SoftLayer, an IBM company, @ TheNextWeb 2014: Masters of Failure and Change

SoftLayer Logo

Written by Michalina Kiera, Senior Marketing Manager EMEA at SoftLayer, an IBM Company

michalina-kiera

Michalina Kiera, Senior Marketing Manager EMEA at SoftLayer, an IBM Company

If you stand still, you go backwards. We’ve all heard that at least once and a lot of us claim to live by that rule. But do we really? How often does the risk of challenging the status quo hinder our decisions and paralyze our actions? How many times, especially in large business scale, do we fall into the spiral of establishing stable position and then waiting for what happens next, assessing the risk of readjustments with the help of all great charts, impressive graphs and slides full of powerful numbers and bullet points, and then waiting again, without applying any of the “to dos” with the fear that the uncharted territory will bring more pain than gain? We call it “playing safe”, but is it not the opposite?

Already 2500 years ago Heraclitus knew that the only constant is change. Let’s go further and admit that the alternative is not stability, it is stagnation and deterioration. The story of humanity from any angle, may it be social, political, economic, or technology, is the story of change. 

In the last couple of years, we’ve observed an enormous shift in how businesses think and operate. In the past, if an organization wanted to bring something new to the market, or just make iteration to the existing offering, it involved a lot of resources, from time, to people, to supporting infrastructure. Most of the ideas were left on paper, lucky if they got to the white board level. Only a handful, after cumbersome fight with processes, budget restrictions, people and their egos, got to see the daylight. Even less survived the market trial, while something much better prospecting was most likely collecting the proverbial dust. Change was a luxury that only a few dared to afford without risking their jobs. 

Oh how the times have changed. This is especially visible at conferences such as The Next Web which took place last week in Amsterdam. We are living in the age of creators whose reign is possible thanks to the raise of cloud, mobile, social and big data. Out of those four I dare to say that the cloud is the engine fueling the growth of the other three. The possibility of deploying infrastructure on demand without long term commitments, anywhere in the world, and with an option to scale it up and down on the fly, significantly decreased the fear of failure. Because interestingly enough, people are not risk averse, they are loss averse. So lately, actually failing fast and moving on has become a business model for those most progressive. Failure is a success if it brings you closer to reaching your goal. The time to market has shortened. Within months the ideas can be transformed into prototypes ready for trial in real world as opposite to guestimation-based lab environment. Armed with the power of on-demand services, organizations can embrace the change on a daily basis, with no fear of fiasco-stigma and without putting innovation on hold. 

The other thrilling phenomena is that nowadays the creators are people who use to be in the shadow, mainly taking instructions from the “management” and spinning the hamster wheel they were put it. The greatest change is seeing developers, the ‘IT crowd’, who no longer sit in the basements of their offices, lead this new technology revolution. They are the ones disrupting the economies and remodeling the markets they operate within and serve. They create new revenue strings, becoming driving forces within their organizations or rolling out their own businesses as startup founders. There is a whole new breed of technology entrepreneurs thriving on what cloud offers them. 

So what comes next? Because we know there is a “next”, that’s for certain. My prediction is that now it’s time for evolution, moving from a sandbox stage to proficiency, from playing around with building another mobile app pop star that will be like Pinterest just for cats, and after months of humongous success will disappear from the web forever. The bubble is close to bursting and the APPocalypse has already begun. How many apps that allow you to join a network of people that like strawberry jam can there be?   The future belongs to those who will embrace the technology at advanced level. It will be no longer about any innovation, but about bringing meaningful change and building value at industrial scale. Smart cities, connected devices, internet of things, cognitive computing – all results of daring experiments, bold decisions and not dreading the stumbles and falls that will come. This transition will rely on powerful compute and network resources, a cloud that will be ready for heavy-duty workloads. We’re not talking virtual instances only anymore, but deployable on the go bare metal servers that guarantee most optimum I/O speed of the disks and network, that don’t split storage, RAM and CPU between multiple tenants. With such volume of data that needs to be collected and processed real-time there will be no space for compromise. 

