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Strategic Insights For Business Leaders & Their Teams

Investment Capital Growth is dedicated to the personal and professional development of C-Level Executives and the management teams that run modern business. Our blog shares insights and strategies culled from years of entrepreneural and executive experience. Our thought leaders regularly publish business articles to inspire and empower.

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Create Your Own Personal User Manual And Share It With Your Team

Posted by Cliff Locks On March 3, 2021 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Create Your Own Personal User Manual And Share It With Your Team

A Personal User Manual helps others understand your history, leadership, and communication style, which helps your team and stakeholders to learn more about the real you; plus, you can always return any time to update it.

Cliff Locks - Goals

Contributor: Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

 

Communication Style: Direct and to the point

I am known for:

I am an executive management leader with experience as a President and CEO, VP of Sales & Marketing, acquiring new customers, and supporting operational teams to fulfill the company’s long-term strategic direction and achieve unprecedented success levels along the way. I’m a sales and marketing expert with a proven record of cultivating and securing relationships with major international corporate partners/clients.

I’ve built positive working relationships within large organizations, including Amazon, Walmart, Target, LG, DeLonghi, Haier America (GE Appliances), Breville, Newell Brands (Jarden Corporation), Ford, GM, Toyota, Nissan, Mercedes Benz, and BMW.

Businesses served range in size from early pre-revenue entrepreneurial firms to $520 billion multinationals.

Personal Approach to Work:

  • Plan and Execute
  • Flexible start and end times
  • Time commitments are always met with enthusiasm and punctuality

You’ll find my approach to work is with a solid understanding of the vision of success, and it’s always at the forefront of everything I do. I’m logical, analytical, linear, and data-oriented, very organized, sequential, planned, and detailed-oriented. I’m supportive of my teams and clients, helping them remove obstacles and gain new knowledge to do their jobs better. I’m expressive with praise. I consistently see the big-picture, and my ideation solves challenges.

Preferred Communication Channels: Regularly scheduled 1:1 meetings, normally a scheduled Zoom meeting.

I enjoy setting expectations for my teams and clients. This so important; it’s an essential responsibility that many business owners gloss over. Clear employee expectations benefit not only your staff but your business as a whole.

Feedback Preferences: Very open – give me feedback in any form at any time

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: ENFJ

  • Here is my results: https://www.truity.com/personality-test/17600/test-results/29891760
  • The most prevalent:
    • ENFJ – The Teacher a 86% Match – ENFJs are idealist organizers, driven to implement their vision of what is best for humanity.
    • ENTJ – The Commander an 82% Match – ENTJs are strategic leaders, motivated to organize others and drive innovation.

 What is Important:

  1. I don’t worry so much about hours worked as about outcomes.
  2. That my team is open and honest with each other.
  3. Everything that needs to be said is said in the room and not whispered afterward.

Every employee should expect to maintain the following behaviors in the workplace:

  • Work with honesty and integrity.
  • Respect each other and be courteous and sensitive to everyone’s needs and concerns.
  • Be accountable for your work.
  • Be flexible about job and task assignments.
  • Be willing to help each other.
  • Ask for help when needed.
  • Be self-motivated and reliable.
  • Be cheerful, positive, and encouraging to other team members.

My Management Style:

  • I want to understand what people are working on and give input when needed.
  • I expect people to be 100% independent, and they don’t need to run actions or decisions by me.

Every employee should have from their management:

  • Proper training, support, and leadership
  • Safe and healthy working environments
  • Full disclosure and explanation of the job responsibilities, company policies, and procedures
  • Regular feedback on performance from supervisors or managers
  • Keep it friendly and ask for input

Leadership Values and Principles:

  • I work with many current and next generation of leaders; their teams always solve complex challenges.
  • Instead of looking outside of the box, get rid of the boxes.
  • Think both in terms of outside-in and inside-out.
  • Focus on root causes instead of symptoms.
  • Approach things through two-directional thinking.
  • Focus on relationships/networks instead of transactions.
  • Collaborate and co-create.
  • Align purpose and profit.
  • Steer away from complacent compliance.
  • Think BIG, plan, and execute!

Career:

  • Expertise as the founder of three entrepreneurial companies, each had a successful exit.
  • Including my firm’s resale with additional assets for KKR – Primedia, $1.2B in cash.
  • Board of Director, Executive Coach, and Angel Investor.

    Fields of experience:

    ♦ Enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS)
    ♦ Multinational Enterprises Global Value Chains – Reshoring and Nearshoring
    ♦ Hydrogen Production & Fuel Cell Technology – CleanTech
    ♦ Wellness, Digital Health, and Organic Produce
    ♦ Financial Portfolio Analysis Software
    ♦ eCommerce Platforms
    ♦ Machine and Deep Learning, AI, Computer Vision, Neuromorphic & Natural Language
    ♦ Smart Manufacturing that applies information and manufacturing intelligence
    ♦ Dental Oral Appliances – Epigenetics, and Biotechnology
    ♦ Nanotechnology
    ♦ Internet of Things (IoT)
    ♦ Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
    ♦ Supply Chain – Reverse Logistics – Manufacturing
    ♦ Social Media Software

    Executive Specialties: Strategic Organizational Leadership • Strategic Visioning & Direction Setting • Sales & Marketing Strategy • Business Development • Capital Raising • Operations Management • Strategic Analysis & Planning • Market Research & Opportunity Identification • Digital Media • Advertising • Customer Relationship Management • Executive Team Leadership • Financial Control • P&L Management • Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) • Team Building • Talent Development & Coaching • Kaizen Methodology of Continuous Improvement • Trusted Executive and Professional Confidant

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Making the most of our now with your vision for the team’s bright future

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 24, 2021 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Making the most of our now with your vision for the team’s bright future

We felt like we could reach out and touch the stars.

A few years ago, my family and I went stargazing in a remote location. Without city lights to obscure our view, every tiny dot of brilliance shone crystal clear. As we looked through the telescope, we were awestruck by the countless stars and swirls of the Milky Way. In that moment, we felt connected to something bigger than ourselves.

The future is bright

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry, CEO, with insights from Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director

Today, we all need this same cosmic shift in perspective. When we look through the eyepiece of a telescope, what is distant suddenly zooms closer. But if we look through the wrong end of the telescope, things shrink away from us.

We need to ask ourselves, which end of the telescope are we looking through?

That question is more important than ever. A survey of global professionals conducted by Korn Ferry told a shocking story: 60% of respondents said stress, boredom, and sadness best describe their mood. Obviously understandable, for sure. We are connected, yet isolated—hopeful, yet numb. Maybe part of the problem is actually the lens we’re looking through.

Ironically, it’s the glimmers of hope that make us impatient. With every piece of “good news”—cases declining, some people receiving the vaccine—we just want it to be over. It’s like when you’re on a long road trip and the last 50 miles drag endlessly.

As paradoxical as it may sound, when nothing seems to be progressing, we actually can make the most progress! When everything appears unchanged externally, we experience tremendous growth internally. When things seem so far away, they are much closer than they appear. When we clearly see just how far we’ve come, we appreciate more fully just how capable we’ve become. And it all happens in a moment.

I’ll never forget when I got that call a few years ago. It came out of nowhere—and yet it really wasn’t a surprise. As soon as I heard my cousin’s voice, telling me my uncle wasn’t doing well, there was no mistaking her meaning. I was on my way to New York on business and immediately got on a connecting flight to Kansas to see my uncle one more time. When I arrived at the nursing home, I instantly saw just how frail he had become.

He knew and I knew—but we let it be the unspoken truth. It was just my uncle and me in that small room. My uncle was one of the strongest people I knew, and there he was—smiling at me. The last thing I wanted to do was break down in front of him. And so, I didn’t think about the days ahead or what would come next. Embracing the moment was all that mattered.

We reminisced about old times. My uncle had worked at the local oil refinery and had remodeled my aunt’s house himself—everything from the framing to the plumbing. He had taught me how to fish. Even though my eyes misted as I gave him one last hug, I felt far more gratitude than sadness. As I left the nursing home and stepped out into that hot Kansas sun, I finally let my tears flow.

Today, despite sporadic green shoots all around us, we still must embrace this moment before we can own the next. Here are some thoughts:
• Our existential moment. Over the past year, companies and even entire industries have transformed. It has happened on a personal level, too—and to all of us. Everyone has stories. “Who we are in February 2021 is not the same as who we were in March 2020,” Bryan Ackermann, Managing Partner of Korn Ferry’s Global Leadership and Professional Development Practice, told me this week. If we’re not self-aware, we can lose our perspective on just where we are. “Are we still in the old world or in the new world? Do we have a foot in some weird hybrid of both?” Bryan commented. These questions can be a welcome opportunity to continually shift our focus to the bigger picture of what we value, how we find meaning, and who we want to become.

• The neutral zone. Even as we look ahead with optimism, the reality is we’re not quite there yet. We’re in transition—moving through a neutral zone—from one place (physical, mental, emotional) to the next. “We’re like trapeze artists, flying through the air ungrounded,” David Dotlich, PhD, a CEO and Board advisor and a senior leader at Korn Ferry, said “We can’t make the next trapeze appear automatically. We have to wait for it. And as it approaches, we have to let go of the old trapeze so we can reach for the new one.” Being “up in the air” can feel uncomfortable. But in that instant, we develop the courage and creativity that will bring us closer to whatever comes next.

• Making the most of our “now.” We have a choice of what we see: obstacles or opportunities. When Christina Gold, former CEO of Western Union and a member of several boards, including ours, started out in her career, there were few opportunities for women. As she related to me, her first job out of college was counting coupons for the local grocery store—at a time when a man with a college degree could easily land a supervisory position. Her break came when she was hired by Avon as an inventory clerk. Christina went on to a series of firsts in her career, but always made the most of the here and now—which led to the top spot at Western Union. “I never thought of what I faced as being obstacles,” Christina told me. In other words, her attitude was her altitude.

Look up, look out, look forward. The signs of hope that had once seemed as unreachable as the most distant star are suddenly within our grasp. Indeed, we can see the future—but only if we ground ourselves in this moment.

Success is measured by what you and your team accomplish towards fulfilling your strategic goals, ensuring they are aligned with the company’s vision of success.

Let’s work together on creating the tools:

  1. Develop a One-Page Strategic Plan.
  2. Set the top company priorities.
  3. Create clear, measurable objectives.
  4. Use one-on-one check-ins with your team members.
  5. Maintain an ongoing feedback loop with early corrective action and positive praise.

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Believe to Achieve – Why it’s critical in these times for leaders to train others to lead

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 17, 2021 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Believe to Achieve – Why it’s critical in these times for leaders to train others to lead

Come gather ’round people

Wherever you roam …

       – Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin’

For organizations today, the times they are a-changin’ — and to make it ashore, we need to keep believin’.

Many years ago, a ship out in the middle of the ocean was rocked by a fierce storm. Everyone had to abandon ship. After countless days in a small life raft, the captain finally stood on the beach of a deserted island, surrounded by 10 other wet, cold, and scared people.

Instinctively, the captain reassured the others that they would be rescued. In the meantime, the priorities were shelter, fire, and food. People worked together in small groups—and they began to believe.

Light-after-the-Storm-300x198

The captain climbed a hill above the beach to search the horizon for signs of a rescue. Instead, the captain saw at least 10 more life rafts being carried toward the island by the tide. “We’re going to have company,” the captain called out to the others. “Soon, there will be 100 or so people on this beach—and they need our help.”

“Lucky for them, you’re here to take charge,” someone called out from the group, and many others nodded.

“No,” said the captain. “That’s not going to work. There will be too many for one person to lead directly. I need each of you to meet one life raft and help those people for the next few days until we get rescued.”

The group didn’t look happy. “How will we do that?” they asked.

“The same way I did,” the captain said. “It’s not that difficult—reassure them about their future, help them understand what needs to be done now, and be clear about their accountability within their capabilities.”

“So, what will you be doing?” another person asked.

The captain explained: “It’s my job to help each of you become the leader that your team needs.”

The captain’s fable, which was shared with me this past week by Peter O’Neill, a colleague in Europe, reminds us that there may be many life rafts approaching this year— filled with people who are in search of hope, help, and heroes—and we each must rise up and bring them ashore.

And, just as in the fable, we need the ABCs of leadership: AccountabilityBelief, and Capability.

  • Accountability. The accountability we wish to see in others starts with each of us. In other words, we must first be accountable to ourselves for our own behaviors. Believe it, say it, mean it, act it!
  • Belief. When we believe we can make a difference—that change is possible—then our actions will follow. But if we don’t believe, we won’t achieve.
  • Capability. This is a broad brush: listening, connecting, inspiring, giving and getting honest feedback, expanding networks, exploring with others, and constantly looking for opportunities to learn. It’s all about allowing belief and accountability to shine through actions.

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO. The tide is changing—and the life rafts are coming in. They’re filled with colleagues and clients; they’re carrying family and friends. We will all be accountable for who we are—and how we show up: as partners, parents, neighbors, and citizens. Indeed, we must believe.

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

How to be agile, adaptable, and resilient, you will not only survive—but thrive.

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 10, 2021 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

How to be agile, adaptable, and resilient, you will not only survive—but thrive.

Thrive

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO and Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach

Potential. It’s the common denominator for all of us. Yet, it will always remain a mere fraction—substantially less than one—without the numerator of opportunity.
 

“I’m going on a date tonight,” one of my daughters announced excitedly this week. “We’re having dinner together.”

Given the lockdown, I wondered how that was going to work.

“It’s by Zoom,” she told me and went on to explain they were having food simultaneously delivered.

Instantly, I was reminded of the first time I heard of internet dating sites to “meet” people and wondered how that would work. Yet, it has—different times always demand another level of adaptation.

Flash back a few weeks ago, when my family and I socialized with another family on New Year’s Day. We didn’t give a second thought to having to be outside, masked, and socially distant. But when my friend brought out a treasured vinyl LP to play some music for us, my first thought was I could do the same thing with an app on my phone. For my friend, though, the physical album was clearly a tangible part of the whole experience. In his mind, it was the only way to listen to this “classic.”

I get it—nostalgia has its attraction. For me, seeing that album took me back to my hometown record store. I can distinctly remember going there to buy a record of “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight & the Pips. Later, when I was in college, I’d go to Tower Records.  I’d stand in front of displays of my favorite artists, walking my fingers across stacks of albums, flipping from one cool cover to the next.

Now it’s a swipe left, swipe right world.

So many things that used to be special have become commonplace—like travel. Growing up, I’d see pictures in “old” magazines of people all dressed up to get on an airplane. Flash forward, now we’ve taken it to ultra-uber-casual.

