Thanks everyone for attending Propel’s leadership and networking event “The New Rules of Innovation” at the Salesforce Incubator last week. About a hundred people stopped by for some delicious Mediterranean food and some even more tasty thoughts from our panelists.

Our CxO panel featured Jillian Mansolf, the Chief Commercial Officer of Xirrus; Ralph Loura, the CIO of Rodan + Fields; and Bruce Richardson, Chief Strategy Officer of Salesforce. Doing their best impersonation of Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, the CxO panelists had the following thoughts on the newest trends of innovation…

  • The Participation Economy is here. All the panelists agreed that the Participation Economyis already happening and that customers are much more actively engaged throughout the product lifecycle. Blame it on social media, IoT or milennials — it can’t be ignored.
  • Innovation isn’t just about products. Surprisingly in the heart of Silicon Valley where geeky products rue, the panelists felt that you can’t just think about the core product. Companies need to think about the overall customer experience — and innovate everything around the entire customer experience. That could be related software, add-on services, how products are purchased, or even customer service.
  • You can’t innovate without cloud technologies. Cloud technologies are the best and most collaborative way to support innovation, and the only way with IoT devices. Did you know that Propel runs on the Salesforce platform, rated by Gartner as the leader in business cloud platforms three years in a row?

Not to be outdone, the evening’s second panel featured IoT gurus: Ben Calderon, VP of Engineering and Operations at Samsara; Neil Maguire, CEO of Adara Power; and Greg Bruggeman, Industry Director of Sensurion.

From IoT sensors to backup power generation to commercial drones, this panel covered the gamut of IoT best practices. The panelists talked a lot about data privacy, real-time customer feedback, and product development. One thing that was particularly interesting to me was that despite the massive amounts of data they’re collecting, all of the speakers agreed that people can’t forget about live one-on-one interactions with customers. While it’s tempting to look for trends in terabytes of data, all the panelists felt that it’s still critical to speak directly and frequently with customers.


A Silicon Valley event wouldn’t be complete without a robot!

Want to learn more about innovation? Stay tuned for our next event coming to the South Bay and the East Coast. In the meantime, learn how Propel can help your company drive innovation for your customers at

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Miguel Tam

Miguel Tam

Apr 05, 2017