People often ask me how we pick the finalists for the 50 on Fire awards (which are next week). The answer is, 50 on Fire is a little like the law. Or sausages. You don't necessarily want to see how our list of finalists is made.
This year, we got a lot of nominations, plus a liberal number of last-minute additions from staff. In a series of meetings involving over-inked whiteboards, we narrowed that list down to 200 finalists.
Throughout the process, we kept coming across companies and individuals who are full of promise, but who hadn't shown enough traction yet to say they're "on fire." It happened often enough that we started keeping a spreadsheet tab labeled "2016." Here's who was on it.
One caveat: There are several companies I've got my eye on for 2016 and not all of them are on this list. Driftt is one of them, for example. You can't be on the list unless someone nominated you for 50 on Fire, see?
That said, it's inspiring to see so many companies and individuals showing such promise at an early stage in their work.