October 2, 2014

Amazon Considers Drones, Intuit Acquires DocStoc, and More

reading small business

It’s been a busy week with lots of news relevant to the small business community. Here’s a collection of top stories from the Small Business Trends editorial team.

New Technology

Amazon mulls drone delivery. The ecommerce giant says it may be employing flying drones in the not-to-distant future to cut costs and improve service. This could mean trouble for small businesses and the shipping companies that support them.

UPS is thinking about drones too. Amazon may not be the only company thinking about flying robots as as way to cut delivery costs. Here’s how UPS and FedEx are also thinking about filling the skies with drones.

Local bakery uses business intelligence to grow. Knowing how many customers have come through your door is great. Figuring out how many are repeat customers can be even better. Sugar Lane, the New York City-based bakery, has found a way to learn even more.

Move over Siri, it’s Donna. A new generation of virtual assistant has arrived. And this one will do a lot more than tell you the nearest place to buy mushrooms. Check out what Donna has to offer the busy small business owner.

Small Business Services

Intuit acquires DocStoc. Intuit, the accounting software leader behind the popular QuickBooks brand, has announced plans to acquire DocStoc. The Santa Monica company founded in 2007 provides proprietary and user generated documents for small businesses and claims 40 million registered users worldwide.

SurveyMonkey launches employee survey service. SurveyMonkey has been known for the kinds of surveys you give to your customers. They’ve been used primarily to gather feedback for your marketing efforts — until now.

Entrepreneurship

FUBU founder offers mentoring tips. FUBU founder and Shark Tank investor Daymond John will offer ecommerce hopefuls in a contest run by Shopify plenty of advice over the coming months. But he’s also got some tips about starting with nothing for all entrepreneurs.

Apple Acquisitions

Apple acquires Topsy for $200 Million. The Twitter analytics company’s website gives users insights by analyzing tweets going all the way back to 2006. Many speculate on how the tech giant might incorporate these analytics in its products.

PrimeSense revolutionizes gesture technology. Apple follows fellow tech giant Google which bought gesture technology company Flutter earlier this year. Expect both companies to start working these features into their products.

Customer Relations

Customer ejected over Google Glass. The Seattle-based entrepreneur who said he’d keep Google Glass users out of his establishments has done just that. Now the fallout begins. The question is where other business owners will draw the line.

AT&T and T-Mobile chief duke it out over customer. Did we mention all this happened publicly over Twitter? In the end, T-Mobile CEO John Legere’s actions are seen by some as decisive. But some tactics can also easily backfire.

Goodsnitch finds new way to harvest feedback. Customer review sites have gotten plenty of bad press in recent months. So it’s hardly surprising to see this startup looking at customer feedback from a whole different perspective.

Revenue

A look at the earnings behind Spotify. Lots of people are using the service known as Spotify to get their fix of music from their favorite bands. But a few artists have pulled their recordings as a protest over the way they are compensated for their work. Small Business Trends CEO Anita Campbell has more.

Policy

More trouble coming from Affordable Care Act. The ACA has already been grabbing headlines for all the wrong reasons, with a malfunctioning website and termination of many people’s coverage. But Scott Shane claims more trouble is coming.

Reading Photo via Shutterstock

2 Comments ▼

2 Reactions

  1. I have a couple of things here to take from this article. First Donna sounds more useful than that other option many people tend to use and I think the drones are a really unique idea for delivering packages and maybe it will make the skies more cluttered, but it will also make the roads less cluttered and that’s a good thing.

  2. Aside from new technology, it seems that more businesses are now looking more into their customers. I guess that is a valuable topic as it dictates how much a certain business can earn based on customer experience. I am glad that it is more on customers than on policy.

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