Hi readers, welcome to my sixth blog about Entrepreneurship and Networks!
For this week’s assignment, we had to come up with an appropriate innovation for entrepreneurs. When I read this, I immediately thought of one of the biggest adopted innovations among big businesses: social media. I think that as for the maturity of the diffusion of social media in terms of Rogers (2003) – who wrote a book about innovation diffusion – social media has a very high diffusion in my opinion. Not only just among people in the society, but also among businesses who use it for their advantage. Social media counts in my opinion mainly as a service innovation, which businesses use to advertise their products/services (think of Facebook, Instagram, Youtube), but also to get in touch with people (think of Facebook again, LinkedIn, Google+) in order to expand their network and potentially their social capital. As I said, one thing that is for certain is that big enterprises use social media, but what about smaller businesses and beginning entrepreneurs? Do they use it as well?
In order to find this out, I interviewed 3 entrepreneurs, each with small retail businesses: a relative of my family who owns her own small flower stall in Amstelveen, a former class mate of mine who co-owns a small jewelry and must-haves store, and a former teammate of mine, who just recently opened his own surf shop in Sneek.
As for the florist, she recently started using Facebook and Google+ for her business purposes. I consider her among the late majority who is using social media for their business. She told me that she never actually thought of it as a means of, for example, advertising, which she now uses it for. As for the other 2 entrepreneurs, they started using social media for their business purposes. My former class mate mainly uses Facebook and Instagram to promote her wares and my former teammate mainly uses Facebook and Youtube, where he regularly posts videos to draw attention for surfing and his shop in particular. I think the both of them can be considered as early adopters, since they weren’t the first ones to use it, because their businesses aren’t that old, but they immediately started using it when they started their business.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my blog and hopefully you will read my next week’s blog as well! 🙂
This week we had to identify an appropriate innovation for entrepreneurs which has over 50% of adopters. I will be discussing a service innovation, which if you think about it nearly everyone uses right now, the cloud. Dropbox and Google Drive are both examples of cloud storage services which basically store whatever you want remotely and you can get these files back any time you want. Many people use this to store, share and work on projects together. Cloud computing is that companies are running software on other people servers so they don’t need to have gigantic servers in their own company to handle all of the data etc.. For example, Amazon is a provider of this service. They made it popular in the year 2000 even though it had been around a little longer than that.
I found an entrepreneur through the company I work for which offers IT migration services and asked if he used cloud computing or a cloud storage service. He told me that he constantly uses Google Drive (cloud storage service) for his business because of planning with the other managers in the company, since they work on a project basis they constantly need to update the schedule and different people are working to plan all these different projects. With Google Drive other users can instantly see what has changed. They started using this last year so I would say they are late adopters since the technology has already spread everywhere. He said that one of his employees showed him the capabilities, and ever since that day they used it. I talked to another entrepreneur who owned a programming company. I got to know him through a friend of mine who does computer science. He had a similar story but used cloud computing only on a personal level since he was concerned with the privacy issues. If his code got out because, for example if Dropbox is hacked, the project might be compromised. He’d rather have the files only locally instead of in the cloud.
I did my best to find three similar entrepreneurs who might use this innovation, but sadly I only found two. Fortunately I talked to a cousin of mine who works in a company where they work out statistics for other businesses and he told me that they work with a cloud based network. Nothing they do on the computer is actually stored there. The company sometimes gets huge pieces of data which they need to process quickly through a program and this is also done on a remote server provided by another company.
The diffusion and adoption of the two services I mentioned which the cloud offers is very high. Cloud storage services are very handy for accessing and sharing your data anywhere with anyone. Cloud computing saves companies a lot of money and time, which influences the adoption process positively. I think that the adoption process is somewhat slowed down by people who have concerns about privacy.
Hi Readers, This is the last assignment for Entrepreneurship and Networks. This week we have to identify an appropriate innovation for entrepreneurs which is sufficiently spread among the entrepreneurial population. I will be discussing a recent innovation which is payments using NFC. This service enables users to pay their bill by just holding their debit card against a special device. There is no longer any need to enter your pin code, which is really beneficial for payments in areas where time is short for example at train stations. Since some people see this as a security issue, it only works for bills up to 25 euro’s.
The remarkable thing is that the diffusion and adoption of this service is quite high. Nearly all ING and ABN AMRO customers are able to use this service. However, not many people know this which slows down the adoption since they simply don’t know they are able to use it. Furthermore not every shop has the new payment device already available. I think the adoption is not that fast since the service is not yet supported by many shops which may cause people to ditch this innovation. But the usage rate is increasing, in terms of Rogers (2003) adoption is now among the early majority. Recently Apple revealed the iPhone 6 which is capable of NFC payments, since the iPhone has a really high level of diffusion it might be able to help to make NFC payments more mainstream. History thought us that all Apple’s services are received well which will hopefully also happen to NFC payments since it’s a really good innovation.
I spoke to three owners of small shops in my street (bakery, flower shop, butcher) whether or not they are supporting NFC Payments, this first shop owner I spoke with had never heard of it and was not going to implement it any time soon. The second owner I spoke with was actually expecting his new payments device next week, he did however not expect many people to use it. The last shop (butcher) supported it and was quite happy with is, he has a special service where people can buy a lunch, since these people are often in a hurry he noticed they are using NFC payments. He saw one other shop which provides this service and decided to provide it himself, imitation (contagion) according to Young (2009).
After these interviews I came to the conclusion that NFC payments are not widely accepted yet but there is certainly a future for it!
Thanks for reading,
Hi there readers,
This week’s blog is all about the diffusion of innovation adoption. I have to tell you guys about an appropriate innovation that has been sufficiently spread. It’s not hard to find such an innovation since these days the news is all about start-ups and new technologies or innovations. Since the government gave me a student travel card I immediately though of this as an innovation.
The government introduced in cooperation with all the public transportation businesses an public transport chip card, replacing the older paper cards. Every public transport carrier had his own paper ticket, with bad luck you had to buy four different tickets to get to your destination. Now with the public transport chip card you can travel through the Netherlands with a prepaid card.
This public transport chip card is mainly a service because of the paper cards it replaces and the time it saves. This service started at a small group that travels regularly by public transport: students. You can call them the opinion leaders, although they had no other choice eventually. There was a time (almost a year) that you had the choice to use a public transport chip card or the old fashion paper card. Within the students there were innovators and early adopters. But when we take a look at the whole, last summer everyone who wanted to travel by public transport had to use the public transport chip card. Although most people accepted and adapted the card a lot earlier, the younger the people the earlier they adopted the innovative chip card.
Entrepreneurs using a public transport chip card don’t have problems not losing the paper cards anymore in case they want to declare them in their tax reports. There is a clear overview online with the costs and tracks covered. I didn’t find any entrepreneur using this, all driving a private/lease car where they have to pay for a parking ticket with the same problems. In that case YellowBrick or ParkLine is a nice innovation to write about but that’s something I came up with after writing this all down. Maybe something for next year…