Valuable lessons from Silicon Valley

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Saqib Awan

What can Canadian generation leaders be informed from Silicon Valley?  So much, in step with Saqib Awan of Lightspeed Venture Partners. Lightspeed is an American mission capital company that specialize in early-stage investments within the undertaking generation and shopper area.

Awan is a transplanted Canadian who did his undergrad on the Richard Ivey Faculty of Trade in London, Ontario. For him, Silicon Valley represents each a chance and a problem to these days’s CIO. Awan is sharing the teachings he’s discovered from Silicon Valley, and referring to them to the higher international of data generation.

Lately’s CIO has a important function on the subject of serving to firms “sift via” the noise to stand probably the most important demanding situations.  Within the hyper-competitive international that Awan works, “it’s innovate or die.”  And the CIO has the most efficient seat in the home to steer that innovation, he says.

“CIOs who include that problem can have a genuine function to play of their respective organizations,” says Awan. Those who don’t take at the problem possibility shedding their relevance and affect.

Whilst the general public generally tend to concentrate on established tech giants like Google, Amazon and Salesforce.com, there are nonetheless huge alternatives for nice new firms rising from Silicon Valley.

“The cloud is just a few years previous.  An undertaking generation corporate takes between 7 to 10 years to construct,” notes Awan. “I totally be expecting that within the subsequent 5 to seven years, you’re going to be listening to about firms and names that the majority other folks is probably not totally conscious about, however are already in the market.”

Innovation is the lifeblood of enlargement

The innovation that happens within the Valley every day is the explanation why current firms like Walmart have made key acquisitions, and why firms like Normal Motors and Ford have opened their very own innovation labs in Silicon Valley.”  As Awan says, “Each corporate has to have the ability to undertake generation into their material.  And those that don’t?  They must be apprehensive.”

In keeping with Awan, huge Canadian firms must be following that lead. “We must be engaged with Silicon Valley.  We must be attractive with extra mission capitalists within the Valley — working out what kinds of issues they’re making an investment in and take a look at to be that early adopter and get that aggressive edge.  It will make us a lot more aggressive.”

Canadian firms of all sizes can be informed from startups, he says. “From a startup standpoint, there’s a large number of trial and mistake.  Finding out as they pass. Transferring  rapid and studying briefly.”

Diversify your knowledge pipeline

In keeping with Awan, that is just the beginning.  Massive firms can acquire some genuine advantages from running with startups.  However as he notes, they steadily make a key mistake: changing into overly reliant on analyst corporations. “If you wish to beat the marketplace, getting knowledge the place everybody else is getting knowledge from, isn’t actually going to achieve this, and you’re all the time going to be taking part in catch up.”

However CIOs too can be informed important courses from the vintage errors of marketers.  Awan says, “If I did have to select a mistake that tech marketers within the undertaking area could make, it might be ‘being too heads down.”  His company encourages tech marketers to “get out and communicate to consumers and allow them to lend a hand form the goods they’re making.”

In keeping with Awan, CIOs of huge firms can fall into this entice of being too internally targeted.  They have got their inside group, from customers to C-Suite and they have got the exterior buyer, which CIOs don’t in most cases take into accounts however which is significant whilst you take into accounts virtual transformation regardless of the dimension of your corporate.  “CIOs must even be interested by the affect of generation and the adoption they’re doing at the finish buyer. As soon as all of the group is aligned to that person revel in and buyer revel in and each and every determination is made in response to that, that’s when the magic begins to occur.”

That magic can occur when huge firms and startups come in combination.  Making the ones fits can also be very rewarding.  Awan shared a real-life instance from his personal contemporary revel in: “We had a big corporate come to us with an excessively particular downside. We took place to have a startup in our portfolio.  I used to be in a position to introduce this startup to the CIO.  The startup is lovely younger, however neatly funded with an awesome workforce.”

With Awan’s lend a hand, the 2 firms had been in a position to glue and they’re transferring to an evidence of idea that displays nice promise.  “It’s an excellent resolution on the subject of fixing an issue that the CIO had and has a urgent want for whilst additionally permitting a startup to paintings with an organization this is ahead considering and that may be a best fit for the answer that they’re construction.”

Even if he now lives in Silicon Valley, Awan is bullish on his house nation. “From my standpoint, I’m Canadian, I’m bringing extra Canadians into the vanguard of management in tech. That’s why I’m coming again to my fatherland — so I will be able to inspire extra Canadians and allow them to know there are many alternatives in the market.  And optimistically, we will inspire extra Canadians to be at the vanguard of innovation and of adopting generation.”

As Awan notes, “There’s a ton of skill in Canada.  Even within the Valley, there’s a large number of Canadian skill right here. So having the ability to leverage a large number of the ones relationships and to include the ones new applied sciences can convey a aggressive edge. Toronto has were given a budding entrepreneurship scene, Waterloo has a fantastic college that’s extremely revered within the Valley.  We now have a large number of tech skill in Canada and we want to include it.”

For the ones Canadians who wish to pay attention extra from Awan and to begin to construct the ones connections, he’s going to be talking with me at HMG Technique’s 2018 Toronto CIO Government Management Summit, being hung on June 7 on the Omni King Edward Lodge. The convention specializes in the theme Lead, Reimagine, Reinvent – Using a Tradition of Genius for Luck.

Register to attend 


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Updated: May 22, 2018 — 5:19 pm
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