Natural language is the new interface for the web, and in 2023 I predict we will see it become increasingly prevalent across many of the tools and software that we use every day. From virtual assistants and chatbots to general purpose search products and creative tools with sophisticated editors, we will see a wide swatch of existing and new use cases for natural language interfaces (“NLIs”) not dissimilar to the wave of new mobile interfaces we saw in 2008 after the App Store was introduced.
We’ve learned a lot at Aesthetic about how early stage companies can best leverage design to become more valuable. We’re excited to share our learnings from working with 100+ companies over the last 18 months. We hope this will be helpful to the entire startup community, especially founders that are just getting started on their journey and are new to design.
People consume more digital content than ever before across a wider number of discovery surfaces, and tools for content creation continue to make it easier to express your creativity: whether it’s a blog post, a podcast, a video or a photo, new tools make it easier to create and distribute content than ever before. However, the same bottleneck still remains: time. How much time we have to invest into content creation is, and will always be, the limiting factor for content creators.
When Snapchat launched Stories in October 2013, no one could have anticipated the ripple effect this would have across the software ecosystem. In the 7-years since its launch, every major consumer internet company has adopted its own flavor of Stories to give its users that familiar, lean back content consumption experience that they’ve grown accustomed to. Even though there’s no singular app that has monopolized consumer attention, it’s clear that the Story content format is the real winner of the mobile-first world.
When mobile apps entered the scene in the early 2010s, sensationalist industry pundits exclaimed, “the web is dead!”. A large debate ensued about the role of the web and native apps, and people loved talking about which one would prevail. A decade later it’s clear that the answer is, “both”. It turns out, they weren’t competing in a zero sum game.
Spring has sprung, and the smell of fresh YC applications is in the air. It’s that special time that happens twice a year where thousands of budding entrepreneurs vie for a spot in the upcoming Y Combinator class.
As a startup founder, it's mission critical to know what decisions you should make quickly, and which you should make slowly. It's common to think that at the earliest stage your approach should be to, "move fast and break things", but not only did Facebook ditch that approach, there's mounting evidence that it was never a good idea in the first place.