Asking Thomas Siebel to reflect on his career feels a bit premature — clearly, the story of the Silicon Valley entrepreneur, founder and chief executive of C3.ai has quite a few chapters yet to be written.

But it has been a remarkable story so far, with a couple of themes running throughout: Siebel has incredibly good timing and a knack for anticipating what the market will need long before the market itself does.

Both have helped him stay at the front of the profound changes in society and business brought about by the digital transformation.