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Robert Smith: The Fourth Industrial Revolution

Robert Smith founded Vista Equity Partners in 2000 in the midst of the dotcom bubble, with the goal of capitalizing on a growing enterprise software sector. He discusses software’s transformational impact on the economy and how digitization continues to disrupt entire industries – from insurance to financial services, auto and beyond.

On the digitization of industry: “We are truly in the early stages of the fourth industrial revolution. There is a digitization of every single industry on the planet, and ultimately that will lead to the digitization of every single company in one way, shape, form or another.”

On creating a culture of opportunity: “You have to be thoughtful about creating an environment where new ideas of innovation are not only welcome, but they're encouraged. They're embraced and the success of them are trumpeted because, otherwise, you have the risk of…the complacency factor, [which] leads you down a narrowing road of opportunity.”

On his alternative career path: “If I wasn't in finance I'd be writing code honestly. I would frankly be in the true software business thinking about which industry we could disrupt with some products or some solution that no one else has in the market today.”