By Michael Hylton on Sep 11, 2012
Q: What’s your current role and what career path brought you here?
J.O.: I'm currently a partner and one of the founding team members at Altimeter Group. I'm currently the Research Director, as well as wear the hat of Industry Analyst. Prior to joining Altimeter, I was an Industry Analyst at Forrester covering Social Computing, and before that, deployed and managed the social media program at Hitachi Data Systems in Santa Clara. Around that time, I started a career blog called Web Strategy which focused on how companies were using the web to connect with customers --and never looked back.
Q: As an industry analyst, what are you focused on these days?
J.O.: There are three trends that I'm focused my research on at this time: 1) The Dynamic Customer Journey: Individuals (both b2c and b2b) are given so many options in their sources of data, channels to choose from and screens to consume them on that we've found that at each given touchpoint there are 75 potential permutations. Companies that can map this, then deliver information to individuals when they need it will have a competitive advantage and we want to find out who's doing this. 2) One of the sub themes that supports this trend is Social Performance. Yesterday's social web was disparate engagement of humans, but the next phase will be data driven, and soon new technologies will emerge to help all those that are consuming, publishing, and engaging on the social web to be more efficient with their time through forms of automation. As you might expect, this comes with upsides and downsides. 3) The Sentient World is our research theme that looks out the furthest as the world around us (even inanimate objects) become 'self aware' and are able to talk back to us via digital devices and beyond. Big data, internet of things, mobile devices will all be this next set.
Q: People cite that the line between work and life is getting more and more blurred. Do you see your personal life influencing your professional work?
J.O.: The lines between our work and personal lives are dissolving, and this leads to a greater upside of being always connected and have deeper relationships with those that are not. It also means a downside of society expectations that we're always around and available for colleagues, customers, and beyond. In the future, a balance will be sought as we seek to achieve the goals of family, friends, work, and our own personal desires. All of this is being ironically written at 430 am on a Sunday am.
Q: How can people keep up with what you’re working on?
J.O.: A great question, thanks. There are a few sources of information to find out, I'll lead with the first which is my blog at web-strategist.com. A few times a week I'll publish my industry insights (hires, trends, forces, funding, M&A, business needs) as well as on twitter where I'll point to all the news that's fit to print @jowyang. As my research reports go live (we publish them for all to read --called Open Research-- at no cost) they'll emerge on my blog, or checkout the research tab to find out more now. http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/research/
Q: Recently, you’ve been working with us here at Oracle on something exciting coming up later this week. What’s on the horizon?
J.O.: Absolutely! This coming Thursday, September 13th, I’m doing a webcast with Oracle on “Managing Social Relationships for the Enterprise”. This is going to be a great discussion with Reggie Bradford, Senior Vice President of Product Development at Oracle and Christian Finn, Senior Director of Product Management for Oracle WebCenter. I’m looking forward to a great discussion around all those issues that so many companies are struggling with these days as they realize how much social media is impacting their business. It’s changing the way your customers and employees interact with your brand. Today it’s no longer a matter of when to become a social-enabled enterprise, but how to become a successful one.
Q: You’ve been very actively pursued for media interviews and conference and company speaking engagements – anything you’d like to share to give us a sneak peak of what to expect on Thursday’s webcast?
J.O.: Below is a 15 minute video which encapsulates Altimeter’s themes on the Dynamic Customer Journey and the Sentient World.
I’m really proud to have taken an active role in the first ever LeWeb outside of Paris. This one, which was featured in downtown London across the street from Westminster Abbey was sold out. If you’ve not heard of LeWeb, this is a global Internet conference hosted by Loic and Geraldine Le Meur, a power couple that stem from Paris but are also living in Silicon Valley, this is one of my favorite conferences to connect with brands, technology innovators, investors and friends.
Altimeter was able to play a minor role in suggesting the theme for the event “Faster Than Real Time” which stems off previous LeWebs that focused on the “Real time web”. In this radical state, companies are able to anticipate the needs of their customers by using data, technology, and devices and deliver meaningful experiences before customers even know they need it. I explore two of three of Altimeter’s research themes, the Dynamic Customer Journey, and the Sentient World in my speech, but due to time, did not focus on Adaptive Organization.