Inside Mission North’s Future Stack Practice: Innovative, Disruptive and Pragmatic

Future stack hero

Our mission:

To enable the future of everything.

Our goal:

To showcase the critical infrastructure and developer technologies powering the most popular apps and digital services that make our economy and our lives work effortlessly.

Our current clients include:

We have also worked with:

How we help our clients:

Accelerating Growth in Crowded Markets

The game-changing enterprise infrastructure companies in our Future Stack Practice tend to favor either one or both of two high-level market approaches. They are focused on driving dramatic improvements in existing technologies and/or they are working to create and build out brand-new products, categories and markets. Our clients span a multitude of technology areas, from cloud development, databases and CI/CD, to analytics, artificial intelligence and advanced hardware like quantum computers and AI chips. These boundary-breaking companies include newly-minted startups looking to generate awareness or position themselves for an exit all the way through to established public companies who want to refine their messaging or expand into new markets.

Across the board, what these companies share in common is a desire to accelerate their growth in what are often noisy and highly competitive spaces. We have our roots in Future Stack—enterprise tech is built into our agency’s DNA—and so we’re able to draw on our subject matter expertise and PR insights to help our clients become known and differentiate themselves from their rivals by developing their unique selling proposition.

Our work with data service platform Portworx, for example, began when it was an early-stage company with excellent technology but commanding less market attention than it deserved. Portworx’s CEO, Murli Thirumale, was a source of brilliant ideas about the industry, and we were able to bring those insights to life through media and content placements that helped establish Portworx as the leader in its category. We also developed a recurring data report that raised the company’s profile among the key technical audiences it needed to reach. Partly as a result of our work, Portworx was acquired by Pure Storage in September 2020.

ThoughtSpot was a later-stage company when we first started working with it, looking to increase awareness of its consumer-friendly search-based analytics platform. Some of our work focused on high-profile customer placements in The Wall Street Journal, which served to illustrate the critical need for ThoughtSpot’s technology as organizations hurried to adapt to new market conditions during the pandemic. We also helped to reestablish the company after its transition to become a pure-play cloud vendor.

<split-lines>“What these companies share in common is a desire to accelerate their growth in what are often noisy and highly competitive spaces.”<split-lines>

How Emerging Tech is Advancing in 2022 and on into the Future

The cloud is now firmly established as the computing model for nearly all new applications and services. As a result, businesses are looking for cloud-native services that address vertical and functional areas. One trend we’ll see this year is more cloud offerings that serve specific functions and industries, such as our client Snowflake’s recently launched industry clouds, including Media, Healthcare & Life Sciences and Retail.

There’s also a ton of innovation happening in hardware at the atomic level. With Moore’s Law slowing, dozens of exciting companies are building new chips designed specifically for machine learning and deep learning, like SambaNova Systems and Graphcore. Quantum computing is also making strides and will eventually leapfrog all other chip endeavors by overcoming the physical limits of current silicon designs, as our client IonQ is proving.

We’re also keeping a close eye on the AI space. So-called ‘AI washing’ has become a real challenge in the eyes of the media, so the onus is on technology vendors to explain clearly what they do in a way that is authentic and differentiated. AI-driven narratives and product stories cannot be generic or they will be unconvincing. That’s why we’re thrilled to work with, for example, which has such a compelling use case around natural language processing in healthcare.

<split-lines>“AI-driven narratives and product stories cannot be generic or they will be unconvincing.”<split-lines>

Know Your Audience and Use Your Insights to Communicate Clearly

In collaboration with our Future Stack clients, we work to understand who makes the purchasing decisions and who influences those decisions. We also dig into what those prospective buyers look for in a solution as well as determining their level of technical knowledge. Once we’ve established those elements, we are then able to craft the right messages for the right people.

Customers are a key resource in our storytelling for our clients. Choosing a new infrastructure platform or development environment can have long-term ramifications for a business. Our clients’ potential customers are seeking reassurance and proof points so customer stories showing that large, credible businesses have already invested in a given product or services are critical for gaining traction.

We always advise our clients to focus on use cases and business results alongside speeds and feeds. Tech startups are often run by brilliant engineers who can wax lyrical for hours about how many joins their database can handle but who may forget to elevate the conversation up a level or two to also talk about the benefits to an individual customer—or to the world. We encourage our clients to come up with a handful of compelling, timely use cases which they can back up with proof points, and lead any engagement with customers or industry observers from that starting point.

For the business press, the real-world impact of technologies is what makes the difference in their interest and coverage. Theories and academic papers are great for establishing credibility with a more technical audience, but for the business press to care, our clients must be able to share concrete, real-world applications and customers for their technology—and, ideally, evidence that top-tier investors are interested enough to commit millions of dollars to their success.

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