The Davos Special

Going digital the secure way

At the 2015 WEF, business leaders and investors discuss the need to disrupt the market before big data disrupts you

Photographs by WEF

  •  This is the most exciting time in history. Data, which was more concealed, is now essentially a currency. It is a commodity, which is how I prefer to think about it. Things such as centralised cloud computing create opportunities for efficient use of resources at the edge of the network. 
  • The essential difference between traditional companies and disruptors is that traditional companies already have mountains of data and there is a lot to lose by misusing data, while disruptors have nothing to lose. Data is critical mass for small and large companies. As we look at data, we have the opportunity to build new businesses, have a natural network effect of data, the person or company at the centre of the cloud knows a lot more about any one participant at the edge than other participants do, they enjoy data monopoly. 
  • The concept of data monopoly will be dominant for the next few decades. The industries that will disrupt it the most are those that rely on a point-to-point monopoly. The last ones to go down and get completely re-written will be healthcare and finance. I say healthcare because the data regulation in this sector makes it very hard to change things. Finance is a sector where data was always thought of as a currency but this belief was confined to a very small number of people. The company that today looks like the future of finance companies is Bloomberg. The company has built a natural network effect driven store where they know everything about people using the data at the edge more than the users know.
  • There are people who are thinking 100 years out. These people don’t look for an IPO or an acquisition. Typically, what they are thinking about is the creation of a natural monopoly, something that sticks around for so long because the customers don’t want the company to go out of business. The typical mindset I look for in entrepreneurs is if they strive to figure out something that the customer wants, in a way that inspires them to have it built by someone else. Because they believe that forever it will be cheaper and better if their partner produces it. This is what cloud computing is all about. One thing to
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