Carl Sagan 44 years ago said: “You have to know the past to understand the present.”
As I reflect on the myriad developments that shaped 2023, I see how many of these events impact the present and provide clues to the future.
Let’s start with some of the events and observations that loom largest in my mind.
As is the nature of tech, the industry is ever-changing. And yet some things remain the same.
The tech titans remain the titans.
I’m not doling out stock tips, but Forbes Advisor’s list of the top 5 tech stocks in January 2024 includes Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet and Meta.
This positive outlook comes after a year of historic layoffs in the tech sector, with Meta, Alphabet and Microsoft collectively letting go more than 34,000 employees. The resilience of Apple, which managed to avoid layoffs, stands out amid economic challenges faced by the industry.
Smaller companies and startups faced similar economic challenges, though mostly without the news making headlines.
These cuts impact the global economy and are felt acutely within the tech and ancillary industries.
VCs pulled back from financing.
The pharma industry, long a stalwart among other startups, saw a significantly reduced level of investment in the research and development stage.
Crypto saw its share of headlines. That included FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried being found guilty of fraud. Then Changpeng Zhao, the former chief executive officer of Binance, pled guilty to money laundering violations.
In response, Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a press conference. “The message here should be clear: Using new technology to break the law does not make you a disrupter. It makes you a criminal.”
On the topic of disruptors, in 2023 the Supreme Court exercised their authority to disrupt the long-standing affirmative action policy in higher education.
Arguably the biggest disrupter of all, Elon Musk posted the controversial tweet declaring “DEI must die.”
Optimistically, within the tech industry we are seeing more and more companies recognize the interconnection between DEI and sustainability, acknowledging the inextricable impact sustainability has on human rights and social responsibility.
Many of our clients are looking to reevaluate their corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and positions in 2024, and I am proud of the work we at Bospar have done in this arena.
As a pioneering agency, we took a bold step by creating the first-ever LGBTQIA+ popup nightclub, Club Courage, at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. This initiative aimed to provide a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community amid growing challenges faced by brands supporting diversity.
We put our passion for parity to work for clients with causes we believe in, including San Francisco Pride, an organization dedicated to creating a vibrant and inclusive community for LGBTQ+ people and allies, and Fluid510, Oakland entrepreneurs’ Sean Sullivan and Richard Fuentes answer to the outdated gay/straight bar designation. Fluid510 is a nightclub created to welcome everyone.
Another notable event in 2023 was a summit on the impact of AI on journalism, emceed by our principal and co-founder Curtis Sparrer. The summit, held at Microsoft headquarters, brought together journalists from tier-one media outlets such as Bloomberg, VentureBeat and WIRED to discuss the evolving role of AI in shaping journalism.
No sector is immune from the impact of AI and, by many accounts, the overarching theme of 2024 is the increasing prevalence of generative AI.
Bospar, with our extensive experience working with companies innovating across a variety of AI sectors, recognizes the transformative potential of this technology. From healthcare solutions to two-way conversational CRM software, Bospar has been at the forefront of making the world aware of the various means by which technology can harness the power of AI.
We are currently working with companies whose mission is to explore the opportunities generative AI presents responsibly, well aware of the impact on electricity consumption, carbon emissions and the overall environmental footprint.
Customers, partners and clients want to work with socially responsible companies. We are seeing more prospective client RFPs request organizational sustainability and diversity policies. This trend will continue.
As we navigate the evolving complexities of the tech world in 2024, it is evident that generative AI is set to revolutionize the industry. Bospar’s commitment to CSR and innovation exemplifies the values that will shape the future of tech.
We celebrate achievements, acknowledge challenges and embrace transformative technologies. Meanwhile, the tech landscape continues to evolve, presenting new opportunities and challenges for companies willing to adapt and lead responsibly in this dynamic environment.