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 Beasley founded the Modern CTO Podcast in 2017 while writing his book, the Modern CTO book, with the goal of interviewing CTOs and sharing their experiences with others in the tech community.

Joel’s conversational style and insightful questions quickly gained traction, attracting high-profile guests such as Microsoft’s CTO, Kevin Scott, and T-Mobile’s CIO, Cody Stanford. With each episode, the podcast’s popularity continued to grow, and soon, Joel found himself with a waiting list of future guests.

Today, the Modern CTO Podcast has become the number one leadership and tech podcast in the world, with over 150k active listeners, including CTOs, lead developers, and rising tech leaders. Joel’s commitment to creating a conversational atmosphere for his guests to share their experiences has inspired a new generation of leaders and innovators.

As the success of the podcast grew, Joel founded ProSeries Media, a podcast production company that helps companies worldwide create their own podcasts. With a team of producers, content creators, and podcast bookers, ProSeries Media produces over ten shows, providing a platform for companies to connect with their audience and share their expertise.

Through his work on the Modern CTO Podcast and ProSeries Media, Joel Beasley has become a respected voice in the tech industry, inspiring others to share their knowledge and insights with the wider community. His passion for creating engaging content that informs, inspires, and entertains has made him a sought-after speaker and advisor on all things tech.

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