Business

Google’s Six Values for Business Leadership in an Age of Reimagination

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The most important characteristic of successful business leaders today is the ability to embrace, inspire, and manage change. At Google, we’ve had 15 years of experience with these changes first hand. In my role as the president of our Americas sales team, I also have the good fortune of working hand-in-hand with leaders across industries who are actively reimagining how their businesses will work in the future. I’ve found six core values that I think set apart the leaders who are thriving in these turbulent and exciting times.   More

Business

How the Belly Card Makes a Meal Out of Other Loyalty Programs

Belly's Chicago office

The rewards consumers can reap with a Belly loyalty card program are quirky to say the least. One of the best prizes in the Belly network? An ice cream date with Jerry of Ben and Jerry’s. Since you'd have to earn those 1,000 points by eating ice cream, that’s a lot of brain freeze. An evolution of the traditional loyalty punch card, consumers use Belly cards to collect customized rewards at businesses where Belly iPads are installed   More

Business

The End of “End-to-End” in Tech?

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Some say the recent moves by eBay, HP, and Symantec to split their businesses are driven by how Wall Street assigns value to companies. But I believe these companies are instead simply becoming more in tune with the evolving needs of their customers, be they enterprises or consumers. These tech giants are likely to be among the first of many in business to move toward a more specialized existence.   More

Business Media & Marketing

GE’s Comstock: The Imperative Is Speed

Photograph by Andrew Eccles

General Electric Senior Vice President Beth Comstock stopped by Techonomy's office recently to talk about corporate innovation. Besides overseeing all GE's sales and marketing activities, she's responsible for growth and market innovation. She rose through corporate communications to become GE's CMO, then ran sales and digital for NBC Universal before her current job. When we asked about her light bulb experiences, we didn't know that shortly after our meeting CEO Jeff Immelt would give her an additional job leading GE's $3 billion lighting business. We started by asking how someone with a marketing background got so interested in innovation.   More

Business Techonomy Events

Thiel and Hoffman on How to Promote Innovation in a Fearful Society

From left, Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick, LinkedIn's  Reid Hoffman, and Peter Thiel of Thiel Capital at the Techonomy 2014 conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

Peter Thiel sees Western civilization as a society that “hates science and technology in all forms.” Reid Hoffman sees an uninformed public and political leadership that is biologically predisposed to fear death, not embrace change. And while Thiel accuses Washington leaders of being stuck in the Dark Ages, Hoffman concedes that “it’s hard to see a path to Congress having an intelligent technology strategy.” In the opening session of Techonomy 2014 on Sunday in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Techonomy CEO David Kirkpatrick provoked a frank discussion between the tech-industry-pioneers-turned-venture-capitalists, PayPal founder Thiel and his former Stanford classmate and longtime collaborator, LinkedIn founder Hoffman.   More

Business

A Conversation with Patrick Collison

At the Techonomy 2014 conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick speaks with Stripe CEO Patrick Collison about the future of online payments.   More

Business Techonomy Events

A Future Without Industries

Tech and the Internet blur borders between industries. Meanwhile, connectedness is accelerating globalization. We’re redefining what a company does and where it is. What does the new borderless world of business mean for incumbents, and for the next generation corporation? In this session from the Techonomy 2014 conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Castlight Health CEO Giovanni Colella, Intuit founder Scott Cook, McKinsey's Eric Kutcher, and Talko CEO Ray Ozzie discuss how tech is transforming the way that we define industries.   More

Business Techonomy Events

Preemptive Innovation

Innovation is happening faster because it’s getting better organized. Incubators of all stripes are sprouting all over the world. Large corporations are spinning in talent and building internal startup labs. Leaders know they can’t just wait around for inspiration to strike, they have to seek it out or grow it themselves. At the Techonomy 2014 conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif., Idealab CEO Bill Gross, Citi Ventures CEO Debby Hopkins, and Coca-Cola SVP Guy Wollaert talk about how companies can stay ahead of the innovation curve in this discussion moderated by McKinsey's Michael Chui.   More

Business Partner Insights

How Discovery Fuels Corporate Growth

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Cultivating a discovery mindset—one that is open to new approaches, encourages curiosity, and promotes a willingness to test and iterate—is the essential basis for all innovation. But embracing discovery is not always natural for an established organization. It can be a big culture shift to really commit to identifying new and bold ideas—and yes, falling has to be accepted as an important part of the journey.   More

Business Mobile

Apple’s Surge in iPhone Sales Matched by Mac

“No company gets attention like Apple. No company,” says Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick—whether it be from the development of new products like the Apple Watch and Apple Pay, or from news of the company’s profits and sales. On Tuesday, the tech colossus reported its fourth-quarter earnings, announcing some formidable figures, including a whopping 21-percent jump in iPhone revenue. It’s no surprise that that increase was due in large part to high demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. But what did surprise some is the fact that that surge was matched by a 21-percent increase in revenue from none other than the Mac.   More

