We closed out the PreCommerce Summit with a far-reaching heck of a futurist discussion when David Kirkpatrick’s interviewed VJ Joshi.
David: What did you do after leaving HP?
VJ: I wanted to learn about Healthcare and startups. Working with startups in terms both consulting and some investment.
David: What are you most excited about?
VJ: Data insights and intelligence; genomics, nanotechnology and robotics. Those trends will change everything. Those are the boundaries where innovation is going to happen.
David: Where are the advances? What kind of things are possible?
VJ: There’s progress in Tool automation; also getting into better understanding our subconscious. How we see things, how we feel things; virtual reality and Oculus Rift/ virtual reality; another area of interest: changing the neural pathways; How to change behavior (drug addicts)? Change the way of thinking, create new neural pathways.
Learning a language in two months, maybe even two days. How we learn can be enhanced dramatically. Not science fiction, things will happen within 10 years.
Think about the Terminator point of view; seeing related information about people in real time, customized ads in retail products, etc.
Augmented Reality: If kids can play with 3D models, that’s a way to enhance education; Magic Leap technology blending technology in real experience.
David: How is this relevant to Marketing?
VJ: Technology could enable new ways to reach an audience in ways that are deeper than we think about now: How can I affect a potential customer’s thought process?
Worth worrying about manipulation?
I’m on the optimistic side of the equation. Think of VR in terms of military tactical preparation. Understand people are concerned with privacy. But there are many possibilities.
David: Know you’re working with companies re: implants. Can you talk about it?
VJ: Cochlear implants are one example; Eye implants to affect rods and cones to improve vision; Ex: Rabbits can’t see red, but they can with these implant’s; Ex: Seeing through fog; improving upon our natural capabilities.
Increasing life extension, improving quality of life are health areas worth focusing on.
David: Intersection of technology and humans… how does automation and robotics displace jobs?
VJ: I have a more positive view, am more optimistic; it is complementary. We will learn important skills faster; It will enable us to work on more important things; solve bigger problems.
David: How does education change?
VJ: It opens up lifelong learning, no more 8 years of going to school. Replacing certain jobs will allow people to focus on solving hard problems. People will get more specialized learning, they will focus more on niche areas.
David: Regarding your years at HP: What was the best learning?
VJ: Take risks on people; empower them to focus on innovation; when I took over printing in 2001: people said you can’t grow. VJ thought they could grow 6% that year and beyond. We had great people to figure out higher-end printing; faster printing, 3D printing, etc.
Tech landscape: So many companies paralyzed by fear from innovation coming from startups. Do you worry about it?
I do worry about it. Companies aren’t focused enough on true innovation. Research is tied too close to earnings and profits these days. Too focused on the near term, meeting quarterly revenue and profit numbers.
David: End of industries: Traditional models don’t apply; Uber and Airbnb are disrupting businesses they arent even in. Do you believe big businesses should think about that? Definitely.
Are you saying William Gibson right?
In terms of possiibilities, yes. Check out a company called Nanovision; William Gibson’s vision won’t be accurate, but aspects will be there.
What do you think about Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus Rift?
Augmented reality and virtual reality are sexy topics. Already real applications happening in military; repairing jets, VJ: seeing the manual while you are working; Facebook and others are thinking about next-generation computing technology;
David: virtual and augmented reality distinction will go away… when Zuckerberg bought Oculus, he said he was buying it’s the next generation of computing; Microsoft HoloLens. Google is working on similar technology. Started with Google Glass.
What about location-based technology?
More advances on current technology… Won’t need maps when visiting new cities; Dynamic ads that are tailored to you as an individual.
What about natural language speech recognition? Google Hiring Ray Kurzweil
VJ: Yes, it is huge, but it is related to virtual reality machines. Lots of peripherals will emerge, just like the PC space.
Linguistics based approach vs. Programming language approach; Microsoft and Google are working on real-time language translation. Effectiveness will continue to improve.
The next economy were all these technologies converge is the Molecular Economy. That’s where we are heading;
Google Glass: Going into a store seeing personalized ads; Creates privacy issues. Are you concerned about that?
Would you wear glasses if they allowed you to see through fog? Yes. Adding useful capability is key.
