This month marked a milestone for Meltwater CEO and founder, Jorn Lyseggen. You may have spotted the hashtag #OutsideInsight trending on Twitter following a hugely successful launch of his first book, titled – you guessed it – Outside Insight!

The Outside Insight book lays out a manifesto for the future of corporate decision-making. Many companies today look inward to inform decisions—turning to sales figures, financials, internal reports etc.—while key information can actually be found outside in what Jorn calls online breadcrumbs: in social media posts, job postings, competitors’ legal documents, patent filings and more. Jorn thinks that companies need to stop navel-gazing and looking at lagging internal data, and extend their gaze outside, gathering data with the potential to reveal key information about their competitors, their customers, and the market’s general direction. That is essentially the central thesis of “Outside Insight“, published by Penguin.

Leg one of Outside Insight’s launch started off with a bang, up high above the streets of London at a gorgeous rooftop space with 360 views of the city. Hosted in partnership with Oxford Said Business School, the event included a keynote by Jorn, followed by an academic panel discussion that dove into the impact Artificial Intelligence will have on corporate decision-making.

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Dean Peter Tufano of Oxford Said Business School moderated the discussion, and was joined on stage by Jorn, Andrew Stephen – Associate Dean of Research & L’Oreal Professor of Marketing, and Marc Ventresca – Associate Professor of Strategic Management. Jorn and the panellists covered everything from how decision-making will change thanks to improved access to external data, to the types of data we should be evaluating and why more companies aren’t doing this yet.

Admittedly, Jorn explains, making sense of the glut of information flooding the web is no easy task. That is why companies will need to marshal novel technologies such as machine learning and AI in order to transform unstructured data into actionable intelligence, to provide key business insights.

Professor Marc Ventresca commented during the panel discussion, “I think the implications of this work,
 as Jorn begins to develop what he’s calling a ‘new category of software’, will let us embrace rich, diverse data, know something we couldn’t have imagined otherwise and both begin to act as an organsation and potentially change what we think action looks like for rival and competitor organisations”. Once the talks wrapped up, guests were left wide-eyed after receiving a glimpse of the Outside Insight app and Report for the first time.

outside insight

When asked what inspired him to write the book, Jorn said, “The idea behind this book is embarrassingly simple: Decision-making needs to incorporate external information in a much more thorough way than it does today. I’ve been waiting for this for 16 years, since I started Meltwater in 2001. I’ve been equally surprised each year at how little external information is incorporated into decision-making. After a while I thought, ’Ok this is a book that needs to be written.”

The book launch celebrations continued through the week with an intimate party at trendy east London venue, Shoreditch House. Here, friends, family and the Meltwater team raised a toast to our fearless leader on the success of his foray into authorship.

In between sessions at the OI branded photo booth, Jorn took to the stage for a quick fireside chat with Rowland Manthorpe, Associate Editor at WIRED UK, to discuss the book, why he wrote it and what it took to bring it to life.

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They discussed future implications of Outside Insight once more companies begin to adopt this sort of thinking – extending into questions around data privacy and even the idea of ‘fake breadcrumbs.’ “When Outside Insight becomes prevalent, we’ll start to see companies dropping fake breadcrumbs – similar to the idea of espionage – using fake information to confuse competitors and portray a different image of themselves to throw off the competition,” Jorn explained.

The next day, Jorn made his way to London School of Economics – ranked every year within the top 5 universities in the UK – where he engaged a room full of business students on Outside Insight.


outside insight

We’re excited to bring Outside Insight to the rest of the world over the next few weeks and honoured that London was chosen to welcome this movement first.

Get your copy of Outside Insight here!