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Eureka: Making a buck with technology Eureka: Making a buck with technology
by Akli Hadid
2018-05-08 08:40:44
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You have several types of technology. You have data, including small and big data, you have mechanical technology, chemical technology, nanotechnology and particle technnology, energy and nuclear technology, electrical technology and a few more obscure branches of technology.

How do you make a quick buck with technology? If you go to different business schools, you'll hear a lot of students say data's the next big thing. But then if you look at the industrial market, perhaps chemical technology is underrated. Electrical technology is also underrated, when nanotechnology tends to be overvalued or undervalued depending on who you ask.

techn0001_400So let's say I'm a big company or the government and I need to promote innovation in the field of technology. You can promote technology the East Asian way, which is to put everyone in a big crowded room and have them read the latest science magazines to figure out what new technologies have come out and come up with products paraphrasing the product. Or the East Asian way as in coming up with a  product and seeing no point in expanding the product to the rest of the world. Or you can do things the Western way, which is to come up with a lot of novelties in the world of technology that few people understand or would think is useful in the market. So let me discuss each technology very roughly.

Data-based technology: data is not just Google, Twitter and Facebook. It's also accounting, research, banking, corporate data systems, government data systems and personal data systems. The files you have on your desktop is data, the electricity company has a huge database, gas and water companies have huge databases, so do banks, conglomerates, large organizations, in sum big business. Small business also has data. Anywhere from the big university to the smaller kindergarten will have data, and so will the small restaurant or large restaurant chain.

So how do you make money from data? Some companies have made money from helping small and large companies organize and secure their database. But for that you need people who can visualize, make sense of, understand and anticipate what kind of data is coming in. There's a whole debate raging over what kind of human resources you need for data security, management and analysis. Are people with Asperger's syndrome better? Are people with a big sense of detail better? Or is it better to have people who look at the bigger picture? In data, you want to have people who know both how the technolgy works, how the data systems go around and come aroud, as well as company politics and management culture. If you work with some companies, you want to know that they like to keep things hidden from their boss, while others value clear and open communication. Some aspire to clear and open communication, only to regret the decision. Some data companies have a lot of experience, common sense and professionalism, while others are just looking for ways to make a quick buck. Some install data systems without saying a word, while others will train you to make sure you understand the data system.

Some say data is the place to invest and is the place where all the money is to be made, but the truth is you have a lot of companies who have a big name in the data business and you have to compete with them. If you can't beat them, join them as they say. So the idea is if you're in the data business, you are either so good that you can compete with the big names, or you just work for the big names. Now with visa restrictions Americans are increasingly kicking out data talent, so if you're a non-United States government, you want to work with the Americans and share some of your data talent with them. That also helps bring in some foreign currency.

Mechanical technology tends to be overlooked as a lot of the focus is on data. Of course now almost every technology is connected to data, so you want to find ways to connect data with industrial machines. Not all industrial machines work with data, and in some cases data can be redundant when it comes to industrial machines. So if you want to make a quick buck with industrial or mechanical technology, you really want to go to different industries and ask them what new technology would ease their production. You could then perhaps get funds to work on a new industrial project, and offer the new product. The problem is not all industries can afford new industrial or mechanical technologies, not all industries care for new technologies, a lot of industries want the technology to be tested and proved before using it, and to be honest a lot of industries don't want innovators to succeed nor do they want anything to do with an innovator's success. Furthermore a lot of industries have their own research and development labs, and a lot of industries look to the bigger names in mechanical technology. But there are success stories of people working in garages and making new motors or turbines for boats, cars, trains, textile machine lines, you name it.

Chemical technology. Medication is chemical. Cosmetics are chemical. Motor oil is chemical. A lot of the food production and processing industry uses chemicals. A lot of engineering projects use chemicals. You get the idea. Just as with mechanical industries, you need a solid industry in your country to be able to make a buck with chemical technologies. But pretty much everyone wants the same thing. They want cleaner, safer, longer lasting, more efficient chemicals in their products and the kind of technology that can massively produce such chemicals at a minimal cost.

Nanotechnology and particle technology. Nanotechnology isn't just about curing cancer, although a lot of people tend to associate nanotechnology with curing cancer. Nanotechnology and particle technology can also be those tiny particles that fix machines, that produce chemical effects, that transform energy or that make data displaying technologies more efficient. The problem with nanotechnology right now is that it's expensive and its uses can be very limited. But if you can find ways to make it indispensible, you can make a quick buck or two.

Energy and nuclear technology. The problem with energy is more countries are industrializing, more countries need sources of alternative energy and more countries and consuming more energy every day. So if you can come up with new technologies that can produce more energy, you can strike it rich. Right now solar and wind energy is all the talk, although no one has really come up with concrete ways for people to use solar or wind energy on a daily basis and on a large scale. So if you come up with ways to popularize cheaper, more available and more reliable sources of energy, you can make a quick buck or two. Otherwise you can still focus on the energies widely used today, and find ways to make those more efficient and less costly.

Electrical technology. Electricity and electrical products are underrated, yet are widely used. If you can find ways to make smartphone batteries last longer, televisions, computers or light bulbs to work without requiring energy input, or a frige that you can charge for three minutes at minimal energy cost and use for months without needing to recharge it, you can make a buck or two.

Barriers to making money in the world of technology:

-Ethical and legal considerations: there are some experiments you're not allowed to conduct, sometimes you can have a fine product but the law won't allow it, other times laws can be complicated when it comes to helping companies acquire your new technology.

-Human considerations: sometimes you can have a great products but people will be jealous and will reject it only to come up with the exact same products. Other times people won't trust you when it comes to the usefulness of your product.

-Cost considerations: You need to find ways to discover new technologies at minimal cost and yet sell them at the highest possible price. Finding the funds to start researching or producing is not always easy.

-Competing with the giants. The giants have new technology products in their warehouse and you don't know when they will pull them out of the warehouse. So you could come out with a new technology that already exists, but that is hidden from the public. 


     
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