Speaking

Alistair Croll If you’re here, it’s because you’re interested in having me speak for you. I don’t link to this page publicly, partly because a lot of the content here feels like hubris, and partly because most of my speaking invitations come via word of mouth. But since you’re here, and probably have to do some due diligence, I’ll tell you a bit about me.

Since 1997, when I founded Networkshop, I’ve been presenting at conferences worldwide. The events have ranged from audiences of a few dozen to a few thousand. This has always been a chance to connect with other people, share ideas, and shape my own views of the world through the amazing conversations that inevitably result.

In the paragraphs below, you’ll find details on my background and expertise; sample videos; links to past events; and quotes from some of the people I’ve had a chance to work with over the past few years.

Boilerplate bio

Here’s a fairly generic bio you can use:

Alistair makes early-stage companies improve their go-to-market strategies, and works with some of the world’s largest firms on business model innovation. He also helps governments understand the impact of technology on society, ethics, and resiliency.

As an entrepreneur, Alistair co-founded Coradiant; the Year One Labs accelerator; and a variety of other startups. He has also launched and chaired some of the world’s leading conferences on emerging technology, including Startupfest, Strata, Cloud Connect, FWD50, Bitnorth, and more.

Alistair is the author of four books on technology and entrepreneurship, including the best-selling Lean Analytics, which has been translated into eight languages and is in its tenth printing in China. He speaks internationally on topics such as data science, innovation, scaling startups, digital government, AI, and applying critical thinking to technology. A graduate of Dalhousie University, he has also been a visiting executive on data science and critical thinking at Harvard Business School.”

A bit more detail:

Alistair tries to mitigate chronic ADD by writing about far too many things at Solve For Interesting and on Medium.

Alistair has:

  • Launched and chaired a variety of leading technology events including Interop’s Enterprise Cloud Summit, the International Startup Festival and ResolveTO, O’Reilly’s Strata, the Pandemon.io conference, the FWD50 digital government conference, Cloud Connect, and Bitnorth.
  • Published Managing Bandwidth, Complete Web Monitoring, and the best-selling Lean Analytics; and e-books on Music Science and how to Propose, Prepare, and Present at conferences.
  • Founded Networkshop, Application Performance startup Coradiant (acquired by BMC), the Year One Labs startup accelerator, Bitcurrent, Rednod, and the RPM/Cloud.ca co-working space.
  • Contributed to GigaOm, O’Reilly Radar, UBM Techweb, Human 2.0, music ‘zine Stupid Magazine, and a variety of other online and print publications.
  • Advised a wide range of early-stage companies including Localmind (acquired by AirBnB), Massive Damage, Orion Labs, Passwordbox (Acquired by Intel), FastSoft (acquired by Akamai), Kindoma, Infoactive (acquired by Tableau), Datavized, Mixgenius/LANDR, Repable, Virtual Cove, Play The Future, Hockeystick, and Quiver. He is a mentor to The Hive, Techstars, Thecamp, and Founderfuel.
  • Consulted and spoken on innovation for a range of large organizations such as DHL, Google, Aon Benfield, Recruit Holdings, Schibsted Media, BMC, Capital One, Amazon, Thomson Reuters, Elsevier, Naspers, IBM, Microsoft, Pingan Bank, Blackbaud, Dell, Intel, Workplace Dynamics, Sensors Data, Gentec, Huawei, Optimal Payments, XPV Water Partners, Unisys, the Global Risk Institute, and Teradata.
  • Worked with governments internationally on technology change, innovation, and digital readiness including Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, NCARB, the APMA, the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Federal Department of Transportation, the White House, Redmond Ready, the Field Innovation Team, and the Association of Public Sector Information Professionals.
  • Created a course on Big Data and Critical Thinking at Harvard Business School as a Visiting Executive, delivering much-needed thinking skills that inform how business managers work with data; and prepared a curriculum on scale-stage corporate growth for the Lazaridis Institute and Wilfred Laurier University.

