John Sculley Interview

Sculley was once CEO of Apple. Now, he is an investment firm in a VC firm. A few comments from an interview with

We’re going through a systemic, secular change in high technology. We saw, in the 1990s, the commoditization of hardware. Now, we’re going to be seeing the commoditization of almost everything, including software and services. This makes a lot of sense because, as the technology world moves from being computer-intensive to communications-intensive, you have to have open standards, which means innovation is going to have to take place in different parts of the value chain. The things that we used to think of as the areas for “wow” technology, like computers, have become commoditized and even transparent, as they are embedded into systems. The innovation now is taking place with things that are largely being driven by market opportunities and customers.

I think where the amazement is going to be is in the ability to do things with information and content that was never possible before. There are huge opportunities for search technologies to deal with information, and they are increasing in orders of magnitude over the next decade. If you take something as simple as sensor devices, like RFIDs (radio frequency identification), and, if Wal-Mart put RFIDs on every item on their store, it would generate something like 7.5 million terabytes of new data every day. So as we move to real-time systems and sensors and robots, and all of these things that have been kind of like experiments over the last decade are turned into things that can be productized over the next 10 to 15 years, the world of real-time information, and how it becomes incorporated into more parts of their lives, is going to be where the amazement is going to take place.

I am personally interested in high-definition television, and multichannel VPNs (virtual private networks) are going to be very practical within the decade. I think we’re going to see a lot of innovation in the areas of television being reinvented, a huge opportunity with mobile wireless. In fact, I think wireless is the biggest landscape for innovation and business creation. I am personally involved in two mobile wireless companies, and I can see that while we are successful in what we are doing, we’re at the very beginning of the possibilities.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.