247 – Amanda Parkes of Future Tech Lab – Thinking Differently

Amanda Parkes

Investing, innovating, and incubating the future of fashion technology…

Amanda ParkesAmanda Parkes, Chief Innovation Officer of Future Tech Lab (equal parts investment company, multinational accelerator, and experimental laboratory, and a hybrid created to both disrupt and transform the fashion ecosystem) joins Pavan Bahl, Marc Raco, and guest host Rohan Deuskar (Stylitics) on location at South by Southwest. MouthMedia Network studios are powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Amanda Parkes on how from research, producing fiber, getting to scale, is a long process
  • Helping companies stay in it that long, investing in something that takes time, slower than a lot of other industries
  • Investment arm, expanding into wearable tech
  • An agency like a consulting firm helping big companies helping with new product development in big companies, external R and D – fashion companies waiting for tech to be created – disconnected with major fashion brands, not making textiles necessary for future of fashion
  • Experimental lab – product development of future-perfect products
  • Are brands responding to discoveries, or are needs not answered and companies solve those problems
  • Industry doesn’t know what it doesn’t know
  • Synthetic biology is just starting to get to the point of being marketable
  • Orange Fiber made from waste product of making orange juice
  • Reclaimed materials – waste into resources
  • Getting sustainability messaging out, backing up with profitability
  • Is sustainability “elitist”?
  • The kind of companies FTF is looking at and how they can help, where they come in and play a role – not as much defined by stage, but more what the niche is that the company is in
  • Parkes is most excited about biofabrication
  • Expectations on textiles related to disposability
  • The future of biodegradable circuits and them being programmed to break down (disposable devices on purpose)
  • Thinking differently

@amandaparkes (Instagram)

@futuretechlab (Instagram)

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246 – Shane Mac – Chatbots, Messaging, and Automation

Shane Mac

Messaging and voice automation in retail…

Shane MacShane Mac, Co-Founder and CEO of Assist (a leading enterprise chatbot platform using AI for messaging and voice automation) joins Pavan Bahl and Marc Raco at Shoptalk 2018 in Las Vegas.

Support for today’s episode comes from luxury footwear brand Tamara Mellon. Visit tamaramellon.com today to receive a $100 gift toward your first order using code “FIYB”!

In this episode:

  • The ability to fully order products and services just by speaking into your mobile device
  • Why the company Assist, Inc. needs to exist
  • So many players on the Internet, how it is all so complicated
  • The power of written word, and then the spoken word, talking to machines and there will be a log of that that will make it easier when we can use our words more often to take action online
  • Why Internet works – because there aren’t people
  • The goal is to do something that builds relationships with automation and do it well, at scale
  • What you understand – language; what you remember – context
  • Those who pick great use cases will become great at AIShane Mac
  • The errors are the intelligence in the space
  • How people will want entry automation – the relationship of the future might be in the bot, not the brand, and will become the gateway to discovery
  • Trying to make AI more and more human-like in sound and reactions, and will there be a point when we don’t want it to be too human?
  • Why we shouldn’t make AI be like a human, if we don’t understand that when we use language and how your treat people, words are powerful and can cause harm
  • Diversity mandates understanding how to treat everyone in the world, racism can happen, lack of understanding of people can cause automation can treat people badly
  • Designing errs that creates understanding and great language pieces
  • Using chatbots to write new rules on the flow
  • Deflecting past channels to a new paradigm
  • The power of adding a camera
  • Why we don’t need to redesign retail by certain methods
  • Mac’s new podcast “Machine Yearning”
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245 – Trailblazers – Designing for Inclusive Sizing

EXPERT PANEL: Designing for Inclusive Sizing

With Jessica Kahan Dvorett (Merchandising and Branding at Gwynnie Bee), Becca McCharen (Designer at CHROMAT), and
Polina Veksler (Co-founder/CEO at Universal Standard); Moderated by Don Howard (Executive Director at Alvanon).

Introductory remarks by Rick Darling (Executive Director of Government & Trade Relations, and Corporate Sustainability at Li & Fung Limited), Janice Wang (CEO at Alvanon), and Deborah Weinswig (CEO/Founder at Coresight Research).

About the Trailblazers Conference June 14, 2018:

One Size Does Not Fit All: Inclusive Design & the Modern Consumer

Niche markets like adaptive, inclusive and plus-size design are growing fast in a world increasingly more invested in empowering the underrepresented.

Retail now has an opportunity to both increase profit margins while positively impacting the lives of millions of consumers with unmet needs. We look forward to further exploring these multibillion-dollar retail opportunities at this conference.

Alvanon Trailblazers is an annual gathering of top entrepreneurs, creators and businesses discussing the big topics shaping and impacting the future of our industry.

About Coresight Research and Alvanon

CORESIGHT RESEARCH is a research and advisory firm that works at the intersection of global retail, technology and fashion. The firm has offices in the US, UK, China and India and specializes in crossborder retail strategies.

ALVANON is an innovations company reinventing the way fashion works. We believe in empowering the apparel industry to change; in a desire to keep learning and improving; and that collaborative innovation is key to success in today’s rapidly changing world.

 

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244 – Wayne Baskin of Booktopia – Reading Into Ecommerce Success

Booktopia

Why the success of an Australian online book seller should matter to retailers…

BooktopiaWayne Baskin, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Booktopia (books, DVDs and Magazine Subscriptions from Australia’s leading online bookstore with over 4 million titles) joins Marc Raco and Pavan Bahl at Shoptalk 2018 in Las Vegas. MouthMedia Network studios are powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • How Booktopia is bringing a lot of people online
  • Media and books are growing in Australia and that growth coming primarily from Booktopia
  • Booktopia started in 2004 on $10/day budget
  • How the company sells a book or product every 6 seconds
  • Owners had an SEO company, and how the $10/day budget was an imposed restriction
  • Booktopia investing in team, packaging, 135k titles ready to ship same day, and the 13,000 square meter automated distribution center
  • Plus — 20+ people, ticket, message center, book experts, website, content,
  • Being there for customers, focused on books
  • Experts put the book in booktopia, high level customer experienceBooktopia
  • Why customer service is not part of primary marketing messaging
  • Build all of their own systems, tech is at base of all of business and operations, strategy
  • 95%business in Australia, some New Zealand, truned off other counties due to duties, taxes, and fraud
  • One of the most comprehensive data sets in Australia in terms of understanding customers (quality not quantity)
    What you can learn from layers of data
  • One of the biggest affiliate programs in the book industry
  • Considering sustainability and environmental impact of books
  • Augmented reality and its future in books and retail
  • Roald Dahl and running
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