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BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT
ON 

THE NATURE OF 

DIGITAL 

TRANSFORMATION
10 OBSERVATIONS
1. TECHNOLOGY IS 

A SCIENCE, 

BUT GETTING PEOPLE 

TO USE IT IS AN ART.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 2
According to Margaret Gould Stewart,
Director of Product Design at Facebook, it
took the designer over 280 hours to perfec...
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
PROMISING AND LEGENDARY
DEPENDS ON INTUITION,
CREATIVITY, AND TASTE.
THE BEST TECHNOLOGY
COMPANIES ...
2. OUR INABILITY TO
PREDICT THE FUTURE
DOESN’T MAKE IT ANY
LESS INEVITABLE.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 5
In 2004 it was difficult to predict whether
Friendster, MySpace, or Facebook would
be most successful. Looking back, it tu...
EMBRACING POSSIBILITY
INSPIRES EXPLORATION AND
ACTION.
QUESTIONING POSSIBILITY
OFFERS THE SKEPTICS A
CHEAP AND DANGEROUS
E...
3. EVERYTHING CAN BE
DISRUPTED.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 8
Tesla barely made it out of their start-up
phase, but now they’ve got the safest car
ever tested, the best rated car ever ...
DIGITAL DOESN’T RESPECT
BOUNDARIES.
REGARDLESS OF THE
INDUSTRY, DIGITIZATION WILL
UNCOVER INEFFICIENCIES AND
CREATE VALUE....
4. “ARE PEOPLE USING IT?” 

IS THE ONLY QUESTION
THAT REALLY MATTERS.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 11
WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for
$19 billion (that’s roughly 1/3 the market
cap of Ford Motor Company). For those
who...
WELL-INTENTIONED EXECUTIVES
BUILD A GAUNTLET OF
QUESTIONS, INTENDED TO
ENSURE SUCCESS, THAT END UP 

KILLING INNOVATION.
Y...
5. TRYING SOMETHING 

COSTS LESS THAN NOT
TRYING ANYTHING.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 14
In 2009, Jack Dorsey’s friend James
McKelvey, a artisan glass-blower, went
to their local Techshop and a month
later had a...
THE COST OF INACTION IS
HIGHER THAN YOU THINK.
IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME
UNTIL SOMEONE DISCOVERS
THE BREAKTHROUGH
SOLUTIO...
6. YOU CAN’T CHANGE 

WHAT YOU DO 

WITHOUT CHANGING 

HOW YOU DO IT.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 17
“We had to think about if we’re going to be
in a business that’s changing that quickly,
how do we avoid institutionalizing...
YOU CAN’T USE YESTERDAY’S
WAY OF WORKING TO BUILD
TOMORROW’S SOLUTIONS.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 19
The companies that are leading our
economy and shaping our future are
working in a completely new way. 

At Undercurrent, ...
7. IF YOU’RE NOT
DESIGNING FOR
NETWORKS, YOU’RE
MISSING THE POINT.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 21
When Google bought the car navigation
app Waze for $966 million, they framed
the acquisition in terms of users, not
techno...
DIGITAL THINGS DON’T GET
USED UP WHEN THEY GET USED.
THIS IS WHY FIGURING OUT
HOW USERS CAN CREATE
VALUE FOR EACH OTHER IS...
8. INNOVATION IS
RECOMBINANT, AND
SPEED IS THE NEW IP.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 24
Sir Tim Berners-Lee:
“When I say I invented the web, I really
just put together the last few pieces out 

of a constructio...
HUMANITY HAS NEVER HAD
MORE WORTHWHILE IDEAS. IT’S
NEVER BEEN EASIER TO FIND
THEM. AND IT’S NEVER BEEN
EASIER TO BRING THE...
9. YOU CAN’T ESCAPE
COMPLEXITY.
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 27
The open-source operating system Linux
has evolved into one of the world’s most
popular operating systems with a large,
di...
LIKE A 21ST CENTURY MIDAS,
DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY MAKES
EVERYTHING IT TOUCHES
COMPLEX.
SEEKING SIMPLICITY IN THE
FACE OF COMPL...
AS THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
WAS DEFINED BY RADICAL
EFFICIENCY IN PRODUCTION, THE
DIGITAL REVOLUTION IS DEFINED 

BY RADIC...
Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson,
The Second Machine Age:
“Computers and other digital advances are
doing for mental po...
IF YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE FOR A
BUSINESS OR INDUSTRY, AND
WONDERING WHERE THE
WEAKNESSES OR
OPPORTUNITIES LIE, LOOK
CLOSELY AT...
TO LEARN MORE
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE:
HTTP://MEDIUM.COM/P/9A889AA170D1
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 33
CREDITS
None of these ideas are mine alone. They are built upon the work and great thinking of many other
people who are a...
MIKE ARAUZ
Mike is a Partner at Undercurrent, a strategy firm for the 21st century.
Mike has helped leaders of global orga...
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WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook On Digital Transformation - 10 Observations

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Published on

WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook for
$19 billion (that’s roughly 1/3 the market
cap of Ford Motor Company). For those
who are baffled by the size of the deal, look
at the number that matters: as of
December 2013, WhatsApp had over 400
million active users per month (the
population of the United States is roughly
313 million).
BY @MIKEARAUZ, PARTNER AT 12

Published in: Technology, Business
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