For millennials, we are the lucky few because no one else before our time could have witnessed such a spectacular technological shift that almost impacts everything we do in our daily life. Because of technology, we now can consume hours of streaming content on our plasma TVs or tablets. Because of technology, we get to enjoy the convenience and freedom that ridesharing startups create? How is technology “eating up” the world? And how much are we exposed to it? Here is a sneak peak of some of the issues we will address at the upcoming CoInvent Startup Summit.
The goal of the summit is to address the disruptive roles that technology plays in traditional industries such as marketplace, education, payment, finance, media, funding, social, and fashion. For the first half of this series, I will explain below how technology is impacting these sectors: marketplace, education, media, and payment.
Marketplace is the epicenter of the “Software Eating The World” movement because online shopping sites like Amazon.com are actually changing consumers’ buying behaviors. Five years ago, you might enjoy buying a book at Borders or Barnes and Nobles, where do you buy your books today? I do it directly on my Kindle. It takes a minute to complete the purchase and get it downloaded to my Kindle device. How about grocery delivery startups such as Instacart or Freshdirect? The fact is, traditional brick and mortar commerce model has been disrupted and will continue to be. It’s an exciting time if you enjoy the convenience of online shopping.
Education is one of those areas that have not been completely disrupted by technology yet. We all know the problems that come with traditional school-based education system. The fact is many entrepreneurs realized they needed to find solutions to make education more affordable and convenient with technology, and they are trying. Enter education 2.0, which introduces an array of exciting education startups – language learning with Duolingo, taking a programming or design class with General Assembly, getting a verified college certificate from Coursera, or learning pretty much everything for free on Khan Academy. Even with all these startups, the education system in the world has not been democratized enough. For that to happen, we need more entrepreneurs, startups and ideas to work on more education-related problems.
The traditional print media industry has been utterly “destroyed” by technology. The latest victim is Macworld Magazine, which, after 30 years, is no longer a magazine. And it laid off most of its staff. As an entrepreneur, I get all my breaking news on Twitter, Techmeme, or Cir.ca these days. Getting Wall Street Journal delivered to my doorsteps was so 2009. On the other hand, streaming media play a larger and more crucial role now than ever before. Recently, HBO finally revised its business model and planned to introduce a standalone HBO Go subscription service for its cord-cutter demographics. The service is said to be live early next year. Media and entertainment industry will continue to evolve. As an entrepreneur myself, I feel blessed to be in the middle of seismic and powerful shift. The new media tools will open doors for much better lifestyles – exciting and efficient ways to consume media content. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku are all competing for a piece of this market. This is the beginning of a new era!
Along with Airbnb and Dropbox, Stripe is one of YC’s most successful startups ever. Stripe is one of those unicorns that investor wish they could have invested in. It’s making payment industry more efficient and better. Same can be said about Bitcoin, although this topic can be controversial. Payment tech is here to stay. Apple’s foray into the payment industry – advent of Apple Pay – further legitimized this prediction. Now the fight in payment tech is among the big boys – PayPal, Google Wallet, Stripe, Square, and Alipay – just to name a few. It remains unclear who will be the ultimate winner or they will continue to co-exist. But one thing is clear – when big companies compete, small business owners win! The result is lower rates and less fees.
Next week, I will cover the remaining four topics – finance, funding, social, and fashion – part of what the Dec. 16th CoInvent Startup Summit will address. A partial list of the conference speakers has been released – including CEOs and senior VPs from Wix, Seedinvest, Betterment, Cover, Plated, Zipmark, Triberr, etc. We will have more speakers to add in the coming days. Subscribe here for free updates.