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Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll

Paul is the CEO and editor-in-chief of Insurance Thought Leadership. He is also the co-author of The New Killer Apps: How Large Companies Can Out-Innovate Start-Ups and Billion Dollar Lessons: What You Can Learn From the Most Inexcusable Business Failures of the Last 25 Years and the author of Big Blues: The Unmaking of IBM, a major best-seller published in 1993. Paul spent 17 years at the Wall Street Journal as an editor and reporter. The paper nominated him twice for Pulitzer Prizes. In 1996, he founded Context, a thought-leadership magazine on the strategic importance of information technology that was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. He is a co-founder of the Devil’s Advocate Group consulting firm.

Recent Articles by Paul Carroll

Harvey: First Big Test for Insurtech

As Hurricane Harvey finally relents, the insurance industry is about to experience the flip side of a famous line from Warren Buffett. Talking about how investment portfolios shouldn’t be judged in good times, Buffett said, “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” Well, with the rain and the rain […]

Q&A With Iowa’s New Commissioner

Q: Congratulations on becoming the new Iowa insurance commissioner. You’re a Missouri native with 30 years of experience in the industry. What brought you to Iowa? A: Thank you very much. About four years ago, I met Nick Gerhart, who was beginning his tenure as Iowa’s insurance commissioner. We had really good discussions at NAIC […]

What Trump Means for Business

Donald Trump’s stunning win in the U.S. presidential election, together with the election of Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate, has generated a wave of coverage about the deep changes that will surely occur with Obamacare but not nearly as much about what the voting will likely mean for businesses in general and […]

The Latest Charts on Internet Statistics

Mary Meeker gave her always-anticipated, annual presentation on the state of the Internet this week, and I thought I should share with you. Here is the link to her massive, 213-slide presentation: http://www.kpcb.com/internet-trends. You will certainly see numbers or even whole slides proliferate in coming days and weeks, but I encourage you to at least […]

The Myth of the Protection Gap

A friend and colleague, Chunka Mui, once said, “Marketing is when a company lies to its customers. Market research is when a company lies to itself.” In the insurance industry, talk of the protection gap manages to combine both problems: It’s something of a lie to customers and is an even bigger lie to ourselves. […]

Smart Homes Are Still Way Too Stupid

It’s nice to know sharp people — in this case, Rich Jaroslovsky, a former colleague at the Wall Street Journal who is now a vice president at SmartNews. He just wrote a takedown of the smart home that saved me the trouble. I had visited the topic in a general way a year ago in […]

What I Learned at Google (Part 2)

We didn’t intend to write a series on the symposium that Insurance Thought Leadership hosted at Google last week for C-suite executives of major companies and for regulators, but I want to build on the wonderful post yesterday by Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart, about the insights he picked up there. For me, the symposium […]

The Hemingway Model of Disruption

In Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, a character is asked how he went bankrupt. “Two ways,” he says. “Gradually, then suddenly.” In my experience covering innovation for nearly three decades, that’s how disruption has come to a host of industries: IT, newspapers, books, retail, music, etc. What I think of as the Hemingway model […]

Beginning of the End for Car Insurance?

Volvo’s statement last week that it would accept all liability when its cars are in autonomous mode takes the threat to traditional auto insurance to a whole new level. Google and Mercedes have already made similar promises, so we now have three major companies saying they will treat certain car accidents as product liability issues […]

The Problem With Telematics

When I attended the Insurance Telematics USA conference in Chicago earlier this month, I expected to see much more enthusiasm. I first wrote about Progressive’s venture into telematics all the way back in the late 1990s, and technology has improved so much since then that the telematics industry would surely be bragging about its breakout […]

How Google Thinks About Insurance

For those of us wondering what Google plans to do in insurance — isn’t that all of us? — it’s worth looking at the company’s Project Sunroof. The project uses exceptionally sophisticated mapping data to determine which homeowners would most benefit from solar panels and, in the process, may provide some insight into how Google […]

Insurance Needs a New Vocabulary

Lots of industries face criticism because they talk the talk but don’t walk the talk — the computer industry, for instance, long talked about making machines intuitive but required users to work their way through manuals and memorize long series of steps before they could accomplish anything. But the insurance industry doesn’t even talk the […]

Keen Insights on Customer Experience

The need to improve customers’ experiences in interacting with insurers strikes me as so acute that I’m going to take a shot at the issue here, even though we’ve been hitting it hard in a series of articles from Capgemini and Salesforce over the past month. (The articles are here, here, here and here, and […]

How Google Is Wrong About the Internet

Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, said this week that the Internet will disappear — “There will be so many IP addresses, so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with, that you won’t even sense it,” he said. Now, Eric is a very smart fellow; he’s worth several billion […]

Let’s Tone Down Hope for ‘Wearables’

There is an old line in Silicon Valley: “Never confuse a clear view with a short distance.” We should keep that in mind as we think about wearable devices such as the Apple watch that are designed, among other things, to help us monitor and improve our health. The view is crystal clear, but we’re […]

Connect With Paul Carroll

  • Auto Insurance
  • Disaster Planning & Recovery
  • Healthcare
  • Innovation & Technology
  • Leadership
  • Property/Casualty