Areas of expertise

Some of the things on which I’ve presented include:

  • Cloud computing, the end of the IT monopoly, the rise of shadow IT, and what it means for enterprises.
  • Big Data, and how a connected world is changing business as well as society and ethics.
  • Entrepreneurship, and Lean approaches to growing companies from the perspective of both founders and funders.
  • Setting corporate strategy in a period of high disruption and crumbling barriers to entry.
  • Critical thinking in an era of fake news, abundant data, and bad data-driven judgement.
  • Analytics, with a particular focus on gaining a comprehensive view of your presence online.
  • Web performance and monitoring (most of which I learned by founding Coradiant.)
  • Marketing and growth hacking in a post-press-release world.
  • Financial technology and disaggregation of the banking, payment, and markets industries

Some of the talks I’ve given regularly in the past:

  • Lean Analytics, and how to use data to build a better business faster—from the earliest of startups to the largest global corporation. Based on the best-selling Lean Analytics, which has been translated into eight languages, I’ve done twenty-minute keynotes and day-long workshops on the subject.
  • The trifecta of data, agents, and interruption: How the rise of consumer big data, smart agents, and interruptive interfaces pave the way for the next decade of human-machine interaction, and what it means for the species.
  • Just evil enough: The dirty secret behind every great startup is that they’re subversive. Somewhere in their history, they did something slightly evil that gave them a head start. If you’re not wondering how to be just a little bit naughty, you’ve probably already lost.
  • How to think critically about data: Data can be a precious resource—a competitive advantage some have dubbed the “new oil.” But without proper refinement, data can be toxic, delivering spurious conclusions, reinforcing biases, and blinding us to what’s really happening. Building on the HBS course Big Data and Critical Thinking, this talk outlines a data science framework and demonstrates the many risky, immoral—and sometimes even hilarious—ways in which we make mistakes with data.
  • The rise of music science: Music is digital, and that means it can be analyzed. But data is not only changing how we find and listen, but also what and for whom we create. Over the course of six months and seventy interviews, I’ve been looking at the intersection of technology and music, uncovering some of the hard “Turing problems” within music science and guessing at where we’re headed.
  • Year Zero: Within ten years, we’ll each have a life feed that will be the dominant tool with which we run our lives. How will this change the face of humanity? How will we build for it? And what will it do to concepts like thoughtfulness and memory?
  • Tilt the windmill: A generation ago, the average Fortune 500 company stayed on the list of big firms for over 50 years. Now, the average is down to less than 15 years. What changed? Dramatic reduction in coefficients of friction around starting, experimenting, and growing ideas; alongside the rise of the attention economy, have made it harder than ever for incumbents to stay on top. This is what they can do to fix it.
  • Thrust and lube: For centuries, scale has been how the big got bigger. Now, it’s how well they lower the friction within their industry. Thrust matters less, and lube matters more. If you’re a business, knowing how to change your focus is the key to your survival.
  • Moats, bridges, risk, and reward: Using the analogy of defensive moats and technological bridges, this talk aimed at risk, finance, and insurance industries examines how many traditional barriers to entry are at risk in a digital, personalized era.
  • Discontinuous innovation, and the difference between incremental technology improvements and wide-ranging shifts that alter not only markets and business models, but also human culture and society at large.
  • The unreasonable power and incredible fragility of AI: We hear a lot about how algorithms will replace jobs. But it turns out that much of machine learning is brittle and easily fooled. So what’s the future like—and how should we think about it?

While much of my work has been with startups and accelerators, my background is in strategic marketing and advertising. In other words, I own a suit and I know how to use it.

