A New Reinvention: GE, the Industrial Internet, and... Boston

January 28, 2016 | Joe Gustafson
A New Reinvention: GE, the Industrial Internet, and... Boston

For me, the charm of Boston has always been its uncanny ability to preserve its foundations.

An idyllic European architecture, a love for sports, and an accent as distinct as the four-leaf clover that’s worn proud by each Bostonian (as well as a suburbanite like myself who shamelessly sneaks under that moniker).

Yet Boston too is shaping up to be the epicenter of a major reinvention for the global industrial market.

Brainshark welcomes GE to Boston

 
 

It’s now been widely reported that GE is moving its global headquarters to our city. Numerous sources have weighed in on what that would mean for the company, economy, and financial markets. The entrepreneur in me has never been more hopeful.

The industrial giant sees a massive opportunity to be the shaper of the Internet of Things – or more specifically, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – and is undergoing an equally massive reinvention to accomplish it. No matter if you’re a market-leading behemoth or a start-up firing on all cylinders out of a garage, the fact remains that change, adaptation… reinvention is both a massive challenge and brutal necessity.

In either of those scenarios, it takes leadership, vision, agility, and most of all, it takes guts.

As a young entrepreneur, you have these things at your disposal, but what if you’re one of the largest companies in the world?

You need a tipping point. You need a moment, an event, or a spark that pushes your company from the successes of yesterday to the successes of tomorrow. A flash that pushes your company’s vision to the rest of the world.

Boston is that moment.

The benefits GE’s presence will bring to Boston are numerous, but I couldn’t be more excited to see what our city will do to help shape what could become the most valuable company in the world. GE’s heart will now reside in the intersection of the world’s education mecca, one of the country’s largest tech sectors, and an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit balanced by vibrant youth and experienced professionals.

We can be the crucible that incubates this unbelievably ambitious and forward-thinking transformation that GE is already driving.

But great partnerships are symbiotic.

Just as Boston continues to up and come as a global city, GE’s many footprints across industries and the world will be critical to giving our city’s brightest minds the perspective they may not have ever had. That will mean newer and bigger ideas. The rising tide raises all boats.

Furthermore, as GE reinvents the industrial economy with IIoT, it will spark an ecosystem of young companies tackling the landscape of challenges and opportunities that surround this next (and greatest to date) technology paradigm shift. These types of shifts require an ecosystem of partners to be successful. GE can spark that here in Boston, while at same time propelling itself to a position of leadership in not only IIoT, but also the city it now resides.

I welcome GE and the opportunity it brings for us to contribute. And as much as I like our brownstones, Red Sox, and soft “R’s”, I can’t wait to see the new panorama of success and global perspective that GE adds to our proudly held Boston customs.

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