How New Tech in Business Can Bring New Opportunities

The Invention of Lidar as an Example

marta hall
A driverless car equipped with several of spinning lidar “pucks,” advanced 3D vision technology on top for safe roadway navigation

The quicker business owners embrace innovative technology, the quicker they’ll find success. New technology can spur everything from a whole new way of moving around in the world to making processes at work run smoother. Scientists and inventors can create new exciting products, while applied technology can make the internal flow of businesses more efficient and effective. Advanced technology can open doors to business success.

From iMacs to laptops to smartphones to tablets, hardware, and software, Marta Hall explains that innovative technology and creative invention can give birth to new products and grow small businesses.  The use of technology in the office and organization of a small business can help companies stay ahead of the competition, reduce costs, and provide a plethora of marketing opportunities. Marta Hall, former President of Velodyne Lidar Inc, mentions the advanced hardware technology which spurred an entire industry of automated robots and autonomous vehicles. Marta Hall worked with David Hall, CEO and inventor as the lidar technology business grew to be a business worth billions of dollars by 2020.

Be Agile to Grow and Stay Ahead of the Competition

Start-up technology businesses must be agile and smart to stay ahead of the competition. Their small size works to their advantage as they compete with the research and development departments of large corporations.

Advanced, innovative technology can be the basis for start-up businesses and there are many advantages to being small. After all, the larger corporations will benefit from their larger research teams and the most expensive, highest-quality hardware and often-costly programs. Large corporations also have enormous overhead, costly staff, and can be slow to make important changes. A large corporation can be compared to a semi-truck on a highway that needs to make a quick turn. Driving a small sports car can make a turn quicker and easier. 

Small tech businesses can be more agile to develop and hire the right team quickly. Department decisions can be made and implemented in a short and efficient time frame. Small businesses also have the advantage of impressing customers with improved customer service, giving themselves the edge over more prominent companies by providing one-to-one, personalized attention. Small but mighty businesses can perform to deliver for the customer and stand out from the rest.

Innovation and invention can be copied by competitors, including competitors in China, and the only way to protect your technology is to continue to innovate. USA patents are not strongly protected by the US government, leaving it to the small businesses to protect their innovative technology through secrecy and continual innovation. Apple is an example of a company which functions with a great deal of secrecy and spends millions of dollars defending and protecting its intellectual property.

Tech Based Companies Are Wise to Use New Software to Reduce Costs and Improve Productivity

Productivity software — such as packages for accounts, communications, and emails — is designed to aid operational efficiency, limit mundane paper processes, and decrease expenses. Software to manage parts in operations and manufacturing processes is essential for technology companies with a manufacturing component.

Cloud-based apps, in particular, are ultra-effective for SMEs, thanks to their lower up-front price. Not to mention they lift the in-house management burden, allowing employees to focus on more profitable (and rewarding) areas of the business.

marta hall
A point cloud generated for 3D autonomous navigation using the lidar technology

Opens Effective Marketing Doors

A robust digital presence is critical for success and business survival. Many small-to-medium-sized companies fail in their first five years due to their limited online footprint.

But with the emergence of ever-improving software and technology, crafting effective digital marketing strategies is easier than ever before. A small team of competent graphic artists with a solid message from the CEO can make a big difference in effective marketing. A good digital marketing team can help expand the business into fresh territories. There’s a big wide world out there that many companies would fail to reach due to geo-restrictions if it weren’t for technology.

Marketing and digital technology software technology gives smaller businesses access to a broad range of selling tools and platforms, allowing them to generate multiple income streams. For example, SMEs can acquire high-quality, relatively inexpensive printers to create their own merch and products with ease. A mere decade ago, that would never be possible.

Emerging Business Technology Trends for Continued Growth Opportunities

As the world continues pressing forward into increasingly digital environments, new and improved technologies are constantly emerging, presenting even more opportunities, such as:

  • Automation expansion — Although many thought increased automation would lead to decreased jobs, the reality is different. It’s freeing up skilled people’s time so they can concentrate on more important tasks.
  • Scientific management — Managers can utilize tech and data to make better decisions faster.
  • Collaborations — Business will always be competitive. But technological growth has allowed meaningful for meaningful partnerships across a range of industries.

Lidar as an Example of New Technology and an Opportunity Realized

Lidar for the use of driverless cars and robots was invented in 2006 by David Hall for navigation purposes  at the US sponsored Robot Vehicle Grand Challenge. After inventing the technology, David Hall grew a business based on lidar products, Velodyne Lidar Inc, growing it into a substantial corporation by 2016. Unfortunately, due to new leadership with a new board installed by Graf SPAC, the company faltered starting in the fall of 2020. New leadership failed to grasp the importance of technology leadership, invention, and engineering thus unable to invent nor innovate new lidar products after 2020.  

The technology David Hall invented and the products he developed prior to 2020 are still sold and enjoyed by customers world-wide. How will this new technology impact the world in the future?

The company, Velodyne Lidar Inc. was diminished in 2020, but David Hall’s lidar technology and legacy remains today as a major innovative business influence. The technology survives as a remnant at Velodyne lidar Inc. but also many versions are sold by one-time-competitors. Patents are extremely difficult to enforce in the USA, and nearly impossible to enforce in Asia, so copies of Hall’s lidar invention can be found all over the world. The technology exists as a remnant at Velodyne Lidar Inc. but versions of Hall’s lidar designs are sold by such companies as Ouster in the USA and Hesai in China.

Here is an informative article about the technology and the future of autonomous cars: How LiDAR Fits Into the Future of  Autonomous Driving – The tracking technology may play a huge role in AV development, by Dylan Hughs.

There is no doubt that Lidar spurred the “autonomous revolution” and in the next decade will have a significant impact on transportation and robotics.

Marta Hall
Marta Hall