I’m also at home in conference environments, as a speaker, MC, and moderator. Some recent events include:

  • ESDC Canada (Ottawa, Ontario)
  • Martech (Boston, MA)
  • Electronic Arts Analyticon (Redwood Shores, CA)
  • The International Institute of Analytics (Santa Clara, CA)
  • Thecamp.fr (Aix-en-Provence, France)
  • Factry (Montreal, Canada)
  • XPV/One Drop (Las Vegas)
  • Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (Ottawa, Canada)
  • Nature of Business (Panama)
  • Techstars Canada (Toronto, Canada)
  • Invest Atlantic (Newfoundland, Canada)
  • Sensors Data (Beijing, China)
  • The APMA Annual Conference (Windsor)
  • The Lean Startup Conference (San Francisco)
  • DHL Innovation Day (Bonn, Germany)
  • Lean Analytics (Shenzhen, China)
  • Crunch (Budapest)
  • O’Reilly Strata (Santa Clara, New York, Singapore, and London)
  • Cloud Connect (Santa Clara and Chicago)
  • SXSW (Austin)
  • Nikkei BP Big Data (Tokyo, Japan)
  • The Digital Money Forum at CES (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Teradata Universe (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Hamburg, Germany)
  • Growth Tribe (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
  • The Global Risk Institute Summit (Toronto, Canada)
  • Pandemonio (Panama City, Panama)
  • IC4 (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Bridge (Isle of Man)
  • Web Summit (Dublin, Ireland)
  • USI (Paris, France)

I haven’t kept a list of every conference at which I’ve spoken, but lately, Lanyrd has been doing a pretty good job of tracking me all by itself.

Publications

I’ve written a number of books and articles, including:

Videos

Here are some videos of past speaking engagements on a variety of topics. I’m careful to tailor my tone, materials, and attitude to the people in the audience. In the examples below, you’ll see:

  • Rough-hewn, provocative content for technologists and founders;
  • Polished, thought-provoking debate for executives;
  • Pragmatic, no-nonsense advice for IT professionals;
  • Speculative, forward-looking ideas for non-technical audiences;
Some thoughts on data and technology

Thecamp Provence, March 2018

Onsite for three days at this accelerator campus in the South of France, I gave a talk on innovation and two workshops to their first cohort focusing on growth tactics and the use of analytics. Along the way, they interviewed me for their in-house video channel.

The Future of the Future

Startupfest 2017, Montreal

Gave a closing talk at Canada’s largest startup event, looking at innovation, discontinuities, and how to anticipate a future that’s opaque to us because of fundamental changes in understanding.

IT as the central nervous system

BMC Days, Toronto/Boston

BMC asked me to tie together a number of themes in business technology management, from lean startup and continuous deployment to agile software development and on-demand infrastructure. In this keynote, I argued that as organizations become organisms that sense, decide, act, and adapt automatically, the role of IT is that of central nervous system. (Note that this starts at the second half of the talk.)

big data, smart agents, and interruptive interfaces

USI 2016, Paris

A longer look at how consumer access to data, smart agents and personal AI, and interruptive interfaces will change the nature of human-computer interaction for the next ten years. This was aimed at a business audience, and in Paris—so the start of it is in French.

Websummit Dublin

If I had to make a bet on what tech stack was going to drive the next decade of computing, this trifecta would be it. I got a chance to talk through my thoughts at Websummit during its last year in Dublin.

Year Zero and the start of pervasive life-logging

Strata + Hadoop World
What happens when every aspect of our lives is recorded, and machines chew on the resulting data to optimize what we do? What legal rights do our digital agents have, and how will machine-generated thoughtfulness do to our sense of self? In this opening keynote for Strata, I looked briefly at a coming era of ubiquitous monitoring.

Lean Analytics workshop

Google Ventures

Here’s a 90-minute workshop on applying Lean Analytics principles to companies of all sizes, from early-stage startups to larger, more established organizations. Presented for Google Ventures.

Lean Analytics and product design at the BBC

BBC Academy
How does a national broadcaster think about metrics? How will an organization backed by television licenses make it to a multi-screen world? And how should utility services like traffic and weather be tracked differently from rich content? This BBC film was shot as part of a series of events on product innovation in London.

