CEOs, their administrators and SVPs all struggle with keeping up with technology. This past week has been exceptional. Starting with the much anticipated Apple launch of the iPad and its support services to the (and I hesitate to say) ho-hum announcement of Google Buzz we have seen technies in turmoil. Amid these announcements is the start-up of a new venture capital firm for tech startups using crowdfunding, GrowVC and my introduction to a social mapping platform, XeeSm.
Stephen Colbert Has An iPad at the Academy AwardsLet me start with the iPad. First, the disclaimer. I confess, I cut my teeth on Apple products. In my circle, either my husband or myself were the first to own the Apple II, the Mac, the iPod and the iPhone among others. I am showing the evolution here. The iPad is just the next thing on the horizon for the family. Its a no brainer. However I was tasting the Kool Aid concerning the Nook based on Google’s Android technology. It was close. Only my hubbie saying “You can wait… you can wait” in that hypnotic tone kept me from pooling my pennies. My cuddle time with hubbie the night of the the announcement was spent with Steve Jobs and crew on a laptop in bed. How sad! The usual Wednesday night face off between my hubbie and my son in law (both engineers) debated the merits of the IPad and anything Android based. Now, my hubbie is not anti-Android. He loves his Mac but runs a virtualization program so he has access to both MAC OS and Open Source programs. As a design and systems engineer, he has pushed his products and designs to fully incorporate open source technology. But this is not about what I will use. I want to give you a view for your business. So I turn to an expert.
Enter Focus expert, Michael E. Dortch. Michael is Director of Research for Focus. Ah… an unbiased expert. He just published a paper listing the five reasons that your small business should consider the iPad. Since I specialize in social connectivity I can say that his reasosn dovetail with mine. these reasons include the immediate usability, its portability, the connectivity with either WiFi or Bluetooth, its very reasonable pricing, and finally, the support through Apps and accessories. Check out his analysis.
The buzz around Google Buzz is that the verdict is still out. Does it have some pluses? Absolutely! First, are the boodles of GMail users who are already familiar with the platform. Second, its Google! Third, with so many rumors flying that social media platforms (ahem, Facebook?) are looking to start charging a monthly fee, can Buzz pick up the slack? Positioning could be everything. personally, I am still trying to catch the Wave.
The latest entry to crowdfunding looks to answer some of the drawbacks of strictly crowdsourcing and conventional means of attracting investors. It has some great potential. This is a platform that creates a nexus (one of my favorite words -check out my tagline) between the innovators and financial gurus. Rather than relying on strictly crowd mania to pull together financial backing, GrowVC allows all parties to create profiles, enter into discussions, and build support from concept through production. Great idea! Further there are a team of experts being gathered to provide input and support to the members. If you are in either the investment or the technology fields, check out this company.
Finally, the social mapping company, XeeSM. I have ben looking into social mapping platforms since developing the Social Rose navigational approach. Personally and professionally, there is a need for a service that simply gives a road map for me. I subscribe to more services than you can imagine. there are my profile sites, my blog site, landing pages for products and services, links to my clients, and subscriptions to services to try to help me manage all of my activites. I have online listings for associations that I belong to, lists to manage my groups and pages and my microblogging sites. Add another layer with email, mobile and office numbers. This site is similar to the OpenID concept. (which I love). I set up my profile and listed my XeeSM profile as “My Business Card”. This is one spot where those who want to reach me can go to find the easiest way to reach that will get the fastest results. If you want to reach me about my family or high school class reunion, poke me on Facebook. If you want to send me a quick message, try Twitter. You want to know more about me professionally, join my network on LinkedIn. One access point, multiple entry points. Great service! And it removes the clutter from my business card.
Bottom line here is that technology can be a blessing for the busy executive. Your time and your connections are your most valuable commodities. We no longer have the luxury of sitting back and watching others before we make decisions. We are in a very social world both real and virtual. Immediacy , price, ease of ramp up and ease of use are all critical to adopting a certain technology or service in your business. What ties together all of the products and services that I have mentioned is the ability to free up time and have fun while you are doing it.