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Beth Comstock is Documented@Davos

Beth Comstock is Documented@Davos

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Published by DocumentedatDavos
Mashable's Pete Cashmore interviews Beth Comstock of GE at the World Economic Forum 2012.
Mashable's Pete Cashmore interviews Beth Comstock of GE at the World Economic Forum 2012.

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Published by: DocumentedatDavos on Feb 10, 2012
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03/16/2013

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BethComstockofGeneralElectricisDocumented@DavosTranscriptDocumented@Davos2012
PETECASHMORE:Hi,there.I'mPeteCashmore,CEOandfounderofMashable.You'rewatchingdocumented@DavoswithScribdandMashable.Thehashtagisdavosdocs.Sowe'restartingonafreshdayatDavos.It'sThursday.Andwe'redelightedtohavetheCMOofGE,BethComstock.Thanksforjoiningus.BETHCOMSTOCK:Yes,Pete.Gladtobehere.PETECASHMORE:It'sveryexciting.AndIthinkwe'llleaprightintothequestions.BETHCOMSTOCK:OK.PETECASHMORE:So,you'reresponsibleforinnovationatGE.Canyoutellmehowthatworksinsuchahugeorganization?Howdoyouactuallycreateinnovation?BETHCOMSTOCK:Yeah.Well,innovation'sawidespectrum.WehavegreatR&D,engineering,science.WehaveMarkLittlewholeadsthat.Andthat'swhatGE'sknownforover130years.Thinkofjetengines,locomotives.AndIgetinvolvedwithmymarketingcolleagues,tryingtocomeupwithnewmodelsof,howdoyoutaketheseproductstomarket?Wecallitcommercialinnovation.ButifyouthinkaboutAppleandtheiPhoneandyouthinkaboutiTunes,thewaywelookatinnovationis,let'screatethejetengine.Andthenwhat'stheiTunes,ifyouwill,forhowyoubringthejetenginestomarket?PETECASHMORE:WhatistheiTunesofthejetengines?BETHCOMSTOCK:Well,that'spartofwhatwe'reatworkatrightnow.Butimagineifyourjetenginecouldtalktoyou.You'reaservicerepatSouthwestAirlinesorQantas.YourjetenginesendsyouaTweet.PETECASHMORE:Sowe'regoingtohavesentientengines.Isthissafe?BETHCOMSTOCK:Exactly.They'retalkingtoyou.Buttheyalreadydo.There'saterabyteofdatathatcomesoffofeveryjetengine.PETECASHMORE:Sowe'retalkingalmostaboutthetrendofdevicestellingusaboutthings,becomingalmostlittlecomputersinaway.BETHCOMSTOCK:Well,theyarecomputers.IthinkasmuchasyouthinkaboutthecraftsmanshipthataGEwoulddointermsofmanufacturing,there'sanincredibleinvestmentandtrendaboutsoftwareanddata.It'sourmash-up.It'sourmashable,ifyouwill.Howdowemashthetwoofthemtogethersothatacustomergetsmuch
 
betteranalytics?Itgivesthemtheabilitytodiagnoseremotely,butalsobetteroperatetheirbusiness.Sothat'swhereIgetinvolved.Wecallitcommercialinnovation.It'sbasicallynewbusinessmodels,newwaysoftakingthatgreattechnologyandbringingittocustomersinwaysthatmakesthemmoreproductive.PETECASHMORE:Sowhatarethemostexcitingnewtechnologiesyou'reworkingonrightnow?BETHCOMSTOCK:Well,IthinkcertainlyatGE,whenyouworkinacompanylikemine,you'vegottolovebigthings.Sothinkofjetengines,trains,biggasturbines.Imean,theymaynotbeverysexywhenyou'rethinkingaboutyouriPodandiPad,butthey'reveryexciting,becausetheybasicallypowertheworld.Andthere'ssomuchtechnologythatgoesintothem.OneofthethingsIfindveryexciting--Iguesstwothings.Oneisadvancedmanufacturing.We'reinvestingalot.Thinkof3Dprinting.OurR&Dfolksareworkingveryhardtofigureout,howdowetakeallofouradvancedmaterialscienceandstarttoprint?Overtime,maybeyou'dprintanaircraftenginepart.SoImean,that'sveryexciting.Andatthesametime,Ithinkwe'relookingfornewpartnerships.Sowe'vebeenworkingalotinaveryopen,collaborativeway.We'vehadacoupleofbigopenchallengesincentingentrepreneurstocomeandworktogetherwithusinareaslikebreastcancertreatment,inareaslikethesmartgrid.Andso,yougetverytactical.Andthenyougetverycollaborative.Andthat'swhatIthinkisveryexcitingaboutinnovation.PETECASHMORE:Well,wewerejustchattingabout3Dprinting.IknowwesawsomeondisplayatCESthisyear.Soisthissomethingthat'sgoingtocometothehome?Isthatgoingtostayinafactory?Becausepeoplegetprettyexcitedtoimaginetheymightprinttheirownstuffathome.BETHCOMSTOCK:Well,Ithinkyoucancertainlyimagineafuturewhereit'sinyourhome.ButIthinkthat'sgoingtobeawhile.AndforGE,Ithinkwe'relookingatitverymuchaschanginghowwemanufacture,sothattheabilitytoprintapart,todothekindsofintense,complexmanufacturing,it'sgoingtochangethefaceofmanufacturing.Andit'sveryexciting.ButIthinkit'sgoingtobeinindustrialapplicationsforawhilelongerbeforeitgetstoyourhome.Butovertime,imagineyourdishwasher,andmaybethroughsoftware,itcanserviceitselfmostlythroughsoftware.Youmaynotevenneedtoprintapart.Butyoucanstarttosee,andthosethingsarewithinreach.PETECASHMORE:That'sprettyexciting.YouruntheEcomaginationChallenge.Canyoutellusabitaboutthat?

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