Nothing beats the feeling of being secured. When dealing with your investments like machines or businesses, it is always wise to get these insured so that when anything unexpected happens – you have a fallback. Getting an insurance is often a breeze when you get the services of a broker. Marketing yourself as a qualified insurance agent is one of the most important components to achieving success. For an agent, success is often measured by the number of clients who make a decision to buy the products and the services that you are offering to them. Proper marketing will help you increase your customer base. In some countries, you can even earn more as an insurance broker.
Think about how far technology has come in the last 10 years or the last 5 years for that matter. Think about how many things you do differently because of technology. No longer do you have to look in the phone book for insurance agents and call them and give out your information over the phone only to wait a few days for them to get back to you with a quote. Now you can get online and fill out some information and get car insurance quotes from multiple companies with a click of a button all in a fifteen minute span. That’s how technology has changed our lives. (more…)
One of the many questions you may ask, whether it is a PC that is used at home, or one that you use for work purposes, is: Do You Need Data Recovery Devices? Although the answer might seem like no at first, and you think you can protect data through online service sites, and by saving data regularly on flash drives, but if you really want to be safe, then you may want to consider looking in to the data recovery devices. (more…)
Social media and smartphones are only two of the latest technologies that businesses today are enjoying. Through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social sites, online entrepreneurs now have a greater chance to market their products or services, thus resulting in higher profit. On the other hand, smartphones have been very useful for customers who are always on the go. For business owners, these devices (along with tablets) are essential add-ons for their growth.
The recent figures on social network are outstanding. The competition in business is not anymore just about giving the best quality. It is now more of how a business can attract tons of followers and converting them into customers. These days, even knife store owners can easily create a social profile. They can easily post photos of their products along with compelling marketing campaigns. All they need is a competent staff or an efficient social media management tool to assist them.
As of January 2014, or one month before their 10th anniversary, Facebook has more than 1.23 billion monthly users; with over 945 million of the total users are using smartphones to access the website. Facebooks Ads and sponsored stories are showing positive results among advertisers. Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook in 2012 for roughly $1 billion, has now 150 million monthly users and an average of 55 million photos being shared every day.
Twitter now has nearly 1 billion users and has an average of 500 million tweets per day. Despite some small business owners are still skeptical in using Twitter; there are those who claimed that promotional tweets are really effective. Meanwhile, Pinterest continues to be getting popular when it comes to promoting small businesses. In fact, a recent study showed that Pinterest has overpowered email marketing in the fourth quarter of 2013, and is now the third-most popular online business tool, next to Facebook and Twitter.
On the other hand, many businesses are now taking mobile users very seriously, as thousands of apps are being launched every day. On its released data for Q4 2013 earnings, Facebook posted $1.37 billion ad revenue from mobile, which is 53 percent of its $2.59 billion in revenue for that quarter. Facebook noted that this is their first billion dollar mobile ad revenue quarter. This major milestone by Facebook shows that mobile marketing is such a big hit and will grow further.
Evidently, the biggest contribution of technology today to ecommerce is by allowing businesses to be closer to their customers in less time. In return, potential clients can easily post queries or comments in real time and interact with each other. Prolific users of social networking sites can even create an online community, where they can discuss about their favorite products or services. Now, knife enthusiasts will not only rely to search engines and website forums.
Indeed, social media has become a very powerful tool in branding a business. Negative comments and controversies are inevitable, and businesses are more prone to criticisms. Nevertheless, a company that has a good communication between employees and customers will have no problems dealing with them. Otherwise, hiring an experienced social media consultant is a good option.
Many different industries have been disrupted by the rise of e-commerce and the shaving industry is no exception. Many large manufacturers of shaving products have been able to charge exorbitant amounts for many of their products for far too long. Mainly this applies to razor blades which tend to be very expensive even when purchased in bulk but also other products like beard trimmers are mostly overpriced. Luckily for the average consumer a number of different online websites have come out in the past few years to undercut the monopolistic prices of the shaving companies. In the following post we will go over how DollarShaveClub is disrupting the shaving industry and why this benefits you, the consumer in the long run.
