One of the few benefits of extensive business travel is the opportunity to catch up on some reading. Novels require too much of a time commitment, but I do try to keep myself informed on what’s going on in the world. My preferred source of info is The Economist. This week while heading east on United I started to wade through the annual tome called “The World in….(insert the year ahead).” It’s a riveting good read for those of us who like to consume our geo-politics, business and economic forecasts, social trends and other good-to-know stuff in bite-sized chunks rather than 100-page alternatives. This annual magazine provides a number of predictions on what’s likely to happen in the world in 2011. As this is the 25th anniversary of “The World in…” series this year they also included a section where some big brains and other luminaries took a stab at predicting what the world would look like in 2036, or 25 years from now. Two of the more profound predictions relating to technology were that by 2036 the likes of Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter will be long-forgotten and replaced by companies that do not even exist today and collaboration on an unprecedented scale through the Internet will fix some of the world’s biggest and gnarliest natural, social and economic challenges. As an aside, Usain Bolt, the current world record holder for the 100m at 9.58 seconds also suggests that by 2036 someone will break the 9 second barrier – hopefully unaided by artificial stimulants.
All this got me thinking about where we should be placing our bets for growth in 2011 and beyond. Not just from a technology perspective to help the yet-to-be-born big name companies, but also from a vertical and geographic market focus to fuel this online “collaboration of an unprecedented scale”. Since “The World in 2011” predicts this collaboration will be used to fix the woes of the world, I have to assume that our solutions may be needed outside the regular roulette wheel of tried and true markets. The magazine provides a thought-provoking perspective on the opportunities and rewards that await companies who dare to place bets in “The emerging emerging markets” – places like Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia. Combine these geographies with the vertical markets Brocade is pursuing in healthcare, education, public sector and high-performance computing and it’s easy to see why our network solutions can play a major role in solving some of the world’s biggest issues.
So if you are reading this blog in 2036 as part of a history lesson or a study of successful betting techniques, I hope that this post finds me on a beach with my wife reading all the novels I never had time for, sipping a Mojito and listening to old Train, Foreigner and Fleetwood Mac songs - and most importantly, reminiscing about how Brocade’s technology made the world a better place.