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.
When I was a little boy at the age of 5, I lived on the Queen Charlotte Islands. We moved from Vancouver, British Columbia to the Northern Tundra, it was a sad day for my Mother & I, oh ya, my brother too. It was at best an adventure, it wasn’t a lifestyle improvement. I can remember riding with my Dad in his truck from Queen Charlotte City to Masset on many occasions, what was weird about it was, you couldn’t make that drive without hitting a deer with the truck. You couldn’t own enough freezers to store all the meat, so Dad would have to report most of these incidents to the game warden. This happened everyday! The interesting thing about it was, everyone in town knew it had happened. Queen Charlotte City is not a big town, so news traveled fast.
I told you that story to tell you this one. The greatest impact living in an isolated part of the world was not how bad it was, but how these small communities all over the island pulled together. I mean it was beautiful country, there was so much natural in everything that happened, but the real treat, the healthiest thing for our community, was how business conducted.
Remember when you could order items from the Hudson Bay, Eaton’s and Sears catalogue? It was fun, it was easy, it was drop shipped to your door, except if you lived on the Queen Charlotte Islands. Oh you could make your orders through each of these company catalogues, if you didn’t, Christmas didn’t happen! Worse yet, you couldn’t get new clothes, well not unless you went down to the trading post and picked up something someone else owned at one time.
Business was much more difficult back then, or at least getting what you needed to survive, let alone having any luxury items. The most memorable thing for me living there, was when you would make your orders, wait at a minimum of one week for the ship to come in, that’s right, a freighter would come filled with belongings, food, clothes, all kinds of things, even equipment. The whole town would gather down on the main dock and wait, BBQ’s were out, music was playing, everyone in town gathered like a family reunion. Imagine waiting a week to get your food, maybe two weeks because of bad weather. I can remember some tense times when word got out the ship was delayed. But it was a great memory, a happy memory, the towns people helped each other, we all knew each other, and we made sure our neighbour was looked after.
Today, 50 some years later, we appear to be heading right back to a time such as then, without the ship of course. Social Media has brought us back to a place where we have to care for one another, connect with each other, build a relationship with each other. We had to build trust then, and we have to build it again today. Back in a time when big business did not have the same control as it had between now and then, we the people have control once again. We are gathering together to meet, to help each other, to collaborate, and make sure our neighbour is looked after. History is repeating itself, mostly in how we used to do business. Today we hold Tweet Up’s, big social events, and speaking events, all for the purpose of coming together as a community, or communities. We are going back to ordering from catalogues that are now web applications, Apps, Smart phones, websites like Amazon, and it gets drop shipped by the big ship UPS or FEDX, or whomever you prefer. These companies we order from are now asking us what we want, how we want it, and how fast can we get it to you. We are going back to small town rules, where you can’t hide, you can’t lie, and you can’t get away with shinanagan’s and stay in business.
The Future Of Business is all about people, it’s taking us back to a time like the depression, back to a time when we did all that we could for one another. History is repeating itself, are you part of making the world a better place, are you part of this history taking place? I challenge you, be the change, you be the voice, you be the reason the world is a better place, you help make history repeat itself.
- The Future Of Business – Change Is Coming, And Lots Of It. (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business – Social Is A Feature Not A Platform (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business – The Future Of Shopping With PayPal (owengreaves.com)
I may sound like a broken record here but, the title says it all, the Future Of Business is between your ears. There is so much confusion about how business will be done in the next 5 – 10 years, all you have to do is talk to the under 20 generation (Gen C ) and you will get a glimpse into the future, what they want, how they will go about getting it,and how they will build business.
I recently spoke at The World Futurist Society Conference in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, I opened my talk by letting everyone know, I was only trying to get between their ears, to open their mind. I was blessed to have met one of my online digital mentors, he also took in my session and was a good sport, Glen Hiemstra, I am blessed and honored that you gave me 90 minutes of your time. I can only hope I can return your generosity.
