Magazine article Information Today

SIIA Summit: A Tech Forecast

Magazine article Information Today

SIIA Summit: A Tech Forecast

Article excerpt

The 300-plus attendees at The Software & Information Industry Association's (SIIA) Information Industry Summit (IIS) took their seats at a new venue on Manhattan's waterfront on Pier Sixty this year.

The 2-day conference in late January is always the harbinger of trends and economic indicators in the industry for the coming year. Keynoter Michael Chen, former president of NBC News' Strategic Initiatives Group and co-founder of the Peacock Equity Fund at GE Capital, kicked off the Buyers & Sellers Take Control theme divulging the five top secrets of a media investor: 1) Keep your eye on smartphones, tablets, and video, three technologies that are changing the way we do business. After all, "Positive feedback is obvious. Consumers vote with their wallets."; 2) Create a simple communication strategy, he says; "People buy things they understand."; 3) Don't just be an innovator; be an entrepreneur. "See around corners and anticipate demand."; 4) Understand the language of your investors. "Finance is the language of business."; and 5) Investors invest in people, especially those they like. "Build a personal brand that people trust. If you build it, investors will come."

Conference chair James Kollegger, CEO of Genesys Partners, Inc., moderated the panel discussion on the Clash of the Titans: How the Collision of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google Will Impact the Information Industry. Ken Auletta, author of Googled: The End of the World as We Know It, teamed up with Adam Lashinsky, author of the new book Inside Apple: How America's Most Admired--and Secretive--Company Really Works; Pat Kenealy, managing director of IDG Ventures; and Scott Kurnit, self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur, for a look at the impact that the four titans will have this year. The consensus was that there is room for more than one business model in the playing field, and these big players will continue to share their domination of the market. From Lashinsky's perspective, Apple is undergoing major changes after the death of iconic techno leader Steve Jobs. The future of Apple now rests in Tim Cook's hands as the one who decides the "institutional culture of excellence." And as Kurnit said, the titans are beginning to create more content in addition to hardware, and the fighting among the titans could benefit all of us in the long run.

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Mark Anderson, CEO of Strategic News Service, LLC, put his tech predictions to the test this year, offering a list of the noteworthy people, products, and processes to watch. On top of his list are: big changes will continue to influence the economic stability of Europe, China, Japan, Russia, and Mexico ("You can't sell things to people who don't have money. …

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