Some thoughts to guide future business investments

January 27, 2011

My apologies for being absent from the blog posting world for many months – it has been a busy time, and H2 of 2010 was particularly busy for my business.

Because I get asked for advice on all sorts of topics, I’ve decided to put some pointers/tips/hints/advice all in the one easy to find place.


Some great quotes to consider, when creating the vision of your next business venture:

1. Revenue is vanity, Profit is sanity.

2. Your business idea …. If It Doesn’t Spread, It’s Dead.

3. Businesses take note …. The youth of today don’t wake up thinking about your brand.  Stop trying to buy their attention, because nowadays you have to earn it.

In a future blog posting during H1 of 2011, I will explore each of the 3 points above in more detail.


Some great links to check out, to help formulate the details about what your next business venture will be:

1. http://anthillonline.com/5-reasons-your-problems-arent-being-solved-and-5-ways-to-solve-them/

2. Bessemer Venture Partners acknowledged some of their big “misses” from the past  http://www.bvp.com/Portfolio/AntiPortfolio.aspx

3. 100 Best Small Business Podcasts  http://www.smbtrendwire.com/2010/03/01/100-best-small-business-podcasts-2010/

Some interesting technology statistics from the end of 2010 that your next business venture should be looking to exploit:

  • In the US today (2010), text messages outnumber phone calls
  • Globally, 95% of all text messages are read within 15 Minutes
  • Over 20% of people respond to a text message
  • Globally, twice as many people use text messaging as use email
  • Over 2 billion people have mobile internet access
  • 1.8 billion people will send at least 1 text message today

Some “scary” societal/economic statistics from the end of 2010 that represent some of the imbalances we should be trying to address:

  • China has 140 cities with 1+ Million residents, the whole of Europe has 35 !!!
  • The US is 4% of the total world population, but each year consumes 60% of the worlds total savings !!!
  • In Europe in 2010, there are 4 workers per retiree.  In Europe in 2050, there will be 2 workers per retiree !!!
  • In China, in 2050, there will be 450 Million people aged 60+; there will also be 100 Million people aged 80+.
  • In the US today (2010), 40% of all adults aged 50-65 are already experiencing difficulty with basic activities like walking, and climbing steps.
  • In the US today (2010) 1% of Americans received 25% of ALL personal income, this is also more than the bottom 50% of households put together.

Feel free to contact us, if you want more information, or want to discuss how your business might be able to take account of these trends to create a better business plan and a more sustainable business for the future.


What are the “Jobs of the Future” ?.

March 27, 2010

My thanks to Rohit Talwar at Fast Future (www.fastfuture.com) for these insights, which he provided to me in February of 2010.

You will notice these jobs are all derived from current/emerging technologies, and every single role would be foreign to business managers from even 20 years ago …. even if they could guess what the role actually entails.

Feel free to contact me, if you want further information.  Also feel free to post comments here.

The shape of jobs to come list of 20 jobs

1.    Body part maker Advances in science will make the creation of body parts possible, requiring body part makers, body part stores and body part repair shops.

2.    Nano-medic Advances in nanotechnology offer the potential for a range of sub-atomic ‘nanoscale’ devices, inserts and procedures that could transform personal healthcare. A new range of nano-medicine specialists will be required to administer these treatments.

3.    ‘Pharmer’ of genetically engineered crops and livestock New-age farmers could be raising crops and livestock that have been genetically engineered to improve yields and produce therapeutic proteins. Possibilities include a vaccine-carrying tomato and therapeutic milk from cows, sheep and goats.

4.    Old age wellness manager/consultant Specialists will draw on a range of medical, pharmaceutical, prosthetic, psychiatric, natural and fitness solutions to help manage the various health and personal needs of the ageing population.

5.    Memory augmentation surgeon Surgeons will add extra memory capacity to people who want to increase their memory capacity. They will also help those who have been over-exposed to information in the course of their life and simply can no longer take on any more information thus leading to sensory shutdown.

6.    ‘New science’ ethicist As scientific advances accelerate in new and emerging fields such as cloning, proteomics and nanotechnology, a new breed of ethicist may be required, who understands a range of underlying scientific fields and helps society make consistent choices about what developments to allow. Much of science will not be a question of can we, but should we.

7.    Space pilots, tour guides and architects With Virgin Galactic and others pioneering space tourism, space trained pilots and tour guides will be needed, as well as designers to enable the habitation of space and other planets. Current projects at SICSA (University of Houston) include a greenhouse on Mars, lunar outposts and space exploration vehicles.

8.    Vertical farmers There is growing interest in the concept of city-based vertical farms, with hydroponically-fed food being grown in multi-storey buildings. These offer the potential to dramatically increase farm yield and reduce environmental degradation. The managers of such entities will require expertise in a range of scientific disciplines, as well as engineering and commerce.

9.    Climate change reversal specialist As the threats and impacts of climate change increase, a new breed of engineer-scientists will be required to help reduce or reverse the effects of climate change on particular locations. They will need to apply multi-disciplinary solutions ranging from filling the oceans with iron filings, to erecting giant umbrellas that deflect the sun’s rays.

10.  Quarantine enforcer If a deadly virus starts spreading rapidly, few countries, and few people, will be prepared. Nurses will be in short supply. Moreover, as mortality rates rise, and neighbourhoods are shut down, someone will have to guard the gates.

11.  Weather modification police The act of seeding clouds to create rain is already happening in some parts of the world, and is altering weather patterns thousands of miles away. Weather modification police will need to control and monitor who is allowed to shoot rockets containing silver iodine into the air – a way to provoke rainfall from passing clouds.

12.  Virtual lawyer As more and more of our daily life goes online, specialists will be required to resolve legal disputes which could involve citizens resident in different legal jurisdictions.

13.  Avatar manager / Devotees Virtual teacher Avatars could be used to support or even replace teachers in the elementary classroom, for instance, as computer personas that serve as personal interactive guides. The Devotee is the human that makes sure that the Avatar and the student are properly matched and engaged, etc.

14.  Alternative vehicle developers Designers and builders will create the next generation of vehicle transport using alternative materials and fuels. Could the dream of underwater and flying cars become a reality within the next two decades?

15.  Narrowcasters As broadcasting media becomes increasingly personalised, roles will emerge for specialists working with content providers and advertisers to create content tailored to individual needs. While mass market customisation solutions may be automated, premium rate narrowcasting could be performed by humans.

16.  Waste data handler Specialists will provide a secure data disposal service for those who do not want to be tracked, electronically or otherwise.

17.  Virtual clutter organiser Specialists will help us organise our electronic lives. Clutter management would include effective handling of email, ensuring orderly storage of data, management of electronic IDs and rationalising the applications we use.

18.  Time broker / Time bank trader Alternative currencies will evolve their own markets – for example time banking already exists.

19.  Social ‘networking’ worker Social workers will help those in some way traumatised or marginalised by social networking.

20.  Personal branders An extension of the role played by executive coaches giving advice on how to create a personal ‘brand’ using social and other media. What personality are you projecting via your blog, Twitter, etc? What personal values do you want to build into your image – and is your image consistent with your real life persona and your goals?