Two Views on Net Neutrality…And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 —How America rolling back net neutrality will affect the rest of the world.

According to internet law experts in Canada, America’s proposed net neutrality regulations could seriously hamper innovation and the growth of new businesses all over the world. The biggest impact will be on businesses attempting to break into the large U.S. market. If a two-tier internet is put in place, it could allow internet service providers to pick and choose which sites and applications get preferential treatment. (Source: Vice.com)

Why this is important for your business:

Net neutrality is a contentious debate and both sides for and against have their points.  In this piece I wrote earlier this week, I explain why I support rolling back the Obama-era rules.  Agree? Disagree? Let’s keep it civil!

2 —Amazon confirms: This Cyber Monday was the single biggest shopping day ever.

Cyber Monday was the single biggest shopping day worldwide in Amazon’s history—AND the biggest day ever for small businesses and entrepreneurs selling on Amazon. The company confirmed that customers ordered nearly 140 million items from small businesses alone. Sales even surpassed those achieved on “Prime Day 2017,” and Amazon app orders increased more than 50% worldwide over 2016. (Source: Amazon)

Why this is important for your business:

Cyber Monday’s success underscores the importance of selling online.  To me, it also proves that if you’re going to sell online you need to have more than one channel other than your own website.  Choose Amazon, eBay, Alibaba or whatever….but leverage power of these online giants to make markets for your products.

3 — A computer technician warns of possible business scam.

Matthew Perry, a Charleston-area computer technician, is telling business owners to beware after he received what appeared to be a phony invoice for copy machine toner. In his position as network administrator/information security officer for the Masters Law Firm, he said he became suspicious after getting the $1,676 invoice for toner he never ordered from a California company called IT Tech Products…and found out other companies had received similar bogus invoices. (Source: The Exponent Telegram)

Why this is important for your business:

Won’t these scams ever end? Uh…no.  Hope you don’t get affected by this one, but now you know that it’s there.

4 —Automation could kill 73 million U.S. jobs by 2030.

According to a new report by McKinsey Global Institute, automation could eliminate as many as 73 million U.S. jobs by 2030. The good news is that economic growth, rising productivity, and other forces could more than offset the losses. (Source: USA Today)

Why this is important for your business:

Like net neutrality, the effects of automation on jobs are debatable.  But one thing that’s not debatable is the inevitability of using technology to automate the mundane and repetitive processes that humans are now doing.   You need to consider any technology that will reduce your labor and control your overhead.

5 – The Fed is starting to think about its own digital currency.

With the price of cryptocurrency soaring, the Federal Reserve is now thinking about introducing its own version of bitcoin, according to a report from Dow Jones. William Dudley, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said the Fed is exploring the idea but says it’s “very premature” to estimate when its new product might be offered. (Source: CNBC)

Why this is important for your business:

If the Fed is thinking about this, then you should be thinking of this. Digital currencies are extremely volatile and very risky.  But they’re becoming more mainstream and more and more of your customers will likely be wanting to make payments using these new options.