By | Abhijit Bhaduri |Keynote speaker, Author and Columnist
On 21st July 2015, Facebook’s market cap stood at $275 billion, about $1.5 billion larger than the market cap of GE and about $18 billion higher than JP Morgan. Facebook’s market cap is now $40 billion larger than Wal-Mart’s. What makes this dramatic is that Facebook was incorporated in March 2004 and their employee base early this year was 10,000. GE with more than 307,000 employees was incorporated in 1892 and is the only one of the original companies still listed on the Dow Index. It is not about comparing organizations. It is about comparing mindsets. The digital decade ahead will be driven by a new set of rules that will be hard for many organizations to adapt to.
Scale and Speed
There are only two yardsticks of success in the digital space – scale and speed. Apple has a turnover of $233 billion and market cap that touched $750 billion and that put Apple bigger than all but 19 countries of the world. They will perhaps be the first company (or one of the first) in the world to cross the trillion dollar mark. In the digital rules are being rewritten constantly. Google’s market cap hit $1 billion in 8 years after incorporation in 1998. Facebook hit a billion dollars market cap in 5 years.
The car sharing service Uber operates in 58 countries, in more than 300 cities and market cap greater than $50bn. They achieved this scale in exactly six years. Uber hit a billion dollars market cap in 3 years just like WhatsApp,
In 2014, when Marriott announced that they will add 30,000 rooms to their portfolio in the year, Brian Chesky of Airbnb responded on Twitter, “We will add that in the next 2 weeks.”
Go to your neighborhood phone retail store and find out how many phones they hope to sell in a month? Then compare it with Xiaomi as they sold 40,000 Mi4i in 15 seconds on the e-commerce site Flipkart. That is the reference point of speed in the digital world.
How do they do this?
Companies like Amazon, Netflix, Google, Apple, Uber are symbolic of a new way of building a business. Their business ideas and interfaces with the customer have been designed through the Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud technologies. It is not a bolt on to an existing business. When the service is offered on the mobile and backed up the cloud, it is easy to run analytics about the customer and these insights channel the engagement through the social channel.
We all know that on an e-commerce site, the history of your purchases and preferences is maintained. They track how long you lingered on a product or kept it in a wish list before deciding to hit the buy button and were you getting impatient with the shipping options that you chose. They will also nudge you to buy related accessories and products by telling you “those who bought that product also bought…”
Decade of Dreams and Dreamers
Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal and CEO of Tesla Motors, wants to establish colonies on other planets like Mars. Back in 2012 Planetary Resources was set up by Google to develop flying robots that will dig up precious minerals from other planets and get them back. There are billionaires who are funding research in making humans immortal or making fresh water available to all. Bill Gates through his Foundation aims to by 2030 eradicated four diseases from Earth.
It all starts with a dream – being able to imagine and envision something which has no precedent. The opportunities are all as big as our digital dream. The next decade will be about turning those dreams to reality.