Posted: 27 Mar 2012 06:49 AM PDT
Facebook was the first one to set a benchmark in social networking by showing the world how a simple idea from three Harvard dropouts could change the way the people interact, meet, do business and even sleep. Sites like Pinterest and Foursquare also gained millions of customers following the same path with a slight change of social principles.
Posted: 27 Mar 2012 06:29 AM PDT
Certain businesses have the potential of not only expanding at a tremendous pace but also eliminating competition. The world of business has witnessed many such endeavours flourish at a rapid pace. Daniel Bukszpan, of CNBC.Com, has listed 10 such inventions of the business world, which have eliminated their competition–
We all are familiar with the craze of Apple i-Pods. When i-Pod had made its way into the market, it had taken the market by storm. There was not a soul which did not desire an i-Pod. The idea of being able to carry all your favourite songs in your pocket was revolutionary. Before i-Pods and related MP3 players dominated the markets, Walkman by Sony was the rage. Sony Walkman was the pioneer of portable music players in the market. i-Pod captured the market because of 2 short-comings of Walkman – inability to store a good amount of music and bulky size. Moreover, carrying cassettes was an additional head-ache. i-Pod cashed in on these drawbacks and made it large in the market. PC World, a renowned tech magazine, quoted that i-Pod had "irrevocably altered the landscape for portable audio players." The Walkman got ousted from the market in October 2010.
Email has indeed hit the postal service system across the globe. Though the impact of email is more in Western nations, it has made a significant impact on the Indian postal service system as well. The Indian postal service too is trying to keep itself abreast of technology and is introducing tech changes in the postal service. Email is a rage among people, especially the youth as it makes connecting with their friends easy. Email has become such an integral part of our lives, that almost all GPRS and 3G enabled mobile phones offer this service. Even corporates find the email option on their smartphones very handy. As the gen next does not find the postal service appealing anymore, this sector has been hit to a great extent. The drawbacks of the postal system are too many and the youth prefers convenience and speed.
3. Apple iPhone
With the advent of high-end mobile-phones, landlines and cordless-phones have literally been pushed to the back. Landlines are still used by the population but mostly because they are needed for router connections. Among the most revered mobile-phones in the market, there is no greater status symbol than an i-Phone. Apple products, especially the i-Phone, are valued to such a great extent that its users are considered a rung above all others. People had even lined up before Apple outlets to be among the first people to own i-Phones. This kind of a fan following is not seen in other brands. The very idea of owning an Apple i-Phone is like a dream come true. This is something regular phones were never able to achieve. Not only are i-Phones a part of style-statement but also iconic. This is because i-Phones are mini personal computers but only more user friendly and stylish. This is another reason why its sales are sky-rocketing and that of regular phones is dipping.
Gone are the days when we had to stand in painfully long queues to rent our favourite movies. With super advancements in technology, viewing movies has never been this easy. With online portals, like Netflix, viewing movies on video cassettes has become extinct. VCRs and video tapes are all tales of the past as websites, like Netflix, have altered the face of online video viewing. Other online movie viewing portals, like – Blockbuster, did exist before Netflix but Netflix brought its business model of subscription-based services with it. The ease and convenience Netflix brought with it was incomparable. The added benefit of being able to rent movies for as long as one wanted on Netflix ousted regular movie rentals from their business. Netflix also did not charge extra for this extended rental period. This led to Blockbuster filing for bankruptcy in September 2010.
5. Digital Word Processors
To most millennials, type-writers are entities of the past and belong to an era of their grandparents. It might seem odd to people belonging to other generations but this is a fact. The fact of the matter is that with the advent of digital word processors, typewriters have vanished into oblivion. As the 70s dawned upon us, inventions like Microsoft Word, started to make way for next wave in maintaining documents. It took Microsoft a while to set its foot in the market but it did a tremendous job at it. It was preferred over type-writers so much that eventually typewriters had to accept defeat. As MS Word is a user-friendly software and still dominates the market, other digital word processors, even Apple i-Work, strive to occupy a decent percentage of the market. In 2009, Microsoft said that Microsoft Office suite, including MS Word, is used by more than half a billion people in the globe. While, seattlepi.com said that only less 500 typewriters existed in the world.
6. Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI)
Computer-Generated Imagery or CGI has witnessed an incredible upsurge in the past few decades. This category has gained such prominence these days that traditional hand-made drawings have items of the past. Though hand-made drawings are still used in story-boards, they are not used in mainstream cinema. They act more like the skeletal framework of animation but do not form the end-product entirely. Other forms of movie-making are also under siege here. Popular art forms, like – stop motion animation, use of prosthetics and props, clay model animation and others, are still being used but are not in the forefront as CGI. Even stunt persons are losing their jobs as CGI is being used extensively in movies. Famous CGI movies include – Ice Age, Monsters Inc, Avatar, Toy Story, Shrek and many others. Though the use of other forms of special effect is used in movies, they are now being used sparingly. So, CGI has captured their share in movie making.
7. Electronic Commerce
Electronic Commerce or E-commerce is a more recent entity. Only with recent technological changes has this movement picked up. The term has undergone such a transition that it now governs a major chunk of businesses these days. With the boom in online shopping these days, customers are more than happy to browse for their preferred items, without leaving the comfort of their homes. More and more businesses are giving the option of shopping online than visiting physical stores. Gone are the days when we used to be unsure of the products we had bought online. Now we can inspect the products first and then pay for them. What's even better is that we don't have to pay for home deliveries. We also have the option of paying in installments. Sites like – HomeShop18 and Jabong offer such facilities. This leads to dry days in physical stores these days.
8. Apple iTunes
This list could not have been complete without the addition of another remarkable Apple product. Apple i-Tunes is another segment which has given other people in the music business a run for their money. An advantage of having an online portal of i-Tunes is that i-Pod users would have to purchase songs solely from this site. As i-Pod is compatible with songs downloaded only from i-Tunes, i-Pod users will not go to any other music website. This is the reason why some people are dead against Apple products due to inability to share music, photos and videos with other cell-phone users. Such a compulsion makes Apple users go to only Apple websites and nowhere else. As the number of Apple product users is huge, the music industry has faced a tough challenge in the past few years. Various physical music stores in the U.S., like – Virgin Megastores, Sam Goody and Tower Records, had to be shut down in the year 2009 because of monopoly of Apple products.
9. Online Travel Agencies
With the digital age taking its position upfront, most forms of businesses cannot do without integrating technology in it. As life of man is nothing but an eternal form of travel, traveling has been simplified for the common man. There has been a huge surge in online travel agencies in the past few years. From – Redbus.Com to Expedia.Com, Indian travelers have a host of varieties to choose from. Our country is brimming with online travel portals, which offer best value for our money. A couple of such websites include – TravelYaari.Com, TravelGuru.Com, Travelocity.Com, MakeMyTrip.Com, Yatra.Com and tons of other such websites. From bus tickets to air tickets, these sites cover all areas. As these sites combine convenience along with value for money, travel agents are not able to compete against these. As a result, many travel booking agents have gone out of business.
Technology might have made or lives easier but it sure has driven many people to unemployment. Sometimes it is surprising how people will accept newer technology at the cost of older ones just to be called tech savvy. One such product of the new age is that of e-readers. E-readers are a rage these days with tech freaks, though any conventional person would prefer reading articles on paper. E-readers by Amazon, Amazon Kindle, are so popular that Amazon.Com sold more of e-books than physical books in the last quarter of 2010. Though majority of the population still prefers solid books, increase in e-books sales suggests that this trend is gradually changing. Even though squinting is a tad bit problematic in e-books, several advantages make them a superior choice. These include – ability to store more than 3,000 books and being lightweight. Amazon Kindle has all these merits. Still, only time can tell if it will oust physical books from competition.
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