In this article, the focus is on making money. I want to provide you with some clever ways you can earn money and boost your bank account. But, there’s a twist! As you can tell from the title, the emphasis is on technology. How can you use technology to make lots of money?
Funnily enough, there are loads of ways you can do this. However, if I spoke about all of them, you’d be here all day. So, I’ve picked out the best four ideas, and will explain them to you down below:
Naturally, manufacturing is a brilliant way to make money using technology. Think about the technology sector as a whole. Every device you pick up is created using various bits and pieces. If you’ve ever opened up a laptop or TV, you’ll see everything inside. There are circuit boards and many other things that connect to one another. A lot of the time, you’ll find the same things in multiple devices. This is because a company manufactures this part, and sells it to other electronics businesses. So, one way for you to make money is to manufacture certain electronics parts. No doubt you will find plenty of businesses willing to pay for the things you create. It saves them time as they can buy a finished product and not have to make it themselves.
There is another way you can take electronics manufacturing and make money from it. Instead of making your customers decide what they want to make. Learn from Macrofab and many other companies that are letting electronics creators design their own things. They can use your business to design hardware, and then you can build it and send it to them. The difference between this idea and the above one is that it’s more personal to your customers. Instead of you acting like a vendor and selling the same products, you’re bringing their designs to life. Either way, they’re both great ideas, and you can make a lot of money from them. It’s yet another example of how technology can be used to make cash.
While the above point focuses on hardware, this one is all about software. We’re so used to it, most of us forget that software is all around us. Almost everything we do will require software of some format. As an example, I need word processing software to type up this article right now. I also need web design software to create my site and keep it running. People in offices all over the world depend on software to keep them going. The more technology takes over our lives, the more dependent we become on software. For this reason, it presents a great chance of making lots of money. If you develop and sell software, then you can earn a fortune.
There are a couple of routes you can take with software development. My first idea is to look at what’s out there now and improve on it. Again, I’ll use word processing software as my example here. Take a look at the word processing software that people are using the most. Now, think about the weak points that everyone complains about. Then, design and build your own word processing software, addressing these issues. Improve on what’s out there, so, more people will be attracted to your development. The other route is to try and come up with something that’s not on the market. It will be hard, as most things are integrated into software these days. My advice is to think of processes that can be improved using software. Then, try and develop the best software possible. You should also be clever with your pricing strategy here. Most people want a free trial of software before they buy it. This is because it helps them get used to it and figure out if it’s right for them. Then, give different pricing options that cater to different users. Offer a cheap, basic package that grants them some use of the product. They can still use the software, but won’t get access to premium features. Those features are reserved for people that pay extra for a full package. Software caters to a huge global market, and there’s a massive chance of making lots of money.
These days, you find that technology comes with accessories. No matter what piece of tech you buy, there’s always a load of extras you can get with it. For example, if you buy the new iPhone 7, you can also buy a new case and charge stand for it. It’s the same with laptops; you can buy cases and protective skins. Think about any piece of modern technology, and there will be a plethora of accessories you can buy to go with it. So, my idea is to tap into this massive market. Tech accessories are popular, and you should make the most out of it. Stay creating things that can be used with various pieces of tech. The whole operation can be carried out at home. You can manufacture and sell things out of your garage; it doesn’t have to be a massive business idea. Create an online store and you can sell things to people all over the world and make a lot of money.
Naturally, you may wonder what you should create. Personally, I would focus on the smartphone market. Why? Because almost everyone will own a smartphone and, use it every day. What’s more, they’ll carry it around with them at all times. So, you have a huge opportunity to supply accessories that benefit smartphone users. Things like wireless headphones are a big hit, as people hate getting their headphones tangled up. Also, think about phone protection, that’s a big thing. People want to protect their phones from any damage; they’re precious pieces of technology! So, if you can design cases that keep phones protected, and look cool, you’re on to a winner.
There are people out there making a fortune using technology. But, they’re not creating or developing anything at all. The first three ideas have all centered around designing something. You can create electronic parts, software, and tech accessories. And, you can also make money by using one key element of technology. The fact is, many people struggle to get to grips with modern technology. As things advance quickly, it becomes harder for certain people to keep up. So, what do they do? They turn to people for assistance and help. This is where you can make money, provide assistance to people that need it. You can start a company from home that helps people with their tech queries. They can contact you and get you to solve problems and teach them how to do things. It’s a brilliant way of making cash while reducing the amount you have to spend. What I mean by this is you have virtually no expenses at all. Unlike the other options where you’ll have to pay for materials to create everything. Very little leaves your business, while a lot comes back into it.
