Jerry’s Longer Bio

(longer narrative bio; a shorter one lives here)

Jerry Michalski (ma-call-ski) is the founder of REX, the Relationship Economy eXpedition.

He is a pattern finder, lateral thinker, Gladwellian connector, facilitator and explorer of the interactions between technology, society and business.

From 1987 to 1998, Jerry was a technology analyst, focusing not on quarterly earnings but rather on which technologies would be useful and which would be distractions, what trends and forces create new value, and where all these forces might take us over a 20-year timeframe.

For the last five years of that period, Jerry was the Managing Editor of Esther Dyson’s monthly tech newsletter Release 1.0, as well as co-host of her annual conference, PC Forum. He was fortunate to be on duty when the Internet showed up.

Since 1998, Jerry has been an independent consultant, doing business as Sociate, a name he coined because he is skilled at associating ideas and people, and also because he believes that the social changes that we are going through as a result of all the new connectivity (e.g., Internet, mobiles, inexpensive cameras, video sharing, tweeting) will be more profound than the structural and economic changes we have already seen.

REX

In 2010 Jerry launched REX — the Relationship Economy eXpedition — a private, collaborative inquiry into the next economy, which is based on trust.

REX was born from Jerry’s realization in the mid-1990s that he disliked the word “consumer.” He paid attention to the word, its metaphors and business models, and realized that every sector of our lives has been consumerized — to society’s detriment. The relationships studied in REX range from buyer-seller (no longer consumer-producer) to business-government-social sector, science-religion, business-nature and more. All are shifting madly.

Clients and advisory roles

Jerry has worked with companies such as Best Buy and Havas Media as well as non-profits such as EDF and the Institute for the Future. He’s been widely quoted in the major media and greatly enjoys public speaking.

He also acts as a technology advisor to startups, ranging from OngigTwine and CoTweet (acquired by ExactTarget) to Evernote, TheBrain and Socialtext. During the dot-boom days, Jerry was an advisor to eGroups (now YahooGroups) and Pyra (now Blogger, part of Google).

More background

Prior to writing Release 1.0, Jerry spent five years at New Science Associates, a technology market-research firm similar to Gartner (later bought by Gartner). At New Science, Jerry launched and ran two retainer research services, Intelligent Document Management (which included hypertext and groupware) and Continuous Information Environments (which included wireless communications, voice/data integration and then-hot pen computing).

His first real job in the world was as a transportation rate clerk at Mobil Oil, looking up freight rates in a room full of paper tariffs at the same time as he was learning about computing and the early online world with an Apple II+ and a 300-baud Hayes modem.

Between Mobil and New Science, Jerry earned an MBA from the Wharton School and spent almost three years in strategy consulting with an internal strategy startup at Price Waterhouse. (He rues that his age shows as the companies he was with continue to change names, such as ExxonMobil and PricewaterhouseCoopers.)

Jerry earned an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA in Economics (mostly econometrics) from UC Irvine. He was raised in Peru and Argentina and speaks fluent Spanish and German — and pretty passable French. You can contact him at jerry@sociate.com.

Finally, here’s a long but excellent interview from 2006.

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