Until we reflect, we just don’t realize how much has changed—even the little things. Pre-Covid, I used to start each day early, reading newspapers and magazines for a couple of hours. Now, I start with a walk—always with phone in hand and buds in ears, scrolling the headlines, listening to Audible books on tape, and calling to catch up with friends and clients. Then, I head back home to work, as I have over the past 10 months and counting – understanding that so many on the front lines don’t have this option. Just a year ago, all of this would have been unthinkable.

Mindset is a conscious choice—one we make every minute of every day. We need to ask ourselves: What lens are we looking through? Do we resist change? Or, do we embrace it—a chance to expand our perspectives and seek out opportunities to meet new people, learn new things, and have new experiences? Paraphrasing slightly, Aldous Huxley, the philosopher and author, observed: “Experience is not what happens to you; it is what you do with what happens to you.”

Change continually confronts us. There’s no escaping it. That’s not to say change isn’t hard at times. For many, the losses suffered recently have been very difficult, even, excruciating at times. And yet, here we are. It’s good to remind ourselves just how far we’ve come—and how resilient we can be.

With change comes an abundance of opportunity. And that’s how we actually exceed potential. Here are some thoughts:

  • Take a bow. We don’t give ourselves enough credit. We’ve adapted more in the past few months, and at a faster pace, than we have in years. Yet, we’ve been moving so fast, we probably don’t understand, recognize, or appreciate how much has changed in every aspect of our lives. Frustrating and exhausting at times—yes, but also an accomplishment we can all be proud of. The fact is humans are wired to be agile and adaptable. As Charles Darwin observed: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, it is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Having proved just how agile, adaptable, and resilient we are, we know we will not only survive—but thrive. And that’s a very good thing—because in the next two years, we will see more change than we have in the past ten. What that will entail exactly may not be clear just yet. But make no mistake—the seeds of seismic change have been planted.
  • “Comparison is the thief of joy.” These wise words from President Theodore Roosevelt remind us of the danger of measuring today against the nostalgia of yesterday or some idealized vision of tomorrow. It’s a formula for disappointment. We learned this in the early days of the pandemic when we longed for the “normal” of what used to be and tried futilely to replicate it. As Evelyn Orr, Chief Operating Officer of the Korn Ferry Institute, shared, “The more we let go of the past, the more we greet the new. Instead of trying to meet some previous standard, we can create new experiences that are not diminished by comparisons to what we used to do.” As such, that object in the mirror—the one that’s “closer than it appears”—will never pass us by.
  • Appreciating relief, respecting loss. We need to be honest with ourselves: change stirs a multitude of emotions. Even a positive experience—a new job, a new relationship, moving to a new home—is stressful. Rather than judging our experiences as “good” or “bad,” we must simply acknowledge what we’re feeling. For example, people who used to deal with the grind of near-constant business travel might feel relief now that they’re home every day. At the same time, they probably also feel loss over not being able to travel to different places. “Relief and loss are two sides of the exact same coin. We hope that change brings relief, just as we fear loss will come with it, the suggestion is to embrace change.
  • Fail fast, learn faster. The pandemic has made novices of us all. It’s made us humble, which should lead to self-awareness and, ultimately, to learning. But where there’s learning there will be challenges and even failure, especially at the beginning. That’s why, over the years, I’ve encouraged colleagues to “fail fast, fail often”—because if we’re not failing, we’re not learning. Indeed, the only real failure is failing to fail! We should always be a “new beginner” at something. To make the learning process faster and more successful, use an experienced executive coach, to help guide your path forward.

 

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

The entire social media marketing market will vanish, hard to believe as Google’s ad campaign revenue totaled $135 billion, while Facebook’s reached nearly $70 billion. Taken together, this is roughly 35% of all global advertising expenditures.

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 3, 2021 at 10:07 am / In: Uncategorized

The entire social media marketing market will vanish, hard to believe as Google’s ad campaign revenue totaled $135 billion, while Facebook’s reached nearly $70 billion. Taken together, this is roughly 35% of all global advertising expenditures.

Today, just a few decades after the arrival of the internet, Google and Facebook together command more advertising dollars than all print media on the planet. Google-and-Facebook-300x169

In 2019, Google’s ad campaign revenue totaled $135 billion, while Facebook’s reached nearly $70 billion. Taken together, this is roughly 35% of all global advertising expenditure.

Fueled by open source e-commerce platforms, mobile devices, and advances in online payment infrastructure, social media marketing has replaced virtually the entire traditional advertising industry. That took fewer than fifteen years.

And the numbers are huge. In 2019, the global advertising industry reached nearly $600 billion, driving Google’s valuation to $1 trillion and Facebook’s above $600 billion.

All this value is fueled by our searches: our likes and dislikes, what we desire, who our friends are, and what we (and they) are clicking on.

But with a blitzkrieg of technologies converging on the industry, advertising will continue to change. First, it’s likely to get a little more invasive and a lot more personal. Yet this won’t last, per contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University. Not long after, the entire social media marketing market will vanish.

How long will that take? We give it ten to twelve years.

Let’s dive in…

Advertising in Our Virtually Enhanced World

Because of the convergence of high-bandwidth 5G connectivity, augmented reality eyewear, our emerging trillion-sensor economy, and powerful AI, we have gained the ability to superimpose digital information atop physical environments—freeing advertising from the tyranny of the screen.

Imagine stepping into a future Apple Store. When you approach the iPhone display, a full-sized AR avatar of Steve Jobs materializes to give you a tour of the product’s latest features. Avatar Jobs is a little too much, so with nothing more than a voice command, he’s replaced with floating text—and a list of phone features hovers in the air in front of you. After you’ve made your selection, eschewing the iPhone for a new pair of AR iGlasses, another voice command is all it takes to execute a smart contract.

Next, glasses on, you head over to a friend’s house. While chatting in her kitchen, you gaze at her new cabinets. Sensors in the glasses track eye motion, so your AI knows your focus has been lingering.

Via your search history, it also knows you’ve been considering remodeling your kitchen. Because your smart recommendation preferences are turned on, cabinet prices, design, and color choices fill your field of vision. It’s a new form of advertising: either an extension of frictionless shopping, or a novel type of spam.

The early version of this reality is already here. Known as “visual search,” the feature is currently available from a range of companies.

For example, a partnership between Snapchat and Amazon, called Visual Search, allows you to point their app-camera at an object, then get a link showing either the product itself or something similar, available for purchase.

Pinterest, meanwhile, has a multitude of visual search tools, such as Shop the Look, which uses machine learning to “dot” every object in a photo. Like the couch? Click the dot. The site will find you similar products for sale. Or take Lens, their real-time visual search tool. Point the app-camera at a scene and the app will generate links to all the products in that scene.

Google takes this one step further. Released in 2017, their Google Lens app is a general visual search engine. It does more than just identify products for sale—it decodes an entire landscape. You can learn anything you want: the botanical breakdown of the plants in a flowerbed, the breeds of dogs romping through a park, the history of the buildings lining a city street.

And IKEA has taken things the farthest. By using their AR app via smartphone, you can map your living room into a digital version with exact dimensions. Need a new coffee table? Their technology lets you try out different styles and sizes. It will even allow you now to preview multiple pieces of furniture at once. Your choice triggers a smart payment, and just like that, an Ikea customized coffee table is delivered at your doorstep. Need help assembling? Their AR app can walk you through it step-by-step.

All this visual search competition has kicked development into overdrive, spiking consumer adoption rates as well. As more people use these systems, more data is fed back to the AI running them. By fall of 2018, this feedback loop had pushed visual searches above a billion queries a month.

Pretty much every global brand is preparing for a world of “point, shoot, and shop.” But it could get even creepier. 

Hyper-Personalized Advertising

You’ve been spotted. You’re just out for a casual stroll through a department store, and their facial recognition system has you in its sights. Your AR glasses light up: “Hi Sarah, great to see you. . .”

You forgot to change your preferences to “Do Not Disturb.” A microsecond later, the store’s TV monitors continue the assault.

Maybe it’s a hologram or the President of the United States calling out your name, “Sarah, just one second. Your pores are a matter of national security. I want to tell you that your genome sequence matches a new line of L’Oréal skincare products.”

When you don’t respond to POTUS, the AI switches tactics. Now it’s Mom. You flinch, involuntarily. Her voice is deeply imprinted on your brain. But you know better, and just keep walking.

Sometimes it’s your favorite movie stars (based on data from your Netflix account), or your favorite sports star (based on internet searches).

Does this sound like a far-off fantasy? Guess again.

The Age of Jarvis & The End of Advertising Itself

From the Mad Men of old to the Madder Men of today, the purpose of advertising hasn’t changed: to sell you stuff. So ads extol benefits: Buy X because it’ll make you Y—sexy, successful, shiny, whatever.

But what happens when you are no longer the one making the buying decisions? That’s when Shopping JARVIS comes to the rescue.

Imagine a future when you simply say: “Hey JARVIS, buy me some toothpaste.”

Does JARVIS watch TV? Did he happen to catch those late-night ads filled with bright-white smiles? Of course not.

In a nanosecond, JARVIS considers the molecular formulations of all available options, their cost, the research that supports their teeth-whitening claims, published client-satisfaction reports, and evaluates your genome to determine the flavor formulation most likely to tingle your taste buds. Then it makes a purchase.

Taking it a step further, in the future, you’ll never actually have to order toothpaste. JARVIS will be monitoring your supply of regularly consumed items—from coffee, tea, and almond milk to toothpaste, deodorant, and all the rest—and will order supplies before you realize what needs restocking.

How about purchasing something new? That drone your son wants for his birthday? Just specify functionality. “Hey JARVIS, could you buy me a drone for under $100 that is easy to fly and takes great photos?”

What about fashion decisions? Will we trust our AIs to choose our clothes? Seems unlikely, until you consider that AIs can track eye movement as we window-shop, listen to our daily conversations to understand our likes and dislikes, and scan our social feeds to understand our fashion preferences as well as those of our friends. With that level of detail, Fashion JARVIS will do a pretty accurate job of selecting our clothing—no advertising required.

Final Thoughts

In the next decade, expect advertising to get far more personalized—learning from an explosion of layered data and expanding into new surfaces of our digitally superimposed world.

Next, we’ll be heading toward a future in which AI will take over the majority of our buying decisions, continually surprising us with products and services we didn’t even know we wanted.

Or, if surprise isn’t your thing, just turn that feature off and opt for boring and staid. Either way, it’s a shift that threatens traditional advertisers, while offering considerable benefits to the consumer.

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Building a Better Board/CEO Partnership: How Boards Can Find the Right Balance

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 27, 2021 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

Building a Better Board/CEO Partnership: How Boards Can Find the Right Balance

The COVID-19 health crisis and accompanying business disruption require boards and CEOs to chart a near-term response and develop a longer-term strategy for accelerating out of the downturn and winning in a post-COVID world. How well a company emerges from the crisis will have much to do with the ability of the board and CEO to align on a future direction and work effectively together on the plan.

 

Board of Directors

Contributors: George Anderson, Claudius Hildebrand, Robert Stark, at Spencer Stuart and Cliff Locks at Investment Capital Growth

 

The crisis only heightens the inherent tension between the board’s responsibility to serve as a supportive partner to the CEO and to hold the CEO accountable for performance. Managing the tension between the two is a difficult balancing act. Boards can be too complacent — ceding too much responsibility for strategy and performance to the CEO — or over-involved, hyper-focused on measures of short-term performance or pushing for too-frequent changes in strategy.

CEOs frequently report feeling isolated and under-supported by their boards. All too often, a relationship with a particular director is the thread that holds things together along with the use of a trusted executive confidant, like Cliff Locks. And with fewer experienced CEOs serving on boards today, sitting CEOs are less likely to have a peer who truly understands what they are dealing with. How can boards strike the right balance between support and accountability so that they work more effectively with the CEO on long-term value creation?

 Spencer Stuart’s research into the CEO Life Cycle — a rigorous analysis of performance data for 750 S&P 500 CEOs, including more than 7,000 data points and interviews with more than 50 CEOs and board directors — shows that boards have a significant impact in shaping company and CEO performance when they encourage transparency and collaboration. Equally, CEOs need to establish and maintain trust by sharing information and engaging the board in meaningful dialogue, so that directors feel like they have sufficient opportunities to share their views and support the CEO. The CEO Life Cycle reveals the importance of the board’s support of the CEO at key moments, including investing time in the new CEO’s transition, creating alignment around realistic expectations throughout the CEO’s tenure, committing to the kind of reinvention and renewal required for future growth, and overseeing a robust, forward-looking succession process.

The CEO Life Cycle

Support the CEO’s transition

CEO selection marks the start — not the end — of a CEO transition. After a long succession process, boards tend to celebrate the wisdom of their decision and move on to the next thing, leaving the transition in the CEO’s hands.

 Spencer Stuart’s research found that when boards and CEOs invested in building trust early, CEOs were less likely to experience a deep Sophomore Slump and were less likely to be ousted. Boards can help set the tone early by expressing their preferences on the ideal cadence and style of communication, the use of meeting time and their role in developing strategy.

“We want to be more engaged in building that strategy, and make sure that we are all owning that together.”

“We have told [the new CEO] that unlike the past, we do not want the CEO to bring to us a fully baked strategy. We want the CEO to bring us ideas. We want to be more engaged in building that strategy, and make sure that we are all owning it together,” one director told us. When the board views itself as a partner in developing strategy, it can help build trust with the CEO. “We’re all in this together. If we determine we’ve made the wrong decision, we’ve made it together. He’s not going to be out there on the limb by himself. That’s a change in tone from how we’ve operated in the past.”

It’s also important to begin building the personal relationships that will sustain the partnership over time. CEOs can feel unsupported when directors don’t seem to fully understand how difficult some big initiatives are to execute. Wise CEOs strive to develop one-to-one relationships with individual directors outside of the boardroom to seek advice and feedback on ideas, and this builds trust over time. Directors can encourage these interactions by hosting informal dinners and activities and making time to meet with the CEO one on one, even when it seems more efficient to plan small group gatherings. One CEO who commits to meeting with directors when traveling learned that meeting even with two directors at a time changes the dynamic significantly and is much less valuable for relationship-building.

Align on realistic expectations

Unrealistic and misaligned expectations are often at the root of adversarial board and CEO relationships. Every CEO journey is unique, but the CEO Life Cycle framework can help the board and CEO understand where they are and what may lie ahead, enabling them to discuss potential risks and opportunities at each stage. With less ambiguity, boards and CEOs can view performance in terms of the larger context and avoid overreacting in moments of doubt or tolerating mediocrity for too long.

