It’s no secret that technology has changed the world. Twenty years ago the technological landscape was completely different, and solutions to everyday problems were traditionally done manually. Today we will introduce you to a term that shows how progress has increased the quality of life and highlight the consequences.

Democratization of technology is the process of tech rapidly becoming more accessible to people. It also involves evening the playing field by lowering the cost of platforms. Information can now be accessed with the click of a button from anywhere around the world.

Here are the top examples of democratization currently changing the technological landscape today to make it easier to understand.

Major Examples of Technology Democratization


Robinhood is a web-based application that promotes commission-free stock trading and investing. What was once an expensive and confusing industry, Robinhood has democratized the stock market to make it easier for everyone to trade and invest in the stock market. It also helped revolutionize cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin. While Robinhood has contributed to huge profits made by savvy investors, many people have lost money due to a lack of knowledge in how to invest.

Video Conferencing

For years, Skype held the monopoly on web-based video conferencing. They were the only ones on the market, but when the pandemic hit other companies started to gain popularity. Zoom, Teams, and GoogleMeet all became readily available with free options for the public.

Online video conferencing allowed employees to work from home during a global pandemic when work could have halted altogether. It also lets families from other states be together and children to attend school. It democratized the ability to be together when you can’t physically be in the same place.

Social Media

While social media is something you are most likely already familiar with, its use in key political and civil movements is new. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook allow users to discuss elections and viewpoints in an open environment. The technology dramatically impacted the 2016 and 2020 election cycle results and helped ignite important social justice movements.

This is one example of the democratization of technology that grew faster than regulations could keep up with. Hate speech and false information dominated these platforms, and owners had to step in.


The COVID-19 pandemic revolutionized telehealth or video-based healthcare. It allowed for people to see health care professionals without having to leave home. This freed up hospitals and allowed non-critical patients to easily access help and receive prescriptions.

Democratization for Entrepreneurs

As a new entrepreneur, it’s important to take advantage of all available resources. Business coaching, financial advice, and marketing services can help your business succeed. These resources can also be expensive, and as a startup, you might be pressed for cash.

Thanks to democratization, these resources can be easily found online and, in most cases, for free. Looking for an easy way to stay on top of your finances? QuickBooks and TurboTax are applications that make it easy for you to do this independently.

Need a new website to launch your product? Open source platforms like WordPress and Wix allow users to create websites for free that looks clean and professional. Need advice on how to start your business? Talk to a business coach online or take a course.

The Downside of Technology Democratization

While the advancement of accessible technology is overall great, it does come with a few downsides. Because the internet allows everyone to have a platform and to speak freely, you could create a movement that has bad effects. It is very easy to trust the people you follow on social media. However, you need to have discernment in the information you believe, especially before you take any action.

For entrepreneurs, valuable business information and freelancers are readily available, but you need to make sure that you are making the right decisions for your business. You could get connected to someone who claims to be an expert in the marketing or financial world, but they might not give you the best advice. Do the research and ask for examples of work or references before agreeing to work with anyone.

The Future of Technology Democratization

Do you have a new and innovative idea that could further change the technological landscape? Companies like RobinHood and Zoom were started because the creators saw a problem and believed they could offer a solution. The problem you experience in your daily life could be fixed thanks to a digital solution!

Interested in learning more or talking about your idea with our team? Contact us today to get started!

It’s no surprise that digital marketing trends have changed tremendously in the past 10, 5, and even 1 year. 2020 brought a huge shift in the way that businesses market to customers and especially the way that customers make purchases.

As we kick off 2021 it’s important to stay up-to-date on the trends that are shaping the digital marketing field. COVID-19 changed how marketing takes place and these changes are most likely here to stay. By keeping an eye on these trends, you’ll be more prepared to reach customers and make sales.

7 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2021

  1. The first yearly marketing budget post covid will look very different.

As companies budget for the year, the budget for print media will be even lower than in previous years. With customers staying in and shopping even more online, the need for online advertisements and content will grow substantially. No more spending money on billboards, magazine ads, or physical branded advertisements like pens or t-shirts.

