From email newsletter to global market intelligence firm, Greenlight Insights is providing business decision-makers with the information they need to embrace VR and AR, as founder Clifton Dawson explains
➨ Former Snap analyst Clifton Dawson founded Greenlight Insights in 2014
➨ Immersive tech lacked an analyst firm focused on providing independent, objective and credible market data to aid strategic decision-making
➨ Greenlight’s role today is to help executives navigate fast-moving technology markets such as VR and AR
➨ xRS Week reveals the annual trends the firm has analysed throughout the year
Innovation within immersive technology continues to abound, particularly within enterprise. In just the past few weeks alone, we’ve seen EON Reality and two partners showcase a training simulation for police officers who deal with cases of domestic violence, SkyLights design virtual reality (VR) headsets for British Airways that are wearable even when lying flat, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute give students the opportunity to learn Mandarin Chinese on the streets of Beijing without having to leave campus.
With developers making leaps forward in the development of the technology, business leaders need valuable insight into how it works and—more importantly—how it can transform what they do.
Former Snap analyst Clifton Dawson founded global market intelligence firm Greenlight Insights for precisely this reason. He explains: “Prior to founding Greenlight Insights in 2014, I worked as a business analyst at Snap, helping the product team commercialise Snapchat’s innovative products with data-driven insights about its users, audience, and the market. It was in this role that I began paying close attention to VR and augmented reality (AR)—what we have collectively termed ‘XR’—as disruptive mediums, particularly for delivering experiential, premium and branded content.”
“Yet, while there were plenty of great entrepreneurs focused on bringing novel solutions and businesses to the market, there were no analyst firms focused on providing independent, objective and credible market data to aid strategic decision-making—which is what I was passionate about. So, I decided to start Greenlight Insights.”
What Dawson launched in December 2014 was an email newsletter, but it has since grown into a global market intelligence firm focused on the future of immersive and transformative technology. He says: “We now have 14 analysts and business professionals in San Francisco, California; Los Angeles, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Denver, Colorado; London, England; and Beijing, China.”
Greenlight’s role today is to help executives navigate fast-moving technology markets such as VR and AR, because “the right business decisions can be the difference between success and failure”, according to Dawson.
He continues: “But the problem executives face is that their ability to make the right decision depends on having the right information at the right time, and thus having validated and accurate information is of critical importance to companies, especially those with significant resources at stake. That is why we deliver deep intelligence about the technology market’s direction and viable economic opportunities through our research, consulting and events.”
“Our clients recognise we are indispensable because we understand the complexity of the immersive tech landscape in its entirety. We undertake continuous primary research, developing unique and robust data assets, ranging from consumer and industry executive sentiment to online and physical retail store data to our proprietary market models and forecasts. We take this holistic approach so that we can continuously understand the dynamic nature of this ever-changing industry, and provide insights that help our clients make the right decisions about the future of VR/AR.”
It is the role of Greenlight’s annual strategy conference in San Francisco each October, xRS Week, to reveal the annual trends the firm has analysed throughout the year. Dawson says: “Since 2016, the conference is where we present our biggest findings and disruptive ideas, paired with thought-leadership from the assembled vendors, investors, and end-users, to create a programme that is a one-stop-shop for executive education. Lastly, we bring together senior executives, innovators and honoured officials to facilitate high-value networking.”
Greenlight’s proprietary research is directly tied to how the firm shapes the agenda, Dawson explains. “That’s what makes xRS Week so unique. Our analyst teams build an agenda that addresses the evolving strategic opportunities and challenges we see in the industry throughout the year. Our analyst team puts together the full programme over the course of the year.”
This year at xRS Week 2019, the agenda focuses on the ways VR and AR are transforming the creation of business value in a post-digital era. Dason says: “We provide deep dives into how xR technology is being used in corporate training, manufacturing operations, retailing, healthcare delivery, visual effects production, location-based entertainment, and more. We find that businesses in numerous sectors are incorporating immersive technology-driven capabilities alongside their existing skills and experience to do new kinds of work, in new ways.”
Enter the Greenlight Insights Innovation Awards
For the first time at xRS Week, Greenlight is presenting the Innovation Awards “to recognise innovative VR and AR technology companies and best-in-class industry applications from around the world”.
Entries for the Greenlight Insights Innovation Awards will be accepted up to 31 August, and can be made via an online entry form. Entry is open to any AR or VR company and end-user organisation that has implemented an innovation using AR or VR technology, products or services in the relevant award categories during the past year. Winner presentations will take place at xRS Week 2019 in October.