1. Markets around the world have been volatile, so much so that Apple this week blamed its bleak outlook on the rough macroeconomic environment. The tech company said weakness in Russia, Brazil, and Canada was impacting its sales. The Fed this week also said it would be monitoring global markets very closely, especially when considering any movement in US interest rates. Many small business owners now serve a global clientele which, in many cases, spreads their risk. However, as Xero president Russ Fujioka pointed out on Inc. this week, small businesses also need to be acutely aware of how interest rate movements may impact their access to capital.
2. On the brink of something huge. The World Economic Forum’s big conference in Davos has got a few heads spinning after the concept of the Fourth Industrial Revolution became the pivotal theme of the event. It incorporates the idea that tech will completely alter the way we live, work and interact. WEF Chair, Anders Borg, has distilled some of his thoughts on how it will change the global labour market, education and influence economic policy.
3. Sci-fi tech coming to a face near you. The WEF also put together a list of tech tipping points which will blow your mind. Some of the concepts seem absolutely wild, including: By 2023 implantable mobile phones will be commercially available and one in 10 pairs of glasses will display information about the world around you. The full list is on TechRepublic.
4. Looking a little more near term, Xero CPO, Angus Norton, this week revealed the tech trends he’d be watching closely over the next 12 months. A bit of a realist, he’s not throwing around big data buzzwords. Rather, he thinks we’ll start to see more attention given to online security, usable data and traditional supply chains being further disintermediated. You can read his full list here.
5. It seems Norton’s right about the rise of “on-demand everything”. Just this week Uber announced its plans to expand its API to include delivery service, UberRush. It means businesses would be able to integrate with the one-hour delivery service and you would no longer have to run errands. Yay!
6. It shows just how far the API economy has to run; a topic Accel VC James Cameron touched on the 20 Minute VC podcast this week. Companies like Uber, Lyft and HotelTonight were built on top of other platforms. They’re now getting to a size where businesses can be built on their platform.