While the focus is always on valuations, stock price, and the senior management team, there’s a commonality among all these companies that very few talk about. What we’re seeing is a coming of age of companies who’ve been able to combine the latest technologies with people to change the world. They’ve changed my world, for sure.
Take Uber. People driving cars as a professional service has been around for decades. Layering in a technology platform that allows anyone to enter this professional service at any time has completely transformed how we travel. I was in Paris recently with my family and surprised at how easy it was to just open my Uber app and request a car. Even better, I used Google Translate to communicate in our native languages. Twenty years ago I’d be fumbling for a taxi on the sidewalk and trying to talk using lots of hand gestures and very poor French.
That’s just a very small example. The larger point is how technology has empowered us humans and enabled us to live more efficient lives. There are always downsides to this rapid growth and they should not be ignored. But it’s hard to deny that our way of lives has improved when we combine technology and human intelligence. At the NYSE, we call this Living Tech.
Our trading floor is a living metaphor of Living Tech. On IPO day, floor brokers in their colorful jackets crowd the trading post, four to five deep, listening intently. If you’ve ever been in the crowd, you can feel the tense energy of the brokers as they wait for the latest indication of where the stock will open. They hold electronic tablets at the ready so they can transmit orders the instant they have a price for the first trade, which can total millions of shares and take place in a fraction of a second.
This scene is testament to the perfect integration of humans and technology that we’ve achieved at the New York Stock Exchange.
Combining a system capable of processing up to 80 billion electronic messages each day with the critical judgment of experienced human traders, there’s simply nothing else like it. This well-orchestrated dance, which plays an important role at different moments in the trading day, is the result of an evolution that began 227 years ago and continues today.
When applied properly, technology can automate the mundane and elevate the creative. It can unlock the potential that all of us possess. It can free us to live our lives the way we want and create value the way we see it in our dreams. Living Tech is a powerful approach.
On a personal level, I think of how Spotify has opened my world to new music and more importantly, has allowed me to instantly share my love of new artists with friends. Or how Square has helped my entrepreneur friends start their own businesses. Or how GoDaddy helped me start my own company, Radiate. I remember after a brief search, we secured our website address on GoDaddy and were off and running online for Radiate. It literally took 10 minutes.
Beyond those mentioned above, our NYSE community of Living Tech companies include Alibaba, Twilio, Grubhub, Salesforce, Twitter, Tencent Music, Box, Eventbrite, PagSeguro, Smartsheet. The list goes on. You’d be hard pressed to talk to any company among our 2,300 who aren’t Living Tech.
The connection between humanity and technology will only grow stronger, as this integration allows us to lead more purposeful and productive lives. We hope to always stay at the forefront of this transformation. We do so by adhering to our mission: helping great companies raise capital so they can change the world.
Executive Vice Chairman