Companies that are not adaptive will die as innovation is the respiration of business. Not all innovation will be successful so the ability to acknowledge failure and change course is crucial. If you’re a business owner here are four trends that you really need to be looking out for this year, along with real life examples of their success.
eBay, founded in 1995, its first sale a broken laser pointer, is now a multi-billion-dollar business with operations in over thirty countries. Its ground-breaking model has enabled it to become the world’s number one internet sales service, connecting buyers and sellers all over the world and generating vast amounts of data about consumer preferences. API has enabled it to manage high levels of transactions and sell via multiple platforms. Vendors are invited to communicate directly with the eBay database in an XML format to create ‘a custom interface, functionality and specialised operations not otherwise afforded by the eBay interface’.
The Internet of Things is already with us and it’s estimated there will be fifty billion IOT sensors by 2020. We interact with AI more than we realise but this will be the year when AI becomes a much more significant part of our lives. Its applications are legion and no company can afford to ignore its impact. Google have spent eight years and two million miles of testing and finally the driverless car is here. In October 2015 Steve Mahan, who is almost completely blind, became the first member of the public to be driven on public roads unaccompanied, no steering wheel, no pedals. The Waymo is no longer a special project but a stand-alone company and a future in which our roads are populated by driverless cars a real possibility. This would not only empower millions of people currently unable to drive but could also save up to a million victims of road fatalities each year.
The ‘convenience generation’ is a popular catchphrase. We are busy and we don’t want to have to wait for the things we really want. It’s the age of the app. Far more people search via a mobile than desktop and a dedicated app is an essential for most modern businesses. hungryhouse is a business built on the success of its app. It enables customers to enter a postcode, browse local takeaways, discover new cuisine, read reviews and order and pay for food online. Launched in 2006, the site was nationwide within two years and now has connections with more than 10,000 restaurants.
According to experts, crowdfunding is set to exceed venture capital by the end of the year. It’s being used to develop everything from watches to washing machines and it’s not only a way to raise money but it’s also a way to engage with and learn from a user community. The meteoric rise in the popularity of e-sports has been partly driven by the massive prize pots generated by Valve, for their hugely successful game Defence of the Ancients, through crowdfunding and promotional tie-ins.