Applying Lean Startup and Lean Analytics to innovation at big companies

Thomson Reuters Techvision
Lean Startup models work well when you have nothing to lose. But what about when you have everything to lose? How should big companies balance incremental, sustaining innovation in their current business with disruptive, transformational changes that help them survive market shifts? This hour-long session at Thomson Reuters’ NY headquarters looks at the challenges of Intrapreneurship and innovation portfolio management.

What government can learn from Lean Intrapreneurs

Code for America Summit 2013
Having spent a few months talking to intrapreneurs and interviewing the heads of innovation at around 20 large companies, I spoke at this event, which focuses on improving government through technology, about what governments could learn from innovators. Because it’s a private link, I can’t embed it directly, but you can watch the recorded presentation of the slides by following this link.

Starting from Scratch

Cloud Connect Chicago 2013
What would you do if you were starting from scratch? And as an IT professional, why aren’t you? This keynote considers the role of IT in a world of abundant technology.

Stack Wars

Cloud Connect Chicago 2013
This panel discussion was the culmination of a couple of articles I’d written for Informationweek. They were partly designed to install reactions from people (which succeeded) and partly to put the vendors in a more candid, combatitive frame of mind. I started by writing about how cloud stacks were like operating systems; then followed up with a list of questions I wanted answered.

Lean IT

Cloud Connect Santa Clara 2013
With the technology world seeking “agility” to keep businesses competitive, it’s easy to think of something like cloud computing as a panacea. That’s a mistake, as I explain in this opening keynote for Cloud Connect.

Implications and opportunities of Big Data

OCLC Annual Meeting, January 2013

This is a wide-ranging look at what it means for the world to be connected and analyzed, and explores some of the utopian—and dystopian—times ahead. It was a presentation to the global organization that runs libraries worldwide, opening up their annual meeting.

The Harsh Light Of Data

O’Reilly Strata 2011

The first day of Strata has a track that focuses on business and Big Data. In this opener, I look at what the unavoidable scrutiny of a data-driven world means for companies.

Five things you need to know about Startup Analytics

O’Reilly Webcast

The audio on this recording isn’t good, since it’s from a webcast, but it’s an hour-long session about Lean Analytics. I’ve worked on webcasts with a number of customers and companies, and we consistently achieve high registrations, unusually strong audience engagement, and interesting Q&A sessions after each session.

Coefficients of Friction

Startupfest 2012

Presented to a roomful of founders and entrepreneurs, this session talks about how technology reduces the friction in business systems, and what that means for scarcity and abundance.

Tomorrow, Serendipity is for the rich

Ignite Sebastopol 2012

The Ignite format is a challenge for any presenter, because it consists of twenty slides, which advance every fifteen seconds. In this presentation I consider what it means when we over-optimize our lives with data.

Lean Analytics: Use data to build a better startup faster

MaRS, Toronto, Ontario

This is an hour-long workshop for the MaRS/JOLT startup organization in Toronto, Ontario.

Lean Analytics for Startups: what every founder (and VC) needs to watch

Le Web Paris, December 2010

This presentation happened the morning after a huge snowstorm, so it was a bit chaotic. But it was the first time the term “Lean Analytics” was used and later became the basis for a book of the same name.

Slide content

I’m known for fast-paced, entertaining visuals—my current record is 139 slides in 9 minutes and 42 seconds, you can watch it here. I publish my content online for audiences. Here are some of my more recent slide decks on Slideshare.

(Note that my presentations related to Lean Analytics, which are often made in conjunction with my co-author Ben Yoskovitz, are available on a separate Slideshare or from the Lean Analytics blog.)

Headshots

If you need a picture of me for an event, you can use one of these.

QUOTES

Here’s what some of the people I’ve worked with have had to say:

“All the BBC groups have been incredibly impressed with your encyclopaedic knowledge of performance data and what makes services work, and work well. It was a reinforcement for some, an epiphany for others, and everyone has been really interested in what they can implement asap.”

– Andy Wilson, Head of BBC College of Technology.

