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The Digital Conglomerate
Oct04

The Digital Conglomerate

A look back the prescient article co-authored by Don Tapscott: Digital Conglomerates: Setting the Agenda for Enterprise 2.0. The article, which has never been released publicly before, looks at several innovative companies of the time: Google uses its Maps application to help design self-driving cars. GE uses data from its medical electronic equipment to design population-based predictive models for actuaries. Amazon turns its demand-driven distribution centers into cutting edge venues for robotics innovation. In so doing, these companies design tech-driven innovations that combine multiple distinctive knowledge sets – on a massive commercial scale (maps that inform car designs, heart monitors that inform insurance policies, retail sales that inform robotics). To call Google, GE and Amazon technology companies misses the point. Google is in all sorts of sectors including advertising, social media, navigation, car design and robotics. GE is in appliances, healthcare, aerospace and professional services. Amazon is in retail, computer services, robotics and logistics. A new species of business is beginning to revolutionize almost every industry and the economy itself. Digital conglomerates use their massive cross-domain capabilities and information advantages to innovate, increase market share, and enter entirely new markets. In this respect they are quite unlike vaunted peers like Facebook, let alone niche players. Digital conglomerates will be the dominant enterprises of 21st century economies – and function as role models to Industrial Age conglomerates like General Motors, AT&T, and Exxon. Perhaps 10 years from now people will look back on Blockchain Revolution, struck by its...

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Opinion: 4 blockchain companies that could change everything from accounting to money transfers
May12

Opinion: 4 blockchain companies that could change everything from accounting to money transfers

Don Tapscott and his son Alex Tapscott have published an article on MarketWatch. The article begins: The first generation of the digital revolution brought us the Internet of information. The second generation — powered by blockchain technology — is bringing us the Internet of value: a new platform to reshape the world of business and transform the old order of human affairs for the better. Blockchain is a vast, global distributed ledger or database running on millions of devices and open to anyone, where not just information but anything of value — money, but also titles, deeds, identities, even votes — can be moved, stored and managed securely and privately. Trust is established through mass collaboration and clever code rather than by powerful intermediaries like governments and banks. Read the article on...

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Commentary: Five myths about the Blockchain revolution
May12

Commentary: Five myths about the Blockchain revolution

Don and Alex Tapscott have published an article on Reuters about a few blockchain myths. They write: Blockchain technology is the most important invention in computing in a generation because, for the first time in human history, we have at our disposal a truly native digital medium for peer-to-peer value exchange. Blockchain, a vast global platform based on a distributed ledger, establishes the rules — in the form of computations and heavy duty encryption — that enable two or more parties to transact or do business without needing a third party to establish trust. Rather than relying on a bank, government or other intermediary to create trust, the blockchain ensures it through mass collaboration and clever code. Trust is built into the system, which is why we call blockchain the Trust Protocol. Read the article on Reuters Photo: Reuters/Benoit...

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The Impact of the Blockchain Goes Beyond Financial Services
May11

The Impact of the Blockchain Goes Beyond Financial Services

The technology most likely to change the next decade of business is not the social web, big data, the cloud, robotics, or even artificial intelligence. It’s the blockchain, the technology behind digital currencies like Bitcoin. Blockchain technology is complex, but the idea is simple. At its most basic, blockchain is a vast, global distributed ledger or database running on millions of devices and open to anyone, where not just information but anything of value – money, titles, deeds, music, art, scientific discoveries, intellectual property, and even votes – can be moved and stored securely and privately. On the blockchain, trust is established, not by powerful intermediaries like banks, governments and technology companies, but through mass collaboration and clever code. Blockchains ensure integrity and trust between strangers. They make it difficult to cheat. Read the full article by Don and Alex Tapscott on...

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Here’s Why Blockchains Will Change the World – Book Excerpt
May09

Here’s Why Blockchains Will Change the World – Book Excerpt

A book excerpt from Blockchain Revolution, co-authored by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott, has been published on Fortune: The Bitcoin technology creates the World Wide Ledger of value. As early as 1981, inventors were attempting to solve the Internet’s problems of privacy, security, and inclusion with cryptography. No matter how they reengineered the process, there were always leaks because third parties were involved. Paying with credit cards over the Internet was insecure because users had to divulge too much personal data, and the transaction fees were too high for small payments. In 1998, Nick Szabo wrote a short paper entitled “The God Protocol.” Szabo mused about the creation of a be-all end-all technology protocol, one that designated God the trusted third party in the middle of all transactions. His point was powerful: Doing business on the Internet requires a leap of faith. A decade later in 2008, the global financial industry crashed. Perhaps propitiously, the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto–who may or may not be an Australian entrepreneur named Craig Wright–outlined a new protocol for a peer-to-peer electronic cash system using a cryptocurrency, or digital currency, called Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies are different from traditional fiat currencies because they are not created or controlled by countries. This protocol established a set of rules—in the form of distributed computations—that ensured the integrity of the data exchanged among these billions of devices without going through a trusted third party. This seemingly subtle act set off a spark that has excited, terrified, or otherwise captured the imagination of the computing world and has spread like wildfire everywhere. Read the full excerpt on Fortune Image: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty...

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Special Innovation Issue of the Toronto Star
May07

Special Innovation Issue of the Toronto Star

Today’s issue of the Toronto Star has been guest edited by innovation expert Don Tapscott. He writes: Canada is at a turning point. Plummeting oil prices, lacklustre economic performance, a petrodollar, pernicious climate change and structural youth unemployment illustrate the need for a shift from a resource economy appropriate for the industrial age to an innovation economy appropriate for the digital age. Toronto, specifically, can lead the way and become a global centre for innovation, entrepreneurship, breakthrough science, rich culture, open government and prosperity as a whole. In this special innovation edition of the Star, I’ve helped curate stories outlining mind-boggling developments, and even written a few, in the hope that you will become motivated to join in, if you haven’t already. Download and read the front page of the Toronto Star: Innovation Edition and be sure to pick up a copy of the paper for the entire issue, which includes multiple articles on blockchain revolution and a full page spread on page 2 written by Alex Tapscott. You can also read the front page article...

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