Meet Michael J. Wolf, Advisor Behind Some of the World’s Top Businesses

Who do the titans of business turn to when they need advice? Michael J. Wolf is a major influence in the tech community and the man behind the Activate Tech and Media Outlook — the annual forecast for tech, media and entertainment trends. Those in the know consider him the secret weapon behind some of the world’s most powerful business leaders. 

Let’s face it, being successful in business — and staying successful — is no easy feat. Growing nascent businesses, innovating and scaling enterprises all have their unique challenges at every stage of business. Staying ahead of competitive maneuvers requires conviction and a measure of bravery. Cannibalizing your own products to stay on top? Even more so. 

The latest report by Activate Consulting suggests that  global technology and media spending surpassed $2 trillion in 2021. According to Michael J. Wolf, the Founder and CEO of Activate Consulting, the COVID19 pandemic played a big role in its acceleration. Social distancing resulted in new consumer habits — as stay-at-home requirements meant time to try new online services, content and retailers — creating a whole new set of opportunities for marketers. 

If anyone knows about transforming businesses and helping tech and media innovators thrive,  it’s Wolf. As one of the most influential figures in the tech industry and an early mentor of Mark Zuckerberg, Wolf is someone you might want to listen to if you want your business to succeed. 

The Early Days

It can be hard to know whom to listen to when it comes to creating innovation. Wolf has been at the cutting edge of tech and media for the past three decades, often working from behind the scenes with some of the most powerful titans of business.

A graduate of Columbia University, he started his career at Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the biggest American management and infotech consulting firms in the world. There, he would create and run the media and entertainment practice, making it one of the most successful in the industry, securing NBC, MTV, and the NBA to join the company’s client roster.

His success was noticed by other consulting industry giants, with McKinsey & Co aggressively pursuing him to lead its own media and entertainment division. There, Wolf applied his experience and vision to add “innovative thinking, knowledge development and global perspective” — three principles that have guided his career through the years.

Wolf was later appointed as President and Chief Operating Officer of MTV Networks, presiding over the $7B entertainment and media conglomerate. MTV Networks Chair Judy McGrath oversaw the appointment, saying “Michael knows the media inside and out.”

After his MTV days, Wolf served as a board member for Entercom, Yahoo, and Sotheby’s, while founding his own management consulting company, Activate Consulting. For more than a decade he’s been helping the largest internet, media, and entertainment leaders businesses reinvent themselves, enter new markets, bring innovative products to the masses and solve their most pressing challenges.

Advising The Next Generation Of Innovators

Activate Consulting advises senior executives at transformational companies how to succeed, and Wolf is perhaps best known for sharing these valuable insights annually. For the past seven years, he’s foretold the biggest technology trends and disruptions at the Wall Street Journal’s flagship conference.  Wolf’s annual roadmap, the Activate Tech and Media Outlook is a 100+ page report on technology and media’s impact on consumers.

Wolf is also a frequent keynote speaker at ecommerce and advertising conferences. He recently delivered the presentation “When Worlds Collide: Technology, Media, and E-commerce,” at the Business of Fashion Conference — a must-watch for anyone interested in disrupting the e-commerce industry. Another topic he has been known for accurately forecasting is the ”Attention, Engagement, and Experience Economy,” which has become increasingly important as digital natives gain acquisitive power.

As someone who has helped the tech and media landscape change over the past three decades, Wolf is uniquely positioned to help businesses confront the challenges that come with change. His insights have proven effective at helping new and established leaders disrupt the business ecosystem in some of the most dynamic markets in history. 

Published December 14th, 2021