“After having read Lean Analytics, we were thrilled by the opportunity to have Alistair and Ben present at Schibsted Classified Media’s knowledge sharing and networking conference, Superweek 2014. The book was already a great source of inspiration for all, but receiving such an insightful and personalized presentation and workshop was by no doubt the highlight of our event. Thank you very much and hope to continue the work with you!”

– Zoltan Peresztegi, SVP Users and Products, Schibsted Classified Media

“We heard that many attendees really enjoyed Alistair’s talk. It was exactly the right kind of keynote to close the conference.”

– Scott Brinker, founder, Martech conference

“Thank you for closing us up with such energy and thought-provoking content. Truly a superb job! Please see your evaluations – they loved ya!”

– Claire Mills, Managing Director, Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing

“Alistair recently spoke at to 550 marketing leaders at Digital Copenhagen, one of the biggest marketing conferences in Denmark. Alistair was the highest-rated speaker of the event, giving a talk on why traditional marketing is doomed entitled Just Evil Enough. A pleasure to work with before, during, and after the event, I can only recommend Alistair for your next marketing/business event, whether it’s a smaller workshop or a large-scale conference.”

– Christian Groenning, Head of Conferences, The Danish Marketing Association

“We were so fortunate to have Alistair give a talk in our Talking Data Speaker Series. A totally engaging hour of analytics, with so much content and advice for the audience. Alistair has a spectacular ability to simplify complexity. Examples were fascinating. All in all, it was a perfect evening of talking data.”

– Professor Ujwal Kayande, Director, Centre for Business Analytics, Melbourne Business School

“We invited Alistair Croll to speak during the opening week of Techstars (and our inaugural Techstars accelerator program in Canada). His marketing talk entitled “Just be Evil Enough” was superb. Alistair captivated the attention of the founders in a manner seldom seen, and provoked so much discussion and reflection. I highly recommend Alistair for future talks to a wide range of audiences”

– Sunil Sharma, Managing Director, Techstars Toronto

“Alistair’s thought-provoking and entertaining presentation on what the future might hold was incredibly well received. Thanks, Alistair!”

– Cait O’Riordan, Chief Product and Information Officer, Financial Times

“Privileged to hear Alistair. Fascinating and hugely thought provoking. I could have listened all night!”

– Mark Lewin, Interim Chief Executive, Department of Economic Development & Executive Director Government Technology Services, Isle of Man

“Easily the most talked-about and listened-to speaker of the day, and of the 3 conferences we’ve done under my watch. Just a pleasure to have your mix of candor and insight on stage.”

– Flavio Volpe, President, Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA)

“Alistair spent time and energy understanding the concerns of our leaders. He developed an address that sparked discussions about the core challenges facing our business, and shared valuable insights that will help us define and measure success—all with a healthy dose of humor that made him all the more engaging and memorable.”

– Gaby Appleton, Head of Strategy, Elsevier

“Alistair’s talk was a tremendous start to our event. He was able to provide our audience with thought provoking ideas as well as practical guidance. He was a highlight of the day!”

– International Institute for Analytics

“Alistair brought a fresh perspective on how the future of transportation will impact earthquake response engaging global emergency managers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and corporate continuity planners. His perspective helped the team rethink how we may be delivering services and saving lives in future disasters.”

– Desiree (Desi) Matel-Anderson, Field Innovation Team

“Alistair delivered a high-energy and thought-provoking piece of digital disruption in the transportation sector that left our heads spinning in terms of what this may mean to how Transport Canada does what it does going forward.”

– Julie Leese, Chief Information Officer, Transport Canada

“Alistair is a talented speaker. He explains concepts with analogies that make things easy to understand. I was afraid that his presentation would not work for big corporations, but Alistair adapted the content to make it resonant and actionable for us.”

– Daniel Robichaud, Intel; co-founder, Passwordbox

“Alistair is easily one of the best speakers we’ve had the pleasure of working with. Easy-going, organized and professional. His engaging and entertaining content meant we had great comments from attendees about both his talk and workshop. It was a massive win for us!”

