The Future Of Business – Plumbers To Nano-Plumbers. Hard to believe I’m mentioning plumbers in a blog post, but I have a story to share. On Friday my wife noticed a wet spot in the ceiling down in our wet room area, you know, where we hang our coats and change our boots and such. It didn’t seem that bad but it was now showing itself, so I called a friend who recommended someone, I called them and they didn’t answer their phone. I tried a cell number and left a message. I felt better because I was dealing with the problem in a calm rational manner.
On Saturday we didn’t do much, a little gardening, house cleaning and I watched the Blue Jays Baseball Game, nice relaxing day in my books. My wife was fussing about this leak downstairs, so I went and look at it, it seemed to have stopped leaking as the ceiling was drying out. I called the number for the plumber again but no answer again, I left another message. We carried on with our day, we had a friend over for BBQ and sat back sipping some wine before calling it an evening. We didn’t even mention the plumbing problem to our company because we didn’t feel it was urgent I guess, we should of asked for a referral. It was a very nice evening, we merely took it easy and went to bed as if the world was all is we would have it.
Hee it is Monday morning, I slept in, I guess I was tired. I got up, had a shower, went to the kitchen, had a banana and went downstairs to my office. I have to walk right by the where the leak is so I took a quick peak. I ran for the phone and called my plumber friend again, only this time more frantically, NO ANSWER!!! So I grabbed the phone book and called the first one I saw. I have to say this, the girl on the phone could tell I was a little stressed, I mean it looks like the ceiling is going to crash to the floor because of the weight of the water. She talked to me as if I was calling 911, in a nice calm voice she asked me to describe the situation and then got the plumber on the phone. It turns out he is close by my home and said he would be there in 15 minutes, he arrived in ten minutes.
He walks in, assess the damage, and was able to find the problem I couldn’t find, that’s because it was well hidden and I really didn’t know what I was looking for (other than water) and where I should be looking for it. He knew where to go, and found the problem. It was actually two pipes that were leaking, and the water build up on the ceiling, he said it has been leaking probably for 6 months because the water was turning yellow.
He fixed the problem, now I have some drywalling and painting to do, but the problem has been solved. That’s what we pay people to do right, solve problems. But my point isn’t the leak being fixed, it has more to do with the plumber.
I talk about, you talk about it all the time. We talk about the future of business changing and how it will be done, but how will plumbing be different? How could this plumber fix my problem with his smart phone? How could he fix it remotely? He couldn’t, and I don’t expect that to change in my lifetime.
Some businesses will change very little, someone still has to be the plumber. I’m sure many types of businesses will be able to automate production lines and so on, but how would the plumber take his or business to that automated state? Today, they can’t.
Do you run a business like this? How will your business adopt the future of business? I suspect you will either use smart phones and the Internet on some level, but your work is very hands on.
I would recommend building a network of people, your current and old customers, get them to refer regularly, build a tribe online that is like-minded in the plumbing niche, and share your trade secrets on a blog, teach people how to fix simple plumbing problems. Steal the audience the TV audience by offering better information, even service. You will become the leader of your industry if you stick with it long enough, patience and persistence always prevail.
I’m grateful for traditional industrial age workers like plumbers, but how will that industry change in the new economy? The Future Of Business – Plumbers, how will they survive?
Let’s look ahead to the future where the plumber repair man may be extinct! Imagine this, you are building a house or an office building, it doesn’t matter. You have found a source for pipes or lines that have nanomaterial, so they are self-repairing. As soon as a weakness or the potential for a pin-hole leak to start, the nanotechnology instantly senses it, and repairs it. Or it sends a message to the installer for tracking purposes, that would be a fail safe for followup. The followup would be done remotely, because nanobots are wireless devices, they can be reprogrammed and or data can be downloaded from them.
Nanotechnology could serve in this way, it would revolutionize the plumbing industry, but who will adopt it? Today this type of product and service would be expensive, but in the next decade, it could be reasonably priced and accessible to everyone. Even older homes could be retro-fitted with the newer technology. From Nanosilver Coatings to Nanobots, there are many different types being worked on today, it’s a matter of time before this technology is in the hands of developers. The cost savings over time will out weight the high cost up front. The same arguement can be had with solar panels for your home, but that’s another story for another time.
How does this Nano-Plumbing idea make you feel?
I have been talking about technology for over 30 years, in my opinion, technology is taking mankind to an unhealthy place. There I’ve said it. Many of you think I am a pro technology man, more than I am a pro business man, the reality is, I’m both, but technology is merely a tool to get business done, even though technology is leading us down the road Neo in the Matrix have been down before.
I was born in the late 50’s, I’m a Baby Boomer, I have seen technology evolve, technology started it’s takeover of mankind with the handheld calculator. When I was in school, it was forbidden to use a handheld calculator in class, today, you can’t finish school without one. Technology is now raising generations unable to think, the arts are being eliminated because technology wants to do all the creative thinking for us. Everything technology today has gotten smaller, so small it can be injected into your blood stream, blood cell sized nanobots! These types of technologies will eventually make us live for ever, birth perfect babies, have perfect health. Ray Kurzweil predicts the singularity, where technology and man merge, will become a reality by the year 2045. Technology is being embedded into everything, including the human body. Is this a good thing, I’m not convinced it is just yet.
