E-commerce and religion
Attempts to find out the exact size of India’s e-commerce market can be frustrating, with different studies suggesting different numbers. But, they all agree on one thing: e-commerce is set to grow in India. (You will find a few reasons here) Part of the growth will be driven by doing more of the same – books, electronics, clothes, sports – besides the ever popular travel – as more people go online and get comfortable using debit cards, credit cards and net-banking. And part of the growth will come from segments that the e-commerce companies are not looking at right now, either because it’s difficult to crack or because it’s not big enough. Economic Times today points out to a few ventures that are looking at a market hiding in plain sight – religion.
Religion and commerce have always gone together in India (and across the world too). Tirupathi laddus, is an obvious, if extreme, example. Its shape, size, quality and ingredients are widely discussed – not just in drawing rooms, but often in the letters to editor columns of The Hindu – and the product itself is distributed with a sense of reverence across the country by the pilgrims. Sale of prasadam add Rs 135 crore to the temple coffers every year. But, the real promise of the market is in the way it can scale up, and to get a sense of it, you only have to look around the temples. A cluster of shops selling a range of goods – flowers & coconuts, DVDs and cassettes, framed photos and cheap T Shirts, kitchenware, food, drinks – and of course, cigarettes – is a definite sign that there is a temple around, and often, a pilgrim should only follow a long line of shops to reach his destination.
Apple’s iWatch and Google Glass
They were waiting to happen. Here’s an extract from a 1997 New Yorker piece by David Remnick. Yes, you read it right. 1997.
(Marvin) Minsky’s interest interest in progress is fueled by an impatience with the world as it is. “I always have the feeling of ‘Where is the future and why won’t it hurry?’ Minsky said. “I’m interested in the heavens. So why doesn’t my wristwatch tell me that there’s going to be a meteor shower tonight? In the future, your watch – your computerized assistant, your personal agent – will monitor the airwaves and the Web for you, and then it will alert you to things that it should: meteor showers, if that’s your thing, the financial pages, a television show. Or you’ll put on a suit and a special pair of glasses, and you’ll be involved in an experiential form of entertainment. You’ll immerse yourself in an environment, an electronic environment, a mountain climb, whatever you feel like. We’ve got the visual thing down. What we have to get down is the sense of touch. But that will come.”
Not exactly Google Glass, but it shows the direction. And it’s definitely iWatch.
Also of interest
Davids get it right: Lolly Wolly Doodle Shows How to Profit From Social: Tech | Bloomberg
A map of the inner world: Researchers Create A ‘Google Map’ Of The Human Metabolism | Popular Science
Why you should read this blog yet again: Do Less and Focus Hard: If You’re Busy, You’re Doing Something Wrong | Life Hacker