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Amazon’s Ad Business Jumped 95% Last Quarter. This CMO Tells You Why.

Amazon reported record revenue and profit last week in a monster $72.4 billion quarter. One of the fastest-growing segments, however, is not traditional retail. It’s advertising. Perhaps not shockingly, when you have 100+ million Prime subscribers and hundreds of millions of web and mobile customers, you can charge brands for access to them. That’s why Amazon’s “other”

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We asked 1500 marketers how they choose ad networks, and the answer was ‘all of the above’

Is it scale? Quality? Lack of fraud? Personal service, or a great digital experience? Amazing technology? Or perhaps a tight focus on your particular niche? We recently asked 1,500 marketers a simple question: How do you choose ad networks? And what are the most important elements of that decision? According to the responses, it’s pretty much all

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Sonos Adds YouTube Music In 21 Countries, Continues Quest To Get All Music Available On Sonos

You don’t have to actually watch music videos to listen to music from YouTube anymore. Starting today, paid subscribers to YouTube Music can add their subscription to their Sonos systems. This is just the latest step in Sonos’ strategy: letting customers play any music from any source. Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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Apple Most-Admired Global Company, Says Fortune (Amazon #2, Google #7, Alibaba #34, Facebook #44)

For the second year in a row, Apple is the world’s most-admired company, according to a Fortune survey of 3,750 business executives, directors, and analysts. But this might change next year. Why? Apple’s financials — and iPhone sales — have changed dramatically in the last two months. Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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Apple Expands Certified Refurbished iPhone Program To Back Market

Apple certified refurbished iPhones are now available via a third party. This is a big sign that after Apple’s recent quarterly report and massive stock slide, it’s not business as usual in Cupertino. Apple is starting to work a lot harder to move product. Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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This Dutch Startup Converts Heat Into Cold Via A Stirling Engine, And Could Just Save The Planet

By 2050, almost six billion air conditioners could eat 37% of global electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. That’s because as India and China get richer — and the planet gets hotter — people around the globe are buying A/C units at levels approaching the United States. This is an environmental catastrophe waiting to happen. But one

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AR Cloud Chaos: Competing Releases Of ARcore And ARkit Spawn Mass Confusion, Huge “Traffic” Jams

June 2, 2037 This is the seventh chapter of Insights from the Future, a book I’m writing about technology, innovation, and people … from the perspective of the future. It is a collaborative exercise, and you are invited to participate. More details below the story. Urban Americans are experience massive delays and enormous frustration while traveling today

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Auto Telematics Catch A Killer: VR Re-Creation Of Accident Results In Conviction

August 3, 2025 This is the sixth chapter of Insights from the Future, a book I’m writing about technology, innovation, and people … from the perspective of the future. It is a collaborative exercise, and you are invited to participate. More details below the story. The Mounties always get their man? Now smart self-driving cars are playing

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Mr. Tomorrow: CES CEO Gary Shapiro On Tech, Jobs, Self-Driving Cars, AI, Robots, And Everything Else

CES is over. 180,000 people, 3 million square feet of display space, and armies of robots, gadgets, electronic gewgaws, and everything in between hit Vegas like a heavyweight’s uppercut last week. But where’s all this avalanche of modernity going? I spent 30 minutes with the titan of tech, Gary Shapiro, to get his opinion. Shapiro is the

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Google vs Amazon At CES: The Battle For The Future Of Voice (And Computing)

LAS VEGAS–Google was everywhere at CES 2019. Amazon was in everything. The two giants of voice-based artificially-intelligent smart-home-controlling personal assistants attacked CES this year like a hungry Mike Tyson chomping an ear. Like Eisenhower opening the second front. Or a hungry kid charging for candy. In other words: it was an all-out assault. But the

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Live with Joel Comm

So I had a fun hour or so with Joel going live about CES, technology, robots, and all things Vegas. You can check out the livestream here: I was a little late … because time zones :-). I pop in at about the 7 minute mark.

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Consumer Electronics Show 2019: A Lucky 13 Amazing, Odd And Wonderful Things To Expect At CES

CES is a beast. A monster that cannot be tamed. One of the biggest trade shows on the planet, Consumer Electronics Show hits Las Vegas this week. And I mean hits like Holyfield, with 182,000 attendees, 2.5 million square feet of exhibition space, and 24 categories from drones to sleeptech to smart cities to driverless cars.

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I Tried The $800 Robot Suitcase So You Won’t Have To

LAS VEGAS–The artificially intelligent $800 suitcase that’s also a robot with cameras and GPS tracking is real. It exists. I just tried it so you wouldn’t have to. “The suitcase has cameras and sees just like you do,” says Yaxin Guan, the COO of Beijing-based ForwardX, which makes the smart suitcase. “It also has collision avoidance.”

