WIRED Conference 2014: How to Rethink Your Business

What do you get when you gather leading technology thinkers, give them a theme — “Rethink” — and ask them to share their thoughts?

An insightful montage of ideas for succeeding in the digital economy, of course. Welcome to WIRED BizCon 2014.

The annual meeting of thought leaders discussing disruptive business practices and innovation took place recently in New York, and we were there to participate and be a part of the conversation.

Here’s a recap of some of the more memorable talks:

RJ Pittman, SVP and Chief Product Officer at eBay Marketplaces, talked with WIRED senior writer Steven Levy in “Future Shop” about retail. You have to align the organizational structure to the customer experience to connect the local retail experience with the online experience, Pittman said.

Sarah Wood, founder and COO of Unruly, joined Frank Rose, author of “The Art of Immersion,” for a conversation, “Contagion,” on the intersection of social media and advertising. Wood noted the importance of shared video content, saying people buy products after sharing videos.

Unruly’s Sarah Wood used her WIRED talk to focus on shared content.

Glenn Brown, co-creator of Twitter Amplify, a TV ad targeting service, discussed the rise of two-screen storytelling, with more and more people tweeting while watching TV. In his “IT Goes to 11” talk, he said 60 percent of people tweet while watching TV, giving television a social soundtrack. This interaction also opens up possibilities for the Internet of Things, with objects joining the tweet conversation.

David Karp, founder and CEO of Tumblr, talked with Levy in “Image Is Everything” about the importance of creativity. Karp said that Tumblr’s mission is to empower creators, a goal that’s underserved in the technology industry, as many companies are focused more on technology than creativity.

Chris Dixon, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, joined Levy to explore the future of Internet commerce in “Bitcoin or Bust.” Tens of thousands of engineers are excited about Bitcoin, Dixon said, and we need to be paying attention to the politics, because all large-scale computing movements have political components.

Did you follow the WIRED BizCon conversation on Twitter or via live streaming? What other talks did you find relevant to your business?

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