5 questions with Jack Shaw


November 15, 2019

Jack Shaw

Jack Shaw

Jack Shaw is an emerging technologies strategist with more than 30 years’ experience helping executives understand and plan for the business impact of these technologies.

A leading authority on blockchain, he is the co-founder and manager of the Blockchain Executive LinkedIn Group.

We asked Shaw, who will present “The Blockchain Transformation: How Blockchain Enabled Digital Transformation Will Change Your Business, Your Industry and the World” at the NPMA Technology Summit’s general session on Friday, the following five questions.

1. What is blockchain, and why should pest control business owners embrace this new technology?

Blockchain is a disruptive technology likely to impact businesses of all kinds with changes as great as those brought about by the internet and smartphones. Simply put, blockchain technologies allow you, your customers and employees, and other relevant entities to share information quickly and easily with the assurance that the information being shared cannot be falsified, altered or hacked. During my presentation, I’ll explain how this works in clear, nontechnical terms.

Among the biggest challenges facing pest control businesses are finding good workers, knowing the products you use very well and keeping up-to-date on their applications and industry regulations, and fleet management. Blockchain can enable new solutions in each of these areas.

2. How did you become an expert on blockchain?

I have the background and experience to recognize which new technologies are marginally beneficial and which are truly disruptive of business and society. By 2013, I recognized that blockchain was just such a disruptive technology. I started meeting with and attending conferences of the leading experts in the still very small field at that time. Over the next several years, I was able to combine my rapidly deepening understanding of blockchain with my decades of experience in the adoption, and impact, of emerging technologies in general. Learn more at www.JackShaw.io.

3. Why should businesses implement a digital strategy?

Understanding how business management is evolving is just as important to pest control businesses as understanding how pest control technologies, regulations and markets are evolving. Emerging digital technologies are changing every aspect of your business, from human resources, to operations, to sales and marketing. Asking why businesses should implement a digital strategy is somewhat like asking why businesses should implement a financial strategy. It’s fundamental to the long-term survival and success of your business.

4. What are business owners who are not tech-savvy missing out on?

Not every business owner needs to be a technical guru. Most aren’t. But you don’t need to know how to design and build an automatic transmission to know how to drive a car, and to understand why you’d want to use one. If you aren’t naturally inclined to managing technology yourself, make certain you have people on your team who are — either as employees of your company or as trusted third-party advisors.

5. How have business technologies changed over the years, and what are your predictions for the future?

Business technologies are changing at an exponentially increasing rate. Companies can no longer afford for planning to be an annual exercise. Businesses should invest a minimum of 10 percent of their resources in ongoing strategic planning and change management. And this certainly includes emerging technologies. Over the next decade, we’ll see profound changes such as autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence/blockchain-enabled marketing programs, and more effective pesticides with reduced environmental impact due to advances in biochemistry. In my presentation, I’ll discuss how companies can structure and execute a digital transformation strategy to ensure sustainable success in a rapidly changing world.


About the Author

Headshot: Diane Sofranec

Diane Sofranec is the senior editor for PMP magazine. She can be reached at dsofranec@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3793.

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