[MUSIC PLAYING] That was a fantastic introduction. The best ever. So that-- I sat in the front row, and I listened to every one of those presentations, and I enjoyed every last one of them.
And I've started about 40 or 50 companies in my life, almost all of which have failed. And so I know that angst that comes when you've got this business inside of you, and you're just sort of desperate to say, don't you see how it's going to succeed? And you're going, God, I hope they see what I see.
Because the challenge in all businesses is not just creating a fantastic idea. It's not just putting together a great team it's not just raising capital. It's not just getting those first and most difficult customers. It's not just getting your product into the marketplace and starting to scale. It's not just beating back competitors and other people who would say you're absolutely out of your mind.
It's the fact that you have to do it all. You can't be missing any of those pieces and get to the finish line of a successful startup. That's just the startup.
And so you wonder why anybody tries. Why would anybody do that? And the answer is very simple. It's a disease.
People often come to me and say, Jay, you know, I'm thinking about being an entrepreneur. I'm thinking about starting my own thing. I say, stop right there. You can quit now. You are not an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs never ask that question. They all have the disease. They can't help themself. It's not the kind of thing you want to wish on your children. When you get older, I hope my kids grow up to be entrepreneurs. Just the divorce rate alone is through the roof.
Michelangelo was once asked, maestro, why are you a sculptor? You know, you can paint. You can do all these other things. Why are you a sculptor? And he ostensibly looked at the person with this quizzical sort of, you're out of your mind look, and said, I have no choice. That is what I am.
All great entrepreneurs, I believe, answer that exactly the same way. They don't actually have a choice. They have an affliction. And they work hard to try to become part of a productive society with that affliction.
It used to be that that affliction was looked down. Oh, join a big company. Join GE or IBM. Join something safe. Maybe go work for the government.
In many areas of the world, we would still look down on. Who are you to say that you can do this better, smarter? You know, go with the test scores. Go get a job in a safe place.
But here in the United States, we live in a time where we not only respect entrepreneurs, but they've become sort of the cowboys of the modern age. They're sort of the cool kids. Used to be the weird ones. They're the cool kids who are trying new things, who are creating new businesses, who are endlessly trying to create new ideas and new ways of bringing products and services to marketplace that delight people, and that ultimately create jobs and economic strength for our country.
And so for most of the people in the world today, especially in the industrialized countries, when you tell them you want to be an entrepreneur, it's not a giant negative anymore. It's sort of like, wow, that's pretty cool. Tell me about your business.
So I spend my life, as I mentioned earlier, starting businesses. But I spent a significant part of my life thinking about businesses. I ran an R&D lab, which, for 15 years, did nothing but think for a living. Now, I'd like you to know that is not a business model I would suggest anybody here emulate. It takes a lot of guts to think for a living. Consultants do it, but they sell their thinking in real time, or at least what passes for thinking.
But I was not a consultant. Not that being a consultant is anything terribly wrong, though it is a little strange. OK.
I thought for a living because I believed that by putting a team together that simply thought about the changing world of networks and behavioral sciences, we could actually invent large swaths of what we believed would be future solutions to business problems. And those solutions that I spent 15 years along with the team thinking about-- those solutions gave rise to many, many different businesses, including one or two or three businesses that we couldn't even take the pain, where we were in the laboratory thinking, and say, wow, this really solves a giant problem. Let's take this solution and spin it out of the laboratory, because it'll just irritate everybody in the thinking group here, and let's go launch it as a business.
And that is literally how Priceline.com was started. It was invented in a lab, thinking. It was a solution that a group of us-- not me. A group of people said, look, Jay. This is such a big solution. We've got to go start this now. I said, go ahead. We're thinking over here.
And a group of people picked up and started thinking and doing that. And at one point, they said, Jay, you need to come help us, because we're in all kinds of trouble, and it looks like it's going to be really big. I said, all right. So I went over there and did it for awhile, and left the thinkers back at the lab. And I sort of miss them.
So I've returned to thinking for a living after building businesses. I've built, as I mentioned, a lot of businesses. But I've built three businesses from scratch that each have 50 million customers. And that's really the way I've always measured a business.
