As a self-confessed tech geek, I can't resist studying other technology companies. I learn from their successes and failures, their steps and missteps, and their right moves and left moves. I'm always looking for lessons, insight and predictions I can share with Ingram Micro and its partners. Here are a few examples of what has recently caught my attention:
BlackBerry Focuses on Consumer Pain Points
I've gotten used to the looks when I bring out my BlackBerry at meetings or even at the grocery store. It's a recognizable relic, but a relic nonetheless. Or is it?
BlackBerry is no longer in the phone business—it's currently being reborn as a software company. Instead of devices, they'll focus on offering the security and privacy features companies, governments and individuals need to protect their valuable data. This transition is already underway, and the last BlackBerry-manufactured devices have already rolled off the assembly lines.
Now licensees are making the devices, leaving BlackBerry to develop enterprise-level software for the phones and other IoT devices. They've even turned over the OS to Google and Android. So, for now, I'll keep my BlackBerry—right next to my iPod.
Thermomix and the Rise of Home Cooking
Surely, you've heard of the Thermomix by now? It's often touted as the one and only kitchen appliance you'll ever need. At a price north of $1,500, it costs as much as all my kitchen appliances combined. Honestly, though, the thing is pretty cool. It blends, steams, sautés and bakes on its own. In short, this is a mighty piece of hardware.
But like Blackberry, it's still all about the software. Despite their culinary leanings, the makers of Thermomix are software developers. For an annual subscription fee, your Thermomix will connect to the internet through your home Wi-Fi and update its recipe chips with the latest and greatest.
One day soon, the machine will even send your ingredients list to Whole Foods for same-day delivery by an Amazon drone.
Kodak and the Demise of the Dollar
During the 1970s, Kodak was one of biggest companies in the world, making high-quality film and a line of cameras. But then came the digital revolution when Kodak lost the war—until it reinvented itself as (you guessed it) a software company.
Now, Kodak is launching KODAKCoin, a new cryptocurrency that will support a platform that helps amateur and professional photographers license their work as well as track any unlicensed use of it.
Focus on Tomorrow's Customers
All three companies share the same fundamental perspective: They're staking their long-term success on tomorrow's consumer. Why? Because at the pace of today's technological change, they realize any attempt to satisfy today's consumer demands will be obsolete before it ever gets off the ground. So, instead of investing in things people buy in a single transaction, these companies are investing in the world of flow—the world of Infinite cloud.
Ingram Micro Cloud Summit 2018 is all about exploring the Infinite. Join us in Boca Raton, Florida, where you'll gain the inspiration, insight and opportunity needed to cultivate the endless flow of cloud.