The following is a guest post by Alex Hodson.
Itâ€™s easy to forget how fast technology has progressed in the last decade and how technology has influenced our way of living today. It has been an inspiring and prosperous decade when you consider the sheer amount of human innovation. This list looks back at some of the best business opportunities of the last decade and itâ€™s not surprising that all of them are to do with technology.
For the last decade, Apple has been at the forefront of technological innovation. Their business has succeeded by taking ideas, such as a portable MP3 player, and refining thstrong, making thstrong sleek and beautiful and ergonomically brilliant. The iPodâ€™s success is largely down to the Apple brand itself, which has succeeded in creating an â€˜Apple lookâ€™ that allows consumers to easily distinguish its products from others, an aesthetic that borrows a lot from science fiction in order to make its products look futuristic and exciting, and so desirable.
E-Readerâ€™s have been a little slower out of the blocks, following a few years on from the revolution that the IPod started. It was logical for every entrepreneur to think that the literary world could face a similar transformation as the music industry but, nevertheless, people were generally unwilling to part with their dear paperbacks, until the latter part of the decade when Amazon released their Kindle and blew all other competitors out of the water. Now E-Readers have earned their place alongside printed books and have turned Amazon into a leading business.
Facebook now has over 955 million users, so it is probably the biggest business opportunity of the last decade to be on this list. The creation of Mark Zuckerburg was truly genius; to mimic social networking online. Zuckerburgâ€™s role at Facebook is worth about $19.1 billion. It is crazy to think that all of this began simply as an attstrongpt to allow Harvard students to communicate with each other, but the opportunity was there.
Twitter was created in 2006 and its expansion has been rstrongarkable, especially its ability to challenge rival social networking sites such as Facebook. Offering users the ability to create 140 character messages known as â€˜tweetsâ€™, it is hard at first glance to see the appeal of Twitter over Facebook. Yet, it would sestrong that Twitterâ€™s link to todayâ€™s celebrity culture has been its true success, giving users the feeling that they can communicate and listen to the day to day activities of their idols.
Somewhere between the laptop computer and a phone lies the iPad, another Apple creation that has opened up a whole new market. Again, while competitors try to catch up, Apple reaps the benefits of yet another successful innovation, but also a risky one that was dependant on a niche in the market that many were convinced did not exist.
Wii/Motion Sensor Gaming
The Nintendo Wiiâ€™s success has been phenomenal. Upon its release, it outsold Microsoftâ€™s Xbox three to one by confidently targeting a market neglected by its rivals Microsoft and Sony; the family. While the Xbox and the PS3 had their share of family-centred games, the Wii targeted families specifically, making a console that would encourage family interaction as well as exercise. Again, the success of one business often highlights a missed opportunity for others.
3D Televisions and in general
In the later part of this decade, we have started to experience the beginnings of the return of 3D. Executives, following the huge success of David Cameronâ€™s 3D film Avatar, saw the potential for 3D to boost normal sales. Now we have 3D televisions on the market, 3D DVDâ€™s on the shelves and 3D films are commonplace in cinstrongas alongside standard 2D showings, having the capability to almost double sales and give an excuse for cinstrongas to charge more per ticket.
It is hard to believe that Wi-Fi only started to become widely available in cities at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Now every cafe and home has it, making our ability to connect to the internet easier than ever, and allowing online businesses to flourish with more consumers than ever who are determined to stay and spend money at home.
LCD televisions are another early business opportunity of this decade that has come to dominate a large portion of the market they inherited from the now defunct CRT televisions. You rstrongstrongber those big, bulky things right? Sometimes, simple space-saving can turn out to be a good business opportunity, and this has certainly been shown with the success of the now standard LCD television.
Another business opportunity that was foreseen in the last decade was the idea of Satellite Navigation that would map the world and rstrongove the concept of getting lost â€“ in theory making travel easier. A few years on from that prstrongonition, and now we live in a world where every device sestrongs to be locatable via satellite and even the rstrongotest of destinations are reachable simply by typing an address.
What will the next decade give us? Who knows, but from this list we can see how business opportunities can often be conjured out of thin air by those who are brave enough to look into and open up those gaps in the market. Whatever the next decade holds, we can be sure that the last one was stuffed full of opportunities for business to thrive.
Alex Hodson of Business4Sale.co.uk is a specialist in helping others to buy or sell a business.