Technology Industry Trends & Insights * ABL Member News * February 2, 2016

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  • 2/04  - Orange County Round Table
  • 2/05  - Los Angeles Area Round Table
  • 2/12  - West Los Angeles Round Table



Berkus Hits Another 'Top Tech Trends' Out of the Park
Also on LinkedIn

For the 13th time since 1998, Dave "Mr. Trend" Berkus presented a tour de force presentation of Top Tech Trends to his ABL audience on January 27th. With four over-arching trends (IT, energy, life science, and the new industrial revolution in manufacturing), Dave did a deep-dive into 10 major trends that will drive business - and our lives - in the next seven years. In this Introduction to Dave's presentation (thanks to the video magic of Bob Chesney, CEO of Chesney Communications), this first segment of Trends lays out several in/famous prognostications over the past 100+ years - including a few that have come amazingly close to predicting where technology has taken us today. To help the audience of Technology and Healthcare CEOs "think strategically to capitalize on this transformation," in addition to his 10 Trends, Dave posed some challenging questions that the participants later discussed in their Round Tables, following a 2-hour presentation and Q&A period. The audience also had time to grapple with which of the Trends would likely have the greatest impact on their businesses - and what they planned to do about it.

Here are Dave's 10 Trends

  1. Everywhere Connectivity
  2. Smart Everything (IoT)
  3. Biotechnology Helps, Heals, Fuels & Feeds the World*
  4. Robotics, New Labor Economy, & Additive Manufacturing
  5. Sharing Disrupts Service Economy
  6. Security vs. Convenience
  7. BIG Data – becomes Useful & Actionable
  8. Tech Lives in the Cloud
  9. The World Embraces CLEANTECH
  10. Consumer Electronics Trends: Virtual Reality Headsets Everywhere, & more
    Joining Dave on the Stage for this section was André de Fusco, CEO of Cynvenio Biosystems, Inc.

One of the greatest benefits for fans of Dave's nearly-annual Trends events is that it provides us with a framework into which to "place" most of the Trends that are driving our emerging world, and economy. For example, in this Online issue, we report that "Data Scientists Have the Hottest Job in America" - with 10 of the Top 25 Jobs in Tech (Trend 4). And, BIG Data is enabling "Nielsen to Monitor Facebook and Twitter" as they measure and analyze social media authorship, engagement, reach, and demographics (Trend 7). And, importantly, "Growth of Mixed Reality to Change Communication, Collaboration & the Workplace," thanks to the ubiquity of Virtual (and Augmented) Reality (Trend 10).

As you reflect on Dave's 10 Trends, the references mentioned above, and other articles and experiences you're encountering, take a few minutes to think about:

  • Which of these Trends will have the greatest impact on my business? And,

  • What am I going to do about it?



RESOURCES WANTED: Ornish Program Announcement & Job Openings

    John Tanner, Ph.D., CEO of Tanner Research, Director of NuSci, The Nutrition Science Foundation, and ABL Member, has announced plans to launch a wellness clinic focused on disease reversal and prevention through diet and other lifestyle changes. "To start, we will be licensing and implementing the Dean Ornish Program for Advanced Cardiac Rehabilitation," John says. "We will need one or more of the following people: [Read More]


Southern California Sees Boom in Venture Investments in Q415

Southern California saw a "massive" $1.3 billion invested in venture capital in Q4 of 2015, according to the latest numbers from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. The $1.3B invested in Q4 matched the $1.3B invested in the region in Q4 of 2014, and was only slightly less than the $1.46B invested in Q315, which typically has been the busiest investing quarter for the region. Southern California bucked the national trend, where venture investing dollars were down 32% in Q415 compared with Q315. The PwC/NVCA MoneyTree report, which uses data from Thomson Reuters, tallied $693.17 million in deals in the Los Angeles region; $276.1M in Orange County, and $334M in San Diego. (, 1/19/16)

