Chief executive officer

Fig CEO Justin Bailey offers the cure for ‘sequelitis’

The statistics are telling. In 2008, Electronic Arts published 60 games. In 2016, EA published just eight games. And that means that a lot fewer of those games are original titles.

Justin Bailey, the chief executive officer of Fig, pointed to this statistic as an example of “sequelitis,” or the risk aversion that is resulting in big bets on established intellectual properties. And he wasn’t just picking on EA. Square Enix, another huge company, is making games like Final Fantasy XV….

Snap CEO on Facebook threat: ‘Just because Yahoo has a search box, it doesn’t mean they’re Google’

On Snap’s first earnings call as a public company Wednesday, Wall Street had a particularly burning question for Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel: “Does Facebook scare you?” asked Richard Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG.

Following an earnings report that came in below analysts’ expectations on sales, profit and user growth—prompting Snap stock to plummet nearly 25% after-hours towards its IPO price of $17—26-year-old CEO Spiegel laughed at the question.

Greenfield had prefaced his query by noting that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had announced a new camera feature with augmented reality last month, positioning the social media company in direct competition with Snapchat, which describes itself as a camera company.

“At the end of…

Nvidia CEO: ‘AI is going to infuse all of software’

Jen-Hsun Huang is a big fan of artificial intelligence, as it helps his company Nvidia sell a lot more AI chips.

In an earnings call yesterday, the CEO responded to a question by saying, “AI is going to infuse all of software.” He’ll talk more about this topic today at the Nvidia GPU Tech conference in San Jose, Calif., where he is delivering a keynote speech. The event draws about 7,000 people, many for talks on AI. Nvidia also said yesterday it plans to train 100,000 developers this year on deep learning technology, which is one form of AI that is delivering rapid advances across a variety of industries.

Huang wasn’t the only one singing AI’s praises during the call.

“AI has quickly emerged as the single most powerful source of technology,” said Colette Kress, chief financial officer at Nvidia, during the call. “And at the center of AI are Nvidia GPUs.”

Above: Nvidia Metropolis will use video analytics to monitor public safety.

Image Credit: Nvidia

Here’s what Huang had to say during the conference call.

First of all, AI…

“Don’t Be a Know-It-All, Be a Learn-It-All”

If there’s one thing anyone can benefit from in life, it’s always thinking of yourself as a student. It’s okay if you don’t know something as long as you’re willing to learn it.

Over at Business Insider, Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, talks about Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck’s best-selling book, Mindset, and how it has inspired him:

“I was reading it not in the context of business or work culture, but in the context of my children’s education. The author describes the simple metaphor of kids at school. One of them is a ‘know-it-all’…

Josh Feast’s Cogito Provides Technology To Bring Charm Back To Customer Service

‘Smart’ Mattress Company Eight Raises $5 Million Series A To Track Your Sleep

Josh Feast, Co-Founder and CEO, Cogito
Josh Feast, Cofounder and CEO, Cogito

Photo Courtesy of Cogito

Josh Feast, Cofounder and CEO, Cogito

A Series of Forbes Insights Profiles of Thought Leaders Changing the Business Landscape: Josh Feast, Cofounder and CEO, Cogito

The Customer Service industry is big business, representing a $84.7 billion global market by 2020, according to Radiant Insights. Yet most consumers today still view customer service as a point of frustration when engaging with companies. Often the interaction is highly emotionally charged, creating an interaction most customer service representatives find challenging to manage. One company, Boston-based Cogito, is working to change all of that.

Cogito is an artificial intelligence software platform based on behavioral science born of years of research at MIT’s Human Dynamic Lab and initially funded by DARPA to bring it commercial use.

“We help people be more charming in conversation, which is something you don’t often think of technology being able to do. We’ve figured out how to measure how well a conversation between humans is going and we’re able to guide the participants on how they can adjust the way that they’re speaking to get a better outcome from that conversation,” says cofounder and CEO, Josh Feast.

The organizations Cogito works with have between 20 and 40 percent of their operating costs invested in customer service, and many of their clients including Humana, Zurich and CareFirst have between 10,000 to 40,000 employees on the front-lines making calls and possibly turning people off from their services or products.

“We’re helping them provide a better experience for their customers when they call in. Our solution is helping customer service professionals better manage difficult, emotional customers and also helping them achieve higher job satisfaction, showing them how the work they’re doing is meaningful because of the impact they’re having on the customer. For the customers (which is most of us), we all get a much more pleasant conversation when we call into the service line of a large company,” says Feast

Customer service representatives get phone calls routed to them from the telephony system. Cogito analyzes calls as they’re happening and delivers real-time recommendations to the service professionals as they’re speaking on the phone. “It’s like a big, high-performance, computing AI system. We can integrate into a CRM system or deploy the application stand-alone; customer service reps get notifications when they need to change something about the way they’re speaking. As they take these recommendations they come across as more confident, more empathic, calmer, and more compassionate.”