The first step to understanding why DollarShaveClub is having such a large effect on the shaving industry is learning why the cost of razor blades is so high. If you talk to large companies like Gillette and Bic they will tell you that research and development of new razor products like the Mach 3 or other similarly branded razors is one of the many reasons they have to charge such high amounts for their products. They also claim that a lot more materials go into the price than the average consumer sees. Diamond and carbon coatings make your shaving experience smooth and less painful. However both of these statements are easily refutable by the simple fact that DollarShaveClub can offer the same quality razors at a fraction of the price. The shaving industry was ripe for disruption and DollarShaveClub fired the first salvo.
Have you ever noticed how many razor commercials you see on TV, in newspapers and magazines as well as on the radio and other forms of media? From the Superbowl to the season finale of Breaking Bad shaving companies spend a ton of money on their advertising budgets. This of course raises prices across the board. One way that DollarShaveClub manages to sell high quality disposable razor blades for a much lower price is the fact that they spend very little money on advertising compared to the big boys. The way most people found out about DollarShaveClub was a wildly popular viral video campaign that cost them pennies on the dollar. In fact their initial campaign was so successful that they received over 12,000 new customers in the first 48 hours of their marketing efforts. If you compare the efficiency of a campaign like that with a major shaving company you will find that DollarShaveClub spends their money much more effectively.
Another way that DollarShaveClub is able to disrupt the industry so well is that they do not operate any stores or any sort of logistics chain other than direct mail to consumers. This means they do not have to spend money and time getting their products into stores. They also receive the lions share of the profits from their efforts instead of giving a percentage to retailers. They have basically gotten rid of the middlemen at Safeway, 7-11, etc and passed the savings on to consumers. DollarShaveClub also operates an ingenious program where you are sent razors regularly. This allows them to lock in their long term earnings while providing their customers with a valuable service. Most people who shave regularly will need regular razors and having them mailed to you every month takes one more hassle out of your life.
DollarShaveClub is just beginning their David and Goliath story of market disruption. They are not content to sit on their laurels and are expanding into other shaving related markets like wipes, shaving creams and many other different products and the future is theirs to grab.
Technology is becoming more and more a part of our everyday lives each day. In today’s digital age, almost everybody has a cell phone, tablet, laptop or some other device that he or she can use to stay connected while on-the-go. Just as technology has changed the average person’s everyday life, so has it changed the way that businesses operate. Businesses that embrace modern technology and utilize it in their businesses operations can make their businesses more efficient and profitable.
The healthcare industry in an industry in which technology has drastically altered the manner in which business is conducted. For instance, HCPCS codes like those described on Billing and Coding U make it easier for companies in the healthcare industry to organize information associated with medical supplies, equipment and services. HCPCS codes are assigned to each piece of equipment, each service or each supply to identify them and guarantee efficiency in the medical field.
The retail industry is one that also utilizes modern technology to make its business activities more efficient. Grocery stores, department stores like Walmart and virtually every other type of shopping center utilize bar codes to organize their sales items and information pertaining to those items. Bar codes contain a plethora of information about a product, such as its price, the price per unit, the category that the item falls in and more. Nowadays consumers can even get applications on their smartphones that allow them to scan an item’s barcode and learn vital information about the item. Some of the largest retailers in the world would not have evolved in the manner that they had if it had not been for their innovative implementation of technology into their business. For instance, Walmart started out as a small, locally-owned store that grew into a world-renowned business, thanks to its embracement of technology.
The e-commerce industry is the one that perhaps utilizes technology in the most notable way. Websites like eBay and other e-commerce websites utilize the Internet to market and sell goods and services online. Many physical stores also have online stores as well. For instance, just as people can shop at Walmart’s physical locations, they can also shop online at Walmart’s online retail store. E-commerce stores utilize modern technology to allow people to purchase goods and services online, pay for them online and have them delivered directly to their homes. This type of shopping is so preferred by some consumers that many stores have apps designed especially for allowing consumers to shop for their products online from their cell phones. Many businesses have increased their availability to customers and their profitability by utilizing modern technology and making it so that consumers could shop with them online at their convenience. Ebay would not have evolved into the world-renowned e-commerce company that it is today if it hadn’t been willing to evolve and change with the times by implementing new technology into each phase of its business strategy.