One of the biggest surprises for me was, only 25% at best were using Twitter and other Social Networks, most were using FaceBook though. And this was a Futurist Conference! Did I mention I hate FaceBook? Ya that probably offended someone : ) Why does that seem odd too me? You would think if anyone was going to be leading the way with technology, it would be the majority of this group. This is not to put down the World Futurist Society in any way, it is an observation that I found interesting and somewhat disappointing.
I shared the Open & Free Business Model, much of the content was from my workshops, and I can tell you there was much resistance, but I called them on it. I asked out loud, why are business owners reluctant to give something away content, product or service without payment, why is Free not acceptable, but when another business provides a product or service, they are first in line to get it. Harsh? Maybe. I was merely asking the question why are we like that as business owners, and then turn around and say we want to make the world a better place. The reason most likely is, we all want to make the world a better place based on our terms, not someone else’s.
I provided many examples of how this model might look for them and their business, I was very open & transparent about how I felt, what tools I used, how I make my living, and where I made money, and yet there was still skepticism. Which proves the point, the problem is not how to do something, it’s between the ears, how we think about business, how business has been moving towards free. Free merely means this, free takes you to a place where you can be asked to be paid. The secret ingredients, packaging and giving an experience consumers can’t get anywhere else, even for free. You’ve read that here over and over again, I’ve said it hundreds of times at speaking engagements, but it’s still a challenge for most business owners. My work is geared towards helping you pay attention to what’s going on from a Paradigm Shift, business is going digital faster than you and I can keep up with, at least lift your head up and take notice. In my community, we are probably 18 months behind the rest of the world, that spells tragedy in my books.
When I asked what I see, I always respond with, “I See Dead Businesses”, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
The Open & Free Business Model is more about how you think towards Open & Free, yes there are some common denominators and basic steps to take in your strategy, but it’s how you think mostly, it’s between your ears.
THE GOOD NEWS!
If you need help changing the way you think towards the Future of Business, there is much here on this blog to help you get started, you have to work for it. You could follow me on Twitter & Google+ and various other Social Networks and chat with me, pay attention to the content I share, that’s free! That’s another hot tip, Pay With Attention. Or, you could hire me to come and help you and your organization, to help you prepare for the changes that are already under way. Changes that impact the way you do business in the future.
I thought I would post a little something on this event, I’ll be speaking and sharing on the Future of Business Online, The Open & Free Business Model. This event requires you contact the event organizer to attend, as of this writing there are only 4 spots left, so if your even a little bit curious, contact Glenn Hilton right now! He is on Twitter as well: @glennhilton
These fine professionals gather on the 1st Tuesday of every month where they bring in a speaker and then (my favorite part) a long Q & A session. They also do a neat thing called a Lightening Round, this is where you can pitch new things you’re learning, questions and challenges you might be facing, you could present new tools or technologies that make your job more efficient. You need to be a part of this group if you’re serious about your business, a fine group of people.
Groups that meet regularly should be helping each member improve, help increase business, learn, and support one another. How many times have you joined a group only to find out it was a bitching session and nothing of real value came out of it. Well, I can tell you this group is NOT one of those groups. In my opinion, these professionals like to solve problems, help one another, lift one another up, and just for fun, they love to eat!
The Vancouver Social Media Group is meeting at the Water Street Cafe in Gastown (Vancouver), so that speaks for itself don’t you think, a classy group already me thinks. They ask you to come prepared to order something, so get ready for a fun evening. The MeetUp will start at 7PM and run till 9PM, unless I go long : )
Again, there are only 4 spots left, if you wish to be with true professionals, then contact Glenn Hilton before you do anything else. Who is Glenn? Glenn owns ImageX Media, an award winning Drupal web design, development & consulting firm. Glenn oversees HR, creative direction and Social media Marketing.
Visit they’re website at: http://imagexmedia.com
See you there!