Technology is in the hearts and minds of the people who use it. In your view, what are the threats to innovation;
David: Security is an issues. Macro-point of communication; ICANN is really worried that countries won’t use it; different standards; the app economy mirrors that from a content perspective; but app development is siloed; that fragmentation is real; VJ: I hope we are still appreciate nature; the beauty of outdoor activity and the physical world we live in. I hope we don’t ever lose our appreciation of that.
Bio: Founder, host and CEO of Techonomy, David Kirkpatrick is a journalist, commentator about technology, and author of the bestselling book “The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company that is Connecting the World,” published in 32 countries. He spent 25 years at Fortune, and founded and hosted its Brainstorm and Brainstorm Tech conferences. Inaddition to writing to Techonomy, he contributes to Forbes and Vanity Fair. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Bio: VJ Joshi served as an Executive Vice President of Imaging and Printing Group at Hewlett-Packard Company from 2002 to 2012, and served as its Executive Vice President of Imaging and Personal Systems Group. He retired in 2012 after a 32-year career at Hewlett Packard Company. Since 1989, he held various management positions in Imaging and Printing Systems, such as Phogenix Imaging LLC and Immy Inc.. He has been a Director of Harris Corporation, Director at Yahoo! Inc., and serves as a member of Dean’s Advisory Council at the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego.
For more information on our SXW2O events and speakers, please visit our website: http://w2oevents.com
As I mentioned in our set up post for our PreCommerce thought leader series, we will be interviewing several of our speakers in advance of our events the week of March 9. Next up is Daina Middleton, Head of Global Business Marketing at Twitter. For more information about our events during SXSW, go here.
Prior to joining Twitter to run global marketing, Daina was the CEO of Performics, the performance marketing division of Publicis Groupe. A pioneer in the digital marketing space, Daina is known for creating “participant marketing”. Prior to joining Performics, she served as SVP of Insights, Trends, Innovation and Research at Moxie. Prior to that, Daina spent 16 years working at Hewlett-Packard in key marketing positions across the company, and was running advertising for HP’s $28 billion global Imaging and Printing Group immediately prior to her departure. Daina serves on the boards of Marin Software, Healthwise, and the Teton Valley Community Foundation. She is a regular industry speaker.
And now on to the interview:
[Aaron Strout] I’ve heard you have a slightly unorthodox major/minor combination. How did this come to be? [Daina Middleton] Yes, it’s true. I have a journalism degree which has been more beneficial than you might think — especially in today’s world where there seems to be an overabundance of communication. My skills there help me digest and sort through what’s relevant and what’s not. The “unorthodox” part you are referring to is my minor which is in fisheries and wildlife. The back story there is that while I was at Oregon State, they required a technical minor. I had so many credits from different technical fields, including archaeology, zoology and many others — even computer science. Finally, I decided to pick a minor by counting the area where I already had the most credits because I could not decide.
[AS] Daina, you worked with Vyomesh Joshi (VJ) of HP while he was running the print division. Tell me a little about that relationships and what you learned from VJ. [DM] I was running advertising while VJ was running Imaging and Printing. We were experimenting in measuring everything in marketing — these were the early days when analytics were more of a promise than a reality and pushing the envelope with partners, particularly Google who would produce a 200+ page report including data and insights every week. VJ was really fascinated with the idea of measuring marketing and I think he read every page every week. I learned this because after I forwarded the report on to him he would give me a call and ask me a question from one of the charts. I never knew exactly when the call was coming. After a few calls, I decided that I had better do my homework and understand the story behind the numbers, along with the business impact in order to be fully prepared when the phone rang.
What I didn’t know at the time was that VJ’s expectations and passion for data was setting me up for my job running the largest performance marketing company in the world: Performics. My interactions with VJ were instrumental in insuring that I was immersed in all facets of the data and performance. To that end, I still passionate about data. Mapping everything marketing does to direct business impact is just common sense.
As I said, we were working really closely with Google at the time to break new ground in marketing analytics. VJ was on Yahoo!’s board of directors at the time and was so impressed with what we were doing with Google that he insisted I come along with him to one of the Yahoo! board meetings to explain to them how they were falling short.
