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“The Real Business of Blockchain – How Leaders Can Create Value in a New Digital Age”- an HBR Press Book Review

Blockchain book review doitinvest.comBlockchain seems to be a hot technology for various sectors: financial services, as well as long logistics chains and a host of other industries are putting in research efforts. The subtitle of the book (“How Leaders Can Create Value in a Digital Age”) points to a different direction. It looks ahead of the curve, at the moment and the applications of the Blockchain. Authors David Furlonger and Christophe Uzureau (both of Gartner, the world-renowned research and advisory company) look at the how the blockchain can really add value to a business – beyond the hype.

“The Real Business of Blockchain” is full of real world examples, from companies in the logistics/shipping sector (Maersk) to more mundane consumer goods ones (McDonalds or Starbucks). Wherever you have a lot of transactions with a material impact in the customer satisfaction, blockchain should come into play. After all, the cryptocurrencies promise secure, online and certified exchanges, based on the participants’ efforts. Why should not the modern companies use this promise?

“The Real Business of Blockchain” should not be mistaken for a shallow book. Based on serious research, it looks at all of the important aspects of the cryptocurrencies. For example, the 5 elements that make blockchain stand out are clearly spelled out and analyzed:

  1. Distribution
  2. Encryption
  3. Immutability
  4. Tokenization
  5. Decentralization

They all sound simple, but are not. Take distribution – it is about the logistics operations, right? Well, hold your horses. Distribution means that all the blockchain itself is distributed, as well as the data processing. Distribution has implications far beyond the logistics, permeating into security and the manufacturing operations – it actually allows slicing your production process and distribute its pieces to various world corners for implementation. All coming from a single blockchain characteristic.

Authors David Furlonger and Christophe Uzureau draw on a the wealth of insights from Gartner. As you might know, Gartner is “the world’s leading research on advisory company”, focusing on information technology and emerging trends. Acting on such a competitive field, Gartner must stay ahead of the trends – even try to predict them. And they made it right on many times with regards to blockchain. This makes “The Real Business of Blockchain” a well-based book, with many insights hidden within. For example, this book excerpt resonated a lot with me:

“If your customers are frustrated about something, we guarantee that some blockchain startup is working on a decentralized solution to relieve their frustration.”

There are many benefits of the blockchain, and the book’s chapter titles scratch only their surface:

  1. The real business of blockchain

Part 1 – Blockchain-inspired solutions

  1. Seeking value
  2. Consorting with the enemy

Part 2 – Blockchain-complete solutions

  1. Game on for tokenization
  2. Embracing consensus through digitalization
  3. Market access and participation


Part 3 – Enhanced blockchain solutions

  1. Unleashing the power of smart things
  2. The blockchain organization
  3. The blockchain society

Conclusion – pursuing your blockchain

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