Ng: IT prospects-A A +A
By Wilson Ng
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
IS THIS going to be a good year for information and communications technology (ICT)? It depends on who you ask.
Google has announced that they will be hiring 6,000 new people this year. Yahoo, on the other hand, will continue to shed people. Apple will obviously have a record year and the Apple stores are okay, but I heard many computer store owners say that business is not so good. Apparently, there are many things people are buying now other than netbooks and computers and these could be Xbox 360 video games, or Kinect wireless controllers. Or it could be smartphones or tablets or e-readers, all of which are enjoying record sales.
As we have learned in business management courses, sometimes it is the introduction of substitutes that affect your market. For instance, they say the reason why softdrink sales in the Philippines has been dropping is not only because more people are health-conscious and are drinking bottled water. One big reason, they say, is many people are opting out of softdrinks in order to buy cell phone loads. So I think what is affecting computer sales is really that there are more gadgets that are competing for consumers’ attention.
Apple is known as Apple Computers but as of last quarter, they actually sold more iPads than Mac computers. And this is expected to continue---that they will sell more iPods, iPhones and iPads than Macs. It is really amazing how the industry is developing. For instance, the world’s biggest producer of cameras is not your usual camera brands but Nokia. Of course, Nokia is not a camera company but the number of camera phones that they sell is higher than the shipment figures of stand-alone devices by regular camera companies.
Now do you know why the sale of music is declining? It is not just music piracy but actually the emergence of another competitor---YouTube. I am sure that many of you are like me and my friends, if you want to listen to a certain piece of music, you don’t go out and buy it, the best way to get the music is to listen in YouTube. You will most likely get it with an entertaining video, plus you will have normally dozens of different performers and different kinds of interpretations.
Of course, the computer is increasingly starting to replace the home sound system. People are not buying audio component systems (and pretty soon, DVD players), because they are now used to watching video and audio in a computer system.
The tech world and the business world are hard to predict but here’s a bizarre thing.
Two years ago, I started a series of business cartoons called eNGy wherein I write and illustrate humorous stories that I encounter in business as well as ICT. One of my cartoons had the company bozo Tom coming up with a splendid idea – that in order to increase the sales of their computer products, they would produce it and spray it with a new fragrance. The joke went that although everybody had different tastes, what kind of fragrance was liked by everyone? And Tom said, “the smell of the new dollar bill!”
Apparently, it’s not just a joke. A former vice president of Microsoft, Patrick McCarthy, is starting a new business creating a perfume based on the fragrance of brand new bills. The brand name? Money.
There is the Money Cologne ( for men) and there is the Money Eau de Parfum for women.
You know, sometimes, when you have a business idea, maybe you don’t just treat it as a joke. It could be something that sells!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 27, 2011.