Category Archives: Innovations

Most jobs automated in 500 years

In 500 years less than 10 percent of people on the planet will be doing paid work.

Thats a prediction by Venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson who discusses the future of automation. Among his visions is that 90 percent of people will be unemployed in 500 years, thanks to automation; instead of doing busy work or a “physically repetitive thing for a living,” we’ll be involved in information or entertainment. … There will be no farmers, there will be no people working in manufacturing anymore.

As mentioned in my previous post ….Everything about Uber has been automated except for the driver. The billing, the fetching—every part of it is a modern, information-centric company. Interestingly, what that means is as soon as automated vehicles arrive, that driver is easily removed. You don’t have to restructure any part of that business.

What you’re farming out to humans today are those things that computers just barely can’t do. We know from Moore’s Law and improvements in computing that in two or three years [much of this] work will be automated. If a startup or new business venture has created a job that involves human labour, it probably has done so in a way that is pretty marginal. Whether you’re a technology enthusiast or a detractor, the rate at which this will shift is probably going to be unprecedented. There will be massive dislocation.

“It pretty much will be what life was like for most of human history—just without the gruesome servitude. The concept of a “job” is pretty recent. If you go back a few hundred years, everyone was either a slave or a serf, or living off slave or serf labor to pursue science or philosophy or art. We’ll live off the production of robots, free to be the next Aristotle or Plato or Newton,” he explained. “Unless we’re miserable without doing busy work.”

Whilst this is not going to effect us in the short term  it’s importance is a fundamental consideration for the progressive idea generators out there; The long term players creating the next wave that will shift society as we know it to the next level: A well-informed innovator with an abundance-focused approach to the effects of increasing automation and the future of work. Jurvetson also underscores the importance of finding and funding these entrepreneurs who are thinking big and solving global problems — despite their inherent risk.

 

If you would like to add a comment on how you forsee the future job market; please sign up and drop me a line.

To you traversing your next idea

 

Steve

 

Does your Cabbie speak English?

There’s been a lot of news in the UK on the subject of cabs vs Black Taxis and the battle of app driven booking systems that under cut the cost of travel in the London marketplace. I’m all for disruption if it saves money doing everyday tasks. But Uber has created quite a stir in Blighty across the pond. And the traditional Black Cab owners are up in arms about this online platform that threatens to erode their livelyhoods.

I’m all for a level playing field so our UK Taxis need to compete or dominate on a similar scale and develop a robust booking system that attracts the masses so they can hold onto marketshare.

In the meantime other players like Hailo will come onto the scene to provide additional competition.

But the latest tech breakthrough is even more extraodinary…

Uber has teamed up with Duolingo to enable its drivers in Colombia to self-certify their proficiency in the English language — and for riders to specifically request an English-speaking driver. The Duolingo proficiency test takes $20 and about 20 minutes for drivers to complete remotely; organizations like the Harvard Extension School, the Max-Planck Institute, Carnegie Mellon, LinkedIn and Upwork all accept it. To date, Uber reports that 1,000 of its drivers have been certified.

This is so important as only last year, Uber launched a similar “Uber English” service in Shanghai, but interviewed and selected English-speaking drivers in person, one by one. By dematerializing this vetting process and using Duolingo, a crowdsourced language service with 100 million users, Uber can scale its English-certified drivers quickly and easily. No doubt a major opportunity  of employment for new arrivals of foreign nationals embarking on a new life in Europe and other countries if Uber rolls-out this additional feature.

 

What disruptive idea interests you?

To the next

 

Steve

 

 

 

Download apps at the speed of light!

Fujitsu has developed the world’s first 300 GHz band compact receiver with an internal antenna. It’s capable of high-speed wireless communications at a rate of several tens of gigabits per second — over 100 times faster than current mobile technology. Radio signals with a frequency greater than 100GHz, called the terahertz band, allow for increases in usable frequency range and communication speed of more than 100 times compared with the 0.8-2.0 GHz range used by current mobile devices. Now, Fujitsu has developed technology that combines a receiver-amplifier chip and terahertz-band antenna with a low-loss connection. This has made it possible to reduce the receiver’s size to one tenth that of previous receivers, making use in mobile devices possible.