It's wonderful to measure businesses in terms of dollars, and it's certainly critically important to measure them in terms of profitability or market value, which is really just a multiple of profitability discounted to the present. But at the end of the day, if you can build businesses that serve millions or tens of millions of customers, and you can do it more than once, you probably have some insight into what drives customers.
Because the end of the day, it's all about the customers. Everything else is all nice. It's all about customers.
if you serve customers above your risk adjusted cost of capital on an ongoing basis, we call that a business. And if you can scale it to serve a lot of customers, we call it a big business. But at the end of the day, it's all about serving customers.
Which is why it's so critical to make sure you have at least the problem correctly defined. The problem, of course, is what is the customer's problem? How many customers have that problem? Are you sure that the customers actually have that problem, or are you just trying to fit your preconceived answer into what you think customers ought to have as their problem.
Once you actually define the problem well, you can begin the journey of serving customers. And what you find almost always is you were mostly wrong or totally wrong. Somewhere in that zone is about right. No matter how hard you work thinking you've got the problem right, and no matter how hard you work in thinking you actually have the customers figured out, you're either 50% wrong or 100% wrong. Pick your zone. You're in that area.
Or as the Israelis like to say-- the Israeli army likes to say, no battle plan survives its first meeting with the enemy. And that's true in business, too. No business plan survives its first meeting with real customers.
You see, it's one thing to ask customers what they think. It's another thing to interview them. It's another thing to do focus groups, surveys. It's another thing to use your intuition.
It's a completely different thing when you go up to somebody and say, I'd like you to take some money out of your wallet right now that you were planning on spending on something else. And you don't have enough money. I happen to know that, because you are a real human. And I want you to give it to me instead.
That's the moment of truth. When customers have to give you money that has some other purpose attached to it, because they don't have any extra, you know you've actually served a real customer. And that's the beginning of when a business actually starts to learn.
As I mentioned earlier, I've spent my time in the last 5 to 10 years going back to a different kind of school. I've been building businesses my whole life, and have met a lot of customers along the way. But about eight or so years ago, I decided it was time for a career change. And as those people who know me know, I do that about every 10 years or so. I decide it's time to start over.
Life is interesting and it's short, but if you spend your time living off what you did a few years ago, you're really not growing. And it's always a good idea to pick up yourself and pick a new industry. And I chose what is the world's hardest, most screwed up, most important crazy the industry. I chose health and medicine.
It turns out that if you have a choice, do not choose this industry. It is highly regulated, OK? So that's not good. It is filled with legacy systems that are incredibly dysfunctional, as anybody who's ever been to the health care system knows. We actually don't have a health care system in the US. We have a sick care system in the US. There is actually no money in staying healthy if you're a provider, right?
So it is a system that is filled with constant changing technology, and it's filled with these humans-- these strange humans-- that endlessly want total services for absolute free. What a business! I'd like to everything you've got, and I want to pay nothing for it. And by the way, I'm in pain, so I'm in a hurry. What a business!
Of course, this is the business that threatens to bankrupt all of the Western societies if it stays on its current pathway. It's the business model that is so dysfunctional that anybody who experiences it is miserable within moments of your first experience with the system. It is literally an upside down, Alice in Wonderland world. It's filled with wonderful, dedicated, caring people. Call them doctors, nurses, social care, home care workers, social professionals. It's filled with amazing people.
It's filled with scientists, and amazing academicians. It's filled with universities like Cornell. And it's all dysfunctionally broken.
And so about eight years ago I said, this is a good one. I'll never fix this thing. I'll never even come close. And I put together a team of people, and I said, let's start learning.
And I was very fortunate. I was involved with the TED conference. Most of you at Cornell would know TED, the Technology, Entertainment, and Design group. I've served on the brain trust of TED for many years.
And an opportunity came to acquire the only independent version of TED, which is called TED Med. Myself and a group of investors actually bought TED Med as a platform to learn. And we said, wow, with TED Med as our platform, we will be able to talk to absolutely everybody in health and medicine globally.
I don't have a PhD. I don't have an MD. I don't even have a master's degree, OK? And so I am like the opposite of health and medicine, all right?