With online advertisements you are able to target customers more efficiently, saving businesses the money they were previously gambling on with print media. Your budget will look different, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A change in your marketing budget for 2021 means that you are keeping up with the times and adjusting to where the customers are shopping.

  1. The way content is created will change.

With at-home orders extended throughout the country, employees are still primarily working from home. While this is more efficient for some industries, when it comes to creating content for advertisements or social media campaigns, it can be rather hard.

Because of COVID-19 limiting gatherings and large scale productions, marketers have to be creative when producing content. This change could see more animated photos and videos or contracting out work to photographers who can create content remotely. More of the leg work of organizing shoots, hiring contractors, securing props, and identifying the theme of the content can safely be done at home.

  1. Changes to privacy settings will make it harder for businesses to target customers.

Companies like Apple are prioritizing their users’ privacy, making it harder for detailed ad targeting, while companies like Facebook are struggling with attribution issues. These changes are meant to protect the customer but make it harder for small businesses to use digital advertisements to make sales. With this in mind, businesses will have to broaden the platforms they advertise on to make up for the difference and be more intentional with the advertisements you create. While it will be harder, digital advertising is still the number one form of marketing available and can be a vital resource in making sales.

  1. Brands will have to work even harder to gain the trust and loyalty of customers.

2020 brought a whole range of issues that companies needed to address. How companies responded to COVID- 19, social, and political issues, had a big impact on customer loyalty. We saw customers refusing to shop at certain stores because of decisions and policies they made and we saw raving reviews all over social media because of customers being proud of the businesses they shopped at.

This same energy will continue in 2021. As marketers, it is our job to establish the trust we hope to gain in our customers. As you create campaigns keep in mind that you are trying to gain customers who will stick around and who will naturally evangelize your product to others. Your content should reflect that attitude and strive to help customers meet their goals, not just seeing them as wallets to purchase your products.

Companies that have aligned their beliefs in order to authentically connect with their audience on shared concerns see a greater sense of brand loyalty in their customers. Keep in mind that customers will know if you actually believe in what you are saying. Stay authentic to who you are, and as Larry Kim says in his article on marketing trends, “nurture your humanity.”

  1. Virtual events and meetings will continue to play a huge role in business.

If you are hoping that conferences or big shopping events will resume in 2021, you most likely will be disappointed. Even with the COVID-19 vaccine slowly rolling out, it will be a while before large events can run like normal. Thanks to video chatting services like Zoom and Google Meet, businesses can host events and meetings virtually. Businesses have also ramped up their online shop presence so that customers can easily purchase their products.

In 2021 we will see more virtual events that allow customers to have easier access to sales representatives and allow businesses to showcase products. This also means that businesses will have fewer expenses because they aren’t having to facilitate in-person events. Embracing a new virtual world will only benefit you in making a profit.

74,448 Virtual Meeting Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock
  1. Interactive content will lead the game.

Instead of simply posting long-form articles or stock photos, businesses will need to reevaluate their content to see how interactive it is. The social media posts that see the most engagement are the ones that have external links, engaging photographs, short videos, or even an interactive poll.

With so many businesses competing for the attention of the customer, your posts have to be better than your competitors. A good video can make up for the lack of an in-person meeting and could be the deciding factor for a customer to visit your website and make a purchase.

  1. More sales will be made through social media.

More time at home means more time scrolling on your phone and computer. When a customer follows your social media account you now have consistent access to them. You can target content that you think would entice them to make a purchase and interact with them through comments and messages.

Facebook and Instagram both give customers the ability to purchase directly from their account, instead of diverting to the website. The advantage of this is that you never lose the customer – they are consistently staying on your page, seeing your content. Adding your merchandise to these social platforms is an easy way to see an increase in sales and to potentially target a new set of customers.

The Future of Marketing in 2021

After reviewing these trends, one thing is abundantly clear: you have to meet your customers where they already are. That could mean creating a new social media profile, hosting a virtual event, or fine-tuning your content to increase engagement. The customer wants and needs come first and if you are successful in meeting those, you will make sales.

If you need help forming your marketing strategy, or creating content, let us know. We are here to help!