One of the main hurdles was that existing high-sensitivity terahertz-band receivers consist of a receiver-amplifier module and separate antenna, with a specialized component called a waveguide to connect them, which makes for large receivers. The most effective way to miniaturize them is to build the antenna directly into the receiver-amplifier module and eliminate the waveguide. Modules with built-in antennas are built by connecting the antenna and the receiver-amplifier chip through an internal printed-circuit substrate, making a waveguide unnecessary. The problem then is that the most common materials for printed-circuit substrates for high-frequency waves are ceramic, quartz, or Teflon, but when used in the terahertz band, there is significant signal attenuation and loss of receiving sensitivity.

Why is this  important: Imagine visiting a download kiosk at an event hall, station, bus terminus, shopping mall or theme park and being able to instantly download 4K or HD video straight to your smartphone. Fujitsu envisions “split-second data transfers between mobile devices and split-second backup between mobile devices and servers,” according to Next Big Future.

Fujitsu and Fujitsu Laboratories will begin field trials of multi-gigabit-per-second, high-speed data transfer using this newly developed compact receiver, aiming to commercialize this technology around 2020.

This will dispel  the common frustrations felt from  ‘on the hoof’ downloads from highly expectant video hungry consumers.

These are the topics that interest me; Sign up and join in with what could be!

 

To the next

 

Steve

Kids Breakfast time …….. becomes a Virtual Experience!

Remember those days as a child when you tore open a new cereal packet to collect your next favourite plastic spaceman freebee.
Well science has just taken another leap in to the future of cereal branding .

Kellogg’s just launched a promotion in New Zealand in which customers can create their own Virtual Reality headsets out of Nutri-Grain boxes. The makeshift device is akin to Google Cardboard in that it uses your smartphone as the display. Scanning the box’s QR code will take you to the NG Bolt app, which contains three VR videos to watch.

It’s very important as  this represents Demonetization  in action as a disrupter to the value of currency as a unit — this VR headset is the price of a box of cereal. It’s also a creative marketing move for Kellogg’s to appeal to younger consumers and their parents. Leading the mental pathway of new technology and the rewards of informative consumer stimuli.

If you want to discuss this and other topics please drop me a line through the opt in box.

 

To your success

 

Steve

Turn Smog into Gemstones

I’ve just supported a great innovation on Kickstarter. The Largest Air Purifier Ever Built that  Sucks Up Smog and Turns it Into Gemstones!

A very clever designer Daan Roosegaarde has unveiled the Smog Free Tower, a 23-foot air purifier that captures smog from the outside air and turns these smog particles into gemstones. The tower purifies 30,000 cubic meters of air each hour, and each gemstone is the product of roughly 1,000 cubic meters of air. Roosegaarde is currently raising funds via the crowdfunding site Kickstarter to cover the travel costs of transporting the air purifier to major cities like Beijing, Mumbai and Paris, with smog gemstone cufflinks and rings as backer prizes. So I’ll be getting a small cube to remind me about how I’m helping the planet by purifying the air in inner city environments.

The process taking place inside its walls  powered by 1,400 watts of sustainable energy, which is comparable to a water boiler, and the studio says it hopes to one day integrate solar PVs into the design to power the process—which works not so differently than some ionic air purifiers. Roosegaarde explains; that the way it works is by charging the Smog Free Tower with a small positive current, an electrode will send positive ions into the air. These ions will attach themselves to fine dust particles. A negatively charged surface -the counter electrode- will then draw the positive ions in, together with the fine dust particles. The fine dust that would normally harm us, is collected together with the ions and stored inside of the tower. This technology manages to capture ultra-fine smog particles which regular filter systems fail to do.

smog tower

I think this was an important project to get involved with because it demonstrates another example of how creative thinkers are transforming scarcity into abundance. This architectural feat appeals to me as its a blindingly obvious solution to a growing problem; your born with a fine set of lungs – it makesense to keep them clean. Unfortunately us humans through our industrial endeavours have polluted certain areas of the planet through the need of  our ever expanding consumption of stuff;  and this innovation marks a turning point to give something back to our congested communities. Environmentally it ticks many boxes and will set the scene for other concepts to support its success through crowdfunding, DIY innovators and other material based sciences. This is a project which has immense scalability; Can you imagine giant versions of these towers sucking in huge amounts of polluted air with the residue being used in the building industry or other sectors as a sustainable material.

