Business Healthcare

Vitals Aims to Be the Priceline of American Healthcare

(Image via Vitals)

Entrepreneur Mitch Rothschild says he has always followed a simple philosophy: Determine where a gap exists and launch a business to fill it. He thought information was seriously lacking in healthcare, for both patients and service providers. So he founded Vitals in 2007 to offer a suite of information and analytics tools to help consumers, providers, and health plans better track healthcare prices and quality. Today he serves as the company's executive chairman. Each month, some of Vitals' 10 million users perform 250,000 searches at Vitals.com, seeking information about the U.S. healthcare system, where they can browse 5 million user reviews of about 890,000 medical practitioners. In simple terms, Vitals hopes to be a Priceline of sorts for an industry in which costs can be opaque and consumers often feel powerless.   More

Business Techonomy Events

Tech Leaders: Cooperation with Government Can Move U.S. Forward

From left, Steve Case, R. David Edelman, Vint Cerf, and David Kirkpatrick. (Photo by Rebecca Greenfield)

From a founding father of the Internet who is now at the fore of interplanetary connectivity comes an evolved view: Competition need not be a zero sum game; collaboration can produce positive sum outcomes. Internet pioneer Vint Cerf made what he called a “bigger pie argument” at Techonomy Policy 2015 in Washington yesterday. To open the event, Cerf joined Techonomy CEO David Kirkpatrick for a discussion with AOL co-founder Steve Case and White House senior advisor for Internet, Innovation, and Privacy Policy R. David Edelman for a discussion about “Keeping America Innovative in the Age of Data Exhaust.” Cerf implored fellow panelists to drop the “competitive rhetoric” because “a rising tide raises all boats.”   More

Business Government Techonomy Events

Watch the Video from Techonomy Policy 2015

The Techonomy Policy conference in June 2015 focused on the relationship between tech innovation and government. The tech industry and Washington need to better understand and work together, for our national good. (Videos play in reverse order, beginning with the Sean Parker and senators closing session. Click the arrow to scroll through earlier sessions.)   More

Business

What to Expect from Oculus’ Big Event Today

(Image via Oculus)

The Oculus event marks a milestone for the company and for its owner Facebook. While its Oculus Samsung Gear VR viewer for Samsung smartphones has been on the market awhile, it has been limited to people who have a couple specific models of smartphone and also to very limited amounts of VR content, generally of a much lower quality than will soon be possible. Today's 1:00 pm ET event marks the first time Oculus has told the world exactly what kind of experience to expect from its flagship PC-connected device, which we hope will emerge later this year.   More

Business

Why Asia Matters for LinkedIn

(Image via Shutterstock)

As LinkedIn works to connect all the world’s professionals, CEO Jeff Weiner is increasingly setting his sights on a bigger vision—to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. Since Asia accounts for a large portion of that workforce and a rising share of global economic activity, its importance for the professional network is bound to grow. At Techonomy 2014, Weiner envisioned LinkedIn as a platform that connects all the world’s workers, companies, and educational institutions. This is not an impossible dream. LinkedIn already has more than 364 million registered members globally.   More

Business Government Techonomy Events

Techonomy Policy 2015 Live Webcast

Techonomy Policy aims to bring a higher level of dialogue to the confluence of technology innovation and government. The need for the tech industry and Washington to better understand, engage and productively work together is crucial to the future of economic progress and social cohesion in our tech-enhanced, digitally-enabled times. As tech’s advances spread into virtually every sector of business and society, how do government and policy keep up and respond? And as tech companies aggressively move into diverse industries and more and more areas become tech-infused, how does business better work with policymakers?   More

Business

Why Starbucks Should Be Talking About Race

(Image via Shutterstock)

Starbucks is in the crosshairs. How dare it ask its employees, customers, and America to discuss the role of race and racism in American society? The company recently began a project it calls "Race Together," in partnership with USA Today, aiming to begin a lengthy process of discussion and reflection on the inequities and distortions in American society, and even in the minds of all of us. What right does it have to do that? Hypocrisy! cry the critics. The pushback has been brutal, especially on Twitter, where extended and respectful discussion is almost impossible. Starbucks is being wrongly vilified. Why is it so hard for all these cavilers to accept the possibility that the company realizes its employment numbers are unequal and inappropriate, by any impartial moral standard?   More

Business

Chinese Net Giants Head Towards U.S.

(Image via Shutterstock)

Just a day after I wrote that online gaming giant Tencent may be planning a major new drive into the U.S., we’re hearing that its top rival NetEase is also moving into the neighborhood with plans for a new California R&D center. NetEase’s move comes after search leader Baidu and Tencent both set up U.S. offices last year, though only Baidu actually announced a major new product development center. All of these moves represent the Chinese companies’ efforts to tap into the Silicon Valley ethos, which has far more of the skills they will need in their quest to enter global markets outside of China.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Business

Highlights from Techonomy Bio 2014

This video captures highlights from last year’s inaugural Techonomy Bio conference. Join us on March 25 at the Computer History Museum for Techonomy Bio 2015, where we’ll again bring together cross-sector leaders from biotech, IT, science, healthcare, pharma, agriculture, academia, finance, and the synthetic bio community for an open and dynamic dialogue on the fast moving ideas, solutions […]   More

Business Internet of Things

How to Ride the Smart Home Wave

(Image via Shutterstock)

There’s a sizeable "smart home" wave building. The smart home and building technology market was $4.8 billion in 2012 and a report by Allied Market Research predicts it will grow to $35.3 billion by 2020. Not surprisingly, many startups, retailers, and established tech companies hope to ride the wave. Surfing is hard to do. Not everyone will get the timing right. But some strategies will make it a lot less likely that companies will wipe out.   More

Business Techonomy Events

Jaron Lanier on Why Wealth Concentration Among the Few Is Unsustainable

Technologist and author Jaron Lanier wants to reframe the debate about income inequality, starting with semantics. He takes exception to the notion that income equality would ever be a good thing. “To really make incomes equal, there would have to be some sort of force that would pound people down and say, We will all be equal!” said Lanier during a talk at Techonomy 2014 in Half Moon Bay, Calif. Rather, Lanier sees inequality as an inherent dimension of a market economy, noting that “any world of freedom is going to create variation of outcomes.” The problem, however, lies in how these outcomes are spread across society.   More

Business Keen On Startup Culture

KeenON: SAP’s Bill McDermott Seeks Startup Mentality in the Corner Office

As the CEO of the business software giant SAP, Bill McDermott is self-evidently a winner. But it wasn’t also that way. Born into a humble Long Island family, McDermott is a self-made man whose journey from corner store to corner office is chronicled in his new book "Winners Dream." So is that journey from underdog to top dog still possible in today’s world? Yes, McDermott says.   More

Business

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

(Image via Shutterstock)

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?

(Image via Shutterstock)

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