2024: The Year of Growth

Sanjeev Mohan
4 min readJan 1, 2024

If 2023 was characterized by the year of hunkering down and optimizing, 2024 brings a ray of hope and signs of growth — propelled, of course, by AI. However, this growth won’t be unbridled like in 2021, when profligate VCs were spending money like drunken soldiers. This year will be growth bookended by efficiency and guardrails.

Last year’s much anticipated recession never materialized but with 50 global elections, two wars and inflation, 2024 may still turn out to be a lot different. My only hope is that we will keep our eyes on the ball and focus on signals while cutting out the noise.

Before I delve into my 2024 resolutions and commitments, I recap my 2nd year as an independent analyst running my firm, SanjMo.

2023 in Retrospect

Imagine starting the year with a princely 89 followers on my Medium blog to ending the year with a thousand subscribers! I am honored to have attracted so many regular readers who encouraged me to publish almost 20 articles. These articles garnered about 75K views.

My most popular articles were on LLMs / vector databases and on data products. I plan to cover these topics even more deeply in the new year. I also wrote recaps of multiple conferences I attended and on topics as varied as data security and GraphQL.

Social media amplifies our presence and everyone assumes that all I do is travel to conferences. That is far from reality. Although I am an insufferable extrovert, I need quiet, thinking time to deliver my engagements. Having said that, I did manage to attend key conferences from Google Cloud, AWS, Snowflake, Databricks, Gartner, IBM, Cloudera, CNCF, Confluent, and several others. At many of the conferences, I was privileged to give a keynote.

The Big Data London conference was pivotal for me for two reasons. One, I launched a book that I co-authored, Data Product for Dummies. Two, I ran my own event on Generative AI in collaboration with The Ravit Show. Prior to this event, I did an Unconference on the heels of a MongoDB event at Javits Center in New York.

In all, I ended up contributing almost 150 public deliverables in 2023, an average of almost three every week. Of these numbers were ‘It Depends’ podcasts where I maintained a cadence of about two a month. In the last two years, I have now published over 50 episodes. I interviewed a bevy of iconic founders and was honored to once again host Bob Muglia and help launch his book Datapreneurs. I also participated in several podcasts, including many appearances on SiliconAngle theCUBE.

What to expect in 2024

I have often joked that I start each day with a blank sheet of paper and impostor syndrome. Writing this section is like starting a whole new year with a blank canvas. One that I can paint any way I want. So, writing this section has required some thoughtful effort.

But, since all roads lead to AI, I finally succumbed. I pasted the first half of this newsletter into ChatGPT, Bard, and Perplexity and asked them to propose what I should do in 2024. To be honest, I am flabbergasted! The response was beyond the career advice I expected from a chatbot! I received excellent inspiration.

My year 1 north star was to establish my presence, while my year 2 goal was to develop my thought leadership through the aforementioned deliverables. Broadly speaking, my year 3 goal is to scale and to diversify through some of the following:

  • Collaborate with my peers and data leaders on building community and doing joint events. As a starter, I have three documents planned for January 2024 with my former colleagues. I also plan to help technology buyers adopt new technologies.
  • Diversify into adjacent areas. I am keen to explore diverse perspectives, like helping startups and SaaS companies succeed in their nascent journeys. Also, I will seek opportunities to speak at new types of conferences and invite influential movers and shakers to my podcast.
  • Expand geographically. Many parts of the world are expanding their AI outreach, like the Middle East and I hope to execute some projects in regions that I have not yet explored as an independent analyst.
  • Deepen my research. AI is forcing us to rethink our entire data infrastructure. We now need to unlearn old ways of doing things and incorporate the breakneck new developments. I plan to keep publishing my research and hopefully another book on the intersection of LLMs and data products.

Finally, I need to learn how to leverage social media better than simply create new content.

Conclusion

I want to thank my wonderful community of friends and well-wishers as we start another year. I hope to work closely with many of you on projects that are meaningful and memorable.

I close out by asking you a question that has been top of mind: “How will AI disrupt your work and what can you do to protect your moat?” I ask this question not rhetorically but in all seriousness, because AI may deliver some of what we do in a more cost-effective manner.

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Sanjeev Mohan

Sanjeev researches the space of data and analytics. Most recently he was a research vice president at Gartner. He is now a principal with SanjMo.