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Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

The Choice Is Yours

The truth is, someone has to drive the forklift, someone has to drive the truck, sell cars, and so on. There will always be a need for manual labor no matter how much technology invades our world. There will always be a need for human interaction. While 60% of sales may be online, we will still have big box stores and specialty shops, and someone has to work in them.

No matter how advanced we get, no matter how smart, no matter how close we get to the singularity, there will always be a need for people to look each other in the eye, and for humans to do manual labor. The question is, are you one of those people, or do you believe you were meant to do something different, something your parents never had the opportunity to do because they had to provide the basics of survival.

We all have been conditioned to believe that there is one way to organize work, to be creative, and to deliver goods and services. Today, we come to realize that’s not the case anymore, we have options. I didn’t have the same options as a young man, Microsoft started in 1975, the year I graduated in a small town in Northern BC. I had never heard of or seen a computer, just a handheld calculator, who knew we would be where we are today! We all have the same 24 hours, and we all have to provide the basics for our families. Once you have those things in perspective and under control, the choice is yours.

Do you continue to do manual labor, there is no shame in it, or journey into the world of an entrepreneur, where security has a different meaning. You have it in you do either one.

The Blur

It’s been awhile since I wrote here, April 14th to be more precise. Much has happened since I last shared with you, I went out played drums, traveled with my bride, and spent a lot of time reading and researching, but most of all, I took a break. I took a break to experience some new and different things. I highly recommend you take a timeout to learn, and to have new experiences other than what your regular routine and work might be. Otherwise, everything feels like a blur before your eyes.

Many of you should understand what I mean by “The Blur”, and how the blur might impact you and your world, mostly your business if you own or run one. I’ve been talking about it for years here on this blog. Two things probably make you feel like you are out of control, by trying to keep up, and not willing to change how you think about the future of your business.

The world moves at a faster pace than we can possibly keep up with, and much of what we see doesn’t well into our daily routines, it’s just not easy or comfortable, it means putting ourselves and possibly our businesses in a vulnerable place. If you frequent this blog, you’ll know this is not a new, I’ve said this for many years.

Most people are trying to build the next Microsoft, the next Twitter, the next Facebook, and even the next Amazon. The problem with that thinking is this, you’re looking into the past, you aren’t looking ahead, you aren’t paying attention to what people want! Do they want another Facebook, another Twitter, and are I say it…..another Microsoft. I think not.

Yes those giants are building and getting bigger, even expanding. In November 2012, Microsoft expanded to Vancouver with another sweat shop called, Black Tusk Studios, a game developer. In March 2013, Amazon opened a new development centre in Vancouver. Facebook opened an office in Coal Harbour downtown Vancouver, and in June 2013, Twitter announced plans to open a world-class Global Centre of Excellence in Vancouver as well. So, you’re already too late aren’t you?

Why are they moving to Vancouver? They are trying to find more talent and take them south, you can’t compete with Twitter & Facebook on the recruiting front, they often pay software developers in excess of $100,000 per year right out of the gate. They are scooping up developers, and they MUST have a degree from a top 100 University. Unless you have large amounts of funding, and lower your standards, you should stop and regroup before you spend another dime.

My advice is, and always has been, if you want to build the next best thing, drive down main street and ask yourself what’s missing. Start there, and then do your homework, even if you think a value added service should be built to an already existing success like Facebook or Twitter, if yes….then do your homework.

Mobile is a huge market, 40% of Facebook’s action comes from Mobile, that should be an obvious indicator to what’s happening.

All this movement is happening fast, it’s a blur. It’s like life it’s self, time keeps on ticking, it never stops, but we tend to.

The best way to slow it down is to take time to regroup, spend time with those you care about most, then regroup, re-strategize, surround yourself with smart people, and get to work. Life doesn’t have to be a blur, and neither does your business. Take the time to bring clarity to your work, build a clear vision, not a something moving so fast it’s a blur.