My advice is to start a tech support company and aim it at businesses. In business, there are plenty of things that can go wrong with technology. Something breaks and no one knows how to fix it. Companies will pay you a lot of money if it means you sort out technical issues as fast as possible. Why? Because they rely on technology to be productive and efficient. Also, I know I mentioned how you don’t need to create or design anything. But, to get the most out of this idea, it might be worthwhile to spend a tiny bit of money. If you write an ebook, then you can make even more money. Create an ebook that focuses on common tech issues, and sell it to the public. These books are so popular with people in this ever-adapting world of technology. No matter what, providing assistance is a great way to make money from technology.
There are many ways you can make money in this world. For me, the best thing to do is to use technology. As I’ve mentioned before, the world is constantly changing and advancing. Technology is going to be around for years to come. If you can make good use of this global market, then there’s a lot of money to be made.
The four ideas I’ve provided will all make good businesses. The best thing is, it’s possible to do at least three of the four from home. And, they’re all adaptable to market changes. As technology advances, the electronics you create can change, but, you’ll still make money. The same goes for software too. Changes in the market may mean you have to adapt your approach and develop different things. Again, tech accessories and assistance can be adapted to. That’s why I like these ideas; they don’t force you to stick to a rigid structure. You can be flexible, and, that’s important in the business world.
money in the technology business — consumers, telcos, enterprise IT, and enterprise marketing departments — and Microsoft is successful at three of them. But the real opportunities come when these markets intersect, and that’s where consumerization comes into play.
Ballmer spoke at a Churchill Club event last night in Silicon Valley, and interviewer Reid Hoffman, the chairman and founder of LinkedIn and now a venture capitalist at Greylock, managed to draw a surprising amount of information out of him.
[ More from CITEworld: HP’s Todd Bradley says Microsoft Surface is “kludgey,” not competition to the company. ]
Ballmer spoke candidly about the departure of Steven Sinofsky (“he has some things he wants to do”), the biggest risk Microsoft has ever taken (cannibalizing on-premise business apps with Office 365, a process that took “eight or nine years”), and the importance of sunshine in Silicon Valley’s success (“nice weather is a systemic issue that most places can’t address” — spoken like a true Seattle native.)
But perhaps the most interesting part was when Ballmer explained his overall view of the technology market and how to make money in it.
“In the tech business, when it comes down to it, there seem to be four ways to pay for things,” he said, plus one group that ties them all together.
- Selling devices to consumers. “We really came through devices,” said Ballmer. “People now think of us as enterprise focused, but we really came through PCs,” selling Windows and often Office pre-installed on millions of PCs per year. The Xbox is also an example of this business.
- Selling telco services to consumers. One of the few things consumers are willing to pay a monthly fee for is telecommunications services, said Ballmer. “Most of us aren’t going to be phone companies,” so the best way to capitalize on this is to get a telco to subsidize your product. “Sharing in telecom markets is essentially what iOS and Android are doing, from the subsidy that comes through the operator.” Ballmer admitted Microsoft was weak in this market, but he hopes that Windows Phone 8 will change that by giving telcos a third option that’s more controlled than Android, but less restrictive than iOS.
- Selling to enterprise IT departments. Microsoft “certainly” plays here.
- Selling to enterprise marketing departments. Here, Ballmer made an argument that Google and other Internet companies are not really consumer companies — the actual product that they sell is advertising, and the main buyers of those ads are big company marketing departments (often through agencies, ad networks, or other brokers). Microsoft is a player here as well with a “$3 billion or so advertising business.”
- Developers “make everything go around” by building the necessary applications and tying services together. Microsoft has long catered to developers with a variety of “extensible applications,” starting with Windows (which he defined as an application — a piece of software) and Office, and eventually extending to infrastructure servers like Windows and SQL Server and business apps like Exchange, SharePoint, and (most recently) Yammer.
There’s a particular opportunity for Microsoft at the “connection points” between these markets by focusing on product first, rather than trying to target any particular customer set. “We start actually at the product and get to the customer,” Ballmer said. “The business model when you start something is not generally as obvious as the customer value proposition.”
He continued, “You just have to say to yourself, what’s the value proposition we’re trying to build, then find a monetization model, as opposed to saying we’re going to try to give telcos everything they want … because then you miss these connections. The consumerization of IT, or using Office at home and work, that’s a connection point. You’re not really building for one customer or other, you’re trying to span, building something for the consumer and the employer.”
When Hoffman asked if some IT products capture some combination of customers, Ballmer was unequivocal.
“The strongest ones in our industry actually are.”
You can watch the entire conversation on Fora.tv for $9.95.
This story, “Steve Ballmer: There are four ways to make money in high tech,” was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.
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