This is truly exceptional and an example of an idea I get excited about and want to discuss. This really lights my inner fire. I hope this encourages you to comment & contribute about what could be next.

To your success.

 

Steve

Smartphones become Solar Panels

Transparent Batteries That Charge in the Sun Could Replace Smartphone Screens –

A group of smart Japanese techies  have managed to improve the design of a transparent lithium-ion battery so that it’s now able to recharge itself when exposed to sunlight without the need for a separate solar cell.

The transparent battery was first developed by the researchers, led by Kogakuin University president and professor Mitsunobu Sato, back in 2013. The electrolyte used for the battery’s positive electrode is made mostly from lithium iron phosphate, while the electrolytes used for the negative electrode include lithium titanate, and lithium hexafluorophosphate a stronger chemical bond at subatomic level.

Those are all common ingredients used in Li-ion rechargeable batteries, but the thickness of these electrodes are just 80 to 90 nanometers, which allows a lot of light to pass through and makes these batteries almost completely transparent. Imagine that! Where else could this technological discovery be applied.

But by changing the chemical makeup of the negative electrode, the Japanese researchers have found a way to make these transparent batteries now recharge themselves in the presence of sunlight, or other bright sources of illumination, say a lamp or street light.

This is important because future iterations of this battery could become smart mirrors for buildings and vehicles that can auto-dim when it’s bright outside during the heat of the day, but also store power as they’re recharged by the sun. And as an extension of that idea, one day your smartphone’s display might even serve as an additional battery, using sunlight to charge the device whenever you’re outside.

Harvesting energy is becoming more and more portable. Have any ideas to join in the discussion?

Whats the next disruptive vision that will enter the solar market place?

To the next

 

Steve

 

 

Richard Branson A Jumbo Jet and An Inflatable!

Todays piece is about doing stuff that may appear bigger than you can handle; but in reality it is just the perception of what’s possible and not to hold back on going BIG!

You’ll surprise yourself that the perception of crazy …”we can’t do that moments” turn out to be the most successful no matter how wacky. Generating ideas and staying in the flow creates a level of inspiration that can turn out to be highly rewarding.

To coin the collective phrase about brainstorming sessions…”Lets do a mind dump” as I experienced regularly in workshops within the “MAD MEN” – Ad / Media world. This is where a lot of unique creative thinking is borne . Stretching the limits of ones mind to market a brand or product. This activity is now used in all manner of industries to gain advantage over market share in growing economies.

I can draw an analogy of this based on my own experience a few years back. Sounds crazy but …I recall back in early 1990 working on the RayBan Sunglass account and coming up with all sorts of ideas to expand the brand – At the time Richard Branson ” The Smiley One” was making huge endeavours to transform the Airline business and I thought there was a perfect fit with our Aviator line of glasses.

Prior to this Virgin Atlantic  had already received a licence to open up the Los Angeles route from Gatwick and the official launch was May that year. We wanted to sell our product within “Duty Free” on airlines and the company had already struck a deal with Virgin. I had this idea of painting a pair of Wayfarers on the nose cone of one of their Aircraft to commemorate the partnership which Richard was very excited about. The launch was going to be a typical Virgin style send off with media reporters, Celebrities, TV networks like MTV attending and Richard wanted to make a mark in demonstrating new horizons for the airline business.

But after many discussions the CAA wouldn’t agree. Too “Over The Top”- they said  – it would effect the “aerodynamic stability” was the official line. How the acceptance of the norm has changed over the years – There’s painted branded aircraft everywhere now.

