I'm a partner in the advanced analytics group at Bain & Company, the global management consulting firm. My primary focus is on marketing analytics (bio). I've been writing here (views my own) about marketing, technology, e-business, and analytics since 2003 (blog name explained).

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June 27, 2009

Future Forward "What's Next In Tech": "DARC" Days Ahead

Thursday evening I attended Future Forwards' "What's Next In Tech: Exploring The Growth Opportunities of 2009 and Beyond" at the BU School Of Management.  The second of the evening's two panels (moderated with usual aplomb by Scott Kirsner) included Hubspot CEO Brian Halligan.  Brian described the criteria Hubspot uses as part of its hiring process using the acronym "DARC":

  • Digital natives -- active presences in a number of places on the Web
  • Analytic -- not just comfortable with, but passionate about data and the tools to play with them 
  • Reach -- their digital presences have a large number of friends and followers that potentially help Hubspot's viral marketing efforts 
  • Content creators -- their digital contributions provide signs of intelligent life 
Very useful and memorable.  Also, echoed the "Show, don't tell" philosophy we had at ArsDigita a decade ago.

Brian noted the emergence of Boston as a center of digital marketing thought leadership, citing (among others) local heroes David Meerman Scott, Chris Brogan, and Paul Gillin, and mentioning firms like Communispace and Crimson Hexagon (where my friend Ms. Perry Hewitt was the first CMO before leaving a few weeks ago to lead online communications for Harvard University).

So what did the panelists think would be the opportunities to track going forward (generally, and in Massachusetts in particular)?  My notes (please correct any inaccuracies and ommissions):

  • Tim Healy, (CEO Enernoc and our former landlord in Contact Networks' early days -- thanks Tim!) -- Water
  • Brian -- (seconding Michael Greeley) -- Connected Healthcare
  • Ellen Rubin -- Business Intelligence (naturally, I agree) 
  • Helen Greiner -- Cloud Computing 
  • Mike Dornbrook  -- Smart Grids (After my recent MITX judging experience I think there's lots of possibilities here too!)
  • Neal Sequeira (GC VC who backed video at network Scanscout, another piece of the ArsDigita diaspora) -- The "real-time web" (here's what I think that could mean)
  • Michael Greeley -- robotics specifically, "connected healthcare" via the intersection of robotics and healthcare digitization/ informatics more generally 
  • Bijan Sabet -- Education (specifically mentioned using online games to teach, citing 8D World as an example)
Pet peeve of the evening: student entrepreneurs who complain that VCs don't do enough to reach out to student entrepreneurs.  Kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy if they keep at it, no?  "Capture-it-in-a-bottle" moment of the evening: Scott Kirsner disarming said student as "cranky".


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