A few years back social was all the rage. Then mobile first had its moment. Now content and the brand as publisher models are the "it" trends in brand marketing. Each of these has merit, and expertise in each discipline is valuable. But none of these ideas live on their own. They're all different facets of the same gem.
Social is just a behavior, a way that people share and communicate. And mobile without content is just a blank screen. Content flows through the system; it is created and distributed through social channels and ultimately surfaces across a wide variety of devices and screens, increasingly mobile ones.
Are the newest consumer and ad tech innovations social? Mobile? Content? It's becoming more difficult to neatly place the emerging products into these buckets.
But one theme is consistent across each of these intertwined disciplines: speed. The pace at which content is created, shared, and consumed is constantly increasing, with consumer creation and consumption behavior usually outpacing a brand marketer's ability to keep up. And so with this lens, a new generation of startups rise in a self-perpetuating cycle that enable more seamless, rapid development and delivery of content, as well as solutions to organize, manage, and digest this ever-expanding and accelerating stream.
Here are nine startups that break down the silos between social, content, and mobile to stand out in today's cluttered consumer tech ecosystem. I've broken them down into four sections, by the most prevalent trends and opportunities that I see emerging in our industry.