2012 Continued: My Take on The Cloud and Innovation

I know – blogging about the cloud has long ago jumped the shark.  But I will press forth regardless, because I said I would in a previous post, and because both the smartphone and cloud computing are under-hyped.  Properly hyped, the situation sounds something like this:  Smartphones accessing cloud services comprise the greatest platform for innovation in history.  And recent dealflow here at NAV provides supporting evidence.  We are seeing a LOT of cool stuff of late.

And while these are no doubt exciting times, what we all need to recognize is that, as getting from idea to worldwide distribution becomes increasingly accessible, standing out from the crowd gets harder (aka much more costly).  In other words, whereas it got cheaper to launch a business, it has not gotten any cheaper to build a business.  How much do you think it costs to land your app on the home page of 10,000,000 smartphones, and get that app used every day?  The costs of creating business differentiation have moved from superior technology to superior user experience and marketing.

So, even though it is not as punchy as “plastics”, my advice to the graduate today is “user experience” and “data driven digital marketing.”  Become great at those and you will never go hungry because “the cloud” makes that skill/art intensely valuable.

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