Executive Director and founder of Legal Tech Ventures, Steve Millendorf, was recently quoted in an Legaltech News story, concerning upcoming regulatory changes to regulations that regulate the use of technology. The article indicates that, at least for the time being, we are “treading slowly” in the area of regulating and standardizing technology and in this discussion, they are treading too slowly. In fact, as is typical with regulatory issues, it appears that the current regulations are too complex and confusing, and that the potential unintended consequences simply are not worth the time or effort to address. Specifically, the article indicates that there will be three major areas of regulation:
There will be an intermediary, who will act as a clearinghouse and provide a forum for information sharing and comment on emerging trends, technological developments, and new products and services. Currently there are currently three major technology companies – Facebook, Google, and Twitter – who are providing this type of service. They will likely continue to do so, and perhaps even more as the regulatory bodies enact and update their rules. Additionally, as highlighted in the article above, there will likely be a fourth company, perhaps one you have never heard of, which will become the go-to “social media” company for all of these different types of technology companies.
So, who will this new fourth organization be? It is likely that this new “social media” company will fill the gap currently left by the existing intermediaries. These are social media companies such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter, who have come into play as important gateways to the wider internet. Additionally, the fourth social media company will likely offer a third party application platform where these technology companies can submit and publish content, as well as handle the viral nature of the internet, such as blog posts and comments.
So, who are the “new” tech companies currently or will soon become “the new overlords”? My research indicates that two of the most likely contenders are either going to be Twitter or Instagram (which may eventually become a standalone site from the likes of Instacart). Since these two companies currently occupy the top spots in terms of daily active users, and are both focused on mobile usage, it stands to reason that the focus of their future development will likely be mobile. Of course, that does not mean that they will necessarily make their platforms solely for use on mobile devices, as well. Additionally, I believe that there is a strong likelihood that the two mentioned above will collaborate on some level, as they both have large user base on their existing platforms.
The final likely candidate for the fourth most influential tech company is going to be Instacart, which currently holds a market share of 21% of the overall grocery market. What makes Instacart so interesting to watch is that it is one of the only tech companies to have declared its intentions of becoming a national grocer by acquiring Whole Foods Market, but it is not entirely clear whether or not this acquisition is real, especially considering how slow Whole Foods has been in the wake of its acquisition by Amazon. Instacart’s stock price has declined notably since the acquisition was announced, and investors who bought into the stock were typically priced to sell given the slow growth and significant losses in quarterly profits. Regardless, Instacart is certainly an interesting business considering its strong competition in the grocery industry and its obvious ability to attract customers who are looking for quality but don’t necessarily want to compromise on value.
There you have it. This is a short take on the most important members of Congress (and the tech industries), including social media giants like Facebook and Google, two of the most prominent members of the Senate judiciary and the chief executive officer of Instacart. I encourage you to follow the links below to take full advantage of this valuable information. Indeed, let’s hope that the coming of new technology will bring with it more jobs and better quality of life… and hopefully none of this will ever be a problem again.