• Modern Tech Business: Evolve to exist

    It seems these days that almost every company is looking to venture into multiple industries. Gone are the days of one-dimensional companies that only compete in their primary industry. Companies like Google, Amazon, and Apple are always looking to find a way to break into a new industries. But will we see a need for trust busting in the near future?

    Google, Amazon, and Apple are the perfect trifecta of companies that all started in different markets, but are now all now directly competing. Google started in search engine optimization and now competes as a smartphone software developer, an internet service provider, content provider (music, tv, and movies) social media platform (for now), and soon will enter the logistics industry with Google Express. Amazon started in the online retail business but now competes as a technology manufacturer, content provider, content producer, and have started to dabble in package delivery with the threat of delivery drones as well as devices. And finally, Apple started a computer hardware and software manufacturer. They may be the company that has branched out the least, but are definitely one of the most successful. While their offering of technology has expanded to phones and tablets, they revolutionized the digital music industry with iTunes, an industry they contractually never supposed to enter.  Most recently they have entered the payment industry with Apple Pay. For the most part though, Apple has been the most cautious and logical with their expansion, which sounds really odd for such an innovative company.

    But back to Google entering the logistics and delivery industry. The logistics industry seems like the hottest industry around, fueled by consumer demand for instantaneous delivery and hyper accurate tracking. And don’t underestimate the power of hyper accurate tracking, Uber was just valued at $25 billion for doing just that. Uber is another company looking to branch out. While Uber isn’t available to Northwest Indiana in its current form, however the company could migrate to the market if they evolve their services enough to become a courier service that could compete with companies like Fedex, DHL, or UPS.

    It seems that in the current business environment if you aren’t evolving and pushing your company into another industry, someone else will muscle into your industry and take a slice of the pie.

  • Rural tech: Open to automation

    Last week I looked at how and why some developing countries are getting some cutting edge technology that benefit their population, while rural America seems to be left in the cold by Google and others. This week, I will look at some cutting edge technologies that have a strong potential of coming to areas like northwest Indiana.

    Northwest Indiana may not have Amazon Prime Now, which can deliver packages in less than hour, however northwest Indiana has one thing that Chicago doesn’t: Open air. And open air is exactly what Amazon is looking for to test their drone delivery system. Currently, the drones are approved by the FAA to be tested in rural Washington state. Rural America has a lot of advantages over cities when it comes to environments suitable for drones. Rural areas have more open air, less structures, and less radio waves that would interfere with drone operation.

    Rural areas are also a less complicated area than cities for self driving cars. Less congestion, less radio interference, and longer stretches of straight road make rural areas an ideal testing ground for companies like Google, Uber, and logistics companies. Maybe someday the self-driving car concept will make its way to farming equipment and farming will be more about managing where the output goes and less about the manual labor

    Automated services like drones and self-driving cars could help transition services like Amazon Prime Now and Google Express to the suburbs where courier networks aren’t as viable. Once services like these make their way to the suburbs, maybe the pendulum will start to swing in the other direction and rural areas will start to see some future services before cities do. While that may not be for some time, it is important that we embrace what is on the horizon now.