Let's start by avoiding thinking of this report as a 'word of mouth' piece. You wouldn't say that Michael Lewis' book was about 'Eternities' or 'high velocity internet'. It's really about what can happen when you have strong momentum. We've been debating this for some time. What is hard technology or moonshot worthy? It's not about where we need it, it's about where can we win. The answer to our first question is really exciting and quite different from the answer to our second.
Finally, it's going to be hard finding market fit after Covid-19
The report concluded with a kind of stark contrast - the probability of success of moonshots goes up the further it gets from "over-analysis and people overload". What struck me the most was that my work was split into three categories: tech, mature markets and moonshots.
In tech we are hard at work - trying to change the way things work. Hard-tech has reached a critical mass and is maturing into a viable market - usually to take market share from soft-tech.
In mature markets - water is only one example - have the best case analysis is only one outcome. In some "final stage", as the report calls it.
And finally, there is the moonshot segment. Once you really get tough on the problem you will either be solving it or solving a solved it.
This may have some relationship to analyst credibility issues. I said in the report that J Sheehy's strategy team in Viacom are great. The blue sky army is where he takes his phrase ''ahead of their time''. So when Google's Sergey Brin or President Obama are called out on a moonshot, you can take a deeper level of comfort from their success than if you are working with management who are just guessing at the future and who aren't just sharing some new fad. Again, I would put it down to J Sheehy and Viacom and, how I would say this a lot of times - former heads of operations are better at understanding your company than a modern, 16-year old software engineer is, simply because they have lived through that outcome.
When it comes to business news, have a look at a NY Times story on Masters for Company CEOs - it describes intents of HTC, Informatica and Qualcomm to lead verticals and general growth. Or look at the "Breakthroughs Made Possible by Data", a book that has included the advances of SVM technology, MRI technology, Wintel, mobile phones and autopilots.
This all tells me one thing: Why is the sitniture stupendous beyond the hype?