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136. 2023 Prediction 4: Opportunities lie in the invention vs adaption gap

What kind of doorbell do you use? A buzzer? A door knocker or a Ring smart doorbell system?

Right now, you can see all three inventions in use: one that has been around for millennia, and another that was created just 20 years ago.

This shows the wide gap between tech invention and its wide-scale adaption. While the Ring doorbell system is now well known, some people still prefer to use a door knocker – a system that was developed before Biblical times.

This gap between a product or an idea existing, and its wide scale adaption, is where the biggest opportunities lie. 

Listen to this episode to learn how to capture them, as a corporate leader, founder or investor.

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Plan your year like a Digital Leader workshop

Live online: 5 February 2023, 11 am EST / 4 pm GMT


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135. 2023 Prediction 3: Digital Transformation gets a human face

Digital Transformation is going to continue being a huge force in business, but the way it’s being done is changing. People, not tech tools, are the new priority.

Listen to this episode to learn how to make the most of this opportunity.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • Global digital transformation spending is forecast to reach $3.4 trillion by 2026, from around 1.6 trillion today, according to Statista,
    • This high growth means opportunity for corporate leaders, entrepreneurs and investors.
  • When companies first attempted digital transformation efforts, the emphasis was on implementing new tools.
    • These transformation efforts were usually led by the Chief Technology Officer or Chief Innovation Officer, with the rest of the organisation often able to ignore this change.
  • While some of these efforts were successful, a lot of money was wasted. McKinsey estimates that 70% of digital transformation programmes fail to meet their goals.
  • This is why, digital transformation efforts...
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134. 2023 Prediction 2: Silicon Valley’s white male focus brings opportunity for everyone else

Despite the many press releases touting Silicon Valley's diversity efforts, the majority of funding from this innovation will still go to white males in 2023. 

While this reality is not what many of us want, it is an opportunity for investors and innovators to capture overlooked user markets.

 Learning notes from this episode:

    • A product is a solution to a problem a human is experiencing. Innovators make solutions for problems they are familiar with, which means that homogeneity in founders means homogeneity in products.
      • This means there is more competition amongst products that solve problems experienced by male founders, such as laundry services and food delivery apps, than in other niches, such as female healthcare. 
      • While funding will be harder to get for products not aimed at the white male market, competition in these sectors will also often be lower. Ultimately, this means big untapped opportunities.
    • Companies ran by founders who are not white...
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133. 2023 Prediction 1: the biggest tech opportunity is in healthcare

The biggest gains and innovations will come from digital technologies in healthcare in 2023.

Big Tech firms have already entered healthcare, with Amazon buying One Medical and launching Amazon Clinic in 2022. But, healthcare tech innovation is happening across the board: from start-ups to hospital systems.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • As Big Tech firms' valuations have fallen, they have become less attractive places for people to work. This means that working at a promising health tech start-up is now a much more tempting option for talented managers and engineers at Meta and Alphabet.
    • All things being equal, most smart experienced people would rather contribute to saving lives rather than driving attention on a social media feed.
  • The gap between innovation and adaption is narrowing in healthcare. Many startups with innovative technologies that have been around for years are seeing an increase in demand, as hospital systems go digital and and more doctors use...
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132. How to choose online courses & learn from them

career strategy Jan 04, 2023

At this time of year, many ambitious professionals sign up to education programmes to take their career to the next level. Here's a guide on how to choose the right course for you and make the most of it once you've signed up.

How to choose the right online course for you:

  1. Familiarise yourself with the instructor’s work and point of view
    • Invest your time and energy before you invest your money. If the instructor has a podcast, listen to it. If they have written articles, read them. 
  2. See who the instructor’s community of students is and see if they inspire you.
  3. Be aware of the pricing: if it seems too good to be true, it often is.
  4. Take courses that have case studies because we learn best from stories.

