♫ Let’s talk about tech, baby. Let’s talk about IoT. Let’s talk about all the upsides and the downsides that may be. Let’s talk about tech. ♫
When I was going through the recruiting process for tech consulting at various firms, I would be asked in every single interview where my tech interest stemmed from. I would give the “sexy” answer and the one they probably liked hearing: that my interest in tech is driven by the fact that it’s the single industry that moves the fastest and has the greatest ability to be a catalyst for positive change.
Need evidence that tech moves lightning-fast? In 2008, the top-five largest US companies (ordered by market cap) were Exxon, GE, Microsoft, AT&T, and P&G. In 2018, the top five was exclusively comprised of tech companies: Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook, respectively. Some may say market cap is a poor measure of size, so I ran some additional metrics.
Using profit as a measure of size, the tech sector came in second, behind only the financial sector, accounting for about 20% of all US-based Fortune 500 profits in 2017. To be sure of how substantial this is, there were a total of 21 unique sectors represented in the Fortune 500, and tech and finance alone represented 46% of Fortune 500 profits. That means that the 19 other sectors, including retail, energy, and health care, share the 54% of profit that remains. From this, we can conclude that tech is a behemoth, and there’s a solid chance it would be even more massive (relatively speaking) if I ran the data on global Fortune 500 companies, which would include Chinese tech giants Tencent, Alibaba, and Huawei. Tech is huge, dynamic, and quick. Industries like oil are huge, slow, and don’t change very quickly, which is why they don’t appeal to me. The Facebook developer motto turned controversial book “move fast and break things” is how I’ve always operated, and one of the big reasons I’m fascinated by digital business.
I have no idea when or why this started, but I’ve been my family’s IT gal for as long as I can remember. What started as helping my parents set up printers when I was in middle school turned into teaching my mom how to tweet when I was in high school, but my fascination with and understanding of the digital business evolved most noticeably when I came to college. I took Professor Wyner’s Computers in Management course (now called Digital Tech because, you know, buzzwords) my first semester of freshman year, and that’s when I knew I wanted to pursue a career at the intersection of tech and business. Not only did I (*nerd alert*) genuinely enjoy doing the Excel problem sets assigned to us during the first half of class, but I (digitally, might I add) gobbled up everything that was in Professor Gallaugher’s online book about the innovative ways companies like FreshDirect are using information technology today to advance their businesses.
Between freshman-year Computers and Management and now, getting to know what impact tech has on business has been a hallmark of my experience at Boston College. While at BC, my interest in the digital realm prompted me to join start@shea, the student executive board of BC’s Shea Center for Entrepreneurship, and take a trip with my fellow students (and Professor Kane!) to San Francisco to tour some of the world’s most innovative companies. I will—barring a major disruption—graduate in five months with degrees in Information Systems and Business Analytics, and I consider this class the perfect bookend before I depart these hallowed halls for the mean streets of New York City to work in tech.
Let’s move fast and break things.