Modest Proposals

On Bots, Conversational Apps and Fin

Art by Sam Lessin.
Art by Sam Lessin.

2016 is being declared the year of bots. And it feels like there is a broad shift in the developer ecosystem away from traditional point-and-click apps, towards chat-based user interfaces.

It’s happening because there is broad consumer and developer fatigue with apps.  Consumers don’t want to install or use new traditional apps. And partially as a result, developers are faced with rising distribution costs.

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What remains to be seen is not who wins the conversational app space, which is an irrelevantly broad concept but, rather, which big incumbents seamlessly navigate this next shift, and which get taken out by new nimbler developers working in a new way, with new tools.


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The many-billion-dollar question, however, is whether the transition to bots and conversational interfaces will represent a major point of disruption or more of an evolution in the interface paradigm.

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