The NetForum organizes small events to discuss critical topics affecting the digital economy. The world is full of big events where one sits in the audience, passively, listening to experts. But many digital executives are living digital transformation in real time and have insights to share and questions to contribute. The NetForum is a place for them to exchange views with other digital combatants, in a structured discussion, where everyone is able to contribute ideas and express their views.
NetForum events are limited to 30 invitees gathered in an intimate setting for a 2-hour discussion. The moderator (Laurent Ohana) prepares for the meetings with one or two invited experts and orchestrates the meetings, dropping provocative questions, calling on participants to speak and ensuring the discussion flows to explore a topic fully. Following the events, a key learnings summary of the discussion is sent to the NetForum mailing list and followers.
Invitations are only sent to senior executives of digital economy companies, from expansion stage startups to digital divisions of large corporates. Each discussion group is a self-selecting group of people who are interested in the topic of discussion and have been exposed to The NetForum by word of mouth. Contacts are made, opportunities uncovered but there are no investment or sales pitches allowed.
Investors believe that Disruption yields higher IRR so they fund it. But is all disruption good? Should investors and founders think about what will happen if "this things takes off"? Discussions were held about the perils of the gig economy and its long term impact on incomes and the polarizing impact of social media. But there is a lot more to discuss about the role of VCs and startup founders in building a future that produces more social good than harm, and the ways that the impact of investments can be measured.
As civilizations emerged people devised rules for co-existence. It took years, wars, revolutions and much debate and bloodshed to get to where we are -- and it's not a perfect world. Now, new supranational organizations -- Social Networks -- have emerged that have connected the world in ways previously unimaginable and are rewriting the rules of social interactions with algorithms. Independently of whether you think they are good or bad actors, Social Networks' algorithms are controlling speech, commerce, identity and more. Yet they written by unelected people to maximize profit accruing to a small group of individuals.
A favorite theme with discussions such as "Who's better, a Founder or a Professional CEO?" and "Why aren't VC-led Boards reigning in abusive behavior" in venture-backed companies that are otherwise "successful"? These questions keep coming up year after year indicating the tension between running businesses in a "responsible" way and not "interfering with the secret formula" that made startups take-off.
Interest in Crypto rose and waned, driven by the typical speculative bubbles that accompany new commodities. But the impact of Blockchain may be more profound as it is literally a way to rewire the world of communications, commerce and eventually law and governance. We discussed the rise and fall of ICO's and the many industrial uses of Blockchain. We will continue to explore Blockchain's slower but steadier march to replace many outdated economic and trade value chains with more transparent and efficient ways to allocate resources.
The digital transformation of commerce is just at its very beginning. Digital storefronts are being placed at the end point of the same supply chain that supplies physical stores. Yet, these digital storefronts are producing a lot of data that is not used to reinvent the supply chain - yet! We will continue to explore how the digital transformation affecting commerce will end up reinventing the entire supply chain not just the consumer-facing endpoint.
Startups: Accent Health, Add This, Aha Life!, Bitly, ConSensys, Dataminr, Encompass Digital Media, Exelate, General Assembly, Intent Media, Merkle, Mojiva, Oscar, Sprowtz, and Unruly, among others.
Corporates: BofA/Merrill Lynch, Bloomberg, Bonnier, DMG Information, DTCC, McGraw Hill, NBC Universal, Pearson, Scripps Networks, SVB, Thomson Reuters, and Warner Music Group, among others.
Investors: Andreessen Horowitz, BDMI, Beringer Capital, EDventure Holdings, Intel Capital, JetBlue Technology Ventures, New York Ventures, and XRC Labs, among others.
Academia, Law & Government: Columbia Business School, Fordham Law School, The Federal Reserve Bank, NYC EDC, Davis & Gilbert, GreenbergTraurig, Holland & Knight, Sheppard Mullin, and Willkie Farr & Gallagher, among others.
"I have spent 25+ years in the Digital Economy building companies on rails that were not there, imagining things that did not yet exist -- my job was to figure the business model and get the funding. With time I acquired a certain distance and started asking questions about the journey. As I started talking to peers, I realized that I wa
"I have spent 25+ years in the Digital Economy building companies on rails that were not there, imagining things that did not yet exist -- my job was to figure the business model and get the funding. With time I acquired a certain distance and started asking questions about the journey. As I started talking to peers, I realized that I wasn't the only one. So, I organized The NetForum with friends to answer these questions and help us and others be smarter in our professional and personal quests." (LinkedIn Profile)
To attend The NetForum or if you have ideas about topic we should cover
and would like to participate as a subject matter expert,
please contact laurent at parkviewventures dot com