retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The goal of "The Innovation Conversation" is to explore some facet of the fast-changing, technology-driven retail landscape and how it affects businesses and consumers. It is, we think, fertile territory ... and one that Tom Furphy - a former Amazon executive, the originator of Amazon Fresh, and currently CEO and Managing Director of Consumer Equity Partners (CEP), a venture capital and venture development firm in Seattle, WA, that works with many top retailers and manufacturers - is uniquely positioned to address.

Yesterday, four of the technology sector's most prominent CEOs - Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Apple's Tim Cook, and Google's Sundar Pichai - appeared on Capitol Hill (virtually) to testify before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee's subcommittee looking into antitrust issues.  The session had its share of fireworks, not a ton of nuance, and plenty of discussion about the nature of competition in a digital marketplace.

As the session wound down, Tom and Kevin connected via Zoom for an extended chat about what they saw as the recurring themes - both legitimate and frivolous - and to evaluate the substance and style of the executives' performances.