Here's a great idea for the taking, the magnification card or Mag Card. In the extra space above the magnetic strip, during manufacturing process, create a clear magnification lens out of the card plastic or mold it into the card meld the surface so it doesn't pop out when flexed. The benefit being no need for a reading glass to see your bill or glance over a menu.
Great idea? Well it's here for anyone to develop and patent. I hold a design patent and several copyrights on other products. And after going through the patent process a couple of times, I've learned that if you're not going to make it your life's work and defended it into possible bankruptcy, it's really not worth doing.
The Mag Card has great potential and I'd just like to have one built into my debit card. I'm hoping someone runs with this idea and makes the world a better place (leave the lawyers out of the loop).
The Mag Card was hatched in the early hours of the morning involving the perfect combination of alcohol, an attractive waitresses and a bar tab the size of a federal invoice. If you decide to manufacture and end up making millions, throw a little this way.
TechCrunch has a great article on the growth of enterprise software featuring a 3 trillion dollar opportunity, but it's bigger than that and there's so much room for small business and start ups. In short, mobile collaboration for your workforce with direct integration to product partners and stakeholders is the only model to develop for, anything else would be a disservice to your client.
Just five years ago, we wouldn’t have imagined that a farmer or construction worker could be an information worker. But with products like Farmlogs, Planet Labs and Airware in farming and agriculture, and PlanGrid or Skycatch in construction, all new demographics of the workforce are being supported by information technology. And this is just the beginning. As every employee on the planet is enabled by a smartphone, the addressable market for enterprise software grows from about half a billion people to the billions of workers leveraging mobile devices to do their jobs.
Every job is software-enabled, every industry is digitized. Read more at TechCrunch.com
Spoiler Alert - If you haven't seen the final episode of MadMen, read no more. MadMen was weekly TV series that ran on AMC and just came to a brilliant concluding episode. I found the show intriguing on multiple levels. First as a period piece into the advertising industry roots of the 50's to 70's. The characters were well formed and wisely engineered into an almost historic account of advertising growth as it was woven into American culture. The final episode tied it together with a twist I didn't see coming until the classic Coke ad brought it home.
Don Draper's smile while chanting as the new dawn arose could have been that he finally found peace, or was it that he just got the idea for one of the best ad campaigns in history. The next scene was the 1971 "I'd like to buy the world a Coke" commercial. Brilliantly written, directed and executed. (standing ovation). Through the course of the series the ad firm grows into a multi-million dollar empire. What's ironic now is that there is a new dawn in advertising again. The ad firms and TV stations that got rich during the MadMen period a now seeing a seismic shift in the platform, welcome the internet. The dawn is over but the sun hasn't full risen. The day hasn't even begun to warm yet. It'll be interesting to see how history and culture remember this segment of our development, who'll be the next Don Draper's and just how technology will evolve.
Opportunities are everywhere. Internet growth and online advertising are set to explode. Where will your business be?
StartupNation.com is one of my favorite reads and one of the regular sites that I frequent for news and ideas when it comes to helping small and emerging businesses, like my own. They are sporting a new look that makes it easier to read and keep up with the latest topics on my iPad.
Sections I enjoy are Getting More Sales, Leverage Business Technology and the general spirit of entrepreneurship that StartupNation.com promotes. You'll never get rich working for someone else, so start and build your business around something you love to do and take the advice of other business owners that have traveled the same roads.
A little insight might just make the difference between being successful or making a costly mistake.
2023 WTF - What's The Future
Future predictions are often made from technical analysis, which is more or less mapping past behavior to numerical values to provide direction over time. Consider that everything is in a constant state of motion. Motion in this sense in the flow of money, where resources are being placed and reallocated from.
As a simplified example, let's compare money and water without all the complexities. The amount of water on the planet is always the same. Sometimes it's stored in lakes, reservoirs, oceans, people, crops, but there's always the same amount of water on the planet. You can't destroy it, you can pollute it, clean it, and what evaporates here ends up as rain somewhere else. Glaciers melt, oceans rise etc, but still the same amount of water exists.
The supply of money is much more complicated, but this is a simple example. When I hear that money was wiped away or billions lost from various investment vehicles, most of that growth was fictitious to begin with, sinking below initial investment levels to actual value is the real loss numbers and those dollars end up being reallocated just like water. Crypto was and is a Ponzi scheme. And, those base crypto investment dollars have resurfaced as luxury homes, vehicles, lavish lifestyles by the people who got in at the beginning. Sorry to those of you who lost and thought this was a way to get rich quick, i.e. get something for nothing, but nature has a way of balancing the equation. Money flowed into these investments, but that doesn't justify the value of them. A stock with a P/E ratio of 2000 times earnings is a mistake of the same sort. Long way to a point, but follow the money and make sure your future investments are backed by solid principals.
The future holds a correction in the markets and in so many other areas. Gartner forecasts IT spending to grow 5% overall in 2023 with 11% placed in software development. Read the article here and decide where and why to put your development resources. Domain names are the cornerstone of developing a new company, a new brand, product line or income stream. Get the best names while you still can.
If you haven't already discovered TED.com it's a must read website and I would put it at the top of the rotation of the sites you frequent. TED is a nonpartisan nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics from science to business to global issues, and in more than 110 languages.
The foundation was established by publishing entrepreneur Chris Anderson and provides a platform for thinkers, visionaries and teachers, so that people around the globe can gain a better understanding of the biggest issues faced by the world creating a better future. TED's core goal is a belief that there is no greater force for changing the world than a powerful idea. Be a part of that mission or just learn from the world's best.
I was introduced to TED by a business partner years ago and have benefited from the talks and key insights contributed from many of the unique presenters. Sites like TED.com are what make the internet great (cat videos aside) TED is the one site where your post graduate education is nourished and you gain from the experience of many great minds. Without further adieu, check out TED.com.
Time to get back to business. Hope everyone had a great holiday and is ready to work. The two times a year that I take a deeper look at business trends and economic forecasts are at the end of the year and at the end of 2nd quarter. End of the year is more a reflective time for some reason, like after the game. End of 2nd quarter is like taking inventory during half time while there's still time to change the results before year end, mid game.
No one that runs their own business, or is directly responsible for one, can ever really take their mid off the game. Sure you might go on vacation and spend time with your family, but you just can't help thinking about what you have going on. Sometimes it helps to get disconnected, a fresh perspective, see from a different angle and get some rest, but successful people rarely take their eye off the ball if ever. You love what you do and you know your competition is constantly grinding. So while relaxing, I try to take a closer look at what my competition is doing right and measure what's working for me.
One of the things I do at these two points is look at the big picture. Reading through economic forecasts for different industries and countries can give you great insight to why your efforts aren't measuring up to predictions or worse, the numbers are climbing up and you have no idea why. According to The World Economic Forum, Forbes and The Balance to name a few, the economic outlook for the US is strong and set for steady growth.
No matter what business you're in, investing in yourself is never a bad choice. Educate yourself, educate your people and increase the advertising budget. Hope you are off to a great year, game on.