Technology is hitting businesses around the world in a big way and New Zealand has a distinct advantage, according to an international business expert.
Social entrepreneur and New York Times Best Seller author Roger Hamilton spoke at a conference in Auckland to share the top global trends affecting businesses this year.
Virtual and augmented reality, robotics and drones are some of the most significant developments impacting businesses this year, Hamilton said.
And New Zealand’s advantage in facing these trends was in its size, location and history of innovation.
Hamilton said the world has gone from one of an economy of scale to an economy of speed, meaning smaller countries like New Zealand, Dubai and Singapore could be more competitive than larger countries like the United States.
“The ability to work together, whether with government or other entrepreneurs, to make decisions rapidly becomes much easier and faster,” Hamilton said.
It was also the perfect place to trial a lot of new concepts.
In 2013 Google trialled Project Loon from the South Island, launching 30 giant balloons from Tekapo.
The project involved floating 15-metre-wide balloons that beamed out internet to testers. The aim of the project was to offer access to affordable internet to remote areas around the world that the balloons floated over.
“This is something that started in New Zealand because New Zealand is a compact enough and small enough place to start really testing technology out without the regulations you have with the larger countries,” Hamilton said.
The success of the likes of Xero and the Martin Jetpack proved that New Zealand had the talent to adopt and adapt to trends well, Hamilton said.
“Drones are now being used in everything from agriculture and mining so those kinds of opportunities are really open for anyone in New Zealand who’s looking to create a new startup.”