Monday, September 23, 2013

Platform Connectors

5. Platform Connectors

Automation is the future of convenience. Fortunately, the devices and tools that we depend on are continually getting smarter and more connected. As more of these tools openly provide access to their data through methods like application programming interfaces (APIs), increasing levels of automation can be accomplished that can save us minutes, and in some cases hours, each day.

Using tools like IFTTT, Zapier and others, I can automate many of my daily personal and professional tasks. From automatically posting a 'Happy Birthday' message to my Facebook friend on their birthday to automatically adding contacts to my CRM when I receive an email from a potential client, I can streamline many of the tasks that require my incremental attention.

This becomes increasingly interesting when you consider the tens of dozens of websites, social tools and hardwares that are supported by these platforms. Things like automatically turning the house lights on or off at a certain time to things like automatically copying photos from Facebook to Dropbox, the concept of streamlined automation can get exciting.

For clarification, I consider this a significant innovation because many of the tools and platforms we use have historically had their data in a silo, preventing certain degrees of automation. Now, with platforms being able to communicate with one another, there is an opportunity to take our technology to the next level by letting the automation do the heavy lifting of the small day-to-day duties. The larger opportunities are truly endless and unrealized.

So how does your list compare?

As stated previously, this list is in no particular order and consists of things derived from my interests and areas that I'm familiar with. Only time will dictate how these things will truly pan out. Part of the reason that envelope-pushing innovations haven't become wildly known is because some are still being hacked on and tweaked within the proverbial garages of todays smartest people. Entrepreneur and angel investor Chris Dixon wrote about this paradigm as well, citing that activities that begin as tinkering and hobbies often take ten or more years to become practical utilities for normal people.

Sent from my iPad

No comments: