Acing It In The Experience Economy

It takes 2 days to deliver the book. So Amazon lets me start reading the Kindle version immediately & avoid the wait.

Tiny steps all along the journey to ace the customer experience ?

Blockchain – 10Qs

Image result for block chain

  1. Definitions of blockchain
    • Blockchain technology was developed as the underlying technology behind the cryptocurrency called bitcoin. The aftermath of the 2008 subprimecrisis reduced trust in the existing financial system. This is when a person or a group of people called Satoshi Nakamoto wrote a white paper containing the ‘bitcoin protocol’ which used a distributed ledger and consensus building to compute algorithms. The bitcoin protocol was written to dis-intermediate traditional financial intermediaries as a means overseeing direct P2P transactions.
    • Types of Distributed Ledgers
      1. Permissionless, public, shared systems, Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two best-known examples
      2. Permissioned, public, shared systems, Examples of this are government applications where only certain people should be able to write to the network but all transactions can be publicly verified.
      3. Permissioned, private, shared systems, They may have one or many owners – often consortia are formed to manage the ownership.
  2. Which scenarios benefit the most with blockchain?
    1. Trying to remove intermediaries or brokers – YES
    2. Digital (vs physical) assets involved – YES
    3. Permanent authoritative record of the digital asset can be created – YES
    4. Rapid high performance transactions requirement – NO
    5. Large amounts of non-transaction data to be stored – NO
    6. Shared write access required – YES
    7. Trust exists between parties – NO
  3. Where exactly in the hype cycle is blockchain now?
    • Interest in blockchain technology is waning, research firm Gartner said in its latest “Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies” report. Gartner included blockchain, as one of five trends that can blur the lines between humans and machines. Blockchain technology is at the edge of the “trough of disillusionment” phase in the cycle, though it predicts that the technology may reach the “plateau of productivity” within the next decade.
    • In PwC’s 2018 survey of 600 executives from 15 territories, 84% say their organisations have at least some involvement with blockchain technology.
    • Gartner forecasts that blockchain will generate an annual business value of more than US $3 trillion by 2030. It’s possible to imagine that 10% to 20% of global economic infrastructure will be running on blockchain-based systems by that same year.
    • Innovation Curve
      • Innovators (2.5%)
      • Early Adopters (13.5%)
      • Early Majority (34%) — Blockchain in the 2nd half of 2018
      • Late Majority (34%)
      • Laggards (16%)
  4. Who is making money off blockchain?
    • In the first quarter of 2018, 412 blockchain projects raised more than $3.3 billion through initial coin offerings (ICOs).
    • You can make money via one of the following ways:
      • Offering an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) .. eg. Coinbase, Circle, 21 Inc., Ripple, R3, etc.
      • SaaS – charge for the infrastructure & APIs. eg. Blockcypher
      • Services / Consulting – IBM, etc.
      • Cryptocurrency Speculation
    • 4 Ways Everyday Internet Users Can Earn from Blockchain
  5. Which are the companies / individuals you should follow to be on top of blockchain?
  6. Which industry / country is making the most of blockchain?
    • In distributed ledger technology, we may be witnessing one of those potential explosions of creative potential that catalyse exceptional levels of innovation. The technology could prove to have the capacity to deliver a new kind of trust to a wide range of services. As we have seen open data revolutionise the citizen’s relationship with the state, so may the visibility in these technologies reform our financial markets, supply chains, consumer and business-to-business services, and publicly-held registers.
    • Good use cases must solve real problems for organizations. Great use cases solve real problems at a cost that is significantly lower than the benefits the adoption brings.
    • The largest beneficiaries of blockchain technology would be small and medium enterprises and emerging markets, particularly in Asia, including ASEAN, China and Hong Kong SAR, India and Korea. These countries account for almost 7% (or $105 billion) of the trade finance gap, the report stated.
    • Financial Services is by far the biggest user / benefactor of the technology
    • US, China, Australia, India…
    • Governments are starting to apply distributed ledger technologies to conduct their business. The Estonian government has been experimenting with distributed ledger technology for a number of years using a form of distributed ledger technology known as Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI), developed by an Estonian company, Guardtime. Estonia is one of the ‘Digital 5’ or D5 group of nations, of which the other members are the UK, Israel, New Zealand and South Korea.
    • The researchers are of the opinion that around 30%, or $1.1 trillion in new trade volume, will come from DLTs removing existing market barriers.
    • Roughly 40%, or $0.9 trillion of traditional trade, will move to the blockchain for better services and reduced fees, the report said.
  7. How big is the blockchain opportunity?
    • Proponents project that blockchain could account for as much as 10% of global GDP by 2025
    • Blockchain scaling the value of blockchain is projected to exceed $176 billion by 2025, and $3.1 trillion by 2030
    • Blockchain to add $1T to world trade by 2028: WEF & Bain & Co report
    • $2.1 billion: Global spending on blockchain solutions in 2018, according to IDC.
    • 42.8 percent: The expansion of the blockchain space every year to 2022, according to a Netscribes prediction.
    • 3x: The number of blockchain-related LinkedIn job postings more than tripled over the last year.
  8. What are the blockers for blockchain at this point of time? Due to what reason it may fail?
    • The next few years of blockchain will focus on fixing the most severe technical limitations of blockchain networks’ performance and scalability, as these are limitations that currently keep them from challenging centralized incumbents. In particular, these limitations relate to blockchain’s distributed verification protocols.
    • regulatory uncertainty (48%), lack of trust among users (45%) and the ability to bring the network together (44%)
    • It has been estimated that the energy requirements to run Bitcoin are in excess of 1GW and may be comparable to the electricity usage of Ireland.
    • Regulatory uncertainity
    • Lack of trust among users
    • Ability of bring network together
    • Separate blockchains not working together
    • Inability to scale
    • IP concerns
    • Audit / compliance concerns
    • Dearth of technical talent
  9. What are some interesting implementations of Blockchain technology?
    • MedRec– An MIT project involving blockchain electronic medical records designed to manage authentication, confidentiality and data sharing.
    • Bank Hapoalim– A collaboration between the Israeli bank and Microsoft to create a blockchain system for managing bank guarantees.
    • Jiocoin– India’s biggest conglomerate, Reliance Industries, has said that it is developing a blockchain-based supply chain logistics platform along with its own cryptocurrency, Jiocoin.
    •– Distributed and encrypted cloud storage, which allows users to share unused hard drive space.
    • Dubai– Dubai has set sights on becoming the world’s first blockchain-powered state. In 2016 representatives of 30 government departments formed a committee dedicated to investigating opportunities across health records, shipping, business registration and preventing the spread of conflict diamonds.
    • OpenBazaar– OpenBazaar is an attempt to build a decentralized market where goods and services can be traded with no middle-man.
    • Loyyal– This is a blockchain-based universal loyalty framework, which aims to allow consumers to combine and trade loyalty rewards in new ways, and retailers to offer more sophisticated loyalty packages.
    • Kodak– Kodak recently sent its stock soaring after announcing that it is developing a blockchain system for tracking intellectual property rights and payments to photographers.
    • Ujomusic– Founded by singer-songwriter Imogen Heap to record and track royalties for musicians, as well as allowing them to create a record of ownership of their work.
  10. What are some quotes about blockchain?