[AS] Like a few of our other speakers, you’ve written a book. Tell us a little about, Marketing in the Participation Age, and what some of the key themes are. [DM] Yes, I did write Marketing in the Participation Age back in 2012. It was a great experience. There are three parts to the thesis:
Traditionally we were all trained that marketing is about persuasion. Today, persuasion is no longer enough. Marketers need to understand participation. Every customer has a computer in his or her pockets. And the goal of marketing is to get that customer to take some form of action on your behalf. We are all measured on these actions. And actions are the manifestation of participation.
There is a science behind participation. It hasn’t been applied to marketing before now because there was no reason to do so. The science is based on intrinsic motivation or self-determination theory which has been applied to education and HR but hadn’t been applied to marketing, until now.
The last chapter of the book focuses on the idea that more fundamental changes within a company are required for success today. Historically, all marketing metaphors have been based on war. If we want our customers to participate, then I think gardening is a better metaphor, and if a company can adopt “nurturist” values they will have success in the Participation Age.
[AS] How are you using your philosophy to help evolve the way that twitter as a platform is experienced for businesses/your customers? [DM] Numbers help us make decisions today and better prepare me/us for tomorrow. How do we prepare for tomorrow?
Explaining how and why Twitter is so much bigger than just a platform.
Knowing your customer, and using data in smart ways to REALLY know them and invite them to participate.
As I mentioned in our set up post for our PreCommerce thought leader series, we will be interviewing several of our speakers in advance of our events the week of March 9. Second up is Vyomesh “VJ” Joshi, former EVP at Hewlett Packard (credited with building HP’s printing business from the ground up). For more information about our events during SXSW, go here.
VJ joined HP in 1980 as a research and development engineer and was promoted to vice president in January 2001. He eventually became EVP of the Imaging and Printing Group in February 2001. He also served as the executive sponsor for all HP operations and initiatives in India and was a member of HP’s Executive Council. VJ was also a member of the Yahoo! board of directors between 2005 and 2012.
Now onto the interview:
Note: The title of this post came from VJ’s framing of how leaders look at certain possibilities or problems. The idea is, are you “breaking rocks” or being overly focused on the task at hand or “building a cathedral” i.e. keeping an eye on the big picture. Both are correct depending on one’s context but this is a clever analogy that I plan to use frequently going forward.
[Aaron Strout] I hear you hold a pretty important patent from your early days at HP. Can you tell me more about that? [Vyomesh Joshi] Many years ago we created a new “process” for innovation – I was an R&D engineer. At the time, the top problem in printing was the reliability of the ink cartridge. The cartridge wasn’t always “firing” in a consistent or accurate direction. This issue translated into lower quality printed pages and lacked efficiency (cost). When customers use new technology, they need to have a great experience. The breakthrough I introduced at the time was using titanium as a layer for circuitry. This ended up being a breakthrough technology and created a sustainable competitive advantage for HP for years to come.
[AS] What are your observations of HP’s print business since you helped launch it back in the early 80’s? [VJ] I started managing the printing business in 2001. At the time, every analyst we talked to informed me that we wouldn’t be able to grow this business. This was a bit of a problem as our founders, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, talked about always thinking about ways to grow the business. Our revenues for the print business in 2001 were $19 billion – our team helped take that to $28 billion by the time I retired in 2012. Our main focus was on innovation and our goal was to build a great value proposition for the customer. At the time, HP was focused on the total addressable “printer” market. The big breakthrough came when we decided to look at the total addressable “printing” market (books, newspapers, magazines, etc.). HP had only captured 2% of the “pages printed” market share at the time with a focus on speed, quality, reliability. We also looked for new areas of growth like the graphics business where we acquired Indigo, a digital offset printing company that helped drive growth in “printed pages.”
Internet printing also became big (connecting printing with the cloud) during my tenure as the President of the print business. In 2007, we were connecting through the cloud (iPrint). The thing I constantly focused on was anticipating where the market was going and looking at the market in a different way than our competitors.
[AS] During the last few years of your tenure at HP, you were also on the board of Yahoo! Where did they get lost and how did Marissa Mayer change things? [VJ] Back in the 1990’s, Yahoo! was big in search. At some point in time, they lost their focus on innovation. But recently, they have re-focused on new ways of capturing information. Marissa has looked closely at how to reshape a media organization based on technology. For any technology company, the market is changing very rapidly. Companies really need to start thinking about continuing to change. Values are also critically important.
