From the Front Lines

The Next Big Thing

By Sarah Sain, CAE • September 1, 2016



Adapted from a session given at the 2016 ASAE Annual Meeting & Expo by:

Robert Stephens, founder, The Geek Squad

Stephens started his Game Changer session by sharing the history of the tech support giant he created, The Geek Squad. “I fell into a boring business that I fell in love with,” he said. His passion for the company shined through as he talked about its early days when all he had was a bicycle and a phone to take calls from clients. Stephens explained how in the early days, he approached every decision as a marketing activity, from the design of the company’s logo to the car he bought to go on house calls to the uniform he had his employees wear. All details matter, he said. Pay attention to the unexpected details that most people miss, and you’ll be memorable in the eyes of your audience – whether that’s a customer or a member.

After sharing the lessons he learned building a successful company, Stephens shifted direction and, like the name of his session suggested, talked about what he sees as the “next big thing” in technology: business messaging. He shared his outlook of how messaging can be used for everything, from communicating much like we already do today to ordering food, buying movie tickets and scheduling your next flight. In the future, Stephens sees most of those interactions taking place with a bot (a form of artificial intelligence) that will help customers by giving them exactly what they need.