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CMI Blog

the latest from cmi speaker managment


The most important person to believe in your dream...is you - Vinh Giang

By cmiadmin | Oct 19, 2016 | Comments Off

More from Vinh!

People First - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Oct 07, 2016 | Comments Off

Oculus Rift, Augmented VR and the future of digital presence

1-wy0sa80fxp9be4pzqwx6bwI hadn’t planned on watching the Oculus Connect 3 keynote — but half way through my lunch, when the live stream turned up on Facebook, I was hooked.

Until now, VR has been mainly about games. Whether a Rift, Vive or a Playstation — VR devices were basically just immersive gaming consoles for your head. Mark Zuckerberg’s demo today at OC3, however, revealed an important shift in the future of the platform. Namely, the first emergence of digital human beings.

‘People First’ was Zuckerberg’s keynote theme. And it was not the first time he has used the phrase, either. Last year at the F8 conference he referenced it as a plea for developers to help Facebook create a safer place for users, giving people more control over their experiences. This time, however, he wanted to use it as a focus for the design of those experiences. ‘We’re here to make virtual reality the next major computing platform,’ he said. ‘We really want our software to be built with people at the center of it.’

Generally, when people talk about customer centricity, they just mean making customers happy. For Zuckerberg, ’people first’, means something different. In his view, it is understanding how humans think and do things, that will make VR actually compelling.

Watch the demo for yourself.

When Mark and his colleagues start interacting in VR, it is not only the rendering of real time facial expressions, head and hand movements that is impressive — what stands out are the seamless transitions between collaboration modes and virtual environments. This seamlessness is core to Zuckerberg’s vision of how we will interact in the future.

Think about it. At present, if you want to work on something with a group of people, you need to toggle between a variety of apps and devices — whether it be a chat platform, a video call or your document screen. The interface is the focus, not the activity.

In Zuckerberg’s view, virtual reality is the perfect platform to put people first because of presence. You can do more things together virtually, than you would if every experience was its own app that you had to access separately. It was an understated but significant moment when Mark took a video call during the demo from his wife Priscilla, simply by looking down and tapping at a virtual wrist device, tied to the positional location of the Touch controllers.

The mobile of the future will not be a physical device, but simply a virtual construct.

The potential of mixed reality was something explored at further length by Oculus Chief Scientist, Michael Abrash. Discussing the future of VR in 2021, he outlined his vision of ’Augmented VR’, which would accurately render not only real world environments in virtuality, but digital humans too.

In Abrash’s view, the ability to truly work and collaborate in ‘Augmented VR’ was still about five years out — and would require significant advancements in pixel density, field of view and depth of focus. And further, in order to manage all of this with a wireless headset, we would also need what he called ‘foveated rendering’ — more accurate tracking that could efficiently target high resolution information at the fovea in the eye.

Back in 2007 when I was writing my first book, ‘Futuretainment’, I interviewed Philip Rosedale, the founder of Second Life. One of the things he said to me at the time always stuck with me. Never underestimate toys, he said. At some point, toys become tools.

Games are interesting, but as the VR wars heat up, those toys will also transform. And when they do, it will be Facebook’s mastery of the social graph that may enable it to re-invent not just the way we entertain ourselves, but the platforms on which we communicate, collaborate and co-ordinate as well.

Learn More about Mike Walsh!

Fab Theft - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Sep 29, 2016 | Comments Off

What if the best way to steal something in the future is just to print it?

1-67pbhtq843jnnc11xmkxegFab theft refers to the use of digital scanning and 3D printing to replicate copyrighted designs or patented objects — and it is happening already. On the infamous platform, ‘The Pirate Bay’, there is now an entire new section known as ‘physibles’. Nevertheless, despite the moral panic about 3D printing, the real risk of fab theft is not 3D printed guns or TSA keys, but the sustainability of copyright in a world where everything is available on demand.

Consumer 3D printing technology is rapidly evolving to the point where it’s no longer just a curiosity for hobbyists. Better quality scanners combined with higher resolution printers and more durable feedstock, are for the first time making both the commercialization and the criminalization of 3D printed objects viable.

