You might remember that we have discussed disruption or disruptors before. A disruptor is an entity or someone that brings about a new way of doing things that moves away from the usual or expected flow of things. A disruptor business entails products that alter existing markets in most cases, even creating new ones. In the same vein, a disruptive technology is a technology that alters existing markets, in most cases even creating new ones. Those disruptive technologies are what give birth to disruptors. Let us look at some of the disruptive technologies you can make money with in Zimbabwe.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the reproduction or mimicking of human-level intelligence, self-awareness, knowledge, conscience, and thought in computer programs. AI entails the use of rule-based systems or neural networks to enable computerized systems to carry out tasks like or beyond people’s computational abilities. AI makes computerized systems perform tasks more accurately, with increased capacity, and much faster. AI has become instrumental in systems that involve intricate decision-making, multi-layered evaluations, and the development of new-age products or services. The use of AI in Zimbabwe is still quite limited, presenting vast opportunities in every industry.
This is one of the buzzwords in technology circles these days. Web3 is the third generation of the World Wide Web, where the driving forces are decentralization, blockchain, and tokenomics (i.e. token-based economics). You can learn more from an article I did on breaking down what web 3.0 means. Anyways, there are many untapped Web3 business opportunities. Think along the lines of financial decentralization, elimination of the need for middlemen, and enhanced security, privacy and data management. Those are examples of dynamics that present a number of business opportunities. Think of digital or virtual assets and goods, e.g. cryptocurrency and NFTs. Consider cutting-edge governance that can be made possible by smart contracts. Lots of business opportunities around all this in Zimbabwe.
Internet Of Things (IoT)
IoT involves the digital monitoring and control of electronically, electrically or mechanically driven systems by use of interconnected computer-driven devices which collect and exchange data over a network. IoT can be applied to any industry, for example, manufacturing, agriculture, and so on. The core value proposition of IoT is automation and real-time monitoring and management. One of the interesting applications is in the development of smart home systems. The provision of IoT services is laden with lots of money-making opportunities in Zimbabwe.
3D printing is the manufacture of three-dimensional solid objects from digital models. The general process involves the laying up of several computer-aided designed drawings to create solid shapes. The applications of 3D printing are unlimited, with some notable ones being medicine, construction, and engineering. 3D printing allows the manufacture of new and innovative products quicker and cheaper than traditional methods. Look at how limited and largely outdated the manufacturing industry is in Zimbabwe. That is a pain point, and 3D printing can create value there. Earlier this year, I had a chat with Richard John, the founder of a Zimbabwean startup called Three Dimensional Productions. Check out the article, Three Dimensional Productions – The First Startup To Introduce 3D Printing In Zimbabwe. You will learn more and realize there is money waiting for you in 3D printing.
Clean energy is energy whose generation and use do not emit greenhouse gases or adversely affect the environment. Examples of clean energy are solar energy and wind energy. In Zimbabwe, we have barely scratched the surface when it comes to those two. Solar energy, yes, there is some considerable activity, but there is room for more. Zimbabwe has the capacity to generate at least 10000 GW Hours of solar energy in a year. There is unlimited money to be made from solar energy production, e.g. solar farms. We literally have not started wind energy, yet there are huge prospects there. I strongly believe solar and wind energy are instrumental in addressing energy challenges in Zimbabwe. Plus, lots of money can be made from that. If we truly tap into it all, we can export lots of energy to other countries.
Virtual and Augmented Realities
Virtual reality (VR) is a realistic, real-time, three-dimensional computer simulation of physical objects and spaces. Two key applications of VR are entertainment and training exercises. Augmented reality (AR) is the merging of a view of a real-world object or space upon a digital image in real time. VR can also be applied in education. I once spoke about Phenomenon Technologies, a Zimbabwean startup. They make it possible through VR for students to visit locations they never thought physically possible.
In 2020, I also spoke of DivergentLabs, a subset of Phenomenon Technologies, which made it possible for people to have virtual tours of the Bulawayo Gallery from the comfort of their PC or mobile device. I will be talking about Phenomenon Technologies again soon on their latest development. Remember also in 2020 when Econet unveiled an augmented reality treasure hunt. The bottom line is there are many business opportunities in Zimbabwe in virtual and augmented realities (VR and AR).
Biotechnology is the application of biology to produce industrial enzymes, improved plants and animals, medicines, pesticides, and so on. This is all done by living organisms or their parts. A noteworthy example of biotechnology is genetic engineering. This entails the modification of plants’ or animals’ genetic material to enhance their attributes. Biotechnology is still largely shallow in Zimbabwe; those who push more will make money. Biotechnology has a strategic place in industrial and agricultural applications in Zimbabwe.
I will not detail other lucrative disruptive technologies today: Neurotechnology, Nanotechnology, New Materials, Quantum Technology, Advanced Robotics, Cloud and Edge Computing, and Sharing Platforms. Zimbabwe still has some infrastructural hurdles for some of these technologies to be easily adopted. However, it is strategic to gear up for them because early players and adopters will benefit immensely.