Noah Todd's Blog

I have thoughts. Here's where they go if they're more than 140 characters. For less than 140 character thoughts follow me on twitter.com/noahtodd

I have to start this out by saying that while I like posts like this, I also loathe them at the same time. While I love reading everyone’s optimism about what will be a trend within the next 12 months, I also realize the reality that most of those pipe dreams won’t gain mass adoption by the end of this year. Really, trends that will really be trends with in the next 12 months already have a foothold and are emerging. So, even though technology and innovation are moving faster than ever before, the indicators are already showing what the masses will really grasp this year.

Mobile

I know, last year was the year of mobile (and the year before that (and the year before that)). But this will be the year it truly explodes as consumers realize the power of the device they hold in their hand. We just passed the tipping point of more than 50% smartphone adoption (in the U.S.). Now we want to do more than ever before with these devices. Smartphones and tablets will become central to consumers’ lives. Our assistants like Siri and Google Voice Search will get smarter, faster than ever before. And this will be the year that predictive search like the tech in Google Now and Grokr goes mainstream. It’ll push information to you before you even realized you needed it. By year’s end you’ll be able to get the customized news and information you want, exactly how and when you want it delivered to your mobile wherever you are. More and more people will be using their phone to research products and do price comparisons while shopping in brick and mortar stores. Target just announced in-store price matching with Amazon.com for the rest of this year. Your mobile device will start to become your gateway into the “web of things”. Your phone will start to communicate with the things around you like your home, your car, and even objects you pass by on the street. Not saying this is all going to happen at the snap of my fingers this year, but it’s going to gain traction and become a big trend as we look toward 2014. Now if I could just get my phone to stay charged all day while I do all this, then we’d really be on to something.

Social Media

This year people will expect more from their social media accounts that they’ve put so much data into. They’ll expect to get that data back in a meaningful way. Consumers will also expect to have more control over their privacy and micro manage these settings. Apps that tout privacy and limited time sharing like Snapchat and Facebook’s Poke will also continue to grow in popularity.

Crowdfunding

It’s expected that the JOBS Act will be implemented within a few weeks. One of the key measures allows for non-accredited investors to buy micro-equity in start-ups. That means regular ‘ol Joe Schmoes like you and I could invest in the next Facebook well before it hits the NYSE or NASDAQ. Sites like Kickstarter have proved that consumers like being a part of the process of building new products and brands and helping hopeful entrepreneurs however they can. Even established businesses should take a look at this trend and begin to ask their consumers what they want to help the brand build or do next.

Manufacturing

This will be the year that a meaningful amount of manufacturing will start to come back to the U.S. It’s not necessarily politics or a revived sense of nationalism that’s bringing it back. It’s the combination of new technologies like 3D printers and laser cutters (see MakerBot and Shapeways) that are creating dramatically improved manufacturing robots that allow for virtually anyone to begin manufacturing a new product at an insanely low cost.

Wearable Computing

Google will make it’s Project Glass available to developers later this year. There’s also some rumors that Apple is working on a smart watch that would be a more gradual step between smartphone and a Project Glass like product. While these won’t gain mass adoption this year. They will become a part of our culture and I think a conversation is going to have to happen really quickly about how we will generally accept the use of these technologies. Mitt Romney got caught saying something to a small group of people because somebody had a cell phone. Think about what will happen to all of us, if everybody is walking around with cameras that are constantly recording our surroundings at all times. There will be no reason to whisper ever again and far fewer trips to Las Vegas.

Marketing

What do all these trends mean for marketing? I think the big trend for marketing in 2013 will be a continuation of what we saw in 2012 of brands not talking necessarily about themselves but more about how consumers are empowered through their brand. Google’s “Never Stop Searching” ad and Levi’s “Go Forth” are great examples. Brands will also get back to marketing fundamentals. Hyping the latest and greatest will be replaced with benefits sought and the meaning behind a brand and what they are doing to help make the world a better place. Social media will become just another piece of the overall media landscape and truly integrated into the full campaign. Same for digital and mobile. Marketing won’t be done in pieces and segments anymore, it’s time to reach people wherever you can with similar messaging to enhance recognition to drive actions.

Will there be more incredible trends for 2013? I sure hope so. This is just a realistic start.

Cheers to a happy and healthy new year! – View on Path.

This should be a fairly exciting week in technology as three of the biggest tech companies have scheduled announcements and product releases aimed at making their products on wish lists this holiday season. On Tuesday, Apple is expected to announce their answer to the smaller screened tablet. Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the Google powered Nexus 7 have been grabbing some of the tablet market share from Apple’s iPad because with their smaller screens they’ve been able to sell at a lower price point. Apple is widely expected to do their best to stop that from happening by releasing what some are calling an iPad Mini while others are calling it an iPad Air. Price point will be very important for this, again, I don’t think they competitors are grabbing market share because of a smaller screen, it’s because the entry level price is so much less than that of entry level iPad. If Apple can get the price of this iPad Air or Mini down to $199, then that will really give the Fire and Nexus 7 a run for their money. Even at $249, it may be much harder for the two incumbent 7-inch screens to hang on to the market share they had because of the appeal of the iPad and the wider ecosystem of apps. I also expect Apple to make the new version of iTunes available on Tuesday along with announcing a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display and new iMacs. It will be interesting to see if Apple introduces a new use case for the 7-inch iPad that would make people who already have the larger iPad want this smaller version as well. Again, this could very well just strictly be a price point game for those who haven’t gotten a tablet yet.