– Ben Aldred, founder, Leanconf

“Alistair’s workshop helped bring in to sharp focus not just the need to invest in innovation, but the need to do so across a portfolio of ‘risk types’ which will now fundamentally shape our approach. He came armed with stories—tailored to draw parallels with Harrods—of how and why other corporate giants had one by one fallen to disruptive forces. For the senior team, this crystallized the need to innovate and drive urgency around it. We’re off!”

– David Boyle, Director of Customer Insights, Harrods

“After speaking with most of the crowd, they were blown away by his content covering Innovation, Disruption and Discontinuity. There were audible gasps throughout the packed room as he walked the crowd through changes that were coming to all of their industries. The conference was a huge success and many of our surveys came back with people wanting more.”

– David Finlayson, Invest Atlantic

“Alistair’s presentation provided real world examples of the urgency clients must have to transform their organizations to be more digitally enabled. Clients raved about Alistair’s depth and breadth on the digital disruption topic, but also really identified with his sense of humor and ability to educate across all industries the impact not transforming will have on business.”

– Heather Tomlinson, Principal Field Marketing, BMC Software

“Brilliant presentation. Best, most relevant substance I’ve heard in 10 years. 6 pages of notes; time to put these ideas to work!”

– Greg Ellison, Group Chief Executive Officer, The Capital International Group

“The Lean Analytics audience left the event smarter and fired up to try new things thanks to your insightful and entertaining talk packed with high quality content. You were professional and generous with your time before, during and after the event and I look forward to working with you both in the future.”

– Paul Joyce, Co-founder & CEO, Geckoboard

“When I invited you to come, I was not expecting 1/10 of what you offered. I am receiving text messages, emails, Linkedin messages. Everyone comes up to me. I hear your name everywhere I go. You have had a true impact on thecamp and all of us here, and I can’t thank you enough for this.”

– Pashû Christensen, Thecamp

“Thank you very much for your contribution to the GRI Summit 2016. The response to your presentation has been universally positive.”

– Richard Nesbitt, President and CEO, Global Risk Institute

“We locked Alistair in a room with some of Australia’s top business people to figure out how big companies can innovate like startups. He shone a light on the topic and provided practical insights, experiences and hacks that provided real solutions to those that attended. I suspect Australia was just unblocked. Just watch what we do now with our new capability.”

– Phil Morle, Chief Startup Scientist, Pollenizer

“Alistair delivered a presentation on Lean Analytics and participated in our Panel discussion at the Special Interest Group for Big Data, Data Science and Analytics at Teradata’s Universe Conference in Amsterdam in 2015. He’s a great speaker and comes up with new ideas of presenting content that keeps the audience engaged. We especially liked his contributions during the panel discussion, where he not only showed his broad knowledge but wasn’t afraid to take on fresh or controversial viewpoints, which led to lively and valuable discussions.”

– Dr. Frank Säuberlich, Director, Advanced Analytics, Teradata International

“Nine out of ten speakers put their audience to sleep. Alistair Croll is the exception. When he steps on stage, he always brings original presentations that include provocative insights, creative visuals and compelling takeaways. When Alistair speaks, people really do listen.”

– Lenny Heyman, VP and General Manager, Interop

“Alistair impressed the audience during the DHL Innovation Day with his inspiring thoughts and references, which had a clear industry focus on the future for logistics.”

– Michaela Rennschmid-Haase, Head of x-Sector Marketing, DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation

“Not only was Alistair the best-received speaker we’ve had in some time, but he was an absolute pleasure to work with. His subject matter knowledge was extensive, and his rapport with the audience generated a really terrific response. He provided excellent context, too, bringing a big topic into specific focus for our industry and attendees.”

