Disruption and Innovation is all about thinking in terms of ‘What IF?!’ and ‘Why NOT’?! This is the universe that I live in. Building cultures of disruption and innovation around the globe. Always starting with the words ‘What IF?!’. That dialog goes a very long way towards change. Here is one example: In 2001 I asked the question: What IF we replace barcodes with RFID tags and completely change inventory, logistics, retail and awareness of everything at all times? That simple question started the change which brought RFID as the leading IoT element and enabler of Big Data…So, let’s start the dialog on What IF?!

What IF?! Rule number 1: When you ask the question ‘What IF?!…’ It will be unsettling to most, some will reject your idea immediately, more people will be skeptical and many will say it will not work. When you get this reaction, smile, breathe and know you are on the right track. Charge ahead!

The Me! Economy™: Digital Transformation: From B-to-C to B-to-ME!™

The Me! Economy

With the advent of Internet commerce and Internet marketing over the last few decades, goods and services became available via B-to-C (business-to-consumer) and at times Bto-B-to-C. Historically, the goal has been to reach the right consumers and offer the desired products to grow revenues. However, we are on the cusp of a new era of digital transformation: not just B-to-C, rather B-to-ME! What I am naming The ME! Economy.

In this case, ME! represents the personalization of goods and services to uniquely meet the desires of each individual consumer, delight the consumer, and most importantly, begin to predict desired goods and services before the individual is even aware of such preferences. Me! represents each one of us globally. This transformation is complex, as it includes artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics, cognitive computing, extremely large-scale data integration, direct mobile access to consumers, real-time analytics, and much more. That is what makes B-to-ME! such an exciting transformation! In trademarking B-to-ME! and the ME! Economy, I have deliberately added the ‘!’. Why? Because once this happens, it will bring delight and joy as represented by the ‘!’ and create a vast new and effective economy. Read the full article HERE.

WorkPlace 3.0: It Is About Inclusion, Not Diversity!

the same old thinking and disappointing results, closed loop or negative feedback mindset concept - a napkin doodle with a cup of coffee

For decades, we have argued that we do not have enough women and minorities in companies, startups, and in the STEM professions. To address this problem, we set our sights on ‘diversity.’ We have formed countless not-for-profits to increase the number of women in STEM and executive positions. I, myself, have been a member of many such organizations for a long time, including as a founding board member of the Anita Borg Institute and a host of other organizations to help solve this problem.

But the diversity approach hasn’t worked. While it may seem like a logical remedy to what is superficially a numbers problem, this categorization has proven totally ineffective in resolving the underlying issues. It has raised awareness and made a few surface-level changes, but has not achieved deeper systemic change. [The issue is not just about women, but rather it is also about different backgrounds and races. To date, as an angel investor I have met and worked with only 3 African American men. Why is that? All 3 experienced an unusually hard time getting funding by the way.]

Despite the efforts of the diversity movement, the situation is still largely the status quo from 10 years ago. Read the rest of the article HERE.

Quantum disruption in IoT –>IoD!

Intel Capital Summit

Loved the crowd and atmosphere at the Intel Capital Annual Summit last month in San Diego. Here is the video where I discuss the future of our ‘data’ economy. IoT or Internet of Data as I call it, is not just about collecting and analyzing data, rather, it is about how to transform the data into ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS that can mindfully impact our world of tech and beyond… When we start thinking in terms of zetabytes of data… it is all about how to think in terms of actionable transformation of insights in our massive shared data economy…

QUANTUM DISRUPTION – Fully describes the theme of my talk at the Intel Capital Annual Summit in San Diego, CA yesterday! An explosive 15 minutes conversation around the mega disruption in the Internet of Data space, and how we need to mobilize for the far bigger disruption ahead than just IoT… Full video available in a week. Great post talk conversation with clients and it is exciting to see that we are now globally ready to look at, understand, respond to and consume data in a very different way than we have until now. That is the power of the emerging Internet of Data, IoD…More soon…

August 2015: I wanted to share the following with you. IoE: Internet of EVERYTHING! Last week at IDF when looking at connecting gaming consoles and games, we started calling it IoG (Internet of Gaming). Then of course we have the Internet of Devices and things in Industrial and commercial setting. And above all, IoE, deals with Data… No matter what the end point, devices, things, gaming, social, other DATA is the main element that is transported, transacted and reacted to in IoE. So, I think netting it out IoD, Internet of Data is much more appropriate as it is ultimately all about the data…

Speaking of IoT and IoE (Internet of Everything) where data is the key commodity of interest, let’s think about the objective. Often I hear folks talking about ‘Connecting’. Connecting is a one-way transaction and if it is from the end point to a gateway or to a central node, that is what we already have in digitally connected devices. So, what is hot there? The key focus is for us to achieve NOW-TIME IoT vs Real time IoT. The transformation that IoT will enable us is not to simply connect things but to create bidirectional communication highways between ‘things’, ‘anything’ and end points, and between end points and create an entire communicating ecosystem. All in now-time. This is key in what we I am calling ‘Experience-Based-IT’ and spoiler alert: You will be seeing a lot of this coming from IBM. So stay super-tuned!

Why does Now-Time matter? Why is bidirectional and multi-endpoint-communication critical? The entire impetus behind experience-based IT is to immediately and instantly reach you while you are interacting with the endpoint to ENHANCE your experience… So, if you are interacting with your hotel, and that requires tons of multi-node interactions, while you are connected in what I call the now-time-mode, you want to have your experience enhanced (and so does the hotel in question and any/all other endpoints) and that is exactly what they want. Why? Once your experience is enhanced, you will want to buy more, spend more money, you will love your interaction, propagate your experience through your social channels and that is the power of experience-based IT. Today all of your vendors are concerned about your experience! More on this soon… As we are living in the most vibrant moment in IT in the last several decades. Finally, when we can do things with data that we always dreamed about vs archiving and storing away in the vault and doing analysis so late that it no longer matters.

