How do you build and scale a sales team as a technical founder? This is a tough and awesome question. It’s one of the many I discussed on a recent episode of the SaaStr podcast produced by Harry Stebbings and Jason Lemkin. Check out the episode on Soundcloud or iTunes.
Imagine buying a car or planning your next vacation through a messaging app. Bots are making this possibility a reality by changing how businesses and customers communicate.
They’ve been around for years, but as technology has improved, they’ve seen a major resurgence in recent years. They’ve reinvented themselves as an innovative way for brands to connect with their customers. Think Siri from Apple or the new Google Home.
The truth is that with all of the bots out there and the wide range of audiences they reach, you need a platform that will put you in front of the right customers.
Within 24 hours of its U.S. App Store release, Pokemon GO became the biggest game of 2016.
Then public interest plummeted. Google Trends show a spike in public interest in the game—followed by a steep decline in the weeks after:
But Pokemon GO isn’t as short-lived as this spike and fall would suggest. Sure, the fad might have been over quickly—but the game is continuing to prove that it can be successful long after the hype.
After the Rio Olympics, Stratechery’s Ben Thompson wrote an article questioning the fate of live sports. With streaming viewership up, Nielsen ratings down, and 50 million people just watching highlights on Snapchat, he urged media executives to consider whether sports in general was “must-see TV today, just another stream on Snapchat tomorrow.”
But Thompson’s nuclear scenario—advertisers fleeing the networks, the networks collapsing, and Snapchat or another platform taking over—assumes that the NFL and other sports leagues aren’t going to fight back.
In many ways, 2016 has been the year of the bot. With so many successful companies — Slack, Facebook, Microsoft, Google — at the forefront of the chat bot revolution, some have even wondered if this was the beginning of the end for apps as we know it.
We surveyed over 150 individuals who work at software companies in product management, engineering, C-suite, and marketing roles to ask them how they use (or are planning to use) bots for their application.
The results are clear. The media might be playing up chat bots right now but many folks aren’t quite convinced of their value.