 

The Future Of Business – Social Is A Feature Not A Platform

There is a technology cycle working in the background while the rest of the world is distracted with and by Social Media. I have shared with you in the past that Social Media is not the future of business, at best it will be a feature, not a platform. If you study technology at a deep level you’re probably unaware of the tide changing or shifting might be a better word. Something much bigger than Social Media is brewing and you should pay attention, because the tidal wave of change will knock you over and sweep you out of it’s way.

The social component is merely the doorway to engagement, but we are headed for a much deeper kind of engagement. It might surprise you when I say that Microsoft Windows is dying, Google may loose it’s stranglehold on search in the next few years.

Windows is suffering, it has gone from 96% to less than 50% market share, and soon will be 30%, this means the Desktop era has passed us by. The reason, SmartPhones. These devices have all but made us forget about Windows Operating Systems for the most part, don’t be surprised to learn that Windows 8 (Due out in 2012) might be the last big push for a Desktop Platform by Microsoft.

Index search has peaked, Google, like Microsoft, have many other ways to be a player in the new technology cycle, but not doing what they are doing today. Not with Index Search, and not with the desktop, the mobile marketplace is doing both of these things better and seamlessly, they’re not separate things you have to do anymore.

The big craze today and in the next few years will reshape the Internet, Apps, HTML 5 and Tablets, they have already set the pace for a new frontier. But if we must talk social, let me share this, if you are an investor or a developer, and a business owner, consider building on top of FaceBook, no one can catch up with them, no one. The same can be said of Apple’s iPad, and Apple’s financial structure, no one can catchup with them, they are the current leader with FaceBook. FaceBook IS the new Windows!

Social Media is not the future of business, it’s a side show, Roger McNamee is quoted as saying about Social Media, “This is not the mania you are looking for”.

The future of business is mobile and social, FaceBook is the new windows, HTML 5 allows all of us to participate, Apps and Tablets are the tools we will use to move products and services. Most of what we manually do today will be fully automated, like search, it’s just a matter of time. The real issue, how does your business leverage this new technology cycle, I think the first step is to open your mind to new better ways of being in business, the world has yet to arrive in the digital realm, are you ready?

Being Social alone is not enough to participate in the Future Of Business.

 

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The Future Of Business – To The Cloud And Beyond!

We have to face the fact that the Cloud is where we will store our publicness, our legacy is going to live on forever, not through people, but through Kilobytes cached on servers all over the world. The Cloud is a fact of life, it is only going to grow up and be another reservoir of data, a deep well of information, unlike anything we’ve know to date. You think Wikipedia is awesome, wait till the Cloud matures. The Cloud is not connected computers in a closed network, they are outside, and can connect to any computing device.

Microsoft offers 25GB on Windows LIVE SkyDrive, Online Storage, Google allows you to run your entire business on their servers and with their services. I shared that this was going to happen in 2001 at a conference, I spoke to 500 I.T. Leaders, and they all said I was crazy, it will never happen. Businesses won’t stand for it, people won’t use it! As you can see they didn’t have the foresight an I.T. leader should have, they were closed minded executives, imagine that.

Everything is moving to the cloud for many, many reasons. Business is becoming more social and mobile, and the requires the cloud for that kind of environment to work properly. Location-based services are a perfect fit for the cloud, so going mobile means going to the cloud.

In a previous post I talked about the shift, we’re going from pages to streams, from PCs to the Cloud, Today to NOW, from Me to We, and Items to Data. Where everything will generate a stream everywhere. The cloud is full of storage, full of streams, and filled with the new oil, DATA!

The best way to take advantage of the cloud is to make everything in your business mobile, the cloud lets you access your data and the rest of the worlds data on the fly. Every business will become a platform to use, not unlike Google or Microsoft, people always come back to places they find useful. You can even build your own cloud, well sort of, you can connect an external drive to your router that is accessible from anywhere in the world. That in essence is a cloud, your external drive is where you store everything, so no matter where you are, you can reach your data, but the other options are better.

