakenly think about Bitcoin, what they end up believing is that it’s just a digital currency (or 🤓 “geek money”💰) typically used by 👹 criminals.
At first, these were my initial thoughts. 🤔 However, for the past two years, I have been researching Bitcoin as a methodology that has inspirationally opened my eyes 😳 to what’s next — a breakthrough innovation platform 🚀 and transformative communications protocol.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” — Albert Einstein