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Future Trends

  • 7 customer service trends that startups should know about in 2014

    Ask people about the state of customer service and there is a good chance that they will be able to tell you at least five stories of terrible experiences –- and not many positive ones. In a recent survey of more than 400 South African customers, 72% said that they had experienced rage with a business at least once in the last four months. Anyone who has tried to solve a problem with a bank, airline booking, or mobile phone service provider recently will know what this sense of powerlessness feels like. The horrendous state of customer care is not...

  • African startups take note: 3 trending technologies opening up new markets

    Technology: the great equaliser. It can empower so many players in an industry, from buyers and sellers to suppliers and competitors. It can cheapen infrastructure, and create new channels of distribution (think the internet and ecommerce). Technology has the power to change an industry's structure, which can also lower its profitability (such as the internet and ecommerce), but it also has the ability to open up new markets across all industries. If we look at say a five to 15 year horizon, new or improved technologies will create market opportunities for startups to tap into across the board. As...

  • Tips for personalised ecommerce and the savvy eshops that inspire them

    Personalised ecommerce. It's all about data. Every click, purchase, like, share or pin executed on a website has the potential to allude to your tastes. How eshops use that information effectively is a tricky business indeed. But now, the age of collected and then curated information, is upon us -- and we're here to help you. One could argue that there are two divisions of personalised ecommerce. They aren't necessarily distinct in that their end-goal is the same -- to get you to buy more things -- but that they operate in different manners, and play on...

  • The lean startup and the connected economy: trends to watch out for

    The rate of change is ever increasing. Consumers are adopting new technology faster than ever before and their behaviour and expectations are changing. As Per Sundin from Universal Music Sweden puts it, ‘Things have never moved this fast, and will never move this slowly again’. Businesses have to respond. And there are two trends emerging that will help companies do just that – the lean startup movement and the connected economy. Up until now the response has been a slow and measured one with businesses adopting a cautious approach to innovation trying to get things ‘as near to perfect as...

  • Google’s Page and Schmidt backing asteroid mining startup

    Wired is reporting that a group of intrepid billionaires will soon announce their new venture called Planetary Resources, Inc, “which plans to send swarms of robots to space to scout asteroids for precious metals and set up mines to bring resources back to Earth." Nope, this is not a movie, this is actually happening. “The resources of Earth pale in comparison to the wealth of the solar system," Eric Anderson who founded the commercial space tourism company Space Adventures, told Wired. Anderson is co-founder of Planetory Resources along with Peter Diamandis, who started the X Prize foundation, which offers prizes for...

  • 10 reasons why you should get your hands on some Bitcoins

    A previous Memeburn article on the well-known digital currency Bitcoin generated quite a bit of interest and debate from this site's readers. The article focused on some of the challenges Bitcoin faced as a global currency. But here's another side of the coin, so to speak. We now give some good reasons, ten of them in fact, why Bitcoin could be an option for the future. No transaction fees. Unlike many credit card...

  • 7 advantages cloud computing holds for your business

    Cloud computing is gaining traction globally. The practice refers to data access and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system delivering a particular service. Trends in cloud computing indicate software may cease to become the tangible product we are used to buying in stores or through online shopping. Companies and individual users can access software that resides on their servers in the "cloud" or the "grid," enabling users to acquire that software and information from any device with internet access. There are seven clear reasons cloud computing is...

  • Will computer-generated narratives make journalists redundant?

    There’s been an undercurrent of paradox kicking up dust in my otherwise clinical views on technology. I've tried to suppress it, but it keeps bubbling to the surface. I consider myself not only pro-technology, but obsessed with it, and someone who is neither afraid of the future nor the technology that it will bring. When I first read about Stats Monkey a software project lead by Stuart Frankel - a former DoubleClick executive - and Kris Hammond - a Northwestern University computer science professor - that could automatically create sports stories based solely on raw game data, I had a...

  • Why Silicon Valley is only part of California’s innovative success

    California seems to be on a constant roller-coaster of events – technological, economic and social. Strangely enough, the state keeps moving on as the American epicentre of high-tech industry. To technological entrepreneurs, California is synonymous with Silicon Valley, a place where brain-rich can become money-rich. To movie lovers, California is synonymous with Hollywood, where real life can become fantasy. In the 1980s, Silicon Valley defined California’s economy in particular and America in general. It was the first time in the history of capitalism when the best brains made the most money. Inheritance was frowned upon as wealth based on sexual...

  • Surviving the great dot.con

    As Google embraces the stock exchange, many dot.com kids are rubbing their hands with glee at what could signal a return of the good times. Matthew Buckland has been through dot.boom and dot.bomb and spent lots on expensive therapy to forget it all, but here he reminisces. (more…)