 Spencer Stuart’s research found that when CEOs and boards worked to stay aligned, they were more likely to create the conditions for driving long-term change and insulating the management team from unnecessary short-term pressure. During the Sophomore Slump period, for example, most CEOs experience a decline in performance. “In the second year reality often sets in. You’ve already taken advantage of the best opportunities and now have to refine plans and reassess your team,” explained one former CEO. How the CEO responds during this period and the support the board provides can set the stage for high performance or under performance in the succeeding years. “Either you survive,” the director said, or the board determines that “The CEO’s not working.”

Boards have an ongoing responsibility to monitor performance and recognize when it’s time to support, challenge or change the CEO. Amid a major strategic initiative with a longer-term payoff for the business, CEOs are looking for support. “It’s during those really difficult time periods, that’s when good companies have a solid and supportive board for the CEO.” But boards also need to be alert to changes in the CEO’s motivation or energy that could signal a need for a change. “When an individual has been in a role for five, six, seven years, they either get a little tired or they are ambitious and want to do more,” observed one director.

Boards can make sure they use their time with the CEO to check on progress and maintain alignment. A natural time for these conversations is the formal executive session. Reserving that time for a substantive, but intimate discussion of the issues that are on the CEO’s mind can help build a trusting environment and reinforce their mutual responsibilities. “It’s very important that the board handle that in an appropriate way. The board has to be open and appropriately supportive, surrounding the CEO with the resources needed to do what they need to do be successful.”

Boards can make sure they use their time with the CEO to check on progress and maintain alignment. A natural time for these conversations is the formal executive session.

Commit to ongoing renewal and change

A protective mindset can emerge when the strategy is working great and the team is humming. “There’s a tendency to think if the results are all right, the CEO’s doing a good job. Boards must be far more thoughtful about what’s around the corner and whether the CEO can meet those challenges,” one director told us. It is in the late stages of a tailwind period — rather than during headwind periods — when CEOs have freedom to adjust or place new bets on the future. As one board member explained, “By the time you smell the fire in the boardroom, it is often too late.”

Spencer Stuart’s research found that CEOs who are successful over the long term learn to reinvent themselves and their companies at a pace that is as fast as the world is changing, and boards of these companies expect and support reinvention. These leaders were more likely to reinvent their approach to leadership, transform the organization and think in terms of long-term impact or purpose, resisting complacency and incremental thinking.

It’s not just the CEO who has to guard against complacency and seek renewal. Boards also can get comfortable with solid performance and incremental change and stop pressing for the kind of reinvention and bold moves companies need to thrive today. “The world is moving in a certain place, and that’s what we have to compete against — not just our peers.” Boards will be in a better position to ask the right questions for the future when they have the right mix of expertise in the boardroom. “You actually have those discussions in the boardroom. The whole water level starts to go up a little bit.”

Directors also can fight complacency by finding opportunities for ongoing learning. These could include factory visits, meetings with customers or experts, or spending a day with management, which can help directors stay close to the business and understand the pace and intensity of the challenges facing the company, beyond what directors would hear in a boardroom discussion.

It’s not just the CEO who has to guard against complacency and seek renewal. Boards also can get comfortable with solid performance and incremental change and stop pressing for the kind of reinvention and bold moves companies need to thrive today.

Plan for CEO succession

CEO succession planning “is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for many who would otherwise be perceived as great CEOs,” one CEO told us. Ultimately, a CEO won’t be considered great if “at the end of the day, they didn’t instill the confidence in that shareholder base that the person taking their place is going to be able to follow their performance.” A PwC study found a much higher risk that successors of long-serving, high-performing CEOs will significantly under perform and be forced out of office. Our research found that the risk of failure was significantly lower when boards were actively involved in succession planning and the successor’s development.

The risks for boards neglecting succession planning are great. Transitioning CEOs is one of the hardest things a board has to do, and it’s even harder for boards to confront when performance is middling — when there is no burning platform for change. “There’s nothing really forcing you to do it,” said one director, describing the conundrum for boards.

Some CEOs are more willing than others to examine their own performance and motivation. Said one, “I was losing a little bit of my energy. I always say you need to step down when you can’t put on the uniform the way you used to.” But it’s up to the board to ensure that it has regular conversations about long-term value creation and the CEO’s time horizon. Understanding the natural headwinds and tailwinds CEOs will face during their tenure, the board should lead frank conversations about whether or not the CEO has the energy and ability to renew the strategy and organization to unlock value or the company’s next phase.

In addition to these conversations with the CEO, the board should actively manage a succession planning process that’s based on a forward-looking strategy for the company, which will shape the criteria for the next CEO. The process also should include thorough and thoughtful assessments of internal candidates with the goal of helping them get ready for the role within a certain time frame. Directors should get to know members of senior leadership in formal and informal settings.

The lead independent director, in particular, has to be a close partner to the CEO, setting the right expectations and tone from the beginning, closing the loop on questions and board feedback, and checking in periodically. Cliff Locks is available to be your lead independent director.

Embedding renewal in board processes

As part of their annual self-assessment, boards typically consider questions about the relationship between the board and CEO: How effective is the relationship? Does the board strike the right balance between its monitoring role and its advising role? Where does the board add value in the relationship? Where does the board misstep or struggle in that relationship? Our research suggests that boards should go further, not only asking about how effective the relationship is, but also how they can best support the CEO given where he or she is in the CEO Life Cycle.

For many boards, the compensation committee or nominating/governance committee can take the lead in CEO development and ensuring the CEO has the necessary support. An increasing number of compensation committees are expanding their mandate to include leadership development — sometimes changing their name to “management development and compensation committee” to reflect the broader mandate. Those that do are likely to consider a range of people issues, including leadership development, succession planning, CEO tenure and where the CEO is in the Life Cycle. Ideally, these conversations would happen a couple times a year to ensure the board and CEO are partnering on development.

While all directors should build a one-to-one relationship with the CEO early in his or her tenure, certain board leaders are better placed to facilitate board/CEO communication. The lead independent director, in particular, has to be a close partner to the CEO, setting the right expectations and tone from the beginning, closing the loop on questions and board feedback, and checking in periodically. Ideally, this relationship is one of transparency and mutual understanding about what excites and worries the other about leading the organization forward. During our interviews, CEOs and directors often expressed how frameworks like the CEO Life Cycle can help initiate a dialogue and chart a new approach to working together.

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Getting you up to speed for exponential change – Think BIG!

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 20, 2021 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Getting you up to speed for exponential change – Think BIG!

Highly successful people practice exponential thinking and you can too. Exponential business models aren’t designed to create a better company or product. They’re used to create a vastly different company or product. Think Amazon and Uber. Exponential technologies shape every aspect of our lives. These technologies include artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), data science, digital biology, making hydrogen directly from sea water, digital fabrication, robotics, and autonomous vehicles.

Exponential Change

Contributors: Peter Diamandis and Cliff Locks [Note: This article incorporates  excerpts from Peter Diamandis book The Future Is Faster Than You Think, co-authored with Steven Kotler.]

What’s faster than autonomous vehicles and flying cars?

Try Hyperloop, rocket travel, and robotic avatars. Hyperloop is currently working towards 670 mph (1080 kph) passenger pods, capable of zipping us from Los Angeles to downtown Las Vegas in under 30 minutes. Rocket Travel (think SpaceX’s Starship) promises to deliver you almost anywhere on the planet in under an hour. Think New York to Shanghai in 39 minutes.

But wait, it gets even better…

As 5G connectivity, hyper-realistic virtual reality, and next-gen robotics continue their exponential progress, the emergence of “robotic avatars” will all but nullify the concept of distance, replacing human travel with immediate remote telepresence.

Let’s dive in.

Hyperloop One: LA to SF in 35 Minutes

Did you know that Hyperloop was the brainchild of Elon Musk? Just one in a series of transportation innovations from a man determined to leave his mark on the industry.

In 2013, in an attempt to shorten the long commute between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the California state legislature proposed a $68 billion budget allocation for what appeared to be the slowest and most expensive bullet train in history.

Musk was outraged. The cost was too high, the train too sluggish. Teaming up with a group of engineers from Tesla and SpaceX, he published a 58-page concept paper for “The Hyperloop,” a high-speed transportation network that used magnetic levitation to propel passenger pods down vacuum tubes at speeds of up to 670 mph. If successful, it would zip you across California in 35 minutes—just enough time to watch your favorite sitcom.

In January 2013, venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar, with Musk’s blessing, started Hyperloop One with myself, Jim Messina (former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for President Obama), and tech entrepreneurs Joe Lonsdale and David Sacks as founding board members. A couple of years after that, the Virgin Group invested in this idea, Richard Branson was elected chairman, and Virgin Hyperloop One was born.

“The Hyperloop exists,” says Josh Giegel, co-founder and chief technology officer of Hyperloop One, “because of the rapid acceleration of power electronics, computational modeling, material sciences, and 3D printing.”

Thanks to these convergences, there are now ten major Hyperloop One projects—in various stages of development—spread across the globe. Chicago to DC in 35 minutes. Pune to Mumbai in 25 minutes. According to Giegel, “Hyperloop is targeting certification in 2023. By 2025, the company plans to have multiple projects under construction and running initial passenger testing.”

So think about this timetable: Autonomous car rollouts by 2020. Hyperloop certification and aerial ridesharing by 2023. By 2025—going on vacation might have a totally different meaning. Going to work most definitely will.

But what’s faster than Hyperloop?

Rocket Travel

As if autonomous vehicles, flying cars, and Hyperloop weren’t enough, in September of 2017, speaking at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia, Musk promised that for the price of an economy airline ticket, his rockets will fly you “anywhere on Earth in under an hour.”

Musk wants to use SpaceX’s megarocket, Starship, which was designed to take humans to Mars, for terrestrial passenger delivery. The Starship travels at 17,500 mph. It’s an order of magnitude faster than the supersonic jet Concorde.

Think about what this actually means: New York to Shanghai in 39 minutes. London to Dubai in 29 minutes. Hong Kong to Singapore in 22 minutes.

So how real is the Starship?

“We could probably demonstrate this [technology] in three years,” Musk explained, “but it’s going to take a while to get the safety right. It’s a high bar. Aviation is incredibly safe. You’re safer on an airplane than you are at home.”

That demonstration is proceeding as planned. In September 2017, Musk announced his intentions to retire his current rocket fleet, both the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, and replace them with the Starships in the 2020s.

Less than a year later, LA mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted that SpaceX was planning to break ground on an 18-acre rocket production facility near the port of Los Angeles. And April of this year marked an even bigger milestone: the very first test flights of the rocket.

Thus, sometime in the next decade or so, “off to Europe for lunch” may become a standard part of our lexicon.

Avatars

Wait, wait, there’s one more thing.

While the technologies we’ve discussed will decimate the traditional transportation industry, there’s something on the horizon that will disrupt travel itself. What if, to get from A to B, you didn’t have to move your body? What if you could quote Captain Kirk and just say “Beam me up, Scotty”?

Well, shy of the Star Trek transporter, there’s the world of avatars.

An avatar is a second self, typically in one of two forms. The digital version has been around for a couple of decades. It emerged from the video game industry and was popularized by virtual world sites like Second Life and books-turned-blockbusters like Ready Player One.

A VR headset teleports your eyes and ears to another location, while a set of haptic sensors shifts your sense of touch. Suddenly, you’re inside an avatar inside a virtual world. As you move in the real world, your avatar moves in the virtual.

Use this technology to give a lecture and you can do it from the comfort of your living room, skipping the trip to the airport, the cross-country flight, and the ride to the conference center.

Robots are the second form of avatars. Imagine a humanoid robot that you can occupy at will. Maybe, in a city far from home, you’ve rented the bot by the minute—via a different kind of ridesharing company—or maybe you have spare robot avatars located around the country.

Either way, put on VR goggles and a haptic suit, and you can teleport your senses into that robot. This allows you to walk around, shake hands, and take action—all without leaving your home.

And like the rest of the tech we’ve been talking about, even this future isn’t far away.

In 2018, entrepreneur Dr. Harry Kloor recommended to All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest airline, the design of an Avatar XPRIZE. ANA then funded this vision to the tune of $10 million to speed the development of robotic avatars. Why? Because ANA knows this is one of the technologies likely to disrupt their own airline industry, and they want to be ready.

ANA recently announced its “newme” robot that humans can use to virtually explore new places. The colorful robots have Roomba-like wheeled bases and cameras mounted around eye-level, which capture surroundings viewable through VR headsets.

If the robot was stationed in your parents’ home, you could cruise around the rooms and chat with your family at any time of day. After revealing the technology at Tokyo’s Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies in October, ANA plans to deploy 1,000 newme robots by 2020.

With virtual avatars like newme, geography, distance, and cost will no longer limit our travel choices. From attractions like the Eiffel Tower or the pyramids of Egypt to unreachable destinations like the moon or deep sea, we will be able to transcend our own physical limits, explore the world and outer space, and access nearly any experience imaginable.

Final Thoughts

Individual car ownership has enjoyed over a century of ascendancy and dominance.

The first real threat it faced—today’s ride-sharing model—only showed up in the last decade. But that ridesharing model won’t even get ten years to dominate. Already, it’s on the brink of autonomous car displacement, which is on the brink of flying car disruption, which is on the brink of Hyperloop and rockets-to-anywhere decimation. Plus, avatars.

The most important part: All of this change will happen over the next ten years. Welcome to a future of human presence where the only constant is rapid change.

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Available to join your Board as a Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

* (Pricing is shown at the bottom of this blog post)

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

* Investment:

One-to-One – Individual payment: Strategic Coaching: $295 per month (weekly for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the depth of our conversation Zoom meeting).

One-to-One – Corporate payment:
i. Coaching & Leadership Development: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
ii. One-to-One Executive Coaching and Mentoring: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iii. Increasing Top Team Performance and 1:1 Mentoring Sessions: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).
iv. Planning New Futures for Senior Executives: $600 per month engagement (weekly 1 hour Zoom meeting).

Team coaching:
i. Enhancing Boardroom Effectiveness & Executive Impact Group: Starting at $15,250 per annual engagement.
ii. Strategic & Operational Planning/KPI Development: Starting at $25,500 per annual engagement.
iii. Productivity Assessment & Profitability Improvement: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
iv. Sales Channel and Product Development: Starting at $25,250 per annual engagement.
v. Energy and Sustainability Efficiency Initiatives: Starting at $18,500 per annual engagement.

