The Power of Technology

Greetings. We all know that technology has the power to change everything…which makes it important for all of us, no matter what business we are in, to be continually paying attention to a range of “technologies” that are reshaping the world we live in. Here are five “technologies” that should be on all of our radar screens. And it might be a good idea to spend some time thinking about how you and your colleagues (i.e., the geniuses you work with everyday) might capitalize on them in creating more valuable products, services, and solutions, and delivering more remarkable customer experiences.

Mobile. Think smart phones and tablets, but more importantly think about how central they have become to all of our lives and how you and your organization can leverage mobility and create mobile applications to better engage all of your employees and inspire and empower all of your customers.

The Cloud. Think about new and more remarkable IT capabilities without costly investments in infrastructure, people, training, or even licensing new software. No matter how large your company or organization is, you now have the ability to redefine your business model and deliver and support almost any solution you can imagine.

The Internet of Things. Okay, so more and more everyday objects are being connected to the internet. Objects like cars, homes, security systems, and a growing variety of household appliances. And while your business might not have anything to do with “objects,” it does have everything to do with enabling employees and customers to control and make better use of their most important information.

Wearable Tech. A lot of people think that the next stage of mobility is wearable technology. From Google Glass to Nike Fuelbands to the rumored Apple Watch to diagnostic clothing. In the future many of us will be “wearing” a lot more technology and it is worth thinking about the real power of driving greater knowledge and diagnostic ability to our team members and those we have the privilege to serve.

Social Media. How well do you and your organization use social media to connect with, deliver value to, and gain insight from your employees, customers, and partners? Even the most traditional businesses understand the growing influence of social media as an essential tool in their success.


We win in business and in life when we are open to new ideas and new technologies. And when we try our best to continually get with the program.


Innovative Products That Matter

Greetings.  In the past week an Israeli entrepreneur named Izhar Gafni has been getting a lot of attention for an invention that could quite literally move the world forward.  His cardboard bicycle, build from 95% recycled cardboard (and other recycled materials) and costing $9 to build, could suddenly make transportation affordable for hundreds of millions of low-income people around the world.  At a mere $20 each, this bicycle offers a "game-changing" solution to the challenge of mobility in many places.  

An experienced designer of automated production processes, Gafni believed in the potential value of unusual and under-appreciated materials.  He became excited about the potential of cardboard–a material made out of wood pulp and invented in China more than 600 years ago–and spent four years working to "cancel out the corrugated cardboard's weak structural points."  Then he figured out how to form and finish the cardboard into a working and durable bicycle that could be produced and assembled anywhere.  This meant that a business would not have to rely on finding places with the cheapest labor.  Instead, these bicycles could be built anywhere creating a whole new production model.  And they have the added benefits of being environmentally-friendly and requiring little or no maintenance. Initial plans also include creating a motorized "urban bike," a smaller model for children and even low-cost wheelchairs using this new technology.

The cardboard bicycle project is a powerful reminder of how great creativity and determination can be used to build products that make a compelling difference in the world.  Which begs the question, what do you and your company know that could be applied to rethinking an important global challenge?  And what would happen if all of us took the time to use our best ideas and expertise in ways that could make the world a better, safer, healthier and more mobile place. 


We win in business and in life when we apply new and better thinking to problems that really matter.  And when we see great possibilities in the ideas and materials that other people throw away.


Mobile Lives

Greetings.  For a country of nine million people, Sweden is very entrepreneurial and tech savvy–especially when it comes to computers, the internet and mobility. In fact, the internet and smart phones are so ubiquitous here that one wonders how life ever went on without them.  And it seems that everyone has an iPhone and uses it to accomplish an ever growing number of life's essential tasks–from connecting with friends and colleagues…to taking a bus, trolley or subway…to paying bills and handling banking…to getting up-to-date weather forecasts for literally any corner of the country…to playing games.  

And at the center of this obsession are important Swedish innovations.  These include Skype–the wonderfully simple internet phone service that allows us to engage with friends, relatives and colleagues almost anywhere in the world.  A wide range of award-winning video games including Minecraft.  And Spotify which has shaken up the world of on-line music with its service that allows users to choose the songs they want to listen to as opposed to Pandora's "focused radio" format.

And now Pinchos in Goteborg (i.e., "Gothenburg" to non-Swedes) is reinventing the way that people interact with a restaurant and their dining experience.  Billed as Sweden's first "app restaurant," customers here read the menu and order on their smart phones then receive a text message when their food is ready.  The big question is whether or not this is simply a fun and empowering way for Swedes to dine, an attempt to minimize the importance of customer service (which is not one of the great strengths of Swedish culture) or a way for people in a more introverted culture to enjoy a meal with friends without having to interact with unnecessary strangers.  

In any event, one can only imagine the new ideas tied to mobility and connectivity that will continue to come from Sweden in the years ahead.  


We win in business and in life when we give people choices.  And when we find powerful and not-so-powerful ways to enable them to live mobile lives.