As we say goodbye to 2023 and welcome 2024, it’s a time to think about the good and tough parts of the year. Not everything goes the way we want, but we can learn from both the good and bad experiences. I see 2023 as a year of making things better, like fixing the base of a building. I’ve picked my top five observations on foundational changes from this year, and some might continue into 2024. Now, it’s exciting to see them happen and see how they make a difference.
🔄 Navigating restructuring and contractions
In 2023, industry giants like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft underwent significant contractions and restructuring, and the overall industry faced a substantial loss of 2.5 lac jobs in a year, 50% higher than previous year. These measures, projected as responses to the prevailing micro-economic situation, also involved cost-cutting in operational expenses, perks, and salary increments.
This trend of optimization is expected to persist into 2024.
However, true optimization extends beyond cost reduction—it involves strategic investment in the right areas.
In 2024, organizations are likely to shift towards
recognizing this crucial aspect of optimization; aligning investments for long-term success.
Those quick to realize this need and adapt will likely thrive, while those resistant to change may face challenges in navigating the landscape beyond 2024.
🤖 Shaping the generation AI
AI isn’t new, but in 2023, a whole new era started—Generation AI. Everything, from products to giants like Google, felt its impact. Microsoft went all-in on the OpenAI episode, “.ai” domains gained popularity over the traditional “.com,” and nearly every digital thing now has AI or assisted with AI, including this article.
What started as generative AI hype is now a reality, profoundly altering the landscape of digital work. Take a look at posts on LinkedIn and other platforms—crafted with emojis, bullets, refined English, grammar, and captivating graphics. Even the emails we receive are nicely composed, and we know that it is not because every content editor suddenly acquired these skills; GenAI took the place.
Skills that were crucial before might not carry the same weight now, as AI steps in either to replace or enhance them:
This change is substantial, and in 2024, it will manifest in the day-to-day, challenging individuals to adapt. Those dismissing it as a mere hype or a passing trend risk being left behind permanently. Embrace the change, accept, learn, utilize, and challenge established norms.
👩💻 Reimagining how we work: No going back
As 2023 concludes, the notion of reverting to traditional work norms is challenged. Organizations, amidst contractions, attempted a return to the office and may continue more in 2024, while others sought innovative alternatives. Schools adapting to online modes during disruptions exemplify a shift away from pre-COVID practices. Likewise, businesses are integrating remote work as a staple, acknowledging a generation reveling in workation. Flexi work is considered essential for better DEI strategy.
The question arises: Is a return to the pre-COVID norm even feasible, or should we embrace a more pragmatic, profound, and productive approach?
In 2023, conversations stirred around these sentiments, challenging conventional agile methods. Sumeet Moghe’s Async-First Playbook and asyncagile.org stand as proof. The Async-First Manifesto prioritizes effective, intentional work with room for experimentation, discarding outdated practices linked to fixed locations and times.
This signifies a fundamental paradigm shift that would help focus on right no matter whether you work from the office or somewhere. The tussle between office-first, hybrid or remote-first would continue in 2024, but better focus on deep work, steering clear of superficial tasks.
Clear your calendar, embrace the power of GenAI, and start expressing yourself better.
“Don’t be busy in 2024, but go deep!”
💰 Measuring tech beyond funding
In 2023, the fall of Byju’s, once hailed as an edtech success, debunked the myth that a startup’s funding dictates the triumph or failure of technology. This setback didn’t signal the failure of online education; instead, it ushered in a new era marked by diverse and accessible learning methods. Traditional educational institutions also adapted, offering an array of courses that don’t necessitate physical presence, providing individuals with more choices to acquire skills.
Similarly, people raise their eyebrows when they hear XR and metaverse, especially with Meta’s shift from metaverse emphasis to AI. Despite skepticism, the interconnection between XR, metaverse, and AI remains evident.
As we approach 2024, expect the unexpected—ideas previously deemed impractical will become commonplace. Widespread acceptance of technologies will manifest in people unknowingly incorporating tech like XR or others their daily lives, similar to what they are already experiencing - virtual trials, playful camera features, scanning and artificially generating the environment or simply changing backgrounds on images or while on video calls.
More voices will join the conversation on technology, discussing use cases, concerns, and navigating beyond the allure of hype or funding. As part of this sprint, I’m working on my book, Exploring the Metaverse: Redefining Reality in the Digital Age. 📚.
🌐 Embracing open and responsible tech ecosystem
A notable trend that unfolded in 2023 was the emphasis on fostering an open and experimentation-friendly environment, exemplified by emerging initiatives like OpenXR, OpenBCI, OpenAI and hundreds of AI models on hugging faces. Organizations and individuals globally shifted their focus towards open-sourcing, 2023 saw a sharp rise of first time contributors. A surge of commitment to responsible tech and sustainable development emerged. Notably, products began including green nudges such as carbon emission while showing flights, software getting green, carbon aware software architecture, solutions and infrastructure.
The momentum towards ethical and responsible development is anticipated to gain further momentum in 2024.
Industries will shift from merely discussing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) to integrating these principles into their core business strategies—moving beyond rhetoric to tangible action. This evolution is poised to create collaborative spaces, where like-minded producers and consumers converge, co-building and aligning their efforts towards ethical practices and sustainability.
Expect to witness a surge in such partnerships in the coming years. 🌱
Absolutely, 2023 has been a year marked by challenges, but within those challenges lie valuable lessons and opportunities for growth. It’s a year that shattered myths about foundations and traditions, urging us to think beyond the established norms. In this dynamic landscape, nothing remains fixed, not our beliefs, practices, or ways of working. The key is to evolve continuously to meet the demands of the time.
As we transition into 2024, it presents a unique opportunity to witness the impact of the changes set in motion in 2023. It’s a chance to course correct, align with evolving needs, and embrace the transformative potential that lies ahead. Let’s navigate the future with adaptability, openness, and a commitment to continuous improvement. 🌟🚀
Embrace Change, Seek Growth