Recently I’ve been reading about a few spaces and companies I think are poised for great growth this year and beyond.

Low and No Code Development – Citizen developers are defined by Gartner as end users who create business applications within the sanctions of the corporate IT environment. Think about the game-changing power of that. No longer do you have to wait, or ask, to have custom applications developed to solve common, everyday workplace challenges, like project management. A few of us here just tried our own hand at app building to solve a common everyday pain point in extracting key insights around literally dozens of pieces of earned media coverage housed in an Excel spreadsheet. In minutes through a solution called Intuit QuickBase, we served up a highly visual, usable and meaningful series of charts and graphs that we can deliver swiftly to a client or colleague. Pretty genius.

This trend is everywhere, and is only going to become more pervasive across work, home and entertainment experiences. This Wired story about Hone, a new piece of desktop software that lets designers tweak the appearance of iPhone and Mac apps, without messing around with the code, is a great example. This is one of many spotlights revealing a new breed of solutions that will empower a movement toward everyday builders of solutions based on what they know best – how they want to work and how they want to live. The maker movement is entering the workplace. How will you join in?

Empathy Coming Soon to an Email Near You – Have you ever wished for a day when spammy, canned emails would go away forever? Well, it may just be here. Crystal claims to help us communicate with more empathy and write more relevant emails based on the recipients’ personality traits gleaned through big data available about them on the web. The examples on the site allow you to select among a bunch of celebs like Mark Cuban and President Obama. Once you type your message intended for Mr. Cuban, for example, Crystal will advise which phrases and word choices are not appropriate based on his direct communication style, offering replacement suggestions to make it break through. Dubbed the best innovation “since spell check,” the value prop is to build new or better relationships through more effective communication. With an estimated 100 billion emails sent daily around the world, it’s a cool idea to help people cut through that clutter and personalize prose through technology. And I’m a bit skeptical, but intrigued. I just signed up to test it out. Let me know what you think, too.