I get it.
I hear it all the time.
Everyone thinks voice is creepy.
As an entrepreneur in the voice space, I meet so many people that refuse to have a voice-enabled device in their home or office. Their reason? They don’t want it listening to them. The fear of this technology is exactly the same reason why voice will be the next big platform. Let me explain.
Throughout history, every innovation starts out as creepy, and then, ultimately it changes our behaviours.
Thinking back, there was a time when no one would ever dare put their financial information online. In 2018, global consumers spent $2.86 trillion yuan on the web. People once scoffed at the idea of sharing their lives online. Today, over 95 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every day. If you told your friend that you requested a random person off the internet to pick you up from your house, and take you to the mall, your friend would have asked if you were insane. Today, Uber is valued at $120 billion.
The reason why these innovations end up becoming widely adopted is because we are obsessed with speed and convenience.
As for voice, 35.6 million people in the US used a voice-activated assistant at least once a month. That's a growth of over 128% since 2016. Even more impactful? Of those who own voice-activated devices, 72% say they are already used as a part of everyday life. Keep in mind this is also just the beginning.
Voice as a Business Tool
Now, think about voice in the context of business. How can business leaders take advantage of voice as the next big platform? They build and relentless experiment on top of it. The game-changing products and services have yet to be invented in the voice ecosystem. It’s open season for innovators and entrepreneurs. This is why I truly believe that the next billion-dollar companies will be built on voice.
The existing companies that will thrive in this new landscape? They’ll be the ones who incorporate voice as part of their existing technology stack.
If you need proof, ask yourself what brand could have survived the last ten years without incorporating mobile into their technology roadmap? That list would be pretty short.
The App Store built winners like Instagram, Uber, Evernote, but we’re still awaiting to anoint the winners in the voice era. Entirely new business models were developed based on the smartphone, voice will also create its own unique business models.
I believe in voice. I believe in its power to disrupt the way we interact with technology - it’s just faster. I believe there is an opportunity for nearly every business to benefit from voice. To build on it. To leverage its ability to connect with users in a whole new way.