Home > Digitalizacija > Rob Thomas: The End of Tech Companies

In his article on Medium, Rob Thomas is talking about transition of business models in all industries into models that are not only technologically supported but actually are based on technology.


Data, IoT and software are replacing industrialization as the driving force of productivity and change.

There are 4 macro shocks, all occurring at the same time, that are expediting the end of “tech companies”, and ushering in the era where tech is default for all companies.

  • The market is undergoing a digital transformation.
  • Users have changed in the consumer world and business world.
  • The price of compute has plummeted, enabling the fragmentation of industries on the basis of data and analytics. At the same time, the price of collecting and analyzing data has plummeted as well.
  • Companies no longer have the skills they need to make the transition. The skills for success in many professions and industry are changing.

There are 6 vital signs for post-tech world, companies should check:

  • Capital allocation (re-allocation)
  • Product strategy
  • Go-to market strategy
  • Work habits and tools
  • Talent
  • Instrumentation

Most companies that buy-in to the idea of modernizing their capital structure overlook the need to re-allocate spend towards compensation and stock. Without that foresight, the war for talent, is all but lost.

Each company must choose the concise set of products or services that will come to represent the company. Others will be sold, but these are the 1-3 that will be aggressively marketed, through traditional means and digitally.

Stop selling all products that you have. A company cannot be successful without a singular and simple go-to-market message, supported by no more than 1-3 offerings.

Commitment to change work habits and tools can be simplified into 3 key points: reduce or eliminate traditional forms of communication (Powerpoint, email, static BI); introduce new forms of collaboration and make them mandatory; the leadership of the company must become the first adopters of the new tools.

The expertise of an organization must advance faster than the rate of change that the organization desires. This means the talent must change. With hiring or training. Mandatory training does not work. An employee must have the desire and motivation to learn. It is leader’s responsibility to: provide a self-paced training platform, provide badges and recognition for those that make progress, develop the curriculum to ensure that the right skills are being emphasized.

Once an organization plumbs the key processes and applications, with the appropriate instrumentation, measurement against KPI’s will be available instantly and as needed.

As Warren Buffet once said: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.”

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Tom Goodwin: Digital Darwinism; Survival of the fittest in the age of business disruption
Introducing AI through ladder approach (Rob Thomas – IBM, published by O’Reilly media)
John A. Goodman: Customer Experience 3.0; High-Profit Strategies in the Age of Techno Services
Reorganizing work processes in order to utilize new technologies