But I do have a customer degree. I know customers. I know what drives them, what they care about. I know about how to engineer business systems. I know how to deliver value. I know about technology, and how it can be used to serve people.
I know about how to put things together that are unexpected, and I know how to serve very large groups of people. As I mentioned, three companies with 50 million customers. So I really do know how to do things like that.
And I figured, wow, this would be a great use of my talent. And when I started, all my hair was black. Every bit of it. Nothing gray, OK? And I began to learn.
And so what I'm going to share with you for the next few minutes is a set of learning that I came across that the team has developed. And I've been running the TED Med conferences. I've been curating it. I've talked to Nobel Prize winning scientists. I've talked to PhDs, MDs, I've talk to the heads of medical schools. I talked to patients and patient care groups. I talked to amazing technologists.
We host on the TED Med stage the very smartest and best and most amazing people. And we broadcast it worldwide for free. We have millions of people who help TED Med succeed in helping to shape a future in health and medicine that is way better than the present that we have today, and way better than the path we seem to be on.
But given that we're a room full of entrepreneurs, I'm not going to talk about that. I'm actually going to talk about 10 super forces. And these 10 super forces were actually evident in every one of the presentations we saw today. I took notes on each of the presentations, and I wrote down for each of the presenters how many of the super forces they touched on.
Now, remember, we saw no health and medicine to speak of here today, which is a good start, I might add, though we need real health and medicine innovation. Don't get me wrong. We need it, and there are unbelievable fortunes to be made in serving customers better in health and wellness.
But nonetheless, these 10 forces which apply to all of health and medicine turn out to apply to everything else, too. They turn out to apply to almost every business on the planet. It just turns out that I know them within a health and medicine context.
Now, of course, health and medicine is about 20% of the US GDP, so that's a fancy way of saying if 10 forces apply to 20% of the US GDP, it probably applies to 100% of the US GDP, since there's very little that special when you regress to the mean of 20% of the GDP. So it's not a coincidence that these forces apply.
So let's talk about-- I'm going to go through them reasonably quickly, because I don't have that much time. But let's talk about each of these forces, one at a time.
So the first force is new sensor technology. In medicine, we call them biosensors, all right? But we saw in the presentation from the water stress guys-- we saw that big thing, and then we saw that little sensor. It turns out sensors are about to change the entire world. Sensors are the front end of the data capture of tomorrow.
See, right now, we capture data from a relatively limited number of sources. In fact, when we look at the human body, it's mostly a black box. We have no idea what's going on inside every one of us. And that is about to change.
We're about to swallow sensors, wear sensors, and I'm not talking just about Fitbits and Apple Watches, which are the Apple 2s of the sensor revolution. I'm talking about sensors everywhere. Literally, nanosensors, large sensors, room sensors. You're going to be having them all over you and all over the world you're living in.
So if you think about a business problem in a sensor context, you can look ahead and say, how will new sensor technology change the business opportunity to serve customers? Because sensors are one of the 10 biggest super forces that are going to change the world in a very short number of years.
The second super force comes as no surprise when I talk in communities like here, but I call it the connector force. The biggest connector force, of course, is the mobile network, right? The fact is that we're all wearing or carrying supercomputers that are all connected to a network, of course, unless you're off network-- and we saw the problem of being disconnected in one of the presentations today.
But this idea of connectors is even bigger than mobile networks. It's the whole idea that between mobile technology, the cloud, and essentially an entire revolution in connectivity-- and we see it over and over again. We saw it in Gatsby, we saw it in [INAUDIBLE] connectors, we saw connectors in Arctic, we saw connectors in Produce Pay, we saw connectors in [? InTouch, ?] [INAUDIBLE], we saw it in [INAUDIBLE].
Those businesses were built on reconnecting things that were not connected. They were using connector technologies, but the business process was about connecting. We're living in a world where everything that isn't connected is going to be connected. So if your business is riding the force of connecting, you're riding one of the 10 super forces-- the force that connects it all.