[AS] How much did HP’s culture (Bill & Dave/The HP Way) drive the way you lead the organization? Customers? Partners? Employees? [VJ] HP was the only company I ever worked for. In the morning, Bill and Dave would be focused on business and driving growth. In the afternoon, they flipped hamburgers for employees. Observing them in action played a heavy role in informing my leadership style. Regarding the HP Way, there is a focus on five values (see below). These combined with HP’s seven objectives look at the balancing of soft (or people) skills with business skills. Both are critically important.
Community involvement was also a key tenant of what they (and ultimately I) infused into our culture. Really making sure that employees were helping the community.
To give you a sense of the importance of people… in 1984 (a few years after I joined), the printing business had zero revenue. Employees were key to growing this into a multi-billion dollar business. What happened in 80’s and 90’s could and likely happen again.
The HP Way
We have trust and respect for individuals. We approach each situation with the belief that people want to do a good job and will do so, given the proper tools and support. We attract highly capable, diverse, innovative people and recognize their efforts and contributions to the company. HP people contribute enthusiastically and share in the success that they make possible.
We focus on a high level of achievement and contribution. Our customers expect HP products and services to be of the highest quality and to provide lasting value. To achieve this, all HP people, especially managers, must be leaders who generate enthusiasm and respond with extra effort to meet customer needs. Techniques and management practices which are effective today may be outdated in the future. For us to remain at the forefront in all our activities, people should always be looking for new and better ways to do their work.
We conduct our business with uncompromising integrity. We expect HP people to be open and honest in their dealings to earn the trust and loyalty of others. People at every level are expected to adhere to the highest standards of business ethics and must understand that anything less is unacceptable. As a practical matter, ethical conduct cannot be assured by written HP policies and codes; it must be an integral part of the organization, a deeply ingrained tradition that is passed from one generation of employees to another.
We achieve our common objectives through teamwork. We recognize that it is only through effective cooperation within and among organizations that we can achieve our goals. Our commitment is to work as a worldwide team to fulfill the expectations of our customers, shareholders and others who depend upon us. The benefits and obligations of doing business are shared among all HP people.
We encourage flexibility and innovation. We create an inclusive work environment which supports the diversity of our people and stimulates innovation. We strive for overall objectives which are clearly stated and agreed upon, and allow people flexibility in working toward goals in ways that they help determine are best for the organization. HP people should personally accept responsibility and be encouraged to upgrade their skills and capabilities through ongoing training and development. This is especially important in a technical business where the rate of progress is rapid and where people are expected to adapt to change.
HP Corporate Objectives
1. Profit. To recognize that profit is the best single measure of our contribution to society and the ultimate source of our corporate strength. We should attempt to achieve the maximum possible profit consistent with our other objectives.
2. Customers. To strive for continual improvement in the quality, usefulness, and value of the products and services we offer our customers.
3. Field of Interest. To concentrate our efforts, continually seeking new opportunities for growth but limiting our involvement to fields in which we have capability and can make a contribution.
4. Growth. To emphasize growth as a measure of strength and a requirement for survival.
5. Employees. To provide employment opportunities for HP people that include the opportunity to share in the company’s success, which they help make possible. To provide for them job security based on performance, and to provide the opportunity for personal satisfaction that comes from a sense of accomplishment in their work.
6. Organization. To maintain an organizational environment that fosters individual motivation, initiative and creativity, and a wide latitude of freedom in working toward established objectives and goals.
7. Citizenship. To meet the obligations of good citizenship by making contributions to the community and to the institutions in our society which generate the environment in which we operate.
[AS] Today: let’s talk current trends. What are you seeing? Where are things headed? [VJ] Having a sense of how you look at a trend is the key to answering this question. How can you make a contribution? When computing started (HP, IBM), the trick was translating data into information. Google took that a step further and is a good example of translating information into insight. What’s next? I see this as the ability to translate insight into intelligence. Google needs to be careful on this front to not become complacent… they are showing signs of translating insight into intelligence (they are thinking about driver-less cars and extending life).