Now more than ever success cannot come from organizations and people that stand still. This is a truly propitious time to try, fail fast, learn and ultimately succeed. As long as the builders of tomorrow will be smart about their focus, choice of partners and technology they decide to depend, the world is their oyster. Markets change, methods change, so to stay ahead of the curve, you must change before you have to. And the great news is: you can. 

About the Author

Michalina is responsible for IBM SoftLayer’s marketing in the EMEA region. For close to a decade, she has worked with a whole spectrum of businesses, from corporate tycoons to startup founders. She has been part of the market’s transition from traditional IT model to empowered 3rd platform of Cloud, Big Data and Mobile. Michalina is International Relationships MsC and International Strategic Marketing & Export Management graduate.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Summit for Refugees and Migrants, Signing Ceremony of UN-IOM Agreement
During the opening of the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon seated right) and William Lacy Swing (seated left), Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), sign the agreement to make the IOM a Related Organization of the UN. 
Date: 19/09/2016. Location: United Nations, New York. Copyright © 2016 United Nations. Photo:Rick Bajornas

UN member states express their will to tackle global migration but specific actions are still missing

Visit by Marianne Thyssen, member of the European Commission in charge of Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility to Greece. There, Thyssen attended a meeting regarding the "Voucher for youth up to 29 years old in private enterprises in the Tourism Sector to obtain work experience”. The various EU programs for training and work experience have not succeeded in alleviating the exclusion feeling of the EU’s youths. Date: 21/04/2016. Location: Athens. © European Union, 2016 / Photo: Yorgos Karahalis.

Why do overwhelming proportions of EU’s youth feel excluded?

Handshake between Theresa May, on the left, and Federica Mogherini. 
Date: 22/09/2015. Location: Brussels - EC/Berlaymont. 
© European Union, 2015. Source: EC - Audiovisual Service.   Photo: Etienne Ansotte

Theresa May in search of a magic plan to invoke Article 50 and start Brexit negotiations now

From left to right: Mr Olli Rehn, Vice President of the European Commission, Mr Michael Noonan, Irish Minister for Finance. Press conference after the Ecofin Council of 5.3.2013. (The Council of the European Union photographic library).

A Brussels antithesis reveals where the EU is heading

youthspark (1)

Microsoft’s YouthSpark: a kiss of Life to European Youth from the European Parliament

Press conference by Tonio Borg, Member of the European Commission in charge of Health, on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). He probably shows us, with both his hands, the future path for GMOs cultivation. (EC Audiovisual Services, 06/11/2013

The Commission favours the cultivation of more GMOs in Europe

The 3rd Eastern Partnership Summit, in Vilnius (28-29/11/2013) brought together the heads of state or government from the 28 EU member states with those of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council (on the left), and José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission pictured here, must have realised that the situation was desperate but not serious any more. (EC Audiovisual Services).

Ukraine pays the price for lying between Russia and the EU

European Parliament. Plenary session, week 9, 2014 in Strasbourg. Discussion and vote of amendments on insurance mediation. Commissioner Michel Barnier in charge of Internal Market and Services, has the floor. (EP Audiovisual Services, 26/2/2014).

How can consumers be effectively protected from insurance sellers?

Guy Verhofstadt, the Belgian leader of the ALDE group, talking in the plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg - Debate on the future of the European Union. (EU Parliament photographic library).

EU Parliament: It takes real banks to fight unemployment and recession

Visit by László Andor, Member of the European Commission in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, to Bristol, UK. (EC Audiovisual Services, 10/2/2014).

EU labour mobility: Inconvenient truths for everybody

Mario Draghi, European Central Bank President and Chairman of the European Systemic Risk Board (looking at the camera) speaking at the hearing of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) of the European Parliament. Next to him, in the chair of ECON Committee, Sharon Bowles (ALDE, UK). (European Parliament, Audiovisual Services, 23/9/2013).

Draghi: A bridge from Brussels to Berlin

Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the European Central Bank, on the left, and Mario Draghi, Governor of ECB. (EC Audiovisual Services).

