Tech Takeover: Changes, Predictions, and Opportunities

One-on-one with Raising the Bar Speaker Scott Galloway
By: Ben Gilden


We are only scratching the surface of what can be done with data. The question remains, however, whether these new jobs will be created as fast as the jobs being destroyed.
— Scott Galloway

We recently sat down with digital entrepreneur and NYU professor Scott Galloway to discuss the current state of the technology world. The California-native shares his views on the most dominating companies in the digital space, his predictions for the future, as well as advice he has for people looking to enter the workforce today.

Scott has spoken at two Raising the Bar events in New York: His first entitled “True Romance: Luxury and Digital” and his second entitled “The Four Horsemen: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google”.

Where do you work currently and what do you do?

Scott: I’m the founder and chairman of L2, a digital intelligence firm that benchmarks the digital performance of consumer brands, and identifies digital strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. I’m also an adjunct professor at NYU Stern School of business where I teach Brand Strategy and Digital Marketing to second-year MBA students

Which specific element of the digital world is particularly fascinating to you at this time, and why?

Scott: Amazon. The company has already dominated retail with a fulfillment service (Prime) that nobody can compete with, and it captures one of every $2 spent on goods online.There are also the lesser known parts: Amazon Media Group, Amazon Web Services. The latter brought it 3.2 billion in revenue in Q3 2016, a 55% increase since last year. With all of the information, Amazon has of 300 million customers, it is well positioned to grab a large portion of the advertising industry.

Since your Raising the Bar talk "The Four Horsemen: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google," have things changed significantly in the digital space? How correct were your predictions in terms of growth and decline of these companies, or is it still too early to tell?

Scott: Things have changed but stayed relatively the same. These are still the top companies in tech and “The Four Horsemen” of our era. Here are how our predictions for each of them turned out: 

Amazon – We were wrong. We said Amazon was going to suffer from its lack of retail footprint. Amazon has only grown since then. Macy’s stock plummeted in January after a meek holiday season, making it just one of the retailers

Google – We were right and wrong. Google+ is still a failure and Google has opted out of wearables. However, Google controls 52% of all growth in digital advertising. Facebook controls 38% and all the other players are fighting for the scraps, i.e. 10% of all digital advertising growth.

Facebook – We were right. Facebook’s acquisitions are on point. It acquired Instagram at the right time and set its sights on Snapchat when it realized it’s where the youth are spending their time. When it couldn’t acquire Snapchat, it offered a version on Instagram called Stories. Stories have all the features of Snapchat but better targeting and analytics, which makes it a more attractive platform for brands.

Apple – We were right. Apple is now a luxury brand. It partnered with Hermès to sell $2,000 watches. It has been a successful effort, and the Apple Watch is not on everyone’s wrist because it is a luxury product.

Which major tech company do you have your eye on in 2017?

Scott: Uber. Uber is more than a ride-sharing service and is gaining traction on Uber Eats and Uber Rush. These local, short-window, same day delivery services are the only chance retailers have against Amazon.

Which startups do you think we should continue to watch? 

Scott: Anything in messaging. Whatsapp has been another successful acquisition in Facebook, and the other major social media players – Instagram, Snapchat – have upped their game in messaging. This phenomenon has already happened in Asia: WeChat growth is outpacing Sina Weibo, and Line has become an $8 billion business by being a platform where users and brands can message each other.

In what ways has digitalization affected marketing strategies?

Scott: Is traditional marketing even relevant anymore? Targeting and relevance have become even more important. Facebook and Google, which I believe have ads that suck less than others, have experienced tremendous growth in digital advertising and it is not a coincidence. Traditional television ads are no longer relevant to the viewer. For example, on cable TV I see ads for bipolar disorder and restless leg syndrome.

Do you have any advice for young people looking to advance in digital or business world today?

Scott: My controversial advice is this: Don’t follow your passion. If you enter a field like filmmaking or nightclub ownership, you will likely be paid significantly less than your peers who are working in boring fields like finance and accounting. My advice is to find something you are good at - and it must be difficult for others to do – and work hard at it to make a great living that allows you to enjoy life to the fullest.

 
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My controversial advice is this: Don’t follow your passion.

