Becoming a Futurist?

You don’t necessarily need to be a futurist to make some informed guesses about what technical topics will be of interest for your audience.  Just spend some time listening to your audience. If your brand supports a developer community, then you have an additional resource.

Passive monitoring of topics or actively querying your developer community can give you much needed insight into what technical topics are going to become important later. In addition, listening to your company’s developer advocates and the topics they say are bubbling up from the community is invaluable. In the absence of a developer community to listen to, what else can you do to anticipate future technical topics.

Which Developers Do You Care About?

Your brand can’t be all things to all developers. Clearly, you’ve defined an ideal developer for your product. If you have more than one segment of developer’s you are trying to reach, consider your brand’s business goals, and select a primary audience segment. Then, focus on what matters to them.

What Are Their Most Pressing Problems?

Once you’ve narrowed down a developer audience segment that matters most for your brand, find out their most pressing problems that are going unaddressed by the market. Is it something your product could potentially solve? Are there technical topics that are being raised between developers that are being ignored by competing brands and other sources of information? Mark those problems (and possible solutions) as the topics you want to address next.

What Are The Bleeding Edge Solutions?

Once you have the problems identified, can you point to any bleeding edge solutions that should be highlighted? Be the first to recognize them, particularly if they are solutions that play well with or come from your brand. Is there a need for a bleeding edge solution? Is there a hack that developers are doing now? These are all possible technical topics.

Mind-Blowing or Meh?

What makes it mind-blowing vs. meh? Relevance, importance, usefulness, and timeliness. Being the first to recognize a technical topic deserves attention gives your brand credibility and authenticity. Not to mention, your brand gets to shape the narrative, offering an advantage to shape it in such a way that your product’s strengths in the solution space will have a natural advantage.

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