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WikiBrands video podcast: ‘The Emerging 30 Technologies’

Was super-pumped to be a guest on WikiBrands’ latest podcast — and first of 2019 — focused on 30 hot emerging technologies. The podcast is usually available here, but I’ve embedded the YouTube video …

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2019 Trends: Kicking of the new year on Mobile Groove podcast with Peggy Anne Salz

Was super-pumped to record the FIRST PODCAST OF THE YEAR for MobileGroove with Peggy Anne Salz. She always does an amazing job … and this was a ton of fun. A quick peak at our conversation: Mobile is as personal as it gets, and smart products power fiercely personal interactions between brands and consumers. Together

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How 1 Company Went From Zero To 22M Users With $0 In Venture Capital

How do you start a company and run it to tens of millions of users without accepting venture capital? The answer, for Powtoon, is viral growth.  The tough three in growing a company are product-market fit, scalability, and growth, but often growth is the one that consumes the most cash. And after achieving product-marketing fit and building

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What is customer empathy? 9 industry experts weigh in

Customer experience is critical. I recently contributed to a post in User Testing Blog on the topic. Here’s what I had to say: “Customer empathy means walking the same path your customers are taking: living their pain, feeling their needs, and deeply understanding the solutions that will work. That’s why the best products are often

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5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Will Continue to Shape Marketing

Just had the opportunity to contribute to a AdWeek post on AI and marketing … here’s the part I was quoted for: There’s an unfavorable inequity in the marketing-AI economy for brands currently. The money brands spend actually pays for improvements to other companies’ machine intelligence. As martech analyst John Koetsier puts it, “Google’s getting

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Top apps of 2018

Sometimes video is better. So, I went live on Periscope to talk about the top apps of 2018. Check out the 4-minute video right here …

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AirPods 2.0 Wish List: 18 Wishes Apple Fans Have For The Next AirPods

Rumor to the contrary, AirPods 2.0 are still in the future — probably spring — and the promised AirPower, Apple’s wireless charging system announced over a year ago, is as well. I’ve used my AirPods since the day they were released, and absolutely love their simplicity and functionality. But it’s time for an upgrade. What

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Scaling mobile growth: How smart marketers pay 37% less and get 60% more

The cold hard reality of mobile marketing is that the rich get richer and the smart get smarter. That sounds unfair, but there is a sunny side up: nearly every mobile marketer has a shot at success. But achieve breakout mobile growth isn’t easy. Among other things, it requires prioritizing what already know you should be doing, but aren’t. Cold

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Blockchain For Business: This Startup Thinks It Solves All Of Blockchain’s Worst Problems

It’s likely that you didn’t wake up this morning and think: What the world really needs is yet another blockchain protocol. And, of course, another cryptocurrency. And yet, look where we are. Bitcoin and Ethereum are free-falling in value. Proof of work has been exposed as an environmental catastrophe. In spite of numerous efforts to

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Jeff Pulver Has Invested In 400 Startups. Here’s His Rock Band Theory Of Entrepreneurs

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA–Vonage co-founder and voice-over-IP pioneer Jeff Pulver has invested in over 400 startups. If the secret of getting good at something is doing it over and over again, he should be pretty good by now. Today he shared his rock band theory of startup teams at TechBeach Retreatin Jamaica. “If I take a meeting

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How Slack Became The Fastest-Growing Enterprise Software Ever

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA–With $1.2 billion in investment, 8 million active users, and 3 million paid users, Slack went from a failed gaming startup to one of the highest-value startups in the world. And, unprecedented penetration in enterprise. How? Get the full story in my post at Forbes …

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300 Billion Ads Say We’re Not Marketing When We Should Be (For Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas Too)

I just studied 300B ad impressions, 9B clicks, 400M app installs, and $1.1 billion in marketing spend by hundreds of marketers over an entire year. The key thing I found? Marketers need to be flexible and adaptable to rapidly changing conditions including cost and consumer interest, because they shift weekly and even daily in the holiday season.

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MasterCard: 4 Retail Verticals That Will Massively Outperform On Cyber Monday

It’s Cyber Monday, the opposite of “buy nothing” day, and Adobe estimates that we’ll hit about $8 billion in online sales today after a record Black Friday that saw the most mobile sales of any day in U.S. history. So which categories will be hot today? According to MasterCard, which processes billions of dollars in sales

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Record Mobile Sales Hit $2B On Biggest Black Friday Ever: ‘BOPIS’ Growing Fast

Mobile sale in the U.S. hit a new record as consumers purchased more than $2 billion straight from their phones — almost a third of all e-commerce sales on the traditional shopping holiday. Total online revenue hit $6.22 billion, according to Adobe. That’s up 17% from last year. The mobile sales are a convincing sign

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The Great Crypto Crash Of 2018

What’s interesting to me about the Great Crypto Crash Of 2018 … everyone should realize that money is a collective fantasy. As soon as we stop believing in it, any kind of currency loses its value decentralization has a complexity cost which is a natural barrier to entry decentralization expands the threat envelope which is

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Salesforce: 40% Of 2018’s Retail Revenue Will Happen This Week During Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The coming Thanksgiving weekend is going to be huge, says Salesforce. So big that almost half of retailers’ annual revenue will come in this one massive Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday weekend. Mobile will be key. So will AI, for perhaps the first time, as smart systems are helping to drive more than a

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Adobe Analytics Challenge in Lehi, Utah

I had an amazing two-day trip to Lehi, Utah a few weeks ago for Adobe Analytics Challenge. Essentially, Adobe and T-Mobile set hundreds of MBA student teams loose on real, live, actual T-Mobile analytics in Adobe Experience Cloud, and the top 10 teams vied for a $25,000 top prize at the event. I had the

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