1. After years working with large consumer product companies like Stride Rite and Keds, Pieri grew frustrated with the difficulty mom-and-pop shops had launching new products. "The more innovative a product—as opposed to mainstream and "known"—the harder it was to get distribution," she explains. In response, she launched The Grommet, a discovery platform that connects customers with inventors' stories and their products, five years ago. Pieri, whose company helped launch products including SodaStream and Fitbit, counts HP CEO Meg Whitman as a mentor and has a side-gig as an entrepreneur in residence at Harvard Business School.
3. From the beginning, social networks have been effectively walled off from the Internet. The treasure trove of content on Facebook, for instance, doesn't generally show up on Google (GOOG). But does it have to be that way? Wouldn't it be convenient to see Twitter search results automatically displayed alongside a standard Google search, for example? And why, for instance, don't the latest tweets about a restaurant pop up when you're searching Yelp (YELP)? The competing interests of different networks sends this content behind proprietary walls, but a number of tools offer creative ways to bridge the gulf. (Full disclosure: My company has developed one such tool.)