Do you think the digital market will become as condensed as the media market in terms of a few big companies owning most of the market share, or do you think that many small companies will continue to pop up and remain individual entities?

Scott: It is already condensed. As I mentioned in my response to a previous question, Google and Facebook collectively account for 90% of the growth happening in digital advertising. It is possible that one or two new players emerge, but it will remain a winner-take-all field.

Do you foresee that there will be a growth in the number of jobs available in the high-tech world, or have we reached the peak? Why?

Scott: Growth will continue as the tech sector is on the verge of explosion. Room for innovation remains in many areas: smarter cars, smarter cities, security, health care, the Internet of Things, and wireless networks. We are only scratching the surface of what can be done with data. The question remains, however, whether these new jobs will be created as fast as the jobs being destroyed. Certain jobs like retail salesperson, real estate broker, factory worker are becoming increasingly irrelevant, and the jobs being added require extensive education. The new jobs being created are either high-salaried roles in Cupertino or factory positions in Zhengzhou, creating a gap in the middle class that tech leaders and policy makers have to work together to resolve.

You're next, Hong Kong! 

We're thrilled to announce our return to Hong Kong for the another #RTBHK event!

On Tuesday, March 28, we'll be hosting 10 talks at 10 local bars in Hong Kong on everything from climate change to public health to storytelling and even beauty pageants! Our speakers this year include world-renowned professors, doctors, and business leaders, so it's sure to be an inspiring night full of learning and fun! Make sure to head to our website for more information on how you can grab tickets to each of the talks before they are gone! 

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2016 was an incredible year for Raising the Bar!

Thousands of people showed up to our talks around the world to meet like-minded individuals and learn from professors, innovators, scientists, and countless other thought leaders. Everyone at Raising the Bar would like to wish you a very sweet new year full of laughter, learning, and inspiration! We have many exciting things happening for you in 2017, so be on the lookout for more information!

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7 Days of Genius Festival

In March, we partnered with 92Y in NYC to bring you a special mini-series and celebrate the 7 Days of Genius Festival, together with 30 other cities around the world! All of the events were sold out and featured professors from Columbia, Cornell Tech, and Northwestern and more! Listen to podcasts from the event here

Barnard X Raising the Bar

Later that month, we celebrated Women's History Month at Barnard College with a special event honoring the leadership in women's education and showcasing lectures by Barnard professors! Check out a recap here

Cornell Tech X Raising the Bar

In May, we partnered with Cornell Tech for the first ever Cornell Tech X Raising the Bar event, featuring professors of Information Science. We learned how they plan to radically improve people’s lives through technology. Check out pictures from the event in our Facebook album
The event went so well, that in September, we launched a second sold out Cornell Tech mini-series! In this series, we learned about the secret underground world of bitcoins and heard about some inspiring technological innovations.

Raising the Bar Sydney

In October, we headed to the land down under to hold our second annual #RTBSYD event in partnership with the University of Sydney! The sold out event included 20 professors from the university speaking at 20 different bars on a variety of topics including everything from sexting and fitness to innovation and murder! Listen to full-length podcasts from the event here.

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Raising the Bar Melbourne

Finally, in November, we stayed in Australia and partnered with the City of Melbourne to launch the first ever #RTBMELB event! 20 professionals from all over the world, including a bestselling author, a world-renowned astronomer, and a director of a prestigious gallery came out and spoke at bars all around Melbourne. The talks were extremely fascinating, and the event featured the first ever pop-up bar in Raising the Bar history! We just released podcasts of all the talks, so make sure to listen to them here!

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Melbourne's pubs will be turned into classrooms for one night.

This Wednesday, November 23 ten of Melbourne's bars and pubs will be transformed into classrooms for a night of talks — 20 of them, to be exact, which means there are at least 20 new things for you to discuss and learn about. Raising the Bar will see academics deliver free talks around the city, bringing the concept that "good ideas are born at the bar" to life.
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Previously established a few years back by students from New York and Columbia Universities and having been hosted in Sydney twice already, this is the first year the event will come to Melbourne to showcase a range of speakers, ideas, and themes. Pick one that'll interest you, teach you something new, or get you animated, standing and gesturing dramatically with your beer glass. Read More

 
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We are living in interesting linguistic times, says Monash professor Kate Burridge, a specialist in swearing, and how languages and taboos evolve. "We hear swearing a lot more than we used to," she says from the bar of her favourite local. Later this week, she will be giving a free lecture in a CBD bar, on swearing.

