Shehzad Merchant

Shehzad Merchant, CTO Gigamon


“Many know of Darwin’s theory that professed continuous incremental change or evolution. Gould and Eldridge, on the other hand, talked about periods of relative evolutionary stasis or equilibrium, followed by periods that punctuated the equilibrium with rapid evolutionary change establishing new species, followed by another period of relative equilibrium. 

This behavior of punctuated equilibrium manifests itself in the technology industry all the time where technology makes massive strides and the end of the rapid change, entirely new industries, new leaders and new equilibria are established.

As technology leaders, it is important to understand which industries and which technologies are experiencing this punctuated equilibrium as it creates the best opportunity to disrupt strong incumbency and create opportunities for entirely new players to establish leadership.

It also creates opportunities for the transformation of entire industries leaving behind legacy players to irrelevance. We are seeing this type of change or transformation today in several industries. Recognizing these changes as periods of punctuated equilibrium rather than just as technology trends is important in recognizing that there will be industry transformation.

For example, the digitization of music ultimately changed the music industry with new leaders like Spotify. The same is happening in the video and movie industry where we are seeing streaming video companies become production houses. Cybersecurity is another area that is in the midst of just such a punctuated equilibrium.

Yesterday’s leaders that were well-known brands in the world of anti-virus and firewalls are slowly losing relevance and a whole new set of companies are establishing leadership, as cyber threat models are changing.

There are always industries at any given time that are ripe for punctuated equilibrium. Our job as technology leaders is to identify those industries and seek the help of the right technologies to drive transformation.”

Joel Beasley

Joel began writing code at age 13 selling his first technology by age 18 for one million dollars. In his first three transactions, he developed key relationships and began working with Investors and Chief Technology Officers collaborating and building products in Real Estate, Law, Finance, and Fitness.

Today, Joel is a Chief Technologist volgging the process of building a company Joel is an author of the book Modern CTO a #1 New Release on Amazon and a #1 Technology Podcast with 70k active listeners. Joel has a clear vision and passion for modern technology, placing him as one of the most exciting Chief Technology Officers to watch out for.

Joel is the President of a charity that designs STEM related children’s books Back to the Moon and Princess Physicist. These books are then donated to orphanages, homeless pregnant woman and in-need children. Beasley Foundation was formed in February 2017 after Joel, Mitch and Valerie lost their Mother to Leukemia after being diagnosed 6 weeks earlier. Joel and his siblings wanted to do something unique with her life insurance money and the Beasley Foundation was formed.

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