We live in an era where technolgy goes hand in hand with business. It impacts the pace at which businesses grow and it remains interesting to see trends that will emerge from some of these technologies. A good example is the emergence of chatbots that help in instant messaging of customers/clients.
We asked entrepreneurs and business owners about the technologies that will have the biggest impact on technology and here's the responses.
#1- Virtual reality
As the virtual reality industry continues to grow, the amount of applications for VR has never been higher. With the ability to create any experience you can imagine, more and more brands are finding the best way to incorporate VR into their plans. In every field, from medicine to real estate, the limits of VR are being tested as entrepreneurs find new ways to engage with customers. Of course, as a virtual reality event rental company, we’re always looking for new applications of VR in order to incorporate them into your events. Virtual reality isn’t just about playing games or creating mind-blowing experiences (even though our customers like both applications). In everything from retail to medicine, business owners are finding new ways to convert their training process into the virtual world. For example, the CEO of a factory might want their workers to undergo training via VR as the first step in safety protocol. Taking virtual reality away from game-based play and incorporating real-world elements that fit into training programs is one use of VR that we’re really excited to see take off.
Thanks to William Griggs, Virtual Reality Rental Co.!
#2- Artificial intelligence and automation
Many entrepreneurs are limited in the number of customers they can talk with and serve. AI will open up opportunities for a single person to create a product and provide support for hundreds or thousands of people. Chatbots are a step toward being able to serve more people, however, in the future AI will be able to solve complex problems for customers. Entrepreneurs won't have the same limitations in the number of people that they can serve and provide support for, which will radically change entrepreneurship and our economy as a whole.
Thanks to Jacob Landis-Eigsti, Jacob LE Video Production!
It is my belief that without a doubt blockchain and in particular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are going to play a massive role in the day to day working lives of entrepreneurs and founders of various tech & non-tech related startups and businesses. It's almost happening already. Just one example of this is the fact that most entrepreneurs and founders use freelancers these days and one of the most frustrating things for most of us are the third parties costs involved when it comes to hiring and paying out freelancers on the various gig type platforms once they accept the work and ultimately once the work has been completed. The frustration is the same one on the freelancers end who are also charged absorbent fees. Using cryptocurrencies and in particular Bitcoin, not only are you saving time from all the paperwork, you are also saving anywhere from 30%-60% by eliminating the middleman with almost instant payments that can be sent anywhere around the world. This is just one use case, but there are many many more when it comes to this new and exciting technology.
Thanks to George B, Niffler.co!
#4- Digital Predictive Modeling
The future is now and the technology is Personal Digital Merchandising. This concept was explored in cinematic form in the film ‘Minority Report' (2002) in which people are served advertisements in public places based on their personal profiles on an individual basis. Their profile data is retrieved from an optical recognition system embedded in the iris. The film takes place in 2054 but it has already arrived. Walgreens has adopted this futuristic marketing tactic by embedding cameras, sensors and digital screens in cooler doors that create smart displays for advertisers to target ads to specific shoppers based on facial, age, and gender recognition. Soon this technology will be used to target ads both in public places and on our personal devices. Advertising platforms such as Google and Facebook Ads uses a lower-tech form of it all the time in the form of re-targeting. It won't be long for it's embedded into every device and even non-devices such as windows and doors where a business owner can truly laser-target their audience.
Thanks to Rio Rocket
#5- Infrastructure & AI Services
The rise in artificial intelligence (AI) that is slowly chipping away at micro services will enable many new entrepreneurs to build tech-enabled products. For example, affordable and sophisticated technologies for end-to-end infrastructure offered by Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft will allow entrepreneurs to leverage both robust ecosystems and microservices such as text-to-speech, question-answering, language translations, bots, and deep search. Access to such technologies were previously only accessible to enterprise level clients but are now readily available to any aspiring individual at an exceptionally low cost. Therefore, I expect a lot of entrepreneurs to start pushing the envelope in terms of AI offerings to increase productivity and enhance features.
Thanks to Charlie Patel, Ampfluence!
#6- Social media
Your social media presence is essentially your “modern day business card”. Technology and the applications of social media is changing modern day entrepreneurship and the way business is conducted. Ever since social media was introduced into our lives, it has completely revolutionized the business world. You can build your business from the ground up with the help of social media and connect to people and businesses globally at the convenience of your fingertips with a smartphone. The way we connect is becoming easier through the implementation of technology in social media as well. There are ways you can host presentations, do video conferencing, group chats and more. These implementations in social media are very useful for those who run online businesses due to the ease of use and access. You can now communicate with customers real time or leverage your social media to connect and communicate with each other even when you are not face to face in an office environment. It is safe to say that technology, specifically the implications it has had on social media, has revolutionized everything ranging from simple day to day communications to being able to conduct business operations. It’s here to stay and will leave a lasting impact in both the tech and business world.