To get the most out of a course:

  1. Set aside a regular time in your week as your class time, as if you were going to a real university lecture.
  2. When you are taking the course, regularly ask yourself: what insight did I get from this?
    • By doing this, you take...
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131. Three shows to watch to learn about tech

If you’re feeling guilty about switching on yet another streaming series, here are three shows you can watch to learn about tech in your downtime:

  1. General Magic - tells the tale of how a great vision and an epic failure changed the lives of billions. It is a documentary about the people and the technologies that led to the creation of the iPhone.
  2. Silicon Valley by HBO – comedy series about a start-up called Pied Piper and its founding team. Painfully close to the chaotic reality of running a start-up. Fun and useful for those who want to start a tech venture or invest in one.
  3. How will businesses use the metaverse? YouTube documentary by The Economist. The documentary is one of the very few things that both question the hype around the metaverse, while also showing its promise.

The documentary features interviews with Matthew Ball, author of the excellent The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything.


Listen here on Apple Podcasts

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130. Lessons for Digital Leaders from the London Stock Exchange - Microsoft deal

This December, Microsoft (founded in 1975) took a 4% stake in the London Stock Exchange (founded in 1698). As part of this deal, the LSE will spend at least $2.8 billion on Microsoft’s cloud related services in the next 10 years.

Big Tech and finance have been getting closer and closer in recent years. The CME has a deal with Google, AWS has a deal with Nasdaq, and almost all banks and insurers now use big tech’s cloud services.

This is a sign of things to come for all industries, and carries lessons for Digital Leaders.

Lessons for Digital Leaders:

  • The senior management of the London Stock Exchange today has to have a different skill set to what it had 10 years ago, because digital technologies are now an integral part of the business.

    • The same logic either already applies or will soon apply to other industries. If you want to have a future proof career, you need to learn to Speak Tech and collaborate with your technical colleagues.
  • This is a case study...

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129. To become a Digital Leader, join start-up advisory boards

Joining the advisory board of a promising tech start-up will teach you vital skills, build your network and transform your professional brand.

It is a great way to reshape your career, while still working in your current role.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Remember the difference between boards of directors and advisory boards. The former have fiduciary responsibility and the ability to hire / fire the CEO. The latter do not.
  2. Work out what the start-up needs and give it to them, before asking for an advisory board position. For example, if they need introductions to potential customers, make the introductions.
    • Have the conversation about formally joining the advisory board only after you have proven your value to a start-up founder.
  3. Be aware of the company’s stage: tech start-ups rarely need in depth financial analysis but do need introductions and help with operations. Don’t offer advice based on your experience. Offer advice based on the start-up needs.
  4. Do not view this as...
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128. Business reality doesn’t match AI hype (yet)

There is plenty of hype about AI, but most organisations are still using old precesses to make decisions.

We are  in the Between Times: "after AI's clear promise and before its transformational impact," as described in the book Power and Prediction: the disruptive economics of Artificial Intelligence

In this episode, Professor Joshua Gans, one of the book's co-authors explains why organisations are not yet adapting the full power of AI and what will happen when they do.

Learning notes from this episode:

  • Artificial Intelligence is a prediction machine, which supports decision making.
  • Today businesses often use AI for one or two processes, but most decisions are still made by humans. Technology first companies and start-ups often have more AI-based decision making, because they do not have to replace legacy processes.
  • Business leaders should not accept AI as just a black box. In fact, Professor Gans argues that business brains might be better...
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127. How apps get built to be addictive: the Hook Model

Why do you keep checking your phone, even when you’re trying not to? It's because the apps on your phone use the Hook Model. described by Nir Eyal in his book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products.

To learn how apps like Instagram, LinkedIn and Vivino keep us coming back to our screens, listen to this episode.

Learning notes from this episode:

    • Habits are behaviours done with little or no conscious thought
    • If your product becomes a habit, people will use it more. You will spend less on advertising and make more money.
    • The greatest return on investment generally comes from increasing the product's ease of use.
      • If you want to improve a product, first look at the design: where you can make it more simple to use. E.g. can you require less information from users when they first sign up?
    • The Hook model consists of 4 steps 
      1. Trigger: you get a notification that someone commented on your post
      2. Action: you open LinkedIn / Instagram to see the comment
      3. Variable Reward: you...
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