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COVID as catalyst for digital transformation 

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It’s both hard and easy to believe that the sentiment “Digital will become the core” still attracts a lot of attention in 2020. It’s hard to believe: Isn’t that the pivot we have all been making for more than twenty years? But it’s easy to believe when we experience interactions with enterprise companies that are mired in literal paperwork and cumbersome processes that clearly require a digital...

AI summit takeaways

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For several years I’ve served on the business council for Glasswing, an early stage venture firm focused on AI and frontier tech. Working with Glasswing has broadened my knowledge of where AI is currently viable, particularly its application under the hood in marketing technology. Three takeaways from their recent annual summit at MIT Media Lab: AI ethics are top of mind everywhere. Forget...

Talking digital problem solving with Postlight

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Fun to do this Track Changes podcast with the Postlight team. In this episode, Paul Ford and Rich Ziade mock a bunch of CxO titles, and then dig in on the hard slog of marketing knowledge and learning. In the end, I make the case for closer collaboration between marketing and product teams.

New from Pew: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humans

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Almost every event I’ve been to lately — whether it’s within the marketing, technology, or social entrepreneurship communities — raises both the inevitability and the risks of  artificial intelligence. There’s a lot of excitement and trepidation, and early consideration about where the responsibility for ethical AI resides. A new Pew report captures some of those...

Translating startup-speak for the corporate buyer

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Startups salivate at the prospect of entering the enterprise — and for good reason. The enterprise is rife with legacy systems and circuitous processes that frustrate employees and hinder results — and the startup has just the perfect product to fix the problem. Too often though, the pitch to the enterprise falls flat …

How to build a cross-team content engine

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Bringing teams together to work on enterprise content products requires intentional and consistent effort. It’s hard to get people sitting in different silos to collaborate, and it’s crucial to gain executive buy-in for an investment in content strategy. Confab 2018 invited me to share some of the approaches I’ve used to break down barriers and garner support for content...

The care and feeding of your chatbot: Conversational interfaces demand a content strategy

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Suddenly, we’re surrounded. From internet-enabled speakers to just-in-time text messages to AI-powered bots of all flavors, we have daily interactions through conversational user interactions. And as with any technology in its infancy, many of those interactions are flawed. How do you begin to create well-designed conversational interactions that take into account both the intent and context?

Lessons from Boise: What colleges can teach us about fostering innovation

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Students are natural idea generators. Exposed to new concepts, people, and settings, students are in a learning mindset and readily apply their minds to solving problems on campus, locally, and even globally. But how can campuses build on this natural inclination to help students take their ideas a step further?

Frictionless in Seattle: Embracing the panopticon of Amazon Go

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On the final evening of its first week open to the public, the Amazon Go store still drew lines of eager customers. The lines were staffed by employees in orange parkas, who cheerfully engaged with shoppers and handed out high-quality, reusable bags. And the wait was short: no more than five minutes in the Seattle drizzle.

Your project failed. Now what?

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Failing once in a while is a good sign. While failure can certainly come from inattention or poor decision-making, it often is associated with experimentation and innovation. No one seeks out the sting of a failure and its repercussions, but smart professionals embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and improve.

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