We are entering a new era and it is Civilisation 3.0, announced TIBCO chairman and CEO Vivek Ranadivé in his inaugural keynote at Tibco's user-conference, TUCON 2013 in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

According to Ranadivé, Civilisation 1.0 was the first age of mankind in the pre-20th Century era where individuals were main contributors to society. That was the age of artisans and guilds who created value in society.

Civilisation 2.0 was kicked off by the industrial revolution. What followed was massive industrialisation. It was the age of corporations where humans were organised for efficiency.

What is dawning upon us now is Civilisation 3.0 which has brought the emphasis back to the value creators. These value creators offer a service that delivers extreme value to their customers.

According to Ranadivé, this is the age of platforms that are big despite not owning anything. For example, the world's biggest bookstore (Amazon) has no physical bookstores, the world's biggest taxi company (Uber) doesn't have any taxis and the world's biggest maker of mobile chips Qualcomm doesn't have any factories.

Ranadivé said that five major forces have shaped the arrival of the new age:

  1. Explosion of data
  2. Rise of mobility
  3. Emergence of platforms
  4. Emergence of Asian economies
  5. Math trumping science

More data was created in this year alone than in all the years through human history combined, he explained. The rise of mobility has been such that there are more cellphones than there are toothbrushes in the world today. Emergence of platforms like Facebook and Amazon has changed the way of service, reach and human connection, said Ranadivé.

The emergence of Asian economies like China and India has had a major influence on businesses and industries, he said. Their emergence will restore a world balance as these two countries were major economic powers before the world was colonised.

According to Ranadivé, Math trumping Science means that if today's problems are approached as mathematical problems, the chances of their getting solved are higher. He offered the example of the mutation of the AIDS virus. For years, scientists tried to solve the mutation conundrum as a biology problem. They could not crack it. Once the problem was presented as a game, users solved it within a week.

He said these forces have created an impact leading to the birth of Civilisation 3.0.

Ranadivé said that in this new era, there will be winners and there will be losers. Those who provide extreme value to their customers will win, he said.

Ranadivé gave the example of the Golden State Warriors, an American professional basketball team based in Oakland, California. He and his partners bought the team for US$450 million, the highest price ever paid for an NBA franchise. People thought it was crazy to buy a team at such an exorbitant price, he said. However, less than three years after the team was bought, its value jumped to US$$800 million. Later on Ranadivé sold his share in the team to buy the Sacramento Kings, beating Microsoft's Steve Ballmer's takeover attempt.

What we did with the Golden State Warriors is that we did not treat it as a team but as a social network, he revealed.

Ranadivé loves sports and sees it as a metaphor for life. He is now famous for coaching his daughter's basketball team from Redwood City into the national championship tournament even though this Bombay-born boy never played the game himself. That story became the inspiration behind Malcom Gladwell's new book, How David Beats Goliath.

Ranadivé founded TIBCO in 1997 with the vision of bringing real-time technology into the mainstream. "If you have just a little bit of the right information a couple of seconds or minutes in advance, it's more valuable than all of the information in the world six months after the fact," Ranadivé famously said. "At TIBCO, our mission is that if you get the right information in the right place at the right time you can make the world a better place."

TUCON 2013, the company's annual gathering of customers, partners and executives, is being held at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.