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Will tech ever be able to disrupt the business card?
In an age of social media, the business card is a surprisingly resilient piece of paper. While we are yet to see the killer app that has sent this humble format the way of the newspaper, plenty have tried to build it.
The latest effort is Knock Knock, the Washington Post reports. The premise is that you knock twice on your phone’s screen, and you can quickly share your contact information and social media accounts with those nearby - provided they’ve also installed the app.
Knock Knock is not alone, other efforts have included startups like Bump, Hashable and CardFlick. No one has quite cracked it yet. Perhaps in the West it is only a matter of time before there is a solution that finally kills off the card, but it might be a bigger challenge in Asia where the custom of exchanging cards has existed for 400 years.
That said, in Japan - the cultural heartland of the business card - entrepreneur Chika Terada has started Sansan, a cloud-based CRM platform that lets user scan and upload their cards. The startup offers two services: Sansan and Eight. Sansan is for businesses, while Eight is for individuals.
The idea has at least gained traction among venture capitalists. TechInAsia reports that Sansan has already raised a $14 million Series B round in June.
At least the business card will stick around for some time. After all, the most successful technology is often the most convenient. What could be more convenient than putting a piece of paper in someone’s hand?
Photo: Geoffrey Franklin