As a new entrepreneur, coming up with a revolutionary digital product idea is the hard part. You have done the work of discovering a solution to the problem that you want to solve and finding out if the marketplace has room for your product. You are now ready to pass the product on to a developer with one question in mind: how much will this cost?

No matter if you have a little money to spend or a lot, staying on budget is important. For software development agencies, it is equally as important for their clients to stay on budget. With so many unknowns at the beginning of a project, how do you know how much your product will cost and how do developers provide a complete estimate?

A tool Clear Function now implements into our proposal process, to present an estimated cost for development, is the RAQ. This stands for Range, Assumptions, and Questions. This is an easier and quicker approach that developers can use to guide the estimation process. It helps clients to think through exactly what they want and need, and presents a price range that allows for bumps along the way. After the RAQ is completed companies are able to present a more accurate proposal to the client. Let’s dive into why estimates are hard to give and how the RAQ tool can simplify the process.

Developers Hate Giving Estimates

It’s no secret that developers hate giving estimates for new projects. They are excited about the actual work they will get to do and to see the product finalized and on the market, but estimates are complicated. Clients expect estimates to be accurate and if you give an exact number at the beginning of a project, you will be held to that number.

Developers see the inner working of estimates. They realize that there is no way to know exactly what will be involved just from an initial idea. As you begin to work on a project and receive feedback from testers, your design and needed features will change. Your project could end up being less expensive or more expensive based on the wants and needs of real customers.

Preparing Estimations Can Be Costly

For both the client and the software development agency, time is money. Because most projects are billed hourly, developers always want to be billing the hours that they work. Most companies do not charge to prepare estimations, a good practice, but it can end up costing money if the client does not decide to go with the company for development.

Do developers take time off of money-making projects to prepare an estimate? This is a risky move since there is a good chance that a prospective client might reject the proposal or simply disappear when they discover the amount of time, money and effort that is involved. Using the RAQ estimation model can help get an initial estimation done quickly and efficiently – lessening the risk for both parties.

How to Use the RAQ Estimation Model

  1. Record all Assumptions

Clear Function’s process for new clients is to first lead them through an intro call where they broadly discuss their new idea. The next step is a longer discovery session. It is during these two phone calls where we record parts of the project, including features, the problem they are solving, and the solution they are offering. It is also where we make valuable assumptions about the project.

Assumptions for a project could include only wanting an iPhone app or a website. You are assuming the project will be managed by your team or an offshore team to save costs. Assumptions can be validated during your initial session with developers.

  1. Ask Questions for a Tighter Scope

Questions can be asked during two times of the estimation process. First at the beginning to qualify the project, and after you have recorded all of your assumptions.

Qualifying questions are used to identify when you want your product developed, how involved you want to be, what you want the success of your solution to look like, and even how you plan to proceed once your project has ended. Qualifying questions tend to be less unique and more straightforward that could apply to multiple projects.

Clarifying questions asked near the end of the estimation process are to solidify certain details that could raise or lower the cost. This could include asking if the product needs to integrate with any existing software or if any design or branding work has already been done. These questions tend to be more specific and should be adjusted for each product.

  1. Present a Price Range

Now that assumptions have been made and vital questions have been asked, it is time to talk about money. With the hard work already done, developers can fairly quickly present clients with a range of prices, both low and high. Instead of a solid 50 thousand, you might present a range of 25 to 75 thousand.

With a range, it leaves the developer and the client room to add certain features and requirements or take them away. You aren’t set at a certain price because you don’t know exactly what to expect until you begin the design. Clients will have better peace of mind knowing that the price for the development of their product will most likely fall within that range.

What to Do When Clients Say No

Spending time working on an estimation just for clients to say no can be frustrating. Thankfully, with the RAQ model, you are putting an ample amount of time and effort into price estimation without losing significant amounts of money.

If a client passes, use the estimation you prepared for them as a template for other similar products. It will guide you on assumptions and questions to ask and speed up the process even more.

What other services do you offer that should be included?

Before you present your final estimation to the client, think through the other services that your company offers. Do you offer business coaching or a maintenance plan? These services can bump up the cost but are valuable resources that clients may want and need.

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