I’m a member of the one percent…of people who trekked through the sleet and what CNN keeps calling “thundersnow” to attend the Box World Tour this afternoon. It was actually more like ten percent. Only about a hundred of the expected thousand guests braved the storm. Since my business is currently a one-man operation and I have no one to collaborate with, I went purely out of curiosity, not as a customer. I went to hear Box chief executive Aaron Levie and “Crossing the Chasm” author Geoffrey Moore speak. While the snow and ice prevented Moore from making it, I left feeling like I got my money’s worth (it was free) out of the charismatic young CEO.
Aimed at perfecting cloud collaboration, Box makes accessing, managing and sharing content simple. When I signed up for the event, I was hoping to hear Levie speak about the advantages and disadvantages (I’m not aware of any) of the “stealth IPO” provision in the JOBS Act, a topic I recently wrote about.
Instead he offered his macro views on not just the cloud industry but on business in general. He has the kind of disruptive energy that’s exciting to see in a leader. Or, more accurately, as he told Inc. in an interview a few years back, it’s the combination of an appetite for disruption and a constant paranoia of being disrupted. Similar to The Cluetrain Manifesto authors making you feel like we’re going to reduce the current rules and practices of business to nothingness and rebuild them from scratch, Levie spoke of dismantling the specific processes and hierarchical structures that have dominated business for more than a century. What were once core competitive strengths are now fatal weaknesses. As we move from an industrial economy to an information economy, businesses that don’t revise their strategies at every level will be left in the dust (Blockbuster, Kodak, Barnes & Noble).
Everything changes when we move from an industrial economy to an information economy: pic.twitter.com/Vzng4A5QK1
— Aaron Levie (@levie) February 6, 2014