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Target’s Online Marketplace To Compete With Amazon…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

By March 5, 2019No Comments


(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Target takes exclusive approach for new online marketplace.

According to a new CNBC report, Target is slowly, cautiously opening up its website to third-party sellers with an invitation-only Target+ initiative. The company is being very selective about who it invites and has been testing the waters with companies who were chosen based on ‘what people are searching for,’ according to Target’s marketing and digital boss. These include sporting goods retailer Mizuno, educational toy maker Kaplan, and keyboard giant Casio. (Source: CNET)

Why this is important for your business:

If successful, Target’s approach could potentially rival Amazon, eBay and Alibaba and provide yet another platform where businesses of all sizes can sell their products and reach new audiences.

2 — Microsoft is pitching its most futuristic technology to businesses instead of trying to wow consumers.

Last weekend, at the Mobile World Congress—a mobile trade show in Barcelona—Microsoft did not focus on fancy new phones for consumers but instead took its most futuristic technology and showed how it could be used to make businesses more productive. Microsoft also introduced its HoloLens 2 augmented reality device, which has been vastly improved over its previous version and will sell for about $3,500. (Source: CNBC)

Why this is important for your business:

As I wrote here I believe the HoloLens 2 will have a significant impact on businesses with uses ranging from Troubleshooting, inspecting, maintaining and fixing machinery on the floor using interactive guides, pointers and diagrams to treating people or animals onsite during an emergency where the medical technician is given immediate visual instructions or is acting as the eyes and ears for a more experienced doctor who’s located potentially thousands of miles away.

3 — Half of C-level execs say blockchain will change how their tech firms do business.

A new KPMG survey shows that almost half (48%) of IT executives believe blockchain will change the way their companies do business over the next three years. Respondents also said that the biggest benefit of blockchain is improved business efficiency, and 41% percent said they’re ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to implement blockchain in the next three years. (Source: Computer World)

Why this is important for your business:

In the survey, the execs said they believe the greatest disruption from blockchain adoption will be in Internet of Things, where it’s expected to help track software upgrades, product refills, and product warranties. Look for many new applications of this applications to be available for your business in the coming years. It’s worth understanding all that blockchain does.

4 — Lenovo’s smallest and best-selling ThinkPad laptops get refreshed for 2019.

This week, Lenovo has announced some largely incremental updates to its more affordable IdeaPad laptops and its ThinkPad X and T series. Since the models under $1,000 are what most consumers buy, Lenovo is now trying to bring some of its more premium features to these lower-priced models. For example, the company’s updated IdeaPad S540 now includes Intel’s 8th Gen Core i7 processors or AMD’s Ryzen 7 3700U processors and an option for Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050 discrete graphics card. Lenovo will launch three versions in April and June: a 14-inch Intel model starting at $879.99, a 15-inch model at $849.99, and a 14-inch AMD variant starting at $729.99. (Source: The Verge)

Why this is important for your business:

I’ve found ThinkPads to be extremely reliable and durable which is why they make up most of the laptops we buy.

5— Robots at Work: meet the non-engineer who automated his small business.

Curtis Lucas, owner of Alaska Professional Janitorial (APJ), a commercial janitorial business, is an example of how automation is impacting small and mid-sized businesses—and how accessible automation technology is becoming, even to non-engineers. After having trouble finding employees to do cleaning, Lucas decided to design a robot for the job and found easily available, affordable sonic sensors, microprocessors for software architecture, and motors and motor controllers to construct the robot. He did most of the coding himself but hired someone to improve on his work and develop the app to run the robot. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

If some dude in Alaska is easily building robots how long will it be until these machines truly overtake the world?  Answer: not as long as some people think!

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