I met Frost and Sullivan’s Chairman David Frigstad last month at the Internet Cowboy Unconference in Wyoming hosted by Idith and Yuval Almog and Yossi Vardi. Amidst the unconference crazies – the Robert Scobles and David McClures cavorting around Jackson Hole – Frigstad stood out as a grown-up, a mensch who runs a 1800 person consulting group with offices in 44 countries around the world. What was striking, however, about Frigstad is how he acknowledges and even welcomes the profoundly disruptive nature of the digital revolution. Indeed, in spite of – or maybe because of – the fact that Frost and Sullivan advise 70% of the world’s Fortune 200 companies, Frigstad believes that the digital revolution is changing the corporate world more than even most of us in Silicon Valley realize.
As Frigstad told me when he came into our San Francisco studio, this change isn’t only for the good. The digital revolution’s impact on structural unemployment, he explained to me, is deeply worrying. But that said, Frigstad remains an optimist. Government, medicine, law, manufacturing, energy, and above all education, he believes, are all about to be radically disrupted for the better by the digital storm. “Life is going to get really dicey in the next ten years”, Frigstad not only told me but also tells his clients on a daily basis. Yet Frigstad isn’t encouraging us all to become dice players. Instead, his message to his corporate clients is a very sober one. Change or die, Frigstad is saying. Nobody – the the Fortune 200, 100 or 50 companies – who stands still in this economy can survive.