Then on Friday Microsoft will be releasing their new operating system, Windows 8 along with their tablet, the Microsoft Surface. It will be interesting to see how consumers take to Windows 8 as well as the new PCs and tablets that will be in the marketplace as people look to upgrade this holiday season. The tech press has praised Windows 8 and while they’ve been wowed by the design of the Surface, no one has gotten to extensively test one out yet, so it’s still unknown how it will actually perform.

Finally, on Monday, October 29th Google will have an Android event in which they are expected to introduce a cellular data capable Nexus 7, and a new Nexus Phone. These are smaller introductions as all of the operating system tech has already been released in other products, but it’s almost the holidays, so why not throw out a few new products for people to potentially throw on their wish lists.

Which are you most excited to hear more about?

It may be the first day of fall but it sure feels like Christmas morning (Taken with Instagram)

Well, I don’t really even need to write a new post. Everything from my What To Expect post was dead on. All-in-all, it is the best iPhone yet (and that’d be pretty dumb if it weren’t, right?). 4 inch screen, it’s taller, but not wider, so it’s still easy to grip, but you get a whole extra row of apps real estate. And even though it’s bigger it’s also thinner and lighter. Faster A6 processor. Faster LTE network connectivity. I’m looking forward to the feel of this. With the aluminum backing, diamond cut edges, and just to keep with the jewel theme here - the sapphire coating on the lens, sounds like it’ll be cool. The new EarPod headphones that come standard with the iPhone 5 sound like they should be much more comfortable and offer better acoustics than the standard earbuds we’ve been listening with for the past 10 years.

You can pre-order the iPhone 5 on September 14, get it in your hand a week later, on September 21st. In the meantime you can get iOS 6 on your old iPhone on Wednesday, September 19th to play around with Passbook, new Apple Maps, a better, more informed Siri, new phone and notification features.

Tomorrow at 10am, Apple will announce the iPhone 5. Here’s 5 things we can expect to hear tomorrow.

1. It will be called iPhone 5. There was lots of speculation that it would just be called the new iPhone to go along with the new naming scheme the iPad adopted earlier this year. But the invite (above) that Apple sent to the press last week seems to confirm that it will be called the iPhone 5 (look at the shadow the 12 makes)

2. It will have a bigger screen. Not humongous like some of the is-it-a-tablet-or-a-phone phones that you can’t even fit in your pocket, but bigger. More screen real estate will be welcome for users and it’ll show of the new Apple maps with turn-by-turn directions really well. If it stretches out like most assume it will, the aspect ration should be 16:9, so it will match your HDTV so it’ll be better fit for watching movies and TV shows.

3. It’ll look like this (see below). I tweeted this back on June 18th thinking it looked pretty legit and most of the credible rumors since have looked like this. The headphone jack will move to the bottom right next to the smaller dock connector. I know people are going to be bummed that their speaker accessories will need an adapter for the smaller dock connector, but things change. At some point with everything that’s packed into that phone they need more space, so this is one way to do just that.

4. The camera will be even better. Optics engineering in small packages just keeps getting better and better.

5. It’ll be available on September 21st. Goes along with the scheduling format of the iPhone 4 S release.

I’m really looking forward to Wednesday. What features are you hoping for?

Now that we are all creating and consuming more data than ever before with our smartphones, tablets, and our always on connection to the world it’s time for marketers to rethink the ways in which they try to get consumers to spend money with them.

The old marketing funnel says that awareness leads to interest that then hopefully gets the consumer to desire and finally to action. The basis of this model was that marketers believed they needed to change consumers emotion to change behavior. Now things are different. Researchers have found that it’s easier to change behavior than it is to change emotion.

So the new marketing funnel looks like this: discover, engage, explore, share. Consumers discover your brand though advertising, word of mouth, searching, etc. They then choose to engage when something of value is offered up like new knowledge, entertainment, and/or experiences. The consumer will then explore more of what the brand has to offer that is relevant to what the consumer wants to get out of the relationship. Finally, if they have found value in what the brand has provided and the brand has offered up ideas and entertainment that the consumer can share then the consumer will ask for their friends and followers to take advantage of that value too.

So be there when your consumers want to discover you, offer something of value, offer relevant and deep information, and help your customers share with their friends and followers.

That’s the new marketing model.

I also write for another blog where I talk about what’s inspiring me now, so without further ado, here’s what’s inspiring me now

funnyordie:

Neil deGrasse Tyson Breaks Down Baseball on Twitter

Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the smartest, wittiest and most huggable astrophysicists on Twitter. Inform and entertain yourself with his tweets from last night’s MLB All-Star Game.

