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Top 5 Technology Events That Affect Small Business by ChooseWhat.com

ChooseWhat.com lists the most buzzworthy recent events in the technology industry, and how small business owners can prepare for them.

 
PRLog - Sep. 14, 2012 - 1.   Apple v. Samsung: A lot has been made about Apple’s victory over Samsung in violating patents related to the iPhone; from rumors about Samsung paying the billion dollar verdict in nickels, to claims that Samsung is now doomed. Although the former has been debunked and the latter is viewed by many as a gross overstatement, there is one major result from the lawsuit. This verdict gives Apple the edge on future marketing and legal battles with its ultimate nemesis Google, and the Android platform – the operating system that runs Samsung’s smartphones.  

How this applies to you: While the verdict is far from being final (Samsung is in the process of challenging the ruling), there are a couple major effects consumers will feel if the verdict is upheld. For one, Samsung smartphones could become more expensive if they choose to keep the features they are being sued for since they would owe Apple royalties on every phone sold. In addition, Samsung smartphones would most likely lose some of their easy-to-use features that were first introduced by Apple. All-in-all, this ruling and its consequences will take years to play out, but if the ruling holds it will definitely have long-term effects on the future of the tech landscape. (via
Huff Post Tech)

2.   Quora -- The Future of the Web: Created by two former Facebook employees, Quora is a massive question-and-answer database set to revolutionize the information age. Although not (yet) as robust as Wikipedia, Quora contains questions and answers on nearly everything.  Once registered with Quora, users select their favorite topics and every time they return to the site its algorithm is designed will have something new and interesting to read. This is set up (not so coincidentally) just like Facebook’s “News Feed” algorithm. No flash, little flair, but fully capable of answering any question you might have.(via
Business Insider)

How this applies to you: Since Quora is a new, hip social media website; jumping on it early can be very beneficial to any business. You can use it to do market research, find ideas to talk about on your website, open lines of communication between you and your customers, or if that all fails it is a great place to sharpen your communication skills by learning how to form clear and concise responses to questions. All of these ideas and more are elaborated on Inc's (
Top 10 on using Quora for Business).

3.   Square Launches New Pricing Structure: Square is the leader in mobile credit card processing for start-ups and small businesses. Now, in addition to Square’s 2.75% per swipe transaction fee charged to businesses that use the app, the company is allowing businesses to pay a $275 flat monthly fee with no per-transaction cost. Although this means that to break even, businesses would have to process more than $10,000 (2.75% x 10,000 = $275) of credit card transactions through the app each month. But, for those small businesses feeling strained by the 2.75% per swipe fee charged by Square, this monthly fee could be a salvation.  Via (
Small Business trends.)

How this applies to you: While the breakeven transaction level of $10,000 a month might seem high to some, think of it this way: If you have 100 card-using customers a day who spend $10 each, you’ll reach the $10,000 mark in just 10 days, leaving you with the other 20+ days of each month to have (technically) free credit card processing compared to the inflexible per-swipe rate.

4.   eFax Launches App for Word 2013: Industry stalwart eFax has just created its first online app for faxing with Microsoft Word 2013. The app allows users to fax documents directly from Word without needing a printer and scanner or fax machine. This app can be downloaded straight from Microsoft’s Office Store and is activated by creating a new eFax account (that comes with a 30-day free trial) or by entering in your existing eFax account login info. (via ( eFax.)

How this applies to you: The eFax app for Word 2013 eliminates two of the more time consuming steps in sending a document via fax; printing and scanning. Now you don’t have to walk to your printer to get the paper document and then over to the fax machine to scan in order to fax it. Just fill in a few simple fields and your electronic document is ready to be sent through eFax’s online faxing service.

5.   A Facebook for Marketers: GraphEffect is a social network created to enhance collaboration and transparency within marketing departments and organizations. The software allows co-workers to work together on a multitude of projects from planning and content creation to campaign analysis, social advertising, and more. This platform is currently being used by various major organizations including American Express, Toyota, Samsung, and Clorox. (via (Yahoo! News)

How this applies to you: While GraphEffect’s platform APIs have been only available to select developers, they have announced in the last few weeks that it will soon be open to the public. Allowing all businesses, small and large, to take advantage of this groundbreaking collaboration tool marketing their brand.  If you’d like a quick (but detailed) tour of the software, ( (Business Insider has you covered. ) Business Insider has you covered.

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