You may look at companies like Google and think they are the Goliath to your David. But even moguls like Google reached the height of their success by climbing one step at a time. Tech futurist Daniel Sieberg can confirm this because he was there at Google leading his team up the stairs.
Sieberg’s deep expertise derives from his 12 years as science and technology correspondent for CNN, ABC News, and CBS News; as a senior executive for more than 10 years with innovation teams at Google, Moody's Analytics, and Huawei USA, and his own tech-based startups.
And now he’s on to the next big thing: turning the entertainment industry on its head using the latest tech and AI. His latest company, The Streaming Guide, may be in its infancy, but it’s already promising big disruption within the world of entertainment. This AI-powered app will help you and your family decide what to watch or listen to, taking into account all the important details from genre preferences to time of day to shared family calendars. And while we’ve all experienced Netflix’s sorely misguided “Shows you may like,” this app shows signs of being more astute and much more personal.
I spoke with Sieberg to understand why and how this startup will disrupt an industry, and how we can channel these insights into our own endeavors. He listed out three major principles we should all look for when trying to become a unique game-changing asset or organization.
If you want to become the only this or the only that, then you need to start doing something no one else is doing. Look around within your industry and poke at everything. When you find a tear or maybe even a worn hole in the processes, efficiency, user experience, or anything else, you’ve found your point of focus.
For Sieberg, the hole was the paradox of choice. You open one of the many streaming services you subscribe to and you're flooded with so many shows, movies, and music it’s impossible to choose. He joked that The Streaming Guide may save many relationships by eliminating the dreaded question: What do you want to watch? We’ve all been there, scrolling through services, closing one, opening another, then coming back to the first one. We spend our evenings trying to choose something to watch instead of actually watching it.
He knew there had to be a better way, so that’s where he turned his attention. He worked with the best tech minds in the industry to see if this idea of a recommendation app could be actualized, and years later, it’s here.
Sieberg boldly announced, “We will kill the remote.” Another pain point for him and his team was the endless switching from remote to remote to simply watch a TV show. And don’t even try to figure out someone else’s tv setup. So, universally killing the remote became one of many goals for The Streaming Guide, but Sieberg quickly realized the logistics behind this may be messy. He says whenever he and his team are ready to kill the remote, there will be a system in place to safely and sustainably recycle your remotes. Perhaps, that looks like a buy-back program to reuse the tech in the remotes for other appliances. He’s not sure yet, but whatever a remote-less future looks like, he wants it to also be environmentally friendly.
The logistics behind scaling also apply to ethics behind AI and modern-day tech. While the possibilities that live within AI and machine learning are exciting, there are also major concerns facing its implementation. Whether you’re recommending shows to children like Sieberg will be doing with The Streaming Guide or using AI to streamline efficiencies within your company, ethical use of this tech is not only the moral thing to do, but it will make or break your company. Sieberg insists that companies using AI hold transparency at their core to create a safe digital community and keep their customers happy.
When I spoke with Sieberg he seemed to be most enthusiastic about the actual details within the app, from the avatar creation to the customizability within your Streaming Guide space. When I asked him why these details meant so much to him, he led us to our third principle of disruption: creating an incredible user experience.
When it comes down to it, you can have the most amazing idea in your industry, but if your customers can’t interact with it you’ve got nothing. Creating a friendly and intuitive experience for your guests is crucial to success.
Sieberg went into great depth about how his team plans on elevating the user experience. One goal down the line is to make The Streaming Guide not only a source of recommendations but also an aggregate that communicates with all your streaming services. This would negate the jumping from app to app, the googling of where can I watch [insert that show your friend told you about], and all the frustration that comes with it all.
While The Streaming Guide is just starting, there’s no doubt Daniel Sieberg will be disrupting the entertainment industry with this innovative idea. If you have a great idea you need help enacting, bring Daniel Sieberg to your next event and let him guide you toward disruption.
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