If there was an ideal world, wouldn’t you want all the items that need your attention to come to you? And now you are thinking ‘Yeah, but it’s already happening — notifications.’ Well. Yes & No. We are also talking about proactive alerts.
Notifications were a start to ‘push’ information to us. It is definitely useful, but as the number of notifications have increased, it is becoming less and less effective. And even after multiple notifications, we sometimes miss some important cases.
FB Trending posts
If you look at the paradigm shift, many things have shifted from ‘you search for stuff’ to ‘stuff finds you’. I don’t watch the news these days. I have curated my Facebook newsfeed. I have friended the right kind of people, liked the right pages and turned off the ‘unwanted’ notifications. So if there is something happening that I care, 9/10 times, the news will reach me.
LinkedIn — What people are talking
On top of that, I love Facebook’s and LinkedIn’s trending news. I haven’t checked to see if I can personalise those too. If I can, the better.
LinkedIn has recently introduced something called ‘Daily Rundown.’ I pretty much start my day with that.
Then there are all these apps that helps me a variety of things — apps like Mint or Birch that helps me to keep track of my expenses and send me report proactively. Birch suggests me which card to use where so that I save the most. I wonder if they also check my location and tells me that ‘You are in a grocery shop, use your Discover and get a 5% cashback.’ That would be cool.
I still think this is just a start. There are far too many things where the information is still an overload and we are struggling to find ‘who or what’ needs our attention. Think email for a second and you will know what I’m saying. There are 100s of mailboxes and 10,000s of people working to help us reduce the information over load on emails, It has helped a bit — like ‘Priority inbox’, ‘bundling’ by Google Inbox, ‘Astrobot of Astro mailbox’ which finds and notifies questions and other emails which needs attention etc.
The paradigm of proactive ‘alerts and actions’ will be redefined by AI.
The people, questions, news, content etc. which are looking for our time will proactively reach us in a way which we prefer. If you are a business and your sales went a bit low over a month, even before you run a Salesforce report, you will start seeing it. If you have a tax to be paid by some date, you will see your report almost put together for you including your deductions so that you can act fast and keep to deadline.
Not only that, many of these alerts will have suggested/recommended actions. We have started seeing some of this happening. If you use Google Inbox (I use it for my professional email all the time) and LinkedIn, you might have started seeing this already. Both offers you recommended replies — LinkedIn’s replies (on messages) are almost always shitty, but Google’s suggestions for replies are very good. I use that at least three-eight times a day. As of now, these are simple replies like ‘Sounds good’, ‘Thanks, Looking forward’ etc. But I believe that sooner than later, we will start seeing crafted replies even with suggested attachments.
What Does This Mean When It Comes To Proactive Alerts
As times goes by, you will see yourself more stretched for time. When you play the role of a simple user, you will start seeing these proactive alerts on a day to day basis. In some time, you will start trusting them so that you tension level will go down (Is it my due date for Credit card or Mortgage?). Whether you are at home or during your travel, you will be able to act from your mobile with recommended actions without logging in from your big screen.
If you are an entrepreneur, then this will an opportunity for you. Fast forward yourself 10 years and see where all would you need proactive alerts and actions. Most of the B2C and B2B systems need this — news, blogs, fintech apps, CRMs, accounting software, billing, what-have-you. Start building some of those things which you want to see.
[This post by Arjun R Pillai first appeared on Medium and has been reproduced with permission.]