What’s amazing about the last 20 years is how many (mostly tech) companies have pursued utterly ambitious visions…bordering on the impossible…and succeeded!
Apple with their vision of technology made for humans.
Tesla + SpaceX with their visions for saving the world through electrification of cars and reusable rockets (and off-Earth colonies…though this last part is still a work in progress).
Amazon with their vision of consumer-centric, efficient retail.
Nvidia + Epic + Unity with their visions for digital worlds and the Metaverse.
Moderna + BioNTech with their visions for programmable biology through mRNA technology.
And many more.
It’s never been a better time to be optimistic about technology.
And because of that, there are many, many (too many to name and keep track of, both private and public) companies that share ever more grander visions of what the future can be.
After a while, most of it starts to blend together.
But every now and then, a keynote will come along and absolutely blow me away.
Like this one from 2007:
In hindsight, of course, everyone knew the iPhone would succeed. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! While thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people saw the promise of the iPhone, millions, perhaps tens of millions thought it would fail.
Two weeks ago, Okta held their Investor Day conference.
Most people probably tuned-in to the Founder / CEO Keynote.
While it juiced the stock because of the surprise announcement of Okta’s entry into adjacent markets, it’s nothing special.
And most people probably walked away from the conference, excited but not that much more excited than they were before. The vision and story, ultimately, seems unchanged.
But leaving with that impression would be a mistake.
Because there was a much lower profile session on the very last day that, in Capital Flywheels opinion, was much more important for understanding the future and direction of the company.
And it is this keynote that gave me that uneasy (but excited) feeling that the world could change, again.
I don’t think many conference goers attended this session on the very last day.
As an investor, this makes me even more excited – to know something potentially extremely powerful, years ahead of time, that no one is paying attention to.
This video has since been posted to Youtube.
And it only has 873 views as of this very moment (and half of those views were probably my own).
I highly recommend watching:
Okta’s Chief Product Officer, Diya, is definitely no Steve Jobs.
There’s no showmanship.
There’s no fuss.
But there is a vision for how the world could be different.
This vision isn’t entirely unique. There are others that have their own spin on this and are going down similar paths. But what these other players don’t have (especially the consumer-facing tech giants) are relationships with a long, long list of enterprises that can make it happen, first with their employees and then with the world.
Years ago, the iPhone started penetrating the enterprise because employees love the iPhone as consumers. Apple benefitted from the overwhelming power of “bring-your-own-device”.
Okta dominates enterprise identity. Might be we talking, years from now, about how Okta took this dominant position in enterprise identity to become the dominant player in identity everywhere?