What’s next in 2014 for Europe’s tech ecosystem



Rather than sit back and reflect on the year that was and lament the loss of Google Reader, let’s look ahead to 2014 and what it could bring to the European tech ecosystem.

For Gamification to be used for good.  I have been to too many meetings where people bring up gamification as a tool to bait customers and squeeze every single penny out of them. Here is to a 2014 where gamification is used to help people better themselves and improve their surroundings. The Internet of Things could turn the tide for Gamification.

For Realistic judges at hackathons.  “I like what you did but I would love a more polished iPhone app, which is why you did not win”.  I’ve heard different judges use this line on many participants who had just spent all their energy and efforts bringing a project to life in less than 48 hours.  Judges, please realize that this is as dumb a sentence as  “what’s your business model”….Who cares?  It’s a hackathon, people are trying to do awesome on speed, don’t shut them down but encourage them to investigate.  Do you tell people to stop doing triathlon because they are never going to go faster than Chrissie Wellington?  Of course not.  So let’s go back to the root of hackathons:  People who get together, learn a new platform and come up with a prototype in less than 48 hours.  Judges need to get their heads out of the sandbox.  On the hackathon theme….

For More Code in the Dark events.  The event put on by RudeBaguette a few months back was fantastic and even one of the guys from Daft Punk showed up to code. Ok, maybe it was just a look-alike but, man, could the helmet code!  These events are great to see talented people showcase their skills and should be a natural spot for recruiters and job seekers to meet and greet.

For Twilio SMS to raid mainland Europe.  Jeff and James, if you read this, please make it happen. Not only will it be a big help to start-ups like mine but it will definitely disrupt and change the Telco market.

Fewer Frameworks, Better Frameworks.  If you are into the HTML5 field then it’s likely that you are spending way too much time investigating frameworks and lamenting over their shortcomings.  It’d be nice to see some consolidation and improvements at the framework layer.

For Tizen to not go the way of the Dodo.  Will we ever see a Tizen-powered device on the market? Any market?  Their evangelists are pouring their hearts out and putting together great events but the lack of corporate backing and, having experienced it first hand, the huge shortcomings of the store submission process and support, have me wondering what will happen with the technology.  The promises were great but so far the delivery has been very disappointing.

For Lean to get some fat.  Could people take the time to read Eric Ries’ book rather than claiming they understand Lean and want to leverage his concepts?  Lean Coaches are spawning faster than they did during any previous craze (six sigma, scrum, agile).  In 2014, learn the real Lean and stop listening to elixir vendors.

For the internet of things to keep us human.  I hope we soon discover that there is a huge difference between the quantified self and the directed self.  So feel free to enjoy the outdoors without your fitbit, polar, or favorite srm sometimes, I promise you’ll enjoy it!

And of course, may your code compile, your server stay 500 free and VC look at all your projects!

Have a great 2014!