What does ‘someone who can see the future’ think about where the internet is going?

When Steve Rosenbaum of Forbes, wanted to know, he consulted Activate Networks’ Board Member Juan Enriquez, along with (as Rosenbaum’s 3-person “Geek chorus”) Tim Berners-Lee and Tim O’Reilly.

Here’s Rosenbaum’s introduction of Enriquez: “Juan is a big thinker who studies the intersection of science, business and society. He has a talent for bridging disciplines to build a coherent look ahead, published widely on topics from the technical (global nucleotide data flow) to the sociological (gene research and national competitiveness), and was a member of Craig Venter’s marine-based team to collect genetic data from the world’s oceans. Simply put, Enriquez can see the future.”

 

Juan Enriquez

And what does Enriquez see?

“As Enriquez looks at the future, he sees the web poised for dramatic change,” according to Rosenbaum. “He says data creation is exceeding Moore’s law by a factor of two or three times, and the size of datasets is exceeding the size of the pipes we have available today.”

(Think of it: according to science historian George Dyson, the world’s bank of digital information is growing at a rate of some five trillion bits a second!)

The increasing size of Big Data can cause problems: Enriquez mentions that, in his field of life sciences, for example, it’s sometimes necessary to ship whole hard drives because the internet and fiberoptics can’t transmit the volume.

Once upon a time the single greatest repository of knowledge was the Library of Congress, Enriquez points out in one of his TED Talks. This venerable institution is not quite so important any more, he continues, because (and this was ‘way back in February 2003!) “a single genomics company generates more data in a month, on a compound basis, than is in the printed collections of the Library of Congress.”

But Big Data also creates new solutions.

Increasingly, the data that are being collected are relational in nature. And as relational datasets become available, companies can begin to map the networks of their customers, employees, and assets.

With its proprietary and proven network-analytics technology (and with future-thinkers like Juan Enriquez among its advisors), Activate Networks’ technology harnesses the relational component of big data. Activate’s social and organizational network analytics then power network-driven solutions to a business’s most critical organizational and marketing challenges.

Juan Enriquez is also a Managing Director at Excel Venture Management and author of the best-selling As the Future Catches You.

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