Recently I was asked about my background, and what I had worked on- what the common theme had been across the many companies that I had been involved with. My answer, that I ended up presenting in a power point slide as part of a longer response to the questions that had been asked was entrepreneurship, specifically focused on disruptive innovation. That is, technologies, that when applied correctly, create a disruption in the market. It seems, based on this graph, that that is what my whole career has been about- across a number of startup companies.
Here is a copy of that graph:
As you can see, I have been involved with a number of career changing, market different technologies… the reason that I present this is not to necessarily say something about my background as much as a recognition of what the market is continuing to embrace- constant change and chaos, over and over.
The disruptions that I have gotten to participate with:
1. OOP- object oriented programming… What makes the programing languages of Java, Python, and Ruby so valuable to software developers today? Two things- first being able to run software written in these languages on a number of platforms. Secondly, these languages are “object oriented” meaning that they support rapid assembly and high quality software development.
2. Internet- I was using the internet for my work all the way back to 1989, and programming the internet by 1993, an artifact of working for NeXT Computer (now a part of Apple).
3. eCommerce- a year before Business Week had written a front page article asking “Is eCommerce a passing fad” (in 1997) I had already built eCommerce engines for companies the likes of Dell Computer Corporation.
4. Affective Computing- imagine computers that can read emotion. Back in 2001, there were very few people thinking about how computers could read emotions of their users, and how this could be applied to business (imagine support reps at companies that learned how to be friendlier as they solved problems for us). The MIT Media Lab was doing some of the coolest stuff in this area, as well as Carnegie Mellon University. I was pulling technologies from CMU and the University of Texas to solve some of these problems in helping support and sales reps be more emotionally intelligent.
5. Linux as appliance. The operating system Linux, designed and programmed by thousands of developers around the world is one of the most disruptive technologies that the world has seen… why? Because it allows entrepreneurs to experiment at multiple levels in building products for the world. I specifically was a part of a startup that was using Linux to build VPNs and firewalls.
6. Smartmobs. What I am presently doing in my startup Enterprise Teaming and in Bootstrap Austin (a group of 600+ Austin based bootstrapping entrepreneurs) is exploring on how mass collaboration can be used to unleash innovation across the enterprise (whether that is one corporation, or a number of loosely connected entrepreneurial startups).
What I will endevor to do in the coming days, weeks, and months is to illustrate the coming disruptions that I see on the horizon… especially with reguard to the massive opportunity of working together building companies (and social entrepreneurship organizations) at a scale that the world has never seen before.