– Andy Havens, Manager of Branding and Creative Services, OCLC

“What Alistair does best is conveying complex concepts in a simple, actionable way. During back-to-back workshops in a full-day event, he explained the pitfalls of corporate innovation and how best to use the power of the “One Metric that Matters”—first to large companies, and then to startups. He left both groups with a wealth of information, as well as plenty of inspiration to improve their organizations. Alistair is one of the guys you buy a conference ticket just to see speak—or maybe just invite him to speak at your own event ;-)”

– Jeroen Tjepkema, Co-founder & Chief @ Growth Tribe

“Alistair’s presentation contributed significantly to the success of the 2014 edition of Le Web à Québec conference. His deep understanding of the entrepreneur/intrapreneur culture allowed him to introduce Lean Analytics concepts in a meaningful way that resonated well with our audience. As member of the Program committee, working with Alistair in preparation for the WAQ was a privilege. Alistair was definitely a pleasure to have as speaker at #WAQ14.”

– Félix Bégin, Conseiller en communication, Revenu Québec

“It was so good I never even took my phone out of my pocket.”

– Attendee feedback, Genetec Connect Dev

“Alistair has worked with us on NetWorld+Interop as a speaker, moderator or helping us to build our conference program. He’s extremely passionate about his work and has a natural talent for providing valuable insight and education in a fun, entertaining way. He always gets rave reviews from our attendees and I always look forward to working with him.”

– Jenn Sioteco, Sr. Manager, Event Services and Operations at UBM LLC.

We need to get comfortable with shipping lean, asking the right questions, analyzing and iterating. Alistair’s great presentation had clear lessons for us about how to innovate within Thomson Reuters.”

– James Powell, Chief Technology Officer, Thomson Reuters

“Alistair’s greatest strength as a speaker, other than an engaging and comfortable style, is his ability to read the audience. He can tell when he’s hit on a concept that they want to hear more about, and, being so well-versed on the topic, can easily deliver.”

-Amy Buckland, McGill University

“It was wonderful to have you at the event, and I got a lot of good feedback about your talk. Academics don’t often get to see people who actually know how to present, so it was a treat.”

– Matthew Burton, Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences.

“I asked Alistair to speak at a Startup Metrics Toronto event because I’d learned a lot from his book Lean Analytics. I had no doubt about his knowledge, but wondered whether he would be able to present on the topic in an engaging way. He did not disappoint.

Alistair’s talk was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. It was interesting and funny, accessible to beginners but deep enough even for people who knew the topic well and had read his book.  He was also very organized and professional to deal with. I would love to have him speak at another event.”

– Paul Dowman, founder, OKGROW and Startup Metrics Toronto

“Alistair delivered a workshop on Lean Analytics at the National Conference on Cloud Computing and Commerce at Dublin City University in April 2014, and a keynote for over 850 students and business guests in the plenary. The workshop was limited to 50 corporate attendees and was oversubscribed within two days of announcement. The feedback from both the workshop was extremely positive both in terms of content and presentation style. I know we will be working with him again moving forward.”

– Dr Theo Lynn, Senior Lecturer & Director of Industry Engagement, DCU Business School; Principal Investigator, Irish Centre for Cloud Computing and Commerce

“Alistair is a top-notch speaker who takes the time to come up with new ideas and fresh ways of presenting content. He’s able to cover a wide variety of topics—from technology, to society, to business, to analytics—and to take his audience on engaging, eye-opening journeys that keep them riveted.  His respect and understanding of the logistics behind speaking at an event sets him apart from the rest.”

– Phil Telio, founder, The International Startup Festival

“On very few occasions in our lives do we get an opportunity to hear people say the exact same thing we’ve been saying for years, but in a way that connects and touches you more than your own words. Alistair is one such person—a speaker and presenter who connects and emphasizes with the audience, through great visuals and intriguing questions, in a way that leaves a lasting impression.

Alistair’s keynotes—whether they’re about the cloud, big data, analytics, startups, or reinventing the enterprise—have not only been packed with erudite insights, but filled with fun, exciting and pragmatic stories that you can relate to. Alistair has always been at the front line of major technology shifts, but at the same time his presentations help decipher emerging technical concepts and apply them in your business today.”

