The History of Wearable Technology
Today’s infographic not only highlights the history of wearable technology, but it also shows the noticeable acceleration in the advancement and adoption of new innovations. At the beginning, it would take hundreds of years between breakthroughs such as eyeglasses and the abacus ring. Today, new wearable tech innovations happen every month. In the last ten years, we’ve had the Google Glass, Fitbit, Oculus Rift, and countless others.
Interestingly, the history of wearable technology is littered with commercial failures and a few game changers, with not much in between. The reality is, however, that the duds seem to outweigh the successes by a wide margin.
For investors, this means that a strategic investment in a wearable tech company or product could either be a ten-bagger or go to zero. For this reason, due diligence is a key aspect of judging the validity of these companies.
As examples, the air-conditioned hat, Pulsar Calculator Watch, Seiko UC 2000 Wrist PC, and Levi’s ICD+ Jacket never really took off. Even great technologies such as the Google Glass never really generated any returns. This was a lot of risk to take on for no return, but perhaps in the future these patents and knowledge can benefit a company like Google.
The clearest commercial success on the list happened in 1979. The Sony Walkman and subsequent Sony Discman helped put the company on track to become an entertainment powerhouse. Over 400 million Walkman portable music players have been sold over time, with about 200 million of those being cassette players.
However, not all products with good fanfare are destined for success. The commercial potential of many wearable technologies introduced in recent years are still up in the air.
Fitbit filed for a $100 million IPO, but it now has to compete against a plethora of other fitness trackers on the market. The Apple Watch has been launched to much fanfare, but it comes with no guarantees for Apple – a company that needs a lot of new revenues on a product to move the needle. Lastly, the creation of the Oculus Rift could pioneer virtual reality and bring it to consumers. The company was already bought by Facebook for $400 million in cash, $1.6 billion in stock, and an additional $300 million contingent on specific financial targets. Will this transaction ultimately benefit Facebook shareholders? While there are no guarantees, so far reviews have been overwhelmingly positive for the virtual reality device.
What is clear is that, based on the history of wearable technology, devices that move the masses are far and between. The successes that do make it, however, can change the world and generate chart-topping returns.
Original graphic by: Staysourced
Animation: The Biggest Tech Companies by Market Cap Over 23 Years
In business, the only constant is change – and for tech companies, this is even more true. Here are the biggest tech companies over 23 years.
The business world is certainly not a static one.
In the past, we’ve shown that the market leaders in the most stable industries are unlikely to keep their leadership positions over long periods of time.
But limit your window to just the dynamic world of tech and you’ll see an even more extreme example of this inherent volatility. Sometimes companies are able to separate from the rest of the pack for days or months, but it’s never an advantage that lasts for long.
Biggest Tech Companies by Market Cap
Today’s animation was originally posted to Reddit by /r/TheNerdistRedditor and captures the crazy world of tech valuations for public companies.
Watch the intense 1 minute animation below:
Note: the data here only lists companies traded on U.S. exchanges, and does not show every single valuation point.
Over just 23 years, the company topping the list flips eight separate times – and if you were to get more granular with the numbers (looking at daily valuations, for example), you’d see it happen far more often.
Today’s Market Cap Leaders
As we noted above, company valuations are constantly changing – and back in early September 2018, both Apple and Amazon even topped the $1 trillion milestone for a short period of time.
Using the same criteria as the above animation, which is based on U.S. listed companies, here are the top 10 tech companies based on data at time of publication:
|Rank||Company||Ticker(s)||Market Cap (March 18, 2019)|
|#4||Alphabet||GOOG, GOOGL||$824 billion|
Based on March 18, 2019 data
This is not a comprehensive list globally, as it misses companies like Tencent which are listed on other exchanges such as the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Based on recent HKD/USD conversion rates, it’s estimated that Tencent would be roughly worth $450 billion today – good enough for 7th on the list.
Regardless, since change is the only constant in the tech world, it’s fair to say that the above list of the biggest tech companies will likely be much different in just a few months time.
Which Countries Are Set to Attract the Highest Skilled Workers from Abroad?
The world’s most innovative companies want to get the best talent at any cost. See whether their home countries are helping or hurting their odds.
For the world’s most innovative companies, the stated goal of attracting top talent is not simply an HR mantra – it’s a matter of survival.
Whether we’re talking about a giant like Google that is constantly searching to add world-class engineers or we’re talking about a startup that needs a visionary to shape products of the future, innovative companies require access to high-skilled workers to stay ahead of their competition.
The Global Search for Talent
There’s no doubt that top companies will go out of their way to bring in highly-skilled workers, even if they must look internationally to find the best of the best.
However, part of this recruitment process is not necessarily under their control. The reality is that countries themselves have different policies that affect how easy it is to attract people, educate and develop them, and retain the best workers – and these factors can either empower or undermine talent recruitment efforts.
Today’s infographic comes from KDM Engineering, and it breaks down the top 25 countries in attracting high-skilled workers.
If attracting the best people isn’t hard enough, there is another factor that can complicate things: the best people are sometimes not found locally or even nationally.
For top companies, recruitment is a global game – and it’s partially driven by the policies of governments as well as the quality of life within their countries’ borders.
Top Countries for Attracting High-Skilled Workers
Using data from the United Nations and the Global Talent Competitive Index, here are the top 10 countries that are the best at attracting and retaining highly-skilled workers.
They are ordered by overall rank, but their sub-category ranks are also displayed:
|#3||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||#8||#11||#7||#5||8,543,120|
|#4||🇺🇸 United States||#11||#16||#2||#8||46,627,102|
The subcategory ranks are defined as follows:
- Enable: Status of regulatory and market landscapes in country
- Attract: Ability to attract companies and people with needed competencies
- Grow: Ability to offer high-quality education, apprenticeships, and training
- Retain: Indicates quality of life in country
According to the data, Switzerland (#1) and Singapore (#2) are the two best countries for attaining and keeping high-skilled workers.
While the regulatory environments in both of these countries are well-known by reputation, perhaps what’s more surprising is that Singapore scores the #1 rank in the “Attract” subcategory, while Switzerland is the #1 country for retaining talent based on quality of life.
Another data point that stands out?
The United States has a higher total migrant population (46.6 million) than all of the countries on the top 10 list combined. Not surprisingly, the massive U.S. economy also has a high ranking in the “Grow” category, which represents available opportunities to bring high-skilled workers to the next level through education and training.
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