Monday, January 20, 2014

Three trends you may have missed

You missed something pretty important
this week if you were not paying attention.
This is a bad week to be a technology entrepreneur.  Three things happened this week which both taint the image of tech professionals am make it harder to do business.  This week, I want to discuss how security guards for Google, a loss of net-neutrality and the growth of mobile computing are creating a witches brew of discontent.  

I have make a pretty big bet financially and professionally on net neutrality.  This week a judge threw out FFC regulations which prevents phone companies and broadband operators from giving preferential treatment to one kind of content over another.  This is the antithesis of how the web is supposed to work.  All content is supposed to be equal it is up to consumers to determine what is popular and what is not.  Thanks to this ruling that is going to change.  

Now big content providers like Facebook, Google and the NYTimes can pay bribes to your cable company or mobile phone provider to give their content preferential treatment over those who did not pay the bribe.  Thanks to the ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals this is perfectly legal conduct.  This hurts bloggers and small entrepreneurs like me because it will hurt us growing traffic and gaining venture capital.  This decision is bad for business and will not liberate the invisible hand of the marketplace; instead, with will unleash a hammer of big money and it will crush innovation.  I hope that the local chamber of commerce organization will help lobby for net neutrality.  

Next Will Oremus and Reuters are reporting that Google is using private security to protect its employees from protesters.  This has a faint whiff of similar behavior from the Pullman train car company.  Relations between locals and technology firms have grown sour over the last 10 years in the San Francisco Bay area.  This break down has occurred because those in the technology business are making tremendous wealth.  This wealth has driven up housing costs.  In addition, the libertarian world view of many tech professionals has created a serious gap with locals who see tech professionals as people who gentrify neighborhoods and could not give a flying leap about their neighbors who do not work in the profession.  

The optics of that are just bad; educated, wealthy professionals running roughshod over an existing community while the locals harbor deep resentment of the wealth and privilege of these professionals.  From a business perspective, I understand why Google is chartering the private buses and hiring the security guards to make it easier for employees to get into the office.  This creates a need for serious outreach to the community because I feel that a successful business should be a cause for celebration instead of a source of civil unrest.  As my business grows, we will make an effort that we will try to share the wealth and become a respected member of the community.  We say so on our mission statement.  

Finally, CNET.com has reported that mobile application use has grown by over 115% in 2013.  This says, if you are a small or medium sized business your website and applications are going to need to work on mobile devices.  The mobile web is no longer optional.  

So what do these three stories have in common?  The Net-Neutrality ruling gives your wireless phone carrier tremendous power to pick winners and losers in the technology marketplace.  The reason why they will have this power is because more of us are using our mobile devices to gather information.  What this will do is eventually create more income inequity and tension between those who understand technology and those which don’t.  

At E3 systems we can help your organization take advantage of the mobile web. Contact us to learn more.  These three trends together represent a huge challenge to the National economy and the local one in Joliet.  Together working with the Chamber of Commerce and our elected representatives we will win back net-neutrality.  E3 systems wants to be part of this community rather than apart from it and we want to build your mobile web application to make your organizations more successful.  

The witches brew of discontent could be a recipe for success we just have to make sure we watch the pot and make sure it does not boil over.  

Until next time.