The third and final day of Appian World 2014 kicked off with a bang as reality TV star and world business titan Robert Herjavec took to the stage to deliver the conference's keynote address.
Robert Herjavec is the star of the hit reality TV show Shark Tank on ABC. Shark Tank is headed into its sixth season of production and is currently the fourth highest rated TV show, and is the topped ranked show for the 18-24 year old age demographic.
Aside from his role on Shark Tank, where business pitches from aspiring entrepreneurs are received by a panel of potential investors, Robert Herjavec is one of North America's most recognizable business leaders and successful entrepreneurs. He has built and sold businesses on his way to amassing a personal fortune of over $150 Million, and has started a number of technology companies that have been successfully acquired by AT&T and Nokia.
Robert is the founder of the Herjavec Group (THG), which in a few short years grew from sales of $400K, with 3 employees to sales of over $125 million and 165 people ñ making it one of the fastest growing technology Companies in Canada (Profit Magazine), top 350 largest privately held Companies (Globe & Mail), and # 1 Cyber Security Company in the country (Branham). In addition to Emmy-nominated Shark Tank, Robert is also a best-selling author with two published books ñ Driven (2010) and The Will to Win (2013).
With more than 30 years in the enterprise technology industry, Herjavec detailed the evolution of technology innovation and how it has changed rapidly in just a few years. In 2007, applications were introduced, which then became a driver for interaction on leading mobile devices. By the year 2020, Herjavec sees business and consumers alike moving to the cloud to access big data applications anywhere at any time.
"Big data is the biggest buzz word in the technology industry," said Herjavec. "Big data is growing at a rapid pace, and in 2020, all the data we access will be virtual, allowing for enhanced business growth."
Though technology innovations are at an all-time high, industry leaders must recognize the challenge of making sure their customers are able to digest all that is available and know how to leverage these tools for success.
"The downside with today's pace of change is that customers are overwhelmed," said Herjavec. "This is the easiest time to start a business, but customers are bombarded with choices. Our challenge is to make them more efficient and deliver what they need"
For Herjavec, the key factor to achieve customer service excellence is to deliver value. The focus has to be to add value and make your business better every day, because the competition will always be present, aiming to take your customers.
"If you are not making your business more innovative through value, you are going to get eaten by a shark."
To an audience comprised of enterprise IT experts, customers and prospects looking to strengthen their path towards innovation, Herjavec offered parting takeaways to achieve business success, but more importantly align your goals towards the greater good.
"Success is hard by nature," proclaimed Herjavec. "But in order to grow your business, it should be hard. The world does not reward good; it rewards great. Find what you are good at and become great."
"Motivation comes from a desire to be part of a greater cause. It cannot be all about the money. Greatness comes to those who wake up with a desire to be part of something bigger than themselves."
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