Direct-to-consumer (Companies born from the internet that are bypassing brick-and-mortar retailers, going straight to consumer)

  • Warby Parker (Vintage-inspired prescription eyeglasses, but I follow them because I’m hopeful and curious to see if they will survive against the monopoly power  )
  • Everlane (luxury clothing design and manufacturing company)
  • Bonobos (men’s clothing design and manufacturing company)
  • AirBnB (it took a lot of courage to start and fund this business given the obvious brand challenges associated with being unable to control so much of the customer experience)
  • Kickstarter (enabling consumers to fund new businesses)
  • Etsy (interestingly not that different from eBay except its focus artisan jewelry and crafts)

Digital and physical (companies using digital tech to improve our experiences in the real world)

  • Uber (mobile-dispatched private car service)
  • Deeplocal (studio that creates marketing installations)
  • ShopKeep


  • Hootsuite (manage multiple social media presences from a single screen)
  • Buffer


Web and Marketing Analytics



  • Voxer (Walkie Talkie application for smartphones. Competitor to What’sApp. Lets you send instant audio, text, photo and location messages to one or a group of your friends.)
  • Viddy (Instagram for video)
  • Path (private Facebook)
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest

Good Fortune 500 companies

  • (hire smart, entrepreneurial, people and work them hard and give them the opportunity to test ideas, and the sky is the limit)
  • Patagonia (brand strategy is so authentic that employees are allowed to take days off when the surf is ideal)
  • Southwest Airlines
  • CNN (reinvented business model to accommodate crowd technologies)
  • 3M (self-organizing innovation culture that enables them to achieve X% of their revenues from technologies invented in the last Y years)
  • Target (super marketers with huge brand equity and appreciation for design)
  • USAA (superior customer service)
  • American Express (they aren’t waiting for the digital technologies to transform it; rather it is using these technologies to transform the world of consumer and merchant services)
  • Wholefoods (employee turnover < 10%.  enough said.)


Business Intelligence and Data Analysis tools

  • Tableau
  • Business Objects
  • MySQL & PHP
  • MongoDB

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