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Warren Buffett Delivers Advice For Payments Industry Innovators At The Innovation Project™ 2013 At Harvard

Buffett praises the power of human potential in America in conjunction with the breathtaking rate of innovation

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 9:45 am EDT


"Our system does work. It works because it unleashes human potential"

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A video interview with Warren Buffett on the power of innovation has officially launched the start of the PYMNTS.com's The Innovation Project™ 2013, a two-day program to challenge the way the payments and its broader commerce ecosystem thinks, talks, delivers and ignites innovation. Buffett sat down with Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz and offered his view on the current landscape of the payments industry and his optimism for the economic future in his keynote introduction to the program, held at Harvard University. Business Wire is owned by Berkshire Hathaway and a joint venture partner, along with Market Platform Dynamics (MPD) in PYMNTS.com.

“The pace of change in terms of what customers are doing, how they pay us, how they come to us – it’s breathtaking,” said Buffett. “Any company that interacts with consumers and thinks that last week’s technology and approach is going to work five years from now is probably making a mistake.”

As the economy gradually improves, Buffett said he describes himself as a “realist,” when looking towards the future. But, he said, it’s the way of America to continually progress, improve, and innovate – a theme sure to endure throughout the event.

“Our system does work. It works because it unleashes human potential,” said Buffett. “Never bet against what a human is going to accomplish if they’re operating in the right soil. And we have the right soil.”

Click here to view Buffett's interview in its entirety.

The Innovation Project continues through March 21, culminating with the Innovator Awards gala emceed by B.J. Novak of The Office.

About The Innovation Project

Over two days, 100 speakers and 500 senior members of the payments industry will change the way that the payments and its broader commerce ecosystem thinks, talks, delivers and ignites innovation. On March 20-21 the greatest minds in commerce and payments will assemble at Harvard University near Boston to kick the conversation about innovation up to an entirely different level at a program called The Innovation Project. Speakers and delegates are among the most senior executives and elite innovators from literally every established payments company worldwide, along with the CEOs of the most innovative startups in the space. One of its five modules includes pairing industry CEOs with external thought leaders such as Al Gore (former U.S. VP), Steve Levitt (Freakonomics), Eric Reis (The Lean Startup), Rosie Rios (U.S. Treasurer), Russell Simmons (RushCard), Raj Date (CFPB) and Josh Lerner (The Architecture of Innovation) to challenge the conventional wisdom around what it will take to get merchants and consumers to adopt new ways to shop and pay. Warren Buffett is the program’s keynote. The Innovation Project also hosts the industry’s 2013 PYMNTS.com Innovator Awards, given to 15 of the industry’s top innovators over dinner, which this year will be emceed by B.J. Novak of The Office and will introduce delegates to 40 of the hottest “next generation” payments innovators.

About PYMNTS.com

PYMNTS.com is reinventing the way in which companies in payments share relevant information about the initiatives that shape the future of commerce and make news. This powerful B2B platform is the #1 site for the payments industry by traffic and the premier source of information about “what’s next” in payments. C-suite and VP level executives read it daily for these insights, making the PYMNTS.com audience the most valuable in the industry. It provides an interactive platform for companies to demonstrate leadership, popularize products and, most importantly, capture the mindshare of global decision-makers. It’s where the best minds and best content meet on the web.

About Market Platform Dynamics

Market Platform Dynamics (MPD) advises businesses based on rigorous research and analytical tools and frameworks, combined with practical experience in launching and running companies.  The firm specializes in platforms—businesses that create value by serving as intermediaries between two or more different kinds of customers who need each other—as well as businesses that operate in platform-based ecosystems.  Typical engagements are commissioned by C-Level executives who wish to accelerate the pace of innovation within these highly complex ecosystems, or who seek advice on strategic direction in the face of threats to their core businesses brought about by competitors, new technologies and new business models. MPD’s intellectual underpinning is the economics of platform businesses—our principals are considered the field’s pioneers in the commercialization and application of these concepts to business. MPD is based in the United States but the principals have extensive experience working in the European Union, Latin America, and Asia on payments related matters as well as other platform industry sectors. For more information please go to http://www.marketplatforms.com.

About Business Wire

Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is the global leader in press release distribution and regulatory disclosure. Investor relations, public relations, public policy and marketing professionals rely on Business Wire to accurately distribute market-moving news and multimedia, host online newsrooms and IR websites, build content marketing platforms and provide audience analysis that improves engagement with specified target markets. Founded in 1961, Business Wire is a trusted source for news organizations, journalists, investment professionals and regulatory authorities, delivering news directly into editorial systems and leading online news sources, while boosting SEO and social media engagement via its multi-patented simultaneous NX Network. Business Wire has more than 30 bureaus worldwide to securely meet the varying needs of communications professionals and news consumers.

Learn more at BusinessWire.com and the BusinessWired blog; follow updates on Twitter: @businesswire or on Facebook.

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Leeann Cannon, 617-374-1334
Business Wire
Tom Becktold, Senior Vice President, Marketing
310-820-9473, ext. 115

Multimedia Files:

Watch this video
Warren Buffett comments on changes in payments and the pace of recovery in an interview with Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz for the PYMNTS.com Innovation Project 2013 Conference, March 20-21 at Harvard University (Video: Business Wire).
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Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren E. Buffett and Business Wire CEO Cathy Baron Tamraz (Photo: Business Wire)