It's a topic, she says, that lends itself well to a Melbourne bar. "Colloquial language has always had a very special significance in Australia, and that goes right back to ... the very earliest Australian English."Hers is just one of 20 talks this week, in an attempt at combining two things that Melbourne does well: education, and drinking.

The talks will occur across 10 city-centre bars on Wednesday night, part of a global education initiative, Raising The Bar. The event, organised by Melbourne City Council, is designed to turn the bars into pop-up learning labs, with speakers presenting their research and insights as part of the evening. Read More

Huffington Post:'Raising The Bar Brings Top Academics To Sydney Bars

Sydneysiders will soon be able to pull up a stool next to an academic for a night as a worldwide initiative, 'Raising The Bar', hits the city.

"We're coming out of our echo chamber and speaking with people outside the 'ivory tower'," Associate Professor at the University of Sydney Dieter Hochuli told the Huffington Post Australia.

"This is a great opportunity to share our passion and enthusiasm for the work that we do with the community."

This is not your usual lecture scene. On October 18, the University of Sydney will host 20 academics as they hit 20 of the city's watering holes -- from the Annandale Hotel to Redfern's Cake/Wine Bar -- to deliver 20 thought-provoking talks.

The University of Sydney has joined Raising the Bar to bring the popular worldwide initiative, previously run in New York, Hong Kong and London, to Sydneysiders.

 Read More

Raising the Bar + Cornell Tech

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I think it’s safe to say that you’re more accustomed to sitting where you are than I am to standing where I am. It’s the first talk I’ve ever given in a bar
— Professor Deborah Estrin at the beginning of her bar-talk

The talk was organized by Raising the Bar, a new initiative aiming to infuse education into cities’ popular culture by arranging “knowledge-driven events” in bars. In this case, the event was hosted by Bo’s, a New Orleans-inspired restaurant in New York’s Flatiron district. Attendees sipped Cajun-style cocktails, as they sat listening at small tables.

Estrin, a self-described “technologist: an engineer in the age of things digital” focused on the ways in which we can use “small data”—the data generated through our individual daily digital activities—to learn how our short term choices are affecting our health in the long term.

Read More


176 Talks, 226 Speakers, 4 Continents, 2 years.

We're celebrating two years, and what a journey it has been!

We met some amazing folks along the way and were able to inspire people all over the world thanks to our awesome speakers, partners, and global teams. Over the past two years, we were thrilled to hear our speakers deliver lectures that made people think, ask questions, and engage in some amazing conversations.

Huge thanks to our community for Raising the Bar with us! We couldn't have done it without you.

Stay curious,

Your RTB Team

 


Sydney's bar scene is getting set for an academic shake up

On 20 October, Sydney’s watering holes will be transformed into classrooms for one night as 20 academics enter 20 bars to deliver 20 thought-provoking talks. The University of Sydney has joined Raising the Bar to bring the popular worldwide initiative, which has previously run in New York, Hong Kong and London, to Sydneysiders. Established in 2014, Raising the Bar began with a group of students from Columbia University and New York University who were looking to share the unique learning experience from the world’s greatest minds with the general public. The first ever Raising the Bar Sydney event aims to change the city’s popular culture to make education a key element. Read more. 

On 20 October, Sydney’s watering holes will be transformed into classrooms for one night as 20 academics enter 20 bars to deliver 20 thought-provoking talks.

The University of Sydney has joined Raising the Bar to bring the popular worldwide initiative, which has previously run in New York, Hong Kong and London, to Sydneysiders.

Established in 2014, Raising the Bar began with a group of students from Columbia University and New York University who were looking to share the unique learning experience from the world’s greatest minds with the general public. The first ever Raising the Bar Sydney event aims to change the city’s popular culture to make education a key element. Read more. 


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University academics to hold public lectures in Sydney pubs, The Australian.  

