SWO Angel Group

O to 100 Digital Transformation

November 29, 2018

By: Dennis Ensing

At our annual Peerscale CEO retreat this past June; we had one keynote speaker whose talk I continue to reflect. Shawn Kanungo, spoke to us on the disruption that has become so evident in our world – his talk was titled “0 to 100 Digital Transformation”.

When technologies go from scarcity to ubiquity, the world fundamentally changes. Whether it is from hunting to settled agriculture or from calligraphy to the printing press, we see an explosion new challenges, industries and human behaviours. Today, these technologies and their rapid expansion occur on an exponential scale; from doctors to AI-assisted health, banks to block chain, retail to Amazon’s Alexa, we are on the brink of the most chaotic era in commerce.

Kanungo asserts that nothing is truly “new”, that magic only happens now when we copy, steal & then repurpose other’s ideas and that it’s almost impossible to come up with a truly original idea. Once an idea is introduced, the Internet facilitates its spread, from 0 to 100, so rapidly that it quickly becomes tiresome. For example: he described that mass is dead; subculture is the new culture since digital has resulted in the ability to target like never before. Another example is anticipatory shipping (an Amazon patent): big data, AI, and distributed warehouses combine to ship you your new broom before you even realized you needed it!

Our Angel Group members invest in ventures who are at the forefront of change – bringing the impact of innovation and technological advancement to the market in ever more creative ways. These ventures thrive in Shawn’s mess of chaotic disruption because they can still experiment rapidly – tackling small problems one at a time with small teams in small sprints – and are not caught up with restrictive business models or structures.

They are also patient despite the rapid pace of change. When the market adopts the transformational results of their patient and constant experimentation, magic happens for them . . . and us

VanRX is a great example of this. It was recently named Deloitte’s fastest growing technology company in Canada. SWO Angels members first invested in VanRX 10 years ago! Maybe we had to wait a little longer, but it’s been worth it!