Technology Companies, Redefined: What Does Being a “Tech” Company Mean Today?
Recently, I had the privilege of hearing Matthew Brimer, co-founder of General Assembly, speak about technology start-ups in NYC. Matt made me question what it meant to be in “technology.” I walked away questioning some of my long-held ideas, and after some intense thought, found a new appreciation for the term “Tech Start-up.”
Historically, a tech start-up or technology company was involved with fabrication such as creating microchips, coding software or designing and manufacturing highly complex and innovative machines. While this is still true today the definition of what a technology company is has vastly expanded to include the leveraging of technology usually via the Internet. Today you can be a technology company in any industry from farming to music. The only criteria are that you use technology as the fundamental core of your business, as a disruptive element that can often challenge the conventions of your industry.
Technology has become the 21st century’s electricity, according to Matt. For example, if you were opening a coffee shop 10 years ago, you took some things for granted. You knew you were going to use electricity and pay for it as a cost of doing business. You expected your employees to be familiar with it and know how to effectively use it. You leveraged electricity to its fullest in each and every machine in your coffee shop. Today’s tech companies really know no limits and are using the Internet to provide new services from crowd sourcing to the creation of a musical melody or to offer a bottle of wine.
Large enterprises and sole practitioners are using technology to its fullest, challenging the bounds of their industries and reaching clients through highly targeted or mass market campaigns. Technology is no longer a magical specialty available to only a few but rather a method around which to build your business.