March 22, 2017
In the data and information space irony sometimes lands on our doorsteps. Take, for example, Outsell’s Information Industry Headlines from March 8: Answers filed for bankruptcy while Alexa joined hands with WebMD to offer medical advice. I remember when Answers was a shiny new object in the dot-com era — ask a question, get an answer. I mean, how simple is that? They were curated answers, and humans might have been involved, how quaint. Fast forward nearly two decades and two headlines on opposing axes about companies providing similar services appeared on the same day.  Answers went by the...
March 20, 2017
As IBM CEO, Ginny Rometty, took to the stage at HIMMS (the biggest Health IT Trade Show in the United States), news emerged that IBM Watson’s highly publicized venture with MD Anderson had hit the skids. How unfortunate. I don’t wish that on any CEO, let alone a leader I respect tremendously. It’s nearly impossible to turn on a dime, and getting an elephant like IBM to turn during a time of tremendous disruption requires courage, conviction, and the ability to see around corners few can. That is a challenge for any visionary and something to admire. A few days later, the Wall Street Journal ...
March 16, 2017
In January, LinkedIn redesigned itself. So far, reactions are mixed. The most noticeable change is to user feeds, which increasingly resemble Facebook’s. As LinkedIn’s head of experience, Amy Parnell, noted, “We’re a social network, Facebook is a social network. The types and interactions and behaviors you see on the platforms are similar.” The new LinkedIn also takes cues from Google, (Top, People, Jobs, Posts, Companies, Groups, Schools), echoing Google's search results tabs. It’s an effective redesign, instantly identifiable as LinkedIn, with a search-oriented interface that acknowledges...
March 10, 2017
Another fledgling cryptocurrency is looking to make its mark. Unlike Bitcoin (which just soared past the price of gold) and other altcoins, this cryptocurrency has the backing of an entire nation. That’s right, the Chinese government is busy converting its national currency, the Renminbi (RMB), to a digital currency. It could rollout as early as this year and may point to decreased need for credit information in the country. One does not simply convert paper money into ones and zeros on a distributed ledger, so how will this work? Working closely with China’s Ministry of Finance, the PBOC...
February 23, 2017
The world is all atwitter, lit up about an odd year at Uber, which didn’t turn out to be so odd by Silicon Valley standards. The bro-culture persists. How ironic, my last post was about how poorly our industry is doing when it comes to recruiting women, while here in the Valley we’re treating a lot of them like dirt. Our Valley today is like Detroit in its heyday and Hollywood in its. Any industry at the top of the heap, changing the world, and largely run by men has a dark ugly underbelly. Now, it’s tech central’s turn. With all the hand-wringing and outrage, things flare up and then die...
February 21, 2017
While we keep hearing about diversity, inclusion, and the need for greater representation at the top in corporations, our industry’s leadership, by far, is not putting its money where its mouth is. We took some heat after Outsell’s 10th Anniversary Signature Event this past October, because we didn’t have more women on the podium. You see, our plan for that special event, which we executed, was to invite the CEOs of the industry’s largest companies from each sector. As people asked me where the women were, I had to say, “I can influence our industry’s leadership, but I am not responsible for...
February 15, 2017
Many moons ago, as we tracked how marketers’ spending moved away from advertising and into direct-to-consumer or direct-to-professional activity, we remarked that with everyone having a website anyone could go direct to their market. People looked at us askance until our metrics proved that marketers were moving over $60 billion of spend away from traditional spend categories and into their own websites, their own events, and their own social activities. At the time, we said that advertising would give way to commerce and wrote a report on two main mechanisms for publishers to claw back that...
February 7, 2017
Forget March madness. It’s all about AI and machine learning. Remember dot.com, anyone? How about portal? Or Web 2.0? How about convergence? Coming down from Outsell’s DataMoney Conference, it’s clear the world is all about all data all the time, and the buzzwords de jour are machine learning and AI. Want to add a few points to your valuation? Call yourself a machine learning company. Say you are the AI for … fill in the blank. Venture capitalists at the event reinforced that SaaS is so yesterday. If you really want points, call yourself a machine learning platform that delivers AI solutions...
February 3, 2017
Heading home from Outsell’s DataMoney … Wow, what an amazing experience. Thanks to all for making it a success. We can’t wait to see you next year. Sign-ups are already beginning, and more than one person told us it’ll be double in size next year. Outsell’s Hugh Byrne and Michael Balsam jested that Outsell is “making data great again.”  Gotta love it.   For those who missed it, here’s your rundown of the many things we covered:  A is for amazing. B is for the business of data. C is for the cognitive enterprise, and the data driven solutions making it happen. D is for, well, data — all data,...
February 1, 2017
Two headlines this week and one comment from an Outsell Leadership Council member, made me wonder why all the hype about products and services for millennials. “I’m so over millennials’’ was the quote that came my way over email. That day, and unrelated, LexisNexis launched a “new academic research solution designed for millennials” and the Washington Post launched Lily — a news, issues and community platform for millennial women. But is all this singling out of a generation prudent? I’m not so sure. First, generational cohorts are generally defined as having the same attributes. Specific...

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