Top Tech Trends feat Randy Zuckerberg

Edited excerpt from the City of Unley Community Team Newsletter (August 2014)

What seems like eons ago I was fortunate enough to attend an early morning breakfast hosted by Business Chicks to hear the effervescent Randi Zuckerberg share her insights into the latest and greatest learning of the digital and social media world.

The name Zuckerberg of course has worldwide notoriety, the most famous Zuckerberg being Mark, social media giant and founder of Facebook. Well, his sister is as equally talented in her own right, being the former Marketing Director and spokesperson for Facebook, then running her own media firm Zuckerberg media, which she represented clients such as Clinton Global, Cirque du Soliel, the United Nations and travel mag, Condé Nast. Now Randi heads up Dot Complicated, a digital lifestyle website (and author of book of the same name), which is hot on the heels of the latest digital trends that will potentially reshape life as we know it.

And because the digital space is becoming increasingly a key part of our communications and service provision, and imposing itself on our personal lives too, I thought you may be interested in these emerging trends and get a kick out of them also.  Enjoy…

 The rise of the entre-ployee

Many young people want to be entrepreneurs, and employees are catering to this to retain top talent. Randi talked about companies like Google allowing employees to spend 20% of their time on their own projects, and how other businesses are setting up start-up labs for employees. There’s also a rising interest in all-night hack-a-thons where employees brainstorm ideas and find solutions to problems.  The learning here is that good ideas and sustainable solutions can come from anyone in the business, and those closest to the business are likely to have the answer

Every single one of us is a media company

All businesses, big and small, need to think like a media company: Randi stresses the importance of building staff digital literacy and competency and educating and engaging with your customer through social medi

Connections are currency

Those of us with a high level of “klout” (aka social media influence and following) may now be able to stay in a hotel for free, attract significant discounts and receive VIP perks just because of our following. Some restaurants are even waiving the bill if you’ve showed them you’ve uploaded a photo of your meal and tagged them on social media. Fashion icon Marc Jacobs launched a pop up shop and you could buy his clothes based on social credit. Popular now pays…

Reinventing retail

Retail is no longer about walking in and out of shops. People are buying shoes on their phones or tablet; one jeans retailer allows shoppers to scan the QR code on a pair of jeans they like, and then a robot (yes an ACTUAL robot) brings out the jeans for them to try on. She also pointed to pop-up shops and vending machines that sell Chanel handbags, accessories and sunglasses. The banking industry is taking this up big time – transitioning from a card based service model to virtual: providing services via apps and mobile devices.

FOMO becomes JOMO

Forget the fear of missing out, where you scroll through social media and see how exciting everyone else’s lives seems to be – Randi says it’s now all about thejoy of missing out. We’re now seeing the creating of apps such as Anti-Social which actually blocks social-media networks for a period of time.

The Maker Movement
3D printing is on the rise – you can now print pancakes, makeup and houses. Within the next 12 months, we’re likely to be printing functional body parts, providing endless possibilities in the healthcare industry.   Sadly 3D printed weaponry is also on the rise – had me thinking that all of these amazing innovations often come with complications.

Life logging

We’re becoming huge loggers and constantly documenting our lives, whether it be for health and fitness or work activities, and there’s no sign of it slowing down. There’s apps to track children and pets, “Narative” or ‘Lulu Guiness” handbags which automatically takes a photo record every 15 – 30 minutes, nail polish that sparkles when you are near a free wifi network, and even an app (Tikker) that counts down the minutes left in your life (ps – no thank you).

The new frontier of education and healthcare

With huge advances in technology we’re sure to see advances in education and health, and uni lectures could soon be a thing of the past. We will do more and more courses online, and education and up-skilling is becoming accessible to everyone. Take up of platforms like YouTube and skills share make it easy learn online and go from zero to hero on anything from brain surgery to loom banding. Drs online – allows you to have your medical consultations over the internet – online platform coupled with apps (such as stethoscopes, pulse checks) sends information to the Dr to read results and diagnose.

Gamification for motivation 

Apps are making a game out of motivating us. Some hilarious examples are an alarm clock that donates money to charity when you hit snooze; Zombies Run app that makes you run faster because zombies are chasing you; and GymShamer shames you on social media for missing your gym session.

Unplug to refresh 

Five years ago, no one would actually pay to go to a health retreat without Wi-Fi – but as digital devices increasingly choke up our days, more people are looking to ‘digital detox retreats’ to reboot their lives.

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