Board of Directors or Board of Advisors:

 

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth  

What’s coming in retail is astounding, a transformation of shopping on every dimension

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 13, 2021 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

What’s coming in retail is astounding, a transformation of shopping on every dimension

AI and broadband were already eating retail for breakfast. In the first half of 2019, we saw 19 retailer bankruptcies. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail apocalypse is only accelerating.

S&P Global Market Intelligence has now tallied over 49 bankruptcies in 2020, the highest in over a decade.

What’s coming in this retail era is astounding, per contributor Peter Diamandis.

Shopping Transformation

For example, why drive when you can speak? Revenue from products purchased via voice commands is expected to quadruple from roughly US$2 billion today to more than US$8 billion by 2023.

VR, AR and 3D Printing are converging with AI, drones and 5G to transform shopping on every dimension. And as a result, shopping is becoming dematerialized, demonetized, democratized, and delocalized… a top-to-bottom transformation of the retail world.

In today’s blog, we’ll discuss the future of retail, including a deep-dive into AI and its far-reaching implications for the industry.

Let’s dive in…

A Day in the Life of 2029

Welcome to April 21, 2029, a sunny day in Dallas. You’ve got a fundraising luncheon tomorrow, but nothing to wear. The last thing you want to do is spend the day at the mall. No sweat. Your body image data is still current, as you were scanned only a week ago. Put on your VR headset and have a conversation with your AI. “It’s time to buy a dress for tomorrow’s event” is all you have to say. In a moment, you’re teleported to a virtual clothing store. Zero travel time. No freeway traffic, parking hassles, or angry hordes wielding baby strollers. Instead, you’ve entered your own personal clothing store. Everything is in your exact size… And I mean everything. The store has access to nearly every designer and style on the planet. Ask your AI to show you what’s hot in Shanghai, and presto—instant fashion show. Every model strutting down the runway looks exactly like you, only dressed in Shanghai’s latest. When you’re done selecting an outfit, your AI pays the bill. And as your new clothes are being 3D-printed at a warehouse—before speeding your way via drone delivery—a digital version has been added to your personal inventory for use at future virtual events. The cost? Thanks to an era of no middlemen, less than half of what you pay in stores today. Yet this future is not all that far off…

Digital Assistants

Let’s begin with the basics: the act of turning desire into purchase. Most of us navigate shopping malls or online marketplaces alone, hoping to stumble across the right item and fit. But if you’re lucky enough to employ a personal assistant, you have the luxury of describing what you want to someone who knows you well enough to buy that exact right thing most of the time. For most of us who don’t, enter the digital assistant. Right now, the four horsemen of the retail apocalypse are waging war for our wallets. Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Alibaba’s Tmall Genie are going head-to-head in a battle to become the platform du jour for voice-activated, AI-assisted commerce. For baby boomers who grew up watching Captain Kirk talk to the Enterprise’s computer on Star Trek, digital assistants seem a little like science fiction. But for millennials, it’s just the next logical step in a world that is auto-magical. And as those millennials enter their consumer prime, revenue from products purchased via voice-driven commands is projected to leap to US$8 billion by 2023. We are already seeing a major change in purchasing habits. On average, consumers using Amazon Echo spent more than standard Amazon Prime customers: US$1,700 versus US$1,300. And as far as an AI fashion advisor goes, those too are here, courtesy of both Alibaba and Amazon. During its annual Singles’ Day (November 11) shopping festival, Alibaba’s FashionAI concept store uses deep learning to make suggestions based on advice from human fashion experts and store inventory, driving a significant portion of the day’s US$75 billion in sales. Similarly, Amazon’s shopping algorithm makes personalized clothing recommendations based on user preferences and social media behavior.

Customer Service

But AI is disrupting more than just personalized fashion and e-commerce. Its next big break will take place in the customer service arena. According to a recent Zendesk study, good customer service increases the possibility of a purchase by 42%, while bad customer service translates into a 52% chance of losing that sale forever. This means more than half of us will stop shopping at a store due to a single disappointing customer service interaction. These are significant financial stakes. They’re also problems perfectly suited for an AI solution. During the 2018 Google I/O conference, CEO Sundar Pichai demoed the Google Duplex, their next generation digital assistant. Pichai played the audience a series of pre-recorded phone calls made by Google Duplex. The first call made a reservation at a restaurant, the second one booked a haircut appointment, amusing the audience with a long “hmmm” mid-call. In neither case did the person on the other end of the phone have any idea they were talking to an AI. The system’s success speaks to how seamlessly AI can blend into our retail lives and how convenient it will continue to make them. The same technology Pichai demonstrated that can make phone calls for consumers can also answer phones for retailers—a development that’s unfolding in two different ways: (1) Customer service coaches: First, for organizations interested in keeping humans involved there’s Cogito, a startup founded by MIT alumni that has built an AI customer service coach. Based on the founders’ own research at MIT, the company can analyze customer voice intonation, using it to tell whether the person on the phone is about to blow a gasket, is genuinely excited, or anything in between. The AI then delivers behavior recommendations or “nudges” to facilitate more productive interactions. Cogito has been used in more than three dozen call centers, helping human sales agents understand and react to customer emotions, ultimately making those calls more pleasant and more profitable. For example, managers at insurance giant MetLife say that the program has improved customer satisfaction by 13%. It also helped agents, who take an average of 700 calls a week, become more efficient. One employee remarked that Cogito helped her cut her average call time nearly in half. (2) Replacing customer service agents: Second, companies like New Zealand’s Soul Machines (which raised $40 million earlier this year) are working to replace human customer service agents altogether. Powered by IBM’s Watson, Soul Machines builds lifelike customer service avatars designed for empathy, making them one of many helping to pioneer the field of emotionally intelligent computing. With their technology, 40% of all customer service interactions are now resolved with a high degree of satisfaction, no human intervention needed. And because the system is built using neural nets, it’s continuously learning from every interaction—meaning that percentage will continue to improve. The number of these interactions continues to grow as well. Soul Machines’ customers include Google, Sony, the Royal Bank of Scotland, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Autodesk, and Procter & Gamble, among others. And customers continue to prefer AIs over humans. More than 81% of customers say that they would chat with the company’s avatars again. And nearly 90% say they achieved their goals through engaging with the avatars. For Daimler Financial Services, Soul Machines built an avatar named Sarah, who helps customers with arguably three of modernity’s most annoying tasks: financing, leasing, and insuring a car. This isn’t just about AI—it’s about AI converging with additional exponentials. Add networks and sensors to the story and it raises the scale of disruption, upping the FQ—the frictionless quotient—in our frictionless shopping adventure.

Final Thoughts

AI makes retail cheaper, faster, and more efficient, touching everything from customer service to product delivery. It also redefines the shopping experience, making it frictionless and—once we allow AI to make purchases for us—ultimately invisible. Prepare for a future in which shopping is dematerialized, demonetized, democratized, and delocalized—otherwise known as “the end of malls.” Of course, if you wait a few more years, you’ll be able to take an autonomous flying taxi to Westfield’s Destination 2028—so perhaps today’s converging exponentials are not so much spelling the end of malls, but rather the beginning of an experience economy far smarter, more immersive and whimsically imaginative than today’s shopping centers. Either way, it’s a top-to-bottom transformation of the retail world.

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Certified Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

A New Year’s resolution to help your team to flourish

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 6, 2021 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

A New Year’s resolution to help your team to flourish

The ripple of empathetic leadership that spread across organizations last year needs to become a tidal wave in 2021.

Our mantra for the New Year—whether we lead a team of 5, 5,000 or 50,000—should be the relentless pursuit of providing opportunity, mentoring and sponsoring others. Opportunity is the gateway for each of us to discover our potential.  

Leadership is all about inspiring others to believe and enabling that belief to become reality. However, this requires a shift in mindset because, unfortunately, it’s simply not human nature for most people to focus first on developing others. Yet, indeed, that’s exactly what we need to do.

Leadership

Contributing writer: Gary Burnison, CEO Korn Ferry and Cliff Locks, Managing Director of ICG

Ken Blanchard, the leadership guru with whom I’ve had great discussions, often tells a story about his early days as a college professor. His approach was radical. On the first day of class, he gave his students the answers to the final exam. Ken often found himself in trouble with other faculty members, but he defended his decision by explaining his main job was to teach students the content they needed to learn—not to evaluate them along some distribution curve. It’s a concept Ken calls “Helping People Get an A.”

Now contrast that with an experience in my son’s class, a few years ago. On the first day, the professor proudly announced, “Nobody gets an A in my class.” In his first year College Engineering, a different professor shared, “Look to your right and then look to your left, those students will have left the Engineering program, by the Senior year.” Having high standards is one thing, but to say that no one can excel is completely demotivating!

We need a radically human approach to leadership and a set of leadership resolutions for 2021. Let’s commit to them heart, mind, and soul. Here are some thoughts:

It starts with you. Awareness awakens. Before we do anything else, we resolve to take a look in the mirror at our values, motivations, strengths, and blind spots. By knowing ourselves we can manage ourselves first, so we can positively impact others.

But it’s not about you. We’re not sculptors working alone in a studio, chipping marble or molding clay. We aren’t solo performers. We work with and through others. Quite simply, our success is measured in what others achieve.

Purpose. At some point, we need to stop trying to make sense of 2020. Instead, we need to create a sense of purpose for 2021—an overarching “why” that will take us out of the wilderness and into a new light—and a new beginning. Purpose always precedes the first step.

Empathy. Given all that people have gone through, empathy rules the day. It’s all about meeting others where they are, to understand their experience. We used to say, “How are you?”; now it’s “how are you feeling?” But that’s not all. The more empathetic we are, the more we broaden our view. We see beyond our own perspective—through the lens of others.

Empower. 2020 tripped the circuit breakers; 2021 is the big reset. Change must bubble up from within the organization, not merely cascade down—because the next two years we’ll see more change than we’ve seen in the last 10. To paint tomorrow, people throughout the organization must be empowered to think. I’ll never forget the advice I received from a board member many years ago, when I was a new CEO: “As the leader, don’t tell people what to do—instead, tell them what to think about.”

Collective genius. It’s been said that the strength of a team is each individual member—and the strength of each individual member is the team. When teams are inclusive, and differences are not just tolerated but celebrated, they become more creative and innovative—and collective genius is born. Let’s create an ethos of inclusiveness in the New Year.

Shepherd. I’ve met a number of military leaders who led during periods of conflict, and many confided in me, “I’ve never lost a soldier”—revealing a deep mindset of humility and accountability. While most of us won’t face such life-or-death scenarios, we also need to make sure we don’t lose anyone. Think shepherd: occasionally in front, sometimes beside, but mostly behind.

Own the moment. When most people think about accountability, they immediately think about how accountable others are to them. But first, we need to examine how accountable we are to ourselves—for who we are and how we act. If we want to know how we’re doing, we only need to count the number of times we say, “I’m sorry”—in all its forms, including “That’s on me,” “That was the wrong call,” and “You were right.” That’s how we truly own the moment.

Be the message. Throughout 2020, we just tried to help people get through—one day to the next—by seeing the blue sky through a tiny opening in the clouds. Now it’s time for the clouds to part—and for people to believe they can punch right through the sky. That comes from inspiration—and it’s best done with stories. As Peter Guber, the Academy Award–winning producer and co-owner of four professional sports teams, once told me, “Leadership is storytelling in a way that becomes memorable and actionable.” And the leader IS the message.

In this New Year, may we stay resolute—to our resolutions. As positive trusted leaders, we enable others to exceed their potential and, in doing so, we all will collectively rise. I wish you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Certified Master Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

The robots are coming! Managers should work to incorporate skills training for the vibrancy of our organization

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 30, 2020 at 10:45 am / In: Uncategorized

The robots are coming! Managers should work to incorporate skills training for the vibrancy of our organization

The robots are coming! On our sidewalks, in our skies, in our every store… Over the next decade, robots will enter the mainstream of retail. And the numbers back it up: in a mere 8 years, the global retail robotics market is projected to grow by an order of magnitude, from US$4.78 billion in 2018 to US$41.67 billion in 2026. As countless robots work behind the scenes to stock shelves, serve customers, and deliver products to our doorstep, the speed of retail will continue to increase. These changes were already underway, and the pandemic has accelerated them.

    

Reskill and Retrain

Manufacturers considering purchasing a robot should also consider investing in the training and upskilling of their existing employees. Reskilling existing workers will reduce the likelihood of redundancies and therefore improve the company’s reputation as an employer — a common problem when reducing the number of employees but increasing automation.

Deploying robots, or any automation machinery for that matter, will create a new requirement for engineers with programming and maintenance skills. As opposed to employing a new programmer, manufacturers should consider training an existing production operative to take on this role — perhaps a worker whose role the robot will replace or reduce.

Several industrial robot manufacturers and suppliers will provide free training on how to correctly program and maintain their machinery, so it is worth looking into this before investing in external courses.  

It is also important to reiterate to existing workers that deploying robots will eliminate tedious and manual tasks. By nature, humans want to create, invent and solve problems — not complete repetitive movements such as box opening, bin-picking or basic assembly processes. This is particularly prevalent for workers with engineering backgrounds.

Communicating this benefit with staff is essential. Manufacturers need to be clear that, rather than engineering humans out of a job, robots can be used to allow operators to take on more challenging opportunities. But only of course, if plant managers allow it.

Robot Delivery

On August 3rd, 2016, Domino’s Pizza introduced the Domino’s Robotic Unit, or “DRU” for short. The first home delivery pizza robot, the DRU looks like a cross between R2-D2 and an oversized microwave. LIDAR and GPS sensors help it navigate, while temperature sensors keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Now called “DOM” (which is also the name of Domino’s chatbot for placing orders), the robot has been undergoing trial runs in ten countries, including New Zealand, France, and Germany, but its August 2016 debut was critical, as it was the first time we’d seen robotic home delivery. And it won’t be the last. A dozen or so different delivery bots are fast entering the market. Starship Technologies, for instance, a startup created by Skype founders Janus Friis and Ahti Heinla, has a general-purpose home delivery robot. Right now, the system is an array of cameras and GPS sensors, but upcoming models will include microphones, speakers, and even the ability—via AI-driven natural language processing—to communicate with customers. Since 2016, Starship has already carried out 500,000 deliveries across more than 20 countries. Along similar lines, Nuro—co-founded by Jiajun Zhu, one of the engineers who helped develop Google’s self-driving car—has a miniature self-driving car of its own. Half the size of a sedan, the Nuro looks like a toaster on wheels, except with a mission. This toaster was designed to carry cargo—originally about 12 bags of groceries — which it has been doing for select Kroger stores since 2018. Two years later, the company has a new second-generation vehicle with a range of new features, including improved capacity, battery life, and safety measures. Concurrently, Nuro has partnered with large chains such as CVS Pharmacy and Walmart. As these delivery bots take to our streets, others are streaking across the sky. Back in 2016, Amazon came first, announcing Prime Air—the e-commerce giant’s promise of drone delivery in 30 minutes or less. Almost immediately, companies ranging from 7-Eleven and Walmart to Google and Alibaba jumped on the bandwagon. Fast forward to today, and the FAA has granted approvals for drone delivery to Amazon, Alphabet-owned Wing, and UPS. Prime Air Vice President David Carbon has emphasized that “this certification is an important step forward for Prime Air and indicates the FAA’s confidence… for an autonomous drone delivery service.”

