PROFILE

Rick Moss

President, Co-founder, RetailWire

Along with partners Al McClain and Santi Briglia, Rick Moss is responsible for conceiving and building RetailWire.com. Principally, he spearheads the functional design and content of the site, along with other administrative and creative duties.

  • Rick’s career in retail trade communications stretches back to 1981 with the start-up of Retail Insights, a ground-breaking video trade magazine. He headed the production and design team for that series of programs until 1993, when, along with partner Santi Briglia, he formed Further Media, a communications design company.
  • With Further Media, Moss and Briglia produced a diversity of b2b communications for the likes of IBM, CMP/InformationWeek, Dean Foods, Ralston Purina and GE. Although primarily concentrated on web design and management, Further Media also designed for video, print and interactive disk.
  • In 1998, out of a partnership between Further Media and Al McClain’s Media Connection, came IdeaBeat.com — the retail industry’s most innovative online community. Rick served as President, overseeing content and strategic partnerships.

Rick is also a contributor to blogs and news publications, typically writing on the impact of future technologies. His opinion pieces have appeared in USA Today and Forbes.com. He is the author of two novels: the speculative fiction thriller, Ebocloud, and Tellers, about a tragedy that befalls a Hudson Valley farming collective. He serves on the Human Trajectories Board, Media & Arts Board and the Robotics/AI Board of the Lifeboat Foundation, an organization dedicated to encouraging scientific advancements while helping humanity survive existential risks associated with the misuse of increasingly powerful technologies.

Rick resides in Brooklyn, New York with his wife Catherine of 30 plus years. They have two grown daughters, Alison and Genna, both involved in the creative arts.

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  • Posted on: 08/27/2019

    What makes a good brand mascot in 2019?

    I had the same reaction, Evan. Memorable logo, but no personality there.
  • Posted on: 08/22/2019

    Will shoppers thank heaven for mobile checkout at 7-Eleven?

    One assumes that someone has calculated the total time it takes for a shopper to fire up an app and scan each item personally and compared that to the length of a traditional checkout experience. My guess is that mobile checkout (in this form) is faster only if the checkout line is a few deep or longer. So one might argue that this will take the onus off improving traditional checkout efficiency and put it on the consumer to do the labor him/herself. Is that more convenient for the consumer? I'm not quite buying it.
  • Posted on: 08/13/2019

    Have emojis become digital’s ice breaker for consumers?

    On the one hand, language evolves, and whether marketers and retailers like it or not, they're going to have to deal with new forms of communication. That said, to use a pizza emoji to order pizza seems gimmicky at best, and to encourage customers to express their opinions and desires with emojis is inviting disastrous misinterpretation (as per Andrew's astute comments). Marketers might give their customer service people more leeway to use emojis with the objective of lightening up and humanizing communications, but they should draw the line at using them in place of precise language. Words still matter.
  • Posted on: 07/30/2019

    Can deepfake technology reduce retail returns without rattling reality?

    I can imagine that marketers — just as they use "GF" for gluten free — might gain points by verifying their images with labels like "NDF" (not deepfake). It'll be the new "unretouched."
  • Posted on: 07/26/2019

    Is DoorDash ‘doing the right thing’ for delivery people?

    I agree with Neil's sentiments. As with food delivery apps, coffee cafes and other counter-serve establishments have built easy tipping into their POS systems, seemingly shifting the onus onto the customer to augment employee wages. It's clear to many of us that it allows employers to keep their wages in check. I have sympathy for both the business owners and employees, so I usually pony up a tip. But once I do so, I expect the retailer to pass that directly to employees without any "new math" involved.
  • Posted on: 07/12/2019

    Are cloud kitchens the next evolution of food delivery?

    The virtual restaurant idea seems to be in sync with the way foodie entrepreneurs are building their businesses these days in urban centers. Many use food trucks and booths at "smorgasbords", food festivals, etc. to launch their brands. They may graduate to opening concessions in one of the emerging food halls where much of the support is provided and foot traffic is guaranteed. Young businesses then face the huge step of opening a sit-down or counter restaurant space. Many fail at this stage. But a "cloud kitchen" offers another modest interim step in building the brand. One can imagine that many brands will be able to prosper while forgoing traditional restaurant spaces all together.
  • Posted on: 06/21/2019

    Strong women execs: be ‘authentic’, just don’t be yourself

    One survey respondent reported being coached to “be more vulnerable.” -- Do you think being more vulnerable is expected of c-level female execs? Or is what that one respondent reported not representative?
  • Posted on: 06/03/2019

    Will the price of avocados make Americans say enough to Trump’s tariffs?