RFID chips were to be injected or planted into humans at one time, this can be done today, but I think the push back has forced big brother to shift gears. Instead of planting or injecting, the technology is carried by you and I through credit cards, bank debit cards, drivers licenses, and all these chips can be scanned by anyone as far as 50 feet away. That means the dark side can scan your credit card, create a new card with your account details, almost, if not, completely steal your identity. All this in the name of technological progress. For every technological good, there is an equal bad for all of us. We are more willing to embrace carrying these technology cards because they aren’t intrusive, it’s not painful or difficult to do, but that isn’t entirely true is it? We are being lulled into carrying these cards, using all these cool mobile device, geo-location, the 4squares and the like. We can’t not be found, everywhere we go we can be tracked, and most of us are happy about it. But what if there is a war of any-kind, corporate war, technology war, or a war where life is threatened. Those in the working corporate world become the enemy, those who work for technology companies, countries and man against man all become the enemy, where then do we hide? We can’t.
There is a a scripture in the bible that states, the meek (weak) shall inherit the earth, maybe it should be the Geeks shall inherit the earth. As much as I am concerned where technology is taking us, I also see much good, but I more worried about the consequences of a society that is too eager to embrace any technology without having some foresight. Everytime we mess with the human body, the earth, and or creation of anykind, we put ourselves in a place that can’t be reversed, is that smart?
Man is the problem, we complicate everything, we shackle ourselves, we don’t really know what we are dealing with in the bigger picture. People far smarter than I believe they know what they are doing, I’m suspicious to be completely transparent. So what do we do, we can’t go backwards, it’s too late. You couldn’t take technology (computers) out of our homes, our cars, our businesses, or take away handheld devices, we would be completely immobilized.
I get nervous everytime the major tech companies come out with a new product, we tend to do everything in our power to get in line to get it, without even thinking if we need it. Our future needs better planning behaviour than having the latest greatest in our hands, life is not about having the most toys, and or about being the first one to have it.
As you can see I’ve been ranting, I am worried about mankind, I am worried about you. We all were created to do something great on this planet and it’s different for each one of us, we were DNA’d to play a role, to make this world a better place. Technology doesn’t solve that problem, it merely allows us to get more done in a day, nothing more. There are no shortcuts.
Stephen Covey once said, “we are the only creatures on this earth that have the ability to stop and think before reacting”, let’s all exercise that muscle when it comes to embracing new technology or existing technologies. It may be too late, younger generations, the under 20 and generations to come may not be taught to stop and think. There is a huge discussion here, and I am only scratching the surface, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Do you believe technology is taking mankind to a healthy place?
It is expected that by the year 2015, 50% of the worlds population will be over 50 years of age, the world population will reach almost 8 Billion. These numbers indicat more than population growth, they also reveal a great many challenges. I will be 75 in the year 2025, should I live that long, but most likely I will. In 2050 I will be 100 years old, I will have seen more radical exponential change than my Mother & Father.
The burden put upon those generations that have yet to be born is staggering in terms of what they will have to deal with, the medical system, the expected water shortage, the energy crisis, and so on. Nanotechnology will overcome some of these shortcomings but much of what I share has yet to be figured out. Having said that, I would like you to consider a few things about the increasing population and the burden it puts on we the people of the world.
Would you approve of being injected with Nanobots, these nanobots may cure you of diabetes, maybe certain types of Cancer and various other serious illnesses. The Pros & Con’s we don’t really know yet, but for the sake of this writing let’s say the Pro’s are, you get healed…permanently. Maybe one of the Pros might be that you are now able to be tracked through these blood cell sized nanobots. Or, these Nanobots connect you directly to the Internet, maybe they are the new Blue-Tooth Technology and you can be monitored remotely. We will become wireless devices, Ray Kurzweil believes it, we’ll be able to download our mind file too!
One of the Con’s, you can never hide, will will always be found. You could be turned off and be refused medical care, the ability to travel or for that matter buy groceries. You might not be able to drive, or to be real extreme, walk down the street because you are viewed as untrustworthy or guilty of some misdemeanor. I’m only touching one nerve ending right? Nanotechnology might bring these situations into our day-to-day lives, giving them life so to speak. I’m sure the list on both side’s could be long, and the case for each one be just as strong as the next.
Technology is one of the many problems we face in an area that is growing exponentially. The medical system we have in Canada is also not sustainable, in fact, I’m not convinced there is a medical system in the world as of this writing that is. Much needs to change, but it is and will be very slow, and it is mostly painful because we must address the fact that the world is growing older, and quickly. The workforce around the globe is shrinking, families are smaller, only 1.5 children per household, what used to be 3.4 per household. If 50% of the worlds population is over 30 years of age today, in another 5 years or so, the worlds population will be over 50.
The only way to fill the shortfall in the workforce, is through immigration, or do we try to advance Nanotechnology to the point of growing the perfect specimen called a human (android, no not the phone). Technology has it’s strong points, but I’m not convinced technology is serving as much good as we hope it will, it is not a silver bullet to life in any way shape or form. (weird sentence eh?)
