Alexa for Emergencies

Smart speakers should excel in emergency situations. Hands aren’t free, can’t find your phone, or don’t have time to find your phone? No problem, you just need your voice. When time is against you and you have to act quick, an emergency responder could be just a shout away in any room of the house, in your Internet-connected car, or on your smartphone.

This is the predicament that Gael Salcedo found himself in after his car hit an ice patch and slid into a freezing river. His phone was nowhere to be found, his car was beginning to sink into the water, and he needed to think quickly.

Death and Technology

Where’s the social network for dead people? Alright, horrible way of wording it. Where’s the social network dedicated to honoring the deceased? A place where we can connect with people who were connected to our friends that passed. A place we can revisit years or decades later that is filled with stories, photos, and memories from many periods of that person’s life.

After a loved one passes, we each have a way of remembering them. Some pull up old pictures. Some resurface an old memory. And then there are the stories that come out of nowhere, from a person we didn’t know was connected to our loved one, who share a story that just about melts our hearts.

Twitch and TikTok Ads

2019 was heavily projected to be the first year that digital ad spend finally surpassed traditional print and TV ads. It’s a moment that says a lot about how ad dollars are allocated: ad dollars are slow to adopt new platforms.

Namely, I want to talk about Twitch and TikTok. These two platforms should be on everyone’s radar for future marketing opportunities just given their behavioral impact. Twitch users spend an average of 95 minutes on Twitch per day, which crushes Facebook at 41 minutes per day. In just a few years, TikTok exploded into a 1.5 billion person user base.

The Future of Billboards

What never ceases to amaze me are the number of businesses that have emerged around ride-sharing. HyreCar lets you rent a car to get a ridesharing job. Cargo gives you the opportunity to sell snacks to riders with their snack boxes. And then of course the natural confluence of driving around food when “people rides” are slow.

Last week I was out at CES shooting a campaign for BMW and hosting a discussion on emerging tech with Chris Foster (the president of BCW). Chris brought together a room full of high-powered, future thinkers from all different industries. The conversation was one of the most enlightening I’ve had all year.

Experiential Marketing 2020

Every five years, you can expect a new flavor of marketing to emerge and become the most picked flavor at the ice cream shop. Remember when guerilla marketing was the rage? Flash mobs were everywhere and the CEO of Lifelock publicized his Social Security number for people to try and steal.

Marketing tactics come and go with the tides. But strategies last decades.

So, when everything is going digital, the physical is an opportunity in itself. Experiential marketing is not to be overlooked in 2020. In fact, it might be just the edge you need to create a buzzworthy moment.

Brand Avatars in Movies

When we speak of the automation of industries, rarely (if ever at all) do we talk about the automation of entertainment. How can you automate entertainment?

Like most automation, you take the humans out of the equation. With entertainment, the actors, musicians, and personalities are the product. So, you must replicate that product digitally. That’s the idea of digital humans (brand avatars).

Organic Advertising 2020

Free things generate a greater audience than paid things. Unsplash – the free stock photography site – is no stranger to this rule of human nature. In fact, it was the foundation for their entire company.

Unsplash is a community where anyone can share high-resolution photos for anyone to use freely. It began as a Tumblr blog with ten photos we had leftover from a photoshoot… Those first ten photos have been seen 58 million times.

Internet of DNA Companies

The Internet brought us: Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Alibaba, PayPal, Salesforce, and many more. The mobile internet brought us Uber, Venmo, Instagram, etc. What will the Internet of DNA bring us?

Although not directly in the line of succession, the Internet of DNA is going to be a major offshoot development from the Internet. What companies will build fortunes on the Internet of DNA?

The 5 Technologies I'm Watching in 2020

For any bootstrapped business, especially in the chaotic information space, every year that passes is another celebratory year of survival. Ryan and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting us and are excited to roll out an even better Inevitable/Human experience in 2020 – filled with an ever-evolving platform and new ways for you to get ahead of the future.

Speaking of the future, we thought that we’d give you a sneak peak of what emerging technology we’ll be watching with a very keen eye in 2020. Just a fair warning, this is not us telling you to invest in Bitcoin in early 2017. No get rich quick schemes here. But we believe all of these to be “get rich long-term“ schemes.

