THE BLOG
01/13/2015 03:29 pm ET Updated Mar 14, 2015

Your Sherpa to All Things Disruption - James McQuivey

If you're looking to follow someone who has their fingerprint on the leading edge of disruption, look no further than James McQuivey. He is VP & Principal Analyst at Forrester Research. Forrester is a research company that provides "forward-thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology." This sounds nice, but how connected are they? Entering 2014, they counted 2,471 companies as clients including nearly half of the Fortune 1000, 13 of the largest financial data services companies, 10 of the largest computer software companies, 16 of the largest telecom companies, and 9 of the largest Internet services and retailing companies. At Forrester, McQuivey serves as the "foremost analyst tracking and defining the power and impact of digital disruption on traditional businesses."

"We have the potential to be better in everything we do," says James Mcquivey. Spending five minutes with him will make you feel better. His enthusiasm for life's possibilities and what we can make of it with technology is infectious. While many feel anxiety for all the changes that will occur with disruption, watch below to see why McQuivey embraces disruption and is looking forward to the future.

Digital disruption is affecting nearly every sector of the economy, and if it hasn't reached your industry, McQuivey has no doubt it soon will. Just follow his twitter feed and you'll learn of all sorts of disruption from music, which is headed towards it's 3rd paradigm shift to robots running the world to financial services. Square, the credit card processing company, (founded by Jack Dorsey, whom we've profiled on A TOTAL DISRUPTION), recently announced that it processed 100 million dollars in payments in a single day. "Square didn't try and rework the entire financial services business. It simply said, 'where is there a relationship opportunity that we can build and later expand on,' and they went in," says McQuivey.

As I look back on the Holiday shopping season (which is always a nightmare), I'm reminded of what McQuivey noted about the way some brands are really trying to improve the customer experience. "Even with the supposed threat of privacy all around us, consumers are diving into deep digital relationships with companies or brands that deal with the most sensitive aspects of their lives." Some of us fear we are sharing far too much information for too little value, and McQuivey speaks to this point exactly. "Data is only useful to the extent that they turn around and give you something in return," says McQuivey.

As we are inundated with stories of websites, companies and the government collecting all sorts of data about us, one wonders if a young artist can do the same to benefit her career. As a filmmaker documenting the greatest revolution in history, I have said for years that it is imperative for all artists to become more entrepreneurial, to think more like founders of startups in order to test their ideas and connect with their audience. It is now possible for any content creator to play in a field once reserved for large institutions. "The very same systems that make it possible for Sephora or Starbucks to reach out to a base of customers, what an artist would call an audience, now makes it possible for even the lowliest artist to reach out, to reach for and create an audience," says McQuivey. Watch below as he takes us through an example of how artist Kurt Hugo Schneider is doing just that.

To see more of James McQuivey's insights visit A TOTAL DISRUPTION or subscribe to the ATD YouTube Channel.