#TechTrends – The Rise of ‘Entre-ployees’, the Mobile Life, Cloud, ‘Gamification’ and Brands as Products.
The Era of Entre-ployees
Today, we have more young people that are willing to take up the exciting roller coaster experience of entrepreneurship while retaining their week-day job. Companies that support these entrepreneurs’ drive have a better chance of retaining their top talent. It is reported that Google allows employees to spend 20% of their time on their personal projects. Owners of start-ups now look forward to full-time jobs with big firms that allow them foster their own projects. At an Engineering Design outfit in Lagos where I worked as an intern for three months, I observed a strong spirit of Entre-ployees across Engineers and Administrators alike with their efficiency and professionalism at work not being affected by their venture work. With such win-win outcome, the trend of Entre-ployees is surely on the rise. What’s your excuse?
The Mobile Life
The Mobile life is on the rise. I hear stories of people who forget to brush before coming to work; but I think I’m the only person I know that has forgotten their mobile phone at home on more than one occasion in the last three months. Not that it is any less useful than bathing is to me though. The point is that innovation is driven towards mobile. If your business is not mobile, you’re missing out on a growing line of customers. And stuff spreads fast on Mobile. What’s Facebook’s ‘big secret’? Mobile. So whether it’s Taxi service (Tranzit), the National Budget (BudgeIT), looking for a job (Jobs In Nigeria), ordering soup (SisiOlobe), asking directions (Nearest Locator), or fighting internet scams (Wayopedia) there are start-ups that are working behind the scenes to provide these services and much more. It is no coincidence that MTN and Tecno have launched Mobile Phone APP Challenges recently or that some of the finalists of the Anzisha Prize for Innovation are developers. Currently, there is The HealthBook Project initiative that aims at bringing every health service you can possibly think of to Mobile. By the end of October, a fully functional cross-platform app will be available on stores for download. Then there is MS2C, a mobile-skills-to-cash App platform that links young people with skills in rural and urban settlements to customers on the mobile platform. MS2C has already won the ITU Innovation Award for 2011 and will revolutionize the way employers interact with Nigerians with skill sets in both the white and blue collar job spheres.
The Cloud Makes Us Super-human
The cloud has effectively replaced memory storage for small start-ups (we don’t need hard drives as much again and by the way, they only crash when we have useful stuff on them). But aside from hard drives, the cloud has also replaced our brain memory – I remember birthdays more often now, I easily convert units and currencies now w/o knowing exchange or conversion rates. The cloud even makes us virtual beings (I live in the CcHub from Calabar via Twitter). LOL! Most importantly, the cloud fosters collaboration at all levels.
The Start up team members working on The HealthBook Project (of which I’m one) are collaborating from different locations using the GIT service that allows us share source code with restricted access. For file storage, as a fan of Open Source and Google projects, I use the Ubuntu One and Google Drive, more than I use Dropbox, 4shared, Microsoft’s SkyDrive et al which are equally outstanding projects. Start ups have access to crowd-funding through sites like Indiegogo and StartSomeGood. Get on the cloud. Collaborate with the world.
Games are a unique and entertaining way of learning new stuff – from new words to project management skills. The HealthBook Project is moving with this trend with our soon-to-be-released app featuring games specifically targeted at young adults to improve their health knowledge. As a developer, you may consider ‘gamification’ to make your service more attractive.
The Brand is the Product
More and more, companies are investing in redefining their brand identity, because the everyday customer looks at the brand before the product. Where I work, everybody knows about Jumia and few about Konga, not that Konga is inferior, but Jumia is the easily recognizable brand deliberately designed to be so, as shown in their lavish celebrations to mark their first anniversary on June 7 this year. That is why we have created the B-Y Consult project. What we do at B-Y Consult is help business owners build a competitive service through good quality design, proper social media integration and a free advisory service that we like to call consulting. We’re moving with the trends and helping business owners move as well.
Just in case you haven’t noticed, Facebook has redefined their search to make their big data more useful and easily accessible. For example you can type in ‘My friends who like…’ I typed in ‘…Liverpool FC’ and found my friends with the same spirit of red. So mind the photos you look up and like on Facebook as someone may just want to know and check you out.
If you subscribed for posts from a blog or News feeds to your Gmail account, you may have observed that they haven’t appeared in your inbox recently. That’s because Gmail now organizes your inbox into Inbox, Social Media and Promotions. So updates from my YouTube channels are in my Social Media tab, my bi-monthly Java Magazine mails are in my Promotions tab while important mails come straight to my inbox. To change where a particular mail enters, just drag it to the tab you want it to be in.
#TechTrends. Please leave a comment and I’ll respond.
AUTHOR – JOSHUA IHEJIAMAIZU
Joshua Ihejiamaizu is a Writer, Engineer and ICT Expert in the making! He blogs at Josoft Blog, where he connects, enlightens, and inspires people of different backgrounds and thought processes in Nigeria, with some deep thoughts and perspectives. Follow him on Twitter via @Mr_genteel