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

David CAMERON, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, at the European Council. Shoot location: Brussels – Belgium. Shoot date: 18/12/2015. Copyright: ‘The European Union’.

Brexit update: Leave campaign leads race but undecided voters will determine the outcome of the EU referendum

Li Keqiang, Prime Minister of China, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission and Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council consulting a book (from right to left). This photo was taken during ASEM Milan 2014 last week and depicts the significant EU interest in further enhancing China-EU relations (EC Audiovisual Services, 15/10/2014)

10th ASEM in Milan and the importance of being one: EU’s big challenge on the way to China

Embrace between François Hollande, President of the French Republic, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission as from 01/11/2014 in the presence of Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor, and Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament (in the foreground, from left to right). European Council of Brussels, 23-24/10/2014. Discussions focused on getting the right balance in the EU's approach on the Economy so it could stimulate growth and reduce unemployment. (EC Audiovisual Services, 23/10/2014).

EU to finance new investment projects with extra borrowing; French and Italian deficits to be tolerated

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, went to the capital of Lithuania Vilnius, where she participated in the informal meeting of EU Ministers for Foreign Affairs with Linas Antanas Linkevičius, Lithuanian Minister for Foreign Affairs. In the press conference after the meeting Ashton took her distances from the Lithuanian Minister as in the photograph. (EC Audiovisual Services, 07/09/2013).

Europe united in not supporting a US attack on Syria

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 19JAN16 - View of the Congress Center with the different flags of participating countries ahead of the Annual Meeting 2016 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 19, 2016.

  WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM/swiss-image.ch/Photo Michael Buholzer

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “CO2 is not the problem, it is the symptom”, the pilots who crossed the world using solar energy cry out from Davos

charlie

To all far-right partisans who exploit Charlie Hebdo atrocity: a peaceful reply given by a peaceful student

Mr Werner Faymann, Austrian Federal Chancellor, at the European Summit on 19/02/2016 (TVNewsroom European Council).

Migration crisis update: The “Habsburg Empire” comes back to life while EU loses control

Arlene McCarthy, Vice-Chair ECON Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Commissioner Michel Barnier in charge of Internal Market and Services holding a joint Press conference on 'Publish what you pay'. (European Parliament Audiovisual Services 12/06/2013).

Stricter rules and tougher sanctions for market manipulation and financial fraud

Refugees on their dangerous voyage from Turkey to the Greek islands (TVnewsroom European Council)

Refugee crisis update: Commission still in panic while Turkey is to be added in the equation

A European Commission dignitary visited a supermarket in Kraainem, Belgium. (EC Audiovisual Services).

Eurozone retail sales fall shows recession

UK Prime Minister David Cameron and French President François Hollande (from right to left). The British PM doesn’t seem to have convinced the French leader, who has obviously lost interest in the discussion and looks the other way for a chance to escape the English narrative. (European Council – Council of the EU Newsroom).

This afternoon Britain will be once more isolated from mainland Europe

UNFCCC Forest Cop21

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: UNFCCC Secretariat Launches Forest Information Hub

José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, received Mariano Rajoy Brey, Spanish Prime Minister. Spain and Greece both suffer of unemployment rates of up to 27%. (EC Audiovisual Servisec, 05/06/2013 ).

How distorted is the EU labour market by this crisis?

European Parliament. Plenary session in Strasbourg. Opening session of 7th Parliamentary Term with a ‘Minute of Silence’, in memory of the victims of police violence in Kiev’s Independence Square. (EP Audiovisual Services, 24/2/2014).

Ukraine’s new political order not accepted in Crimea

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, speaking to the Press while heading for the Extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council which took place in Brussels, on 3 March 2014. (The Council of the European Union photographic library).

The EU to bear the cost of eventual sanctions against Russia

Press conference by László Andor, Member of the EC, on the Annual Report on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EC Audiovisual Services, 14/11/2013)

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, who gets it and who pays the bill?