A few weeks ago researchers at the University of Buffalo found a way to hack a 3D printer by measuring ‘leaked’ energy and acoustic waves that emanate from printers. They managed to program a smartphone’s built-in sensors to measure electromagnetic energy and acoustic waves, and in so doing, guess the location of the print nozzle when in action.

The easy availability of fab theft tools means that we are on the brink of an impending clash between copyright and the future.

For brands, there is fuzzy distinction between fan engagement and fab theft. In February 2013, HBO sent a cease-and-desist letter to Fernando Sosa asking him to stop selling his 3D printed iPhone dock that he based on the Iron Throne from TV series, Game of Thrones. Even though Sosa had designed the 3D model himself, HBO claimed it owned the rights to all images that appeared on the show.

The toy manufacturer Hasbro adopted a rather different strategy. Noticing the unexpected growth in a subculture of consumers modifying My Little Pony toys, they announced a partnership with the 3D printing platform Shapeways to provide licenses for consumers wanting to create their own fan art.

The fab thieves of the future, however, are less likely to be teenage hackers and fanboys than commercial 3D printers with the scale and quality to rapidly copy and re-distribute designer and high value items.

Today the obvious point of attack are new product prototypes printed internally in R&D labs. Tomorrow, when goods themselves are ‘streamed’ to consumers for printing at home, brands will need to find a way of securing the digital files while in transit. Authentise for example, have launched 3D Design Stream, an API for 3D marketplaces that, like Netflix or Spotify, streams designs directly to buyers’ printers for a single use.

It does make you wonder, though. How will streaming rather than selling physical products change the business of manufacturing?

See More from Mike!

Behind the Scenes of Vinh's American Trip

By cmiadmin | Sep 29, 2016 | Comments Off

Get a behind the scenes look at Vinh's American speaking trip!


More From Vinh Giang

It's Not About You - Ty Bennett

By cmiadmin | Sep 20, 2016 | Comments Off

9-20-1-300x206It’s not about you – it’s about them!
The focus of an influencer is always on the audience.
If you are a speaker – it’s about the people listening to you.
If you are in sales – it’s about your customer or prospect.
If you are a leader – it’s about the people you are leading.
If you are a teacher – it’s about your students.
If you are a parent – it’s about your children

Almost everyone has this backwards. They think being influential means they need to become polished or powerful. Influence, though, is all about the audience. Be it an audience of one or one thousand. When it’s about them, they get it, and we grow in their eyes.

By thinking out instead of in, by concentrating on others instead of on us, a tremendous transformation takes place. We go from inner directed to outer directed, from taker to giver, from self-centered to others-focused, from tightfisted to generous, from shortsighted to farsighted, from selfish to selfless. We begin to see and act on behalf of others’ needs ahead of our own; our thoughts are in terms of “we” instead of “me.”

See More from Ty!

People Do Business With People They Know, Like, Trust and Value - Ty Bennett

By cmiadmin | Sep 19, 2016 | Comments Off

Ty Bennett Promo Video ShotThere’s a fundamental rule of business that states: “People do business with people they know, like and trust.” We’ve all heard that, and even repeated it, but ultimately it is wrong.

Ok, maybe wrong is not the right word. But the rule is incomplete. The truth is, people do business with people they know, like, trust and VALUE.

Honesty and likeability are important, but if people don’t see you as valuable, they will never do business with you. If you don’t come across as professional, knowledgeable, and credible with the right skill set to get the job done, you will never be as influential and successful as you would like.

So what do we do about it? How do we make ourselves more valuable? By constantly developing our knowledge, our skills and continually striving to get better. The fundamental rule of Business should read: “People do business
with people they know, like, trust and value”

Reputation is your track record. It is confidence in character and capability over time. Henry Ford said, “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do,” so reputation only comes after you make the investment. Lasting influence is built and sustained by reputation. People can be influential in a given situation, or for a temporary period of time, but lasting influence is based in reputation. That is why it is so important to guard your reputation, cultivate your reputation, and be a person of character and ever-increasing capability.

See More from Ty!

How many (Steve) jobs do you need to invent a lightbulb? - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Aug 15, 2016 | Comments Off

Talent density and the promise of 21st century productivity

It is fashionable these days to speculate about robots taking jobs. Less well-observed, is the fact that seemingly great companies are being built today with far less jobs to start with. What if you only needed a small number of people to do extraordinary things?

