Holiday Shopping Just Got Easier–Check out These Gadgets!
- Published byadmin
- November 23, 2017
It can often be difficult to figure out what to get someone for a holiday gift. Fortunately, there is almost always a new gadget or gizmo that can make someone with particular interests happy. In this blog, we’ll go over a few cool gadgets that make excellent special-interest gifts.
For the Connected User
There has been a recent influx of Internet of Things and otherwise connected devices in the marketplace. This means that there are plenty of options to choose from when shopping for someone who dreams of a home they can control and customize with software and apps. From gifts designed to introduce someone to the connected concept, like the Philips Hue Starter Kit, to the person who is always talking to one digital assistant or another, like the Amazon Echo, Echo Spot, and Echo Show, Google Home, Home Max and Home Mini, there are plenty of devices suited for someone who has wanted to automate and computerize their environment.
For the Entertainment-Obsessed
If there’s anything that gadgets and gizmos are developed to do, it’s to provide entertainment. For those who love to take in the latest media via the latest devices, there are plenty of items that would make perfect gifts. From the highly popular Nintendo Switch to Microsoft’s Xbox One X, to the Amazon Kindle Oasis e-reader, to the Samsung 4K HD and Sony A1E series OLED 4K televisions. Admittedly, these items tend to fall under the “big-ticket” category, but aren’t the people we care about worth it?
For the Photographer in All of Us
Photography has evolved, with technology making it easier and easier for anyone to pick up a camera and take a half-decent picture. Whether the recipient is more interested in using their mobile device or a true camera, there are plenty of options for gifts that are sure to please. Mobile photogs would be happy to receive a lens adapter, selfie light or selfie remote, while hobbyists would very likely appreciate receiving a point-and-shoot like the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V camera or Nikon D5500, or a useful accessory like a tripod. Finally, any photographer would appreciate a solid backup and editing system they could use on-the-go, like a GNARBOX.
Of course, you may find some other gift that works even better for someone who combines technology with their passions to improve upon their experience. What gifts have you given that have proven to be successful and well-used? Let us know in the comments!
100+ Years Ago, IBM Started Just Like Any Other Business
- Published byadmin
- June 23, 2017
Of the many technology companies in the public eye, IBM is one of the oldest and perhaps the most recognizable–but do you know the story behind Big Blue? It’s a history of innovation and revolution in computing that stretches back over 100 years, to when it was created by uniting three existing companies.
In 1911, a man named Charles Runlet Flint merged two of his existing companies, International Time Recording Company and Computing Scale Company of America with a critical third company that he had just acquired: Tabulating Machine Company. This new company was known as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (or CTR).
The machines made by CTR were capable of sorting, analyzing, and eventually running calculations based on punch cards that were input into the machine. While this development had clear business applications in hindsight, it wasn’t until the controversial Thomas Watson was brought in as company president (after deftly avoiding lasting consequences from a conviction of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act–the act that bans monopolies) that the value of the tabulating division was focused upon.
Not only did Watson know his target audience well enough to know that the business-oriented tabulating machines would be in high demand as the United States became increasingly business-oriented itself, but he also understood the value of presenting CTR’s offerings as a service, rather than a product. This arrangement proved to be mutually successful for both CTR and its clients, as the sales team was able to inform the company of what their clients wanted to see from them next, thereby allowing the needs of their clients to be met.
By 1924, CTR had been renamed to International Business Machines to reflect the consolidation of the business and echo the timeless feel of other large brands of the day. 1925 saw Watson take up responsibilities as both the chief executive officer and the chief operating officer. In the following years, IBM would thrive in the face of the Great Depression, only receiving a boost from the federal bureaucracies’ need for computing devices after President Roosevelt’s New Deal mandates. Demand for the tabulation machines continued to increase during wartime, and by the time Thomas Watson, Jr. was brought on as his father’s successor in 1952, computers were slowly becoming more and more common in the office environment. Many companies had a simple transition, as they were simply trading their IBM tabulators for computers.
IBM truly went global in 1949, offering sales worldwide in a total of 58 countries. IBM World Trade Corporation dominated the global market everywhere but Japan and the United Kingdom, achieving a market share of (only) 33 percent in those countries.
However, in 1952, IBM was again hit by an antitrust lawsuit from the US government, and more critically, another from a niche computer pioneer called Control Data Corporation. IBM powered through these challenges, as well as shifts in leadership until the 1980s. At this point, Big Blue began to falter under pressure from other niche competitors. As a result, the company changed their management strategy, and weathered through business fluctuations until 2004, when they again stabilized their success rate.
IBM’s story of one of success, and there are lessons to be learned here for your own business. By forming the right partnerships and providing a product or service that’s in growing demand, your company can grow exponentially. IBM also shows business owners how to overcome challenges, like diversifying what you do in order to weather the inevitable changes in the marketplace, as well the importance of strong leadership. By learning from the successes of companies like IBM, who knows, maybe your SMB can do what it takes to rise to the top!