Is Your Startup a Tech Startup? A Brief Exposition
If there’s anything everyone can agree on, it’s that every techpreneur is an entrepreneur. There are many similarities that put these two together in the same ship – identifying opportunities and turning those opportunities into something worthwhile.
The techpreneur is a new kind of entrepreneur. The kind that sees solutions to problems with a technical eye, from a technological perspective, with an advanced, high-end technology mindset.
Using digital marketing doesn’t make it a technology company
Not long ago, I was having a conversation with a friend and he tried to convince me that his company uses latest technology in its operations, thus it is a technology company. I was curious about this revelation, because I know quite a lot about his company and it never came across to me as one that has technology as it’s underlining principle. So I asked. And his response was, “we are vehemently using social media to enhance sales and increase our brand equity”.
Now, while this is not entirely false, it is delusional for any company to think that once it integrates social media into its activities then it qualifies to say that it is a technology company.
[bctt tweet=”Technology is bigger than social media.” username=”techtodaygh”]
What is a technology company? It’s quite convoluted
It’s common practice among startups these days, where every company claims to be a tech company. Some of the major reasons this is so include; attracting talent, and appealing to investors, VCs etc.
It should have been a good practice, except that some are just delusional about it – more like the fake it till you make it philosophy. Being delusional about it rather than facing reality only sets you up for greater failure.
Here’s what Alex Payne, co-founder of Simple, had to say about what a technology company is;
“You’re a technology company if you are in the business of selling technology, if you make money by selling applied scientific knowledge that solves a concrete problem”.
Greg Bettinelli, partner at Upfront Ventures makes it simpler when he said: “Ask the question; could this company exist without technology? If the answer is it has to be a tech company”
A technology company has technology at its core!
Could Amazon exist without technology? No. How about Google? Or Asoriba?
So what is it that we are talking about here?
It depends on what or whom you ask specifically. But whatever the innovation is, it must have technology at the core, as its underlining principle. It’s the technology underneath it that makes it accessible to everyone.
The world is fast moving at the speed of technology. The principles of technology guide everything we do, as individuals or companies. Most companies from various industries are trying to integrate technology into its innovations and operations. Others have just limited their ‘technology’ to just digital or social media, stating that marketing their business the social media or digital way is their way of integrating technology into their business. But applying technology to your startup goes beyond digital operations. Digital is just a little fragment of technology.
Okay, so what should companies do then?
Find ways to use technology to solve tangible problems. You don’t necessarily have to be technical to think like a techpreneur or found a tech company. Computers and robots are taking place of human skills. Serious entrepreneurs are shifting attention to deep learning, neural networks, etc. because they know that Artificial Intelligence is the future of tech. Any other thing you’re doing now wouldn’t matter in the next 5 – 10 years if you’re not thinking around the above subjects, regardless of the sector you find yourself in.
The smart watch is arguably the first fashion tech wearable in the fashion industry. There are many more innovations that have come up in this same industry.
Can any industry exempt itself from this?
The revolution of technology is ruthlessly non-negotiable; we need technological breakthrough in all industries and fields, in Africa especially. Technology is not a thing for computer scientists or engineers alone, it’s everybody’s business in this era. The farmer, doctor, lawyer, fashionista, artist, E.V.E.R.Y.B.O.D.Y.!