Bold Talks Spotlight: Nilofer Merchant
Nilofer Merchant is a master at turning seemingly “wild” ideas into new realities, and showing the rest of us how we can, too. A bestselling author on innovation and collaboration, a TED mainstage speaker, and the recipient of the “Future Thinker Award” from Thinkers 50 (who also ranked her in the top 50 management thinkers in the world), Nilofer reveals new ways of connecting our ideas to the world, in an era when the potential to make a difference is wide-open.
Nilofer began her career in business 25 years ago as an administrative assistant, quickly rising to division leader, to a CEO, and even to a board member of a NASDAQ-traded company. Along the way, she gathered monikers such as being the “Jane Bond of Innovation”, for her ability to guide organizations through impossible odds. She has personally launched more than 100 products, netting $18B in sales, and has held executive positions everywhere, from Fortune 500 companies like Apple and Autodesk, to start-ups in the early days of the web, such as Golive, which was later bought by Adobe. Logitech, Symantec, HP, Yahoo, VMWare, and many others have turned to Nilofer’s guidance on new product strategies, entering new markets, defending against competitors, and optimizing revenues. She is one of the few people who can say they’ve fought a competitive battle against Microsoft and won, when she bid for Symantec’s Anti-Virus $2.1B annual business. Her second book, 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra, was chosen by Fast Company as one of their “Best Business Books of 2012.” Nilofer’s newest title, The Power of Onlyness: Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent the World, reve