VCs Invest Heavily in Next-Gen Security Tech

Venture capitalists are hoping to get a piece of companies' increased spending on cybersecurity. In 2014, Gregg Steinhafel, the CEO of Target, became the first head of a major company to lose his job over a data breach. Now, worried company leaders are giving their security units a "blank check," says Scott Weiss, general partner at VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. Today's advanced threats are much too sophisticated for traditional tools like antivirus software and firewalls. Not wanting to buy obsolete products, security executives are increasingly venturing into agreements with cybersecurity startups. According to CB Insights, the global VC community poured a record $2.5 billion into cybersecurity companies in 2014, and raised another $3.3B in 2015.
      Not only are the threats more numerous and advanced, but companies must also secure networks that are growing more complex and massive. Every device on a network is a potential target for hackers, and new security technologies focused on them are getting lots of attention from investors. Security investors are also focused on the fact that businesses and organizations are putting more and more data in the cloud. In response, a new breed of cloud security companies is offering services such as novel encryption schemes and technologies for continuously monitoring what goes on in a company's cloud servers. With so much funding available, the burgeoning cybersecurity startup scene is chaotic. Cybersecurity investor Greg Dracon, a partner at .406 Ventures, thinks a consolidation cycle may already be starting. Bigger companies are buying up individual technologies and could eventually offer suites of products, he says. Dracon thinks all this investor attention is driving prices too high overall, and that the market has gotten ahead of itself, at least for the near term. However, the security market itself has another decade of growth at least, he believes. "The problem set is outpacing the solution set," he says, "and I don't think there's any end in sight to that." (, 1/25/16)

Alphabet (Google) Passes Apple as World's Most-Valuable Company

Alphabet, Google's parent company, has overtaken Apple to become the most valuable company in the world. Alphabet closed Monday at $518 billion, but in after-hours trading on Monday, Alphabet spiked over 5% at one point following a strong earnings report, making Google worth roughly $544B. At that point, Apple's market capitalization stood at $534B. Alphabet's primary revenue-generating engine is Google, of course. During Monday's earnings call, Google CEO Sundar Pichai noted that seven Google consumer products have more than 1 billion monthly active users, including Gmail, Search, Android, Maps, Chrome, Youtube, and Google Play. But as quickly as Google can make money, parent company Alphabet can spend it. "Other Bets" revenue, which includes Google's long-shot projects like self-driving cars and Internet balloons, posted an operating loss of $3.56B with only $448 million in revenue. (, 2/1/16)

Data Scientists Have the Hottest Job in America

In Glassdoor's new report on the 25 Best Jobs in America, 10 were in the technology industry, more than any other vertical. "Data scientist" - with a median base salary of $116,840, 1,700+ job openings on Glassdoor's site, and a user-provided career opportunities rating of 4.1 - took the prize for most highly rated job title in the nation. It finished ninth in last year's report, the first that Glassdoor has issued. The next 24 job titles, in order, are: tax manager; solutions architect; engagement manager; mobile developer; HR manager; physician assistant; product manager; software engineer; audit manager; analytics manager; software development manager; product marketing manager; marketing manager; QA manager; finance manager; business development manager; UX designer; strategy manager; technical account manager; consultant; construction superintendent; nurse practitioner; electrical engineer; and software architect. (, 1/20/16)

This "Disruptive Innovation is a Line of Tax Code Rather than Software Code"

TechCrunch's recent article - Early Stage Investing For Entrepreneurs And Individual Investors Just Got A Whole Lot More Attractive - reports that on December 18, Congress passed the PATH Act (Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes), a sweeping $1 trillion bill. "[P]age 813, Section 126, makes reference to a feature that's now become a permanent part of the tax code - and it's great news for entrepreneurs and other individuals financing startups and companies in the earliest stages of growth, as well as general partners and individual investors in venture capital funds. This is all part of Congress' interest in encouraging long-term investing," TechCrunch writes. "The impact this change will have on entrepreneurs, the lifeblood of the U.S. economy, is significant. This new code will enable a company's founders and employees holding stock, including that obtained upon exercise of options, to save up to millions of dollars in taxes upon a company achieving a successful liquidation event. Risk-taking entrepreneurs and investors who create jobs through building businesses will be rewarded for their efforts with lessened tax burdens. In this case, the disruptive innovation is a line of tax code rather than software code." (, 1/25/16)

U.S. and Europe Fail to Meet Deadline for Data Transfer Deal

American and European officials failed on Sunday to reach an agreement over how digital data - including financial information and social media posts - could be transferred between the two regions. Despite last-minute talks, the two sides remained far apart on specific details required to approve a comprehensive deal. Without an agreement, companies that regularly move data, including tech giants like Google and non-tech companies like General Electric, could find themselves in murky legal waters. European and American officials had until Sunday evening to meet a deadline set by Europe's national privacy agencies, some of which have promised aggressive legal action if the current negotiations founder. Those agencies will publish their own judgment on how data can be moved safely between the two regions. The two sides are now hoping to agree to a broad deal before European national regulators act on Wednesday, according to several officials. No big American company is expected to change how it does business immediately. But many have gathered teams of lawyers to protect themselves in case no deal emerges. (, 1/31/16)

