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January 01, 2015

Publisher's Note

Note from the General Manager, January 2015


Click here to order the January 2015 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Happy New Year!

I’ve always enjoyed the sense of opportunity a new year brings. There’s just something about turning the first page of a new calendar that seems to add a spark of excitement to the planning process. The key, of course, is harnessing that energy and maintaining it throughout the year.

LaurenAt Direct Selling News, we’ve started the year with an expanded approach to two areas at the core of our coverage: News in Brief and Executive Announcements. Through much of 2014, we worked to increase our commitment to delivering news throughout each business week online at directsellingnews.com. The changes you see in this issue stemmed from the question: How do we create a similar experience inside each edition of the magazine? We started by rethinking the way we plan each section—selecting the stories we think will have the largest impact for the most readers, giving photography and graphics a more prominent role and introducing new storytelling techniques. Finally, we incorporated the information that previously ran in our Financial News section into News in Brief and capped off the section with our long-standing Stock Watch page. Our talented Art Director, Marcia Allen, tied it all together with a fresh look you’ll find throughout each issue. We hope you’ll enjoy reading the new sections and find the information relevant, useful and interesting. If you’d like to suggest a story or news item for News in Brief or Executive Announcements, please email Managing Editor Jennifer Mills at jmills@directsellingnews.com.

We’re also kicking off the year with a look into the future. In this month’s cover story, writer Jeremy Gregg takes us inside the technology trends that are shaping the future of direct selling. You’ll hear from executives at a wide range of direct selling companies, as well as national and international leaders, who tell us how technology is changing the business landscape. For those who weren’t able to make the trek to Rio de Janeiro for the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations’ recent World Congress, you’ll also find the highlights from a presentation by Salesforce.com’s Peter Schwartz, a futurist—whose consulting work includes the blockbuster movie Minority Report—who sees in the not-too-distant-future a world where intimate computing delivered on smart devices brings powerful intelligence to every salesperson at any time anywhere in the world. “This is really what intelligence is all about,” Schwartz says, “taking all of that data and transforming it into an analytic product that enables you to understand your customer and his needs far more deeply.”

This month’s feature stories take you inside two growing companies. The first, Stream, is an example of how a large, established company is carving out a path for growth by expanding its product offerings and embracing technology. The second, Qivana, is a look inside a young company with its eye on expansion. As the year progresses, we will continue to bring you the stories of growth and change from around our dynamic community. Until next time, I wish you and yours a 2015 filled with health, happiness, joy and success.

All the best,

Lauren Lawley Head
General Manager