The easiest way to remember this force is go back about 100 years and look at the beginning of the electricity revolution. In the beginning of the electricity revolution, electricity was all generated relatively locally. You had a steam engine or some kind of power source. There was no power plants. There were no AC currents. There was no connection.
Right. What happened is all electricity migrated to a single connected web to the point where, now, with very few exceptions-- relatively, battery technology-- almost all power comes from a connection of a power web. That thing is about to happen again, only this time, it's about to happen with everything. Not just power.
So your second super force, which we saw over and over again, was all about connectors. Of course, in biology, what this means is all the sensors on your body are all going to then have a data set that's all going to be connected to the cloud, which means all the data about your heart, and your protein levels, and your microbiome, and all the data about your connect home in your brain-- all the data, and you are simply a very highly organized data set.
That's what living organisms are. They're just data sets. They're just very complex data sets. But they're data sets.
All that data is going to be harvested by the sensors and then pushed out over the connector network to where it comes to the third force. And the third force is the software revolution. Now, the software revolution is really about in its second inning in a nine inning game.
Software went through its first inning, and sort of the idea of writing big software programs, complex software systems, where software before them-- the app level-- was literally big, intense industrial software. The software that runs our phone system. The software that runs our power plants. The software that tries to run our air traffic control system.
These are big software. And that's all version one of software.
But we now know that software is about to go into hyperdrive. Software, in one sense, is big data. On another side is artificial intelligence. And another side is machine learning.
This triangle of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data together are going to create a massive revolution in what software can do, how fast it can do it, how humanly better it can do it, and how scary it can learn. Because up to now, all software has been about as dumb as a brick. It's about to change.
Software is about to become self learning. And there's one thing about compounding. If compounding is positive, then guess what? All you have to do is multiply by the cycle time of compounding, and things get out of control real fast.
There is a scary set of options and opportunities when software starts to improve itself. When software starts to look and find answers that humans will never see or find, not simply because the software crunches big data faster, but because the software itself is better at it. It's learning, and it's smarter.
A two-year-old is essentially an organism that wires its software systems every day. A two-year-old wires up several thousand new neural connections an hour. And we call that a two-year-old. Anytime anybody's ever seen a two-year-old basically go from one-year-old to almost a little person by three, you're seeing a learning software system.
This is not magical. This is simply the biological brain. And now we are building systems that are smart enough to mimic the ability to learn. So software revolution.
And of course, we saw smart software in Eversound. We saw software in Gatsby. We saw software in [INAUDIBLE]. We saw software in almost everything. Which makes sense, because we're at Cornell University, and we would expect-- because software is so much a part of what we do and think about in a university environment-- you'd be surprised to see one of these businesses not have a strong software connection. Out in the real world, they're not as savvy, often, about software.
Number four of the super forces is feedback. Feedback is a very underappreciated force, but it is absolutely essential. And it changes everything when you put it in properly. Feedback, in the simplest sense, is an ability to provide information back to the original user of the information.
Now, anybody who's ever tried to ride a bicycle knows feedback is really important. Close your eyes and notice how long you're on the bicycle. Feedback, right?
You can't walk without it. You can't talk without it. You really can't do anything. The human body is intensely feedback driven.
But most of the world has really slow, retarded, blinded feedback systems. We really don't have a lot of feedback. What's amazing-- and we saw it many times-- we saw feedback in many of the different applications-- is when you have feedback in a system, guess what happens? You can learn.
Now, sometimes feedback is just called listening to customers. But feedback, when it comes to the biological world, is an ability to say, wow, I thought I was feeling well, but it's clear I'm not doing very well at all. My microbiome is off. My proteum was forming things. I've got 100 microcancer tumors that are advancing.
You have no feedback at all on what's going on in your body, other than getting on the bathroom scale and saying, really? That scale's broken again? That would be the average feedback loop.
Or a blood pressure cuff once in awhile, going, oh, I'm totally nervous. You're doing this blood pressure cuff and you're killing my arm. It's no wonder my blood pressure spiked. We have almost no feedback to speak of.
Now, one of the greatest feedback mechanisms in the commercial world is something called price. Price is a feedback loop. If you'll notice something about the health and medical system, they have no prices in it. Anybody ever go to the doctor and see a price chart on the wall? Anybody have to reach into their pocket other than at one of those minute clinics?
