Top 5 Disruptive Technology Trends from Collision

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I’ve been attending Collision’s sister conference, Web Summit, for years. When the organization that throws Europe’s biggest annual tech event decided to launch here in the States, I was excited to not only attend, but also to showcase Incentive’s technology. We applied, were selected to exhibit, and, “Bam!” We were off to Vegas!

The event had a lot of cache – interesting people from Stewart Butterfield to Elon Musk in attendance. But beyond the glam and glitter, I was honestly surprised by the overarching trend takeaways:

  1. Recruitment and HR. If it hasn’t become obvious just yet, Millenials are ruling the roost when it comes to changes in the workplace. At Incentive, we see this all the time as our customers are trying to capture intellectual property in a world where Millenials, on average, stay at a job for three years or less. But it seemed that every other table was showcasing how to recruit, streamline and engage potential employees. From cloud-based dashboards and workflows designed to reduce the number of bad hires like the one from Brisbane-based OneRecruit to using crowdsourcing to find and recommend talent like Peercisely.

  2. IoT-enabled Machines. There’s nothing new about the buzz around the Internet of Things (IoT), for sure, but seeing the hardware and innovative installations of IoT technology was mind blowing. Take Vanhawks, for example. The company has produced an IoT-connected bike for the urban cyclist. With GPS and sensors to tell you how to avoid potholes and when to turn, it has the potential to revolutionize urban cycling. Another cool thing? The app uses crowdsourcing to collect information on routes, from traffic to potholes to construction.

  3. Marketing, Marketing (& More Marketing). The world is changing, and innovative marketers and entrepreneurs are coming up with some cool ideas around predicting deal flow and targeting customers using Big Data. With the popularity of content marketing, SEO’s backseat to inbound and the successful IPO of marketing software company Hubspot, the marketing software market is heating up and consolidation (and funding) is in the cards.

  4. Focus on the SMB. The cloud has made productivity, collaboration and services of all kinds more available to the small and midsize business (SMB). From communities designed to crowdsource funding for startups to business management platforms and professional services automation (PSAs) available with little cost, no ramp-up time and little-to-no time commitment, today’s small businesses are in rabid need of solutions that used to be reserved for the Fortune 500.

  5. Health and Fitness. If you needed any motivation, tool, service, advice or anything at all to get motivated for exercise and eating right, you could have found it at Collision. Communities focused on pairing up the like-minded to day-to-day health and wellness plans that integrate with Fitbits and the Microsoft Health Band, keeping fit and looking technically hip while doing it is fueling an entire industry.

Collision was both inspiring and educational. And if the wisdom that "you're the product of the five people you spend the most time with" has any truth to it, hanging out with the innovative and intelligent people at this event is a great start. I'm excited to see what comes of some of the disruptive technologies I heard about this year, and I'll be keeping my eye out for who's on deck for 2016.