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Word of the Next Year

by Svetlana Sicular  |  December 27, 2013  |  Comments Off on Word of the Next Year

Selfie is the word of 2013. Or maybe, it isn’t. There are other winners: (data) science, privacy and geek.  The latter wins for acquiring a more positive image, together with hacker, I assume. These words signify growing people centricity as a result of convergence of four powerful forces — big data, mobility, cloud and social computing (yeh-yeh, the Nexus of Forces, 1,540 results if you search for it on  There is another permeating superforce — user experience.  The words of the year signify this too. The question (of the impatients like me) is — what’s next? Ultra-personalization? No, this not the word of the next year, read on.

Depending on where you stand or where you look, or who looks at where you stand, there are two scenarios:

1. Greater good
2. Cut throat business

I see both. And I see a lot through my first-hand encounters with clients and vendors, VCs and scientists, geeks and selfies (sorry for misusing the word, it’s too new).  I just don’t see yet what scenario outweighs.  In the spirit of the season, I’m hoping for the greater good.  This year, open data truly inspired me.  I’ve been writing my research note on this subject for the last several months, with a lot of rewrites and rethinking.  I met amazing people and saw astonishing possibilities at the intersection of open data and crowdsourcing. Although a contender, crowdsourcing is not the word of the next year too.

The word of the next year is — airbnb.

Airbnb is a community marketplace for people to list and book accommodations that are someone’s spare property, from apartments and rooms to treehouses and boats. There is an airbnb for cars, dogs, storage, parking and office space. There are airbnbs for food — Cookening, EatWith and Feastly — you can come to a stranger’s home and have dinner made just for you. That’s hyper-personalization! My colleague Federico De Silva Leon wrote about airbnb for IT — Maverick* Research: Peer-to-Peer Sharing of Excess IT Resources Puts Money in the Bank, where he says: Internet technologies, such as cloud computing, are a central element to the transformation and rebalancing of IT resources, allowing organizations to monetize their excess IT capacity via a direct peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing model, enabled by brokers — a sort of “Airbnb of IT sharing.”

Anything peer-to-peer is airbnb.  It’s the ability to do what was not possible before the social, mobile and cloud forces started dating or even big-dating.  The only question left for the dictionaries that select words of the year: What is correct – “airbnb for” or “airbnb of”?

Additional Resources

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Category: cloud  crowdsourcing  data  data-and-analytics-strategies  fashion  humans  open-data  

Tags: airbnb  cloud  data  gartner-predicts  humans  information-everywhere  

Svetlana Sicular
Research VP
6 years at Gartner
23 years IT industry

Svetlana Sicular is passionate about bringing analytics to domain experts and helping organizations successfully compete by applying their business acumen in analytics and data science. She is convinced that domain expertise and high-value data are the greatest assets that companies should monetize in new analytics applications. Read Full Bio

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