Voice Tech

Resistance is Futile for the Visionary Entrepreneur

Way, way back in late 2016, when I first had the idea that voice was going to be significant, I had no idea that 39 months later, voice would just  begin to be a Thing. To call this early is an understatement. But then, I have a tendency to be early. But this, well, this was E A R L Y!

Yep, years ago I remember pitching a VC with another startup. He told me that startups fall into two classes: (1) EARLY or (2) LATE and investors hate to be early and really hate to be late. So, timing is just called luck. And, you won’t know it’s well-timed until years later, and then they call it lucky timing. One VC even said that “being early is the same as being wrong.” What an A-hole. No. Being early just means you are early – being visionary and vision is critical to any successful enterprise. But first, let’s define what is considered early. I think it’s early if you don’t have a customer willing to buy what you are selling. Then, there is an argument for product/market fit. 

Being early without a product is called R&D and R&D isn’t financeable, not since the mid 1990’s. Being really early is usually a disaster financially, because there is no market and no customers to buy what you are selling, so even having a product doesn’t matter. 

In bricks and mortar, this is called the “rule of three”. When the first visionary fails because they were too early or ill-equipped to succeed and sells at a discount to the next fool. Then, they think by just adding a sign that says “Under new Management” will change anything. That’s like posting your business mission statement on a commercial website. No on gives a shit what your mission is. Investors may, but consumers, not so much. Then, Low & Behold, the lawyers for #3, scoop up the heavily discounted, now probably bankrupt #2 for such a low price, all they need to do is execute marginally to succeed.

In the technology sector, one must have balls of steel to be visionary and deep passion with an unfailing believe that you are right; not delusional like your Mother-in-law probably thinks you are. But one also must know that the delta between viability and sustainability is capital. Without a product, that’s hard to secure. And, no one can ever know how long being early will be. So, usually, the well capitalized entrepreneur wins. And, the early-bird visionary loses or won’t realize the fully potential. But then, there’s another idea…but it’s probably too early for that one too…and so the cycle goes.

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Michael L. AtkinsonResistance is Futile for the Visionary Entrepreneur
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Is voice technology the future of ordering food from restaurants?

QA with Michael Atkinson of Orderscape

The process of ordering takeout & delivery isn’t something that many consumers would necessarily dissect as part of their dining experience. In fact, most are so used to just picking up the phone or opening a computer to place an order that they wouldn’t even think there could be a better, more efficient way to get food. After all, calling in ahead of time and placing an order online have been the two most commons methods of ordering out for years. However, with the advent of smartphones and digital assistants in our constantly-connected social environment, a new method of ordering food is on the horizon.

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Ted CohnIs voice technology the future of ordering food from restaurants?
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Voice Automation Primed To Disrupt Restaurant Industry

This Forbe’s article pretty much sums up our view about conversational ordering (and quotes Orderscape). You may not yet see how consumers will use voice assistants and mobile voice search to order food, search for flights, hotels, restaurant or find a table, but you will. Think about how seamless it is to use your smartphone for tasks that a few years ago didn’t seem possible or even necessary. But, smartphones and native apps on Android and iOS devices have changed our lives and disrupted many industries in positive ways. It’s an exciting time because voice-assisted anything is the future of everything…just suspend a little disbelief and let it happen.

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Michael L. AtkinsonVoice Automation Primed To Disrupt Restaurant Industry
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The Conversational Ordering Journey

We’ve developed several use cases for how consumers order food. Regardless of the medium, voice is different. In a voice construct, we have to get to the point and be very concise about food item selection. After all, we generally decide what we have a hankering for before we know here to go to feed that hunger. In connection with these learnings, here is a diagram of how we view the voice ordering journey, from a consumers’ perspective. The objective is, or course, to create a superior ordering experience so they will prefer to use their voice and a voice assistant gateway, instead of their thumbs. Then, really cool things can occur, like suggestive ordering, and finally, predictive ordering using machine learning, our proprietary food taxonomy and AI.

The Conversational ordering journey begins with desire for a menu category like Indian Cuisine, or a specific food item like Pancakes or Fettuccine Alfredo.

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Michael L. AtkinsonThe Conversational Ordering Journey
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Give your Brand a Voice

Get your brand voice ready

Voice-assisted anything is the future of everything. Of course, we’re biased. But, we are also students and teachers at the same time, being totally committed to voice. So, if voice search + commerce is mission critical for the enterprise and the longtail, brands must, absolutely must voice-ready their content. If you’re a restaurant that means get your menu voice-enabled. If you are a retailer, same thing, get your catalog voice-enabled. Modify your keywords on your website to be more applicable to natural language. Un-brand your product names so they can be more easily discovered generically. From “Bob’s fabulous Fettuccine Alfredo” to “Fettuccine Alfredo”. Even better, add a microphone to your mobile app as training wheels for consumers to a more voice-centric e-commerce landscape and economy. We can do that for you!

Voice is here today, folks. It’s not some future thing that will just suddenly be everywhere. The metrics are astounding, so I encourage you to search “conversational commerce” or “Voice UI” or “voice ordering”, “voice search”, anything “voice ________” and read, learn. Orderscape is voice-enabling millions of menu items, developing a food-centric taxonomy for a voice environment. That’s a first for the restaurant industry. It’s a huge undertaking and it will pay dividends to us and the industry at large as well as provide a superior consumer user experience when ordering food via Google Assistant, or Alexa.

I saw this article and wanted to share it. It’s spot-on about bringing voice to brands with a few tips on where to start. If you are a restaurant brand, call us, we are all-in on voice as a service, for search and commerce.

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Michael L. AtkinsonGive your Brand a Voice
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