In-Store Robots

While delivery bots start to spare us trips to the store, those who prefer shopping the old-fashioned way (i.e., in person) also have plenty of human-robot interaction in-store. In fact, these robotics solutions have been around for a while. In 2010, SoftBank introduced Pepper, a humanoid robot capable of understanding human emotion. Pepper’s cute: 4 feet tall, with a white plastic body, two black eyes, a dark slash of a mouth, and a base shaped like a mermaid’s tail. Across her chest is a touch screen to aid in communication. And there’s been a lot of communication. Pepper’s cuteness is intentional, as it matches its mission: help humans enjoy life as much as possible. Over 12,000 Peppers have been sold and over 2,000 companies globally have adopted Pepper as an assistant. She serves ice cream in Japan, greets eaters at a Pizza Hut in Singapore, and interacts with customers at a Palo Alto electronics store. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, Pepper has been used to prepare food, greet customers, and ease loneliness caused by social distancing. More importantly, Pepper’s got company. Walmart uses shelf-stocking robots for inventory control. Best Buy uses a robo-cashier, allowing select locations to operate 24-7. And Lowe’s Home Improvement employs the LoweBot—a giant iPad on wheels—to help customers find the items they need while tracking inventory along the way.

Warehouse Bots

Yet the biggest benefit robots provide might be in warehouse logistics. In 2012, when Amazon dished out $775 million for Kiva Systems, few could predict that just eight years later, over 200,000 Kiva robots would be deployed at the company’s fulfillment centers, helping to process hundreds of items per second. And many other retailers are following suit. Order jeans from the Gap, and soon they’ll be sorted, packed, and shipped with the help of a Kindred robot. Remember the old arcade game where you picked up teddy bears with a giant claw? That’s Kindred, only her claw picks up T-shirts, pants, and the like, placing them in designated drop-off zones that resemble tiny mailboxes (for further sorting or shipping). The big deal here is democratization. Kindred’s robot is cheap and easy to deploy, allowing smaller companies to compete with giants like Amazon.

Final Thoughts

For retailers interested in staying in business, there doesn’t appear to be much choice in the way of robotics. It’s going to become increasingly difficult for store owners to justify human workers who call in sick, show up late, and can easily get injured. Robots work 24-7. They never take a day off, never need a bathroom break, health insurance, or parental leave. Going forward, this spells a growing challenge of technological unemployment (a blog topic I will cover in the coming month). But in retail, robotics usher in tremendous benefits for companies and customers alike. And while professional re-tooling initiatives and the transition of human capital from retail logistics to a booming experience economy take hold, robotic retail interaction and last-mile delivery will fundamentally transform our relationship with commerce.

Contributor: Peter Diamandis and Clifford Locks

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Certified Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Resiliency – It’s about being the light for others and letting others be the light for us.

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 23, 2020 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Resiliency – It’s about being the light for others and letting others be the light for us.

“It’s beginning to look a lot unlike Christmas and Hanukkah…”

 

Resilience

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO

 

This year, we might be tempted to change the lyrics of this nearly 70-year-old holiday classic to fit the mood of the times. But not so fast. Sure, this year the holidays do look and feel different—smaller for one, minus the parties and traveling for another. But there are certain times of the year that are steeped in tradition—this is one of those times. While we can deeply honor tradition, we must also pivot forward, with meaning that is both timeless and timelier than ever: It’s about being the light for others— and letting others be the light for us. Holiday cards were a big tradition when I was growing up. My mom would set up a couple of folding tables in the living room where she wrote and addressed more than 500 cards by hand. Not just a few lines—full-blown notes! In those days, everyone’s mailbox was full of cards. They were displayed everywhere—bookshelves, in the slats of louver doors, and taped to the woodwork around doorways. For our family, it was all about that refrigerator door where we displayed the most cherished cards. So barren all year and then suddenly—little by little—filled with life, color, pictures, the annual update letters from family and friends, and invitations to holiday gatherings. The refrigerator transformed into the light of our home during the holidays. We couldn’t walk past it without opening a card, re-reading greetings, rekindling fond memories, and feeling sparks of love and connection. When our company was smaller, I tried to continue this tradition. Starting in the middle of October, I carried around a tote bag full of cards that I wrote out to hundreds of colleagues. Whenever I had a spare moment, I wrote out a few. If ever there was a year to go old school with a box of cards, some handwritten notes, and a sheet of stamps, this is it. But it doesn’t take hundreds of cards, and there’s no need to be the Hemingway of holiday greetings. A few cards with a simple, sincere message can make all the difference in another person’s life. Unfortunately, what we all need the most—is probably what we’ll do the least. Yet, now more than ever, we need to create that refrigerator door for ourselves and others by sharing authentic expressions of our love and connection. But probably not simply on the bottom of an email. Like the one I received the other day: “Have a wonderful holiday season.” As I read it through the lens of 2020, I reflected on what that means this year. And so, I asked family, friends, and colleagues how they felt about wishing someone “happy holidays.” Not surprisingly, their answers were all over the map: I don’t know if it feels right to say that. I actually do want people to be happy. Does someone really mean it—or are they just saying it? At least ‘holidays’ is a more appropriate word than assuming everyone celebrates the same way. Maybe it’s the Midwest in me, but I really mean it this year. We bought a tree and decorated early. We are so ready for this. Are you kidding me? You can’t say that to people without knowing what’s going on in their lives. These candid replies remind me that we can’t assume anything, especially what people are feeling right now. The Emotion Curve swings to higher highs and lower lows at this time of year. We used to look forward to presents—and now we yearn for others to be present. This year, personal losses run deep. Our colleague Doug Charles, President of our Americas region, told me this week that his family will be celebrating their first holiday without Doug’s father. “For many in my family, having one less present to give makes it difficult to get excited,” Doug confided. And yet, as he told me, “It’s also the first Christmas with my granddaughter.” In my own life, I have experienced both ends of the spectrum. I remember one long-ago, eating by myself at a diner. Then, many years later, we brought our newborn son, Jack, home from the hospital at during the holiday season. Having known the bitter, we can truly savor the sweet. It’s like that lyric in a George Strait song, “There’s always lost in the found, and darkness in the I-saw-the-light.” That’s the calling card of 2020, the ups and downs of a very different holiday season. Even in the mist, we can be the light—and find illumination. Here are some thoughts:
  • Three gifts of the season. This year, when our holidays feel completely upended, we can still reap the blessings of three key gifts. The first is connectivity—authentic and heart-to-heart, even if we cannot physically be with others. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of feeling connected to others—with gratitude. Gratitude doesn’t belong to any one culture, tradition, or philosophy—it runs through them all. Second, adaptability, which helps us look beyond what used to be normal and accept that this is normal! Third, receptivity, knowing that our hearts must be open to receive, as well as to give.
  • Looking back, wishing forward. During a town hall last week with thousands of global colleagues, I was asked two questions that prompted me to look back on 2020—and ahead to 2021. First, I was asked to pick one word that, to me, describes this year and our firm. Without hesitation I said, “Resiliency.” I’m sure that many people feel the same way. At a time when we’ve faced so many challenges, personal and professional, we have no doubt surprised ourselves with how resilient we can be. Second, I was asked to imagine it was this time, next year. What should we hope for? I paused and searched, then offered a non-CEO answer, but one that was in my heart: “I hope that we’re all happy—truly. That would be the best outcome of all.” Hope is the ultimate light in the darkness, with the deep-seated belief that tomorrow will, indeed, be better than today.
  • Old traditions, new again. The holidays used to be simpler, rooted in traditions. At some point, though, we let these things get away from us. I can remember, years ago, being at Disneyland during the holidays. While my children enjoyed the rides, I searched on my phone for last-minute deals to someplace warmer. As I look back, to be honest, I’m embarrassed. Why wasn’t it enough just to be in that moment, together as a family? This holiday season, amid spiking numbers and lockdowns, wouldn’t all of us give anything to be able to gather with our entire family to appreciate these precious, fleeting moments?
Whatever we celebrate, however we celebrate, let us remember why we celebrate. When we connect our hearts with others, we spark hope, we kindle joy, we become the light. And when we pick up a pen to write a holiday card, if we don’t know what to say, three words will do: I love you. Indeed, that should be our hallmark for 2020. Let’s be Resilient in 2021 together.  

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Certified Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success. As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning. Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition. The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships. As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence. What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life. I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.” By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life. As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including: • Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence. The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in. Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems. The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when: • Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes. Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”? Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Recalibrating everything from our emotions to our expectations – we are winners!

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 16, 2020 at 10:10 am / In: Uncategorized

Recalibrating everything from our emotions to our expectations – we are winners!

All of my children are hoping for something right now. For my youngest, it’s about getting into a “good” college (whatever that means). My college-age daughter’s hopes are for a good job next year. My son longs for an end to the lockdown so he can enjoy some normalcy before he is deployed. For my oldest daughter, it’s about a relationship working out. And, for the next daughter, her hopes are much more intense as she focuses all her thoughts on two dear friends—newlyweds, one of whom was severely injured in an auto accident.

Contributor: Gary Burnison, Korn Ferry CEO

We are all hoping for something, but hoping alone is not a strategy. When we’re caught up in hoping, we’re focused on the future, which means we may not accurately perceive nor fully cherish today. Every day, we reset to zero—recalibrating everything from our emotions to our expectations. Along the way, we also redefine hope. We’ve come to realize that hope is not a rescue—magically transforming our lives. Rather, hope is a recharge—an infusion of resiliency. The other day, as I walked on the beach, I watched the sunset. As the sun sank lower to the horizon, the sky changed from pink to orange to red. The light dimmed to darkness, and then it was gone. I could practically time it—like a curtain quickly closing on that waning day. How different is sunrise. We don’t perceive the exact moment of the sun rising because all we see is the growing intensity of light. Then, we have no choice but to turn our attention from the horizon to the day ahead. As we seize the day, do we want to waste our time clinging to the false hope of recreating what once was? Or do we invest our time resetting hope, grounded in what is and what will be? It is human nature to want to go back in time—to when we were young, our children were still growing up, loved ones were still with us. We tell ourselves we would make different choices—play more, enjoy more, be more present. We’d give anything to go back to those days, but none of us get that extra lap around the track, to rewind Father Time. It is this moment—right here, right now. If we want to be hopeful about tomorrow, we need to reset how we show up today. Hope requires hustle to turn possibilities into opportunities. That’s why, throughout this pandemic, our hope has not just been in the science. Nor have those scientists diligently working on vaccines and treatments relied on hope. The saving grace has been the resilience of the human spirit, even through the most difficult of times. As our colleague Felicia Cash, an administrative assistant in our Dallas office, wrote to me the other day: “What comes in this life may not be what I would choose, but…even in the midst of pain and confusion, I can find joy and peace knowing that ultimately…my world will be OK. The heart of the matter is that it’s a matter of the heart!” What truly hopeful words. Hope is not just a noun—it’s a verb. Hope is not a wish or a want—it is willpower. Hope is not a promise—it is a purpose. Hope is not merely our lifeline—it is our life raft. Here are some thoughts:

 

  • H.O.P.E. It can be a gamechanger—Harvesting Opportunities and Possibilities Every day. Every day, we have to dream about the possibilities for a different tomorrow and, at the same time, pursue opportunities that emerge from the choices we make—that is, if we’re willing to empower ourselves and others. Opportunity and potential are inextricably linked. Without opportunity, none of us know our potential. Hope means being in the opportunity business. Harvesting those opportunities is about making decisions on the things we can control. The fact is, there are those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who ask, “What happened?”
  • Where there’s hope, there’s hustle. If we want to manifest hope, it takes hustle. That’s why the most important qualities I look for in new employees are hunger and hustle. Over the years, I’ve noticed that hunger starves complacency and hustle quashes pedigree every time. We commit to a say/do ratio of 1-to-1—saying what we mean and doing what we say. That’s the best way to give others hope—through trust in our words and belief in our actions. It’s not enough to talk about it—we have to be about it.
  • Hope…and second chances. It started out as a routine business meeting when Linda Hyman, our firm’s Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources, traveled to Boston in January 2019. Then, suddenly and inexplicably, Linda dropped her papers. Alarmed by what they were witnessing, our colleagues, Doug Charles and Jonathan Kuai, asked, “Linda, are you all right?” Their concern became more urgent when she replied in a slurred voice, “I’m fine.” Linda later learned that everyone rushed into action: calling 9-1-1 and getting her to one of a few hospitals that had the expertise and technology to save her life. Within an hour Linda was undergoing a new procedure known as thrombectomy to extract a 2-inch clot from her mid-cerebral artery. She had a complete recovery, but Linda was changed in different ways. As she told me this week, “I just feel like the universe conspired to give me hope—by bringing together the most magical array of people to recognize, then treat, and ultimately save me. I feel hopeful every day that I am here, doing something meaningful to honor that.

Over the centuries, humans have conquered so much—not through false hope or wishful thinking, but with science and innovation. This perspective is good for recalibrating our thinking—to remember that rockets didn’t take us to the moon; the dreamers and engineers did. The internet didn’t create a globally networked economy; it was the innovators and creators. In the same way, a vaccine in a vial won’t end the pandemic; the researchers, scientists, and everyone on the front lines will. That, indeed, is a reason to reset hope.  

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Certified Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Exponential growth is happening all around us, but it can be hard to see.

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 9, 2020 at 10:12 am / In: Uncategorized

Exponential growth is happening all around us, but it can be hard to see.

Given the restrictions of our linear thinking minds, it’s difficult for us to grasp how something that starts off deceptively small can…
  • Double 10 times, resulting in 1,000x growth, and
  • Double 30 times and get you to 1,000,000,000x growth.

    Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Part of overcoming this evolutionary bias is actively working to develop an Exponential Mindset. Today, I’m going to share and explore the overwhelming “proof of exponentials.” Proof ranging from accelerating computing power and internet access, to the digitization of retail and the rapidly falling costs of sequencing the human genome. Proof that offers all of us “data-driven optimism.” Let’s dive in…

Moore’s Law Continues…

Almost all of our exponential tech trends discussed in this blog are being built on top of ever-increasing computational power. For the past ~70+ years, Moore’s Law, the exponential growth of computing power has continued non-stop. The chart below, plotted on a log-scale, demonstrates this trend.

Computers are also becoming much more efficient. Processing efficiency is measured as the number of watts needed per million instructions per second (watts per MIPS). As you can see in the below chart, processing efficiency has increased by a factor of 100,000 since 1990.

With continued advances in quantum computing, we’ll see an explosion of information-processing capability. By 2023, IBM expects to reach 1,121 qubits with their processor codenamed Condor. As you can see in the below chart, this would be a 17-fold increase from today. IBM sees 2023 as the inflection point for the commercialization of quantum technology.

One key effect of continued improvements in computation is an explosion of the total amount of information produced. Between now and 2025, we will produce 3x the amount of information and data globally.

The Internet Continues its Explosive Growth

Since 2010, the number of internet users worldwide has doubled while global internet traffic has grown twelvefold. At the same time, rapid improvements in energy efficiency have helped to limit energy demand growth from data centers and data transmission networks, which combined accounted for just 1% of global electricity use in 2019.

Today, nearly 60% of the world’s population has access to the internet. We passed the 50% milestone in 2018 and this trend is only accelerating. As I’ve written previously, with such progress, internet access may soon become a universal human right.

Another way to appreciate just how much and how quickly the internet has grown is to look at the number of internet searches conducted. For example, as you can see in the below chart the number of Google searches alone has increased by 2,000x during the last 20 years.

One factor that has made such a dramatic increase in internet searches possible is the increasing speed of an end user’s connection, which is measured in megabits per second (Mbps). As you can see below, end user connection speed has jumped 10x in the last decade alone.

Mobile Devices, Smartphones & 5G Growing Rapidly

After an extended period of exponential growth, the number of mobile subscriptions globally is greater than the number of all people on Earth. Given the total number of mobile subscriptions in the world, as of 2019 global mobile penetration was 108%.

In the US, the share of Americans who own a smartphone is 81%. According to the Pew Research Center, this is a 50% increase from when the organization first started collecting this data in 2011.

The advancement of 5G networks and technology will both accelerate and enhance mobile and smartphone adoption. Ericsson projects that there will be 80 million 5G mobile subscriptions by the end of 2020. That number will then balloon to 2.8 billion in 2025.

We’ll also see an explosion of all sorts of connected devices. Cisco estimates that by 2022 (just a few years away), we’ll have over 1 billion total connected wearable devices in the world.

Some of the most dramatic growth in devices and hardware will come from VR & AR headsets. Research firm IDC estimates that between now and 2024 we will see a 10x growth in global VR & AR headset shipments worldwide.

Dramatic Growth in Battery Technology We’ll need a significant increase in battery storage to power all of these devices. According to McKinsey, by 2024 we will see a 17x increase in battery demand.

Growth of Digital Memory Storage

DRAM (dynamic random-access memory) is a type of memory chip used in most desktop and laptop computers. Demand for DRAM chips has been increasing for years, and over the next three years we’ll see at least an additional 100 billion 1 GB equivalent modules shipped globally.

Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Solar Energy With rapid growth in electric car sales over the past decade, electric cars now make up about 1% of the global car fleet.

Solar generation is one of humanity’s major renewable energy sources. We saw massive growth of solar during the last decade, increasing by a factor of twenty from 2010 to 2019.

The Digitization of Retail

Global retail e-commerce sales more than doubled from $1.5 trillion in 2015 to $3.5 trillion in 2019. That trend will only continue. By 2023, global e-commerce sales are projected to be almost $7 trillion.

Growth of Industrial Robots

The market for industrial robots has been growing at record rates of 19% per year since 2013, and is expected to continue double-digit growth at least through 2021.

3D Printing Adoption

In 2018, the global additive manufacturing market grew to over $10.4 billion, crossing the pivotal double-digit billion threshold for the first time in its decades-long history.

Exponential Growth in Biotech The below chart shows the progress we have made in reducing the cost of sequencing the human genome. In 2008, that progress began to exceed Moore’s Law. This rapid growth continues and direct-to-consumer genome sequencing is now widely available.

NIH funding for CRISPR-related research grew from $5 million in 2011 to $1.1 billion in 2018. During that time, the number of CRISPR-related scientific publications increased by a factor of 45x.

 

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Certified Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success. As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning. Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition. The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships. As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence. What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life. I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.” By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life. As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including: • Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence. The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in. Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems. The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when: • Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes. Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”? Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Privacy in the Age of Facial Recognition: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 25, 2020 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

Privacy in the Age of Facial Recognition: Everything You Need to Know

Privacy in the Age of Facial Recognition: Everything You Need to Know

Facial recognition is a biometric technology primarily used to identify an individual or verify their identity using their face. Facial recognition software can capture, analyse, and compare patterns based on a person’s facial features. The use of the AI-powered technology is expected to become more commonplace in the new decade. Today, facial recognition is considered the most natural of all biometric technologies.

Facial Recognition

Facial recognition has been increasingly gaining popularity in the last few years. The technology is used everywhere from shopping malls, airports, venues, and is now heavily relied upon in a broad range of commercial applications. In 2019, the facial recognition market was valued at $5.07 billion. This figure is projected to rise to $10.07 billion by 2025. Keep reading to learn more about facial recognition tech including recent trends, benefits, and controversies surrounding this technology.  

Recent Facial Recognition Trends The benefits of facial recognition technology are expanding into new end-user applications rapidly. For instance, the technology is gaining a lot of traction in the hospitality sector and the healthcare industry. The application of facial recognition technology is also extending to retail and banking, which is made possible by tech giants such as Apple offering facial recognition features in their latest releases. Here are some of the most recent facial recognition trends.  

Healthcare in the Covid-19 Era Facial recognition software is becoming prominent in the healthcare sector. In the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in the use of facial recognition tech in hospitals, clinics, and healthcare organizations. The technology can replace devices or passwords to allow medical professionals quick access to records. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, health experts are deploying facial recognition technologies in digital healthcare and disease outbreak prevention. For instance, the technology can be used to identify people with protective masks.  

Security The success and popularity of facial recognition technology is largely attributed to its potential in security. The primary role of facial recognition technology is to identify human faces. Law enforcement agencies in various parts of the world are using the tech to identify and track criminals and terrorists. Airlines are increasingly implementing face authentication technologies in airports to improve security. Passengers will be able to use face detection tech to check-in, check their luggage, and board a plane.  

Digital Banking and Ecommerce Identity and authentication have always been a challenge in the world of digital services. Trusting someone who is not physically present can be risky. There is a need for a fool proof security method to replace email, passwords, and other verification methods that are susceptible to hacking. Facial recognition could be the much-needed solution, and many digital banking and eCommerce platforms are turning to the technology to mitigate digital fraud. Using facial recognition in online transactions is quickly becoming commonplace.  

Benefits of Facial Recognition Technology Facial recognition is a very powerful technology. The AI-based technology is becoming more popular every year. Here are some of the benefits that facial recognition technology affords governments, companies, and individuals.

  Digital Facial Recognition

Enhanced Security As stated earlier in the article, facial recognition technology can be used to improve security. Individuals can use facial recognition technology to unlock their mobile devices and set up a home security system. Security agencies can use the technology to identify terrorists and any other criminals just by scanning faces. Law enforcement groups can easily identify and track down thieves, burglars, and other criminals using face recognition technology.  

Faster Identification/Authentication Facial recognition technology has greatly improved the process of identifying individuals in different settings. For instance, companies had to use actual people to make sure that only employees and authorized individuals access their premises. With facial recognition tech, you don’t need a guard to perform manual identification at the entrance. Companies only need to set up a face-scanning system at the gate, which is faster and more accurate.  

Disadvantages of Facial Recognition Technology Like any other technology, facial recognition presents some drawbacks. Here are some of the concerns raised with respect to the widespread adoption and integration of facial recognition technology.  

Privacy Privacy is a major concern when it comes to facial recognition technology. Government agencies and law enforcement groups can use facial recognition technology to identify and track anybody, any time using Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) systems. People have expressed concerns about the potential of facial recognition technology in mass surveillance. Suddenly, we feel like we are being watched, and these fears aren’t unwarranted. The government can use facial recognition technology to track down people without consent in the same way it tracks criminals and terrorists.  

Bias and Inaccuracy Facial recognition systems can be way off when it comes to identifying individuals, especially in situations where they have to identify in low light or use poor quality videos and images. These systems are often inaccurate, often misidentifying people, especially persons of colour and are generally unreliable. This creates the problem of racial bias. With the use of the technology quickly becoming commonplace in law enforcement, errors can cause a lot of damage in society. Misidentification can easily implicate innocent people and leave the real criminals to roam free.  

How to Protect Yourself Against Facial Recognition Technology Facial recognition technology has a lot of potential. It can enhance security, streamline identification and authentication, but it also comes with some drawbacks. Privacy in public spaces is the biggest concern when it comes to the use of facial recognition technology by government agencies and law enforcement. Out in public, you can protect yourself from this intrusive technology wearing a face mask or anti-facial recognition glasses. You also need to protect yourself online on social media by turning off Facebook’s face detection feature, for instance.   Government agencies are also known for spying on individuals on the internet, and there are ways to defend against that. You can secure your traffic with a VPN to protect yourself from other forms of online spying by the government and other malicious actors. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a service designed to help you establish a secure internet connection and maintain internet privacy. VPN hides your IP address and encrypts your internet traffic, allowing you to maintain complete anonymity on the world wide web.    

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Certified Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Exponential technological advancements let’s get educated on the 20 “Metatrends” you can harness for your life and business

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 18, 2020 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Exponential technological advancements let’s get educated on the 20 “Metatrends” you can harness for your life and business

Over the next decade, waves of exponential technological advancements are stacking atop one another, eclipsing decades of breakthroughs in scale and impact.

Welcome to a new era of runaway technological booms, and extraordinary abundance. Emerging from these waves are 20 “Metatrends,” likely to revolutionize entire industries (old and new), redefine tomorrow’s generation of businesses and contemporary challenges, and transform our livelihoods from the bottom up.

These Metatrends include augmented human longevity, the surging smart economy, AI-human collaboration, urbanized cellular agriculture, and high-bandwidth brain-computer interfaces… just to name a few.

20 Metatrends for the 2020s, per one of my mentors Peter Diamandis:

(1) Continued increase in global abundance: The number of individuals in extreme poverty continues to drop, as the middle-income population continues to rise. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of high-bandwidth and low-cost communication, ubiquitous AI on the cloud, growing access to AI-aided education and AI-driven healthcare. Everyday goods and services (finance, insurance, education and entertainment) are being digitized and becoming fully demonetized, available to the rising billion on mobile devices.

(2) Global gigabit connectivity will connect everyone and everything, everywhere, at ultra-low cost: The deployment of both licensed and unlicensed 5G, plus the launch of a multitude of global satellite networks (OneWeb, Starlink, etc.), allow for ubiquitous, low-cost communications for everyone, everywhere–– not to mention the connection of trillions of devices. And today’s skyrocketing connectivity is bringing online an additional 3 billion individuals, driving tens of trillions of dollars into the global economy. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: low-cost space launches, hardware advancements, 5G networks, artificial intelligence, materials science, and surging computing power.

(3) The average human healthspan will increase by 10+ years: A dozen game-changing biotech and pharmaceutical solutions (currently in Phase 1, 2, or 3 clinical trials) will reach consumers this decade, adding an additional decade to the human healthspan. Technologies include stem cell supply restoration, wnt pathway manipulation, Senolytic Medicines, a new generation of Endo-Vaccines, GDF-11, supplementation of NMD/NAD+, among several others. And as machine learning continues to mature, AI is set to unleash countless new drug candidates, ready for clinical trials. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: genome sequencing, CRISPR technologies, AI, quantum computing, and cellular medicine.

(4) An age of capital abundance will see increasing access to capital everywhere: Over the past few years, humanity hit all-time highs in the global flow of seed capital, venture capital and sovereign wealth fund investments. While this trend will witness some ups and downs in the wake of future recessions, it is expected to continue its overall upward trajectory. Capital abundance leads to the funding and testing of ‘crazy’ entrepreneurial ideas, which in turn accelerate innovation. Already, $300 billion in crowdfunding is anticipated by 2025, democratizing capital access for entrepreneurs worldwide. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: global connectivity, dematerialization, demonetization, and democratization.

(5) Augmented Reality and the Spatial Web will achieve ubiquitous deployment: The combination of Augmented Reality (yielding Web 3.0, or the Spatial Web) and 5G networks (offering 100Mb/s – 10Gb/s connection speeds) will transform how we live our everyday lives, impacting every industry from retail and advertising, to education and entertainment. Consumers will play, learn and shop throughout the day in a newly intelligent, virtually overlaid world. This Metatrend will be driven by the convergence of: hardware advancements, 5G networks, artificial intelligence, materials science, and surging computing power.

(6) Everything is smart, embedded with intelligence: The price of specialized machine learning chips is dropping rapidly with a rise in global demand. Combined with the explosion of low-cost microscopic sensors and the deployment of high-bandwidth networks, we’re heading into a decade wherein every device becomes intelligent. Your child’s toy remembers her face and name. Your kids’ drone safely and diligently follows and videos all the children at the birthday party. Appliances respond to voice commands and anticipate your needs.

(7) AI will achieve human-level intelligence: As predicted by technologist and futurist Ray Kurzweil, artificial intelligence will reach human-level performance this decade (by 2030). Through the 2020s, AI algorithms and machine learning tools will be increasingly made open source, available on the cloud, allowing any individual with an internet connection to supplement their cognitive ability, augment their problem-solving capacity, and build new ventures at a fraction of the current cost. This Metatrend will be driven by the convergence of: global high-bandwidth connectivity, neural networks, and cloud computing. Every industry, spanning industrial design, healthcare, education, and entertainment, will be impacted.

(8) AI-Human Collaboration will skyrocket across all professions: The rise of “AI as a Service” (AIaaS) platforms will enable humans to partner with AI in every aspect of their work, at every level, in every industry. AIs will become entrenched in everyday business operations, serving as cognitive collaborators to employees — supporting creative tasks, generating new ideas, and tackling previously unattainable innovations. In some fields, partnership with AI will even become a requirement. For example: in the future, making certain diagnoses without the consultation of AI may be deemed malpractice.

