business news in context, analysis with attitude

The continuing 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 who led the team that developed 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.

Tom and KC today consider the tumult affecting the devices business, most dramatically at Amazon, which is cutting back on the division that has developed the Alexa-based system, a division that some reports say could lose as much as $10 billion this year.   But the conversation goes farther than that, looking at innovations in the sector … changes affecting the Internet of Things (IoT) … the difference between the "leading edge" and the "bleeding edge" in a challenging economic climate … and the degree to which devices can play an expanding role in users' lives.

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