I ask myself alot of questions and then try to find answer, the problem is, much of what I share has yet to be done or figured out. Well actually that’s an untruth, I just don’t have access to the real good data, the information that will let me tell you when and how. Well, that’s enough ranting for now, I’ll try to post something useful you can actually apply in your business next time.
Feel free to tell me I’m full of whatever you think I’m full of, better yet, leave your comments here for me to respond to if you have the guts : )
Until next time.
One of the greatest leaders in history is credited with introducing one of the very 1st technological revolutions of mankind, King David. He ruled over Judah c. 1010 – 1003 BC, and Israel from c.1003 – 970 BC, and was considered one of the worlds premier leaders in his day, and is still referred to as such today.
The real story is some 200 years before King David ruled over Judah & Israel, there was a tribe called the Hittites, and they knew how to combine minerals to make iron. They had more advanced knowledge and education, better weaponry, cooking utensils, and tools long before anyone else, they also won more battles because of it.
King David is credited with introducing the Iron Age, and iron today is used in much of the worlds most cherished structures. So all the technological change you and I have been experiencing, is not early advancements, but merely a maturing of technology over thousands of years. Technology has become exponential in it’s growth, you & I double our knowledge every year, but technology is not linear, it’s exponential, 2,4,8,16,32… and we can’t keep up.
In the next few years you will be able to buy a computer that computes faster than the human brain! This computing speed will birth products unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetime. Superior robotics will emerge and be much more life like because of it, a chance to actually have Artificial Intelligence will present itself. Virtual Reality will be so advanced we won’t be able to distinguish between real life & virtual life. we will spend more hours in virtual reality than we ever will on FaceBook or any other Social Network. Handheld devices will be so powerful, they will be able to do things we haven’t even thought of yet. There is so much to consider as we move forward in this century, technology is just one spoke in the wheel, we have bigger issues to face that technology may or may not be able to solve. Like the water shortage the world is starting to experience, I live in one of the rainiest places on this planet, and we have a shortage!
In 1998, Billy Graham shared at a TED Talk, that there are 3 things Technology has yet to solve.
The Big Three:
1.) Human evil
2.) Human Suffering
The first one most likely will never be solved, it comes from you & I, we make bad decisions alot and we end up hurting mankind in the process. Human suffering is a puzzling one, there are 403 Billionaires in the USA alone, 40 of those billionaires have decided to give away 50% of their estates. If that’s true, why do we still have hunger? We live in the richest part of the world and yet we still have hunger, I hope someday we’ll right this injustice.
The third is Death, this has the potential to be solved by Technology, Nanotechnology to be more specific.
Nanobots will some day make it possible for you & I to live forever, and in perfect health, but that’s another blog post. I have written about it in my book The New Technology – The End of Mankind? You can download for FREE here on this blog.
Everything about our world is going through an upsetting industrial change, a paradigm shift, and it’s very real and very painful. Much of what we are experience in the business world, is not peace, harmony and quiet. These new social media environments disrupt closed systems, and most big business and corporations are fighting it tooth and nail. We are in a constant state of change and revolutionary thinking, but it scares wall street, because they can’t control a connected audience or consumer.
I also hope this post makes you appreciate the introduction to iron, more importantly, I hope your paying attention to what is really going on around you.
I truly enjoy Robert’s perspective on Technology and Social Media, not too mention he is fun to follow on FriendFeed & Twitter too. Robert is very helpful if you approach him the right way, I find him to be respectful, approachable, a solid resource and entertaining. 🙂 In May of this year (2009) Robert Scoble posted an article on his Blog called Exploring The 2010 Web, he covers a number of points on what the 2010 Web is and or is going to be.
Here are the Attributes he listed for us,
1.) It’s Real-Time
2.) It’s Mobile
3.) It’s decentralized
4.) Pages now built out of pre-made blocks.
5.) It’s Social
6.) It’s Smart
7.) Hybrid Infrastructure
I linked to his article above so you can read his definitions in more detail.
Now I agree with Robert’s list for the most part with some additions, I know he knows what I’m adding is coming and he probably will be one of the first (early adopter’s) to play with the new toys. This is not an exhaustive list but you’ll get the picture of our where we are headed.
Here are my additions and I like to call,
1.) In 2012 you will be able to buy off the shelf a computer (device) that can compute faster than the human brain.
2.) Virtual Reality is where we will spend our leisure time
3.) We will not use keyboards, voice recognition will be our method of instructing our device’s what to do
4.) Tower’s will cease production
5.) Laptop production will be vastly reduced
6.) Wireless devices will be integrated into eye care (Glasses and Contact Lenses)
7.) iPHONE’S & BlackBerry type devices will also be greatly reduced in size
When it’s all said and done, you merge these two lists and you have considerable change ahead of us. We are entering an era where Nanotechnology and Virtual Reality will make exponential strides in development and growth, unlike anything we have ever seen. How we communicate will continue to change, communities will continue to grow as we the people take back big business.
I wonder what else might take place in the next 2 – 5 years?