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Forrester New Tech & Innovation 2018 – Boston

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Speakeasy AI was proud to be included in Forrester’s New Tech & Innovation 2018 summit in Boston last week. I had the pleasure of attending, and was blown away by some of the exciting new tech startups I met, and found myself noting a new Slack channel’s worth of great takeaways from the panels, deep dives and main stage keynotes over the two days.

The theme, “Putting it All Together, The Power of Exponential Technology” was an exciting way to distill the concept of acceleration of innovation by leaps of bounds, but connected by something host, Brian Hopkins calls, “technology innovation chain(s).”

First, let me thank Boston again for being such gracious losers in this year’s Super Bowl (Go Birds!). Now onto my highlights of this week’s event.


Best Google Drive Doc

Nigel Fenwick repurposed one of my favorite templates, the business model canvas as a Business Innovation Template. Really well done…smart, yet accessible. I love a good takeaway that I can start editing on the train/plane ride home, and this surely fit the bill. As far as highlights go, I have to start here with something usable within five minutes of delivery by Nigel. Respect.

Best Conversation

During Putting Blockchain to WorkMartha Bennett & Paul Brassil did a great job explaining two things I didn’t expect to feel so comfortable with by the end of the conversation – Blockchain & the Fed.  FusionSeven’s VP of Engineering joined them for some vendor sponsored fun, but when Martha dropped, “that all sounds incredible, but what problem do you solve?” – the real insights began. At every point during this session, analyst, practitioner and vendor were looking to give tangible goodness for the audience. Martha kept it 100 throughout. One of my favorite analyst conversation leaders ever. 


Best New Startup(s)

Speaking of FusionSeven, I have to tip my cap for their innovative application of Blockchain technology to reconcile financial payment security within digital advertising supply chains. This path – brand advertisement in a digital ad to a third party payment via PayPal and purchase from say a Nike.com – can be wrought with security hiccups and pratfalls. To learn a little about how Blockchain can help clean up this world was unique – props to FusionSeven and their team for spearheading this type of use case via application of their technology.

We of course have to omit ourselves from “Best New Startup” we bumped into, but sincere best wishes to the FusionSeven team.


Most Active Engagement

I didn’t expect this to be a category when I originally sat down to do my blog, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t shout out Acronis for their active engagement in the Forrester app, their shares on LinkedIn during the event, and their overall strong presence in networking sessions. It’s always more fun when someone ups their game for an event like this, and the Acronis team did.


Favorite Analyst Note

As I said earlier, Martha was on fire during her conversation with my favorite warning being, “…don’t have a use case (for blockchain), don’t even start.” Living Artificial Intelligence consulting for the past seven years, this really resonated with me.


You Know Your Forrester Analyst Is The Real Deal When

JP Gownder briskly jogged onto the stage exuding positive energy to join host Brian Hopkins for the mid morning kickoff panel. He further cemented his realness when he immediately took quantum computing concepts and applied them to a real, pragmatic use case around optimizing CX and logistics for cable company tech truck rolls. Real problem, real use case – audience instantly cared more about quantum computing. Meaningful narrative wins again. Having had briefings with JP in the past, this didn’t surprise me.


Kudos to the Host

Brian Hopkins  was an outstanding MC for the event…speaking of quantum computing…Brian was able to introduce me to Shor’s Algorithm and qubits, and break down the acceleration of quantum computing in a compelling way that this English major was even able to grasp.


I really look forward to next year…if Speakeasy AI is still considered shiny and new in 2019. I know we will still be exciting. The one con for the event was bad luck and weather caused a couple of the case study practitioners to miss the event (leaving the vendor to tell the story). We plan to attend next year, should we be invited, and bring a client (we have two in mind).


Thanks again to Forrester for selecting us as a New Startup to participate in Forrester’s New Tech & Innovation 2018.


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