In late 2018, I started poking around the voice space.
I had recently purchased an Amazon Echo smart speaker and started playing around with Alexa. I was intrigued. It’s not hard to imagine a future in which people talk to their devices — after all, conversation is the most natural way we communicate. Amazon, Google, Apple, Samsung, Facebook and Microsoft were all jockeying in the space. I had seen some pretty impressive statistics. To name a few:
- Almost 60 million Americans (roughly 1 in 4 adults) had access to a home smart speaker as of September… and that was before Amazon’s Echo Dot sold out globally over Black Friday weekend with burst sales of 1,000 units per second
- Amazon has over 10,000 people working on Alexa, up 100% versus one year ago (and job openings to hire over 2,200 more!)
- Voice interfaces are one of the fastest adopted technologies in history
I believe that voice interaction with technology has the potential to become as important as web and mobile.
To paraphrase Adam Cheyer, co-founder of Siri, every ten years the way people interact with technology changes. In the 80s, desktop computers were introduced; in the 90s it was the web browser; the 00s brought us smartphones and mobile apps. As we pass the tenth anniversary of the App Store, I believe voice will be the next paradigm.
Since Amazon is the market leader in smart speakers in most of the world, I decided to start with Alexa.
She makes my life more fun and more efficient. I feel like I’m living in the future. I’m just a regular non-techie person, and with a little bit of effort I’ve been able to get so much out of Alexa.
There is one big problem with virtual assistants.
Most people aren’t exactly sure what to do with them. I want to help change that.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey!
P.S. A little more about me:
Up until early 2018, I was Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Strategy at a global alternative investment firm where I spent eight years. As a member of the firm’s Operating Committee for five years, I helped evaluate a wide range of business initiatives and managed the firm’s investor communications and public relations activities. Prior to that, I worked as an analyst at an investment bank. I graduated from Harvard College in 2009.
If you want to contact me:
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.