Getting Activated

Even more fun news! Today, I'm thrilled to announce the other big project I've been working on: Activate. It's a new consultancy, founded by Michael Wolf (you know him not just as one of the most established names in tech/media consulting, but also as former President of MTV), where I'll be joining as partner.

The compelling thing to me is that we'll be advising firms at the intersection of technology, media and entertainment. You don't have to have been reading this blog very long to know that's an area which is near and dear to my heart, and getting to work with the folks who are merging those disciplines at the highest levels of business and culture is pretty exciting. It took me the better part of a decade to figure out that I'm obsessed with how culture is made, but once I had that realization, it very quickly became clear that those of us in the technology world were the ones driving the transformation of these businesses.

But right now, most of the companies that do this kind of consulting for big media or entertainment firms operate from what I'd consider a fear-based standpoint: Oh no! Technology is happening! It's going to be scary and destroy you! The old-school consultants are good at slashing costs (and jobs), but I think it's a lot more interesting to figure out where new growth and opportunities are going to come from.

Which is important, because some of what we think of as traditional media or entertainment companies will figure out how to take their past strengths and turn them into huge new businesses that work in the modern world, and that respect the way people use technology today. Those businesses are the ones we're working with at Activate.

And yep, I'm still totally committed to my work as director of Expert Labs as well. (As I write this, I'm in Washington, D.C. trying to refine our next project.) I was very fortunate that the Expert Labs project was set up from day one to give me the flexibility to put my skills to use in all of the areas that I find interesting. More importantly, I'm learning in general how to help huge institutions evolve. Whether it's media companies, government agencies, or entertainment businesses, I am truly optimistic that many can transform themselves for the technology world that we live in. In fact, I think those are the only ones that will survive.

Honestly, I feel like the community of innovators and tech minds that I've been part of has earned the right to help determine the future of everything from governance to culture. We've made tools and platforms that have made some fundamentally new things possible. So I'm gonna do everything I can to help make sure our community has a voice at the highest level of the institutions that shape our lives. And Activate is an exciting new part of that work.

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