The NetForum: Year in Review: Governance Crisis Fuels General Discontent and Rise of Blockchain

Dear Friends & Colleagues, I wish you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year. During 2017, The NetForum held meetings to discuss many of the pivotal issues of the day, from Ethical Scandals in Startups to The Blockchain Revolution to the Algorithm Takeover of our Lives.  Over 250 of you joined the discussions in person, and several thousand read the Key Learnings that synthesized each discussion. My New Year’s blog usually draws heavily upon the NetForum discussions and attempts to reveal the big themes that will follow us from the past year to the next.  It was easy…

Key Learnings: ICO & Crypto Market Regulation (12/20/17)

The NetForum held its final meeting of 2017 on December 20th to discuss ICOs and Crypto market regulation. The NetForum convened against the backdrop of a peak in the value of Bitcoin, a media frenzy not seen since the advent of the DotCom era, and pronouncements by the SEC accompanied by fresh enforcement actions against ICO schemes.  Our featured guests were David Brill and Demetrios Boutris, representing the point of views of Blockchain innovators and regulators, respectively.  Also partaking in the discussion were Crypto and Blockchain investors, Blockchain technology innovators, and securities law and regulation experts. Here’s what emerged from our discussion. It’s the…

Key Learnings: The Blockchain Revolution in Context, at AllianceBernstein with ConsenSys

On November 2nd, Lisa Ellis, Senior Research Analyst, covering payments, processors, and IT services, at AllianceBernstein, and Andreas Wallendahl, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Business Development at ConsenSys, the leading Blockchain Venture Studio, were the featured guests at the third NetForum peer-to-peer discussion on Blockchain and ICOs, joined by 25 professionals from PE & VC funds, Family Offices, and startups.  Thanks to Mark Schlossberg, Principal and Financial Advisor at Bernstein, for hosting this NetForum event.   This discussion was so thought provoking that for this Key Learnings I deviated from the usual practice of summarizing the discussion and engaged in further…

Key Learnings: Digital Transformation @Adweek with Accenture Interactive

  On October 17, 2017, at Adweek in NYC, the NetForum gathered 33 digital executives – including 15 CEOs/GMs and 10 CMOs/CROs – to deep dive into why Digital Transformation is such a hot topic today.  Most of the NetForum participants spoke up to share with the group opportunities and challenges they face in their jobs.  Our special guests were Michael Lawless, Chief Experience Officer, Accenture Interactive’s Digital Transformation practice, and Jim Cooper, Editorial Director of Adweek.   A.  In short: Digital Transformation is top of mind — top leadership is really committed to doing something big. But it’s not…

Key Learnings: Algorithm Regulation featuring Esther Dyson

I am pleased to share the Key Learnings of the NetForum on Algorithm Regulation featuring Esther Dyson held on February 28, 2017. This is a broad subject, and an explosive one too — I am telling you right now that this will become a very hot potato for the tech industry. No, it probably already is but one largely hidden from view and handled discreetly in the halls of government in the US, China, Russia, India and the EU. Fundamentally, the issue I dared raise is as follows: It is a given that our lives are migrating to digital environments owned and controlled by private entities —…

Key Learnings: Equity, Debt & Everything in Between

I am pleased to bring you the January 2017 NetForum Key Learnings.  The NetForum meeting was hosted by John Hempill, Esq., partner at Sheppard Mullin & Richter on January 31, 2017. With the tech market booming, capital has poured in and there is a plethora of doors to knock on for tech companies seeking capital.  This is true at the low-end, the mid-market and the pre-IPO stages.  In fact, it is my observation, as someone who has raised capital for my own startups and for many tech clients over the last 20+ years, that there is a dizzying array of…

Key Learnings: Blockchain Disruption @Accenture

July 17, 2016 Dear Friends, I am pleased to share with you the key learnings that emerged from another very interesting and energetic discussion at our the latest NetForum — our second on the topic of the Blockchain.  As usual, we mixed leading edge startups and established corporations to attack a topic from all angles.  It took me a lot longer than usual to pen this report (was busy on my day job!) so thanks for your patience. Our participants hailed from Accenture (represented by our host, Abhishek Gutgutia), First Data, Fujitsu, RWE, Warner Brothers, Wipro, Salesforce.com, as well as…

Key Learnings: The Blockchain is Here!

The Blockchain is here. This is the message that rang out clearly from the monthly NetForum meeting hosted by LeumiTech on October 27, 2015.  Our featured guest was  Ron Quaranta, Founder and Chairman of the Wall Street Blockchain Alliance and CEO of the Digital Currency Labs.  This NetForum was one of the most intriguing events in our nearly 3 years of activity.  Why?  The NetForum again gathered some of the leaders in the subject matter we were discussing who shared what is really happening on the front lines.  For me it was particularly interesting because I got that stirring in…

Key Learnings: AdBlocking — Is it Destroying the Open Web?

PARKVIEW Technology Merchant Bank organizes the NetForum to provide a Peer to Peer learning network to CxOs of Digital Businesses and Corporate Development & Strategy executives in larger, established companies. ____________________________________________________ The NetForum NYC held its September monthly meeting (on 9/25/15) to discuss the burning issue of AdBlocking.  Our host was Richard Eisert, partner at Davis & Gilbert, LLP (www.dglaw.com), with featured guest Sean Blanchfield, CEO of PageFair, Ltd. (www.pagefair.com).   At our meeting, I tried to focus the discussion on What is AdBlocking and Why should I care about it?   What is AdBlocking?  I suggested to the group three…

Key Learnings: CyberSecurity

PARKVIEW Technology Merchant Bank organizes the NetForum to provide a Peer to Peer learning network to CxOs of Digital Businesses and Corporate Development & Strategy executives in larger, established companies. ____________________________________________________   The NetForum NY monthly breakfast was hosted at Bank of America on June 25, 2015 — many thanks to Bina Kalola, Managing Director, Global Banking & Markets Financial Technology Investments at BAML.  The topic was CyberSecurity, and our guests were Mark Clancy, CEO of Soltra, and George Orlov, CTO of DMGInfo. This discussion was not a technical “How To.”  I was more interested in obtaining a framework for understanding…