Y2k Did Have an Impact – Just Not What You Thought (Part 2)


Y2k Did Have an Impact – Just Not What You Thought (Part 2)

In this second article, we take a further look at how Y2k had an impact on Small Business. 

If, like me, you’re a sucker for a good walk down memory lane then (hopefully) you enjoyed my last article walking through the big tech hitters from the turn of the new millennium.

When I started writing this, I wasn’t expecting to be confronted by so many monumental changes in such a short space of time. So much so I only managed to make it to 2009 before I’d exceeded my word count!

So as to not leave an unbalanced report, this time round I’m going to focus on 2010 to present. From the rise of voice through to the launch of the Apple watch, we still have quite a few pieces to get through.

Let’s start with 2010 and the launch of the iPad.

I know android fans are going to tell me that tablet-style devices had been around for close to ten years before the iPad, and, you’re right. But (and potentially I’m about to lose some friends here), it wasn’t until Apple launched their tablet offering that the market really took off.

The iPad offered stability and portability and made the life of salespeople and business owners a little less bulky, offering a stylish way to demonstrate products and capture information on the fly…. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love gestures on their devices now.

2011 – Introducing ‘Snapchat’.

Originally called ‘Pictaboo’, the now familiar ghost icon became Snapchat a few short months after launch.

The idea of creating content that would disappear in 10 seconds took the millennial population by storm, and businesses across the globe with late teens to early 20s clients suddenly had another platform on their hands to familiarise themselves with.

Online payments meet Square – 2010.

As the concept of online shopping was becoming the norm for most folks, business owners were looking for different ways to accept payments.

Square got its start when a friend of Twitter’s co-founder, Jack Dorsey, was unable to process an Amex sale.

The online payment app acted as a gateway on our mobile phones, allowing for ease of transactions. The little white square boxes can now be seen at just about every market stall and business workshop around the country, making the barrier to purchase non existent for most clients.

Look at moi – the rise of Instagram 2012.

Technically, Instagram invaded our devices in 2010, but it really made an impact when Facebook forked out USD 1 Billion to purchase them.

The image conscious platform is responsible for the #hashtag frenzy we see on social media posts and made #instafamous yet another thing small business owners needed to be aware of.

If you’re in the business of food, travel, health or fashion chances are you could teach me a thing or two about this platform, for everyone else it’s a nice place to play with photo filters. #nofilter

Uber, – 2012.

The introduction of the rideshare company, Uber, to Australia changed the way we think about transport. Just like Airbnb, Uber owns no vehicles of its own, relying on the sharing economy of folks with cars wanting to earn some spare cash by driving others around.

Remember the boycotts and furerour of the taxi companies and Gov trying to figure out how to deal with this modern way of getting from A to B? Now, six years later “I’ll get an Uber” is part of our everyday vernacular.

2013 was Slack.

If you’ve ever tried to collaborate or collate a group of teammates and control the flow of information, then you’ll understand what an effort it is… or was.

Being able to hold all the business conversations in one location and search on topics or people was nothing short of game changing, and Slack does just that.

I’d bet if you take a look at most small business owners’ phones, you’ll find the Slack app loaded… and well used. Slack really did have an impact on Small Business.

Ok, Google it’s 2017.

I can’t possibly cover all the tech launched from 2013-17 here, but one we can’t skip over is the introduction of Google Home.

What some saw as convenience (“Ok Google set a timer for 20 mins”) others saw as something akin to the novel 1984 (Big Brother may not be watching, but he sure is listening).

The real watershed moment for me was the change in the way people interacted with their devices. The launch of voice assistants saw us asking questions of our technology and expecting knowledgeable responses.

The ripple effect of this is just starting to ‘really’ impact businesses. Websites and content being ranked higher for ease of voice recognition. 2017 was the beginning of a new age of tech, and we’re nowhere near done with the impacts of voice for marketing in business.

That (kinda) brings you up to the present day.

I’m sure now you can appreciate why I decided to break this article into two separate decades. Even I was blown away at just how quickly technology has changed. How it has morphed and impacted the way we do business day to day (and I work with this stuff every day).

It’s easy to become complacent when we’re going about our daily business tasks, but I hope this two-part series encourages you to pause for a moment and acknowledge just how many pieces of technology you utilise each day and the impacts these have had on your:

  • Productivity
  • Bottom line
  • Ability to connect and engage

As we stare down the barrel of yet another decade, it’s hard to imagine what new and wonderful apps and software we’ll be using over the next ten years.

And before I go, I’m intrigued to know which piece of tech, or which app did have an impact on your business over the last 20 years, and why?

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