[AS] If you were to give one piece of advice for leaders, what would it be? [VJ] Leaders need to lead. Their job is to create the market. Look into the future. And then making sure you are rewarding your people – they will follow if you are motivating them. Another recommendation is to consider whether or not you are“breaking rocks” or being overly focused on the task at hand or “building a cathedral” i.e. keeping an eye on the big picture. Too many leaders look at business through the former versus the latter.
There are three certainties in life… death, taxes and the fact that our company, W2O Group, will once again be hosting some awesome events during SXSW Interactive. Unless you live under a rock, you know this is one of the largest interactive conferences on this planet. Over 100,000 of the top digital, social and mobile minds from around the world haling from companies large and small, agencies, startups, etc. come to Austin, TX to network, attend panels and catch up on the latest trends. Many of these attendees are influential bloggers, senior marketing and communications professionals and journalists who report back on who is doing what in the interactive space.
Because a significant number of our clients at W2O Group (WCG, Twist and BrewLife) are now involved with SXSW Interactive, over the last six years we have developed a series of events during SXSW that complement all of the activities that go on during that time. Our signature event, the PreCommerce Summit, takes place on March 12 (Thursday) from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and is packed with speakers from well-known brands like H&R Block, Google, Twitter, Verizon, Intel and Bayer. We will also have thought leaders from companies like Techonomy, NBC and Bloomberg providing industry insights. Did we mention that we are honored to have none other than Al Roker, co-anchor of the Today Show, and a special fireside chat between Tech moguls, David Kirkpatrick (author of The Facebook Effect) and Vyomesh “VJ” Joshi (former EVP of printing at Hewlett Packard)?
Jon Harris (former head of comms at Hillshire Brands and media personality), will be interviewing Al at our event. You can hear more in our Live from Stubbs interview with Jon here on what he and Al will cover.
This event will be attended by about 400 plus customers and other industry thought leaders. A cocktail reception will follow. The event is complementary, but invite only. If you are interested in attending, please email us at email@example.com. In that email, be sure to provide name, title and company. We will also be live streaming the event via UStream if you can’t physically be there. Registration is open to the public (RSVP here).
We will also host a digital brunch at our (not so) new office located in East Austin. If you like food trucks (hint: Gordoughs will be one), music, cocktails and lost of interesting people, you will enjoy this.
Every SXSW, we do our best to cover “what’s next” in digital. This year, we’re planning to host our first GeekFest on Saturday at The Austonian between 10am – 2pm. We have 12 speakers including Becky Brown, VP of media at Intel and TK Keanini, CTO of Lancope to give 15 minute talks with some time for Q&A every 3-4 talks. We will have no more than 70 people in attendance. This event is being sponsored by Synthesio.
In addition to ourPreCommerce Summit (selected talks from last year’s event), Digital Brunch and Geekfest, we will also host our sixth annual Geek-a-Cue Saturday night at the historic Charles Johnson House (on the Colorado River). This is the house MTV uses to host its SXSW Music parties so you know it’s good. We were sad to not host our Geek-a-cue for a fourth time at world famous Franklin’s BBQ, but with their new expansion we simply ran out of room. Not to worry, however, because we are pleased to bring you one of Austin’s newest gems, Terry Blacks. While we won’t pretend anyone can cook brisket like Aaron Franklin… the Black brothers (their grandfather is Terry Black who opened Blacks in Lockhart 83 years ago) come pretty damn close.
Oh, did we mention that we have two AMAZING bands this year as well? For openers, we’ll have Austin favorite, Monte Montgomery. And then for our main act, we are featuring Black Joe Lewis (yes, that Black Joe Lewis that has appeared on Letterman and countless music festivals).
Check out my 2014 wrap up post to get a better flavor of the awesomeness you will experience this year.
Here are eventbrite links/descriptions of the events:
Thursday, March 12th: Fifth Annual PreCommerce Summit – It will be a series of 10 minute TED-style talks, panels, and fire side chats. Speakers below
As you can imagine, space is limited at these events so please make sure to RSVP soon. And if you do RSVP and decide after that you can’t make it, please be courteous and let us/me know that your slot is available.