Yesterday I post my predictions for what Apple would be announcing at their keynote at their World Wide Developers Conference. I came pretty close: (the update is in bold)

New Macs- it’s virtually a certainty that we’ll get to see updated MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. I think we’ll also see every single Mac (including iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro) get a spec and feature bump. I have a feeling the MacBook Pro will see the most change as it takes on a more MacBook Air design cues and a trackpad that will be the entire width and length of the palm rest. I think the MacBook Pro line will also get SSD storage that will help  decrease the heft of the laptops and increase battery life.

Yep. We got new a new MacBook Air and hugely new MacBook Pro. Mac Pro did get an update but was not mentioned in the keynote. Mac Mini and iMac did not receive an update. Also, MacBook Pro got everything I thought except the track pad is still the same size.

Apple Maps- this has been in the works for quite some time and it was about a year ago that Apple staffed up on mapping experts. Google threw together a press conference to talk about their maps last week, in what looks to be trying to soften the blow that this announcement would make as Apple would be ditching Google’s mapping technology for their own. It’ll have 3D mode and it should also finally have turn-by-turn navigation.

This was too easy of a prediction. Got it all right. #boom

Facebook Integration- just like when iOS 5 brought us twitter integration where you could sign in once on iPhone or iPad in the system settings and from all parts of the phone you can share to twitter, like sharing photos to twitter from Camera, sharing links from Safari, etc. This seems to be a natural progression adding Facebook and one that’s probably been in the works for a long time.

Again, too easy of a prediction. All right. #boom

OSX Mountain Lion Release Date- we already know about all the features for the updated Mac operating system, now it’s just a question of when this will be available. I think it’ll be announced and will be in the Mac App Store by June 29th.

They actually didn’t say an exact date, just coming in July. I still feel like we could see it happen on June 29th..I mean that’s practically July, right? And it’s always better to surprise a little early than a little late.

iCloud Updates- we’ll see new features brought into iCloud like Notes and Reminders apps so you can access those on the web.

Got this too, but I didn’t go far enough with the prediction. Open tab syncing across devices in Safari is pretty sweet, can’t wait to try it out.

iMessage refinements- I really hope they announce improvements to this system to make it work smarter. I don’t like getting the same messages on all my devices when I’ve already completed a conversation. I just want the newest message pushed to whatever device I’m using now, I sure hope this is announced.

They sure did! #boom

Siri- she’ll likely make her way to the iPad. I also have a strong feeling that App developers will have access to Siri APIs. This will be HUGE for App developers and the iPhone & iPad owners alike. Developers will be able to tie their apps into Siri, like for instance, foursquare could check me in at Starbucks just by me saying “foursquare check me in here” or OpenTable could reserve a table for me at my favorite restaurant just by me asking Siri. This will really allow us to see the full potential of our personal assistant.

Yes on iPad. No Siri APIs, BUT we are so close to that reality. All apps will be able to launch via Siri and a lot of apps are getting deep Siri integration. Actually, the OpenTable reservation idea I had is built in. Kind of a #boom for this one.

So that’s what I think (and hope) we’ll hear at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference. In less than 24 hours we’ll know for sure. What do you think and hope will be announced? 

UPDATE: I forgot to mention my Apple TV prediction! I don’t think the long rumored full Apple Television Set will be announced tomorrow, but I do think that Apple will open up the current Apple TV set top box OS for developers. So they can start building apps for what will become the full Apple Television Set but these apps will also be usable on the current generation of Apple TV set top box. Imagine HULU on Apple TV, and actually all of the TV networks as their own apps on Apple TV. Plus, this will open up some cool opportunities for game developers too.

Whoa whoa whoa! Apparently I got a little over excited when I updated with my thoughts on Apple TV. With all of the MAJOR announcements that were made today, this really would have been overwhelmingly and would have overshadowed everything else. I know this is coming and there is still plenty of time. I’m thinking this will be a “one last thing” announcement when the new iPhone is announced this Fall.

Also, I didn’t make any prediction of Passbook, Apple’s new app for iPhone. While it was understated today, this is going to be a big deal when the new iPhone is announced. This is how Apple is going to get you to move your wallet to the iPhone, they just didn’t quite announce it that way yet. Even with how they announced it today, it’s going to be pretty amazing. You’ll be able to keep your airline ticket on your phone and it will automatically open up when you arrive at the airport so you can check in. It will even update you with a notification if your gate changes. Gift cards will also be able to be integrated. For example, you can tie your Starbucks card into the app and set it to automatically pull up the barcode to be scanned when you are in a Starbucks. Same goes for movie tickets that you buy through Fandango.com they’ll automatically go onto your phone and open up when you’re at the movie theatre.

One other thing that could potentially be huge for Apple and users is the integration of the Siri button on car steering wheels. Most of the big auto makers were on the list and this would reduce the need for any other in dash navigation system making it much easier to just tell Siri what you want or where you want to go.

We live in the future.