The ideas about technology that have become lenses and points of view I return to as I try to makes sense of how things are changing, and what can be done. This is a digital world, so none of this is etched in stone. But from what I’ve seen so far, these things seem to be true.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT
ON THE NATURE OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION 10 OBSERVATIONS
1. TECHNOLOGY IS A SCIENCE, BUT GETTING PEOPLE TO USE IT IS AN ART.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 2
According to Margaret Gould Stewart,
Director of Product Design at Facebook, it
took the designer over 280 hours to perfect
the redesign of the Facebook “like” button,
a small but vital element of the social web
that is seen on average 22 billion times a
day across over 7.5 million websites.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 3
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROMISING AND LEGENDARY DEPENDS ON INTUITION, CREATIVITY, AND TASTE.
THE BEST TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES IN THE WORLD FIND WAYS TO BALANCE THESE FORCES.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 4
2. OUR INABILITY TO PREDICT THE FUTURE DOESN’T MAKE IT ANY LESS INEVITABLE.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 5
In 2004 it was difficult to predict whether
Friendster, MySpace, or Facebook would
be most successful. Looking back, it turns
out that the true measure of your wisdom
wasn’t whether or not you bet correctly,
but rather whether or not you bet at all.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 6
EMBRACING POSSIBILITY INSPIRES EXPLORATION AND ACTION.
QUESTIONING POSSIBILITY OFFERS THE SKEPTICS A CHEAP AND DANGEROUS EXCUSE FOR DOING NOTHING AT ALL.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 7
3. EVERYTHING CAN BE DISRUPTED.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 8
Tesla barely made it out of their start-up
phase, but now they’ve got the safest car
ever tested, the best rated car ever by
Consumer Reports, and they’re blowing
other auto stocks out of the water. Just
because the car business is hard, doesn’t
mean it can’t be completely transformed by
a former software engineer.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 9
DIGITAL DOESN’T RESPECT BOUNDARIES.
REGARDLESS OF THE INDUSTRY, DIGITIZATION WILL UNCOVER INEFFICIENCIES AND CREATE VALUE.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 10
4. “ARE PEOPLE USING IT?” IS THE ONLY QUESTION THAT REALLY MATTERS.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 11
WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for
$19 billion (that’s roughly 1/3 the market
cap of Ford Motor Company). For those
who are baffled by the size of the deal, look
at the number that matters: as of
December 2013, WhatsApp had over 400
million active users per month (the
population of the United States is roughly
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 12
WELL-INTENTIONED EXECUTIVES BUILD A GAUNTLET OF QUESTIONS, INTENDED TO ENSURE SUCCESS, THAT END UP KILLING INNOVATION.
YOUR JOB AS A BUSINESS LEADER IS TO ANSWER THIS QUESTION FIRST, AND FAST: ARE PEOPLE USING IT?
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 13
5. TRYING SOMETHING COSTS LESS THAN NOT TRYING ANYTHING.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 14
In 2009, Jack Dorsey’s friend James
McKelvey, a artisan glass-blower, went
to their local Techshop and a month
later had a working prototype of what
would eventually become Square, the
disruptive payments company now
valued at over $8 billion.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 15
THE COST OF INACTION IS HIGHER THAN YOU THINK.
IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME UNTIL SOMEONE DISCOVERS THE BREAKTHROUGH SOLUTION THAT WILL DISRUPT YOUR BUSINESS.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 16
6. YOU CAN’T CHANGE WHAT YOU DO WITHOUT CHANGING HOW YOU DO IT.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 17
“We had to think about if we’re going to be
in a business that’s changing that quickly,
how do we avoid institutionalizing one set
of production methods in such a way that
we can’t adapt to what’s going to be
…because as useful as they are in the short-
term in the long-term they really end up
hurting you a lot.”
Gabe Newell, co-founder and
CEO at Valve, in an interview
with the Washington Post,
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 18
YOU CAN’T USE YESTERDAY’S WAY OF WORKING TO BUILD TOMORROW’S SOLUTIONS.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 19
The companies that are leading our
economy and shaping our future are
working in a completely new way. At Undercurrent, we call these
companies responsive organizations,
defined by a new set of operating
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 20
7. IF YOU’RE NOT DESIGNING FOR NETWORKS, YOU’RE MISSING THE POINT.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 21
When Google bought the car navigation
app Waze for $966 million, they framed
“This fast-growing community of traffic-obsessed drivers is working together
to find the best routes from home to work,
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 22
DIGITAL THINGS DON’T GET USED UP WHEN THEY GET USED.
THIS IS WHY FIGURING OUT HOW USERS CAN CREATE VALUE FOR EACH OTHER IS NOW FUNDAMENTAL FOR CREATORS OF DIGITAL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 23
8. INNOVATION IS RECOMBINANT, AND SPEED IS THE NEW IP.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 24
Sir Tim Berners-Lee:
“When I say I invented the web, I really
just put together the last few pieces out of a construction kit, which had already been made.”
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 25
HUMANITY HAS NEVER HAD MORE WORTHWHILE IDEAS. IT’S NEVER BEEN EASIER TO FIND THEM. AND IT’S NEVER BEEN EASIER TO BRING THEM TO LIFE.
THE CHALLENGE IS WHO CAN GET THOSE GOOD IDEAS IN FRONT OF REAL USERS FASTEST.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 26
9. YOU CAN’T ESCAPE COMPLEXITY.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 27
The open-source operating system Linux
has evolved into one of the world’s most
popular operating systems with a large,
diverse and disorganized collection of
contributors, free and open access to its
source code, and constant iteration and
variation of the product.
Mostly the exact opposite of Microsoft.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 28
LIKE A 21ST CENTURY MIDAS, DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY MAKES EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES COMPLEX.
SEEKING SIMPLICITY IN THE FACE OF COMPLEXITY IS SIMPLY A FASTER ROUTE TO OBSOLESCENCE.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 29
AS THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION WAS DEFINED BY RADICAL EFFICIENCY IN PRODUCTION, THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION IS DEFINED BY RADICAL EFFICIENCY IN INFORMATION TRANSMISSION.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 30
Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson,
The Second Machine Age:
“Computers and other digital advances are
doing for mental power— the ability to use
our brains to understand and shape our
environments— what the steam engine and
its descendants did for muscle power.”
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 31
IF YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR A BUSINESS OR INDUSTRY, AND WONDERING WHERE THE WEAKNESSES OR OPPORTUNITIES LIE, LOOK CLOSELY AT THE CRACKS AND CREVICES WHERE INFORMATION IS CURRENTLY TRAPPED, AND HELP IT TO FLOW MORE FREELY.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 32
TO LEARN MORE
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: HTTP://MEDIUM.COM/P/9A889AA170D1
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 33
CREDITS None of these ideas are mine alone. They are built upon the work and great thinking of many other people who are all infinitely more brilliant than I am. In addition to my inspiring colleagues at Undercurrent (including Aaron Dignan, Clay Parker Jones, Bud Caddell, Jordan Husney, and others) here are some books that I consider to be seminal:
!• Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan
• The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
• The Cluetrain Manifesto by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger
• Emergence by Steven Johnson
• The Wealth of Networks by Yochai Benkler
• Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky
• Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell
• Getting Real by 37Signals
• The Second Machine Age by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 34
Mike is a Partner at Undercurrent, a strategy firm for the 21st century.
Mike has helped leaders of global organizations, including GE, PepsiCo, Ford, American Express, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, understand how technology is disrupting their world and what to do about it.
Mike is available for speaking at summits and conferences, as a workshop facilitator, and as a guest writer for print and online business publications.
Get in touch:http://www.mikearauz.com/