Voice Summit with Pete Erickson #32

Tue Jun 26 2018 (23:39)

In this episode, Teri welcomes Pete Erickson, founder and CEO of Modev.com, and creator of events and communities including Voicehacks.com, Security by Design, Code Writers Workshop, Machinery.io, DevOpsNirvana and DevelopingIoT. Pete and his team are putting on Voice Summit in July, one of the year’s largest voice tech conferences.

Welcome Pete Erickson!

How did you get your start in voice technology?

Pete got into the technology space by way of community building. Flash-back to ten years ago: Pete had just exited his third start-up and was looking for his next opportunity. On seeing the iPhone and the App Store gain traction and noticing that there was no community around this amazing technology, he decided to start Modev, a meet-up community. Fast-forward to today: Modev, now with 40 people, does community-building at all levels and has been working with Amazon for the past seven years. Modev now has a close relationship with the Alexa team.

Why is the community building important for technology?

Modev operates on the very simple belief that human connection is vital in the era of digital transformation. As technology starts to speed up, it’s really critical for people to get together and engage and understand the new technology; otherwise, technology really can’t move forward.

What is the level of interest that you’ve seen in voice versus other technologies?

People are interested by new ways to interact with technology. With mobile, it was pretty much proven that if you had a good UX, your app was going to take off. Look at Instagram, for example. Well, now with voice the same pattern is becoming apparent. We launched Voice Summit on April 4th and, within four weeks, we had over 150 submissions. In the US alone, there are 50 million voice assistants inside peoples’ homes. People really want to get their hands on voice technology.

Could you tell us more about Voice Summit?

When we did our 10-city tour last year, one of the things we identified was that there was not a big-tent event that brought together the developers, the designers, product leaders and brands. We saw this opening and decided to launch the Summit. We brought that idea to the Amazon Alexa team and they agreed and we ended up with a diamond sponsorship underwritten by Amazon. This actually ended up being Amazon’s largest investment outside of CES (The International Consumer Electronics Show). The conference will be hosted in Newark, New Jersey, at the New Jersey Institute technology. We’ll have 11 tracks at the event; two of those eleven tracks will be actually taught completely by Amazon staff, so people can come to the event and get hands-on training from Amazon staff.

Any additional words?

There will be big-name brands at the event: Lego, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, etc. With more than 50 speakers, we’re going to have such a broad range of topics across many industries. This one is one for the books.

List of resources mentioned in this episode: