Michael Tchong precedes his talks with a trademark saying: “I help you catch the next wave before it catches you.” Michael has caught a lot of waves himself. Four of his start-ups helped pioneer such sweeping trends as desktop publishing, personal information management, internet analytics and online marketing.

His ability to spot emerging trends early was refined during a career that began at some of Madison Avenue’s most prestigious ad agencies. Michael uses his knowledge of marketing, media and technology to help audiences better grasp how massive waves, which he calls “Ubertrends,” are reshaping society. His spellbinding roller-coaster tours through the “landscape of now” uncover a host of opportunities and innovations these Ubertrends propel.

An innovation specialist, Michael motivates and inspires audiences by exploring cross-disciplinary products and services that successfully leverage market trends. His inspirational talks also reveal how marketers and consumers are adapting to fast-moving changes in our global society, with a special emphasis on the social media revolution enveloping us.

His unique ability to decode the future, lead the U.K.’s The Daily Telegraph to label Michael “America’s most influential trendspotter.” He has appeared in numerous publications and on television, including Access Hollywood, Advertising Age, Bloomberg TV, BusinessWeek, CNET, CNN, The Independent (U.K.), The New York Times, PBS, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Wired.

Michael is the author of Social Engagement Marketing, which provides an easy-to-navigate overview to the rapidly developing world of social networking and social media marketing. Michael’s latest start-up is Social Revolution®, an innovation agency that helps clients improve their innovation quotient.

Career History

Dennis RodmanMichael Tchong is the founder of MacWEEK and ICONOCAST, which produced multi-million-dollar conferences, including one starring basketball legend Dennis Rodman and another featuring a Broadway musical. Michael strongly believes that the successful organizations of tomorrow will address the changing consumer lifestyles of today.

His creative insight was developed during a remarkable career that began at ad agency icons Doyle Dane & Bernbach and Chiat/Day. Born on the Caribbean island of Aruba, Michael speaks Dutch and Papiamento natively ― factors that helped accentuate his global vision.

Michael is a powerful brand builder, as each of the six innovative brands launched prior and during his full-time speaking career demonstrate:

  • Ubercool® [2005-2011] ― In 2005, Michael Tchong debuted Ubercool at Limn Gallery in San Francisco. Under the Ubercool banner Michael traveled the world to enlighten audiences about trends cascading through business and consumer lifestyles.


    Michael chose “Ubercool” as a company name before “uber” became cool. It’s now used by Bill Gross’ “UberMedia” company, as well as for a cutting-edge cab company.

  • Trendscape [2003-2004] ― In 2003, Michael launched Trendscape, which published a newsletter, Trendsetters.com, aimed at trendwatchers and trendsetters. That year, the company published its first trend report, Trendscape 2004, which documented the most significant trends shaping the decade. In 2004, Michael sold Trendsetters.com to Iconoculture, a Minneapolis-based trend consulting firm.


    At Future Trends 2003 in Miami’s South Beach, the company released Trendscape 2004, a 104-page trend report featuring more than 140 photographs that graphically portrayed the world’s most important trends.


  • ICONOCAST [1997-2002] ― In 1997, Michael Tchong founded ICONOCAST, a popular 50,000-circulation weekly newsletter, which quickly became the preferred choice of Internet marketers worldwide, a fact recognized by a Tenagra Internet Marketing Excellence award. ICONOCAST was acquired in 1998 by Imagine Media, publisher of Business 2.0.

    Cindy Margolis

    ICONOCAST hosted the most successful online marketing conference, as measured by audience response and sponsorship revenue, Web Attack! (logo, top), featuring such celebrities as Dennis Rodman, RuPaul and Cindy Margolis, the “most downloaded woman on the Internet.”

  • CyberAtlas [1994-1996] ― Realizing the potential of the Web in 1994, Michael Tchong founded Interstellar, a consulting and media company, which published CyberAtlas, the preeminent online market research site. Four months after its online debut, CyberAtlas was acquired by I/PRO (Internet Profiles Corp.), which later sold the brand to Mecklermedia (aka JupiterMedia).


    CyberAtlas, the Internet’s first recognized research brand, was created by Michael in 1996.

  • Hello [1992-1993] ― In 1992, Michael Tchong founded Atelier Systems Inc., which targeted the nascent category of “personal communication systems.” After raising $1.2 million in venture capital, Atelier developed Hello, an innovative personal communication manager for the Macintosh, which featured an easy-to-use graphics user interface centered around an extensible toolbar, both still trendsetting features to this day.


    Atelier Systems’ Hello used a slick interface to simplify maintaining contacts and correspondence, while offering an optional ability to seamlessly fax and e-mail address-book entries via a modular architecture. Apple’s Newton, Palm’s Pilot PDA and Microsoft Outlook all use concepts pioneered in Hello.

  • MacWEEK [1987-1991] ― His intuitive sense that the Macintosh would become the tool of choice for the graphic arts industry lifted this weekly’s annual revenues from less than $500,000 to $18 million in just four years. Ziff-Davis acquired the 85,000-circulation MacWEEK in 1988, a little over a year after its launch. In 1990, Advertising Age named MacWEEKone of the 10 fastest-growing publications in America. As founder and publisher, Michael Tchong gained operational experience managing a 68-person staff.


    Michael solidified MacWEEK’s market position by inviting leading artists, such as Peter Max and Keith Haring, to create their first-ever artworks on the Macintosh. Applying early peer pressure helped the Mac become the overwhelming choice of designers it is today.

Whether personal computing, home computing, desktop publishing, personal communication, Internet publishing or online marketing, Michael has always been part of the leading edge. Now you too can take advantage of Michael Tchong’s ability to ride waves early as he helps you and your audiences unlock the potential of emerging trends.