If you’re in the technology industry like I am, you know how challenging it can be to stay up-to-date in our fast-changing niche.
Even the word technology has a different meaning today than it did a few years ago. It’s no longer just about our gadgets and computers. These days, technology touches almost every aspect of our lives.
Well, this sure is a blog post long overdue. You see, in my line of work, which is a combination of CMO/Co Founder of a startup (ZCast), tech blogger (on this blog and many others like TechCrunch, Business Insider, The Next Web, Huffington Post, Venturebeat, The Street, Mashable, and GigaOM to name a few), startup advisor (working in an advisory role with some of Israel’s leading startups), and mentor at pretty much all of Israel’s accelerators, I see a LOT of startups. Like an obscene amount of startups.
Yesterday was the much anticipated Apple iPhone event. Yes, I am getting the iPhone 7 Plus, no I do not intend on talking about all the announcements and why, iPhone aside, all the other announcements almost put me to sleep.
Let me just get this right out of the way, the DJI Phantom 4 is the best drone I’ve ever owned. Now to be clear, I’m not a professional droner (Is that a thing?) and I’ve only taken interest to this insanely fast growing industry in the past few years. If you want to buy one, go for it! If you do not, keep reading.
I am writing these words on an Apple iPad on my way back from a Huawei event in Shanghai. No one disputes Apple’s superiority in certain areas such as tablets and other consumer technologies. However, even the mighty Apple, the most valuable company on earth realized long ago that me writing blog posts on the plane using their tablet is not where the growth is. Want to know where the future lays? One word: Enterprise.
Yes, Huawei is no laughing matter in the consumer space. The company, without the US market, is the number three largest phone manufacturer worldwide after Apple and Samsung. The Huawei P9 sets the standard for mobile devices in 2016. Simply put, it is phenomenal. More on Huawei consumer technology here. But again, consumer? Meh.
Consumer < Enterprise
Huawei is single handedly dominating the mobile enterprise world and has been laying the infrastructure for our future connectivity around the globe for years now. You think your LTE is snappy? 5G is to LTE what LTE was to dial up, and that is a huge understatement. The speeds speak for themselves.
If you are an American consumer, you’ve perhaps seen the Huawei logo enough times to recognize it if I showed it to you, but if I asked you to pronounce the name of the company? That is where the conversation ends. Here’s the thing, that is going to change fast.
Huawei, in many markets, like the one I am flying over right now, the Chinese monster of a market dominates the way BlackBerry once dominated the business world. One small difference? Huawei is learning from some of the casualties of the mobile market, like BlackBerry and Nokia, and the company is innovating faster than anything I’ve ever seen.
Big data, 5G, automotive, virtual reality, and global connectivity are just some terms I heard thrown around over the past few days from the leading Huawei execs. This company isn’t playing around and while the US market has traditionally been strangely suspicious of Huawei, the company has basically said “No US? No problem. They’ll come begging when they realize that Huawei technology is running through the veins of all the leading technologies American consumers and businesses are using.”
The group of key opinion leaders Huawei brought to Shanghai
Will Huawei have the brand recognition that Apple is so well known for? Nope. Does it matter? Absolutely not. If anything, the opposite is true. Apple, through its recent partnerships with IBM and others clearly realizes that it has to start making a dent not only in people’s pockets but in the enterprise world as well, because that is the future.
Also? The iPhone 7 is a few weeks away and the leading rumor of what we expect to see in Apple’s next flagship? Dual lenses for better pictures. Where have I seen that again? Oh yes yes, the Huawei P9 in my pocket.
Listen, we all talk about the connected car, autonomous vehicles, and other technological dreams that are slowly becoming a reality but let me ask you a question…
When your autonomous connected car senses an obstacle on the road and notifies the system to brake, would you prefer that that communication take place over existing 4G/LTE technology that still causes your kids’ Barney videos on YouTube to buffer or would rather it take place over blistering fast 5G technology of which Huawei is the provider? Yea, that’s what I thought.
You might not yet know how to pronounce Huawei or know quite what to make of this company, but if you are interested in what’s coming and what will shape our future, then repeat after me:
Instagram stories, Snapchat, yada yada. So much has been said about Zuck’s repetitive and systematic ripping off of Snapchat so I will not be adding to that echo chamber. Before I talk about how the launch of Instagram Stories affected my personal usage of both platforms, I would like to talk a little bit about the phenomenon of copying. It sucks. No, really. Speaking as someone who has been plagiarized and blatantly copied, it royally bites.
It’s been a while, I find myself spending more and more time on platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube, and less time blogging. It’s a sore topic, so don’t get me started. I will just say this. I wouldn’t say blogging has been replaced and I most definitely intend on continuing to write here since everything good that has happened to me professionally happened because of this blog, but… I will say that storytelling, as in letting people really get to know you as a person or as a company, is a whole lot easier on these other platforms than it is via blogging.
I live in the United States. We have some of the best 4G networks in the world, which is a good and bad thing.
It’s good because we can access what we want, when we want, wherever we want. There are no restrictions and very few delays.
It’s bad because that digital luxury is turning us into spoiled brats when it comes to connectivity.
Many of us even have backup connections in the rare case that our primary connection fails.
When it comes to our Internet connection, we don’t mess around.
So as an American, learning about 5G technology at Huawei made me feel like a kid on Christmas morning.
Obviously Huawei is not the only company working on and testing 5G technology. Verizon, AT&T and many other tech giants are exploring this tech too.
Huawei has invested heavily in 5G, and their vision for how it will enhance our lives is inspiring.
What is 5G?
Think about all the devices that are connected to the Internet (between 6 and 7 billion).
You think that’s a lot? It isn’t. 99% of machines in the world today are not connected. But that’s changing fast.
Think about this from an IoT perspective. According to CNBC, there will be around 21 billion connected devices by 2020.
Okay, that’s insane.
How is our existing 4G network going to increase speed (which we want) while still being able to manage all those connected devices?
That’s where 5G comes in.
5G is the 5th generation of mobile technology.
How will this affect your life?
Imagine your Internet speed increasing by about 50%.
You’ll be able to download a whole movie faster than most web pages load today.
And what about 5G-enabled driverless cars? Yep, those fit into the equation too.
According to Huawei:
The combination of holographic imaging, augmented reality, driverless cars, smart factory, intelligent agriculture, smart logistics along with 5G’s ultra-high throughput, ultra-low latency and massive connections will stimulate an astonishing transformation of the way we live our lives, and even inspire the creation of new business models and industries.
Back in May, Huawei completed the first phase of key 5G technology tests as part of a series of field trials.
My question is, won’t our demand increase with 5G?
Won’t we want more resolution, more pixels, more augmented/virtual reality and more data in everything?
And what about global standardization?
Not to mention, building a 5G infrastructure seems like a daunting task.
We’ll see how it all plays out. I can’t wait!
As Huawei puts it, 5G will lead the human race into the era of “everything on mobile.”
Just think, kids born today will never know what it’s like to wait for a video to buffer. That’s nuts!
According to Huawei’s rotating CEO Guo Ping, there are some things we should do before 5G arrives. You can read that interview here.
It is time! By now, I have upped my Snapchat game… We have all upped our Snapchat game! Snapchat right now has so much in common with the early days of Twitter, it’s ridiculous! There is the active community that is in love with the platform, and then there is the normal folks who “Just don’t get it.” But they will!
If you haven’t heard about Snapchat by now, I have one question for you, that rock you’ve been living under, is it comfy? No, but seriously, what is happening right now with Snapchat is a combination of Facebook is 2009 and Twitter 2007. In other words, it is all anyone will talk about.