Larry Downes

Business Technology Strategist, Disruptive Innovation Expert, and New York Times Best-Selling Author

Larry Downes Fee Range
$20,001 to $50,000
(Inquire for virtual fee)

Travels From
California, United States

Larry Downes Speaker Biography

Business Technology Strategist, Disruptive Innovation Expert, and New York Times Best-Selling Author

Larry Downes is an expert on developing business strategies in an age of constant technological and legal disruption.

Unleashing the Killer App

Downes is author of the New York Times and Business Week business blockbuster, Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance, which has sold over 200,000 copies and was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the five most important books ever published on business and technology.

Pivot to the Future

His new book, Pivot to the Future, written with Omar Abbosh and Paul Nunes, details a dramatic new approach to strategy and execution for businesses facing constant technological disruption—increasingly, all of them. Early in 2022 he will also release The Year in Tech 2022: The Insights You Need from Harvard Business Review.

Disruptive Innovation

His other books include the best-selling Big Bang Disruption:  Strategy in an Age of Devastating Innovation, The Laws of Disruption and The Strategy Machine.


Larry writes regularly for The Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The Washington Post, and CNET, covering the intersection of technology, politics and business. He has written for a variety of other publications, including The New York Times, USA Today, Inc., The Economist, Wired, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Recode, The Hill, Congressional Quarterly, Slate, The European Business Review, The Boao Review, and The San Francisco Chronicle.


Downes has held faculty appointments at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, and the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where he was Associate Dean of the School of Information. From 2010-2019, he was project director at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy. From 2006-2010, he was a nonresident Fellow at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society.

Larry Downes Speaking Topics

The Emerging Science of Services

After 100 years of product-focused engineering, the rise of a software and information-based economy has spurred the development of a new science—a science of service design, delivery, and optimization. Services science, for obvious reasons, is closely associated with the emerging services-oriented architecture familiar to IT professionals. This talk outlines the basics of the two, and their overlaps and divergences.

Strange Tales of the Supply Chain Revolution

The exploding availability of information in standard formats from the beginning to the end of the supply chain is leading to new opportunities for collaboration, new sources of revenue, and, at the same time, tremendous tension among long-time partners. The driver of this revolution, of course, is the continuing price/performance improvements in core IT, including the introduction of low cost RFID tags. This talk describes the nature of the coming revolution, highlighted with three stories of organizations in very different industries that have either shown early promise or suffered early casualties.

Public Choice and Corporate Responsibility

History has shown over and over that preemptive regulation of emerging technologies does more harm than good, yet corporations and their trade associations often miss the chance to shape government decisions. How can you recognize the potential for your business of the latest technologies—whether stem cells or fuel cells—and work today to form the best public policy solutions to their development and regulation?

Twelve Design Principles for Launching New Ventures

Based on research over three years and over 100 companies, Larry Downes has developed twelve fundamental design rules for developing ventures, both for traditional companies as well as start-ups. The principles are introduced and demonstrated with numerous, current examples from Larry Downes’s on-going consulting work.

The Laws of Disruption

With technology as the driving force for growth in almost every industry, the intersection of business strategy, technology, and law affects nearly everyone. Any organization that has regular interactions with customers in an online environment has an interest in addressing these issues. Larry Downes explains that as Americans spend more of their time living digital lives, organizations will no longer have sole authority over the way their business is run. Organic change, developed in concert with consumers, is more likely to be the future. Downes provides strategies for anticipating customer needs, and staying ahead of changes in regulation. He addresses privacy issues, copyrights, patents, software and more, with case studies from companies like Facebook, Google, and Research in Motion.

Killer Apps: The Social Dimension

Digital technology is having a profound effect not just on the world of commerce but on social interaction as well. Larry Downes talks about the economics of communities and why they will become the true engine of value creation in the increasingly digital world. What are the expectations and abilities of the next generation of customers, managers, and entrepreneurs? How will they compete against the “digital homeless”?

Larry Downes Books

The Year in Tech 2022: The Insights You Need from Harvard Business Review
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Pivot to the Future: Discovering Value and Creating Growth in a Disrupted World
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Big Bang Disruption: Strategy in the Age of Devastating Innovation
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The Laws of Disruption: Harnessing the New Forces that Govern Life and Business in the Digital Age
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Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance
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The Strategy Machine: Building your business one idea at a time
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Larry Downes Videos

Larry Downes Speaker Testimonials

I would like to offer my personal thanks for the excellent presentation that you gave to our business leaders and senior managers. I have received positive feedback from many delegates who recognised the points that you made apply as strongly to the Rolls-Royce Customer relationship as to the examples that you gave.

- | Rolls-Royce

He was excellent in his message and a big hit with our audience. Six months after our meeting, we are still hearing from people about his presentation.


Thanks for the great presentation. I think the sign that your info sank in was the fact people referred back to your presentation all day.

- | eBay

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Recent Books

The Year in Tech 2022: The Insights You Need from Harvard Business Review
Purchase Book
Pivot to the Future: Discovering Value and Creating Growth in a Disrupted World
Purchase Book

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