How AirPR and Babelverse Use Market Skepticism as a Collaboration Tool while Building Disruptive Tec


By Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen

Published: 29 July 2013


From Tech Cocktail…


Article Excerpt: “Are you working on a truly disruptive technology? Here’s one sign that you are — people who hold incumbent positions in the industry express frustration and skepticism at your work. The good news for you is that these same skeptics are your future allies. All you need is an intense focus on product, and a steel-lined gut to engage with them and find out what they are really upset about. Hint: IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.


As it turns out, a couple Microsoft BizSpark teams take a thoughtful approach to measuring market sentiment as they rollout their products, and the lesson to be learned from their struggles is that whenever there is confusion and anger, and maybe a healthy dose of skepticism about the impact your product will make on the market, you have a really good opportunity to leverage those emotions and key influencers to make your product and your marketing better.”


Link to the full story here.


InterpretAmerica’s take: The interpreting profession’s approach to new technologies has been, in a word, skeptical. For the most part, it has always been that way, going all the way back to the introduction of simultaneous interpretation at the International Labor Organization and the League of Nations in the 1930s. This article by Doug Crets from Tech Cocktail does a great job explaining why there is resistance to disruptive technologies from “market incumbents” (a.k.a interpreters already working and happy with the way things are).

Crets cites Babelverse as an example of disruptive technology builders who are working to engage market incumbents—in this case interpreters—to turn skepticism into helpful collaboration. From what we can tell, Babelverse is “walking the talk.” In June of this year they “ran the gauntlet” at InterpretAmerica 4, taking pointed questions from interpreters and openly publishing the “fair trade” rates they pay interpreters who work on their platform. Regardless of individual interpreters’ opinions, Babelverse is becoming a force in the world of interpreting and may well be uniquely positioned as more and more multilingual communication moves online.

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