AJ co-founded TrendKite in 2012 and oversees all aspects of the organization’s sales operations.
I’ve spent the last year in the startup journey here in Austin, Texas and in a word it has been awesome. The tech ecosystem that exists down here is fast-paced and exciting; any coffee shop you enter there are sure to be ongoing conversations about ideas, products, and the backend code that powers them. I’ve also had the chance to meet with some fantastic successful entrepreneurs like Brett Hurt, Brant Barton, Sam Decker, Josh Baer, and countless others that have been able to give invaluable advice in getting our business up and running in one short year. All have brought such positivity to the tech community and most importantly their enthusiasm to help young entrepreneurs.
In that short period of time, my consumption of technology and innovation news has steadily increased. The usual suspects (Techcrunch and USA Today) as well as Brett Hurt’s blog (lucky7.io), Medium.com and Quartz. Over the past year I have seen headline after headline about acquisitions in our space – Summly, Pulse…and most recently Topsy – all with the same positivity of how their new acquirers will be using their fancy new toys.
I recently had a conversation with my father and brothers about Amazon and their business model (their investments in new areas and operating in the red) and one of my brothers felt Amazon will soon fall into the “same PR zone as Walmart where they are hated and no one can stop them”
I disagreed and asked the question of what I had been feeling this past year “Please name an innovative tech company that has sustained negative PR?”
They all chimed in with “Apple, Amazon, Comcast, AT&T”.
Now we were getting somewhere so I decided to run a headline analysis on these companies using TrendKite’s dashboard.
Using the last three months of data, I found an astounding 65% of all headlines were positive in nature for these companies. Even more interesting, if you coupled those headlines with “new project”, “invests” or “innovation”, that went up to 84% positive tonality!
So back to the question I posed earlier “does negativity exist in technology?”
And my answer is a resounding “No”. While press is only one of many data points, it has a major influence on how we think about events, organizations, and topics in general. I think Larry Page said it best, “Being negative is not how we make progress.” Negativity does not move needles, it does not create value, and innovation and progress are certainly not built by negativity.