The Dawn of the Post-App Era

By Stephen Forte,
via Pexels

It’s hard to believe, but after millions and millions of apps, it appears we are now entering the post-app era.

But think about it: When’s the last time you’ve download a new app that has truly transformed your life? It’s probably been awhile.

Yes, the average smartphone owner still uses apps. It’s just that we use the same five apps 80% of the time we spend on our phones. This makes it difficult for new apps to emerge and take over our phones to the point the average app loses 77% of its users within three days of being downloaded.

A Look Back

We used to have mainframes and terminals were the killer app back in the day. Then came along the client/server era and desktop application software (which ran on top of Windows). Up next, there was the web where the killer app was the browser and the webpage itself.

Which brought us to the app-filled mobile era — characterized by the lack or absence of desktop software and usually limited or no functionality on the web. Instagram didn’t have a web site until recently and there’s no (useful) web version of Candy Crush, for example.

It’s hard to imagine a world where apps are an afterthought. But as technology evolves and AI rises, we’re inching closer and closer to that reality.

The Post-App Era

We’re entering an era with no apps, no websites, no desktop software and no mainframe terminal.

For example, I was talking to a startup the other day. They don’t have an app.

You interact with it via chatbots in Facebook Messenger and other platforms. When you need to talk to a human, it jumps out to Skype.

The platform uses AI to keep track of interactions and it pings you on your Echo or Google Home to ask you for some input. It’s pretty cool stuff.

I asked the founder when they were planning to build an app. He told me that he figured they would have built an app by now, but they already had 50,000 daily active users and none of them have asked about an app — making it a low priority.

You wouldn’t have heard that five years ago. Or even a year ago.

Chatbots, Chatbots, Chatbots

According to Gartner, “smart agents” will facilitate 40% of all mobile interactions by 2020. Think Siri, Alexa, and Cortana — AI secretaries of sorts that learn more over time and can be customized to meet your specific needs.

Similarly, chatbots — which are already found on platforms like Facebook Messenger and Slack — will become a major communication medium for brands. Users of tomorrow (and today, really) will be able to pay their bills, shop for items, check the weather, and conduct research by interacting with these AI platforms.

It’s an exciting transition. Users won’t have to worry about hopping from app to app to app, nor will they have to worry about clogging their phones with apps they hardly use.

Whereas apps force users to behave in certain ways, chatbots, combined with AI and natural language processing, promise the ability to enable users to customize their experiences to their own preferences. The end result? A more efficient and enjoyable experience that adds more value to the user’s life.

What a time to be alive.

The Dawn of the Post-App Era was originally published in Fusion by Fresco Capital on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

  Category: ai, ux
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Connect Pipedrive to a Slack Channel Using a Bot

By Fusion by Fresco Capital,

Here at Fresco Capital, we love to eat our own dogfood so we have been using Pipedrive for years. Pipedrive is a sales management tool that helps sales teams manage a sales pipeline in a visual way. At Fresco we enter everything into Pipedrive: our portfolio companies, startups that pitch us, our investors, potential investors, etc.

Slack at Fresco

Since we embraced Slack at Fresco for our internal conversations, it is the one stop shop for all of our communications. (I joke with our partners, if it is not in Slack, it didn’t happen.) In Slack we created a #pipedrivebot channel where we would alert each other of a new update we just entered into Pipedrive. After doing that a few times, I wanted to automate this process; we needed to automatically wire up Pipedrive to a Slack channel. The easiest way to do this is with a bot.

Bots As a Service (BoTaaS)

Fortunately our friends over at Recime have created a bot to do just this. Recime is a cloud based bot infrastructure backend and hosting platform for developers (BoTaaS). Recime automates all the plumbing a bot developer runs into, similar to what did for mobile devs before Facebook acquired it. One of the free bots hosted on their platform is a Pipedrive to Slack Channel bot.

Connecting Pipedrive to a Slack Channel

Using the bot is easy, but you have to configure a few things in both Pipedrive and Slack. In order to configure the Recime pipedrive bot, you need to do the following:

  1. Enable integration Webhooks in slack
  2. Enable push notifications in Pipedrive to trigger the Recime pipedrive bot.

Enable Integration WebHook in Slack

In Slack, from account menu, go to menu->app & integration and then click manage in the navigation bar:

Click Manage -> Custom Integrations -> Add Configuration:

This will take you to a wizard where you can configure which Slack channel the bot will send messages to. Once completed you will be given a Webhook URL that you will need to configure the pipedrive notification. (Image and other metadata information are configured automatically by the bot therefore you can leave them as it is. ) Copy the URL to a safe place.

Enable Notifications in pipedrive

This task has three easy steps.

First you need to obtain an API Token from Pipedrive. Go to your Pipedrive Settings and click API. Copy the API token to a safe place.

Next up you have to create a URL out of the Slack WebHook and Pipedrive API token for Pipedrive’s push notification to enable the bot to connect the two together. You can do this by going to the Recime website and entering the WebHook URL and API Token into this form:

The Recime website will return to you a URL, copy it to your clipboard and go back to Pipedrive for the past step.

In Pipedrive, go to Settings -> Push Notifications and create a new notification:

Enter in your Pipedrive user name, the URL that the Recime form gave you and the events in Pipedrive you want to enable the push notification bot for.

If you want to get notified about everything you enter in Pipedrive, put in *.*, or if you just want to be notified when a deal is updated you would put in, or if you only want a new note notification put in added.note. If you are not sure use *.* and experiment.

Now your bot will now send a message to the #pipedrivebot channel in Slack every time you update your Pipedrive.

Enjoy. 😉

  Category: Thematic
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