Even the food industry utilizes technology to make businesses more productive. For instance, some franchises even allow consumers to order their food online and then have it delivered to them. Pizza Hut, Dominoes and other pizza places are an example of chain restaurants that utilize technology to make their businesses more efficient. Many smaller businesses are also beginning to utilize such technology, such as Chinese take-out restaurants.
Technology has influenced every aspect of our lives. In order for businesses to stay profitable, they must keep up with the latest advancements in technology and incorporate them into their business strategies. The most successful businesses in the world have done so and continue to do so.
The rise of the internet has changed the retail industry and the way we all bargain hunt today. Although many consumers still enjoy chasing bargains at car boot sales and charity stores, a lot of purchases have now moved online. One look at sites like eBay and Amazon will demonstrate just how much bargain hunting has changed – and the internet is definitely responsible for changing how we spot deals.
Before the internet shoppers looking for a bargain item would need to head to a shop or stall and hunt for the best deal. Not only did this mean taking time out of a day to travel to a store but it also meant consumers could spend hours comparing prices; visiting multiple stores as they attempted to purchase the best deal. But now, thanks to the internet, this has all changed. A consumer now has access to thousands of products 24 hours a day and this access is instant – all at the click of a button. Now as opposed to travelling, consumers can open their laptop or tablet computer and start browsing online in the comfort of their own home. Consumers don’t spend as much time comparing prices either as some sites can even compare prices online – scouring thousands of sites to deliver the consumer the best deal available. The evolution of app stores has also meant people can download apps directly to their phone and browse for deals on the move.
Although there are lots of ways to bargain hunt, auction sites remain the most popular place to look for deals. Amazon and eBay are full of items – both new and used – and consumers can bid on items any time of the day.
As well as the well known sites there are a variety of other places to find deals online too. I was looking for a deal on an iPad recently and that’s when I realised just how many avenues are available online. One search led me to a site on police auctions – which I had never heard of before! This shows just how much content is out there on the internet for keen bargain hunters like me! I followed the link to see what deals I could find and couldn’t believe some of the bargains available at police auctions. From my research I discovered that they happen all over the place and are a way of local police constabularies selling off items they have found during investigations. Occasionally during investigations, the police will come across stolen items which could include anything from a laptop to a mountain bike. The police will keep these in their possession and if they remain unclaimed they can auction these items off to raise money for local community initiatives. Searching for items can be a bit of a mixed bag though as it totally depends on what the police have recovered during recent cases but apparently you can pick up bargains on items like mobile phones, jewellery and even cars. If you go to a police auction you could find yourself buying a car at well below their RRP too. Once a police car reaches a certain mileage or age it’s auctioned off and the police drive a variety of models including BMW and Ford.
It’s amazing how a bit of research online can lead you to finding items at well below their RRP. If you look hard enough you could even find yourself buying a product for over 50% of the retail price! We’ve certainly come a long way from the high street.
It’s often not by choice that a business needs to evolve. Common reasons include, a changing business landscape, changes that competitors make, new competitors, or changes in cooperating and complementary businesses.
InneB Studio out of Phoenix is one of those businesses that had to evolve for multiple reasons, but specifically because of changes in the advertising industry.
Joanna, of InnerB Studio, is a hypnotherapist in Phoenix, Arizona. Her business is and was pretty much all local. Although most of her clients came from word of mouth and past clients, new clients came from print advertising.
Most of her exposure and expense was through advertising in specialty alternative newspapers, magazines, post cards, direct mail and flyers.
When those avenues of exposure became increasingly expensive she had to turn elsewhere.
“I just could not keep with the constant price changes for advertising in my local papers. They kept increasing while readership went down” Notes Joanna.
Local newspapers had increased their prices, especially for color advertising which worked best in her case. Also the lead time for print was very long. Often an ad had to be ready months in advance so it was difficult to take advantage of rapidly moving demand changes and interests of readers. And, as we all know the world is moving rather quickly. An ad ordered four months ago and completed three months ago then submitted for publication two months ago, may be less effective than when ordered. That is a very long lead time which is difficult for businesses that need to be on par or ahead of trends.
Joanna had guidance from a marketing consultant and completely dropped any form of print advertising even down to eliminating letters and cards to past clients in favor moving completely online for all forms of advertising and communication.
