Larry Downes works directly with clients to develop content that is focused on the industry, company or theme of the event.
Larry Downes is a consultant, educator and speaker on developing business strategies in an age of constant change caused by information technology. He works with Fortune 500 businesses in a variety of industries, and serves on the advisory boards of several startups. He has held faculty appointments at both The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and Northwestern University School of Law, where he taught courses on corporate strategy and technology law.
His new book, "The Strategy Machine: Building Your Business One Idea at a Time" (HarperBusiness 2002) teaches executives how to design and execute winning business strategies that can withstand turbulent market conditions and exploit the coming wave of technology disruptions.
Downes is co-author of the Business Week and New York Times business bestseller, "Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance" (Harvard Business School Press, 1998), which has sold nearly 200,000 copies in a dozen languages. The book describes how executives can harness the power of information technology and provides twelve design principles for developing "killer apps."
His clients include leaders in the travel, financial services, chemicals, publishing and telecommunications industries. During 2000, he was Chief Strategy Officer for Spyonit, a mobile Internet software company, and was strategist-in-residence for Atlanta-based incubator eHatchery.
His previous work includes large-scale systems integration and development, technology research and strategy, and corporate law for Silicon Valley companies. Mr. Downes was Founding Director of Accenture's Center for Strategic Technology Research and a Principal in the Silicon Valley office of McKinsey & Co. From 1997-2000, he was a Fellow with Diamond Technology Partners.
Mr. Downes holds a B.A. from Northwestern University, and received his J.D. Magna Cum Laude from the University of Chicago, where he was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law & Economics and a member of the Law Review. From 1993-1994, he served as law clerk to the Honorable Richard A. Posner, Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He is a founding fellow of the Cyberspace Law Institute and a member of the State Bar of California.
He has written for a variety of publications, including Optimize, The Industry Standard, The American Banker, CIO, The American Scholar, Strategy & Leadership, Business 2.0, Wired, Context, USA Today and the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology. From 1999-2001, he wrote the popular "E-Business Strategies" column for The Industry Standard, and produced the magazine's annual Net Returns conference in Aspen, CO.
Larry Downes works directly with clients to develop content that is focused on the industry, company or theme of the event. Detailed current company examples are used to make the message as concrete and immediate as possible. Each presentation is a custom product. For illustration, recent talks have included:
Five Things Your Competitors Are Doing To Prepare For The Inevitable Economic Recovery (And Why You Should Do Them Faster):
Shorting the future is never a good strategy, especially during down periods in the business cycle. Leading companies are already reorganizing themselves and making investments today which will position them as leaders in the eventual recovery of their industries. What are they doing and why must you do it too?
Next Generation Technology And Its Impact on Strategy:
A seismic shift in computing architecture is taking place, equivalent in importance (and disruption) to the move during the 1980s from mainframes to client-server. Larry Downes discusses seven key features of this new architecture and how companies can begin today to transition to it. More to the point, why should they?
The increased availability of transaction data from an exploding set of sources is enabling a new generation of business applications that will revolutionize the supply chain, breaking many old links even as it forges new ones. As data breaks down barriers within and between organizations, what are the possibilities for "extreme" collaboration?
The Strategy Machine - The Merger Of Planning And Execution
As in many previous technological revolutions, the difference between winners and losers boils down to successful, sustained execution and the discipline of strategy. Some companies have learned that in times of accelerated change, the only way to succeed is to remove the obstacles to change and integrate planning and execution as never before.
Technology Against The Law: The Coming Regulatory Nightmare And How To Stop It:
Technology revolutions create regulatory chaos, perhaps never more so than today, as new developments in information technology, biotechnology, materials, energy and other fields challenge long stable social and political assumptions. Companies that hope to benefit directly or indirectly from innovation need to understand this accident-prone intersection and take seriously their obligations to educate governments and consumers about the risks of reflexive regulation.
Building An Information Supply Chain:
History teaches that the development of new business infrastructure is harder than it looks but, once it's done, surprising new applications and new sources of wealth result. Across industries, improved information flows and the introduction of disposable computing directly into consumer goods is creating a parallel supply chain built on information about the underlying transactions. In many industries, this information supply chain will be the future source of profits. How do you position yourself today to thrive in that future?
The New Industrial Revolution:
Clear away the debris of the boom-and-bust cycles of information technologies, and you find profound transformations going on across industries - transformations driven by information technology innovations that go well beyond the Internet. Larry Downes argues that sooner or later every industry will wake up and find itself, like the character in Franz Kafka's novel "The Metamorphosis", changed into a cockroach. What are the stages of change? What are the warning signs that the hard parts are upon you? What are the tools executives need to thrive in the emerging new industry structures? Is being a cockroach such a bad thing after all?
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