I think this is a fantastic article! As someone working in the emerging “local tech” space, I’m very excited to see how this industry will continue to evolve over the next few years. One thing seems abundantly clear, new technology is about to drastically alter the way consumers and local SMBs interact with each other. Many people believe this change will go hand in hand with smartphone technology, but I’m not convinced. Google Wallet and other mobile payment apps like LevelUp have seen less than stellar adoption rates, as have other mobile apps aimed at helping small business owners.
Then there’s Square, a young company that has a much different take on technological advances for local businesses. They can also be considered a “mobile payment” technology, but their product doesn’t require a big change in consumer behavior, i.e. pulling out a smartphone and downloading an app to pay.
I’m very interested to see how more startups can bring disruptive technology to the space without being, well, disruptive… I think that’s going to be the determining factor in which companies emerge as the dominant players in the local tech movement.
“Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Prob’ly die in a small town
Oh, those small – communities”
— Small Town, John Mellencamp
While “Social-Mobile-Local” is certainly an overused buzz phrase, most of the attention has been placed on the “social” and “mobile” parts of the phrase. In social, the spectacular rise of Facebook and Twitter is clearly a disruptive and critical trend. In mobile, the adoption of the smartphone (led by Apple’s iPhone and now catapulted forward by Android) is also a fundamentally important platform transition. Much less attention has been paid to the third concept, “local,” which is ironic since it may be a much larger real business opportunity than either social media or Smartphone application revenue. Over the next five years, this massive opportunity will come into focus as local businesses embrace the Internet and adopt new interactive technologies that increasingly automate the connections between their customers and…
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