On Monday I took advantage of the rare opportunity to meet Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft and hear him talk about where Microsoft, tech in Washington, and tech in general are heading. If you weren’t able to attend the Tech Alliance annual State of Technology luncheon in downtown Seattle, it’s worth watching the video of Jonathan Sposato’s interview with Nadella from the event.
I love that he recognized that Microsoft’s original goal of having a PC on every desk wasn’t as powerful as having a mission. Nadella described Microsoft’s mission as “empowering every person and organization on the planet to achieve more through digital technology.”
This is the core of what carried them through the high and low waves that every business experiences. It’s also a good example of the importance of basing your company mission on a powerful ‘why’ instead of what you do. If this is a new concept to you, check out Simon Sinek’s TED talk on “Starting With Why.”
In addition to his insights on where Microsoft is going, Nadella and three other presenters (including two New Tech presenter alumnus) mentioned how exciting it is that technology is making great strides in Virtual Reality, Internet of Things and Healthcare.
Chris Diorio of Impinj connected the dots on how giving every item in our world a tiny RFID tag is creating stories and business solutions for the retail and healthcare industries.
In thinking about how cassette tapes and floppy disks seem like they’re from the Dark Ages now, it’s exciting to see where creating ‘presence’ and immersive environments are going to take us.
Forest Key of Pixvana, shared insights on how Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are now blending – and will be affecting nearly everything we do. Key says that this shift is going to make using a keyboard and mouse antiquated. This means we’ll be using VR to perform normal computer functions without having to punch at keys. Just say what you want and engage with a virtual interface to cruise the web or create a multi-dimensional spreadsheet. Google Glass was ahead of its time, but a version of that is in our future.
Clayton Lewis of scientific wellness startup Arivale shared how they are creating a 360-degree view of people to create personalized wellness plans based on millions of data points. Think about that! Analyzing health data has evolved to the level of being able to help us prevent illness and live longer and healthier lives. Technological innovations in healthcare are going to have an enormous impact on diseases like diabetes, kidney disease, and Alzheimer’s – as well as on our physiology. You will know what foods cause an allergic reaction for you and what exercise gets your heart pumping at the ideal rate. With this information, you and your healthcare providers will be able to establish the best diet, exercise and pharmaceutical solutions that work for your particular needs.
The takeaway from all of these presentations was how exciting the future of technology is for current and coming generations. There are many revolutionary products and solutions being incubated and created that will change our lives in ways we can’t even quite grasp. The world is going to look and operate very differently with each passing year. It used to take decades to shift lifestyles in major ways. Now, giant technological leaps are being made in a matter of a year.
It will be important for us to be sure to answer the many whys we’ll be faced with as technology expands more and more into our daily lives. And like most things in life, it will someday reach equilibrium and technology and its tools will be as ordinary as using a toaster to brown your bread – that is, assuming your data-driven health plan allows you to have bread.
Here’s to taking an exciting ride together!
See you around town – and on Slack anytime.