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: 06/28/2019

    Digital brands find inclusivity is the ‘right thing’ to do for business results

    Is the idea to identify consumers by their race/ethnicity so we can stereotype them in our messaging? Of course, only stereotypes we think they'll like right? In my mind, ethical marketing segments consumers by activities like browsing/buying behavior, not by attributes like age/race.
  • Posted on: 06/24/2019

    How do consumers define cleanliness in grocery stores?

    Lighting is key -- fluorescent lights, any kind of flicker, or a blue/cold hue spoils the feeling of cleanliness. Consistency of signage is important, too -- signs may be dirt and dust free, but if they look cluttered that will signal mess and dirt subconsciously. Pick 1-2 colors and fonts and stick to them. The worst offender in most grocery stores is old tape and signage attached to surfaces -- places where a sign was put up that has begun to fray/fall apart, a piece of paper that has gotten wet and begun warping and yellowing, etc. If cashiers are relying on handwritten notes behind the counter, the handwriting quality counts too.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2019

    Are Shark Tank-like competitions a path to retail innovation?

    These competitions will grow because of their PR value but they're a dead end for actual innovation. Like hackathons, the format promotes style over substance and concept over execution -- absolutely the opposite of what delivers real results in retail. However, for a company looking to bump their stock price, it can be a worthwhile investment -- just don't start driving tech decisions from a judges panel.
  • Posted on: 05/15/2019

    Is Apple’s App Store a monopoly?

    I have been an app developer on the App Store since the day it launched, and now more than 30 apps later I haven't spotted any signs of them trying to influence app prices higher. They've always charged the same 30% to everyone since the beginning. I also publish on the Play Store and see no noticeable difference between the two in regards to pricing.
  • Posted on: 05/09/2019

    Are machine learning and AI the path to enhanced personalization?

    Machine learning and crowdsourcing/community building are the only scalable paths to personalization and both take considerable startup investment.
  • Posted on: 03/28/2019

    Is Dick’s making the right move by bringing its software development in-house?

    Dicks' current software vendors should take this as a wakeup call - Dick's would rather reinvent the wheel than use yours!
  • Posted on: 02/17/2019

    Will Google’s modular tech change how consumers buy smartphones?

    Did computers go modular? Do you cobble together your laptop from a bunch of parts? No, it's an inefficient way to design a nice system -- each part now needs to be adjusted to fit a more specific form factor, the system can't be as optimized or efficient as a whole when the components are swappable.
  • Posted on: 02/08/2019

    Are ‘spiritual’ brands more marketable than ever?

    The word "spiritual" is an empty vessel in practice - it conveys no specific meaning instead each consumer imagines their own interpretation. It's like salt, sprinkle it on any product name to add some flavor.
  • Posted on: 01/31/2019

    Social media responsiveness builds Millennial loyalty

    I think this is a subset of “responsiveness builds loyalty” or the inverse, ignoring people makes them not like you. Retailers shouldn’t worry about responsiveness to Millennials or on social media specifically, they need to be responding to customers wherever and however the customer reaches out.
  • Posted on: 08/29/2018

    Amazon’s warehouse workers become social cheerleaders

    It's not a fair game, but with so many players trying to shape the conversation online, it's not unexpected either. We can't control what makes it online, so the best bet is to make sure you, your friends and your kids understand the way online conversation shaping works and can apply critical thinking and skepticism.
  • Posted on: 08/22/2018

    Top reasons consumer data quality is failing retailers

    The solution is to test a list before you buy it. Got 100,000 customers on the list you want to buy? Get a sample of a few hundred and try it out. Anyone who won't offer a sample knows their list is dirty.
  • Posted on: 08/20/2018

    Are stock-up grocery trips becoming a thing of the past?

    Convenience stores are hitting grocery stores hard - for smaller trips it's nicer not to have to wait in line! Grocery stores and big box operators don't need smaller store concepts, they need more convenient ones - and mobile checkout/Amazon Go-type initiatives are the way forward there.
  • Posted on: 08/02/2018

    Who in retailing’s c-suites should drive customer experience?

    The biggest problem isn't what department owns CX, it's whether they can get the required inter-departmental cooperation to achieve it. CX can't be silo'd because it happens online, in-app, in-store and at home with the packaging. It's multidisciplinary, and it's about empathy - two traits retailers need to prioritize if they care about customer experience.
  • Posted on: 07/27/2018

    Can store associates do anything about rude customers?

    To quote Marcus Aurelius: "Tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own -- not of the same blood or birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness."
  • Posted on: 07/26/2018

    7-Eleven franchisees have to pay up to stay in business

    Raising franchise prices makes sense if they re-invest that in capabilities that help all franchisees. If 7-Eleven does a good job of communicating the specific benefits they will use these funds to bring to owners, I believe they can be seen more positively. Retailers need to invest in transformation now, and that costs money. If they don't raise the fees, but see their relevance decline over the next 5 years, that wouldn't be an improvement.

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