Skimming to where?
We are living through strange times from the rise of Dictatorships to the oncoming Jetson’s world of driverless cars, flying cars and talking to computers to get purchases made or chores done. Over the past decade, technology has transformed the globe. Technology has connected all of us in ways that does not seem to be apparent to some leaders across the globe. That alone is a disconnect between where we are going and where we are being held back by leaders (mostly white older men) who are attempting to hold on to the past.
I keep thinking about that skimming board that kids play with on the beach. If you have not seen one, it is a thin board that people toss right near the shoreline and it skims quickly across the water as people run up to them, jump on and get shot across for a quick ride. There is something about that visual that I keep thinking about.
There are still new businesses being built but many of them are replicates of companies that have been built in the past decade with a minor twist. Certainly, the rise of cryptocurrencies is one of the bigger shifts in the last couple of years including blockchain technology that will be a major force in the years to come. I am seeing more media companies that are rethinking their business model. I am seeing marketplaces that are wondering if it makes financial sense just to take a percentage of the sales or is there something else there. I am wondering if there are bigger ideas around open platforms that will push companies to rethink their business models. Brick and mortar is not going away but where is it going to go? Something like 96% of people still walks into a grocery store to buy their food but those models are a mess from the shipping to shelf placement to customer engagement. Large enterprise businesses are still grappling with the understanding that their workforce wants to work in different cultures and how to change that.
As decks come into my email box and people come to talk about their businesses, I find myself leaving those meetings with the skimming board on my mind. Where are we going next? When companies grow I think of them climbing mountains, getting to a mesa and unpacking their gear to think about the next climb to the next mesa yet it is unclear to me right now where are we skimming towards.