Mark Cuban, Others Talk Future of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, & Google

Closing out the two-day ad:tech NY digital marketing conference yesterday, Dallas Mavericks owner and technology investor Mark Cuban offered some strong opinions on basically everything.

Cuban participated in a panel—moderated by executive editor Molly Wood—that examined what technology power players Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon do right as well as possible trouble each company may face in 2013. Sharing their opinions alongside Cuban for the final keynote were Stephanie Fierman, global chief marketing officer with media communications agency MediaCom; Julie Roehm, chief storyteller and senior vice president of marketing with business software company SAP; and Ian Wolfman, chief marketing officer with creative agency MEplusYOU.

Fierman led off with both praise and worry for Apple. She said Apple’s foundation is hard to replicate, making it the envy of other companies. However she questioned how long Apple’s glamour will last since much of it was tied to the mystique of the late Steve Jobs. With him gone, she sees the company trying to reestablish its culture.

Her other concerns stemmed largely from Apple’s recent pattern of selling new versions of its bestselling products, which may please loyal followers, but without making radical leaps forward in innovation. “You can’t run a company with a strategy of making everything smaller and thinner,” she said.

Meanwhile Google’s growing might in the data sector gave Wolfman pause. With new ways emerging to glean information about users, he sees the company’s power growing even more far-reaching. “They’ve understood that eventually they could combine all of their sources, maps, and 60 other channels, and essentially become Skynet,” he said, referencing the world-dominating artificial intelligence from the Terminator movies.

Roehm was also a touch concerned about the continuing spread of Google’s data collection while transparency and privacy concerns are also on the rise. “They’re trying to penetrate places that fall on the [realm of being] scary,” she said.

Facebook landed squarely in Cuban’s sights in terms of disappointment. He said … Next Page »

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