“SXSW may be becoming more corporate, but CES is becoming more social” – WCG’s Aaron Strout summing up CES 2013
The first Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held in 1967. Back then, only big businesses had the need, and the budget, for computers. Even in 1984, when my cousin Jenny got her first computer, no one in her family knew how to use it and did not come with a monitor. Much has changed since then, obviously, and not just in terms of the hardware.
As social has taken over the marketplace in the last five-to-seven years, the exhibitors at CES have been able to gain valuable insights into the wants and needs of consumers and businesses. Fluid communication in a “digitally-connected world” through social media, mobile connectivity, and cloud computing is paramount. Yes, it is true; CES has always been focused on “a digitally-connected world” and they have probably been using that term since 1967, as well. What has changed is how these companies go about bringing their products to market. The status quo used to be set by the large OEMs: “Here…we’ve created a piece of hardware and the software to run it. Have at it.” Now, thanks to this socially, digitally, connected world, the voice of the people – do you hear the people sing?—and the tools to listen (that’s where we come in), are influencing the marketplace in a way that demands action. Big brands glean inspiration from the social world, and, at the same time, take responsibility for leading the movement.
The most newsworthy products at CES 2013 varied across the board from small start-ups to big businesses. For those of you who were not able to make it to Las Vegas for 2013’s edition of CES, please find below highlights of product launches and announcements:
Samsung unveiled their $20,000 UN85S9 85 inch Ultra HD Quad Core TV, featuring a new upright easel design, while the world’s largest UHD TV, the Westinghouse 110 UHD, was also on display. Flexible Displays
Samsung’s Youm Flexible Screen for smartphones and tablets was a part of Samsung’s keynote. Corning debuted their Willow Glass, a flexible display soon to be in tablets, smartphones, TVs.
Both Samsung and LG showcased curved OLED TVs. The semi-circular shape is designed to provide a more immersive, panoramic experience than a traditional flat panel set, and also provide a wider viewing angle. Fitness/Lifestyle Tech
Withings’ Bluetooth-enabled Smart Activity Tracker is the first to track heart rate. Additionally, there is now a robot for cleaning pools, iRobot’s Mirra530 and one for cleaning windows, the Winbot. Swimmers can finally listen to music underwater with the Sony Waterproof Walkman, available in stores for only $99.
Kickstarter’s most successfully-funded product, the Pebble Smartwatch, gained attention as the new product debuted at CES. The smartwatch syncs directly with Android or iOS smartphones providing information like Facebook updates, text messages, music controls, and of course the time. Another watch on display was the I’m Watch, an Italian Android-based smartwatch with similar features as the Pebble, touting “The World’s 1st Smartwatch” title. There is an imminent cross-over with the functionality of the smartwatches and the activity trackers like the Nike Fuel Band and the Fitbit Flex. The trend seems to be going towards the merging these two products into the same category in the coming years. Weird & Wonderful HAPIfork is a smartfork that syncs with a smartphone app to monitor a person’s eating habits, while The Node, from Variable Techonologies can take body temperature and even scan for home improvements. The Node works using a Bluetooth-enabled sensor that looks like a mini-flashlight.
News & Announcements: Qualcomm’s Paul Jacobs was the first non-Microsoft opening keynote ever at CES (Microsoft pulled out as the lead sponsor); which speaks volumes about Qualcomm’s desire to get on the radar of consumers for the first time. They launched a marketing campaign, “Born Mobile” to capture the hearts and minds of attendees. The biggest announcement Qualcomm made at the show was the next generation Snapdragon Premium Mobile Processors for high-end mobile computing. Paul Jacobs’ keynote highlighted several partners using the new technology. He also shared the stage with a tricked out, custom-modified electric Rolls Royce to preview Qualcomm’s Halo wireless charging technology, which will debut later in the year.
Even though Microsoft did not attend in an official way, they did participate with sponsors. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer joined Qualcomm’s Paul Jacobs for its opening keynote, and Microsoft’s Chief Technology Strategy Officer, Eric Rudder, joined the Samsung keynote to showcase the IllumiRoom technology. Microsoft gave select journalists a preview of its upcoming Surface Pro tablet with Windows 8, receiving positive reviews.