Anyway…. Determined not to be put off by their decision I remembered that Richard loved ballooning as part of his crazy promotional Virgin activities. I thought why not set the scene for a summer beach theme at the check in gate with a Jumbo pair of Inflatable Ray Bans resting on the nose cone of the Jumbo Jet. How  crazy is that —— Well after going back to talk with the various  “officialdom” …..Imagine my astonishment when it was all approved.  “As long as the Pitot tubes are turned off ..(they measure air speed / pressure ) they get very hot when systems are being charged during maintenance so can burn plastic”. they said.

Here are a few picks of the set up in prep before the launch  ( me in the foreground) making sure everything would run to clockwork on the day.

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And here is Richard Branson joining in with the fun before the inaugural flight.

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Never let the initial possibility  of “what can’t be”  get in the way of “what could be”. Go and fulfill your potential and become an expert in something new.

As Richard would say ” Just Go For It” …

 

To your success.

Steve

The Impact of Hyperconnectivity

I’ve been away last few weeks and had a bit of a double holiday break this summer and time to reflect & ponder on forthcoming posts and the next stages of development for this site.

It is estimated as of today that there are just over 1.5 Billion people connected online around the globe. It has been forecasted that by 2020 in low estimations that this figure will rise to 5-7 Billion people.

This is all going to happen in the next 5 years not 30 ..its just mind boggling.

There are already plans afoot from the likes of Mark Zuckerberg  to connect to the other half of the planet and give them Facebook via drones and new satellite architectures.

Google on the other  hand through Project Loon is planning 1,000’s of Balloons over remote areas like Africa and the Far East to bring connectivity to the outer reaches.

And with companies such as QualComm & Virgin developing their One World Satellite network more people will be able to communicate at speeds of 1Mb +; which was unheard of 20 years ago.

Even Elon Musk is  planning to start a 4,000 Satellite Constellation to assist in Google’s plans.

Just think about that for a moment. That’s  an extra 5/6 Billion individuals that have never searched anything, bought anything, researched & uploaded anything coming online for the first time. That’s a lot of new consumers coming on stream with a lot of opportunity at their fingertips. But not only that with the level of technology available to them they can get their own ideas out there, shared, crowdfunded and connected.

The level of productivity and innovation is exploding.

But just think about where you stand now and what you can achieve. In a few years time, you’ll have a whole new marketplace of hungry consumers that can be tapped into.

The  Connectivity Boom is coming so get prepared: I’m keen to be a part of this new frontier and connect with like minded folk who want to ride the economic wave of tens of trillions of dollars that are going to be flowing into the global economy.

This blog will explore the  newest technological developments that are leading to greater wealth and abundance…for all of us to enjoy not just the few.

The so called “have nots” will be a thing of the past & be replaced with the “haves” and the “super haves” …everybody will have access to energy, healthcare, information, learning, tech, food and opportunity.

The rate of change is exploding and the so called inequalities of wealth & income is shrinking. We have the chance to bring our thoughts, personality, passions, ideas together on a grand scale and transform our lives. Our interaction with humans will be more intimate as this connectivity phenomenon unfolds.

These are the subjects I want us to discuss and explore.

So come and sign up and strike up a conversation.

To your success

Steve

Are you a “Disruptive Talent” – How to Challenge the Norm

During my long career in the commercial world ..I’ve always felt a bit of a square peg in a round hole. And may have come across to me colleagues as a bit of a maverick that doesn’t toe the party line & play corporate politics. Maybe that’s why I experienced a few redundancies along the way as I was deemed too dangerous for the business. Maybe I was born in the wrong era or just joined the wrong companies as doing things differently just was’nt the done thing! . …I succeeded anyhow!

But now there seems to be many square pegs that have bucked the system and have succeeded in their quest to “do things differently ” But not only that, the system ( ie the so called commercial world ) has come to respect and embrace these game changers as HR departments encourage the flow of talent as part of the employee mix.

“The term disruptive talent is an interesting rebranding of people with an identifiable character, people who we have all been working with for many years to try to help them better understand the impact they have on others,” says Mr Duff, who is a partner at UK business psychology consultancy Pearn Kandola.

