Tech Startups Need to Operate on the Cutting Edge to Stay Competitive
The Internet of Things is a reality that is becoming more pervasive and necessary than ever before. The level of sophistication, innovation and integration that online communications and associated technology is capable of simply boggles the mind. Nowadays, virtually all home-based appliances and accoutrements can be managed from afar with smartphone technology and innovative apps. For example, home entertainment systems, air conditioning systems, home security systems, indoor/outdoor lighting and PCs are all hooked up to the World Wide Web in ways we never thought possible.
The innovations that have been brought about through startups are reminiscent of sci-fi movies such as Terminator 2: Judgment Day where John and Sarah Connor are protecting Earth from a global computer system known as Skynet. We are fast approaching such a time where virtually every electronic device will soon be hooked up to an online network – the Internet. The ramifications of this potentially mind-bending reality are stunning. Even while you’re reading this, there are people working on developing innovative concepts that will reshape the future in much the same way as mobile telecommunications changed the way people communicate with one another.
How Are New Entrants to the Tech Start-Up Arena Coping with Such Advanced Technology?
The kids of today are growing up in a different reality to the kids of the 1970s and 1980s. Nowadays, it is unheard of for kids not to be fully versed in operating iPads, iPhones, PCs, electronic gizmos and other high-tech devices. This is spawning a generation of tech developers who are seeking to create the next big thing. While the parents of this generation may be languishing behind in the Dark Ages, this new generation understands the 1s and 0s needed to develop new apps, software and products to support the Internet of Things. It was the birth of social media giants such as Facebook, Google +, Twitter, Instagram and others that gave momentum to impressionable young minds. Now, tech startups are taking shape and form at an unprecedented rate. Seemingly trivial concepts such as apps allowing for gluten-free food options are catching on like wildfire, with more social sharing applications gaining traction with users the world over.
Everybody has ideas: not everybody has backbone to make them a reality
Despite the torrent of ideas making their way to the desks of angel investors, there is something uniquely human that separates successful startups from tech ideas. Most everyone has a concept that they would like to see brought to market. For example, as somebody involved in the tech sector myself I have conjured up many concepts that I believe would be particularly useful, if only to a niche market. These include being able to use your thumb and index finger to choose a file from one computer and then drag it across your living room and place it on another computer without actually having to use storage devices to make the transfer.
Perhaps another novel concept could be holographic videoconferencing calls where you get to see a likeness of the people you are talking to in real time. Better yet, computers may evolve to the point where all of our olfactory senses are evoked – much like you see at Universal Studios theme parks where thrill rides like The Simpsons which includes actual scent, visual and touch. Mark Zuckerberg is hard at work trying to bring his 3D Glasses concept – Oculus – to the mainstream. This will be a groundbreaking revolution in the way we perceive virtual reality. If we can confuse ourselves enough to believe that the virtual is real, then perhaps it is?
Looking Back: Humankind is Truly Amazing and the Best is Yet to Come
It is amazing to see how much change has been brought about by startups in just 25 years. Before mobile technology was a reality, everyone was dependent on public payphones or landlines. Today, public telephones have been relegated to the annals of history. They are museum artefacts from a time that once was. In much the same way, the Internet has done away with major retailers like Blockbuster – a massive American video rental enterprise. Betamax and VHS gave way to DVD, but now everything is online. Even major retailers like Macy’s are shuttering thousands of stores as the popularity of e-commerce shopping through Amazon and other online shopping giants eradicate the need for all the expense of land-based operations.
Believe in Yourself and the Innovative Flair will Flow
The Internet is truly evolving at a rate that we cannot understand, and regulation is having to play catch up with a significant lag effect in place. This is true across the board, from the taxation levied on online purchases in different states (just recently US states started taxing online purchases) to the online gaming sector which largely operates in a gray area since in many cases, laws simply do not exist with the available technology. It is a belief in one self’s gut feeling and the product or service, that separates concepts from realities. To continue propelling this tech movement, people will need to embrace the necessary risks required to bring ideas to fruition. In many cases it requires sacrifice of time, effort and reward while these fabulous ideas are nurtured and eventually released to the world. The people who are capable of inspiring others to follow them, and the vision they hold are the ones who will shape the future for the better. That’s precisely what Mark Zuckerberg did when he co-founded Facebook while at Harvard University.
Image credit: CC by Olin Gilbert