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Tech Bytes – Week of Jun 20

📰 Recent Top Tech News

  1. Google brings Chat, Meet, and a new “Spaces” to free Gmail accounts

  2. Spotify copies competitor Clubhouse feature in a new “Greenroom”

  3. Shein, a Chinese shopping app, overtakes Amazon Fashion with $10Bn revenue

The Takeaways

  1. Google brings paid features such as Workspace, Chat, video Meet to everyone who has a free Gmail account. This also integrates Chat better into other tools like Google Sheets.

🔎 Our Take

  • The way we work is changing, and Google knows this. We now expect faster collaboration within small teams, easy access to video conferencing and sharing documents. Microsoft and Apple are also building more ‘social’ features into documents, reflecting real-life interactions on the same documents.

  • Google has a terrible track record with trying different communication tools, having failed with 2 social networks and at least 5 messaging apps.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Collaboration tools are rapidly evolving. Working with cloud-based files offers many benefits now (multiple editors, Single source of truth, history of revisions, and offline mode if you need). Think twice before you attach that next .docx.

2. Spotify, the music streaming company, launched a new feature “Greenroom”, replicating the ‘live audio conference’ feature made popular by the Clubhouse app.

🔎 Our Take

  • Spotify started its journey in making music accessible to all with its free ad-supported music. It then added Podcasts with spoken broadcasts, with a strategy to pay for celebrities for exclusive sessions on Spotify. However, this was all one way from speaker to audience. Now, by ‘borrowing’ this feature of a live audio conference, Spotify enables creators to connect with fans, offering an advantage over competitors such as Apple Music.

  • Clubhouse is a single feature app waiting to be acquired or die, as other major companies add their major feature into own app. Facebook is already testing ‘Live Audio Rooms’ in the US.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Borrow good ideas where it makes sense. The tech industry almost expects that when one company rolls out a feature, that all others will bring in a version similar to that. Figure out how to make it happen.

3. Shein, the Chinese shopping app tripled to over $10Bn last year and has been the #1 e-commerce app in the US for the past 150+ days. Shein takes trends from TikTok and Instagram and can create a cheaper version ready to order online within 2 weeks.

🔎 Our Take

  •  If Zara and H&M pioneered “Fast Fashion” – being able to respond within weeks instead of seasonal months, then Shein is an example of “Ultra-Fast Fashion”. Shein appears to be sharing real-time data with their suppliers to give them a heads up, and actively monitoring trends across the internet.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • People now expect to be able to purchase what they see, near instantly. Give your partners a heads up when you see something on the horizon or going viral so that you collectively can react faster than your competition.

Jargon Buster

  • BNPL – Buy Now Pay Later – These are the online systems that allow you to take purchase items online and pay it over say 4 instalments over the next few weeks. BNPL companies are effectively lending companies, creating micro loans for that 1 purchase.

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