Building Trust in Alexa

It’s incredible that smart speakers have made it this far with such a one-sided, negative narrative. And by that, I mean when’s the last time you heard a story of how Alexa helped police officers rescue a missing kid or done something positive in someone’s life? Rarely, if ever at all.

Yet, the smart speaker craze which is stronger than ever. Globally, smart speakers sales are up 35% from last year, despite the most popular narrative about them being that they’re basically corporate listening devices.

Sonic Branding on Alexa

When you think of the world’s most iconic brands, you think of the logos, the labels, the slogans, and the commercials. Louis Vitton’s print, Subway’s “Eat Fresh”, Allstate’s Mayhem character. Prominent brand assets tend to be visual assets.

So how does a company carry over their valuable brand assets onto an audio platform – such as smart speakers – in a meaningful way? Through Sonic Branding, of course. The most talented sound engineers can turn sounds into signatures. Signatures that are as recognizable as a big fat swoosh on the side of a shoe.

TikTok Marketing 2020

A 2018 survey found that 85 percent of millennials in the US reported buying a product or service after watching a video.

Whether watching an honest review about TurboTax or a Galaxy Note 10 unboxing video. Video is no longer just entertainment with the commerce element as an inconvenient advertisement.

Commerce is the entertainment. Especially on apps like TikTok.

Facebook Hand-Tracking

What do people most likely feel after being in virtual reality? Isolated. You can’t interact with the person sitting next to you. Good luck taking a phone call or responding to text messages. You’re completely cut off from the world. Yet, Facebook has made a baby step in lessening this VR isolation through hand-tracking.

Controllers are normally the interface used to interact in virtual reality. However, Facebook’s Oculus Quest is making the first move toward eliminating the VR controller and replacing it with just your hands. With new machine learning techniques, the Oculus team is incorporating standalone hand-tracking. This means your physical hand gestures can translate into virtual reality.

Lil Miquela's Resumé

Ronald McDonald, Homer Simpson, and Barbie. Three of the most influential people to never live. For the past 60 years, these “beings” have made an impact in every household across the US and abroad. How? Because an idea, a manufactured personality, and an image are all it takes to create a “person” that others can love and identify with – especially in the digital age.

This is why it should come as no surprise that digital humans are gaining massive influence. Just a few of the prominent points on Lil Miquela’s resumé thus far…

My TikTok Marketing Strategy

TikTok is dominating the news cycle and putting fear into the hearts of every social media incumbent. The 60-second, music-inspired, video-sharing platform has already amassed 1.45 billion users worldwide.

The riches are vast for those who can crack into TikTok and incorporate it into their marketing plan. In just a few short minutes, I’m brainstorming on YouTube Live how I’d position a brand on TikTok and use it as a marketing vessel.

Click this link to hear my marketing plan for TikTok

Cybathlon 2020

If you met a transhumanist at a bar, then it’s probably a conversation you’d try to get out of. Not because they were talking crazily. Rather, because your visceral reaction is like vinegar and water. Who would want to upload their consciousness to silicon? Why should we trust Artificial Intelligence to merge with the human form?

These are the narratives that come to mind when we hear transhumanism. However, that’s only a sliver of that ideology. And it’s the really far-fetched sliver. Transhumanism is the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology. In that sense, we’re all practicing transhumanists.

Solving the Literacy Crisis

There seems to be endless missions out there to teach kids STEM, enroll them in coding camps, and ensure they understand the language of technology. Meanwhile, kids are severely lacking in learning the language of humans. 64% of all eighth-grade students are unable to read proficiently. Further, 82% of black students and 77% of Hispanic students are not reading proficiently.

Traditional reading curriculums are failing our students. Stacked up against some of the most visually stimulating times – Netflix to YouTube to TikTok – we need to upgrade how we teach reading skills. 

The Great Rebranding of Travel Agents

Travel is one industry that’s been very receptive to innovators and changes. In the span of two decades, the Internet has brought two titanic shifts for the travel agency. At first, Orbitz, Kayak, and Booking.com put travel agents out of business. Now, they’re getting an opportunity to rebrand their services and curate travel for a variety of reasons.

Travel is no longer just a vacation good. It’s an experience that can be combined with inter-related services to create an entirely new reason to travel. Travel and work is combined to create digital nomad services. Travel and friendship is combined to create travel communities. Travel and spontaneity combine to create surprise vacations.