The next step was to take full advantage of what an online presence affords. Her business turned completely to online advertising with a new website, social presence on popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
With the new website she was able to better target potential clients through paid advertising on Google, Bing and Facebook with, mostly on the fly ads which could easily be rotated and tested for effectiveness.
Overall her cost for advertising decreased 60% and her exposure and client base increased. Especially useful was the ability to test ads even down to different sizes and colors. Doing this she, with the help of her marketing consultant, was able to generate ads that lead to the increased engagement and lower cost per new customer.
Not only that, but she is able to easily keep in touch with current clients, sending them updates and special offers through e-mail, online newsletters and co-publication on her business social profiles.
Her Phoenix hypnotherapy business and website grew beyond the reaches of the local market. Her website has a growing audience from all over the world who find her articles informative, engaging and helpful. She is now working on several produces and services that visitors can purchase from around the world, not just the local market.
InnerB Studio is a perfect example of how a small local had to make a transition in advertising methods in order to survive. In the end it not only survived, but found an entire new market for its services and products.
A software technology is starting to become a small thorn in the side of some large online media streaming companies. The most notable online content giants this is effecting are Hulu and Netflix. The main issue right now is that online content availability with these services are significantly different depending upon the country you are accessing it from.
Normally, anytime there are such significant differences in availability of products, people tend to find ways to get around such restrictions. That’s exactly what’s taking place today with online content.
Hulu provides a large amount of free TV shows and movie content to US citizens. While Netflix provides online streaming content (which includes a selection of movies, TV shows and documentaries) for a monthly fee, but the streaming options available are significantly different depending upon which country you are accessing it from.
For example; if you live in Canada and try to access Hulu’s free content website you are blocked. If you are Canadian with a Netflix account and login from Canada you get a much smaller content selection library than if you were to access Netflix from US soil.
So now that we have covered the main issue at hand, I will circle back around to how Canadians are actually getting around these geographical restrictions.
VPN’s (virtual private network) are not a new technology and many corporations have been employing them for quite some time for encryption and security purposes. However, recently there has been a significant movement to utilize VPN’s in a brand new way. VPN’s not only encrypt data, but they also reroute your internet connect through a remotely located server. So if you are Canadian and use a VPN to reroute your internet connection through a US based server, then any website you visit will “think” they are located in the USA.
If Hulu or Netflix “thinks” you are located in the US, then Canadians can get full Hulu access and for Netflix, you see the much larger library giving you American Netflix access. That’s a pretty neat trick!
As of today, it seems that this movement is just getting started, but if the trend continues it will be very interesting to see what Netflix and Hulu decide to do about it. In my opinion, they can try to employ a technology that detects the use of a VPN and block those people or they could just get rid of the content restrictions all together.
I much prefer the latter solution, since the internet is all about sharing, but it’s not likely since there are major legal challenges with this.
Primarily the challenges come in the form of traditional media providers and governments. Many media providers outside of the US are threatened by online streaming options and have lobbied their governments to enforce content sharing restrictions within their country.
It’s an unfortunate scenario, but if nothing changes you can bet that the use of VPN’s outside of the US will become much more prevalent in the future.
The next time you sit on the doctor’s office table and grimace in shock as the cold diaphragm of her stethoscope touches your skin, you’ll have almost 200 years of innovation to thank for that singular sensation. While you’re being instructed to breathe in deeply and exhale slowly, consider that the indispensable stethoscope that’s being used to assess your health has come a long way since it’s humble beginnings, and thankfully is more accurate in helping diagnose medical problems than it has ever been.
It would be hard to recognize the earliest version of the stethoscope, invented by French physician René Laennec in 1816. Laennec’s stethoscope was little more than a hollow wooden and brass tube a few inches long. Although similar to ear trumpet hearing aids of that time period, Laennec used his device by placing one end directly against a patient’s chest with his ear on the other end to listen for heart and lung sounds.
As you can imagine, the sound quality, which was monaural as opposed to today’s binaural stethoscopes, left a lot to be desired. Laennec’s stethoscope was helpful as a proof of concept and proved that a stethoscope was superior to simply cupping an ear over the chest during assessment. It also helped him diagnose and contribute to important research about tuberculous, peritonitis, cirrhosis and melanoma. Ironically, René Laennec died of tuberculosis in 1826.