    In addition to the points made by others about the possible repercussions on the economy, the main objection here is the way Trump is tying two complex issues together in a less-than-rational way. You may believe immigration across the Mexican border is a national crisis, but many (probably most) American consumers would disagree, and it's unlikely they or the retailers that serve them feel they should suffer the brunt of the costs to finance Trump's campaign to secure the border. Trump said he'd get Mexico to pay for the wall. Maybe he should go back to that tactic and not ask American consumers, workers and business to pay.
  • Posted on: 05/24/2019

    Do the benefits of using facial recognition in retail outweigh the risks?

    Although most of us agree that marketers and retailers are taking responsible steps, there's no doubt facial recognition can be abused. Just have a look at how the Chinese government is monitoring the activities of their citizens. The time is now to build safeguards into facial recognition systems. An analogy would be the nuclear power industry. While mostly safe, we now know how great a potential for disaster is inherent in the technology. Scientists from the onset worked to build in safety features and the government mandated certain assurances. It's important to get out in front of the potential problems because a leak of facial recognition data (to sinister parties) could be devastating. Technology like this can do great good, but we need to be smart about it.
  • Posted on: 03/27/2019

    Wait … did Whole Foods just open a bodega on Manhattan’s Westside?

    It's not a bodega unless you can buy a $5 umbrella when there's a sudden rain shower.
  • Posted on: 03/19/2019

    Can Walmart lead the fight to eliminate plastic waste?

    I certainly join in the applause for these worthy efforts, however the fly in the ointment is that cities and towns are retreating from their recycling initiatives because they claim they are economically unsustainable (the underside of the sustainability movement, one could say). A recent NY Times report attributes much of the problem to China's turnaround in accepting bulk material for recycling: "Prompting this nationwide reckoning is China, which until January 2018 had been a big buyer of recyclable material collected in the United States. That stopped when Chinese officials determined that too much trash was mixed in with recyclable materials like cardboard and certain plastics." Perhaps business leaders like Walmart should invite a delegation of recycling chiefs from around the country to discuss the problems they face and see if they can address them at the packaging level.
  • Posted on: 02/15/2019

    Will Amazon’s decision to bail cause a New York backlash?

    Some of the loudest voices in opposition were anti-gentrification groups. Queens is one of the last areas of NYC where middle income and working class people can find (barely) affordable housing. Long Island City has welcomed an influx of corporate offices and workplaces in recent years, and the groups note that the influx of money fails to trickle down to the locals. More so, families who have lived there for generations have had to move out. Rents, for both housing and small retailers, were already surging again in anticipation of the Amazon folks moving in. Deals of this kind can certainly be beneficial to businesses (and to the politicians they finance), but the jury is still out on whether the transformation it would have brought to LIC is what the community really needs.
  • Posted on: 02/07/2019

    Will AR change how people buy products from eyeglasses to wedding rings?

    I downloaded Warby Parker's mobile app and gave it a go. See the results here... They clearly took pains to perfect the process before rolling it out – very impressive. As you browse frames, you simply click on a product and then swipe down to activate your phone camera and see the glasses on your face. Practically idiot proof. Only issue: I had to of course remove my reading glasses to do the try-on, and without them, I couldn't see very clearly. Bit of a Catch-22.
  • Posted on: 01/22/2019

    Did Gillette’s rant against toxic masculinity go too far?

    We're not that far apart on this, Rich, but I think the danger in your thinking is that such broad assumptions give men the excuse to behave badly — that since we're "wired differently" we somehow have a right to, say, speak over a woman in a meeting because we are instinctively more aggressive and therefore make better leaders. (I know you don't mean that, but other men I'm sure feel that way.) I think it's a bad practice for you or anyone to assume they "know it when they see it" because the "it" (masculinity) has been defined only through stereotypes, many of which are not constructive to moving forward on this issue. And so I would suggest the best way to broaden our views is to reject the notion of "traditional masculinity" and instead just focus on being good people.
  • Posted on: 01/21/2019

    Did Gillette’s rant against toxic masculinity go too far?

    You make some good points, Rich, but I think your argument would be stronger if we understood your definition of "masculinity." When you say, today's culture needs "more masculinity by men," what kind of behavior is that, exactly? The point Gillette is trying to make (not all that successfully, IMO), is that we need a new definition of masculinity. Is compassion a core ingredient of masculinity? How important is "toughness"? Are gay men any less "masculine" than hetero men? If so, why? Is masculinity a desirable quality for women? If not, why not? Do we need masculinity at all in our culture? If so, what purpose does it serve? I'm being rhetorical. These are questions that go to the very heart of our male-dominated culture. Answering them satisfactorily might teach us a lot about ourselves. But they certainly will not be answered quickly, and for sure not by Gillette. And maybe that's the point. This is a hugely complicated issue. Maybe they should stick to selling razors.

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