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IMA event: Terry B. Jones on innovation

Last Thursday, June 9, I had the pleasure of attending a discussion on innovation and shifting business strategy, led by Terry B. Jones. After a cocktail hour hosted at the NSU Art Museum in Ft. Lauderdale, the talk commenced in the auditorium across the breezeway. I must admit I did not know who Mr. Jones was, but I assumed he must be a marketing magnate, as the talk was organized by IMA.

To my mistake and surprise, Mr. Jones is actually one of the founders of Travelocity and Kayak; so in a sense, he has developed businesses that market travel. Mr. Jones is in the business of facilitating the where and the when behind consumer choices, but he discussed the increasing importance for businesses to assess the self-reflexive why that drives consumer decisions.

IMA event: Terry B. Jones on innovation

Businesses must break down complexity in order to facilitate consumer ease, as customers are now in the position of power.  The need to understand the why and develop more sophisticated experiences for the customer has created a paradigm shift in business strategy and has forced businesses to reassess their culture and choices. Companies have to be adaptably dynamic, ensuring ownership of the edge; the edge is exactly where the customer is. All businesses want to own the edge, but only the most creative are able to reach it. Albeit the ideas presented were not new or original, they were relevantly framed and excellently presented by one of the industry’s leaders.



The Start-up acceleration forum

Yesterday I attended what appeared to be the closing event for Miami’s Start-Up Acceleration Forum, a summit for entrepreneurs and industry experts that concluded with a makeshift competition/show for a handful of start-ups.

The event took place at South Beach’s new office co-op WeWork, which proved to be a trendy office building that pushed more of a lounge, hotel vibe than that of a place of work, but this is exactly the venues intention. After an hour pizza and beer mixer, where the guests had the opportunity to visit the different tables displaying the start-ups, there was a mini-speech explaining the event and each start-up founder had the opportunity to give a brief introduction to his/her product.

Overall, the entrepreneurs had interesting ideas but close-to-no display or set-up, making it difficult to engage with the product, and at times even to try to figure out what the product was, as the entrepreneurs were talking to groups of people.

The start-up community in  Miami is small, but growing; it still has ways to go before reaching a point that resembles the early-stages of Silicon Valley.

More organized events and summits would not only give local entrepreneurs exposure, but would also help build a larger consciousness for investors and residents that Miami has key resources to offer and a growing talent pool. The start-up scene is just starting-up, it will be interesting to see how Miami carries it out.


About Alexander Mintz

I am Alexander Mintz. I am currently a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, pursuing a double major in Communications and East Asian Languages and Civilizations (EALC) with a concentration in Mandarin Chinese. I love languages and am a polyglot, speaking Spanish, English, French, Portuguese and Mandarin. I have a passion for all things media related on an international platform, and am up-to-date on international pop culture tendencies. I interned for NBCUniversal last summer for content distribution and digital content, and am excited to see what this summer will bring.