Pondering Personal Data, Online Privacy and the eCommerce Experience while I wait for the Semantic Web to arrive. I am a co-founder of First Retail Inc. - a bootstrapped startup in the Bay Area of California working to leverage semantic web technologies to improve the online commerce experience.

Rock Paper Scissors for Digital Businesses

The growth of Social Media has elevated identity, privacy and big data to become vital topics for CIOs and CMOs of online businesses. Looking deeper into legislative, consumer and technology trends, I see the challenges for the post-digital organization as: Privacy, Ownership and Persistence. 'Rock, Paper, Scissors' provides a handy metaphor to describe the challenges faced by post-digital businesses. (January 2013)

Semantic Retail

Why would a retailer care about the semantic web, surely this is just another technology fad that the IT department can distract itself with instead of delivering faster transaction systems or more accurate and up-to-date reports? Not so. If fact it turns out semantic technology may enable robust solutions to your retail business users' most pressing problems. (December 2011)

Data Alchemy

I've spent the last 10 years messing with someone or other's data and helping turn it into shareholder value - from multi-national Fortune 100 companies to tiny bootstrapped startups and with full-scale Enterprise Business Intelligence to just a few guys and a machine-learning algorithm in the cloud. There's a common thread running though the most successful cases - these are the companies that really nailed it. (November 2011)

The Value Added Aggregator

Retailing has been with us for as long as we can remember. Aggregation and Comparison Sites are today's drivers of traffic and how consumers search for products. Vendor Relationship Management (VRM) has yet to take off bringing the ability for consumers to interact with vendors of products. Do retailers need to behave more like aggregators, particularly as they grow their marketplaces? How are retailers gradually and perhaps unconsciously beginning to adopt VRM practices?
(July 2011)

Five for Five - 5 Retail Trends 2011-2016

The Retail industry continues to evolve, shaped by the business environment, advanced through technology and at the whim of global tradewinds. Whether it is consumers that initiate the change or that retailers force change upon the consumer can be debated, but it is the change that is inevitable. The question is what will those changes look like? (May 2011)

When Online Reputations Attack

According to this article on BargainBabe.com it is possible to trick the airlines into giving you a cheap flight by getting off the plane at a layover point. In an age of Security Checkpoints, Data Mining and Social Networks the implications of this could be deeper than you might guess (May 2011)

VRM, Fourth Party and the Empowered Consumer

What happens when you reverse the marketing funnel and you allow a consumer to specify exactly what they want? So a merchant or manufacturer would be able to go to the market and ask 'who is looking for this item at this price at this location?' and will obtain a list of qualified buyers. A number of ideologies and start-ups are taking advantage of web-technology to allow consumers to publish their needs and wants - will the end-result be a new breed of electronically enabled 'middle-men'? (April 2011)

MapReduce, Big Data... I'm confused

I'm feeling a little like Goldilocks and her porridge at the moment - some of the explanations are toooooo complicated and others are tooooo simple - and nothing was just right... and then I found it - so just wanting to share. (February 2011)

Removing the Friction in News Media

The effects of Social Media have been felt by traditional News Media for some time. Traditional eCommerce Sites maybe about to feel the same effects from technology -centric startups. An experience with the New York times led me to think about how news sites should examine possible friction points and work on ways of removing them

A Retail Christmas Carol

Times are a-changing and each Holiday season brings with it technology innovations and whole new models for retail businesses. Consumers will expect more and to stay competitive, merchants will need to deliver on promise.

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