Remember when Big Data was going to save the world? It was going to improve health, transport, education – pretty much anything was going to be revolutionized by the application of AI to every scrap of information that could be dragged together. And in a nutshell this is the problem.
With the premiere of the National Geographic TV series ‘Genius’ about Einstein, the famed Professor has been back in the news. And as we get ready for the London leg of the Salesforce World Tour I was reflecting on their AI offering named after the great man himself. I’ve recently written on some of the limitations of big data in the enterprise space, but one thing struck me about how Einstein reached his breakthroughs in relation to big data.
It is well documented that Einstein thought in pictures rather than words. He didn’t achieve his great breakthroughs in the lab, but by performing visual experiments in his head. Einstein’s genius was to realise that language wasn’t enough to help him understand the wonders of nature. And whilst he knew that maths was the language of nature, the best way to grasp the true essence of nature was to visualise the maths in the real world. This started him on a journey of a series of Gedankenexperimenten – “thought experiments” to help him articulate his famous theory of relativity.
Stories about fake news continue to make the headlines. Facebook is currently struggling to avoid a barrage of criticism and questions over whether it is actually a media owner, and therefore should be regulated as a media company. As I read these stories I was struck by the relationship between the controversies over fake news in the consumer world and debates around big data in the business world.
In the age of big data, we look to algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) to supplement human abilities. According to Stephen Hawking, amongst others, AI may actually supplant humans altogether.
I’ll be clear about this from the beginning: This article’s purpose is to make a solid case for our new product. I hope you’ll be inspired to join me on this journey into the future of improving sales productivity!
We launched our new sales productivity solution to the world in March 2017. After narrowing our focus on a new product early 2016, the team worked ceaselessly (with a few yoga breaks!) to build a super simple interface for the user and a world-class intelligence platform on the backend. I’m incredibly proud and grateful for the amazing people, our clients, advisors and our team who have made vyn possible.
The conception of vyn – the moment I recognised the problem – began around 17 years ago:
Times are a-changin'… better start swimmin'!
At our previous business innovation event in September last year, we encouraged guest speakers to “rethink the box”: making a play on the expression “thinking outside the box”. In one of the talks, David Issott – Director at HG Capital – shared Marc Andreessen's statement that “software is eating the world”. It's true; Morgan Stanley predicts the digitalised US economy will expand from 27% to 43% in the next 5-10 years.
As a young advertising account manager I distinctly remember my excitement when I first encountered databases, hey I’ve been around a while! Suddenly I could answer the question of what was working and what wasn’t. I could track and record things, I could segment and target, I was in marketing heaven.
These were followed by the heady days of Rogers & Pepper’s 1-2-1 marketing and suddenly all we were talking about was Customer Relationship Marketing and CRM systems. We now had increasingly powerful tools at our disposal to help us market, all before many of us had been troubled by this internet thing.