CDNIFY logo

CDNIFY @ TheNextWeb 2014

European Development Days 2013

Handshake between Angela Merkel, German Federal Chancellor, in the centre, and Federica Mogherini, on the left, in the presence of Werner Faymann, Austrian Federal Chancellor, on the right (in the foreground)
at the Western Balkans Summit 2015 in Vienna, Austria (EC Audiovisual Services, 28/08/2015)

Migration crisis will keep deteriorating as common EU political will is simply not there

Claudia China Unlimited

China Unlimited: the dragon’s long and winding road

Davos Switzerland, 19/1/2016 - Leonardo DiCaprio (L), Actor and United Nations Messenger of Peace for Climate and Founder, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation - LDF, USA, (next to him on the right) Hilde Schwab (C), Chairperson and Co-Founder, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, ( together with her husband Klaus Schwab they founded WEF) and Joseph R. Biden Jr, Vice-President of the United States of America applaud during the Opening of the Annual Meeting 2016 of WEF. WEF swiss -image.ch/Photo Monika Flueckiger.

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: Banking moguls continue brandishing financial Armageddon to intimidate us all but in Davos they worry about the very distant future

Mario Draghi, ECB President speaking at the European Parliament. (EP Audiovisual Services).

Draghi’s ‘quasi’ announcement of a new era of more and cheaper money

(L-to-R) British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Mogherini and Zarif walk to deliver the famous Press conference of 02/04/2015, where they confirmed the eventual return of Iran to the world community. (EC Audiovisual Services. Lausanne, 2/4/2015).

Can Obama attract Iran close to the US sphere of influence?

facebook2

Facebook and Google to treat Europe as the 51st State of the USA

Ignacio Garcia Bercero and Dan Mullaney

The eighth round of TTIP negotiations concludes in Brussels amid scepticism and new fears

The word "Google" in the hall of the main entrance of the "Google Partner Plex" in San Francisco, during José Manuel Barroso's, President of the EC, visit last May (EC Audiovisual Services, 1/05/2014)

Google’s hot summer never ends: EC to launch ANOTHER antitrust inquiry against the American giant

European Parliament. Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) meeting, on Eurozone banks supervision regime. Vote by a show of hands on the bank Single Resolution Mechanism and Fund. (EP Audiovisual Services 17/12/2013).

Eurozone: Despite anemic growth and shaky banks marks record trade surplus

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, traveled to the US and participated at a White House Summit on ‘Countering Violent Extremism’, in Washington D.C. From left to right Mogherini, Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, John Kerry, US Secretary of State and Sameh Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt. (European Council – Council of the European Union, Audiovisual Services, Shoot location: Washington D.C. Shoot date: 19/02/2015).

Can the US-Iran rapprochement change the world?

1

Lessons from the Global Entrepreneurship Index

The President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi. (ECB Audiovisual Services).

ECB money bonanza not enough to revive euro area, Germany longs to rule with stagnation

dries

To entrepreneurship and beyond!

New Kellen Logo RGB

Kellen Europe Hosts EuroConference 2016

Donald Tusk, Herman van Rompuy, José Manuel Barroso and Jean-Claude Juncker (from left to right). The former and the present EU leaders got together in Brussels to mark the succession, with Barroso looking happy about it. (EC Audiovisual Services).

How much more political is the new EU leadership? Does this include personal bend?

ECON Committee meeting discussion with Commissioner Michel Barnier in charge of Internal Market and Services (on the right) on bank reform. In the Chair, Arlene McCarthy (S&D, UK) (in the middle), (European Parliament Audiovisual Services, 16/09/2013).

Germany may prove right rejecting Commission’s bank resolution scheme

Two fateful people for Greece. International Monetary Fund's Managing Director, Christine Lagarde (L) meets with Dutch Minister of Finance and president of Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem. (International Monetary Fund photographic library)

IMF: Sorry Greece it was a mistake of 11% of your GDP

Arnaud Thysen is General Manager of European Business Summit and Federations of Enterprises in Belgium (FEB).

European Business Summit 15th year: Controversy and Constructive Ideas

blackberry logo

MWC 2016 LIVE: BlackBerry acquires Encription, talks Microsoft and health

China Unlimited Europe 2015

China in My Suburbs

More Stings?

Comments

  1. I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s