Investors & Founders Barcelona Group invited us to talk about Trends and Technology for this year.
Note: This transcript is based on the presentation we did last March 5th 2015 at “Investors and Founders” group of Barcelona.
Today I’m going to talk about technology indicators and what we expect for this 2015.
Technological indicators are important to know where technology is moving and how can be used to increase business value. And this is what we do in Kukoa; we add value to our client’s tech projects, and we learn with them how to improve to stay ahead their competitors, always regarding their customers.
We also have created a high standard innovation network with 3 more Barcelona based tech companies to innovate in what we think is worth. With Dribba, Miscellaneous and Twinlan, we are grouped under Square BCN and we have crazy ideas that we develop, prototype and see if are interesting for our clients.
So, we are proactive, and somehow innovation is about being proactive; is about being enthusiastic and curious in what we like. But also means working hard without being sure that we will succeed.
Let me give you an example; in 2009 we were working on a tech project for a bakery and we come out with an idea to engage customers and increase communication with their customers: an automatic way to publish tweets to Twitter.
With this device, the baker could select the product and pressing the button, a custom tweet was published in Twitter. Do you guess what the client said? What the hell is Twitter!
That shows us two important factors in innovation:
- Innovation doesn’t happen without direct support from the managers.
- Innovation is useless if the final customer doesn’t know how to use it.
Later I’ll show you some innovation projects that we’re working on. But let’s see the 4 indicators that I’ve selected for you today. There are plenty of them depending on your business area, but I’ve selected just 4 for today:
But first, let me give you a quiz:
Imagine we have these 6 companies with their free cash flow values from 2012 to 2014. If you had the chance to select one to manage, which one would you choose?
Now what would you think if I tell you that these 6 companies are a REAL tech companies?
That is interesting, right?
Actually Apple has more cash than all the other together.
But… How could Apple get that? Leading innovation requires strategy in the short mid and long terms.
Last quarter Apple sold over 70 million iPhone devices in China, meaning, in raw numbers more than 48M€, as they have 69% profit margin on iPhone6 devices. But the main factor is continuous innovation since 1997, when Steve Jobs returned.
And this innovation is what we expect for this year, we expect the launch of the iWatches next Monday 9th, so save the date!, maybe the launch of the new Apple TV, and the new 30 inch ipad to compete against Microsoft Surface.
This will lead to our 1st tech indicator: multiconnectivity between devices and wearables will increase.
Now let’s move into the second tech indicator.
Does anyone know what this is? Hololens by Microsoft, they look like Google Glasses, but they do something different, they don’t use Augmented Reality, they use Virtual Reality.
They show us a Virtual Reality layer in front of what we are seeing, so we can interact with it.
Imagine buying minecraft game, and boom! You can play with it in your own living room.
Or even more, no need to call for assistance to fix the pipe, you can have the plumber or even your dad seeing what you see and helping you to fix it. Can you imagine what can be done with this technology in surgery in remote areas?
In fact other companies are developing and testing similar technologies, so, somehow we are entering a new era of Virtual Reality. Components are getting cheaper and affordability is increasing, not only for developers, but also for consumers.
Look at Google Cardboard, for example, for just 25 USD you can have your own VR kit with you.
Let’s see our 3rd tech indicator for today:
Mobile commerce and mobile payments.
Few weeks ago Google Wallet made a deal with Softcard to increase mobile transactions, and today’s news: Softcard will be shutting down by the end of March, Google Wallet will replace it. Apple again is in mobile payments with Apple Pay, and last Sunday, in Mobile World Congress here in Barcelona, Samsung launched Samsung Pay platform! So, this shows us that mobile transactions will increase…. Increase? Really? Let’s look at Sweden
Sweden is one of the most cashless countries in the world, over 95% of total transactions are digital… can you imagine any other cashless countries?
Somaliland! Down in the horn of Africa. In 2012, that means, 3 years ago, an average user made 34 transactions per month, with mobile phones!
Another one, Kenya! Where you can even pay the school fees with M-Pesa app!.. They are building interesting things in Africa and maybe it’s the reason why Mark Zuckerberg and Google want to bring “free” internet there with internet.org and Loon Project.
Canada… they haven’t printed more currency since 2013, because they don’t need it!!
And finally South Korea, where they have reduced cash transactions to 25% in 4 years and now it’s the leading Asian nation in e-payments. They even have QR Shops, where you can shop without touching any product.
So what does this tech indicator tells us? Mobile payments will increase, and with each payment we could get information about what you are buying, where you are buying it, with who you are etc… and all this data can be used to predict behavior, marketing experts are starting to talk about pretargeting users, that means offering the correct ad to users even before knowing they are going to buy it. Actually this can be done today with algorithms, but with more that would be easier to match, and Google knows very well how to match all this Big Data, they have been doing this for years.
We also are keeping an eye on Alibaba and Xiaomi, they are building strong partnership and a Facebook movement is expected regarding mobile transactions.
Last tech indicator:
Yahoo mobile. When Marissa Mayer joined yahoo in 2012 she turned around the strategy, focusing in mobile and now we’re starting to see interesting numbers. We expect an mobile ad revenue share of 3% in 2015.
And ad revenue growth of 76% in 2015. That means Yahoo will make interesting things in mobile ads and maybe we could see some real time bidding platforms to manage all this ads.
So to summarize
All this four tech indicators shows us that connectivity will increase between devices and wearables, we’re entering into a VR era and we’ll see great thins in videogames, for instance. Mobile payments will generate more user data and yahoo will do interesting things with mobile ads.
This device, for example, this is the prototype of our feeder for your pet. You can control it from your smartphone to track frequency and quantity of the food you want to give to your pet.
Hotel Suite 360, this is an app for both hosts and hotels. Hosts can interact with the hotel and they can even open their own room’s door, and hotel gets data collected of all interactions the hosts makes not only inside the hotel, but also within the city. This data could be used to increase host segmentation giving specific offers to each host, depending in their interests or what they have done while they were in the hotel.
And finally 2 projects involving smart tv and users, one of them allows to show quality content for a specific user, and the other, Seconds Screen is a Augmented content platform showing real time information to your tablet depending what you are watching. While the commercials starts, quality content is showed in my tablet depending on what I was watching, but also segmented advertisements, not only from products that I’m more engaged, but also information about the TV programs I’m interested in.
To conclude, a free tip we give to our clients: Innovation is the difference between you and your competition.
Has been a pleasure to show you some tips that we will be tracking this year, and I hope you have enjoyed it. You can reach me at my email if you want more details or just to say hello.
Thank you so much.
Other speakers made more presentations in same event:
Ricardo Baeza-Yates (Yahoo Labs): Understanding Data. Do you know the potential value of your data? If so, are you leveraging it?
Ricardo gave us some hints how Yahoo is dealing with BigData, and some ideas to develop in the near future.
Miquel Costa (Keiretsu): Analysis and funding of starting projects.
Miquel showed how Keiretsu works, and some basis of crowdfunding.
Pablo Ayala (Innovae): Augmented reality: trends and opportunities.
Pablo showed some Augmented Reality concepts, as well as Virtual Reality.
Josep Nebot (Arboribus): Crowdlending: As a new way to invest in and Finance SME’s
Josep introduced Arboribus, how they work and how easy is to finance SME’s with cool ideas. Really interesting platform.