When you're in the hospital, how much did you spend? You're ordering tests. There's no price. There's no feedback. You have a system run amok.
Of course, if there's no feedback, guess what's going to happen? Without a price feedback loop, every system goes off to maximum utilization. Price is the feedback customers use to moderate consumption. Without price as a feedback loop, of course there's no moderated consumption, which is why we have a completely dysfunctional health and medical system. One of many excellent reasons.
In feedback-- I'm not going to spend time now-- in biology, is also augmented senses. Augmented senses is part of feedback, because right now, one of the ways we see-- one of the ways we feedback-- is through sight or sound. When we saw the audio guys, the Eversound guys, what they were actually showing you was an augmented sense system. People who are old had lost a sense.
Augmenting your senses is a giant super force. Why? Because who wouldn't want to hear better, see better, smell better, look better? You pick it. If I can make my senses better-- this is an augmented senses device-- guess what? We all want augmented senses.
Which is another way to say, we all want better quality feedback. Which is why feedback and augmented senses are so highly connected.
Number five on the super forces list doesn't apply to the group we saw today, but it's critically important you understand it. And it's called synthetic biology. Synthetic biology, in the simplest terms, means that engineers are now doing biology. It used to be only biologists could do biology. Now engineers can do biology.
And engineers can not only do the biology, but they can have building blocks, like circuit building blocks, and they can modify the DNA of organisms. Which means that we can change the software of all living things.
And it turns out that the software of all living things is written in four bases-- two base pairs, four bases-- and that's the software of all living things. Until last year, where a group of scientists invented two more artificial bases, inserted them into a living organism, and now we've got six. And soon we'll have plenty more.
Which means we can create proteins. We can create living organisms. We can modify all living things.
And by the way, living things are the most powerful, the most awesome, the most amazing manufacturing and change agents you've ever seen, because the planet's covered with them. Mostly bacteria, but we don't notice them. But living things are the engines of everything.
We, of course, are living things, but we're just a tiny fraction. Once we can start engineering bacteria and viruses and other living things, we can make fine wine without growing it as crops. We don't need to go through the whole crop cycle. We can basically just dump some correct bacteria in a solution, and voila, Lafite Rothschild '61, [INAUDIBLE]. Not a problem, OK?
It's just a chemical compound, ladies and gentlemen. A complex one, but a chemical compound. Which is not to say that you're not going to have your water technology, but it's coming. Food is going to be completely re-engineered.
And it's going to be done in your lifetimes, if you're a Cornell student. This idea of agriculture and stuff's going away, ladies and gentlemen. Nice idea. Not happening for too much longer.
So synthetic biology is a big one. And if you don't know about it, I urge you all to read up on it. Big deal.
Super force number six-- the second Industrial Revolution is on us. The first Industrial Revolution was about capital, machines, power, engineers, big factories. All very well and good, and it's how we got here today.
The second Industrial Revolution is completely different. It's about 3D printing. It's about CNC machines. It's about robotic control printing. It's about an entire factory on your desktop, literally.
The whole idea of the Industrial Revolution-- the first one we had-- was literally to change the world by industrial processing. But we needed scale to do it. In this Industrial Revolution, we don't need scale. What we need are computer controls and the right formula approaches.
So when you look at 3D printing, and you hear and you see the rudimentary 3D printing which looks like a joke today, keep in mind the 3D printing is improving at about 50% compounded per year in its sophistication. That's way faster than Moore's law.
3D printing, in just a few years, we're going to be printing tissues. We're going to be printing bone elements. We're going to be printing all kinds of things for the human body. But we're actually going to start printing food fairly soon.
In fact, on the TED Med stage, we printed meat two years ago, cooked it, and ate it right on the stage. Of course, it wasn't real meat. But it was tissue. Organic tissue organs. And it wasn't bad. So it's not long before we're not going to have animal industrial agriculture. That's almost over. And it's cruel, and it's long overdue to be sunsetted. But we're going to have great tasting food, because taste is actually mostly texture architecture and a little bit of smell. It's very little about flavor, for those of you that are scientists over at the CALS school here.
