Steve Jobs once famously said, "You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new." The need for innovation today is greater than ever. We live in a culture obsessed with data, one in which all organizations can access real-time insights of what their customers want. But understanding what they want right now isn't enough. You have to understand what they are going to want before they know it themselves, and work out how to provide it for them before someone else does.
Today, we stand on the precipice of a new age, one in which technologies such as AI and blockchain are helping individuals and organizations achieve both these objectives. Innovation is no longer the preserve of individual geniuses, the Elon Musks of this world with their hyperloops and colonies on Mars. While we might not all be thinking of new ways to make other planets habitable, today, everyone has the tools to innovate. We just need to find them.
With Innovation Quarterly (IQ), we have sought insights from the world's foremost experts on how to flourish during these times, to create a space where thought leaders from best-in-class organizations can share cross-industry solutions for the everyday challenges they face and inspire new ideas. We look at disruption not as something to survive, but as something to embrace.
The next quarter alone will bring many challenges, particularly the EU's incoming data regulations, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations). GDPR will impact any organization using the personal data of EU citizens, regardless of where they are in the world, yet many remain profoundly unprepared. Indeed, in one recent survey from enterprise data management firm, Solix, two-thirds of respondents said they didn’t even know if individuals’ personal data could be purged entirely from their systems. In this issue, we look at how organizations are preparing for the data regulations and what you need to do if you are to avoid having to pay some substantial fines.
Another of the biggest stories of the last year has been the rise of blockchain and cryptocurrency. Many have become positively evangelical about the technology's potential, to the point where it has become a real struggle to see through the hype, to see the bear coming at you through the trees. In this issue, we look at 50 of the most interesting blockchain startups and examine how they are paving the way for the technology to disrupt industries across the board.
Also in this issue, we talk to Uber’s Machine Learning Data Science Manager about how the ride-sharing giant is using machine learning and building out its capabilities, review the best marketing automation software, and host panel discussions with our experts on topics ranging from how to integrate innovation into strategic planning to the future of data visualization.
We are entering a brave new world, one filled with hazards and potentially disorienting change, but also new opportunities. If innovation is to flourish, businesses across industry verticals need to work together. Collaboration is now more important than ever, and insights can come from the most unexpected of places. Hopefully, you'll find them here.