Britt Technology Impact Series

Beating the Ecosystem with Hard & Software

October 1, 2015 • Tuck School of Business

Beating the Ecosystem with Hard & Software Photo

Unlike the traditional hardware companies that focus on shipping boxes, “Hardware 2.0” companies of today have disrupted our notions about the difference between hardware and software with one seamless user experience. This Hardware 2.0 disruption is so profound, tech giants are spending billions to make sure they don’t miss this seismic shift. So, what is the effect of hardware becoming less hard? Nothing less than a revolution in the user experience. Easing some of the more mundane, time-consuming aspects of making hardware is allowing a new breed of hardware to emerge. Headphones, cars, industrial equipment, eye glasses – all types of hardware are fast becoming purpose-built machines with software smarts.

The center welcomed Beats by Dr. Dre’s Head of Portfolio Strategy and Product Development, Elisabeth Hartley T’05, back to Tuck. Elisabeth spoke about the challenges of tech ecosystems, both hardware and software, and how companies and developers need to work in multiple development environments across multiple platforms to accommodate different audiences and customer demands.

Elisabeth Hartley T’05
Head of Portfolio Strategy and Product Development
Beats by Dr. Dre

Elisabeth Hartley currently heads Portfolio Strategy and Product Development for Beats by Dr. Dre, having recently led the merger integration for Beats with Apple.  Prior to Beats, Liz was an Associate Partner with Booz & Company’s Consumer, Media & Digital practice where she advised senior management to design and implement strategies for growth, business transformation and operational effectiveness, with an emphasis on digital.  Liz began her consulting career with American Express’ Strategic Planning Group.  Liz holds a BS in Neuroscience from Stanford University and an MBA from Tuck (T’05).

  • Center MBA fellow, Robert Wilson T'16, prepares for the discussion.

  • As the Head of Portfolio Strategy and Product Development at Beats by Dr. Dre, Liz discussed the rich history of the company's growth.

  • Standing room only!

  • Liz gives the crowd the brand story behind Beats, explaining that leveraging strategic partnerships and creating a holistic customer experience we key to growth

  • Center MBA fellows from left to right: Robert Wilson T'16, Mathew Sevin T'16 (asking question) and Preeti Kanther T'16

  • Students learn that global growth for Beats came by growing the headphone market and working through localization strategies.

  • Liz interacts with students following her talk.

  • Program Manager, Patrick Wheeler, presents Liz with a gift of gratitude.

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