It’s no secret that technology has changed the world. Twenty years ago the technological landscape was completely different, and solutions to everyday problems were traditionally done manually. Today we will introduce you to a term that shows how progress has increased the quality of life and highlight the consequences.
Democratization of technology is the process of tech rapidly becoming more accessible to people. It also involves evening the playing field by lowering the cost of platforms. Information can now be accessed with the click of a button from anywhere around the world.
Here are the top examples of democratization currently changing the technological landscape today to make it easier to understand.
Major Examples of Technology Democratization
Robinhood is a web-based application that promotes commission-free stock trading and investing. What was once an expensive and confusing industry, Robinhood has democratized the stock market to make it easier for everyone to trade and invest in the stock market. It also helped revolutionize cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin. While Robinhood has contributed to huge profits made by savvy investors, many people have lost money due to a lack of knowledge in how to invest.
For years, Skype held the monopoly on web-based video conferencing. They were the only ones on the market, but when the pandemic hit other companies started to gain popularity. Zoom, Teams, and GoogleMeet all became readily available with free options for the public.
Online video conferencing allowed employees to work from home during a global pandemic when work could have halted altogether. It also lets families from other states be together and children to attend school. It democratized the ability to be together when you can’t physically be in the same place.
While social media is something you are most likely already familiar with, its use in key political and civil movements is new. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook allow users to discuss elections and viewpoints in an open environment. The technology dramatically impacted the 2016 and 2020 election cycle results and helped ignite important social justice movements.
This is one example of the democratization of technology that grew faster than regulations could keep up with. Hate speech and false information dominated these platforms, and owners had to step in.
The COVID-19 pandemic revolutionized telehealth or video-based healthcare. It allowed for people to see health care professionals without having to leave home. This freed up hospitals and allowed non-critical patients to easily access help and receive prescriptions.
Democratization for Entrepreneurs
As a new entrepreneur, it’s important to take advantage of all available resources. Business coaching, financial advice, and marketing services can help your business succeed. These resources can also be expensive, and as a startup, you might be pressed for cash.
Thanks to democratization, these resources can be easily found online and, in most cases, for free. Looking for an easy way to stay on top of your finances? QuickBooks and TurboTax are applications that make it easy for you to do this independently.
Need a new website to launch your product? Open source platforms like WordPress and Wix allow users to create websites for free that looks clean and professional. Need advice on how to start your business? Talk to a business coach online or take a course.
The Downside of Technology Democratization
While the advancement of accessible technology is overall great, it does come with a few downsides. Because the internet allows everyone to have a platform and to speak freely, you could create a movement that has bad effects. It is very easy to trust the people you follow on social media. However, you need to have discernment in the information you believe, especially before you take any action.
For entrepreneurs, valuable business information and freelancers are readily available, but you need to make sure that you are making the right decisions for your business. You could get connected to someone who claims to be an expert in the marketing or financial world, but they might not give you the best advice. Do the research and ask for examples of work or references before agreeing to work with anyone.
The Future of Technology Democratization
Do you have a new and innovative idea that could further change the technological landscape? Companies like RobinHood and Zoom were started because the creators saw a problem and believed they could offer a solution. The problem you experience in your daily life could be fixed thanks to a digital solution!
Interested in learning more or talking about your idea with our team? Contact us today to get started!