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BOXED: The Next Billion Dollar Startup

“We view this as an opportunity to really help people with the thing that is most difficult about their job, which is dealing with difficult and emotional customers and how to create a good human relationship amongst so much technology. We have a strong mission around that. And this is already a big opportunity, but if you…

Wednesday Tech Wrap: Apple, Microsoft, Samsung

Use A Side Gig To Fund Retirement

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during a product launch event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California on October 27, 2016. (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

reported a small but surprising fall in iPhone sales for the first three months of 2017. The company sold 50.8 million iPhones in the last quarter, down 1% on an annual basis. Chief Executive Tim Cook said the “pause” was due to customers waiting for the next iPhone, traditionally due out in September. But Apple’s shares were down 1.8% or $2.66 in pre-market trading on Wednesday morning in New York; Apple reported after trading closed on Tuesday. The stock had hit an all-time high of $147 per share on Tuesday as investors expected a blowout quarter, Forbes’ Brian Solomon reports.

The results were mixed overall. While iPhone sales did slide, the company was more profitable than expected, earning $2.10 per share compared with the $2.02 expected by analysts, Solomon added.


Microsoft unveiled its next Surface laptop along with the Windows 10…

A trio of visionaries will explore the future of augmented reality

Above: Tom Cruise in Minority Report inspired lots of tech companies.

I’m very excited about the trio of technology and entertainment visionaries that are the latest speakers for our upcoming GamesBeat Summit 2017: How games, sci-fi, and tech create real-world magic. They include John Hanke, CEO of Niantic Labs and co-creator of Pokémon Go; Ralph Osterhout, CEO of Osterhout Design Group, maker of augmented reality glasses; and John Underkoffler, CEO of Oblong Industries, maker of the Mezzanine collaboration software and science advisor for the film Minority Report.

GamesBeat Summit 2017 will take place on May 1-2 at the historic Claremont resort hotel in Berkeley, Calif., just a short distance from San Francisco. You can secure your seat here. Register today and receive 20 percent off current ticket prices. Use the code Deantak.

I will moderate the session on the future of augmented reality, games, and new technologies. Our visionaries will have a conversation across the seams of science fiction, real-world technology, and games.

Above: John Underkoffler, CEO of Oblong Industries, was science advisor on Minority Report.

Underkoffler has been trying to make the vision of the 2002 film Minority Report, where actor Tom Cruise uses “data gloves” and gestures to control a transparent computer, into a reality. He founded Oblong in 2006, and launched Mezzanine for enterprise collaborators in 2012. Oblong’s technological and design trajectories build on fifteen years of foundational work at the MIT Media Lab, where Underkoffler was responsible for innovations in real-time computer graphics systems, optical and electronic holography, large-scale visualization techniques, and the I/O Bulb and Luminous Room systems.

He has also been science advisor to films including The Hulk, Aeon Flux, and Iron Man. He serves on the National Advisory Council of Cranbrook Academy in Bloomfield Hills, MI, and on the Board of Directors of the E14 Fund in Cambridge, Mass., and of the Sequoyah School in Pasadena, Calif. He is the recipient of the 2015 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award and holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Underkoffler will also be giving a solo talk at our summit on May 1.

Above: John Hanke, CEO of Niantic Labs.

Hanke has been running Niantic and riding the rocket ship of Pokémon Go, which has more than 65 million monthly active users and has generated more than $1 billion in revenue in less than a year. His company is dedicated to building “real world” mobile gaming experiences that foster exploration, exercise and social interaction. Niantic has developed and released two games, Ingress and global phenomenon Pokémon Go. The company was originally founded as a start up within Google to explore the creation of new kinds of entertainment at the intersection of location, social, and emerging mobile devices. Niantic was spun out as an independent company in 2015 with backing from investors such as Google, Nintendo and The Pokemon Company.

Earlier in his career, John was a founder of Archetype Interactive, creators of one of the very first online massively multiplayer games, Meridian59, and then went on to co-found Keyhole, a company acquired by Google for the technology that lead to the creation of Google Earth. He was vice president of Google’s Geo division (overseeing projects including Maps and Street View) for seven years before founding Niantic.

Above: Ralph Osterhout, CEO of Osterhout Design Group

Osterhout is a developer, designer and…