The emergence of new technologies continues at an ever-increasing pace. Almost daily there are stories of technological breakthroughs and incredible demonstrations of how we are using new tech in our day to day lives, as individuals and within our businesses.
But how new are some of these technologies? The dictionary definition of emergence is "the process of becoming visible after being concealed". A lot of technology can be around for many years before emerging into the daylight and becoming a part of the zeitgeist.
Lab2 and it's founder Steve Procter have been looking at high tech that is ready to go big for the past 20 years. If it has been around for a while, is being offered by a limited number of providers and the end price point is vastly more than the sum of the raw costs, then there is a good chance it is ready for democratisation. "This is how it's always been done" is the trigger that makes a venture technologist sit up and start planning their next disruption.
An early example was in 1999 when Lab2 discovered the complexities of registering domain names and found this cost hundreds of pounds. Phone calls to one of the few domain name companies would result in an order process that took days, and any changes to how the domain name was configured would be done by email or phone and took 24 hours to be completed. Overnight, Lab2 created a self-service platform that could be used by anyone and offered the first ever domain names for under £10. Several years later, Lab2 did the same again with SMS marketing technology, taking complex API based solutions and creating one of the first web-based SMS platforms that was easy enough for any small business to use, and at an affordable price.
Technology by itself is only a single element of disruption. Making it affordable and widely accessible is the key to helping new technologies become visible after being concealed through their early years.
Lab2's most recent launch in September 2018 is Nearevo, a Bluetooth beacon proximity marketing platform. Bluetooth is a technology that has been around for many years but has been held back by an industry that would rather hold on to the complex technical challenges and create expensive solutions for the few. Again, Lab2 and Steve Procter are set to disrupt this game and have built an easy to use self-service platform for all businesses and marketers.