Vehicle Security Concerns Drive Tech Demands

Common on your phone and computer, software updates are also coming to your car. Carmakers led by Tesla Motors Inc. are pushing over-the-air Wi-Fi and 3G or 4G wireless downloads to add functions and to upgrade performance of their vehicles. It's prompting suppliers like NXP Semiconductors NV, Ericsson AB, and Gemalto NV to celebrate as car builders fight to keep hackers out. "As soon as you connect anything to the Internet, there's a hacking risk," said Jonathan Olsson, a security expert at Ericsson. Tesla in January rolled out new software that will let its Model S and Model X electric sedans park in a garage or in perpendicular spaces without a driver behind the wheel. The average update takes 45 minutes.
      As software gains ground and controls additional features in vehicles, cars will require regular updates, just like Apple Inc. pushed modifications to its iPhone software about 10 times last year. Many updates will be aimed at fixing software bugs - there are typically 200 million lines of code in a car, which means it's unlikely to be bug-proof from day one, Ericsson's Olsson said. Toyota Motor Corp., the world's largest automaker, in 2014 had to recall more than half of the Prius vehicles ever sold to fix a software bug that could slow down or bring the car to a halt.
      The practice of updating a car's software is due to grow at least tenfold in the coming six years as vehicles become increasingly connected, researcher IHS Automotive forecast in a report. About 4.6 million cars got over-the-air updates for telematics applications last year, compared to 43 million units expected worldwide by 2022, it said. Maps, infotainment, and core auto functions will also spur updates, IHS said. According to Analysis Mason, there will be 150 million connected cars circulating globally in 2016 and more than 800 million by 2023. (, 1/25/16)

Super Bowl Cameras: Fans Will Feel like They're on the Field

Super Bowl 50 will have 70 video cameras pointed at the field, up from the 40 used last year, including the 5K "Eye Vision 360," which can freeze players in motion and give fans a first-person point of view as if they were on the field. Also, cameras will be added to the end-zone pylons, and the updated SkyCam will travel faster than the players. Last year's Super Bowl was the most watched TV program in U.S. history, clocking in 114+ million viewers. A lot is invested every year to make sure fans are entertained, including some of the coolest camera technology in the world. The Super Bowl's golden anniversary in Santa Clara - in the heart of Silicon Valley - will be no exception. (, 1/27/16; CTA SmartBrief, 1/28/16)

USC & Jaunt Team on Virtual Reality Lab

In a partnership with Jaunt, the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts is opening a new virtual reality (VR) incubator, called the Jaunt Cinematic Virtual Reality Lab, which will be powered by VR cameras donated by Jaunt, and will also include future research, development projects, and internships for students. Jaunt is a VR hardware and software developer, backed by The Walt Disney Company and Google Ventures, among others. (, 1/20/16)

Robots Playing Huge Role in Next Industrial Revolution

According to Here come the robots: Davos bosses brace for big technology shocks, implantable mobile phones, 3D-printed organs for transplant, clothes and reading-glasses connected to the Internet - such things may be science fiction today but they will be scientific fact by 2025 as the world enters an era of advanced robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and gene editing, according to executives surveyed by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Nearly half of those questioned expect an AI machine to be sitting on a corporate board of directors within the next decade. Robots are already on the march, moving from factories into homes, hospitals, shops, restaurants, and even war zones, while advances in areas like artificial neural networks are starting to blur the barriers between man and machine. (Reuters, 1/20/16)

Drone Sales Soar as Fans Shrug Off New Regulations

By the end of 2015, Americans welcomed home about 1.1 million new drones, according to the Consumer Technology Association - their sales apparently immune to the regulations announced by the Federal Aviation Administration four days before Christmas. That number compares with 450,000 in 2014 and 128,000 in 2013. Studies indicate that most Americans are worried about privacy issues surrounding drones. In a 2014 survey by the Pew Research Institute, 63% of respondents said a massive proliferation of drones would be "a change for the worse." A bigger concern for the FAA is that the small, remote-controlled aircraft could interfere with planes and helicopters. Commercial airline pilots reported 1,300+ close encounters with drones over a 10-month period last year, according to the agency.
      On Dec. 21, the FAA announced new rules requiring owners of recreational drones to register them in a national database. Owners must put registration numbers on their drones and carry proof of registration when they operate the devices. State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D - Santa Barbara) wants California laws to go well beyond registration. After Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed her first attempt at a drone bill last year, she introduced a fine-tuned version on Jan. 13. If passed, the bill would restrict the use of drones near private property, parks, and public infrastructure such as bridges, hospitals, power plants, and oil refineries. Drones could not be operated within five miles of an airport and 1,000 feet of a heliport. Still, Jackson allowed, "Drone technology is exciting and innovative. We don't want to get in the way of its positive applications." Videographer David Oneal, whose clients have included Honda and Kia, uses drones to shoot advertisements and commercials. "A couple of years ago, we were renting big cranes for this kind of work," he said. He predicts that drones soon will be drafted for rescue missions: "Floods, earthquakes, a missing child - you can see a lot more from 70 feet up in the air." (, 1/20/16)

