December 25, 2016
Without question, the technology industry has advanced farther and faster than any other industry in the market. From its humble beginnings, technology has evolved from a few lines of code into a sprawling web of connected devices more powerful than supercomputers the size of boardrooms. Anyone anywhere can communicate across the globe so long as they have access to the new generation of computers that run the world.
It has taken the concerted effort of thousands of engineers, programmers, and thinkers sparked by the competitive drive to outdo each other. At the forefront of these companies are founders and CEOs with the vision and courage to pursue a solution that moves the industry further along its path.
We can learn much from their examples. Below we’ve assembled some of our favorite quotes from today’s technology leaders as they ruminate on the success, failure, and fickle winds of change.
The Technology Leaders of the 21st Century
“Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.”
— Elon Musk, Founder and CEO of Tesla, SpaceX
Elon Musk has been popularly described as a real-life Iron Man or Tony Stark. His two flagship companies, SpaceX and Tesla, push the limits on what is possible and pursue old ideas that have never found a place in the marketplace. His quote here is both applicable to his own companies as well as businesses of all kinds. Cars that run on fossil fuels are ultimately unsustainable, because they are dependent on a finite resource. Without the courage to embrace the change that will come with electric cars, the alternative is disaster.
In IT environments, this also rings true. Overhauls of hardware, migrations to the cloud, and new technology adoption require great change and a significant investment of time and resources, but that is the nature of modern business. With the rapid pace of innovation, a company that is not moving forward falls behind.
“If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”
— Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO
When Amazon first launched, there was an overwhelming impression that ordering products online was unsafe and impractical. Fears of stolen credit card numbers and shoes that don’t fit created a cultural apprehension to the service. Yet today, Amazon is one of the most successful companies in the world and continues to maintain their position as the king of ecommerce. This is no accident. It is for the exact reasons that Bezos states here. By providing an exceptional customer experience, Amazon overcame the initial impressions that the public had.
Your business should approach its products and services the same way. A superior product only goes so far, but a superior product delivered with an exceptional customer experience can overcome anything.
“I think there is a profound and enduring beauty in simplicity; in clarity, in efficiency. True simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absence of clutter and ornamentation. It’s about bringing order to complexity.”
— Jonathan Ive, Apple Chief Design Officer
Apple products are noted for their sleek, minimalist design style without even factoring in the efficacy of their products. Ive is famous for designing the Apple Watch, which presents a particular challenge in user interface and design. Without buttons or ample screen space, Ive needed to harness true simplicity to deliver a worthwhile experience. The most important piece from this quote is that “true simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absence of clutter.” In business, we all often try to streamline processes, increase efficiency, and hopefully make all of our lives simpler, but as Ive points out, less isn’t necessarily simple.
The word “simplicity” is a rallying cry in the technology industry. Every new solution under the sun promises to simplify IT, but we must remember that the true goal of simplicity is to create order.
“I truly believe each of us must find meaning in our work. The best work happens when you know that it’s not just work, but something that will improve other people’s lives.”
— Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO
Our last quote concerns passion, that abstract drive which drives the industry forward, and Nadella has wise words on the subject. Passion is not something you can build or cultivate. A leader can be inspiring, yes, but passion has to come from within. If your team recognizes the value of their efforts and sees its impact, they are far more likely to produce their best work.
In a practical sense, this is both a good guideline for hiring and company communication. When hiring new team members, seek out those who have demonstrated passion in their past work. Once hired, create a level of transparency and communication in the company wherein the team can see how their efforts have resulted in great things.
The Importance of Technology
Nadella’s last quote should resonate with all technologists. It’s hard to undervalue the importance of technology in our modern world. To understand tech is to peer behind the curtain to see how the world works. This is best exemplified by a quote from Reed Hastings, the founder and CEO of Netflix.
“Stone Age. Bronze Age. Iron Age. We define entire epics of humanity by the technology they use.”
Like what you read?
Mindsight, a Chicago IT services provider, is an extension of your team. Our culture is built on transparency and trust, and our team is made up of extraordinary people – the kinds of people you would hire. We have one of the largest expert-level engineering teams delivering the full spectrum of IT services and solutions, from cloud to infrastructure, collaboration to contact center. Our highly-certified engineers and process-oriented excellence have certainly been key to our success. But what really sets us apart is our straightforward and honest approach to every conversation, whether it is for an emerging business or global enterprise. Our customers rely on our thought leadership, responsiveness, and dedication to solving their toughest technology challenges.