– Jinesh Varia, Amazon Web Services

“Everyone so far has said, “best training yet.” They loved your examples, which helps them really understand and apply. We are craving this information, and you are hitting at just the right time. Everyone is focused in finding the right metric for their product, so it impacts the business. Your style was terrific for the group; we’ll make you proud by making this something that impacts our business.”

– Jana Eggers, SVP Product and Marketing, Blackbaud.com

“We used Alistair for our annual Customer Advisory Board to kick off our discussion on cloud services. Alistair’s delivery was informative, energetic and professional, creating the perfect tone for getting our customers engaged early. He not only got the discussions going, but continued to participate by challenging the group’s thinking, resulting in a highly informative session that our customers valued.”

– Tony Hurtado, Masergy

“… a very warm, informative and entertaining session. Your book is going straight onto my MSc Tech Entrepreneurship reading list.”

– Dave Chapman, Vice-Dean for Enterprise UCL Engineering; Deputy Head of DepartmentManagement Science & Innovation; Director MSc Technology Entrepreneurship

“Alistair came to talk to at two of our conferences in Tokyo—one on the big picture of Big Data, and the other was about practicing Lean Analytics. He spoke with authority and was very charismatic, even though he was using an interpreter for both events. His insights and deep knowledge about data and analytics were all very inspiring, new, and stimulating. The audiences were pleased with both talks, and the Q&A was highly interactive, with many questions; Alistair’s responses were equally articulate. I highly recommend Alistair as a speaker and would like to invite him again.”

– Hiro Maeda, Managing Partner | Open Network Lab, Inc.

“Alistair lays out a clear view of what the future may hold. But he doesn’t just help audiences understand the real implications and outcomes of today’s big trends, he shows them what to pay attention to in a clear, relatable way.”

– Nilofer Merchant, best-selling author, speaker, and serial entrepreneur

“Alistair inspired us with an outstanding performance. His talk on the topic of Big Data and the Quantified Society was thought-provoking, educational and entertaining.”

– Craig Van Spall, IRMAC

“Alistair is that rare kind of speaker who can easily translate complex or abstract concepts into completely relatable and actionable information. It sounds so trite to ask a speaker to get people to think “outside the box,” but Alistair has a knack for doing just that. He blends his own real-world IT industry experiences with pop-culture references and historical insight, creating a fun atmosphere that gets people to think differently about the topic at hand. The energy in the room instantly jolts when he begins his presentations, and it’s not hyperbole to say the guy’s just brilliant.”

– Brian Gillooly, VP & Editor-in-Chief, Events, InformationWeek Business Technology Network UBM Technology

“Many times, knowledgeable presenters overwhelm their audience with words. Alistair is extremely knowledgeable, but he engages with thought, color and a style that is hard to find in an industry too often consumed with data, speeds and feeds. Alistair has a gift of taking very complex technology industry strategies and trends, and putting them into very visual contexts that help people relate to them. He often finds historical tangents that give an audience context, helping them to understand where they are in a particular technology continuum. This is particularly welcome for high-level decision makers, and encourages them to ask more questions and join in follow-up discussions.”

– Tony Logan, Senior Strategist, Dell Enterprise Strategy Group

“Alistair delivered high-level Lean Analytics knowledge in a fun, easy to understand and insightful way. His presentation was tailored to our company, giving us meaningful theory along with practical applications to an ecommerce model. Alistair is a passionate speaker who knows his stuff.”

– Kyle Kelly, Zappos.com

“When we had a speaker cancel at the last minute at Access, we approached Alistair to fill the 45-minute. We gave him only the general conference topic of ‘discovery’ and offered him carte blanche. What he came back with was a thoroughly-researched presentation tailored to the audience of academic librarian technologists. Alistair impressed us with his ability to take a number of big ideas, such as big data and civil rights, and tell a compelling story that tied back to the librarian profession. The presentation was so well received we heard attendees discussing his points and quoting him well into the night at the wrap party.”

– Sarah Severson, Media Librarian & Archivist, Moment Factory