(My site and this 1/2/2017) post were hacked and recreated below.)
This is what’s on my radar entering 2017.
These aren’t predictions so much as topics of interest. Some I’m working on, some invested in, some chasing after the best ideas on how to get involved.
For predictions, see the brilliant post by Fred Wilson from yesterday.
Humanization of the social nets
The social nets showed their raw side in 2016.
They proved themselves incapable of platforming true serious debate. Structurally they appeared miswired to deal with human touch at scale and balance gesture and conversation, nuance and emotional beliefs.
I reject the idea that closed small groups are the only answer to true conversation and that social nets only really work face to face. Somewhere in the intersection of how our broad social nets host communities of interest lies the answer.
I’m presuming that Facebook is already working on this. I think Twitter has some unique advantages but appears too caught up in fear of failing to take advantage of this market opportunity.
I posted most recently on this here.
Rebirth & reification of the episodic, long-form conversation
The truth today is grey at best.
And conversations require nuance of thought and regardless of the complexity of the topic, some patience.
Blogs and podcasts, extended groupings in real life will become the town halls they were a half dozen years ago. I see this as less retro and more an awareness that gestures alone are not speech and that brands of value can’t be built on the back of hyperbole and mechanized content publishing.
In the face of ignorance and hate, we need intelligence, articulation and openness.
And as well, the skills of thoughtful analysis and storytelling will become the most important train of leadership and success.
The miscast intention of growth hacking and the data-before-thought trend will be pushed aside and market awareness, brand integrity, customer connections, and behavioral consumer understanding will be the first words on our whiteboards as we map our future.
Marketing as the art of communications with the market is overdue to be reimagined.
Local as a workable model
The more our population centers in vertical urban centers, the more real the smart city becomes and the more that logistics become a tool not a challenge to new solutions, the more essential the reality of local as a business model not just a market, becomes essential.
This is both the largest of messes and the ultimate opportunity.
Today, especially in the consumable goods industries, artisanal is a broken concept and invariably hits the wall within the margin crush of distribution, transportation, retail oligopolies.
In effect, local is both the answer and the problem.
The opportunity that must get fixed through the intersection of government cutting back restrictions, partnerships with the smart city infrastructure itself and a cutting into the monopolies of distribution model
Robotics as a panacea for the artisanal food conundrum
Artisanal as a model for consumable is fraught with issues of scale and margin.
I ran into this video last month and it sparked the idea that hand made is ready for disruption.
That one way to solve our food problem is to harness technology itself. The consumerization of robotics as a potential answer.
Crazy—I don’t think so.
I think that as this becomes the answer, where technology is a tool in the artisanal for hand-made and personal.
Think of science fiction caricatures of agriculture on Mars as a reality in Brooklyn to feed the metropolitan area.
Every backyard as part of a web of supply for an unfeedable urban demand.
Top down/bottoms up distinction will start to vanish
I’ve been touching on this for a year now.
That the pendulum of innovation is moving from the bottom to the top, from the individual to the enterprise, from ideas at incubators to corporations with the resources to truly accumulate and parse the data that sits behind most everything.
This is not obviating the startup culture certainly but nothing changes the world than the huge ship of the enterprise embracing it.
From changes in how we work, from incorporating IoT and I think the most profound, the resurge of understanding that enterprise sales, strategic selling into the world’s largest entities will become a rare skill as much if not more so that the need for the most brilliant programmers.
Location as a point of commercial value
Today, location data is free. Ubiquitous.
I think that proximity, dynamic location that includes not just where thing are but where they are in relations to everything else will come of age.
And that this will redefine location as free to a dynamic that is part of a business model itself.
Maybe through IoT finally surfacing out of the chaos of devices to a platformed software model. Maybe driven to address the mobile aspect of the changing workforce.
I know that many are tackling this and the groundwork for this to break open becomes more real daily.
What I am clear on is that this will happen in the enterprise first.
Happy New Year to all!
Through change comes opportunity. Through surprise comes the push to understand the why of what happened.
We certainly have lots of change and loads of surprise to take away from 2016.
And there are lots of opportunities in front of us.