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.

Sears, Eddie Lampert and the Wolves of Yellowstone

Sears is a dying retailer, with a business model that is unable to adapt and compete in the new digital-first world. As it sells off its real estate, retail nameplates and product brands, it clears the way for a new breed. LIke the wolves of Yellowstone, Eddie Lampert is doing the industry a favor. (March 2017)

Internet Finance, Big Data and Privacy

Over the past few years we've seen tumult in the traditional financial services industry and the rise of a host of new internet finance players that are taking advantage of direct relationships with consumers, mobile and social applications and advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. However the elephant in the room is privacy - with such large amounts of sensitive personal data at the hear of these systems what role does privacy have to play in the relatively new field of internet finance? (November 2016)

Developing Data Products, A Methodology

Technically speaking, a ‘data product’ is an insight or tool created out of existing or purposely acquired raw data that can be used to improve decision making, generally by clients, consumers or other organizations. This post discusses where they come from and where they should go to.

Getting to 'No'

After 12 years spent as a Product Manager working for Enterprise Software, Startups, blue-chip retailers and financial services companies and advising many more, I have been able to boil it all down to one key skill - the ability to say 'No'. This post explains why 'No' is the one word that product managers need to be able to say with authority and comfort knowing that it will be well received (October 2011)

The Walmart - Jet.com story hints at the new ecommerce infrastructure

Walmart's interest in Jet.com led me to a 2013 Patent that might describe the e-commerce infrastructure that enables Jet to offer 'Gain Sharing'. Jet is able to take a large number of independent variables from a broad range of systems and bring them together to set a discounted price at the the cart. (August 2016)

First steps in creating a #DataAnalytics function

I recently answered a post on Quora: I was tasked to build the first data analysis unit in my company, what should I do?

So I’d first be asking why. What is being expected of you and the team you will be building? Which decisions will your insights be informing? What will be done differently as a result of the analysis you provide.

The beginning of Data Strategy, four key lessons

Having worked on data strategy projects for some large and very large enterprises I have encountered many different business contexts for an organization to think strategically about their data. Here are some important considerations that should be made at the outset:

A Data Strategy Primer

Opportunities in Data

Making the optimal business decision, whether at a strategic or an operational level requires information – and that information needs to be timely, accurate and at the right level. The raw data that will be used to generate that information can live in different systems, different functions and even different companies (i.e. outside the organization). Today, new insights will deliver competitive advantage – and those insights will be delivered out of data as the raw material.

The Asymmetry of Personal Data

There is an asymmetry between personal data held by companies and by the individual consumer. Companies know a lot about us, we don't know much at all -- even about what they know. What's the right balance and are we on our way there? (June 2013)

Beyond Omni-Channel

Omni-Channel retailing seems to be all the rage these days - aligning assortment, centralizing inventory and providing a seamless customer experience. However, there are a number of interesting startups that are innovating beyond the current Omni-channel paradigms (March 2013)

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