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Content Guy's Note: 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.

Tom and I got together a couple of days ago to talk about the investment climate that he encountered during a recent Series A financing round that was completed for two of his companies - Ideoclick and Replenium. (Both, to be transparent, have been MNB sponsors.) What Tom found was a marked change in the investment community's approach to technology companies - more long-term focused, with a greater emphasis on sustainable returns-on-investment (ROI), and with enormous potential for enabling foundational and fundamental revolution.

These conversations convinced Tom - which convinces me - that more than ever "the train is leaving the station," and that businesses either have to be on that train, or at the very least have a ticket and a path that will allow them to re-engineer their supply chains, create new and relevant retailing experiences, and cater to the customer of the future. (If you are taking another path to consumer satisfaction, it needs to be clearly marked and have a specific direction - just wandering around is not an option, and leaves you in a hostile wilderness.)

We think you'll enjoy this extended Conversation.

(By the way, if you'd like us to do a live Innovation Conversation for your company or group, just let me know. It is one of our favorite things to do.)

You can see our video above left. Enjoy.

KC's View: