Visionary, dedicated, and disciplined are three words that are often used to describe Aaron Shapiro. Over the last decade, Shapiro has worked as a technology entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and management consultant. These days, he leads the team at the A-list digital agency Huge, which is known for its groundbreaking creative projects like HBO GO and the Pepsi Refresh campaign. Aaron joined the company in 2005, when there were about five people working out of the Brooklyn office. Since then, the firm has expanded to more than 500 people and there are now offices in Los Angeles, London, and Rio de Janeiro. (San Francisco is next, as are "more global locations," according to Shapiro.) More »
Take a look at the first-class section on any airplane today; it’s full of corporate leaders lugging around Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography, searching for insights they can use to make their companies as successful as Apple.
Here’s all they need to know: when Jonathan Ive, leader of Apple’s design team, was asked about the company’s goals when setting out to build a new product, he answered simply, “To design and make better products; if we can't make something that is better, we won't do it.” More »
These days, every established company is at risk of having its industry--and its own business--disrupted by a startup. Cognizant of this, companies devote a lot of time to talking about how important it is to innovate. But here’s the truth: most companies can’t innovate because everyone is paid to maintain the status quo. More »
The past 15 years have created a very different business environment, which has empowered consumers, commoditized many products and services, and dramatically compressed margins. Not surprisingly, these changes have forced businesses to operate differently. But exactly what kinds of companies have successfully transitioned to the digital age? How have they regained and retained competitive advantage at a time when location is no longer a barrier to transactions, brands alone aren’t a proxy for quality, and pricing is increasingly transparent? More »
Outside of the technology sector, most of the large companies that I encounter are startlingly similar. They're massively successful, indisputably recognized as world-class leaders by consumers and the business community. Their executives are all quite smart and good at what they do. They acknowledge the world is going through a technological revolution and that digital technologies are transforming their businesses. They know that to stay up to par, they have to lead in the Internet space, too. But for some reason they just can't get it done. More »
In early November, as part of the promotion of my book about how businesses need to evolve to survive in the digital age, I asked, “Is Kodak the next company to get sunk by the Internet?” Turns out, the answer is a resounding yes—and I don’t even think a Chapter 11 reorganization and the $950 million in financing from Citigroup will keep it breathing. More »
Looking back at 2011, I see a year where pragmatism replaced hype, where show beat tell, where consumers, the tech community and the marketing industry stepped away from preconceived notions and toward a new reality, where actions spoke louder than words. More »
Once upon a time, Research in Motion was the world's leading smartphone company. Armies of executives were loyal to their “crackberries.” It had a stock price that wouldn't quit.
Fast forward a few years and its failed tablet has caused RIM to miss its third-quarter revenue target. It’s been weighed down by lengthy network outages. Legions of people are ditching BBMs for iMessages and abandoning Blackberry keyboards for Android keyboards. Speculation over RIM’s demise hits the press daily, and I’m sure many news outlets already have drafted its obituary.
But there's still time for RIM to save itself and recapture its former glory. How? It's time to get up off the floor, stop wasting time with me-too products and finally build a product that’s better than the iPhone. More »