    • Gini Rometty: “What the internet did for communications, blockchain will do for trusted transactions.”
    • Rick Falkvnge: “Bitcoin will do to banks what email did to the postal industry.”
    • Warren Buffet: “Stay away from it. It’s a mirage, basically. In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say almost with certainty that they will come to a bad ending.”
    • Nassim Taleb: ”[Bitcoin] is a remarkable cryptographic achievement… The ability to create something which is not duplicable in the digital world has enormous value…Lot’s of people will build businesses on top of that.”
    • James Altucher: “At least one country’s currency is likely to fail soon — likely Argentina or Venezuela. This will lead to mass adoption of bitcoin among that populace. That will in turn lead to bitcoin rising by more than $50,000 when it happens.”
    • William Mougayar: “The more foundational a technology is, the more impact it can have. Blockchain technology is not a process improvement technology. At its fullest deployment potential, it is rather a disruptive technology; therefore it must be given that potential when being implemented.”
    • PWC Report: “Distributed ledger technologies offer institutions a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the industry to their benefit, or not.”
    • Marc Andreessen:“We’ll all look back in 20 years and conclude that Bitcoin was as influential a platform for innovation as the Internet itself was.”
    • Olawale Daniel: “Blockchain technology is coming to replace the old, rotten system of governance around the world. Embrace it!”

Signalling About What Matters

Overheard in an episode of Masters of Scale about great hiring:


“The most powerful thing a leader does, is to signal through the people that they hire & promote, what are the behaviours they want to propagate. If you are super careful about promoting not just the people who are great at what they do but also people who are great at how they do it, you are sending the most powerful message.”

Leadership, Mission & Commitment

I came across this post by Robert E. Quinn recently & had to share it here for the benefit of all.

In the book Timeless Wisdom: Passages for Meditation from the World’s Saints and Sages is a story about an ancient sculptor in India who carves elephants from stone. A king asks the man for the secret of his great artistry. The sculptor explains that once a large stone is secured, he spends a very long time studying the stone. At first he sees nothing, but the rock. Then, over a long period, he begins to feel something. To notice a vague impression, a scarcely discernible outline. As he continues to ponder, with an open eye and an eager heart, the outline intensifies, until the joyful moment when the sculptor sees the elephant inside the rock. At this moment he sees what no other human can see. Only when he sees the outline does he begin the months of chiseling. He is obedient to the revealed outline. The sculptor connects with the elephant inside the stone. He feels the elephant’s desire to come out of the rock and live. With this emotional awareness the sculptor gains an even more intense singleness of purpose. He chips away every bit of rock that is not the elephant. What remains is the elephant (Eswaran, 2008:20). This parable represents the part of leadership that is least understood. Purpose leads to a search for the possible. What do you think it means?

He further responds with an insightful take on the parable. It is insightful in that it expands on a leader’s commitment to a nebulous vision .. and faith in that vision till something more concrete materialises.

The focus is an important component.  And the commitment to that focus.  I would take it one step further and say that focus is purpose. Purpose leads to a search for the possible.  At the beginning there is little hope.  Yet the person of purpose knows to continue in the deep concentration and a vague impression emerges.  Masterful leaders know to attend to impressions.  Openness and attention turn the impression into a vision available to none other.  The visionary becomes the particular future’s only representative in the world.  Disciplined pursuit of the vision stimulates action learning and eventually transformation.   The vision is no longer a concept but a living thing waiting for mortal manifestation.  Love of the emerging future leads to still more disciplined effort until that which could not be seen lives in the present.  The parable explains how to create a positive organization.

Robert E. Quinn is a Best-selling author, Speaker, Co-Founder of CPOS at University of Michigan, and Thought Partner on Leadership and Change.