So this second Industrial Revolution is going to be a complete and total transformation in how we make things, and literally how we send the formulas to make things. So it won't be long before, on a 3D organic printer, you'll be able to print any drug you want. All you need is the formula, and you can print the drug.
Of course, in a world of information flows that we have today, especially with strong encryption, nobody's going to be able to tell you're sending the formula for a drug to somebody, no more than they can tell what the content is of the web that's being sent over an encrypted line. We're living in an age where the information data sets that are going to drive the manufacturing process are going to revolutionize how we manufacture.
Which takes us to the seventh force, nanotechnology. Not only are we changing the world of big, but we are really changing the world of small. We are engineering at the billionths of a meter level. This is the atomic scale.
And guess what? You start engineering stuff at the atomic scale, and all kinds of material science completely transforms what you can make, how much it costs, what it can do. It is a complete and total revolution.
It is no accident we call it the Bronze Age. It's the material of the age. Or the Copper Age, right? Or the Stone Age.
We are about to enter the Nano Age. And literally, we are about to get down at the atomic level and make things that nature could never make, to do things that nature could never do. And I'm not talking just organics, though we'll do it in organics. But we're a big time doing it in inorganics. So look into and understand how that nanotech force is working.
Of course, nanotech is already in your cell phones. There's already things happening in nanotechnology in your world. You just don't tend to notice it, because it's embedded in the materials, and of course, you don't notice nanotechnology anyway without an electron microscope.
Super force eight is robotics. So we're starting to see the beginning-- you know, obviously Google talking about a driverless car. If it's done by a human today, 90% of it will be done by a robot in some reasonably near future. And there's arguments that the number is closer to 95%.
Already, robots and software are writing the stories that you read. If you ever go on the web and you look at so much of this content, you can read a software written story and a human written story. I defy you to tell me who wrote the story. That's how good the robotics and the software are writing.
But robotics are not just going to be big robots. They're going to be small robots. From farming to factories, we're seeing robots, of course, have already taken over an enormous part of the labor that was mankind. But robots are about to become part of the machine learning world.
When you look at the AI-robot combination, and you look at the intersection of these forces, you realize, wow, these robots can learn. They're mobile. They're smart. And I'm not talking science fiction. I'm talking like right now.
So this idea that robotics is some big C-3PO in the future is not the case at all. It's all of manufacturing. It's all of service and support. It's all moving towards robotics.
In fact, gene sequencing really happens because it's robotically driven genes. You know, humans don't do gene sequencing. Computers and essentially robots do the gene sequencing. So look and you will find it. It is everywhere, and coming everywhere.
The last two super forces are really more macroenvironmental issues, less about technologies. The first one is ultra-urbanization. When we saw those Hong Kong pictures-- for those of you that haven't been to Hong Kong, that looks like the suburbs in Hong Kong. The real dense parts of Hong Kong, the buildings are even taller.
70% of the world is living in cities by 2050. The whole world is moving into urban environments. Now, ultra-urbanization creates all new kinds of challenges, and all new kinds of business opportunities. Once you have ultra-urbanization, you have the ability to do things in scale, in very small physical footprints.
And ultra-urbanization completely changes the nature of interactions, the speed at which product can be adopted. You have an incredibly dense environment. Ultra-urbanization also creates enormous pandemic threat problems. It creates disease problems. It puts society at enormous risk. Because when you have these incredibly concentrated biomasses of human beings, you have extraordinary risk profiles that haven't really occurred in human history.
Human history, we were always spread out. Now, no more. When you concentrate humanity, the risks concentrate with it. So that's super force nine.
And super force 10 is the emergence of the global middle Class. See, in America, we tend to take this middle class thing for granted. But the rest of the world, of course, is catching up to America's-- unfortunately, our level of consumption. And that's a giant challenge for the world, because once you have a global middle class, guess what they want? Well, they want wine coolers, but they want everything.
A global middle class can acquire, can consume, can buy things at scales never before possible. It used to be you had to say, well, where's my market? Well, whoever the people who have enough money to buy my products. Maybe the US. Maybe some Western Europe.
