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New Podcast: “Share of Ear, Unicorns, and More” with the LSA Analyst Team (Video)

Our latest Above the Cloud podcast features an LSA analyst team “around the horn” session touching on a range of topics in the news and covered on the LSA Insider blog.  We kicked around the future of privacy, defined “share of ear”?, asked why boards of directors aren’t the real villains in the unraveling of companies like WeWork, and explained why it makes sense for SMB software companies to treat small businesses like consumers.

Here are some highlights from a lively and wide-ranging discussion with Mike Boland, Neal Polachek and myself.

The Quest for Certainty

(Starting at 1:06) Privacy was a major theme at the LSA’s recent Place conference. Specifically, the idea that data firms see privacy regulation as inevitable in the wave of GDPR in Europe and CCPA in California. it is better to get a regulatory scheme in place that they can then adapt to vs not knowing what, if any, regulation is coming.

There is also a strong competitive element to the privacy discussion as well. The location data space is crowded and poised for a shakeout. But the lack of regulatory certainty has placed the space in a version of limbo.

In the following clip, we explore what may happen in the location intelligence space once there is a plan in place for a national privacy regulation scheme.

iHeart’s Re-invention of Audio

(Starting at 6:21) It’s very meta to talk about podcasts on a podcast, but we did it anyway. Mike noted that iHeart Radio EVP Marketing Eric Hadley’s session at Place was a consensus hit for being engaging and thought-provoking. iHeart is, of course, a radio goliath. But it sees its future in an omnichannel approach involving live radio, streaming, events and podcasts.

iHeart’s goal, according to Hadley, is to own a commanding “share of ear.”

As Mike notes on the podcast, “Visual media is so saturated that ‘share of ear’ could be a greenfield.”

Hadley was also a recent guest on Above the Cloud.

Walking Barefoot through Manhattan

(Starting at 9:50) We recently posted on LSA Insider on the notion that’s been bubbling up in the wake of the WeWork fiasco that the heyday of the high-flying tech unicorn may be receding in favor of less flash and more attention to sustainable business models.

We took up this issue on the podcast, calling out all involved int the WeWork debacle for giving co-founder and former CEO Adam Neumann $1.7 billion to “walk barefoot through Manhattan.”

Neal’s point: While Adam is an easy target, permissive boards of directors are the true culprits by enabling the excesses of brash young entrepreneurs. Neal acknowledged that in the wake of this disaster, he has become a more assertive board member.

The following clip features the bulk of our discussion on the apparent fall from grace of the low-margin unicorns.

Treat Small Businesses Like Consumers

(Starting at 16:15) Finally, we kicked around the issue of how to sell technology to small businesses. The impetus for the discussion was a recent post that examined an article by some SMB tech vets at AT Kearney offering advice on how to sell technology to small businesses.

We agreed with the advice that SMBs should be treated like consumers, in the sense that they lack the time or inclination to understand complex software. Better to make the product and the sales messaging as simple as possible.

We also had some questions about the shade the article threw on vertical and channel partner strategies.

You can listen to the full episode below. We encourage you to subscribe to Above the Cloud. And please rate and review the podcast. 


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