Corporate Leadership, Award

Is a Digitally Connected World a Better Place? | Vital Speeches

Dan comments on the the plusses and minuses of a digitally connected world in this address, originally appearing in Vital Speeches. Published June 2015.


We are living at a time when technology is changing the world at a pace never before experienced in human history. Of all technological advances, in my view, the one that is changing the life we share on this planet the most, whether one lives in a G8 country or in the developing world, is the mobile Internet.

These dramatic changes bring with them many plusses, but also some negatives and risks. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s quote, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed
ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function” is perhaps a good theme for this talk.

I’m not claiming to have a first rate mind, but I have learned a bit about telecommunications during a 37-year career in the industry. Will Rogers said it well, “Everybody is ignorant, only
in different subjects,” and perhaps this could apply here as this is one of the few subjects I don’t feel ignorant about.

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'The Mobile Internet Changes Everything' | Forbes

In this excerpt, Dan talks to the Robert Reiss of The CEO Show and Forbes about the ubiquitous impact of the mobile internet. Published July 2015.  


Robert Reiss: How important is understanding the evolving internet to CEO’s and their boards?

Dan Hesse: Mobile communications is arguably the most important technological development in the history of the planet.  Cell phone users grew from zero to six billion in 25 years, the most rapidly-adopted technology ever.  But the emerging “internet of things,” where wireless chips will be put into almost every object produced — vehicles, home appliances, clothing, health monitors, wearables and even into the human body, may be even more transformative.  Cisco estimates 50 billion such connected devices will be in use by 2020.

The ubiquitous internet (sometimes referred to as the wireless or the mobile internet) changes everything!  This mobile, always-on internet is transforming economies, education, language, health care, music, safety, privacy and the quality of life for the elderly and those with disabilities. CEOs and boards should understand these implications on the marketplace in which their companies operate.  Imagine a world where a company, its products and its customers are connected 24/7.  The customer relationship, the value proposition and the business model of every company and industry will likely be transformed.  The winners and losers will likely be determined by who innovates most effectively to address this always-connected world.

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