"20 Tech Insiders Defining the 2016 Campaign"

According to the recent Wired article, Meet the 20 Tech Insiders Defining the 2016 Campaign, "2016 is the election when Silicon Valley - its players, its policy priorities, and, oh yes, its money - finally upstages the old 20th-­century power structure and seizes control of the political game . . . the power players in Silicon Valley are beginning to confidently wield their tremendous economic resources and social influence - Google is one of the top lobbyists in the country - and as we know, in American politics, money is power. Tech also has the data, and data is the lifeblood of campaigns. Finally, tech controls the new means of communication, from Twitter to Snapchat to Facebook. Political narratives are no longer limited to - or even primarily told through - TV networks and major newspapers. Together these forces give the titans of Silicon Valley outsize clout in the political world." The article goes on to feature "The Wired Political Power List." (, 1/19/16)

Nielsen to Monitor Facebook & Twitter to Measure Buzz about TV Shows

Nielsen is expanding its Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings to include Facebook conversation for the first time, and said it plans to integrate Instagram at a later date. As such, Nielsen will rename the service Nielsen's Social Content Ratings, the first solution to measure aggregate-level program-related conversation on Facebook and Twitter, including posts shared with friends and family, with followers, and publicly. Nielsen's Social Content Ratings will deliver standardized third-party measurement of program-related conversation for each social networking service tracked and gross totals across social networks. Measurement will include social media authorship (e.g., posts, Tweets), engagement (e.g., comments, likes, replies, Retweets, shares), reach (audience and impressions), and demographics (age and gender) as available. (, 1/20/16)


BatchMaster Adds Nuestro Queso & PIDC to Client Roster

Two companies have recently selected BatchMaster ERP with SAP Business One, from BatchMaster Software: Nuestro Queso, a dairy products manufacturer/ distributor, and PIDC, a specialty chemical manufacturer. BatchMaster's ERP solutions help formula-based manufacturers streamline their operations and scale production, while reducing costs and complying with changing customer demands and ever more stringent regulatory mandates. (Sahib Dudani, Orange County)

Catasys Expands Rollout of OnTrak-H Solution into Wisconsin

Catasys, Inc., a provider of proprietary data, predictive analytics, and modeling-based behavioral health management services for health plans, has launched its OnTrak-H solution in Wisconsin with one of the nation's leading health plans. The plan's eligible Medicare Advantage members will be covered under OnTrak-H, a 52-week, multi-phase program in which enrolled members receive medical and psychosocial interventions, as well as intensive care coaching. (Rick Anderson, West Los Angeles)

Cornerstone Among 10 Best Workplaces in Tech

Fortune Magazine has named Cornerstone OnDemand to its list of the 10 Best Large Workplaces in Tech, noting that the company has "put a twist on the traditional 'bring your kid to work' idea, and instead invites employees to bring their parents to the office to better understand what their children do all day. And the software company also provides employees with a sabbatical after seven years and tuition reimbursement for a job-relevant degree they'd like to pursue after three years at the company."  Meanwhile, Cornerstone CEO Adam Miller is featured in the Los Angeles Business Journal's Power Players - How L.A.'s tech leaders created Silicon Beach, and in a video on - The Big Sign That Your Business is Going Off the Rails, where he explains why it's okay to experience the same challenges multiple times. (Adam Miller & Dave Wachtel, West Los Angeles)

Kim Shepherd's & Dave Berkus' Book Receives Accolade has named the book Get Scrappy: Business Insights to Make Your Company More Agile, co-authored by Kim Shepherd, CEO of Decision Toolbox, and Dave Berkus, a renowned investor and entrepreneur, to its list of 3 Books Small Business Owners Should Read. According to "This book covers the serious topics all small business owners need to know more about - but it's written without jargon, so you instantly understand what the authors are telling you and can quickly act upon their advice."  Meanwhile, Kim contributed a byline article on the importance of company culture to Smart Business, and shared tips with readers of on five ways to rethink staff recruitment. (Kim Shepherd & Dave  Berkus, both Los Angeles Area)