“We do a lot of coaching people like this, people who are very bright in a particular role, very inventive and creative, but who have no chance of fitting into the wider culture of the business. How ironic!

“As a result, other people in the organisation cannot cope with the amount of antagonism and disruption they bring with them. That is why people who you can classify as disruptive talent tend to instead start their own businesses.”

Sir Richard Branson, who has an estimated net worth of £3bn ($4.5bn) has certainly thrived running his own businesses and is a classic example of a disruptive talent that has broken through red tape & politics.

He says: “I think anyone who sets up a business is to an extent a disruptive individual, because starting a business is simply someone thinking ‘I can do it better than anybody else, and I know how to do it’.

“For that idea to succeed you have to be doing it in a disruptive way, otherwise you’re just doing the same as everyone else and you are going to fail.

“When I came up with the idea of starting my airline and space company, people gave me every reason why I shouldn’t do it. In the end you have to be a leader, you have to give it a go.”

This belief in your own idea and that burning desire in your gut that tells you that you need to do this ; is one example of being disruptive; challenging the norm & ignoring the naysayers.

Carving out your own path completely blinkered to others criticism and ignorance is part of the challenge we all face in life. But its the hard part that makes it good. Being a maverick is cool and looking for new answers to do things better is what builds your character and allows you stand out from the crowd.  Too many times, when leaders think deeply about a problem or challenge, they are merely doing what they have been socialized( ie fitting in) to believe is the right way to think about a problem or process, and it is very difficult to break this habit. All great business innovations and inventions in history have come from people who have not bought into this logic. Consider Steve Jobs. Who would have thought that a computer could have color? Or graphics? Or be a piece of furniture or art? We need to be conscious of our surrounding culture and be able to step out of it so we can produce original thinking.

Another great example is  take a look at the success of Amazon. They fundamentally deconstructed the traditional relationship between a reader and an author, but kept its essence in place; the author writes a book and the reader buys the book. What was fundamentally restructured was how these two events occurred. Gone was the bricks n mortar  bookstore to be replaced by an electronic one; traditional stock was replaced by one of the most efficient just-in-time supply chains imaginable. Then they followed that by restructuring the traditional physical book into an electronic platform that cut down on the weight and exponentially increased the number of books that could be purchased and carried efficiently by a reader. This sort of fundamental deconstruction and reconstruction is possible in every business sector; it simply takes a different way of thinking.

Share this post with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above as this is the stuff I want to discuss.

 

To your success

 

Steve

 

 

The Secret to Innovation – Bad Ideas !

What do I hear you say …what on earth is Steve talking about ..

Hear me out just for a second here. There is a hypothetical soloution for new ideas.
Consider this …. you had meeting after meeting as a team bouncing ideas around the room to solve a problem and getting nowhere fast. Times ticking and you’re all feeling the pinch of the deadline looming on the horizon and the pressure is building. We’ve all been there. We’ve all done the brainstorming and then crash the ultimate in writers block hits you all and there is a general feeling of malaise of where do we go next to come up with a salient point that will stimulate momentum… That feeling of pressure to come up with “the right” idea to move forward  has vanished. And you’re all looking at one another with that blank look of dispair.

 

Well here’s a novel method to get back in the flow. Ask your panel / team / committee to come up with a crazy idea no matter how stupid or far fetched. It could be totally unrelated from the topic of discussion.

About a new type of beer from fig juice / sports shoe , food additive/ new fuel for cars run on sweet wrappers ..anything ..Get it out of your head and exercise those crazy brain muscles. As Tony Robbins has said in many of his seminars to change your mental state you need to move your body your physiology. Well think of it like this.. moving your brain to a different kind of tempo. It’s fun and could become part of a scheduled down time to keep you energised.

This action helps dispel the road blocks in your head and gets you going again.. It’s like a reboot for the brain…

Try it out next time you feel your creative wheels spinning ….take time out to reset your clock.

These are the type of topics I want to discuss to help nurture a new community

To your success

 

Steve