In 1851, a Cincinnati physician named Nathan Marsh patented the first stethoscope that might be recognizable by today’s standards. Marsh’s stethoscope was the first binaural model commercially available. It was made of India rubber and had a wooden bell attached to a long stem. While this was a leap forward in stethoscope technology, Marsh’s invention was heavy and fragile and did not hold up under regular use. It never caught on and was quickly replaced by superior designs.
Dr. George P. Cammann, a New York physician, developed what he considered the first practical stethoscope in 1852. While Cammann didn’t proclaim to have the first idea for a binaural stethoscope, he did make major improvements to the instrument by adding earpieces for each ear to amplify the sound, double metal tubes, a hinge joint and an elastic band for tension. Camann’s model was deliberately never patented, but became the de facto design on which most stethoscopes were based for the next 100 years.
Stethoscope technology changed very little until the early 1860s when a Harvard cardiologist named Dr. David Littmann began work on what he considered the ideal stethoscope. Littmann’s design had a double chestpiece for high and low pitched sounds, more durable tubing, a more practical length and a tension spring to hold the earpieces at a comfortable distance. His stethoscope was also lightweight and easier to carry in a clinical setting than any other previous model. Littmann’s design became so popular that he had trouble keeping up with the demand from his peers and even from strangers who had heard about his stethoscope and wanted one of their own, so he acquired a patent and established his own company, Cardiosonics, in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1961.
In 1967 Cardiosonics was purchased by 3M, who still manufactures the Littmann line of stethoscopes today. Dr. Littmann continued as a consultant with 3M and helped expand his line of stethoscopes, creating several designs specifically suited for basic assessment all the way up to cardiology. Dr. Littmann passed away in 1981, but today the Littmann brand of stethoscopes is the most recognized name in the industry. 3M Littmann continues to push the envelope in stethoscope technology, currently producing electronic models for vastly superior auscultation and several models for health professionals who have difficulty hearing.
While the design and effectiveness of stethoscopes have changed over the last 200 years, their purpose and importance in medicine has not. Having evolved from a simple wooden tube to high-tech electronic devices, stethoscopes will continue to be used by nurses, doctors and medical professionals of all kinds in their jobs to improve the practice of medicine and the health of their patients. And that’s nothing to grimace about.
There has recently been a shift away from centralized gaming server hosting provided by the publishing companies to individual owned servers which is most recently demonstrated in Minecraft. This game has amassed more sales than some of the largest names in PC gaming such as World of Warcraft without even providing any game servers for their players. Minecraft server hosting has become a very competitive landscape and a massive industry. Today we would like to focus on how Apex Minecraft Hosting is raising standards in this market with a unique business model focused on customer support.
Traditionally, servers were only available to those with a keen set of skills which were required to configure and maintain the server hosting to provide a quality experience for the players. Minecraft is a game that appeals to kids and adults alike and the average understanding of how to run a server is very limited among children and their parents. The majority of the clients for a minecraft server hosting company has very little knowledge of how to even set up a server so it is important that the service is easy to use and support is readily available. Apex Minecraft Hosting has built this into their business model and prides themselves on creating a great experience for a minecraft server owner of any background. From computer illiterate parents to middle school aged kids, anyone will be able to set up their own minecraft server in the matter of a few minutes.
One aspect about this company which differentiates it from other hosting providers is that their website is laid out very well and easy to understand. Any user will immediately know the capacity and limits of the package they are looking to buy along with which versions of a server can be installed on it. To get an idea of what we are referring to click this link to see the minecraft server hosting packages available, which are very reasonably priced. After reading through some of their documentation that will help you determine which server is right for you the checkout process is very simple. Even after this is complete there is another guide that will help you understand the exact steps that need to be taken to get onto your server and start playing. This covers the basics from having an idea of creating a Minecraft server to actually having one created and ready to play within minutes.
The second consideration they have taken is that most users want to be able to customize their servers. There is a web based control panel built into the website which is easily accessible from the account page linked to your new server. On here there are many options and dropdowns that will allow you to change server versions and configure the different variables that create the server. Hosting a minecraft server on your own requires editing complicated configuration files but this web based interface makes changing values a breeze. It will also enable you to monitor resources and watch over the players. There is also a one click plugin installation interface which allows for further customization of the server from a seemingly endless database of Bukkit software. Users will not need any knowledge to configure their server with advanced levels of control.
