It is already 17B and growing. CB Insights projects it will be a 33B industry by 2022. The halo days of proprietary software is limited and Open Source captured the imagination of developers all over. Companies like Microsoft, Google, Redhat make large contributions to open source softwares. The criticality is evident from the Microsoft’s acquisition of Github for 7.5B in 2018, the largest in enterprise software in history.
So what is big data? This is what companies know about us. Aggregated from numerous sources and analyzed for patterns. Big data is what helps banks predict and flag credit card frauds. Little data on the other hand is what we know about ourselves. “What we buy. Who we know. Where we go. How we spend our time. We’ve always had a sense for these things — after all, it’s our lives. But thanks to the combination of mobile, social, and cloud technologies, it’s easier than ever to gain insight into our own behavior” writes Mark Bonchek in this HBR article.
Jordan Valencia, Programs and Partnership Manager at Grab Ventures, in her latest article in Harvard Business Review talks about the need to focus on culture when companies are in the Hyper Growth phase. Defined by Alexander V. Izosimov in HBR in 2008, “Hypergrowth refers to the steep part of the S-curve”. The rapid growth comes with steep rise in employee count. This is where the challenges set in.
Tomasz Tunguz is the one you turn to for analysis when watershed events happen. Salesforce Tableau acquisition is one such event in a string of similar ones (although the most expensive by value by far) playing out this month. It follows Google’s Looker acquisition and Sisense’s acquisition of Periscope Data.
It is clear. Everything legacy, every business, every process will be disrupted. So the choice is yours if you will be the one to be disrupted or you will be the disruptor. The disproportionate value that the disruptor harnesses is clear (Uber, AirBnB, Dropbox, Zappos). What makes someone to become the disruptor? Sometimes it is by accident, but more often than not it is because the disruptor decides it was enough of the status quo and acts.
I was reading this article by Jackie MacMullan on the ESPN site – on how elite athletes cope or learn to cope with high stress linked to split second (guaranteed) performance. What makes them falter (mostly overthinking that disconnects their instinctive muscle memory from the last at hand) and how they make a come back from defeat. The article is a must read to see how the top athletes develop regimes to tackle stress under pressure. And it should give Founders a lot of clarity about how to deal with stress in our own play fields.
Earlier this month David Cummings raised this question in his blog On Startups – Why the lack of a Strategic plan?
I was meeting with Rahul Gupta, a prolific angel investor in New Delhi and he echoed very similar thoughts. Why is it that founders are not able to articulate their priorities in a simple 5 quarterly targets format? Many a times, according to Rahul, the fact that there is no-one outside the team to whom the team/founder is accountable, makes the difference.
The story of Visicalc as written by Tim Harford in bbc.com in a very recent article is indeed eye-opening. Not only because it tells the story of the first sensation in business software but because he shows how it showed the earliest signs of destruction of jobs by technology. And then creation of new ones.
When I look around for tech business related nuggets for myself, some of which I share in this series, my primary go to topics are related to software, SaaS and startups. Then super high level ideas that need pondering about or keeping them in the periphery of your vision lest they become a Tsunami behind your back. Time to time I come across a story which does not fit my normal scheme of things but are so compelling that I feel like sharing it with friends. One such came out just a few days back in Fast Company written by Joel Johnson. It is the story of how the USB port came about.
Hugh Durkin, Director of Platform Partner Success Hubspot, has been following mobile habits and writing on shifts that he sees in the space. Way back in 2016, when he was a Senior Product Manager at Intercom, he wrote about how browsers are the future of mobile. Data in support – “ most US smartphone owners ( read 65%+) download zero apps in a typical month,” according to Comscore’s then report on mobile apps ( how many new apps did you download last quarter?) and it goes on to show that the top App takes 50% of use time while the top 3 are responsible for 80% of the mobile usage.