From Facebook to Twitter, YouTube executives say they welcome more competition in the video arena. “I think you are seeing tremendous validation of the market … and we are just happy to be part of it,” Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s head of content, said at a conference this week. As Marketing Land notes: “Kyncl said there’s room for many large players in what he believes to be a $200-$400 billion market and said YouTube is thriving, with year over year growth in video views at 50% for the last three years.” Source (Feb 19 2015)

As a Partner at Red Rocket Ventures, I am exposed to hundreds of startup ideas each year.  Below is sampling of the key digital trends that are getting the most investor attention in 2015 (in no particular order):

  1. Omni-Channel Customer-Centric Focus.  Enterprise brands are trying to break down internal silos, to get disparate systems to better integrate around one holistic customer-focused experience.  Think digital, mobile, social, CRM databases all merging into one tracking users across the user experience.
  2. Mobile Payments.  Needing your wallets and credit cards will be a thing of the past, as your mobile apps via your phone will replace that need.
  3. 3D Printing.  Once an incredible dream, and now a reality which is revolutionizing many manufacturing sectors, helping them to lower costs compared to original techniques.

Read more here (FORBES Jan 6 2015)

Millions of consumers worldwide have had enough of ineffective virtual ‘assistance’ by web or phone.

What’s more, they’ve been enjoying on-demand face time with their friends for years now. The tech exists – why can’t brands catch up?

Now, forward-thinking brands are finally doing just that: by providing webcam-enabled face-to-face interaction with their customer service representatives – as and when consumers need it. Source (September 2014)

Today, Songza is the latest example of the escalation of the race among the world’s largest tech companies to dominate the streaming space: Google purchased the company for an undisclosed sum. The total is said to be significantly more than the $15 million number reported last month before the deal was finalized. Read More (July 1 2014)

Woon Choy, meanwhile, said that the business coaching industry — currently estimated at approximately US$2.4 billion — is one of the fastest growing in the world. After 15 years of providing management and executive training to big banks, the former vice-president of Citigroup Jamaica now provides coaching services to small, medium and large companies across the island. Article (June 26 2014)

But new data from Sageworks, a financial information company, show that at least in recent years, the financial performance of small businesses has been pretty good, too. For the average privately held company with less than $10 million in annual sales, sales have increased every year since 2009 and profitability has more than doubled, according to data from financial statements for the firms. Article (May 25 2014)

Coffee production is affected by “a fungus called coffee rust that has caused more than US$1 billion in damage across Latin American region. The fungus is especially deadly to Arabica coffee, the bean that makes up most high-end, specialty coffees. ” The price of some high-end coffee has increased as a result. Read more (May 18 2014)

“Large coffee processor Mavis Bank Coffee Factory (MBCF) expects to earn less profit this year, but a small farmer with sufficient coffee will earn more money. It’s a slight rebalancing of fortunes for the industry currently suffering a coffee shortage.” Read More (May 16 2014)

The amount of aluminium body sheet content in North American vehicles is expected to quadruple by 2015 and increase tenfold by 2025 from 2012 levels, Alcoa said in a statement issued during the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit last week. (Source) (Jan 24 2014)

If Jamaica looks to Haiti, it, too, could produce high-tech tablet computers for the local and export markets, according to Brian Pengelley, president of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA). Continue (Jan 3 2014)

(Not really a trend but worth mentioning) “Geographer and businessman Krishna Vaswani aims to raise US$4 million of financing in order to set up a 15MW clean-energy facility…Vaswani pitched his business plan at the three-day Jamaica Stock Exchange Investment and Capital Markets Conference…He was one of six entrepreneurs seeking venture capital funding at the closing day of the conference.” Read more (Jan 25 2013)

Smartphone sales to hit 1bn a year for first time in 2013 (Jan 6 2013)

Trends That Will Affect Every Startup In 2013 (Jan 4 2013)

“How people consume content has changed drastically in the past few years. They are cutting cords with the cable companies and signing up for on-demand services such as Hulu and Netflix, or buying shows and movies through Amazon or Apple. Viewers want to watch TV on their smartphones and tablets. They are multitasking, watching the “The Walking Dead” while commenting on Twitter.”

“In response, television companies will attempt to connect TVs to the Internet and share content between mobile devices, set-top boxes and televisions.” More (Jan 4 2013)

“In the last couple of years smartphone sales have started to exceed PC sales, which demonstrates that people are using their mobile phones for more than making phone calls.” (Jan 4 2013)

Travel’s 12 hot trends for 2012 (Dec 4 2012)

9 Online Marketing Trends For 2013 (Dec 3 2012)

9 Tech Trends That Will Make Someone Billions Of Dollars Next Year (Dec 3 2012)

Start-ups, digital media trends and the BBC (Dec 3 2012)

Seven big trends for small businesses in 2013 (Nov 30 2012)

Trends for 2013: Making Mobile-First a Priority (Nov 27 2012)

Major Trends In China: The Next 10 Years (Nov 27 2012)

Online Holiday Shopping Forecast and Trends (Sep 2012)

Recent Trends in Mobile Shopping (Aug 2012)

The Top 6 Trends Shaping Local Search in 2012 and Beyond (April 2012)

Mobile Trends: Consumer Views of Mobile Shopping and Mobile Service Providers (April 2011)



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