The Bard of Shoreditch: 2017 Tech Predictions

The inimitable James Governor — aka @monkchips, aka founder of the very developer community oriented Redmonk nuevo analyst firm, Redmonk — unleashed his top 12 predictions for the upcoming dumpster fire of a year. As always, the kid from Shoreditch brings the quirky heat.



A couple of James’ predictions struck home with me.

Right off the bat, he predicts increased attention yet again on APIs, something companies have been slowly waking up to over the past five years thanks in large part to advocacy by folks like Redmonk, Kin Lane, Laura Merling, Lorinda Brandon, Sam RamjiEric Norlin and Stephen Willmott.

We’re not building things to be used in the context that we decide…we’re building things to be used in the context that the user decides.

Coming into the fourth spot on James’ list is a prediction that we’ll see big vendors going on a bit of an acquisition/acquihire spree in 2017 as a way to clean up a messy and confusing market. What this means for startups is twofold: (1) The noise and confusion in the market means the competition for attention is at Jan Brady like middle child levels; and (2) Creating and telling a clean, compelling story is more critical than ever. Talk to me if your startup is struggling with this.

At number five, James hits on something I think is going to be even bigger and more challenging than many companies expect. He calls it conversational commerce. It’s the expectation that humans expect a human tone to their interaction with technology. This is another area where developers, designers and marketers will struggle over the next year, as they will be forced to abandon their years of metrics and buzzword-laden language to build emotion and understanding into their customer facing technology and interaction.

And, lastly, prediction number 8 from the Redmonk office in London: the rise of pervasive speech recognition. This one’s special for me. I led global communications for IBM’s emerging pervasive computing division back when the future was now. One of the technologies under our umbrellas was speech. Many folks knew it as ViaVoice in a consumer box, though it was embedded in a number of early devices we take for granted today. I had the opportunity to work with the Ozzie Osborne (no, not that one; though I did score a “Ozzie Osborne at IBM? No !@#$ Way, Man!” headline once), and the queen of speech technology PR, Geri Kan.

Huge thanks to James for taking me down memory lane.

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