When I was growing up, I was taught that only the strong survive. That may have been true in hand to hand combat, but history is full of examples that the ability to be agile or nimble is just as effective, if not more effective, in long term survival. Whether it’s providing the right product or changing your company’s focus businesses today must be nimble to stay relevant and successful otherwise they will suffer the fate of BetaMax, Blockbuster, and many other businesses that have started strong but folded unexpectedly.
To survive today, all companies should be nimble to satisfy the potential fickle nature of its customers. In the Telecom and tech
industries companies are struggling to shape legislative policy or come up with new ideas and new products to stay relevant. Very often the answers they seek are right under their noses as AMC theatres found out when they sought to provide an innovation to attract young people to their theatres. AMC floated the idea of allowing movie goers to use their phones to text and post to social media during the movie. The idea to allow use of phones during movies was met with a sharp rebuke from AMC’s paying customers who ironically used social media, most likely through their phones, to tell AMC theatres that they did not approve. AMC received an answer to a question about survival in a most unexpected way but they got the message and vowed to not allow the use of phones during a movie in any of their theatres to keep their customers happy.
When the Federal Communications Commission announced that to achieve Net Neutrality they were going to reclassify internet services under Title II of the telecommunications Act they also announced the preemption of state laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that erected barriers to expansion of broadband service investment. While Net Neutrality is the topic of the day any well positioned organization, if they are nimble enough has an opportunity to create a foothold to bring new services to consumers. Whether services are public sector or private sector the FCC’s ruling has opened the door to new possibilities.
Innovators such as Aereo and Sling TV were just the beginning. New York City appears to be in the forefront of providing innovation to its citizens with the development of pay phones for the 21st Century called LinkNYC and free hot spot lending for libraries. Public private partnerships to create LinkNYC and hot spot lending are great innovations and may be the wave of the future. Public private partnerships could seemingly pave the way for a comprehensive integrated smart grid that includes driverless transportation services.
Considering where technology has come from to where we are currently, smart phones with apps like Uber, a city with a
comprehensive integrated smart grid controlling not only utilities but transportation doesn’t seem that farfetched.
The type of planning required to make comprehensive smart grid technology a reality most likely goes way beyond The National Broadband Plan of 2010. However it is a worthy goal to aspire to for this society.