William Hogben

CEO, FutureProof Retail

William Hogben is cofounder and CEO of FutureProof Retail. Prior to FutureProof William designed, developed and produced mobile apps. His first app was one of the 500 that launched the App Store. His apps have been featured in the New York Times, #1 in Entertainment, Best in Category at CES, and tweeted by Zuckerberg.

FutureProof Retail, started in 2013 by an experienced team of app developers (and impatient shoppers), brings a unique focus on ease of use to self-service systems.

The whole FutureProof team has deep experience in creating mobile & enterprise software applications. Our prior work experience includes the creation of branded mobile applications for Fortune 500 companies and sophisticated enterprise-class SAAS applications.

FutureProof Retail is a privately funded company with offices in New York. Our operations team is able to deploy locally to help your IT staff integrate your system.

  • Posted on: 11/20/2017

    Who will be left standing after the next retail shakeout?

    Discount relies too heavily on economies of scale to beat Amazon/Walmart there, so convenience and third wave are the way forward.
  • Posted on: 11/13/2017

    Are data sharing concerns still holding back true personalization?

    Consumers are generally adrift in a sea of different terms of service, privacy policies and services -- nobody has time to map out all their personal data and the people that are gathering it and even if they could, they can't know who's getting the data second hand.That all adds up to say that consumers are generally resigned to the idea that if they participate in the digital world they're going to be tracked. The question isn't whether consumers will let you have their data -- they will -- it's whether they'll feel good or bad about it when you personalize.Good personalization gives the consumer a sense of what data was used to make a recommendation. A good rule of thumb is to tell a consumer why something was personalized to them. For example, "recommended because you liked X and Y" etc. People don't want their data used to stereotype them, "recommended because you're an old white guy" is not gonna feel right -- but they're happy to be personalized on more truly personal criteria like previous purchases, etc.
  • Posted on: 09/20/2017

    Kohl’s to accept product returns for Amazon

    Kohl's is guaranteeing themselves a baseline of traffic. It's unclear how Amazon could use this against them, as most Amazon returns customers are likely new to Kohl's.
  • Posted on: 09/19/2017

    Toys ‘R’ Us files for bankruptcy, enters ‘new era’

    Toys "R" Us needs to take a showrooming approach with smaller stores.
  • Posted on: 09/18/2017

    Did this startup make a big mistake calling itself Bodega?

    Naming it Bodega isn't a blunder, and a startup at this early of a phase isn't likely to have discovered it's ideal name yet anyway.I'd be glad for one of these boxes in my apartment building or office. Tracking items with the camera is a fun way to do it and I could see these things replacing hotel mini-bars as well.The real questions are: Who owns the device? Who stocks it? Who sets the prices?Mr McDonald's vision of 100,000 bodegas replacing centralized stores will shift costs from store operations to more logistics, as these locations will need more frequent restocking. Maybe it makes sense for them to focus less on selling product out of here and more on simply tracking as items move in and out. For example, I'd gladly share 1 set of tools with all my neighbors for how infrequently I need most of them -- tracking that with the camera box might be a more compelling case for us than getting quick snacks.
  • Posted on: 08/30/2017

    Will Instagram become retail’s ticket to mobile shopping?

    If your evaluation is focussed around Instagram it risks being short sighted. Zoom out and think in broader terms. Who is your audience? Where are they investing their attention? How can you participate? Succeeding with technology (and especially social media) is not about what you build, it's about what human behaviors you're building for.
  • Posted on: 08/24/2017

    Will Amazon become a dominant force in grocery after acquiring Whole Foods?

    Anti-trust frameworks will be hard to consistently apply for technology companies and have been left too long.Amazon has all the ingredients to become a leading national grocery supplier and I give it around five years before they get a majority of grocery shopping from households with Amazon Prime.
  • Posted on: 08/23/2017

    Will the Walmart/Google voice deal give Amazon’s Alexa a run for its money?

    Walmart is ahead of Amazon here in a sense, because it can take natural language orders from recent Android phones too and not just the house hardware. Google gets a boost in its fight to remain part of the purchase process. We will see how much impact voice ordering has -- I do not believe the referenced survey results are representative.
  • Posted on: 08/21/2017

    Where did Applebee’s go wrong with Millennials?

    I suspect the difficult at Applebee's is the conflict between appealing to Millennials and their parents at the same time. Trying to be a multigenerational social scene is a difficult task -- many kids need a space apart from their parents (or parents' age people, as may be the case) in order to feel like full adults themselves. Look at the decline among younger users that occurred on Facebook as the parents started joining -- Applebees has acted this out in reverse.
  • Posted on: 08/11/2017

    Is the future of fashion gender-free?

    This trend is less about fashion than clothing: fashion, being in fashion, style, etc. will retain the same variety it has now or even increase in variety. What we're looking at here is clothing -- you can't be naked, you don't want to be too hot or cold, etc. This is where unisex comes about -- from simplicity and utility -- two things that are growing (at the expense of more style driven fashion). Uniqlo is a great example -- ascendant on the basis of techno-fabrics and utility designs, and essentially unisex except for the size and cut.
  • Posted on: 08/03/2017

    Will grocery stores become the new mall anchors?

    Grocery stores will be great anchors -- everything else is moving online, but in Grocery the online guys are coming offline -- food and especially fresh produce are the real draw to in person shopping.That said, grocery stores will not be enough to save most struggling malls -- their problems are too complex and in many cases, too far advanced. The problem for malls is an overall shift in shopping behavior, combined with the fact they can't scale up and down.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2017

    Will AI make better hiring decisions than humans?

    A common mistake with hiring is to let the interviewer make the final decision. This causes all sorts of mistakes and results in demonstrably worse outcomes, according to studies of college admissions processes, something not dissimilar from hiring decisions.The solution is to have the interviewer score the candidate on several standard criteria, then pass their scores and notes on to a second person who's never met the candidate, and makes the decision incorporating the interviewer's notes as only one factor. This role can be handled by AI similarly well.
  • Posted on: 06/30/2017

    Does Blue Apron’s ‘meh’ IPO spell trouble for meal kit services?

    Meal kits are a bit like getting IKEA furniture at pre-assembled furniture prices. I like them, they're fun -- it gives you the feel of having a sous chef to pre-measure all your ingredients. But they're no staple of dinnertime. They exist in a difficult space: slightly more convenient in storage and cooking, definitely less convenient in shipping and price. I suspect that many others who tried meal kits found what I did: If I want to cook, I need more flexibility. If I want convenience, I'll order food that's ready to eat.
  • Posted on: 06/16/2017

    What happens now that Amazon is acquiring Whole Foods?

    Until now the grocery space was largely insulated from tech competitors -- they had to get footprint and traction with customers, and they had to lose money all the while.Now Amazon has kicked off the great race towards grocery 2.0 -- it's going to be tech-driven, customer experience- (and convenience-) driven and it's going to be much much faster than most in the board rooms of the grocery giants expected. I hope the industry will take this as a wake up call that 2+ year tech investigations need to be replaced with rapid piloting and experimentation. I hope we won't see Amazon wipe the rest of the grocers out -- I love my local grocers.
  • Posted on: 06/14/2017

    How smart is’s decision to delist Costco’s Kirkland brand?

    Without the context of their negotiations it’s impossible to say.

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