University academics to hold public lectures in Sydney pubs, The Australian.

 

Raising the Bar Sydney Written by Jennifer Jamie Irawan

Amidst the rain and mid-week blues, twenty of Australia’s brightest minds were spread across the city to light the spark of curiosity for Sydneysiders; part of a worldwide initiative to broaden the way we consume content. The pioneering efforts of Raising the Bar aims to demystify the space of the institution as being something far removed from the rest of the world. Raising the Bar is an event held on 1 night, in 20 bars, with 20 brilliant academics escaping their lecture theatres and laboratories to instead ‘raise the bar’ on educational content and make it accessible for everyone.

I started my night a world away from the humble streetscape of Regent Street, at Freda’s which was vibrant with chatter as beers began to be poured and seats were taken. The speaker at this venue, Agnieszka Tymula is a neuroeconomist and lecturer at the University of Sydney and on this occasion she discussed the surprising reasons we take risks.Looking at the trends that influence our decisions, Agnieszka brings together economics, psychology and neuroscience to build better models of decision-making.

Initiatives like Raising the Bar bring to the fore the importance of innovation and diversity within education.

“When I say I’m an economist, most people think that I study inflation, interest rates, banks, financial crisis – not at all… When an economist analyses the studies that psychologists have done aimed to measure risk taking, a red light comes up and what we see is much more than risk taking. We see optimism and things that are confounded in the tasks that psychologists use to measure adolescent behaviour.”

Agnieszka went on to discuss the difference in risk-taking behaviour between adolescents and seniors, breaking down the brain functions involved in our decision-making processes. She then opened her talk up for conversation, and it wasn’t long before the questions began to kick off.

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It is in those moments of audience engagement that the community of like-minded creatives fulfilled the Raising the Bar goal. People in the audience were given back the discretion to question, to be inspired, and to be stimulated in a non-threatening environment. They escaped the passive audience experience and scripted narratives seen in classrooms and lecture halls.

I’ve grown up seeing the value in education, understanding that it was a cornerstone in my life to be able to find my passions, interests and more importantly fuel curiosity. I began to see that curiosity is the engine of achievement.

Initiatives like Raising the Bar bring to the fore the importance of innovation and diversity within education.By reaching out to luminaires, we are given the opportunity to cultivate free-flowing knowledge and raise the bar in the things that we talk about, become passionate about, are provoked by and find ourselves engaged in.

With over 1,200 people responding to the event on Facebook and a team of 95 members of staff and students working towards the event, it was a huge success (trending above the new Star Wars trailer – yes, you heard me).

I can’t wait to see how Raising the Bar becomes bigger and better with each year.

Seat back, have a drink and let the knowledge flow through your open mind.

Raising the Bar provides all Londoners with an amazing educational opportunity as a part of which 30 world-renowned academics are coming down from their lecterns to share their knowledge in quite a daring surrounding: the city's bars.

What if we mix education with popular culture making it affordable and understandable to a wider audience? Raising the Bar unique initiative was first who came up with this simple but genius idea.

Organized by students and supported by Columbia, New York and other universities it is aimed at educating and enlightening young people and thus enriching their life, broadening their horizons, inspiring and waking up the desire for knowledge. What started in New York last year, has grown into a global initiative with a stop in London. Raising the Bar London will feature 30 amazing speakers sharing their experience and knowledge, 20 vibrant bars all around the city and a long list of vital topics to be discussed.

The list of speakers is just too good to be true. Among them are professor Aaqil Ahmed, the Head of Religion and Ethics at the BBC, who will shed some light on the necessity of religious programming. Raj Persaud, a world renowned psychologist and a Consultant Psychiatrist as well as bestseller author, will talk on the psychology of success and on how to make your mind work on you to achieve any goal set avoiding mental blocks.  

With 6,000 attendees at last year's event in New York, London is ready to take up the challenge and to Raise the Bar. The initiative is probably to beat the US traffic as it is the only event in London to offer free lectures and in what a tempting way.
 

Raising the Bar Comes to Hong Kong

Education and pleasure, for many, are two words that rarely mix. Raising the Bar hopes to bridge that gap with its inaugural Asia event.