Ford’s Futurist Sheryl Connelly

By • Oct 4th, 2012
Category: Business & Tech, Featured, Ideas, Video

Sheryl Connelly  Photo credit: Ford Motor CompanyWhy does an automobile company need a futurist? Ever wondered about it? Meet Ford Motor Company’s Sheryl Connelly, who breaks it down and shares what a futurist brings to the table, especially for an automobile company. How to you bridge the gap between what is happening today, and what is going to unfold in the future? Is there a way to predict?

It takes 36 months for a car to go from concept to hitting the road, but within those 36 months a lot can happen in the world of technology, especially mobile phones. Questions like how do you match the innovation cycle of a car to that of a mobile phone become an important issue for connected cars. As Sheryl explains sometimes the context of an innovation can go wrong, and when it does what then is an efficient way to fix that?  In 2007 Ford introduced Sync, which has gone through a couple of revisions since its introductions. How did Ford iron the wrinkles in Sync?

Technology is just one part of the equation. How do you factor in consumer’s behavior and habits? Today, car owners hold on to their cars for 10-11 years, and don’t flip it around often. What does that mean to an automobile company like Ford? Tune in to find out what Sheryl has to say.

This is Part-1 of our 2-part conversation with Sheryl that was recorded in Palo Alto in August 2012.

Photo credit: Ford Motor Co.

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