Business

Cultures of Innovation

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Big and venerable companies around the world are increasingly confronting a vexing problem: They’re too big and venerable. The ironic truth: To get even bigger, they have to learn to act small. Executives increasingly believe that new ideas and innovations that can generate growth are most likely to emerge in organizations like small start-ups. So the mandate for large companies is to find ways to replicate the culture and practices of smaller companies inside their walls.   More

Business Techonomy Events

Detroit CIO Beth Niblock Interviews Jack Dorsey, Founder of Twitter and Square

At our Sept. 16 Techonomy Detroit conference, Beth Niblock, Detroit's first CIO, interviewed Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square about how tech tools can help small merchants thrive in communities like Detroit.   More

Business Techonomy Events

Jack Dorsey Believes in Profit: For Merchants, Cities, and Square

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Appearing on the Techonomy Detroit stage for the third year, Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey shared with Detroit CIO Beth Niblock his vision for how technology, and in particular the evolution of Square, is helping the commerce ecosystem and could help cities like Detroit. Dorsey and Niblock’s conversation followed a talk by author Andrew Keen in which the techno-polemicist cautioned the audience that tech companies operate strictly in the interest of their own profits, not to help society. Dorsey acknowledged Square’s profit motive, but pointed out that Square’s revenues depend on the success of its customers, so the company is highly invested in helping merchants succeed.   More

Business E-Commerce

New Economics: Sharing Isn’t Free, and Price Gouging Isn’t Mean

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The pros and cons of the so-called "sharing economy" are getting plenty of press these days. Consider the diverse takes this week from Technology Review, the New York Times, and the Kansas City Star. In a Times report about workers who are finding "both freedom and uncertainty" in the contract employment trend, Natasha Singer explains how Navy veteran Jennifer Guidry attempts to help cover her family's food and rent costs with popup gigs.   More

Business

Be a Techonomy Detroit VIP!

Here’s your chance to be treated like a VIP at the upcoming Techonomy Detroit event that will take place at Wayne State University on September 16th. Enter your name, company, and email address below for a chance to win a VIP package that includes: (2) Complimentary Tickets (2) Invitations to the exclusive VIP Speaker Dinner […]   More

Business

The End of Industries

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In my field of business journalism, writers have traditionally had "beats" that corresponded to specific industries. One might cover energy, autos, airlines, financial services, or media. Similarly, analysts on Wall Street have specialized along similar lines. Rankings and ratings of companies by industry continue to proliferate. But today such categorizations are increasingly an obstacle to understanding rather than useful demarcations for meaningful analysis. Many of today's most exciting companies do not fall neatly into a conventional category. Business in a technologized age has raced ahead to a new unbounded shape.   More

Business Global Tech

Tencent Beats Alibaba to Banking License

tencent

Earlier reports of e-commerce leader Alibaba’s strong political ties appear to be overstated, following word that archrival Tencent has become the first of China’s major Internet firms to win a highly sought banking license. Both companies had been aggressively expanding into financial services over the past year, though each was reliant on partnerships with other companies that already had licenses to offer services in the highly regulated sector dominated by big state-run companies. But now Tencent will be able to offer many of those services on its own, following this ground-breaking award of a license from the nation’s banking regulator.   More

Business E-Commerce

Alibaba Picks NYSE, Plays with Yahoo, Football

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It’s been two weeks since I’ve written a post exclusively about leading e-commerce company Alibaba, so I thought I’d end the week with a round-up of a few company news bits including its selection of the New York Stock Exchange for its highly-anticipated IPO. In related news, the company’s major shareholder Yahoo is reportedly in talks to reduce its planned sale of Alibaba shares in the offering. Last but not least, Alibaba has formally added its name to one of its latest acquisitions, a stake in one of China’s leading soccer clubs.   More

Business E-Commerce

How Warby Parker Doubles Down on Disruption and Social Change

The technology-driven eyewear company Warby Parker has bigger fish to fry than disrupting an industry and hooking up consumers with hip, inexpensive glasses, although it’s done a pretty good job of that so far. “We started Warby Parker with two goals in mind,” said company co-founder David Gilboa at a recent Venture for America event. The first goal was to transform “a $65 billion industry that had been ripping consumers off for decades … by creating our own vertically integrated brand.” In so doing the company is able to offer glasses for $95 that, according to Gilboa, would normally sell for $500-$600. Warby Parker’s second goal, said Gilboa, is to prove that a for-profit business can have “a massive positive impact in the world.”   More

Business E-Commerce

Why Warby Parker Admires Tesla’s Disruptive Drive

Warby Parker has used tech tools to shake up the eyewear industry, making high quality glasses available to consumers for a fraction of what they used to pay. Meanwhile, insurgent carmaker Tesla is changing the way people think about driving, but has run into regulatory roadblocks in its attempt to subvert traditional distribution models. At the recent Venture for America Summer Celebration, we asked Warby Parker co-founder David Gilboa for his thoughts on Tesla and its founder Elon Musk. Unsurprisingly, Gilboa is a fan. "[Musk] is one of the most brilliant thinkers alive, and one of the biggest thinkers alive," he said.   More