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Posts Tagged ‘Commerce’

What’s Taking So Long?

This question is usually saved for trips with your kids, they’re stuck in the back seat, yelling, “Are we there yet?” or “What’s taking so long”. Those who have traveled with children know exactly what I’m talking about.

Some 20 years ago, many of us thought commerce and the Internet would have a stranglehold on business and it would change how we live. In some way’s it does, but in many, not so much. Those over the age of 30 can’t seem to let go of the Industrial Age, it’s what we know. We got comfortable being told what to do, how to do it, and waited until someone gave us orders. The combination of fear and change keeps us there, we love control, and we like things just as they are, right?

Roughly 3 or 4 years ago I was telling you that 60% of all commerce would be done online, we haven’t hit that number just yet, but it’s getting close. We’ve almost hit 60% in Canada though. I also shared that 70% of the Fortune 1000 companies would either be gone, changed its name, or completely re-invented themselves. That’s true, but there is a long way to go. Why? We don’t know how to change that fast, we have trouble letting go of what we know and trust. We still think the government will look after us, that we don’t have to teach younger generations a new in this connect economy we find ourselves in.

What appeared to be a locomotive running out of control, was merely a bright light, but make no mistake, that locomotive is getting closer, and moving faster and faster. As the younger generations re-write the business rules, those hanging on to old practices and set in your ways thinking, will more likely conform to the connection economy, just you did with the Industrial Age way of working. Eventually, we adapt…..or we die.

The question shouldn’t be, what’s taking so long? The question should be, what am I going to do to make sure I’m still in business when that day comes, when what’s taking so long arrives.

 

The Future Of Business – The Chamber Of Commerce & The Tribe

Most of us have routines, I have a regular habit of stopping into the same place for my morning coffee, no it’s not Starbucks or Tim Horton’s. It’s the Roasted Grape, the coffee is amazing and the food is even better. People think I own the place I’m there so often, or have shares in the business….I don’t.

One morning I stopped in for coffee, there was a networking group meeting at the time, I knew at least half of the people there. I sat off to the side drinking my coffee when I heard my name, they asked me to join them, I asked…are you sure? I know me, I’ll talk if you give me the floor : )

After the session was over, a number of people approached me to chat, that’s why we go to these types of events right? I tend to ask more question when I sit at these round tables, mostly to make people think, because that’s what I do. Much of my work is reviewing business plans, asking a thousand questions, consulting, and public speaking. Sometimes, 4 – 5 times a year I will hold a workshop on the future of business – the open and free business model.

After chatting with a number of people, I posed the concept of, I think your local Chamber of Commerce should adopt the Tribe Model. I was asked the big question of course, what would that would that look like to you? I had to stop myself, I didn’t want to just blurt out a bunch of thoughts without actually thinking it through more. I’m not even sure I have it clear in my head right now, but I want to get it down and ask you what you think of the idea?

The biggest difference between a tribe and a community is….PASSION! The leaders and the members of the tribe have a high level of passion for something, it could be anything, as long as it benefits the tribe. It could even be a cause. Communities are more of a “gathering place”, they’re kind of stagnant and are formed from common interests of community members, or the squeaky wheels. Great tribes are always in motion, communities are not, they tend to be pretty static and have a hierarchy that operates from the top down.

Communities are like churches to me, they think in terms of programs and projects rather than being in a constant state of flux. Flux merely means flow, and that flow is always forward thinking.

We should look for tribes within communities, but don’t assume the community is a tribe. Great tribes tend to be formed by people with expertise, desire and passion, but don’t put to much emphasis on expertise.

These are a few initial thoughts, it’s very high level, but you know who the people are within your communities that are passionate about something in the business community. The Chamber should let these passionate people build, rather than try to control them. But that would mean chaos, and very few are willing to let chaos happen, why, it feels to out of control.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this concept, or your ideas on how your local chamber could adopt a more open and free model, one where the members are in a constant state of flux. It would mean a radical new way of thinking about chamber.

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The Future Of Business – We’re Close, Shopping Forever Changed

I have posted on this topic before, I also talk about in my keynotes and workshops, we are close, shopping forever changed. The truth is, we are fighting this technology for the experience rather than the convenience. Most of us want to touch it, feel it, and smell it before we buy it.

I challenge you think about how this way of shopping might actually be of value to you, think of the far reaching ramifications, saving you time, effort and that drive downtown. Check it out.

Would you shop this way, I’m certain my wife will.

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Pay Walls On News Sites – Just Another Nail In The Coffin

This topic has been beaten to death, but news sites just don’t get it. Without naming which news site I’m referring to, well all of them actually, a paywall is just another nail in the coffin. I’m not saying these news site’s should earn revenue, what should do is, pull their heads out of their butts! The older generations who don’t have the patience to look for the news will pay now, but for how long, that has yet to be determined. We are now at a place on the Internet where you can’t really hide anything, it will be accessed. Why, because everything will generate a stream everywhere. Content will surface eventually, it’s like having a leak in your roof, you can see the water, but you can’t find the source, where it’s coming from.