Overall we are looking forward to how the landscape of minecraft server hosting will evolve with the goals of allowing anyone to create their very own world.
Technology and innovation has transformed several sectors of the economy. The mattress industry is not left out of this movement as beds have evolved from being fastened cases containing hair, straw, cotton, foam rubber to water beds, air beds, memory foam, innersprings and what have you.
If you ask me, the transformation is phenomenal and we have 5 companies to thank for this. I attempt a listing of these companies and how they have changed the way we sleep.
* American National
This company pioneered the manufacturing and improvement of waterbeds. It has been doing this for over 40 years and their waterbeds have gained popularity and brought the use of water to the consciousness of people. These waterbeds are like innerspring mattresses and fit standard sizes, while hiding the water interior. In the same vein, their airbeds have gained wide acceptance since 1986 in both medical and consumer markets.
This manufacturer was the first to release a commercially-acceptable memory foam mattress (after NASA released it to the public domain in the early 1980s). This was in 1992 and because it had medical properties and could provide full-body support and comfort, the Tempurpedic memory foam took off big time. It really stood apart with its’ ability to contour to individual bodies without adding any form of pressure. Products by this company are generally expensive but innovation has brought about cheaper and breathable alternatives.
Serta is famous for launching their gel-infused traditional memory foam mattress collection, iComfort, in 2011. The idea behind the launch was to provide gel memory foam to keep the sleeper cooler by transferring heat away. The company launched an extensive advertising campaign, touting their beds as the next best thing and kicking of a gel craze in the mattress industry that now spans across all types.
Amerisleep heralded the green movement when it comes to memory foam. It introduced plant-based visco-elastic foam mattresses in 2007. The idea was to address the weaknesses of traditional memory foam which ranged from heat retention to chemical smells and slow speed of recovery. Their products were made with BioPur foam which features an open cell construction that has proven to breathe 10X more than petroleum-based memory foam. However, it offers the same level of body support and recovers with speed, making it easier to move in bed.
This company is noted for the affordability and comfort of their 100% natural latex mattresses. Even though they didn’t create the latex mattress, the company is one of the few that you can trust to produce healthy and environmentally-friendly latex beds. Their product is made using the Talalay Method, which creates a smooth composition throughout. This is different from the Dunlop Method, which has firmer areas where sediment has deposited.
As you can see, the mattress industry has evolved over time. And if you’re out there shopping for a mattress, you can trust any of these companies (depending on your budget).
You know that I am always on the hunt looking for exciting new ways technology is being used. I ran across some private detective firms that are starting to use super high-end technology that was only available to governments just a few years ago. These small private eye firms are starting to use drones, GPS, surveillance devices And other high-end equipment that used to be out of reach. Some of this new technology has become so affordable that just about anybody can purchase this type of future tech. These types of high-end gadgetry used to be the stuff you would see in movies. Some of this stuff is so exciting to me that I can’t wait to see these companies taking full advantages of this high-end tech.
Some private investigating firms in Miami are trying to reel in new customers by advertising the uses of these high-end gadgets. With little or no licensing requirements for this technology it’s easy for savvy corporations to enjoy the advantage of this new wave of technology. For example depending on the state you’re in the ability to attach a tracking device like a GPS to a car can be used without fear of breaking any laws. This gives these private investigators tools that were not available just a few years ago. Some of these private investigation firms are even using low altitude surveillance drones. These types of drones gives them a bird’s eye view of the people they are trying to investigate. This allows these types of companies to charge higher premiums over their competitors. It is starting to become more apparent that this type or any type of business will be at a disadvantage if they do not start to use tech.
Technology is moving so fast that it is becoming more difficult to keep up-to-date. The advantages are clear to the companies that are paying attention to the coming tidal wave of future tech. There is a distinct advantage given to corporations or small businesses that use this new technology. The ability to offer more services to your customers gives these companies a distinct advantage over other businesses that do not embrace the tools that are available to them. I was surprised to see how many private investigating firms were not using this type of technology. That leaves the door open to many private eye firms to leap ahead of their competitors. This is not only true for this industry but any industry.
