Thought leadership is a part of the motto or the emblem of many engineering and business schools across the world. It is also an integral component of the curriculum. With the last date of B. Tech admission getting closer, students are on a threshold of a major career decision, therefore its important to understand how their skills will bring about a change. Engineering is a driving force that fosters skill advancement and forward thinking making innovators and thought leaders of tomorrow.
Tracing the Beginning!
To start with, we are currently living in the most innovative times of human civilization, especially when it comes to business and trade. During the medieval period, young men who had an appetite for adventure or enjoyed noble patronage set out on long voyages in pursuit of wealth and trade. It was also the period of scientific discoveries and Cultural Revolution that transformed the world forever.
Around the turn of the late 18th and early 19th century, England became the first country in the world to witness the boon of the industrial revolution. Historians have attributed several reasons for the development of Britain during this period. A Large reserve of natural resources such as coal, increased food production and of course colonial imperialism added to the wealth and fortune of the country.
A common ground between the merchants of the medieval period and the new breed of industrialists in the industrialized Great Britain and parts of Europe was that business and trade ideas were heavily resource incentive. You could make a fortune only on the pretext of a standing fortune. However, with the coming of digital age there has been a sea of change in the way businesses function, where ideas are being valued over material fortune. Where thought leaders are valued!
A Sea of Change…
To understand this lets take the example of two former employees of Yahoo and creators of WhatsApp, the highly celebrated app that changed the face of instant messaging. Last year the company was bought by Facebook, the world largest social networking site for a staggering US $19.3 billion. Besides being dubbed as the most iconic deal in the history of the World Wide Web, what touched the hearts of millions of people across the world was the “rags to riches story” of Jan Koum. The creator of this app who has his own shares of struggle growing up and had to survive on food stamps for several months.
One of the biggest deals in the history of Internet
This is an excellent example of thought leadership, a simple yet innovative idea that transformed the way world shares and exchanges multimedia texts and information. The digital age that we are part of is as empowering as it can be. As stated in his Blog Post, Jan Koum, and colleague Brian Acton after leaving the Giant Internet Company, Yahoo in 2007 felt motivated to create an application that added real value in the life of a common man at the same time respectful towards his or her privacy. Today, WhatsApp has over a billion users with different share options (photos, PDFs, IM) including calling.
Open Source Technology – The best way to Move Forward
Open source revolution is another outcome of the digital age. It is particularly relevant in the field of software development, posing a stiff challenge to intellectual property rights. Unlike propriety software, open source is all about sharing the source code to other developers with unrestricted accessibility. The idea is to make a good product even better through collaborative effort.
This is again another attribute of a thought leader, someone who not only ideates but is also open to hearing out the ideas from others. Much like the words of open source evangelist Linus Torvalds and creator of the Linux operating system “I’d much rather have 15 people arguing about something than 15 people splitting into two camps, each side convinced it is right and not talking to the other.”
Simple Innovation Equals High Thinking
There is immense business potential in the digital realm. Online digital marketing and big data management is the next big thing that is all set to transform the digital space. Thought leadership goes together with big data analytics. It is estimated that the world data is growing at an annual pace of 59 percent. There is an exponential rise of data with tremendous speed and a variety of data and information. However, to interpret this huge chunk of information one not only need data scientists but also thought leaders. The optimum use of this information and work on market predictions and growth that will not only facilitate the development of new products or services but also streamline processes, cut down on marketing budget and leverage of new ideas.
In brief, data science is the future of everything. Individuals who have the knowledge, insight, expertise, and wisdom are greatly valued. Therefore, with the last date of B.Tech admission almost ending, don the engineering hat to make a difference in the world.
Ashton Kutcher is not the first but perhaps the first few celebrities to join Twitter so as to interact with his fans directly. His popularity on the platform was an instant hit, and today Twitter is the greatest promotional platform for celebrities, politicians and famous personalities from across the world. It is affordable, far reaching and a quick way to promote and market oneself. In a nutshell, a thought leader is quick in analyzing, setting trends and taking it forwards.