Most of us can see the “X” and “Y” but few can see the “Z” or in between space. Read between the lines. Connect the dots. Build an intuitive understanding of a market, demographic, technology or opportunity. Get the light bulbs of others to pop-on by sparking ideas.
Trying to always see the z-space has been at the heart of my strategic strength and makes up for all of those places where we’re weak—something we all struggle with I’m certain. Though I’m still not sure why, I often sense a trend before I embark on analysis to see if what I’m “smelling” is real or not.
Since 2005 I’ve been the CEO of Marketing Directions, Inc., a trend forecasting, consulting and publishing firm in Minnesota. Prior to that I was Vice President, Strategic Alliances at Lawson Software in St. Paul where I was responsible for all partnerships at this major vendor of enterprise resource planning software products and services.
Today, I’m focusing my efforts on our trend consulting business (specifically the “Innov8Trends” practice), working with executives and leaders in public and private companies on next generation Internet and Web technologies and solutions (client list confidential). I also speak to business, industry, trade and affinity groups on many aspects of the Internet, Web and social media, its impact, the meaning behind the technology and how to leverage it for value creation.
I’ve spent my career in high technology beginning at the dawn of the personal computer business, extending in to the multimedia and interactive media spaces and culminating in the acceleration of digital communications in the internet arena with firms as diverse as Pioneer New Media, Panasonic Communications & Systems Company, Apple and Vignette (now part of Open Text).
In 2005 while at Lawson Software (prior to being acquired by Infor), I began to recognize the acceleration in development of the next phase of the internet (dubbed “Web 2.0“). Knowing that the key way to build an intuitive understanding of the shift in human communications and “cloud” computing underway (i.e., Web applications hosted elsewhere), I opted to jump in by embracing social media technologies through blogging (“Connecting the Dots” blog begun in 2004), podcasting, social networks, and other key directional trends.
Seeing the connections between technological and social trends, my strength in strategy, ideation and communication was, and is, the catalyst driving the Innov8Trends consulting practice.
Education, Ongoing Involvements and Learning: Business Administration at the University of Minnesota and Finance at DePaul University, is past president of the International Interactive Communications Society and currently involved in numerous internet-centric networks and associations in the Web and social media space. Run the blog Minnov8 with three buddies (my “Gang”) where we podcast weekly on technology stories affecting Minnesota.
I also follow more than 300 thought leading bloggers and key industry sources — over 2,000 articles daily in order to stay abreast of as many developments online. They comprise some of the “dots” I try to connect and I hope you find this blog interesting and worthwhile.