Making Waves in Tech: Lessons in Technology from LinkedIn Next Wave

November 3, 2016

Tech Marketing

For tech professionals, innovation is not a luxury but a necessity. As marketers, you must be open to revolutionary ideas and continually think outside the box to grow and evolve beyond tomorrow’s demands.

Last month, the second annual LinkedIn Next Wave list was released, revealing ten top trailblazers in today’s technology sector under the age of 35.

The common theme amongst this dynamic collective? They’re making a marked difference in solving today’s most pressing tech challenges, driving industry transformation, and using innovation and technology to change the way we think about IoT, Big Data, security and artificial intelligence.

So, what are these folks doing in particular that should make tech marketers sit up and take notice? Today we are exploring key insights from this year’s  Next Wave honorees and highlighting a selection of honorees with unique handprints in the technology arena that are highly relevant to digital marketers, content creators, and thought leadership connoisseurs.

They Think BIG

Beyond product, industry, and traditional applications, Next Wavers repeatedly think big when it comes tackling challenges and surfacing sophisticated solutions.

For example, Yasmin Green, head of research and development at Jigsaw, is addressing some of the world’s greatest challenges from online harassment and digital attacks to violent extremism. Case in point: She is currently designing innovative technologies to reverse ISIS’ online recruitment efforts — and her work is changing how we as tech marketers approach cybersecurity and attacks, using innovative automatic blocking and shielding techniques that send hackers running. Deeper data analysis and security will be essential as we move into 2017, making it important to keep an eye on Green’s next big moves.

Skylar Tibbits follows Green’s footsteps, thinking outside the box by programming physical materials to essentially build themselves and creating a marked shift from human disruption to collaboration in IoT. His work is impactful across a myriad of industries and has transcended conventional boundaries of engineers past. Tibbits’ efforts will allow those in the environmental sector to capture and use the data outputs for extensive future research projects.

For tech marketers, both Green and Tibbits highlight the incredible power of thinking beyond industry, discipline and silo, urging on creative, new approaches – how can we leverage products differently? What data can be melded to lend fresh perspective and improve user and customer experience? What teams could be collaborating to do something bigger?

They Think Small

Sometimes it’s the smallest of breakthroughs that can transform our everyday lives. Nathan Kundtz, CEO and president at Kymeta, is taking antennas to the next level, using holographic metamaterials to make wireless airwaves accessible at a higher altitude from satellites. You should keep an eye on Kundtz’s antennas because 5000 times more capacity in user cell phones means marketers’ use of Big Data and demands on cloud capabilities will grow significantly.

Hero of millennials, Nick Weaver, co-founder and CEO of erro, has created a smart wireless routing system that aims to put an end to weak internet connections. These clever devices are enhancing infrastructure for all tech marketers who focus in mobility and globalization. And although Weaver boasts a small technology and a startup size, he’s taking on some of tech’s heaviest hitters in the market, showing the value in being agile in approach, thinking differently about problem-solving and reminding enterprise players to always be alert to what can be learned from the small-scale operators.

If you are a technology professional (and enthusiast), you also should be following Amazon’s Nancy Liang. She has been credited as a critical behind-the-scenes contributor to the voice service behind Amazon’s Echo device, Alexa, which has been hailed as the first winning product of the conversational era. Her IoT direction is focused on voice-enabled products, 3D printing and the future of manufacturing;product marketers can learn a lot about innovative hardware GTM by monitoring the release and iterations of Alexa.

These innovators might be creating something small, but the lasting effects of new technologies will significantly improve the way tech marketers engage with customers and shape the perception of our industry for years to come.

They Focus on Impact

Going up amongst other autonomous car giants like Google, Lyft, and Tesla is no easy feat. Yet Otto Co-Founder, Don Burnette, sought to beat others to the market in the self-driving trucking industry. With millions of Americans driving trucks professionally, Otto’s technology (recently acquired by Uber) has the potential to leave a big footprint in this industry, enabling drivers to more effectively manage their rest time — thus, increasing output and safety. Burnett’s focus on assisting the vehicle transportation market as a whole is an inspiring reminder for marketers to think of new uses for existing technology, to push the envelope, and focus on solutions that meaningfully impact our society and customers at scale.

They Understand the Value of Their Network

The Next Wave tech innovators are accomplishing extraordinary achievements through partnerships and collaborations across their professional networks. As a founding team member at IBM's Digital Innovation Lab, Lexie Komisar leads partnerships, business development and growth, which leverages the power of relationships to stay on top of emerging technologies and trends. Her side initiative, LadyBoss Collective, is all about bringing together female leaders across industries, highlighting the importance of delving outside of traditional professional boundaries.

These Next Wavers also shine a light on thought leadership resources today’s tech marketers may have yet to uncover - this group lives outside the realm of marketing, spanning engineering, product development and R&D, just to name a few. Take a look internally and ask, are you fully tapping the mindshare of your own company’s experts in developing content and informing strategy? There may be some incredible opportunities for insight waiting.

The Future of Tech is Being Defined Now

From auto services to artificial intelligence, these ten individuals have defined the vast and ever-changing world of technology for the better. Sometimes they’re thinking small to create something big, at other times they’re looking at the big picture when creating something small. No matter what, the goal of making modern problems dissipate is their biggest motivator.

As technology professionals and enthusiasts, we celebrate them and encourage you to continue to keep up with their great work.

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