Thanks to Pratik KC, PhyberTech, LLC!
#7- Identity verification
One area I foresee technology having a big impact on is identity verification. Governments across the globe are getting serious about anti-money laundering and putting in additional requirements to set up a business. Most entrepreneurs don't realise how time consuming it can be to set up a company, bank accounts, credit lines, etc. It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation with each wanting proof from the other as verification. A new globally recognised standard for identity verification could speed up the process of the formation allowing entrepreneurs to move faster and jump on trends before the opportunity is missed.
Thanks to Mark Allwood, GlobalX UK!
#8- Calibra for entrepreneurs
In my opinion, Calibra’s launch next year will really be a game-changer for online business. Calibra is an app that serves as a digital wallet for Facebook’s new crypto coin Libra which will be launched next year. It will enable entrepreneurs to sell their products and services to anyone in the world with a smartphone. Libra will set the new standard for small business, by operating as a decentralized bank, with transactions integrated into Whatsapp and Facebook messenger. The Libra is projected to be a lot less volatile than existing cryptocurrencies since it’s tied to physical assets as well. It has the potential to facilitate online B2B transactions in an unprecedented way and open the door to the mainstream adoption of blockchain. Right from launch, the Libra will be accepted by partner companies such as Uber, Lyft and eBay. It may take some years for the coin to transition to day-to-day purchases powered by Mastercard. But in the interim, I would anticipate many B2B transactions between online businesses since it will be a completely valid payment solution. In short, I think once the Calibra app is launched it will allow entrepreneurs to reach customers all over the world, regardless if they have a physical bank. The implications of this are huge, especially in the digital products and services sector.
Thanks to Nick Galov, TechJury.net!
#9- Internet of Things
I am quite impressed with the Internet of Things development, and I believe that it has the potential to transform the scope of entrepreneurship. From agriculture, health, home automation, to urban infrastructure, IoT has the potential to be implemented into all kinds of industries. Especially the ones that could benefit from the remote infrastructure accessibility. The industries that have traditionally been reserved for big corporations are now more and more accessible to entrepreneurs. Combine IoT with AI and you get the winning combo for any business development. The world might look quite different with so many remote analytics and machine learning options. You could have startup facilities somewhere remote and have full access to it, acquiring data and developing projects via a cloud! The IoT might not only help to reach the end product but also to get the foot in the door for entrepreneurs who could develop prototypes and pitch them to big players. For instance, you could set up a business of producing medicinal herbs at a remote place. By setting up sensors for temperature and humidity, you could schedule the sprinklers and have most of the production possible without human presence. I believe that soon enough the profits will outweigh the costs of such an IoT system installment.
Thanks to Max Chekalov, Appgeeks!
#10- Skills-based learning programs online
The information in learning programs like Skillshare or Masterclass opens up valuable, industry-specific skills to entrepreneurs like never before and all at costs that dwarf outside agency investments. Plus, learning through these courses develops skills so that you can maintain control over your business. It’s never too late to continue learning, and these programs are targeted: business, finance, marketing and advertising, media campaigns, and anything you need are covered so you and your team can rapidly develop while cutting out the middle-men of yesteryear.
Thanks to Mike Thorne, JUSTJUNK®!
#11- Big data for trends and managing risks for risk-takers
While AI and Blockchain are considered to be front-runners to success by many entrepreneurs; a deep dive into applications of Big Data is also setting a new wave in technology-centric businesses. One such approach that leverages Big Data and has the potential to transform a business from offering mere ‘stock recommendation’ to building up equity research and analysis platform and tailoring it for ‘investor customization’. As investors perennially find it hard to understand stock themes, identify the best plays, analyze stock trends, map technical analyses with fundamentals, manage risks given the macro charters, and finally invest in something that brings value to the table, entrepreneurs will soon realize that they don’t need to break their head to work-around these aspects when Big Data can provide some strong support to their investors. The primary motive that Big Data can help achieve is framing a model that captures inputs like stock prices, valuations based on fundamentals, technical analysis, news, risks from macro/ micro scenarios and even investor sentiments for stocks. The correlation that sets a thread among these factors can help identify future predictions. This can be put to good use by ‘cross-secting’ technology, equity entrepreneurship and data science enabling the ‘predict’ and ‘act’
outcomes for advisers and investors. Most data models have had a trade-off between accuracy and simplicity which can be greatly managed by Big Data models where complexity and analyses of massive and multi-factorial data points are tested to bring out a competitive edge to the investor and in-turn to the equity entrepreneur.
Thanks to Kunal Sawhney, Kalkine!