Four Alexa Champions walk down memory lane with Nick Schwab, Eric Olsen, Tim Kahle and Steve Arkonovich

Four Alexa Champions walk down memory lane with Nick Schwab, Eric Olsen, Tim Kahle and Steve Arkonovich 1800 1200 Kane Simms

We catch up with 4 Amazon Alexa Champions to discuss the then, now and future of the Alexa skills ecosystem and the voice first community.

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In this episode

The Alexa Champions program is an honorary award given by Amazon in recognition of great service to the Alexa platform and ecosystem.

All four of today’s guests are Alexa Champions, and they take us for a walk down memory lane and discuss:

  • what the community and the voice first ecosystem was like when they first started
  • what made them start building Alexa skills
  • the signs that signalled things were going well
  • the current state of the voice first community
  • what they wish for in future

Steve Arkonovich and Eric Olsen were two of the very first Alexa Champions. Nick Schwab followed in the next batch, then Tim Kahle.

Steve was building skills before the Alexa Skills Kit even existed! Over time, he’s built up a rack of skills published under his company, Philosophical Creations. His skill, Big Sky, is one of the most used skills on the platforms and is to this day a sterling example of a great voice first and multi modal experience.

Some of Eric Olsen’s first skills were Complibot and Insultibot, skills that generate random compliments and insults for users every day. Eric is the founder of 3PO Labs has always been a keen member of the voice community and is one of the most active members in the Alexa Slack channel, offering help, advice and guidance for budding skill developers.

Nick Schwab is the founder of Invoked apps and runs some of the most used skills on the Alexa platform. His suite of sleep sounds bring in around 300,000 users per day, a side hustle that famously earned him enough money to buy a Tesla.

Tim Kahle is the co-founder of 169 Labs, based out of Germany and the organiser of the All About Voice conference. Tim and co-founder, Dominik Meißner, won an Alexa hackathon in Germany in 2016, released a series of skills and founded one of the leading voice agencies in Germany off the back of it. The All About Voice conference in Munich is the leading voice first event in Europe.


Steve on Twitter and LinkedIn

Eric on Twitter and LinkedIn

Nick on Twitter and LinkedIn

Tim on Twitter and LinkedIn

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