Almost all major technology corps are offering some form of cloud computing, even though the question of security is still on the table. Security is always going to be a problem, as long as there is humans on this planet, security will be paramount. Having said that, many are clamoring to put their data on the cloud, it just makes good sense for those who work from home / travel most of the time.

The jury is still out on who offers the best solution and I’m not sure it will matter if there is some kind of standard in this environment. Considering the security issue, will you put your data out there, Google has most if not all that you do on the NET anyway. The Cloud opens up new business models based on access, more so than today.

On a different perspective, when clicking the Like Button or Follow, to get access, the dollar value assigned to Likes & Follows will create a whole new metric to measure, one more thing to track, will all cloud environments or storage devices require engagement or just a Like or a Follow.

How will your business use the cloud?

Cloud Computing & The Power Of One

The world of business is struggling to re-invent itself, the comfort zone of executives paralyzing corporations everywhere is coming to a point of no return. With the shift from baby Boomers to Zoomers, the business handbook is about to be thrown out the window and rewritten by these fine young business cannibals. They will cannibalize the very business models that succeeded the last 100 years, only to be thrown out or completely rewritten. The Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y generations are doubling over in pain from the paradigm that is taking place. We are moving to Cloud Computing & The Power of One.

Ten years ago I shared at a conference, that one day Microsoft would have you save your documents on their servers, today we have Microsoft Office in a web based format, and you are saving your documents out there on the Cloud. Now I had no idea what it would look like, but it was predictable. Google Doc’s has you doing the same, not too mention all the other tools you use for free at Google. Google has us, just like Neo in the movie the Matrix. We just can’t help but use Google’s FREE tools, search, Google Earth, Google Maps and so on. Google has figured out how to get our attention, they came to us, they made themselves available to us 24/7, and they did it without making us spend a dime. The Cloud is here and it’s going to get better, stronger and safer. Think about the power you now have because of Google, they have shown you how to take control, they have shown you your true power without telling you.

We have also moved into a new generation of entrepreneurs, we the people are getting the power back again, back from those who have kept us in a fragmented state. The Power of One is unparalleled here on the Internet today, and it’s just beginning. Social Media for some reason woke the world up, and yet, being Social is not new. We’ve been doing it for centuries, it’s just different now, it’s been transform into a digital realm. We are now driven indoors, we can do things today we couldn’t do before, and no each one of us has power we didn’t have before. The challenge with that power, we’re still not sure what to do with it. Sure, some individuals are making good use of this power, but for the most part, the world still doesn’t know they have it. This Power of One.

When speaking or doing workshops, people are so confused by the power they have in their hands, and when you share a few things they have the power to do, they say they don’t know how. With Great Power comes Great Responsibility, it could be that is the underlying fear that immobilizes people. The power of converting mass market to mass niches, which in turn takes the control away from the very people that have kept we the people in a fragmented state.

In the book, What Would Google Do? , Jeff Jarvis writes, ” Advertisers, manufactures, retailers, media companies, and politicians find it convenient to see us as masses. It’s the essence of their business, their efficiency, their reach, their economy of scale. We are their critical mass. So for them, our new found power to stand out and act as individuals, to coalesce into networks of our own, and to rise above them in Google searches — is a supreme irritant, even a threat.”

The shifts, the paradigm shift we all must go through is a painful one, as we move to the cloud & the power of one, we are a threat to those who want to keep control. To keep you coming to them, to pay for things kept behind walls, to force you to act in a manner that makes you feel sold. Those days are over, the marketplace is now becoming Open & Free, where Open & Free is a Business Model.

The Cloud is a very useful tool, and it will get better. The Cloud will also assist in giving you power you’ve never had before. You do have control, just open your eyes, remove the fear, and let your voice be heard, because the world is listening unlike they ever have before. So speak up, use the cloud & you will be one of the many known as The Power of One.