Many of the new businesses starting in recent times base their business totally around new technology. When I was looking in to how this new tech was changing the private eye industry, we saw many new startups around the country building their business totally around the available future tech. It almost feels like the Wild West. I fear that if established businesses that are reluctant to using this type of technology will soon start see the writing on the wall. This technology is here to stay that’s why it is important to start trying to implement all future tech into your business now before it’s too late.
With the release of the Apple iPhone in June 2007 the landscape of many industries would never be the same. The iPhone is a personal computer in your pocket. The version released in 2007 was as powerful as any laptop from 2005. The Apple App Store, which is the ecosystem for developers to release software that runs on the iPhone, exploded from the get go, and now has more than 1 million apps as of October 2013.
One unassuming industry has made progress incorporating this new personal technology into their products, and that industry is the home standby generator industry. Companies like Generac, a leader in the industry, have released an app that enables you to check the status of your Generac standby generator from your iPhone. Here we’ll take a look at what the app they released does and where they need to take their app in the next 5 years.
First I just wanted to explain why this move by Generac is essential to maintaining their relevance in this industry. In terms of hardware, which is what I would consider standby generators, not many companies are integrating home goods and technology with smartphones. Things like refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers and home temperature control are being left behind. However, there are a few companies trying to use the smartphone to its advantage. Companies like Nest have released a smartphone controlled smart home temperature control device. And they just got acquired by Google for billions of dollars. I would guess it’s not long before other companies start to move into the same market as Generac, and start competing with them by having their products integrated with smartphones. For Generac to stay relevant they need to innovate.
Their first foray into this “app market” is with the release of their mobile link and adjoining website. How it works is you buy the mobile link antenna device to your standby generator and that allows you to check its status on your phone or computer. Also, it allows you to setup text notifications. For instance, if the generator stops working it will send you a message telling you this.
I’ll be the first to admit this is a pretty entry level bit of technology, but it is a start. It allows monitoring, nothing more. In the next 5 years it is essential for Generac to release a standby Generator that is smart and can learn how you use power at home. It needs to come stock with the technology and will need to be painless, and allow full control from one’s smartphone.
Generac has a wide range of standby and portable generators that this technology could be used with. In addition to the ability of their smart software to control your generator it also needs to be able to diagnose problems to allow timely maintenance. If Generac (and all the other generator companies) want to stay relevant for the next 10 or 20 years to come they will need to innovate. If they don’t, there is no doubt a company like Nest will enter the market and take over just by focusing on the software side of it.
Oral-B is one of the most popular oral hygiene companies, dominating the $5 billion brushing market along with Philips Sonicare.
With its innovative products, Oral-B contributed to the evolution of the popular electric toothbrushes we use today.
Here is a brief overview of how the company changed and evolved over the years.
With the price ranging from $30 to over $150, there are many electric toothbrushes priced differently. Quality and durability are two key factors of its products.
With over 25,000 vibrations every minute, these powered brushes provide an unmatchable level of cleaning, ensuring minimum levels of dental plaque.
Electronic toothbrushes seem to be less technique sensitive and provide more motivation to the users, resulting in an overall better performance compared to manual brushes in terms of teeth whitening and plaque removal.
Although Oral-B dominates a large part of the market, Philips Sonicare has many innovative products too.
In fact, the Sonic technology is extremely powerful and effective. With over 31,000 vibrations per minute, sonic brushes perform two times better compared to manual ones.
The prices are similar compared to Oral-B, with low,mid and high priced products. It’s up to the customer to decide which brand to choose, as both are recommended by dentists worldwide.
The 7000 is the most advanced Oral-B toothbrush to date. It’s priced over $150 and has many unique and effective features.
First of all, it has a 3D cleaning action that combines:
It also has 6 different brushing modes, so to satisfy every user’s needs.
It also comes with two extra features:
With all these features, the 7000 provides the highest quality cleaning experience.
The only downside is the price: $150 is just too much for an electric toothbrush.
It’d be interesting to compare the 7000 with the first powered toothbrushes released in the 80s and 90s.
Today, the appearance and the design play a very important role. With many models and prices, design is THE characteristic that coverts an interested consumer into a buyer.
It might sound strange. After all, we’re talking of a toothbrush, not a pair of shoes or a t-shirt.
But even in this market, design is of the utmost importance.