(9) Most individuals adapt a JARVIS-like “software shell” to improve their quality of life: As services like Alexa, Google Home and Apple Homepod expand in functionality, such services will eventually travel beyond the home and become your cognitive prosthetic 24/7. Imagine a secure JARVIS-like software shell that you give permission to listen to all your conversations, read your email, monitor your blood chemistry, etc. With access to such data, these AI-enabled software shells will learn your preferences, anticipate your needs and behavior, shop for you, monitor your health, and help you problem-solve in support of your mid- and long-term goals.

(10) Globally abundant, cheap renewable energy: Continued advancements in solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, nuclear and localized grids will drive humanity towards cheap, abundant, and ubiquitous renewable energy. The price per kilowatt-hour will drop below 1 cent per kilowatt-hour for renewables, just as storage drops below a mere 3 cents per kilowatt-hour, resulting in the majority displacement of fossil fuels globally. And as the world’s poorest countries are also the world’s sunniest, the democratization of both new and traditional storage technologies will grant energy abundance to those already bathed in sunlight.

(11) The insurance industry transforms from “recovery after risk” to “prevention of risk:” Today, fire insurance pays you after your house burns down; life insurance pays your next-of-kin after you die; and health insurance (which is really sick insurance) pays only after you get sick. This next decade, a new generation of insurance providers will leverage the convergence of machine learning, ubiquitous sensors, low-cost genome sequencing and robotics to detect risk, prevent disaster, and guarantee safety before any costs are incurred.

(12) Autonomous vehicles and flying cars will redefine human travel (soon to be far faster and cheaper): Fully autonomous vehicles, car-as-a-service fleets, and aerial ride-sharing (flying cars) will be fully operational in most major metropolitan cities in the coming decade. The cost of transportation will plummet 3-4X, transforming real estate, finance, insurance, the materials economy, and urban planning. Where you live and work, and how you spend your time, will all be fundamentally reshaped by this future of human travel. Your kids and elderly parents will never drive. This Metatrend will be driven by the convergence of: machine learning, sensors, materials science, battery storage improvements, and ubiquitous gigabit connections.

(13) On-demand production and on-demand delivery will birth an “instant economy of things:” Urban dwellers will learn to expect “instant fulfillment” of their retail orders as drone and robotic last-mile delivery services carry products from local supply depots directly to your doorstep. Further riding the deployment of regional on-demand digital manufacturing (3D printing farms), individualized products can be obtained within hours, anywhere, anytime. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: networks, 3D printing, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

(14) Ability to sense and know anything, anytime, anywhere: We’re rapidly approaching the era wherein 100 billion sensors (the Internet of Everything) is monitoring and sensing (imaging, listening, measuring) every facet of our environments, all the time. Global imaging satellites, drones, autonomous car LIDARs, and forward-looking augmented reality (AR) headset cameras are all part of a global sensor matrix, together allowing us to know anything, anytime, anywhere. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: terrestrial, atmospheric and space-based sensors, vast data networks, and machine learning. In this future, it’s not “what you know,” but rather “the quality of the questions you ask” that will be most important.

(15) Disruption of advertising: As AI becomes increasingly embedded in everyday life, your custom AI will soon understand what you want better than you do. In turn, we will begin to both trust and rely upon our AIs to make most of our buying decisions, turning over shopping to AI-enabled personal assistants. Your AI might make purchases based upon your past desires, current shortages, conversations you’ve allowed your AI to listen to, or by tracking where your pupils focus on a virtual interface (i.e. what catches your attention). As a result, the advertising industry—which normally competes for your attention (whether at the Superbowl or through search engines)—will have a hard time influencing your AI. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: machine learning, sensors, augmented reality, and 5G/networks.

(16) Cellular agriculture moves from the lab into inner cities, providing high-quality protein that is cheaper and healthier: This next decade will witness the birth of the most ethical, nutritious, and environmentally sustainable protein production system devised by humankind. Stem cell-based ‘cellular agriculture’ will allow the production of beef, chicken and fish anywhere, on-demand, with far higher nutritional content, and a vastly lower environmental footprint than traditional livestock options. This Metatrend is enabled by the convergence of: biotechnology, materials science, machine learning, and AgTech.

(17) High-bandwidth Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) will come online for public use: Technologist and futurist Ray Kurzweil has predicted that in the mid-2030s, we will begin connecting the human neocortex to the cloud. This next decade will see tremendous progress in that direction, first serving those with spinal cord injuries, whereby patients will regain both sensory capacity and motor control. Yet beyond assisting those with motor function loss, several BCI pioneers are now attempting to supplement their baseline cognitive abilities, a pursuit with the potential to increase their sensorium, memory and even intelligence. This Metatrend is fueled by the convergence of: materials science, machine learning, and robotics.

(18) High-resolution VR will transform both retail and real estate shopping: High-resolution, lightweight virtual reality headsets will allow individuals at home to shop for everything from clothing to real estate from the convenience of their living room. Need a new outfit? Your AI knows your detailed body measurements and can whip up a fashion show featuring your avatar wearing the latest 20 designs on a runway. Want to see how your furniture might look inside a house you’re viewing online? No problem! Your AI can populate the property with your virtualized inventory and give you a guided tour. This Metatrend is enabled by the convergence of: VR, machine learning, and high-bandwidth networks.

(19) Increased focus on sustainability and the environment: An increase in global environmental awareness and concern over global warming will drive companies to invest in sustainability, both from a necessity standpoint and for marketing purposes. Breakthroughs in materials science, enabled by AI, will allow companies to drive tremendous reductions in waste and environmental contamination. One company’s waste will become another company’s profit center. This Metatrend is enabled by the convergence of: materials science, artificial intelligence, and broadband networks.

(20) CRISPR and gene therapies will minimize disease: A vast range of infectious diseases, ranging from AIDS to Ebola, are now curable. In addition, gene-editing technologies continue to advance in precision and ease of use, allowing families to treat and ultimately cure hundreds of inheritable genetic diseases. This Metatrend is driven by the convergence of: various biotechnologies (CRISPR, Gene Therapy), genome sequencing, and artificial intelligence.

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Certified Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Magic happens whenever there are engagement and genuine connection; let’s expanded on this winning strategy.

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 11, 2020 at 10:10 am / In: Uncategorized

Magic happens whenever there are engagement and genuine connection; let’s expanded on this winning strategy.

Another year has passed me by… And I’m still in the dark ‘Cause I can’t seem to find the light alone – “Man in the Wilderness,” by Styx

We’re at the 11th hour of the 11th month of a year like no other. From time to time, the sentiment for all of us has been, “What else could 2020 possibly bring?” During those times, we are like that person in the wilderness—wandering along, never quite knowing why—trying to make sense of it all.

Yesterday, my wife, and I took a long walk on a local beach, stepping away to find meaning amid today’s unsettled waters. Never would we have suspected that the perspective we sought was right around the next cove—where we came upon a young couple standing at the shore. At their feet, etched in sand, were the couple’s names and “4ever Together,” surrounded by a heart. The woman held up her left hand so that her ring caught the sun’s rays just at the right angle and sparkled, as she snapped selfies.

They were newly engaged, as it turned out. Watching them, we were transported to a different time when we had our whole future ahead of us and everything seemed possible—even though we had no idea what that could be. Leslie turned to me and said, “See that sparkle between them? I know they’re going to make it.”

That’s the magic that happens whenever there is engagement and genuine connection. It’s the light that can’t be extinguished no matter what life throws at us.

For all of us, coming together is ultimately all about transforming finite self-interest into infinite shared interest. How does this happen? First and foremost, through purpose and then much more. Most people want to be connected to something bigger than themselves. They want to be loved; they want to know that what they do matters to someone else. They want to grow; they want to be recognized. They want to be seen and heard—and, yes, they want to belong.

Whether personally or professionally, we all search for the same basic things: purpose, love, and happiness. Here are some thoughts: 

  • Catching people doing things right. We have a choice: critique or construct; divide or unite. I received a call this week from someone who was being reprimanded because, ironically, he was not handing out enough reprimands to others. It was quite simple for him. As he told me, “It’s 2020. This is not the time to dampen spirits. It’s the time to enlighten, to elevate, to inspire.” It’s like what management guru Ken Blanchard has said: we need to catch people doing something right.
  • Finding our why. For some of us, in different ways and at different times, we need to stop trying to make sense of 2020. Instead, we need to have a sense of purpose for 2021—an overarching “why.” Purpose brings us out of the wilderness and into a new light, a new beginning. But it does take some effort. The late John McKissick, America’s winningest football coach, shared with us the wise words of his father: “As my daddy used to say, ‘Son, if you don’t put something in the bucket, how are you going to get anything out of it?’” With a sense of purpose, we need to ask ourselves: What are we willing to put in the bucket today to help ourselves and others?
  • Showing love… I can still remember that phone call. It was about three years ago, while my family and I were living in London for a few months. I had just flown to Ireland to visit our team there, and I was in a cab. The person calling me out of the blue was Richard Ferry, one of the two pioneering founders of our firm; we had not spoken in some time. I can’t even recall exactly what he told me, but I remember vividly the love in his voice as Richard expressed his pride for how far our firm had come. It wasn’t about him; it wasn’t about me—it was all about our 10,000 colleagues around the world. Even today, the memory of that call lifts me up. All of us want to belong—we all want to be loved. It’s a timeless truth that resonates more deeply in challenging times. When we tell people, “We couldn’t have done it without you,” what we’re really saying is, “You are loved.”
  • …And pursuing happiness. It is the ultimate pursuit. In the United States, it is our inalienable right, as the Declaration of Independence promises us. And so, we chase after what we believe will make us happy, usually things like money, possessions, leisure time, adventure, even a job title. We tell ourselves that when we get this, can afford that, arrive there, we will be happy. Yet, it often doesn’t turn out that way. This year, we know all too well that everything we cherish can be gone, in seconds. A colleague recently shared a heartbreaking story about a child’s drug addiction—“losing a child who is still alive”—and then, after much worry and sadness, the almost indescribable joy of that child’s return. Can anything else compare?

After all, happiness is not given to us; it is recognized by us. It’s not about chasing tomorrow’s promise, but rather comes from savoring today.

Contributing writer: Gary Burnison, CEO, Korn Ferry

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Certified Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting • Operations, planning, and execution • Career transition • Retirement • Legacy • Kids and money • Marriage and divorce • Health concerns • Values and life purpose • Vacations • Mentoring & depth of the executive bench • Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth. • Wanting more meaning and purpose in life. • Desiring a candid and experienced perspective. • The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily. • Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks  

OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

You Move, What Should Be The Impact on Pay?

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 28, 2020 at 10:07 am / In: Uncategorized

You Move, What Should Be The Impact on Pay?

Remote workers fleeing to cheaper towns may see their pay cut. Why firms think this is necessary.

Silicon Valley made Julia feel claustrophobic, and she didn’t like living far away from her elderly parents. So after moving back home to Austin because of the pandemic, she decided to stay there. Her company was fine with the decision, provided she would agree to a 15% salary reduction.

Julia is fictional, but the circumstance is becoming all too real for workers at a handful of large tech firms. In yet another new pandemic reality, organizations trying to set level salaries for a geographically dispersed workforce are taking back pay from workers who elect to permanently work remotely away from office locations. Naturally, the reductions aren’t winning any fans.

For their part, these companies argue that they are already paying cost-of-living premiums to staffers in expensive locations. That premium shouldn’t apply to those who move away, they say. “But this isn’t as straightforward as it appears,” says Don Lowman, a Korn Ferry senior client partner and global leader of the firm’s Rewards and Benefits practice. Most companies don’t mention this premium when hiring talent, he says, so adjusting pay now will seem like a “significant takeaway.”

There are other factors, as well. Experts say the idea of putting people first by not forcing them to come back to the office is undermined by cutting the pay of those who elect not to. The end result could be a morale buster that leads to lost productivity and higher turnover, says Tom McMullen, a Korn Ferry senior client partner and a leader of the firm’s Total Rewards practice. “In an increasingly competitive environment, these kinds of changes may prompt talent to look elsewhere, particularly since geography may no longer be a constraint,” he says.

To be sure, Jamen Graves, a Korn Ferry senior partner who specializes in leadership and talent consulting for tech firms, says it’s important for both organizations and talent to look at potential salary changes as a result of relocation through the context of job performance. “While newly hired candidates will generally accept wages that are adjusted for location, those already employed will not respond well to lower wages as a result of moving,” Graves says. He adds that the pandemic has proven employees’ claims that where and when they work doesn’t impact their ability to get the job done.

Experts say there are other ways to balance pay with a change in location that don’t involve reducing salaries. At least one company, for instance, is offering a relocation stipend to employees who move to lower-cost areas to offset pay cuts imposed by the move. Another option is to decrease salaries only for those employees who exceed the maximum range for the role. McMullen says companies can also employ a two-tiered system, with non-location-based differences used for employees hired pre-COVID and location-based wage scales for those hired post-COVID.

Even more simply, “organizations can freeze pay at the current level for two to three years until the cost-of-living difference is eliminated,” Lowman says.

Contributing Authors: Don Lowman, Global Leader, Rewards & Benefits, Tom McMullen Senior Client Partner, and James Graves, Senior Partner

Contributing Authors: Gary Burnison is CEO of Korn Ferry

OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Certified Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting
• Operations, planning, and execution
• Career transition
• Retirement
• Legacy
• Kids and money
• Marriage and divorce
• Health concerns
• Values and life purpose
• Vacations
• Mentoring & depth of the executive bench
• Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth.
• Wanting more meaning and purpose in life.
• Desiring a candid and experienced perspective.
• The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily.
• Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

Owning the Outcome

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 21, 2020 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Owning the Outcome

Early one morning, a couple of weeks ago, I had a phone conversation with a colleague that, frankly, I wasn’t proud of. As soon as I hung up, I realized what I’d done. When I called back a short while later to apologize, my colleague graciously told me, “You don’t need to say anything—I understand.”


“I appreciate that, but I do,” I said. “I was wrong. I am sorry.”

When most people think about accountability, they immediately look through the lens of how accountable others are to them. But first, we need to look in the mirror and see how accountable we are to ourselves—for who we are and how we act. If we want to know how we’re doing, we only need to count the number of times we say, “I’m sorry”—in all its forms including, “That’s on me,” “That was the wrong call,” and “You were right.”

This brings to mind another conversation I had many years ago, early in my tenure as CEO. After a 360-degree review, I flew to New York to meet with a board member in his office to go over the feedback, line by line. “You’re in the left-hand seat in the cockpit now. Your role is different,” the board member told me. “As the leader, don’t tell people what to do—instead, tell them what to think about.”

