For centuries, business has been about scale. Business students are taught that cconomies of scale are the only long-term sustainable advantage, because with scale you can control markets, set prices, own channels, influence regulators, and so on. But thanks to software and big data, however, scale’s importance is waning.
Software is eating the world, and it’s different from people in two different ways. First, it can be analyzed. Second, it can be optimized. Analysis and optimization lead to a closed loop of continuous improvement. And companies that learn to harness the power of data iteratively stop worrying about scale, and start worrying about cycle time. Accountants don’t have a metric for “how fast the organism learns,” but they’d better get one soon.
Alistair has been an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker for nearly 20 years. He’s worked on a variety of topics, from web performance, to big data, to cloud computing, to startups, in that time. In 2001, he co-founded web performance startup Coradiant (acquired by BMC in 2011), and since that time has also launched Rednod, CloudOps, Bitcurrent, Year One Labs, the Bitnorth conference, the International Startup Festival and several other early-stage companies.
Alistair is the chair of O’Reilly’s Strata conference; Techweb’s Cloud Connect; and the International Startup Festival. He’s written four books on analytics, technology, and entrepreneurship, including the best-selling Lean Analytics which is being translated into eight languages. He lives in Montreal, Canada and tries to mitigate chronic ADD by writing about far too many things at Solve For Interesting.
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