Easy Breathe Urges CPAP Users to Make Use of Data

In What in the World is CPAP Data and Why is it So Important?, Easy Breathe declares that CPAP data is nothing to fear and should not be ignored. "Data is something to be embraced and even loved. Not only can CPAP data help you stay committed to CPAP, it can also help you fine tune your therapy and it can give your physician keen insight into how your therapy is rolling along . . . CPAPs can even communicate with your smart phone and computer. The newest CPAPs from the top manufacturers are compatible with CPAP data apps and web applications. You don't need to read your CPAP data on the teeny tiny CPAP screen. You can use your phone or computer." (Nick Weiss, West Los Angeles)

Masergy Nominated for Customer Service Stevie Award

For the second year in a row, Masergy Communications' Security Control Center and customer support have been recognized as a Finalist in the 2016 Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service Excellence. Masergy's Security Control Center, part of Masergy's Unified Enterprise Security managed service, offers continuous monitoring of customer networks for potential security breaches. The Stevie Awards are an international competition recognizing excellence in disciplines that are crucial to business success. (Dean Manzoori, Los Angeles Area)

MSC Software Announces Simulating Reality Contest

Everyone is invited to participate in MSC Software's "Simulating Reality" Contest by submitting videos or images that demonstrate how you use MSC Software simulation technology to develop products or design innovations. Participants will be divided into two groups - Industry and University, which will compete separately. Ten winners from each group will be exhibited on MSC's website, and the top three winners from each group will win GoPro Hero4 Session motion cameras. Participants must submit entries before March 31, 2016. More Info. (Chris Brecher, Orange County)

PeopleG2 Presents Webinar on Importance of Background Checks

On February 3, PeopleG2 will present a webinar - Background Checks: What's the REAL Cost and How Do You Save Money in 2016? - from 10-11 a.m. Pacific. "Hiring employees costs money, and a part of that cost is a background check," reports PeopleG2. In this session, participants will learn how short changing this vital part of the hiring process will impact their companies. (Chris Dyer, Los Angeles Area)


Dave Berkus on: Online Sales & Marketing

In Mailing lists, email marketing, errors, oh my!, Dave offers some advice on successfully growing your mailing list by taking necessary precautions to ensure the addresses are verified.  And, in Email open rates: Your best marketing test, Dave notes that a recent Experian marketing survey revealed that 52% of all email opens are from mobile devices, and that 38% of all clicks are from mobile devices. As such, it's important to be sure that all of your communications are responsive – able to display text, photos, and video clips equally well on smartphones, tablets, and desktops. (Dave Berkus, Los Angeles Area & West Los Angeles)

Early-Stage Venture Capitalist says: "Don't Mortgage Your Startup"

In a recent TechCrunch article - Don't Mortgage Your Startup - venture capitalist David Frankel, Managing Partner at Founder Collective and non-executive director of Rand Merchant Bank, writes: "The last 5-10 years have been an extraordinary time for early stage tech founders to raise money. But easy access to capital has ingrained some bad habits among founders. There has always been the risk of over-funding your company or not being able to find a funder for your next round, but now it's far more common to see founders blithely accepting deal terms that could kill their businesses - or at least their ownership of them. Ironically, this is a problem for both successful startups as well as those that are struggling: Competitive founders of rocket ships aiming at a unicorn-filled fairyland often accept onerous terms precisely to secure a higher valuation, and struggling startups end up signing deals with less scrupulous third-tier firms or strategic corporate investors who haven't bought into the Y Combinator playbook. Despite all the educational blog posts and videos available to founders, there is still an information asymmetry between investors. You'll find that pitfalls abound as you progress down the funding path." Frankel goes on to discuss those pitfalls. (, 1/31/16)

Growth of Mixed Reality to Change Communication, Collaboration & Workplace

A recent report from investment bank Goldman Sachs predicted that within 10 years, virtual reality (VR) hardware will be an $80 billion industry. While the conversation around VR and AR (augmented reality) often focuses on gaming and video entertainment, the Goldman report theorizes that these use cases will account for less than half of the software market. By combining analog, two-dimensional ways of working with new mixed-reality experiences, we can transform our ability to communicate, collaborate, and create. Mixed reality has the potential to allow a global workforce of remote teams to work together and tackle an organization's business challenges. No matter where they are physically located, an employee can strap on their headset and noise-canceling headphones and enter a collaborative, immersive virtual environment. Language barriers will become irrelevant as AR applications are able to accurately translate in real time. Imagine Google Translate acting in real time between two or more people. The future of communication and collaboration at work will be defined by VR, AR, and mixed reality experiences that provide economic value. To equate this collision of our physical and digital worlds solely with play and entertainment is to miss one of the great upcoming technological evolutions of our workforce. (, 1/30/16)

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