Saturday, December 31, 2016

Crowdsourcing a Roadmap

I'm surrised this has taken so long to happen, but over Christmas Airbnb, and then Twitter, asked its users what new features they should be developing, essentially crowdsourcing their development roadmap.

Brian Chesky from Airbnb posted this on Christmas Day -

& has had over 2,000 suggestions -

(I love 'Mars')

A simple tweet generated lots of free ideas, and also gave the fans a feeling that they were contributing.

Jack Dorsey also did this for Twitter (and Square),

Jack also had lots of feedback, and responded -

To be honest, these must have been things that Jack had heard every time he spoke to users, but it may be that some, like the ability to edit (maybe just in the first 2 minutes) will now be given much more focus.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Ten Trends for 2017

It's time for my annual trends presentation.

This year it seemed to me that lots of what was happening and about to happen were comebacks - things that had been heralded a few years ago, but were finally hitting the mainstream, the most obvious being Augmented Reality, but also Live Video (remember webcams?), Web TV and more, which can all be said to have followed the Gartner Hype Cycle, and are now getting to the 'mainstream' stage.

& in the spirit of accountability, I also look at what happened to last year's trends.  enjoy!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Uber Surge Pricing and the 'Low Battery' Urban Myth

I love tracking urban myths.  When I was a school I did a history project about myths in wartime (Germans eat babies, etc) and I love finding new ones.  The main thing is that they are stories that people at the time want to believe.  There's quite a lot of academic literature about urban myths because they tell us a lot about current fears and concerns ('I did a favour for a middle eastern man and he told me to stay out of London this Friday').

Here's one in the making.

A few months ago Uber revealed that their app can see the user's battery level, and as a result they could see some interesting data.  For example, they could see that if someone was on less than 15% battery, they were more likley to request a car even if it was surge pricing, the point being that they had to get home - their phone might have died. by the time prices fell.

This has since turned into a myth that 'if you have a low battery Uber will give you surge pricing' (essentially turning the story on its head).  Yes, they could theoretically do it, but they've never said that they do it.  What this arguably says about Uber is that people see them as smart, but devious.

I'm looking forward to tracking this over the next few years.

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