Daniel Burrus' Strategic Insights Blog

The Internet of Things Far Bigger Than Anyone Realizes — Part 1

thumbnail-1When people talk about “the next big thing,” they’re never thinking big enough. It’s not a lack of imagination; it’s a lack of observation. I’ve maintained that the future is always within sight, and you don’t need to imagine what’s already there.

Case in point: The buzz surrounding the Internet of Things.

What’s the buzz? The Internet of Things revolves around increased machine-to-machine communication; it’s built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors; it’s mobile, virtual, and instantaneous connection; and they say it’s going to make everything in our lives from streetlights to seaports “smart.”

Use Creativity to Breathe New Life into Your Products, Services, and Organization

thumbnailMany of us work in organizations that have been around for many decades. For example, IBM—a popular employer—is over 100 years old.

Older organizations are great, but they often have a corporate culture that has not changed much over the years. In addition, their traditional products and services continue to sell well, but the margins are much lower and there is much more competition. Some people blame stagnation and lower profits on age—that only new and hip things sell these days.

Apple Pay Will Change How You Purchase!

mail_image_previewOver the years I have written about the transition from using credit cards as we know them to using our smart phone as an e-wallet at the checkout counter.

So far in the U.S., this transition has been slow. For example, Google Wallet launched in 2011 with a Sprint Nexus S handset followed by a number of additional handsets, but the results have not resulted in a consumer shift to an e-wallet as of this date.

Why Ello? Why Now?

thumbnailHave you heard of Ello yet? It’s a new social media network that has been getting a lot of buzz lately because it’s positioning itself as “the anti-Facebook social platform.” What does that mean? As Facebook finds new ways to learn more about its users so that it can sell those insights to advertisers, Ello is betting that a large and growing number of people want to use a social network that is ad-free and designed to preserve its users privacy. 

Strategic Plans Are Obsolete!

mail_image_previewStrategic planning is extremely important, but the way we plan, and the plan we create, do not provide the dynamic roadmap everyone in the organization needs in order to shape the best future possible.

Today’s traditional strategic plan is a static plan. The plan exists as a document, either digital or printed, that is published in some way, shared with key employees, and then put in a file cabinet or digital folder.

Virtual Healthcare Connects Patients and Doctors

thumbnailHow many times have you been sick and tried to get an appointment with your doctor, only to find out that he or she had no openings for the next three days? Or maybe you got sick over a weekend or in the middle of the night, when your doctor’s office was closed, and had to make your way to an emergency room or urgent care clinic, where you then had to wait for hours before a physician could see you. Or perhaps you were traveling, either for work or pleasure, and got sick while in a different city, making seeing your doctor impossible.

Profiting From the Speed of Change

ProfitfromChangeIn the past, business success was all about size: The large eat the small. Today, business success is all about speed: The fast eat the slow.

But when change occurs, what do most organizations tend to do? They hunker down and protect the status quo. After all, it’s human nature to protect and defend. We don’t like change because change is disruptive to our way of doing things and it usually represents a lot of additional work.

But rapid change—or rather, transformation—is already occurring, which means you need to get over it. Rapid technology advances including smart phones, tablets, social media, cloud based services and many more, have ushered in a new way of doing business.

Companies that were small like Facebook, Instagram, Groupon, and Uber have shown how it’s possible to grow amazingly fast and create billions of dollars in revenue in a short amount of time. They’ve sure trumped traditional large companies, like the Blockbusters and the Kodaks of the world, in a very short amount of time.

Since many companies have been around for a while, it’s time everyone adopt the fast-beat-the-slow mentality. Instead of protect and defend, organizations of all sizes need to embrace and extend. In other words, it’s time to embrace the new reality and extend your reach by creating new business models that are increasingly relevant.

Fortunately, something as simple as the smart phone enables you to do precisely that.

Remember, a smart phone is different from a dumb phone in that it has access to the Internet. And once you have Internet access, you have video, audio, radio, apps, and a host of things to extend your reach.

This is important, because over the next five years, we’ll have an additional five billion people from Africa, China, Indonesia, and India, using the Internet via their smart phone, all in regions that have little or no infrastructure in the present. In other words, thanks to a rapidly deployed wireless network and smart phones, economies in those areas will grow quickly because billions of people will have access to radio, television, communication, Internet, texting, GPS, and more, all for the first time. Think of it this way, five billion new consumers will be entering the lower middle class, all with a mobile computer and growing purchasing power. That’s game-changing! Are you ready for that? Most business people don’t realize the disruptive opportunity this represents.

Soon, anybody—including you—will be able to sell to everybody, anywhere. That’s huge…and it’s coming fast. It’s predictable and it’s completely visible. The question is, do you see it? If so, are you ready to capitalize on it?

When Platforms Change, the Old Leaders Are Seldom the New Ones

mail_image_previewWhenever there is a major change in platform, the leaders of the old platform are seldom the leaders of the new platform. For example, at one time, the only way you could use a computer was to use a mainframe. Then, as processing power, storage, and bandwidth increased, our primary computer became a desktop … and then a laptop … and now a smart phone and tablet.

Vehicle Innovations Serving Growing Global Markets

mail_image_previewIn the most crowded cities of the world from China to India, many people rely on small motorcycles or mopeds for their primary transportation. With over a billion people entering the lower middle class globally over the next ten years, there is a big opportunity to serve a large number of people that would like to upgrade their transportation but will still have to deal with crowded roads and narrow streets.