Published on September 4th, 2012 | by Hersh Tapadia0
The View from 35,000 Feet
I took a flight home from Chicago this weekend, groggy from a weekend of fun with my grad school buddies when I was awoken to the sight of the plan descending through the clouds and the first pinpricks of light emerging over Raleigh.
Take-off and landing are my favorite parts of each flight as I stare out the window struggling to identify the roads and neighborhoods as we descend. Of course landing at night is beautiful as the cities are outlined in orange dots.
This time, however, I noticed that there are pockets of Raleigh that are lit in white instead of orange, an artifact of switching to LED lights. It turns out that from such great heights we can monitor the progression of our fair city and compare it to those who are being left behind.
Or country is one in transition and as we prepare for the next generation we have to go back and modernize our entire infrastructure. The last two decades have been characterized by applications of bandages to our infrastructure such that we may be delivered the time to figure out what the valuable and lasting improvements in technology will be.
Our most important infrastructure challenge will probably be one of energy management. For every new phone we turn on and electric vehicle we charge our energy needs get higher. Fortunately for us technology continues to drive forward and there are several folks tackling these problems. (See www.sustainableis.com to see a Durham startup’s take on energy efficiency.) Often it is hard to tell from sea-level what progress has been made and in this realm, without access to the energy bills or the energy meters how can anyone know if their region is keeping up?
From the skies it’s a different story, as we cross the country we can watch some of the orange lit cities slowly get overtaken by the white lights of progress while other cities merely slide backwards into irrelevance.
If we consider our own businesses as the cities in this story, as the leaders we have to think of our positions in a similar way. Regardless of your current position if you aren’t white-lit from 35,000 feet with regards to your industry your position is a compromised one.
Unless your aspirations reflect those of the late Digital Equipment Corporation, make sure you are the thought leader in your space, always innovating.