Mainstream news sites are now asking social networks to shutdown accounts connected to news sources because it is in violation of trademark laws, not sure how, but I’m not a lawyer. If that’s true, we are in for a world of hurt in other situations similar to this case. The world is getting more and more uncomfortable with an open economy, the push back is amazing. Like it or not, an open & free economy will happen, corps / big business need to find a way to participate without trying to control the economy. The challenge is, they don’t know how, or maybe they do and it scares them.

There is the argument that journalists are the trusted reporters, anyone who is not credentialed as such can’t be trusted or does not have the means to verify facts in the same way they can. Most facts can be verified, the truth is, most facts can be found and verified, no one has locked the market on confirming stories.

Paywalls aren’t going to disappear, they will however become somewhat hidden, seamless, and hopefully, invisible. The problem isn’t really the paywall, the problem is how value is measured by the people formerly known as consumers. If value is found in the content, someone will pay for it, if not, they keep moving. It’s not about mechanics, what’s changed is how we value.

The news sites and or newspapers that force payment they will in the long run lose out. We now live in a world where everything is moving to free, or an access first model, and then maybe, people will pay. The commerce model is reversing, things that can’t be copied are the only real value, because they are scarce.

The other reality these news sites and or all news mediums have to come to grips with, they are too slow to break the news now, Twitter is the channel of choice for most when it comes to sharing major events and stories. The problem for these corps is, they can’t staff enough people to be everywhere all the time 24/7.

The Industrial Age of control is dead, wall street and major corporations are running around with their heads cut off trying to stop you and I from doing what we want to do. Net Neutrality, metered bandwidth and paywalls are all they know and all they know how to do, it’s about control and grabbing as much money as they can.

The Future of Business is the opposite of what they know, executives refuse to deal with the paradigm shift of an open & free business model. Having said that, I know some great people they should hire to help them maintain revenue levels they are used to, but they won’t, they don’t trust anyone.

The rest of the world hasn’t even come online yet, and when they do, they will push the paywalls down.

Will you pay for news you can get for free?

Missing The Bigger Picture – Are You Paying Attention?

I recently had a couple of close friends tell me they didn’t get my blog, they felt it was dribble and wasn’t useful to business people. I was kind of taken by surprise, and yet I wasn’t all that shocked either, mostly because people don’t get me at the best of times. I even felt a little sad and I think I felt sorry for them. Once I picked myself up off the floor and got past the sting, they got me to thinking.

When I started blogging, I spent most of my time talking about nanotechnology, shortly there after I started thinking about the bigger picture of how technology is and will impact society 5, 10, 15, 30 years down the road. How will business look in the next 3 – 5 years, helping business and individuals to create ideas to adopt the future of business. Showing you some trends and the paradigm shift that is taking place, after all, the industrial age is dead right.

I tried to explain to my friends what my blog was about, and they said, “OK, fine but it doesn’t give me answers for today”.  I said, ” I’m not giving you answers, my goal and job is to make you think for yourself, to think of your own answers”. I merely want people to think for themselves, but it appears my friends want the answer handed to them on a silver platter. Which means, they are not paying attention to the bigger picture, they are only putting out fires rather than looking ahead. Is that you?

If you don’t pay attention to what’s coming, how and why are you in business? Every business is built on the very fact that there is and will be a future, if that’s true, why are you building a business? As I told my friends, my blog is trying to give you a glimpse of what’s to come, and hopefully, it helps get the creative juices flowing so you will be ready. If you are paying attention. If not, I see dead businesses.

There is much to be learned here on this blog, if you are paying attention. Are you starting to get my message yet?

I have to tell you, after a couple of hours sharing what it is my blog & I do, I wondered how difficult it was for you and others to understand what I’ve been sharing for the past number of years. I’m going to make it simple for you.

START PAYING ATTENTION TO THE BIGGER PICTURE!

Lift your head up and look down the road, start asking questions, start educating yourself because no one is going to do it for you. If I seem a little testy, it’s because I care, I want good things for you, but you have to play your role in this game called life & business.

If you were reading my blog and paying attention, you would know that there are another 3 billion people coming online in the next 2 -3 years, that 60% of all commerce will be done online, and that the industrial age is dead, no really it’s dead. You would also know, that there is an ROI in social media, that the world has gone crazy with being social and mobile, what does all this mean to you and your business? I have only mentioned a few things that should concern you, you should be worried about how this activity will impact your business, and for that matter your day-to-day life.

There, I feel better now. I hope you find at least one thing you can take away from this blog that helps, if not, ask me a question and lets talk about it. Afterall, I’m here to help, I want to help you figure out how to address the changes we are going through right now. It’s painful for some of you, it’s painful for me too.

Happy Blogging and pay attention to what’s going on around you, the world is watching, and the world needs you to be ready.