Future of digital economy by Marco Landi, former COO of Apple

The former COO of Apple, Marco Landi had a guest appearance at the Belgrade digital economy conference today. The man who took Steve Jobs back to Apple in 1996, after the Board of Directors decided to buy his company Next, says that we are living in the time of a great innovation wave with the emphasis on mobility.

When Jobs returned to Apple, Landi was the second in command in Apple from 1994 to 1997. Steve Jobs came back to Apple in late 1996, first as an informal adviser to then CEO Gil Amelio, and then, in mid-1997, he took the CEO’s position. At the same time, Landi decided to leave Apple and today he is the chairman of Atlantis Ventures and his main line of business is investing in startups.

“Whatever you are preparing to launch, my advice to you is to have your product available on mobile phones because if you don’t, you won’t have much success”, Landi said that startup entrepreneurs gathered at the conference organized by the Italian Confindustria and ICT Hub.

As one of the great examples of the mobile revolution, he cited the recent Singles Day in China, which is the biggest shopping even in the world. For instance, online shop Alibaba made a $14 billion turnover on that day.

“This is more than the total Serbian budget and it happened in only one day. Furthermore, 60% of the purchases were done via mobile phones”, Landi said.

Where is the next Jobs going to come from?

Landi claims it will be China.

“Every year, China produces 5 million university educated IT engineers, and, believe me, these people will find a job. The Chinese government has been very smart and has adopted a strategic approach to this industry branch, investing $100 billion in acquiring IT patents. When Steve left us, they asked me where would the next Steve Jobs come from and I answered straight away – China”, Landi said.

Three revolutions

When asked what would be the next areas that would be revolutionized, after mobile phones, Landi said that there were three – automobile industry, smart cities and the Internet of things or IoT. The Internet of things is the concept of any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from mobile phones coffee makers, washing machines to headphones and lamps (Source: Forbes)

“The future of driving is going to be completely different. You will not be in the driver’s seat any longer, the car will be driving you. You won’t even need a driver’s licence. For instance, Uber completely changed taxi service and today this is a company that is worth billions of dollars. In Singapore there is a startup that provides self-driving cars. The changes are continuous and competitors are coming from left and right”, the former COO of Apple Worldwide said.

As the second revolution, he cited smart cities which are going to be energy efficient and provide a connection between their inhabitants in a brand new way. The U.S.-based Verizon, which is the biggest wi-fi provider in the country, has started to buy companies that produce technology for smart cities which speaks volumes about the importance of this growing industry – Landi added.

In the last round, Verizon bought LQD WiFi, a company that develops interactive displays in smart cities which, among other things, also emit the wi-fi signal. The second company that Verizon bought is Sensity, a startup that converts LED lighting into fast, sensor-based, multi-service online platform for smart devices that is, one day, going to be used by the population of smart cities.

According to Landi, the third revolution is IoT or the Internet of things. “From the comfort of your own home, you are going to be able to buy milk with just one click and have it home delivered within 24 hours. All devices in your home are going to be smart and connected”, Landi concluded.

(Blic, 23.11.2016)


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This post is also available in: Italiano

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