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Competing in the Age of AI
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Separately, the authors have written about and studied hundreds of firms. They are advisers and professors of technology and business, making their arguments worth considering by both business and layman.
The authors hover over the impact of Ant Financial being grounded in a digital core. No workers. No managers. No employees, yet still capable of running an operation with dynamic growth and impact, while disregarding constraints limiting traditional firms. i.e., the human element and that element’s potential for flaws and misjudgments.
Competing in the Age of AI comes back around to Ant Financial often, using it as a prime example of how AI can change the business world, and, in turn, the world altogether.
Everyone’s heard of Capital One and Bank of America, but Ant Financial doesn't ring any bells. Yet this financial company provides services to more than 10 times the customer base of any of this country’s largest banks. And it’s managed to reach this plateau utilizing one tenth the workforce.
The breath of Ant Financial’s reach and it's almost meager costs to achieve this position has been attributed to the corporation’s extensive and enthusiastic embrace of data and AI (artificial intelligence) to manage Alipay, the company’s core mobile payments platform. A good book to read about focusing on what is important would be The ONE Thing.
Iansiti's and Lakhani put forth the idea AI -- leaning toward a digital slant -- is not to be feared. In a recent post on Harvard Business Review, the professors said “AI that can drive the explosive growth of a digital firm often isn’t even that sophisticated.” They do not advocate the replacement of humans, but put forth the benefit of computers performing traditional tasks, and the significant benefit to production.
A David Sarnoff Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, Marco Iansiti’s expertise lies in digital innovation with a focus on business and strategy, and operating model transformation.
He is also the head of Harvard’s Technology and Operations Management Unit. He works with Global 1000 companies, guiding their digital strategy and transformation. Prof. Iansiti’s research has covered Facebook, Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft.
His Other Books
Of the more than 100 cases, articles, and notes from the author, highlights include "The Truth About Blockchain" (with Karim Lakhani), "The Ecology of Strategy" (with Roy Levien), "Managing Our Hub Economy," and "Digital Ubiquity," Each of these pieces, published in Harvard Business Review, was distinguished a top ten article of the year.
Karim R. Lakhani is Harvard Business School’s Charles E. Wilson Professor of Business Administration as well as a Dorothy and Michael Hintze Fellow. Codirector and founder of the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard, Prof. Lakhani is principal investigator for Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science at the NASA Tournament Laboratory.
He is also faculty cofounder for Harvard’s Digital Initiative. Chair of the Harvard Business Analytics Program, his specialties are innovation and technological management.
He’s authored case studies and articles on the changing nature of companies and the workplace, and digital economy. He coedited Open Innovation and Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software, and Revolutionizing Innovation: Users, Communities.
In his portfolio is over 100 articles and case studies, including research published in Wired, The Boston Globe, Inc., BusinessWeek, The New York Academy of Sciences Magazine, The Washington Post, Science, Fast Company, and The Economist.
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