Experience-based IT in Cloud and IoT is a strong component of our vision at IBM. Stay tuned as there is much more to come….. Feel the buzz!

Two part series on the Washington Post discussing intimidation and finding your VOICE…Be part of the dialog! Participate to change the world! Take part in this critical dialog!

Funny looking woman speaking with a megaphone

2014 – Very excited to join IBM as Chief Innovation Officer, Cloud and Internet of Things. Great company and phenomenal journey ahead.

IBMWhy did I join IBM? My history with IoT: I have been fascinated by and engaged with the Internet of Things, IoT (Internet of humans, everything, whatever) for the last 17 years. First at BBN where we designed some of the first IoT applications for the military (realtime, critical). Second from 2001-2006 with my start-up ConnecTerra Inc. where we were one of the first players to connect, authenticate, communicate and enable RFID deployments for enterprise IT. Third between 2006-2014 where I have been engaged with start-ups and enterprises enabling true IoT. And now at IBM engaged in building the vision and strategy of the future of IoT. What we will be building and enabling will knock your socks off and this is why I have joined IBM. The emerging Internet of all things. To make the impossible–>possible. IoT is far beyond the world of connected things, rather it is the defining paradigm of future computing. More on this soon. So, IoT and I have had a long term close relationship, and what the future holds for us is nothing like what we have seen to-date. Totally stay tuned as we greatly look forward to collaborating with all of you! Hint: It is all about Intelligent IoT!

Here are a few of the specific reasons why I joined IBM:

1. There are very few companies in the world with the depth and breadth of the technical capability that IBM has across the board. Touching upon all aspects of computing and now rapidly evolving into cloud computing, IoT, cognitive computing and much more…

2. My passion with IoT: Wikipedia states RFID as one of the earliest instigators of IoT, leading to true big data. In 2000, I founded my company, ConnecTerra Inc, in Cambridge, MA where we built the platform to enable large scale RFID deployments, the authentication model and partnered with the MIT to enable large enterprise deployment of RFID. I am thrilled to see our great journey in IoT at IBM and how we will define, disrupt and lead the IoT innovation journey!

3. There are very few who have changed so many aspects of technology as we know it today over a period of 103 years. You also know that I have a passion for complexity. IBM knows complexity.

4. Right out of grad school I had the opportunity to work with extremely bright thinkers at BBN as we solved uber hard problems. I am thrilled to be working with extremely smart thinkers at IBM. This allows for constant learning and being challenged-which as you know I love! How can we disrupt without challenging status quo?

5. As you all know I am fascinated about not only bold (out of the box) and large scale innovation, but equally so about the timely and effective EXECUTION of innovation. At IBM, as we define and execute IoT, Cloud and many of the critical emerging technologies. We will be changing the world and enabling the impossible to become possible.

That is why I joined IBM! To be a part of changing our world. I hope to work with you during this most exciting journey.

As we discuss in Provoke…Are You Ready?

Praise for Linda’s book “ProVoke”:

Linda Bernardi, a successful tech entrepreneur, was not satisfied with only being one of the drivers in connecting data and analytics with physical devices through RFID. Ms. Bernardi saw the forest, not just the trees. She saw wave of new information technologies that would not only revolutionize the way that devices are built and used, but the very way in which innovation is practiced. Large scale, vertically integrated organizations were not capitalizing on the network of technologies and the rethinking they offered – instead, Linda saw the world as it was: big companies were stagnating. So she went a step further – she studied the root causes. Read the rest of the review….


Linda’s Passion, Story & DNA

Image credit via Flickr (Tsahi Levent-Levi)
Find out more about Linda’s Story and why she believes disruption is part of her DNA.


Most Recent Blog Posts

The Me! Economy™: Digital Transformation: From B-to-C to B-to-ME!™

With the advent of Internet commerce and Internet marketing over the last few decades, goods and services became available via B-to-C (business-to-consumer) and at times Bto-B-to-C. Historically, the goal has been to reach the right consumers and offer the desired products to grow revenues. However, we are on the cusp Read More >

WorkPlace 3.0: It Is About Inclusion, Not Diversity!

For decades, we have argued that we do not have enough women and minorities in companies, startups, and in the STEM professions. To address this problem, we set our sights on ‘diversity.’ We have formed countless not-for-profits to increase the number of women in STEM and executive positions. I, myself, Read More >

AR/VR Resistance. Why?

One thing is for sure: Anytime there is disruption, there is resistance. That is what we talk a lot about in my book ProVoke. I remember when I had my RFID Company (ConnecTerra Inc. in Cambridge, MA) and demonstrators were outside the doors because they thought RFID invaded their privacy Read More >

The Reality Of IoT vs. The World of Connected Things: The Same Or Different?

This week I had the pleasure to speak at the MIT Enterprise Forum annual conference on Connected Things. The MIT Media Center was buzzing with vibrant conversations about Connected Things, IoT, RFID, AR/VR, and more. Great debates everywhere! So here are some thoughts: First off, let’s establish some ground rules: 1.‘Connected World’ Read More >

How to build a great company by blending bureaucracy and holacracy

September 2015 - In 2001, when I built a start-up in the then-new field of RFID technology, I was often fascinated by the responses in interviews I would get from potential new hires. I would say, “Tell me what you can do,” and they would answer, “What do you want Read More >

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