Here is a scaled down version of my PowerPoint Presentation I made at the World Futurist Society Conference July 9th in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I hope to have the audio of my talk in the next few weeks, stay tuned. The conference was great and I made many new friends, I would like to thank WFS for the opportunity to share, and for an awesome time, well done.

Next year the conference will be held in Toronto July 27th – 29th at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, register now!


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.


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.

There is much confusion on this model, so don’t make the mistake of taking it literally, you will miss the value of the model. In fact, the model is not the important part, it’s usefulness is to help you change the way you think about business in the future. I was asked what the top 3 points of the Open & Free Business Model were, and I found myself struggling to answer the question. Mostly because there are more than 3 important points, but what a great question. So I have worked through this a bit and now I’m sharing it with you.

I have said many times, this model is not about what we do, a task list or a bunch of action items, it’s about how we think, how we think about business in the next 3 – 5 years, and how it will impact our lives. Having said that, we still have the question of risk, and what level of risk each business can afford should things not go as planned. The Model is actually secondary to how we think or percieve business in the future. Because, if you don’t believe that technology and younger generations want something different than you are offering, it doesn’t matter what I and countless other’s are trying to prepare you for.

The customers of tomorrow want a few things they couldn’t get in the past, control, and businesses are hard pressed to ignore them now that the world is flat. The business world is being forced into a change it doesn’t really want or know how to do, and more importantly, they don’t want to lose control. Not being in control means KAOS, but that’s what consumers are looking for, and it’s where they are.

The Top 3 Points I list here may change from time to time, but the larger picture is that all businesses will need to be Social & Mobile, it’s as obvious as the nose on your face don’t you think? But this model requires a new way of thinking, a new way of how we view open & free, the mechanics or chronological steps are secondary to it’s success. It’s not a rigid plan, it flows, and it’s paying attention to it’s consumers, more importantly, it’s listening.

1.) Attention Is The New Currency. We will all pay with attention, we’ll share, we’ll talk about, and we more than ever today, want attention. Businesses have been clammering for attention since the beginning of time, but now, we the people are in control of who gets that attention. Corps can no longer tell us what’s what, we now have options, and it’s only the beginning. Give a positive experience that is well packaged, and you will have greased the path to getting attention.

2.) Seamless Paywalls, provide access first before demanding payment. People are exchanging ownership for rental or FREE, or what feels like free. Free is hard to compete with, so don’t. The lower the cost, and the easier you make it for a consumer to purchase will win. Someday soon we all will pay rent with FaceBook or Twitter Credits, we will make day-to-day purchases with them as well. It will get easier to pay, and we may never go to a bank again in the near future to make deposits.

3.) Create or provide more content / value than you consume. The best way to be found when the rest of the world arrives here online, is to have large amounts of data (content), useful data (content), people always come back to places they find useful. This data will need to be well tagged in order to be found in the future, if you can not be easily found, you will be ignored. That includes individuals and businesses. Content should be free and be allowed to freely distributed, afterall, you are trying to get attention.

That’s three points, but there are many others, like Growing Bigger Ears, but it’s not that important because the top 3 flow out a handful of other points. Remember, your customers are fickle, and younger generations are constantly regrouping on the fly, making it impossible to control them for any length of time. The Paradigm Shift is between the ears, it’s important to understand that you will have to unlearn what you think you know about business in the future. Oh, Two other points of interest, experience & packaging, give consumers those two as if they are one and see what happens. Check out what Nine Inch Nails did with those two together.

Giving Consumers More Control is paramount, If You Don’t, They will get it from someone else. Corporations and businesses at all levels will have to learn how to trust the people formerly known as consumers.

I’ll be sharing these points and many others on why the future of business will need to leverage the open & free business model, at the World Futurist Society Conference in Vancouver this Saturday morning at 8:30.

I hope you find this helpful, and I would love it if you left your thoughts in the comments area, have a great day!

I ask this question because I want to know, for two reasons:

1. How are you using it?

2. I want to share your story at the World Futurist Society Conference on July 9th.

I am looking for a success story using this model, I have given many examples for you to research and follow here on this blog, but I want your story. Send me an email that describes what you think is working and what is not, I also want to understand your view on the model.

I won’t be able to share all submissions, but I will pick one, it could be yours. Have your submission into me no later than July 3rd, and I will work your story into my presentation which will be unveiled July 9th at 8:30AM. I triple dog dare you to let me share what you are doing with The Open & Free Business Model. I look forward to hearing from you, send me your story here:

Remember, do not take the model literally, it’s not a skill set or a list of executables, it’s a new way of thinking, do you get it?

In just 22 days the World Futurist Society Conference begins, approximately 1000 futurists from around the world will converge at

WorldFuture 2011; Moving from Vision to Action.

The Conference is being held at the Sheraton Wall Centre downtown Vancouver, British Columbia. If you haven’t registered to attend this forward thinking conference, get on it, you will learn much from many no matter what your curious about.

If you are fast enough you see my picture in this promo, yep, I’m speaking on Saturday July 9th at 8:30AM on The Future Of Business, see you there: