People say there’s nothing new under the sun, and I completely disagree. If you look at things from a macro- or micro-perspective, cloud computing is merging with mobile computing and that’s going to form what I call “Ubiquitous Computing”—meaning your computing is everywhere.
“There’s never been a faster rate of change of what makes businesses work - from the way they sell to the way they go to market, to the way they run their operations.”- David Robinson
If you think about your business, your Apple watch, your smart scale—the whole world is now measuring, and it is computing for you. When we couple this technology with 5G communication technology, now you have continuous ubiquitous communication, meaning we are never on the face of this earth without being measured, being sampled, being computed, being calculated, being stored.
Companies that don’t innovate to accommodate these advances will become dinosaurs. They will die. There’s never been a faster rate of change of what makes businesses work – from the way they sell, to the way they go to market, to the way they run their operations; you have to be automating and using machine learning. AI—all of these things that seemed like science fiction 10 or 15 years ago – are in today’s market. And you have to embrace them, you have to have a good understanding of them, you have to know how it’s going to set your company apart… If you are doing the same thing you did last year, let alone 5 years ago, you will be out of business.
The ability to access data and the ability to sift through that data is ushering in what I see as the era of Bots, service agents which can go out there and do work for us. We use them already to find the best flight deals, the best hotel deals, and so on. Bots, using machine learning and AI, will become undifferentiated from a personal assistant. Maybe they can’t personally bring you your coffee, but they can order it and have it delivered to you.
Maybe that’s scary, but that’s the world we’re living in. We’re entering the age of the bots, entering the age of ubiquitous computing, and it’s a fun time to be in technology. And think about where it all started, how far we’ve come. I saw my first computer when my dad, who served in Vietnam, took me with him to pick up his paycheck from a U.S. Army facility. The computers there had eight-inch tapes and punch cards, and to me that was awe-inspiring.
And when you think about that and think about today, where computing is going and taking us—we don’t even think about computers being embedded in any device, or about the computing power in things smaller than a cell phone. So, we have an exciting world ahead of us; more computing, more data, more information, and more measurement going on. We’re going to understand more about our physical world than we ever have in the past.
I’ve started over 15 companies, many in Central Florida, all in tech, so Central Florida has been a great place and has allowed me to attract talent from all over the world because of its wonderful weather and location. The challenge, though, is getting enough well-trained technical people. Fortunately, Florida universities are cranking out great interns who we get a chance to mold and grow. If we can do a better job at one thing, it would be educating and retaining this next generation. People don’t realize what’s in our backyard, but we are committed to bringing about that awareness.