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Tech Bytes – Week of Mar 14

📰 Recent Top Tech News

  1. Zapier (APIs) acquires MakerPad (No-Code Community) for users

  2. Roblox, a kids game platform, goes public, valued at US$45 Billion

  3. Verkada, cloud security camera company, gets hacked exposing thousands of feeds online

The Takeaways

1. Zapier, the leading system ($100Mn Annual Revenue) in connecting online software, recently acquired MakerPad, an online learning community for developers and general business users to learn about No-Code development.

🔎 Our Take

  • A core software company like Zapier recognises the value of acquiring a community. MakerPad users learn about how to integrate various platforms by using user-friendly drag-and-drop logic, instead of having to learn programming languages. This is known as No-Code. Zapier wins by getting an active community of users, who can make use of Zapier’s systems as well.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Your clients (and future clients) are often part of different communities, especially learning communities. Seek these groups, which might be on social media networks, or on newsletters and get your presence on them. This might mean sponsoring events or even acquiring that platform.

2. Roblox went public at a stunning $US45 Billion valuation, which is now bigger than any other gaming company, e.g. Electronic Arts (US$37 Billion). Roblox is massively popular with kids, with over 50% of US Kids under age 16 played Roblox in 2020. Roblox is also a platform, where anyone can make games within Roblox that others can play.

🔎 Our Take

  • Roblox represents the right combination of a few great ideas, including an easy-to-use development framework, ease of use for building and playing games, and a fun user experience that makes it easy for kids to play on. Roblox makes everything free to use and monetises by selling cosmetic items like skins, colours, etc. This makes the experience fun for everyone. This combined with the social experience of gaming makes it an interesting platform with room to grow.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Being a platform where users enjoy creating things and other users enjoy consuming them is the dream for any company, as the hard part of originality and innovation is effectively crowdsourced. Empower your top clients, users to create things and offer an incentive to them.

3. Verkada, which sells a facial recognition system that allows businesses to track employees on security cameras, was recently hacked. A reported 24,000 companies were on the list, with hackers posting live pictures of security cameras around the world, including at companies such as Tesla, and various jails and hospitals.

🔎 Our Take

  • Surveillance allows for more security and assurance when things need to be monitored for safety, however, there are always risks when connecting those systems to the rest of the internet. Every system carries some possible risk, so its a matter of being able to proactively keep an eye on risks and also react quickly. Most camera feeds would be quite uninteresting, and most cities already have public cameras on the streets with facial recognition.

🧁 Your Takeaway

  • Using cloud systems introduces some risk, but in general, the benefits of an online system are much more valuable, so embrace them and get your work done. Keep an eye out for red flags when using any system to avoid getting phished and being the weak link into your system.

Jargon Buster

  • AR – Augmented Reality – this visual technology allows you to see 3D graphics (like animals) but as if they are in the real world with you.

  • Apple is likely launching a Glasses product in a few years, focusing on a fresh new AR experience. Facebook acquired Oculus, a company that builds virtual reality headsets to create products in this market, though they haven’t made it user friendly.

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