Tag Archives: future

👓Who to watch in 2018 and is the web dying? 💀

The latest and greatest companies to watch out for in the next twelve months. Tech not yet the holy grail in education and a look at the future of the web. Are we already seeing its death played out in slow motion?

Lists ahoy

This week saw the first of the companies to watch lists with Bloomberg listing its top 50 companies to watch in 2018 and Linkedin listing its top 25 disruptive companies in the UK – though there are some US companies in there as well because they are hiring a lot in the UK and how can Uber and airbnb not be mentioned?!

Whilst the LinkedIn list seems to propagate the view that big raises means success and fails to really give any further insight on what actually makes the companies interesting, the Bloomberg listing looks at why each of the companies listed are going to have an eventful (both positively and negatively) 2018. Worth a read.

Reinventing schools

Silicon Valley has been very anti the current education services offered in the US – given the overall poor results compared to the rest of the world, there is probably something to those complaints.

Throwing money and tech at the problem does not seem to have worked though. AltSchool, which raised $175m is pivoting away from building schools to deliver tech to existing schools instead.

Not that their tech seems to be anything noteworthy right now. Parents at the school praised not the tech but the attention of teachers and small class sizes – an age old way to deliver high quality educational services. If only this approach wasn’t losing them a lot of money. More here.

Future gazing the web

Andre Staltz has written an excellent article looking at the dominance of Google and Facebook on the web, how the web has changed and looking forward to how the web evolves into a Trinet of Google, Amazon and Facebook.

Thought provoking stuff and one that suggests we regress back to the world of AOL-like walled gardens. Anything is possible but I just don’t see this happening. Whilst the article triggers a healthy debate I feel it is a massive oversimplification.

All ecommerce will not end up going through Amazon – Alibaba for one is a huge future competitor. I suspect governments would step in and regulate if Amazon started to become the conduit of all ecommerce.

Ignoring this even, history suggests that innovation will happen outside the major ecommerce platforms. Shopify, BigCommerce etc. which provide engines to thousands of ecommerce vendors backed by open Internet standards will out-innovate Amazon etc. in specific niches.

Businesses using Facebook have already seen the control it has on their ability to communicate resulting in greater importance being given to email, push notifications and mobile apps.

The web as we know it is of course going to evolve. The rise of mobile has been the major reason for Facebook’s increased dominance and the reduction in Google’s own power.

One thing is already certain. New interfaces are coming, whether it is voice , virtual reality or something else. With it is likely to come the next Facebook (or Google, or Microsoft, or IBM).

One dangerous outcome of the Internet becoming controlled by an oligopoly of corporations is the likely increase in an underground Internet or the dark net as has been popularised in recent years. Last week saw the new release of the next generation Tor network, which has powered the dark net. Four years in the making, it offers better encryption and makes it easier for services to hide themselves more easily. I suspect the various government bodies are actively looking at it and countering already. More here.

The future of email

Despite the numbers being suspect (see Return Path’s post here for a good look at why); the following chart from Morgan Stanley got me thinking.

Email and Social Networking Growth

As a result, I just posted my thoughts about the future of email over on the DMA Email blog on how email’s future is destined to continue but as just one of several “tools” within the social network toolset. It also looks at what this means for marketers going forward. Rather than republish the entire post here; please click here to view it in its entirety.

what if your IP was portable?

Thinking about the internet and its makeup. Today, when you connect to the internet, whether it is from your phone or from your computer, it is given an IP address from whatever ISP you are connected to. If you travel somewhere and connect to the internet somewhere else using the exact same device it is given an entirely different IP address.

But what if it wasn’t? What if it was your own permanent address? Just like the address you live at, or your phone number. Suddenly whereever you are you could be reached over the global Internet.

I want to give this some more thought, but I started down this path due to the impending popularisation of IPv6 which will allow for further IP addresses (given to unique devices that connect to the Internet) to become available (compared to IPv4 which we use today).

Of course the Internet is not built this way – you can’t take IP addresses with you wherever you go – so the structure of the entire Internet would probably need to be altered to achieve this; I guess this makes it completely non feasible. But there is another way to get this same functionality without a fundamental change to the internet. Dynamic DNS – it has been around for ages, and used by geeks worldwide to alow their home Internet connections to act as Internet servers. The basic principle is that when a device connects to the internet, it connects to a known location online and identifies itself, effectively acting as a phone book. Using this system you, in effect, have a portable Internet connected identity similar to a portable IP address.

Why is this useful? Do we need every device to act as a server or be reachable? One possibility is that it could work as a form of authorisation or authentication tool – identifying centrally what 3rd party systems are allowed to know about an individual. Another obvious one is as a form of standardised Internet enabled communication device.

There must be more..