Starbucks Now Offers Its Employees A Meditation App…And Other Small Business Tech News – Forbes


Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Starbucks is offering a meditation app to their employees.

Think working at Starbucks is stressful? So does Starbucks. So much so that the company announced in a press release this past week that they have added Headspace—a meditation app that offers guided meditation—to the benefits that their employees will receive. The app—which is a subscription service—includes specific programs designed to help individuals with anxiety, stress, as well as many other mental health issues. The addition of Headspace is the most recent move by Starbucks to support mental health. (Source: Fast Casual)

Why this is important for your business:

I’m not going to weigh in on whether it’s stressful to work at Starbucks. OK, I will. It is. But that’s not why this story is important for your business. What’s important is that Starbucks is one of a number companies that are offering apps to their employees for health, wellness, financial planning, productivity and yes, mediation, as a relatively inexpensive perk. Not a bad idea for you, is it?

2 — Google is making updates to Google Assistant and its travel site, helping to simplify tasks and planning trips. 

Google announced important updates to both Google Assistant and their travel site this past week, looking to streamline tasks for users. The Google Assistant will now allow actions to be scheduled by simply asking it to perform a task at a specific time, such as turning the lights on or off on a given day, negating the need to go through the setup routine. Additionally, Google’s travel site will now have two new tabs to help schedule trips. The “when to visit” tab will show when the best time to travel to a given destination based off of pricing, weather, and crowds, while the “where to stay” tab will provide summaries of most sought after neighborhoods and include typical cost of a hotel, what the location is known for, and the overall score of the neighborhood. (Sources: The Verge and Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

If your team, like so many others, uses Google apps then you should make everyone aware of these time (and cost) savings new features.

3 — Mevo announced their livestreaming video camera Mevo Start, and pre-ordering is now open. 

This past week Mevo—a leader in livestreaming cameras—announced that pre-orders for their new long-form streaming camera is now open. The new camera—named Mevo Start—amplifies the advanced technology of its existing video products by including 1080p HD video and clear audio that will allow users to easily share vital events in real-time. The Mevo App and Mevo Start are designed specifically for social media influencers and consumers at any level to help easily and efficiently livestream. (Source: GlobeNewswire)

Why this is important for your business:

I’m a user and a fan of Mevo because their technology is affordable and provides a quality product. If you’re social media and online activities include making videos, then Mevo is a great technology to consider, and the product’s new features make it even more attractive.

4 — The bookkeeping platform Receipt Bank has raised $73M.

Receipt Bank—a digital bookkeeping platform—announced this past week that they have raised nearly $73 million in equity and debt during a Series C funding round led by Insight Partners. Receipt Bank’s machine learning technology categorizes and digitizes financial data from several sources, processing and storing the information for bookkeepers and accountants. The company plans to use the funding to expand upon its product suite, as well as continue growth in North, America, Europe, and Australia. (Source: Pymnts)

Why this is important for your business:

Receipt Bank is one of a number of back-office processing applications that leverage technology that can extract data from an image (i.e. a vendor’s invoice sent to you as a pdf) and migrate it directly to your accounting system with little human involvement. I’ve recommended products like Receipt Bank to clients who are looking to increase office productivity and lower overhead.

5— A company you’ve never heard of just launched the cheapest 5G phone yet. 

Coolpad—a Chinese phone maker—introduced Legacy 5G this past week, the company’s first 5G phone. The phone—which will cost under $400—is expected to be one of the cheapest 5G phones on the market and will be available during the second quarter of 2020. Legacy 5G will be supported by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint’s 5G networks, and will be sold by Coolpad, Amazon, as well as other retailers throughout the U.S. (Source: CNET)

Why this is important for your business:

You can’t deny that the Coolpad’s price is more attractive than its Apple and Google competitors. Maybe it’s worth a try…