By Alan Murray and David Meyer
October 18, 2018

Good morning.

Accenture North America CEO Julie Sweet had two simple pieces of advice for companies considering blockchain projects yesterday at the Fortune Global Forum in Toronto:

1) “If you are a CEO and someone is coming to you with a blockchain project, beware. Blockchain is a technology, not an outcome. You need to start with a business problem.”

2) “Once you understand the blockchain, then the question is: should you be a first mover, or should you monitor and participate? For most companies, the right answer is going to be monitor and participate.”

Also at the Forum yesterday, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers took on the new USMCA trade agreement. “There’s no important difference between the new NAFTA and the old NAFTA,” he said. “What we have had is 14 months of drama to be in the same place we were before.” When I pressed him on improved access to the Canadian market for U.S. dairy products, he responded: “We are not talking about one percent of GDP. We are not talking about 1/10th of a percent of GDP. We are not talking about 1/100th of a percent of GDP. This is a big nothing.”

Separately, Fortune this afternoon will release its Future 50: a list of companies with the best outlook for long-term growth prospects, calculated with the help of our partners at BCG’s Henderson Institute. Last year’s Future 50 focused only on U.S. companies; this year’s list expanded the net worldwide. The result? I don’t want to totally spoil the surprise, but three of the top five are based in China. The five top forward-looking publicly-traded companies:

  • Workday, U.S.
  • Weibo, China
  • ServiceNow, U.S.
  • International, China
  • VIPShopHoldings, China

You’ll be able to see the full list after 2 p.m. here. More news from the Forum here. Other news below.

And apologies for saying yesterday that Canada was the first country to fully legalize marijuana. Uruguay apparently beat them to it. Here’s what Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau said about how he is going to celebrate the change.

Alan Murray


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