Disruption Can Be Sneaky

Especially when it's viewed through different lenses.

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I am a family photography junkie. 

But as I recently looked back upon my digital photo album of the past year, I realized that the mass majority of those photos were taken from my cellphone rather than my very nice digital SLR.  If fact, I know that many times, I walked right past the closet where my high end camera is stored without a thought only to grab my smartphone at my desk instead.

As I sit here reflecting on this, I am struck by how sneaky disruptive technology can be…. I never decided that my phone was good enough to replace my ‘real’ camera for most situations.  It just happened in its own time.

It has been just about two years since I first got to play with an internal beta of Qlik Sense and since that time the evolution of the product has been an awe inspiring sight to behold.  But much more interesting has been the evolution of our employees, partners, and customers.  You see, people LOVE QlikView, myself included.  In fact, folks are seriously obsessed with QlikView!  So when Qlik Sense first arrived, we all hesitated a bit.  How could this new product be as amazing as the one that we already loved so much?

But the most amazing transformation has been happening.  People are embracing Qlik Sense and we didn’t have to disown our first love QlikView to do it.  We have been able to continue to love both!

Our ability to do this all stems from the platform approach.

We have some of the most amazing people in the world working here at Qlik.  But it would be ridiculous – especially given our long history of partnership – for us to think that there aren’t many more people who should innovate right along with us.  To this end, Qlik has embraced an open view of what it means to be a BI company. 

Every facet of Qlik Sense is accessible to developers through our open and modern APIs. Even if you aren’t a developer, you can see this for yourself. 

  • Each week, I am blown away by what I see being built on Branch.
  • Or, by what our demo team is able to do with some of our partners such as The Economist
  • Internally, I see incredible explosions of innovation from across the organization – not just from R&D.
  • And, at our annual partner and customer conference – Qonnections - we are sure to see even more. 

My all-time favorite quote is “No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else,attributed to Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems.  It is such a joy to work for a company that embraces this idea and is so willing to include people from across every industry and across the globe in the innovation process. 

Amazing things happen when you approach innovation this way.

Who would have ever thought that their “phone” would take the place of their 35mm SLR?  The idea would have been absurd to even think about.  And now, my “phone” has taken the place this as well as my planner, my flashlight, my alarm clock, my street map, and much more.

It is nearly impossible to know now where this will take us in the long run but I know it will be an awesome journey.  What a great time to Qlik!

Image by Johan from Turku / Åbo (from Ostrobothnia), Finland (Chance encounter) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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