China will have 500 million more people. I said more people, because they already have 300 to 400 million in the middle class. They will have 500 million more people enter the middle class in the next 15 years. That's 500 million more customers.
So as you look at your business opportunities, if you're thinking America, you're thinking wrong. There's nothing special, per se, about an American customer. They're humans.
Yes, there are unique attributes for every local market. There are cultural issues. There are rule of law issues. There's IP enforcement issues. There's a million issues that make countries and regions different.
But at the end of the day, people want the same things. They want opportunities for their children. They want healthy foods and a healthy lifestyle. They want to be able to go on vacation and enjoy themselves.
They want safe working environments. They want good classrooms. They want good care for the elderly. This is true in every place in the world. And as billions of people enter the middle class in this coming generation, the business opportunities for entrepreneurs who are thinking that way create extraordinary fortunes for people who are smart enough and savvy ahead of the time enough to say, that's a force I'm going to ride.
So there are the 10 super forces with no PowerPoint slides. OK. I don't like PowerPoint slides, OK? So those 10 super forces tell the story.
But here's the excitement in that story for entrepreneurs. You don't have to pick just one. Really smart entrepreneurs pick two, three, four, and weld them together in their business.
It has a multiplier effect when you're using the global middle class software and ultra-urbanization to realize that that's why management expertise matters to Airbnb hosts. Because Airbnb hosts are going to be global, and they're going to need software to be smart. They're going to need to serve a global middle class. And they're going to benefit from the ultra-urbanization, because people are going to have properties in those ultra-urban environments that they want to turn into cash flow. Those are three super forces, all inside of one business.
And so as you design your businesses, as you think about them, think about all 10 of these super forces. Now, obviously, 3D printing is an emerging force, and you're probably not going to pull it into your business today. But think ahead. When 3D printing suddenly becomes practical to print something that you need for hardware, does that open up a hardware opportunity that in the past, you might never have done?
Remember, there was a time not long ago where there were no desktop printers. If you wanted to print something, you went to a print shop. Literally.
Your computer, which you didn't have, did not have a printer, which you didn't have. Computers came first, by five years, eight years, and then people said, wow, we should put an entire print shop right next to the computer. That used to be called a Xerox machine, back in those days, where if you at least could print out one thing-- if you wanted more than one copy, you took it to a copier to make copies. Of course, now you just print five.
This same idea is going to happen in desktop manufacturing. This same thing is going to happen in how we connect people in the world, or ideas, or data sets, or customers, or suppliers, or opportunities, or scientific research data. It's just a flat out connector problem.
It's a giant connector problem that the data sets of scientific researchers sit on their computers and nowhere else. It's a connector problem. Nobody is connected to the data sets. Science suffers an irretrievable loss because of that, and the [INAUDIBLE] people are exactly right to say, what, are you kidding me? If I can connect the data sets with everybody else's data sets, I got a win here. Just connecting the data sets is an automatic supercharger on what is sitting on some dumb computer somewhere and doing nothing.
So this idea of using these super forces is not an abstract idea. It's a very real set of forces. And though they come out of health and medicine, where I've spent the last eight years getting gray hairs, I can tell you they're exactly true in every business.
So congratulations for you entrepreneurs. You're all afflicted. I'm very sorry for you and your families and your significant others.
But since you're afflicted, you might as well figure out how to be a giant success. And though I have no secret formulas or guaranteed successes for you, what I can tell you is the more you ride these powerful waves, the easier it's going to be to raise capital. The easier it's going to be to find and serve customers. The easier it's going to be to adapt your business when those customers tell you what they really want, as opposed to what you thought they want when you started.
Thank you very much.
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Jay Walker '77 gave the keynote address at eLab Demo Day April 16, 2015, part of Entrepreneurship at Cornell's two-day Celebration conference. He outlined what he called 10 "superforces" that will shape the future - forces he said entrepreneurs would be wise to include in their business planning.
Walker has founded 40 to 50 companies, including priceline.com, Synapse and Walker Digital. He also is an owner of TEDMED, an annual healthcare innovation summit.