When Facebook acquired the mobile messenger service WhatsApp for $19 billion in 2014, it had grown to 420 million monthly users in just four years. More impressive was the number of employees — just 55. Instagram, bought for $1 billion, had 13. YouTube, bought by Google in 2006 had 65. Compared to telco or media firms, the differences in headcount are astonishing, but also raise a bigger question — what is the right way to grow a company?

In 2009, under pressure for a number of bold decisions, the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, decided to make public an internal slide deck about how he hired, fired and rewarded employees. It became known as the ‘Netflix Culture Deck’, and has been viewed nearly 15 million times on Slideshare. It was nominated by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg as one of the most important documents to come out of Silicon Valley.

In the deck, Hastings challenges the idea of ‘growing up’. There is a conventional view that fast-growth firms must add significant processes and procedures to deal with increasing complexity. In Hastings’ view, more process does not mean greater maturity, but rather results in a decline in talent density, as the number of high performing employees starts to fall with total employment growth.

At first, process is not a problem. Process-driven companies are efficient, have strong market share, and tend to make few mistakes. That is, until the market shifts due to new technology, competitors or business models. At that point, all of the mavericks that could help the company adapt have left the building, leaving the employees that are only good at following process, and the ‘company grinds painfully into irrelevance’. The solution, according to Hastings, is to increase talent density faster than business complexity.

Knowing how many people are needed to get something done is not an easy problem to solve. One of my former employees used to enjoy giving two people the same job in the company — like dogs in a pit, to see which one would survive. If both stayed busy — then he would be satisfied that the work was enough for two people.

Start-up companies have an incentive to get more leverage from their human capital. If there is a smarter way to do something, they no choice but to find it. And perhaps that is the point.

What the small have to do to survive is sobering advice for those companies that are big enough to have forgotten.

This article is an adapted chapter from my book, ‘The Dictionary Of Dangerous Ideas’.

See More from Mike Walsh

Between Two Worlds Podcast with Chetan Dube - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Aug 09, 2016 | Comments Off

Between Two Worlds Podcast with Chetan Dube - Mike Walsh

Chetan Dube is the cool math professor you always wished you had at college. Impeccably attired and capable of switching between anecdotes about a childhood spent in New Delhi, Paris and London with deep dive explanations of probabilistic vs deterministic neural networks - he is one of the most interesting personalities in the emerging world of AI and cognitive computing. After founding his company IPsoft, he developed Amelia, a “virtual service-desk employee”, that understands the semantics of language, and can solve business process queries just like a human being. Over coffee in his office in New York, we spoke about the impact of AI on the design of companies, and in particular, the rise of the cognitive enterprise, in which software platforms will be able to understand, learn and anticipate customer needs, even before they know them.

See More from Mike Walsh

Between Two Worlds Podcast Episode with Valerio Cometti - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Aug 02, 2016 | Comments Off

Between Two Worlds Podcast Episode with Valerio Cometti - Mike Walsh

Valerio Cometti is one of the world’s foremost industrial designers. Founder of V12 Design and based in Milan, he and his team have created product designs for some of the world’s leading furniture, fashion and luxury automotive brands. Having originally trained as a mechanical Engineer, Valerio bases much of his approach on a product engineering core, thanks to a deep understanding of manufacturing processes. I visited him at his studio in the bohemian Navigli district, where we talked about the values of Italian design, the challenges of bringing great products to life, and the future of data-driven wearables.


By cmiadmin | Jun 20, 2016 | Comments Off


With Tim Sanders by Terry Weaver

On this episode of “Making Elephants Fly,” Terry sits down with Internet Pioneer, Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker, Leader, and one of the best guys on the planet…Tim Sanders. Tim was an early stage member of Mark Cuban’s broadcast.com and later joined Yahoo where he rose to the position of Chief Solutions Officer and named its Leadership Coach. Tim’s past books include the New York Times best seller “Love Is The Killer App: How to Win Business & Influence Friends,” “The Likeability Factor,” and “Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence.” Tim’s latest book “Dealstorming: The Secret Weapon That Can Solve Your Toughest Sales Challenges” unpacks the idea of how collaboration is secret to selling anything. Join Terry as he talks with Tim about the power of collaboration in building a life worth living and creating opportunities that you could have never created alone.