In the 1990’s Sun Microsystems, Nortel, WorldCom were all household names and Wall Street ‘darlings’. Today they no longer exist! Companies such as Microsoft, Dell and HP were expected to continue to be the standard bearers of technology and they have foundered. Companies that didn’t exist a couple of decades ago are now an integral part of our daily lives, including Google, Amazon and Facebook. They have changed how we communicate and socialize, how we transact and shop, how we organize and plan our schedules. We no longer consider technology as something that’s for geeks; rather it has infiltrated and become a core part of our personal and professional lives.
When we look at the change that has taken place since the start of this millennium, it is astounding how the landscape of technology titans has transformed and although we have new companies that have taken the helm, they may not be giants tomorrow. It is important to realize and continuously be cognizant of ‘what may be’. Any company that believes that they have grown large enough where they will not face serious competitive threats, should look at the recent example of Apple and what Samsung has been able to do to gain Apple’s market share in a very short period of time. What was only weeks ago a stock that the financial markets heralded as a ‘must have’ in your portfolio, today faces a fate of continuous sell off and market cap erosion. Technology is one segment where market dynamics change instantaneously, the requirement for taking an idea from concept to fruition doesn’t require the same level of capital that exists in other industries, nor are there major barriers to entry.
With the continued proliferation of the internet, the inventors span geographies and are no longer limited to Silicon Valley or Bangalore; they are in Johannesburg, Sao Paolo, Warsaw and Bucharest. The once mandate to have large venture funds pour tons of capital into new ideas is being challenged by small angel investors using crowd funding as a new forum to raise capital.
A small group of committed individuals in Houston Texas may have a vision for transforming how we manage technology infrastructure and could soon become the next Goliath. A great idea with a determined team is all it takes and may rise from the unknown.