By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, Pershing Yoakley & Associates, P.C.
The comments that digital media strategist Robert Tercek made at last week’s “GIGTANK Demo Day” in Chattanooga had to be music to the ears for the community’s leaders.
“I’ve been hearing about Chattanooga for a couple of years,” the California-based, globally-focused speaker said in his keynote remarks. “There are more than 2,000 accelerators around the country, but you have an infrastructural advantage (here).”
Tercek noted that the Internet is 45 years old, the personal computer 40 years old, and the World Wide Web a mere 25 years old.
“The first two are older than many of those in the room tonight,” he said. “Yet, the information age has barely begun.”
Tercek predicted that the “computer to everything” or “Internet of things” is the largest transformation in our history. It is one of three types of connections that started with computer-to-computer and progressed to computer-to-mobile devices. Now, he describes it as “whatever can be connected will be connected.”
In the case of Chattanooga, the first-in-the-nation gigabit city has the exact infrastructure for testing all of these new opportunities.
Tercek referenced a number of the “GIGTANK” participants during his remarks, drawing parallels between their ideas and this new era where “science fiction is the new normal.”
One of those start-ups called-out was VortexT®, the Oak Ridge-based company founded by Barry Goss that is initially focused on helping healthcare professionals manage their data overload.
Tercek cited some amazing statistics to illustrate the challenge that VortexT® is working to solve.
- In 2010, about 1.2 Zettabytes of data were generated. (He explained that a Zettabyte is a million million gigabytes.)
- By 2014, the number had increased almost fourfold to 4.4 Zettabytes.
- Initial predictions for 2020 have grown from 35 Zettabytes to 40 and now 45.
“That’s a tenfold increase in the next five years,” Tercek noted.
His latest book, Vaporized: Solid Strategies for Success in a Dematerialized World, will publish next month. In it, Tercek calls attention to the fact that media industries were in the first sectors to be vaporized by the rise of digital technologies – think what Amazon did to books and Apple to music, but they are far from the last.
“There are 1.3 million apps that replaced products in stores that have been vaporized,” Tercek said. Next up, in his view, is traditional education that will be vaporized by the mobile device.
“The attitude today is reinvent everything,” Tercek said.