Tag Archive for 'futurists'

Would new battery innovations change your small business?

Look around you at how many things you use that are electronic. Then make that scan again, but this time, only look at the things that run on batteries. Now look one more time and think about how much of the form and weight of those battery-operated devices is determined by the battery.  In the next 10 years, not only will fewer devices be burdened by an electrical cord, but fewer will be restricted by the battery. Emerging battery innovations will dramatically change the way we use things and live your lives.

For example, what if you could push a button and literally print out a battery - on a sheet of paper? What if the battery itself, so to speak, was actually part of the paint on a device?  Go ahead - let your mind wander.  I’ll wait … Hmm-Hmm-Hmm.

As our friend, Brain Trust member and world-class futurist, Joel Barker, has taught us, the byproducts of exciting innovations are often paradigm shifts. As you stand in your business, imagine if battery technology innovations became the next killer app, what shifts would result for the goods and service you use and sell?  The next question is, would these shifts harm or benefit your business?  Contemplating these kinds of questions are why business owners need to connect with the thinking and projecting of futurists.

Recently on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, Joel reported on exciting battery innovations, including batteries that can be printed on paper.  By the way, you can find Joel’s books and other works at Joel Barker.com.  Take a few minutes to listen to our conversation and let us know what you think the world would look like if you could buy a ream of batteries. Listen Live! Download, Too!

How long does an ice age take to develop?

Could global warming actually cause an ice age? If so, how long could one take to develop? That’s what many in the climate change camp are proposing.  But as you may know, I don’t drink that Kool-Aid.  In fact, my concern for what humans may be doing to the planet is only exceeded by my skepticism of the global warming doctrine.  Even if Al Gore is right, what would cause me to think that he and his ilk have THE answer to solve the problem?  How do they know how far to go?  What if they go too far and tip us into a “global cooling” scenario.  I don’t know about you, but I would rather be warm.

Nevertheless, I always enjoy talking with smart people about this topic, and I did enjoy such a conversation recently on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, with my friend and Brain Trust member, futurist, Joel Barker. Joel was the first person to popularize the concept of what happens when a paradigm shift causes something you’ve come to know and love to go back to zero. His book on paradigms, Future Edge, published in 1992, was listed as one of the most influential business books of that year by the prestigious Library Journal, and it has been used for more than a decade. Reading this book changed the way I look at the world, so when Joel speaks, I always listen, even if I have a different point of view.  By the way, Joel is also an outstanding film-maker, and his latest is called “Innovation at the Verge.”

Take a few minutes to listen to my conversation with Joel and, as always, let us know what flavor Kool-Aid you like. Listen Live! Download, Too!

John Naisbitt and Doris Naisbitt on China’s Megatrends

Almost 30 years ago, the world was introduced to the research and prophecies of John Naisbitt, when he published his landmark book, Megatrends. I read Megatrends around 1984 and it helped me see that the world I was comfortable in wasn’t going to be the reality of my future. Not too many days have gone by since then without my seeing marketplace evidence of John’s enduring cardinal prophecy, which states: the more high tech humans create the more high touch we will require.

Over the years, I have applied this guidepost in my business and have used “high-tech/high-touch” as an effective metaphor – always with attribution – in the written and spoken products I have produced. So it was with great excitement that I had the opportunity to interview John a few years back on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. And recently, I had the honor of helping John and his wife, Doris, launch their new book, China’s Megatrends. They’ve spent the past several years studying the Asian universe and most recently have focused on this region’s 800lb gorilla, which we talk about during this interview.

Should the world fear or embrace China’s emergence? What about China’s legacy of communism? Will China make the rules others will follow? What are the chinks in China’s socio-economic armor? These are some of the topics John, Doris and I discuss. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from these two important voices about how global business will be conducted. And please be sure to leave your own thoughts, which I will make sure John and Doris see.

Here is my recent interview with John and Doris Naisbitt:  Listen Live! Download, Too!

Here is my 2006 interview with John Naisbitt:  Listen Live! Download, Too!




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