May 7, 2011

You say "Ubiquity", I say "Opportunity" -- Baking Cakes and Discussing Algorithms with My 6-Year-Old

It is no longer: "He/she who has the data has the power."
Instead, it is: "He/she who synthesizes the data has the power."

In a world in which data/information is ubiquitous, the company that can...

1. Identify the important data
2. Synthesize it across a number (think: 10,000) of layers

...will redefine customer norms/expectations in your industry.

One thing we can be certain of: ubiquity will grow in perpetuity. If everyone has access to everything, then how can a company distinguish itself? How can a company add value if there is seemlingly nothing to add?

Bake Me a Cake as Fast as You Can

People made good cakes during the first half of the 20th century.

People made better cakes during the second half of the 20th century.

Why? Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Costco, and Kroger. Ubiquity = opportunity! But only for those who know how to...

1. Identify
2. Synthesize

...the best blend of the tens of thousands of available ingredients.

"Dad, what's an algorithm?"

Be worried if your 6-year-old is not asking you this. She needs to get on the ball and in the game! Truth be told, my 6-year-old hasn't asked me this question -- yet. But she does love using algorithms. Her favorite is Google's, mainly because she loves searching for the "best ice cream _______" with the underscore being whichever city we happen to be living in or visiting at the time.

What is Google? What is the product? No, it is not the algorithm, just like Coca-Cola's product is not sugar water in a can. Google's product is a service -- it helps you find the information you want/need as quickly as possible. Google's future/power lies in its ability to place a bit in the mouth of ubiquitous information and steer it. Google's product is simplicity -- it's an Advil to cure the throbbing headache of a ubiquitous world.


If you want to develop a disruptive product:

1. Collect a ton of information (Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Costco & Kroger)
2. Identify the information that matters (Pull ingredients off the shelf)
3. Synthesize the information (Experiment -- 2 teaspoons of this, 1 cup of that)

You just baked a cake that will change your world, dominate your industry, and leave your customers hungry for more.

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