Innovation is very important for any company to grow and be successful. However, in order to innovate, a company needs to be able to learn how to monetize its innovation. That means being able to exceed or meet goals by monetizing products, and that happens when companies recognize the needs of the target customers. It happens when they ensure the product not only addresses their needs but can scale to meet that customer’s needs in the future.
I learned very early on that a solution should never be in search of a problem. My mother worked on Wall Street, where she climbed the ranks to become an executive at a global bank, bringing new innovation to the world of back-office operations. It’s from her that I learned that a solution is only found by solving a specific problem.
Today, data is part of the solution to many different problems. If used in the right way, it can be used to further innovation, find cures to cancer, and help predict catastrophes that can save lives.
It has also proven to be profitable and large corporations are monetizing off data collected. Why? Because those who are monetizing are following the simple economics of supply and demand. They know how to find their data, they know how to analyze the data and they know how to create a need to make someone purchase the data. Selling data has become a sore subject, but one cannot deny how successful it’s been—and profitable.
But access to data needs to be done transparently, securely, and ethically. This is one of the reasons I gravitated to a belief that utilizing a distributed ledger or blockchain can assist in an ethical way of monetizing data-driven innovation. While removing the angst around sharing data, you can work on building a strong value proposition and effective business cases around specific problems that you can now address with your specific solution.
Buzzwords and promises based upon them will not last. AI/ML/RPA—all overused.
The companies that will thrive need to provide real solutions that can be implemented to truly add value.
Innovation around an Enabled AI is the next wave. Artificial intelligence is not meant to replace the human; it’s meant to enable the human. Faster, quicker, more efficient. The ability to remove manual labor and automate the process is a necessary evolution—however, we cannot remove the person by replacing a machine. Logical thinking and reasoning, oversight, exception handling, and personal dynamics are important for scalability. The next innovation is around the human ability to innovate themselves around the machine. More learning, more training, more thinking.
As an entrepreneur and technologist, I feel the greatest achievement in my life will be utilizing my skills to build and innovate a product that can be used by anyone seeking support, comfort, and information in their fight with cancer—and in the global fight for finding a cure for cancer. I am inspired to do so by my daughter, my son, everyone around me.
If as much time and energy that has been spent on monetizing off of people’s data for profit can also be used for good, then I’ll spend my time and energy to continue building technology solutions that can truly make my children’s world better in the future.