George Colony, the CEO of Forrester, was the keynote speaker at the opening dinner at the Outsell event on Sunday night. The talk was titled Five Things I Would Tell Your Board and it was terrific. I clearly can’t do George justice here, but the 5 headlines were:
- "Technology has changed your customer…your customer will change your business."
- "You have a bad website…"
- "Bits want to be free…bits want to break the law."
- "The web is dead…to be replaced by the Executable Internet."
- "The physical to digital connection approaches…"
To conclude, George said "…there will be no major media in the future that is not 1) two-way and 2) non-serial."
Some of the points are more obvious than others but George did an excellent job explaining them. While they might seem to apply to the distant future, he gave tangible examples of how the less obvious points were beginning to happen now. Number four was the most interesting to me. I started my career hawking dumb HP 2648 graphics terminals to traders to watch tick-by-tick stock and commodity price action. In 1982 this was an amazing technological achievement…prospects would often gasp during demonstrations, even over an acoustic coupler. We then had to move this service to the PC to take advantage of local processing power. Now services are on the web, and in many cases the PC or the device is acting like the dumb terminal of 25 years ago. George thinks the device will become much more important shortly. He backed up his view that the web is dead by saying the processing power of the device in the home had increase at such a rate that it’s power had exceeded the bandwidth available to deliver the required pages and applications. So the small executable programs will be sent over the internet to the device so that the server and the client machine can have a conversation. George has been talking about this for a long time, but it seems the time is upon us for this change to take place.