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Code and the Corner Office: Software is Changing How We Live and Work

Bloomberg once again delivered an exciting, thought-provoking program this year with its annual invite-only Technology Conference in San Francisco. Themed “Code and the Corner Office,” the all-day event explored how software, code and coding culture are transforming industries – from retail to manufacturing to healthcare – and fundamentally changing the way we work, live and communicate. Tech leaders including Dick Costolo (former CEO of Twitter), Marissa Mayer (president and CEO of Yahoo!) and Padmasree Warrior (Strategic Advisor at Cisco) shared their views on technology’s impact on business and everyday life, while our own CEO and founder, Clara Shih, participated in two discussions about the state of diversity in the tech industry.
A few themes that I took away from the talks I attended:
The new expectation for shopping is online, mobile, personalized and instant
Thanks to mobile GPS technology and the widespread acceptance of a peer-to-peer sharing economy, consumers will want – and expect – to not only shop while on the go, but to receive their orders with near immediacy, according to Instacart CEO and founder Apoorva Mehta. Stitch Fix CEO and founder Katrina Lake said she believes consumers are willing to give up a substantial amount of personal data as long as they feel they get something personalized and of value in return; her company, which uses machine learning to help human stylists suggest affordable fashion pieces for its customers, raised $30 million in a Series C funding round last year.

Technology is changing how we treat injury and manage disease Nina Tandon, co-founder and CEO of EpiBone, shared an incredibly inspiring story about how her company is using information collected via stem cells and a CT scan to actually create new, custom-fit living bone for implantation. The potential for something like this is enormous as we start to think about reprogramming cells and designing entire living systems to our specifications, she said. Meanwhile, Livongo Health chairman and CEO Glen Tullman, along with Beth Seidenberg of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, envision a near future where patients can manage chronic disease via wearable technology that is so integrated into their lifestyle, they no longer realize they’re even being monitored.

The democracy of open source code will continue to fuel tech innovation
We heard from Github co-founder and CEO Chris Wanstrath, Docker CEO Ben Golub and LinkedIn SVP of engineering and operations Kevin Scott about the impact open source code has had on leveling the playing field for developers and enabling startups (including Hearsay Social) to not only exist, but grow and iterate with lightning speed. According to Wanstrath, large companies are now seeing open source as a strategic advantage and leveraging it to further their own previously closed-to-the-public projects.

It was great to see that the themes circulating around the Bloomberg Technology Conference echo many of the takeaways from our own Social Business Innovation Summit held just a few weeks ago. There’s no doubt that we are just scratching the surface of what’s possible as technology becomes ever more essential in our everyday lives.
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Connie Sung Moyle

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