I can remember when I was at university preparing to go backpacking between semesters to my far away favourite destinations in southeast Asia – things were slightly different. Travel, stay, food, getting around and such worries took the majority of my planning time and efforts. We didn’t have Uber, Airbnb or Yelp at the time. But the past decade has witnessed a tremendous shift in the way we (consumers or users) can access products and service offerings. The internet has truly been able to link many different aspects of our lives and connect us together through the world wide web. While the internet had already become mainstream in the 90s, it wasn’t reaching out to us the same way it is able to now. The game-changing factor that has led to the rapid occurrence of this new wave of consumerization is the emergence of a new progeny of innovators, risk-takers and challengers: the start-ups. These new businesses have, and continue to, redefine the rules of social networking, sharing and community sourcing. And at the forefront of this rapid business innovation is information technology.
Start-up businesses, whether IT or non-IT, are benefiting immensely from technology. While we have mentioned the successes of Uber and Airbnb and how these businesses have massively transformed our lives, it is also interesting to take a look at their innovative business models. Uber, the world’s largest taxi service provider, owns no vehicles. AirBnB, a worldwide accommodations leader, owns no property. Facebook, with 1.44 billion active monthly users globally (as of March 31, 2015), produces no content of its own. Alibaba Group, the Chinese eCommerce giant, itself owns no inventory, and yet, because of the outreach and accessibility, these businesses have thrived.
Whether it’s a tech-based business or a non-tech product or service, technology is the linchpin of the larger product, service, business and consumer ecosystem. Technology bridges the gap between ideation and action – resulting in creation and delivered innovation. Proliferation of more powerful, feature-rich and affordable internet enabled devices, combined with increasingly maturing technologies such as social, mobile and cloud are key to these new ventures’ success; as tech opens up new avenues and exponentially expands the reach of existing networks. As the internet continues to enable individuals and businesses interact more freely and readily – the opportunities that are created for the start-up ecosystem are limitless.
To tap these opportunities, it is essential to create a robust ecosystem where ideation and innovation can take place freely. Intro.. entr..
The authors, Tania Price and Marc Ragsdale are together working on an innovative new technology platform designed for entrepreneurs in Australia: theentropolis.com. Tania Price is the CEO of Entropolis Pty. Ltd. and Marc holds the position of CTO. Marc is an American entrepreneur and Founder & President of Prospus, LLC, USA and Prospus Consulting Pvt. Ltd. in India.