Technology Trends for Entrepreneurs

by Steve O'Keefe on December 6, 2010

Screen shot from Touch Revolution video

Android-operated microwave oven, from Touch Revolution video.

Entrepreneurs don’t only create new technology trends, they also use them to take care of businesses. One example is the trend away from using in-house journalists to using freelance journalists to using custom content farms.

An example of an entrepreneur who has successfully mined the Minitrend of content farming is Jonathan Blum. Blum has shifted from a career in broadcast journalism, where he worked for MTV and covered the O.J. Simpson trial for ABC News, among other accomplishments, to a career in custom journalism through his award-winning startup, Blumsday.

Blumsday provides custom content for high-end clients, including CNN and TheStreet. His articles are regularly featured in Entrepreneur magazine. His work earned a Best in Business Award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

One of Blum’s recent creations for Business Insider is a list of the top tech trends for entrepreneurs or, as he puts it,

[…] the top 25 tech tips, trends and megatrends: what’s new now, what will be new tomorrow and what you can expect to grapple with even farther down the road.

I would argue that most of these are “minitrends” rather than “megatrends” — that is, trends that show the likelihood of widespread adoption in the next two to five years and are the byproduct of such megatrends as the spread of the Internet, the growth of mobile devices, or the need for alternative energy sources.

The first minitrend I notice is the increasing use of slideshows instead of text to render the forecasts of pundits. Last week, we reviewed the top 10 tech trends of veteran computer journalist Eric Lundquist, who also presented his picks in slideshow format. We also covered Verizon’s top tech trends, which were presented with video — another Minitrend we expect to see more of in the coming years.

Many of the trends on Blum’s list will already be familiar to readers of this blog. Some of the less typical ones include:

  • Touch Kiosks — Blum suggests that using inexpensive touchscreens from companies such as HP and Acer can save a bundle in self-serve customer service.
  • Server Simplicity — New products combine “phone servers, e-mail servers, routers, document servers and firewalls into a single low-cost device.”
  • Smart Boards for Smarter Presentations — BoxLight and Epson make portable smart boards that take presentations way past the PowerPoint.
  • Apps for Your Apps — New apps that run on your household appliances, such as washers and dryers, TVs and microwave ovens. No fooling. Check out the Engadget review.
  • Automatic Decision-Making — As computers get smarter, they can do more of our work for us. Entrepreneurs look forward to the day when they can ask the computer to find the 20 best venture capital prospects for a business, then return after a coffee break to find a quality list waiting. Blum points to Google’s Aardvark as an early example of an intelligent assistant.
  • Virtual Assistant — Using a bot to represent you at meetings, recording what happens and answering questions by accessing all your computer files, may be more than five years away, but it’s still fun to ponder.

Blum has lots of other tips in his presentation — especially for the eco-conscious entrepreneur interested in energy-saving technologies. I recommend you take his presentation for a ride. It’s a quick trip that really delivers do-it-now ideas for entrepreneurs on the go.

News Editor, Minitrends Blog

Source: “The Future-Proof Entrepreneur: 25 New Tech Trends You Need To Know About,” Business Insider, 11/14/10
Source: Blumsday, undated
Image: Screen capture from Touch Revolution video presentation, used under Fair Use: Reporting.

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