At the end of our three-hour conversation, the board member said, “I don’t just want you to be successful—I am going to ensure you are successful.” Then he hugged me and gave me an invaluable piece of advice: “Gary, never forget that your job is to make people feel better after every conversation than they did before.”

Deceptively simple, but hard to do. Over the years, I’ve had to stop myself many times—just as I did in that recent phone conversation. No one bats a thousand. We are all works in progress.

At the heart of accountability are two key principles: honesty and humility. With these 2 Hs, we become accountable for who we are—and who we become.

Accountability is substantially different from responsibility. Responsibility is all in the present. Accountability is after the fact, which means owning the outcome—win or lose.

In business, a lack of accountability can make people seem indecisive, especially when the stakes are high. The problem, I’ve observed, is not that people are afraid of making decisions—they’re actually afraid of the consequences of those decisions. When it comes to the accolades and taking credit, many people are quick to use I, me, and my. But when it comes to accountability for failure, it’s too often they, them, and their.

I’ve witnessed this so many times, especially early in the pandemic when organizations needed to make rapid-fire decisions. As one executive confided in me at the time, “They’re all bad decisions. I’m just trying to pick the least worst decisions.” Despite so much hanging in the balance, few people are willing to weigh in with their opinions until others do. It’s like when someone gets caught out in the ocean. Few people will charge into the riptide to save them. But as soon as they finally get closer to shore, everyone rushes in for the rescue—but only up to their knees.

Accountability starts at the top with greater self-awareness. Before the start of this year’s NFL season, Coach Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs, winners of last season’s Super Bowl, sat down with us to talk about accountability and performance. “We all have strengths and weaknesses in what we do,” he told us. “Maybe my weaknesses you can take care of, and maybe I can help take care of yours.” In any organization, that’s how the best teams come together—it’s all about others. As the late John McKissick, America’s winningest football coach, once told us, “Coaches don’t win games, players do. Players don’t lose games, coaches do.”

Just as leaders must improve themselves before they can improve their organizations, accountability is also personal first—then team and organizational. Here are some thoughts:

  • Lying Larry. Years ago, I worked with a guy who truly was the smartest person in the room, and when it came to performance, he was amazing. I wouldn’t be surprised if his IQ was 150—but his emotional intelligence was 0. Larry wielded his genius like a weapon and raised arrogance to an art form. Whenever the team had a conference call, Larry would never announce himself—even if someone asked if he was on the line. Instead, he’d lie in wait, ready to strike—to criticize or take credit. And whenever things went wrong, Larry always made sure he was on the right side of history. Larry was notoriously tough to pin down on anything. I remember calling Larry on his cell and he insisted he was in the office, even though I could hear the road noise and the “ping-ping-ping” of the gas pump. Soon it became clear that Larry was not always honest, a reputation that caught up with him eventually. Moral of the story: each of us must strive for a say/do ratio of 1-to-1. We say what we mean, and we do what we say—honestly and with accountability. A person’s word is only as good as their last promise kept.
  • Ego is not your amigo. The cost of self-delusion is high. Research shows that people who greatly overstate their abilities are 6.2 times more likely to derail than those who have self-awareness. If that’s not a case for honesty and humility, I don’t know what is. I once engaged my senior team in a live assessment of my leadership strengths and blind spots, using remote-control “clickers” to ensure anonymity. After each question, the clicker results immediately displayed on a huge screen at the front of the room. As insightful and welcome as that feedback was, there was another purpose for that exercise. I put myself on the spot to model for others a willingness to be vulnerable—and accountable for what others see.
  • “Mirror, mirror.” In the battle to improve performance at all levels, accountability is a surprising secret weapon. On the organization level, our firm’s research reveals five key factors for achieving superior performance. Three are intuitive: purpose, leadership, and strategy. The other two probably don’t come to mind automatically: accountability and capability—but together, they contribute about 50 percent of organizational performance. The same holds true for individuals—accountability is the all-important foundation. This is “mirror, mirror” time, and we all need to see the unvarnished truth as we face unprecedented levels of change. We hold ourselves accountable to listen first—then lead. That starts with taking a total inventory across the organization—listening for what people are thinking, feeling, and experiencing. Only with a total picture, accurately perceiving today, will we become learning agile—the No. 1 predictor of success. We will “know what to do when we don’t know what to do.”

Making tough decisions—the difficult calls that affect others—is never easy. Harder still is living with the consequences of those decisions. But that is what accountability is all about. Indeed, with honesty and humility, we each must say, “Whatever the outcome, I own it.” In the end, the accountability we wish to see in others starts with each of us.

Contributing Author: Gary Burnison is CEO of Korn Ferry

OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Certified Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting
• Operations, planning, and execution
• Career transition
• Retirement
• Legacy
• Kids and money
• Marriage and divorce
• Health concerns
• Values and life purpose
• Vacations
• Mentoring & depth of the executive bench
• Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth.
• Wanting more meaning and purpose in life.
• Desiring a candid and experienced perspective.
• The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily.
• Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

Learn about Exponential Medicine that is available today

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 15, 2020 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Learn about Exponential Medicine that is available today

There is a medical revolution happening right now.

Where is quantified health heading? A growing array of technology sensors are becoming available: 

Wearables:  Our wrist-based devices can now go well beyond steps, some fit on our fingers (‘Ringables’ like the Oura ring)  to measure heart rate and heart rate variability, now an EKG on Apple Watches… to this August,  the first FDA cleared cuffless Blood Pressure device.

Inside’Ables:  Beyond the wrist we can now fit health related sensors into contact lenses.

While RFID chips beneath the skin (as Peter Diamandis has done) have been used to store data , unlock doors, we how have on the market Profusa Lumee, a subcutaneous chip that can sense various body chemistries.

Breathables:  Quantifying the molecules in your breath can be useful when going on a date,  but are now being utilized as a means to detect disease.  Just as dogs noses have been trained to sniff out cancer, nano-nose technology is in clinical trials to detect via ‘breath biopsy’ the molecular content and patterns that can indicate early detection of lung and other cancers as well as variety of metabolic diseases.   As ketogenic diets, breathables can also quantify ketones in the breath to help individuals get and stay in target metabolic states.

Underwearables:  As sensors have become more capable, less expensive, with a pack of  Spire Health Tag you can now purchase sensors for each pair of your underwear, that measure respiratory rate, activity, heartrate and sleep.   Spire, like many other quantified health sensor companies, began as a consumer and wellness focused, measuring breath, stress and helping optimize mindfulness sessions.  Now that reimbursement is becoming available for ‘remote patient monitoring’.

Trainables: It is  one thing to measure and even understand data about behavior and activity…  feedback can help provide nudges.  The Upright sensor worn on the back, measures posture, and if persistent slouching is detected ,buzzes, like a ‘digital mother’ reminding the wearer to ‘sit up straight’… several days of hour long upright sessions reportedly improved posture, and symptoms in many with lower back pain.

Invisibles: Ditch the wearable, requiring synching and charging… we are entering a time where our digital health exhaust can be measured by the ubiquitous sensors.  Cameras can now pick up heart and respiratory rate (Cocoon Health has a baby monitor on the market), and also behaviors (Kepler)…  WiFi has been modified by MIT engineers to detect the vital signs, movement and even the sleep patterns of several people in the same room. Voice can serve as a biomarker for health and disease (From detecting mental health changes, to neurologic issues and even heart disease). 

Making Sense of All the Data: As millions wear devices and billions of data points are collected daily we can start to understand the real world digital measures of health, and disease.  FitBit has demonstrated.  With crowd-sourced studies like Verily’s Project-Baseline, individuals can gain insights from their sleep patterns (and how it compares to others of their age and sex), to potentially new digital biomarkers indicating impeding medical issues. While privacy and data ownership issues are significant challenges, the sharing, crowd-sourced insights can improve healthcare, lower costs and democratize access to improved healthcare across the planet.

OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Certified Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

I am a trusted confidant and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I am always by your side, holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Everything discussed is held in complete confidence.

What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues as well as direction, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

• Strategic planning toward your visions of success and goal setting
• Operations, planning, and execution
• Career transition
• Retirement
• Legacy
• Kids and money
• Marriage and divorce
• Health concerns
• Values and life purpose
• Vacations
• Mentoring & depth of the executive bench
• Succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in both your professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting people within the sphere of your influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.

Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

• Aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth.
• Wanting more meaning and purpose in life.
• Desiring a candid and experienced perspective.
• The answers often come from within, and we cannot arrive at them easily.
• Clarity often comes into focus, with skilled questions and guided discovery. The right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Referrals to a team members or family members are always welcome.

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

Being authentic, creating a connection, and giving others a taste of who we are.

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 14, 2020 at 10:14 am / In: Uncategorized

Being authentic, creating a connection, and giving others a taste of who we are.

Early in the pandemic, as my family sheltered in place, someone found the old Clue boardgame in the attic. Soon this relic from our old world was brought into our new lives

As we rolled the dice and moved around the gameboard—was it Colonel Mustard in the library with a candlestick or Mrs. Peacock in the dining room with a rope—it struck me that these little rooms reflected what our pre-pandemic lives looked like. Everything was compartmentalized within its own walls—not just separate physical spaces, but figurative and emotional ones as well.

Some of those “rooms” were called commuting, going to meetings, traveling to see clients—the routines that put structure into our lives. Other “rooms” were attending weddings and parties, eating in the lunchroom with colleagues, and more. Then, seemingly overnight, our world shrank into one room with an open floorplan. As the walls came down, life went from segmentation to integration—professional lives melding with personal lives.

Now, as I look around, I see people everywhere are rethinking their space. It’s a time of introspection, resetting, and re-evaluating what we’re learning as we move forward. Some are finding ways to bring the old into the new—like long walks, family game nights, kids playing in the street—even beekeeping. Others are throwing out the old and unproductive to make room for the new and empowering.

Gregg Kvochak, Korn Ferry’s senior vice president of finance, used to spend five hours a day commuting. Being a numbers guy, Gregg calculated that, since the pandemic started, he’s regained about 720 hours—an entire month—and counting. Now he jogs five days a week and is eating healthier than ever.

It’s natural to be nostalgic for some of the old rooms, but we can’t get stuck in the past—locked in an attic full of dusty memories. Better to explore possibilities of the basement. Growing up in Kansas, I spent countless hours in basements—it’s where you went for shelter, to play ping pong, do arts and crafts, or just hang out. Not many people ever paneled and tricked out the attic or put a pool table up there. All that happened in the basement.

That’s what we’re doing now: converting our spaces, transforming our minds, to actualize a new reality. The insulation is being taken out of the isolation.

We know how to do this. As children, we “made believe” all the time—with whatever we had available to us—physically or in our imaginations. For me, it was on a dirt driveway with a net-less, rusty basketball hoop bolted to the side of the garage. Often, I would play a game with myself, winding down an imaginary clock in my head: Five, four… The last shot of the season-ending championship game. Our team is down by one point. Three, two… I leap high off the ground. One … The ball leaves my hands. The buzzer sounds. The ball arcs toward the basket and—swish—the winning shot!

Ironically, despite all that practice, I never had the opportunity to hit a game-winning shot—and if I ever did, I don’t know if I would have made it. But flash forward a couple of decades. My daughter Emily was a freshman on her high school basketball team. It was a big game, and her team was down by one point. With only seconds left, nobody wanted to take the last shot, so they kept passing the ball. When Emily got it, I knew what she was going to do—because we had practiced countless times in the driveway. She drove to the hoop and scored.

Sometimes in life, the ball is thrown our way—either by chance or by choice. But we have to take that shot. That’s where we are right now. We have to seize this moment to create a world with fewer walls and more windows for greater transparency and authenticity. Here are some thoughts:

·  What would you do differently? Over the last couple of weeks, I must have asked 100 people the same question: If they knew last year that a pandemic was coming in 2020—if they had “perfect vision”—what would they have done differently? Overwhelmingly, and more often than not without any pause or hesitation, they said one of two things: (1) spending more time with friends and loved ones and (2) taking that big trip. No one mentioned the material things—or making some investment at the right time. It was all experiential—particularly around people and emotions. It’s an important perspective to keep, considering that we’re all bracing for what could be next—including a possible human hibernation in the Northern Hemisphere this winter. Even if we do end up sheltering in place because of a second wave of contagion, we need to connect with others.

·  Demolition—or design. So how do we live in this new space? Do we revert to the attic or, ironically, do we travel to the basement? I reached out to some PhDs, psychologists, and researchers across our firm. Here’s what they had to say:

  • ·  “It takes intentionality to migrate from segmentation to integration. But when we do, efficiency, harmony, purpose, and balance are all positive outcomes that can be realized,” says RJ Heckman, a Vice Chairman in our firm’s Consulting business.
  • ·  “The pandemic is forcing people to create new structures to support themselves and how they behave in the world. If they don’t have structures, they can feel at the whims of circumstances and change,” says Janet Feldman, a Senior Client Partner in our firm’s CEO Succession Practice.
  • ·  “For some people, the structures are about being disciplined with their time. Others may have to do that literally—separating workspace from living space,” says Signe Spencer, Client Research Partner at the Korn Ferry Institute.

These new structures shouldn’t wall us away—they should help us make connections. It’s the one choice we always have, even when we’re not in control. These days, we may have self-driving cars and the world at our fingertips via a 5-inch screen, but that doesn’t give us control. And we certainly can’t control time. But we can control what we do with our time.

·  A walk in the park. Despite all the technological advancements of the past 50 years it still comes down to people. We want human connection. We need human connection. We thrive from human connection. We know from our research that affiliation—establishing and maintaining relationships—is one of the most important motivators of human behavior. Even during this time of social distance, we can’t stay locked behind our walls—virtual or otherwise—waiting for the vaccine. By tapping our people agility, we can find safe—and surprising—ways to interact and relate to each other. Sonamara Jeffreys, Korn Ferry’s Co-President of EMEA, based in London, described for me how we’ve been encouraging clients to go beyond Zoom and interview candidates in person—but outside the walls of offices and conference rooms. We’re going totally old school and old world, arranging for clients to meet with candidates while taking a walk in the park together. “Clients are telling us that it’s incredibly refreshing. They get much further down the road (literally) by walking and talking than if they had met via teleconference,” she said. You actually discover the “who” of somebody rather than simply the “what.” Her comments reminded me of when I interviewed people in the old days: I always met them in the lobby and brought them first into the office kitchen to get water or coffee. In familiar settings, we can more easily show our A.C.T.: being authentic, creating a connection, and giving others a taste of who we are.

How long we will occupy our open floorplan and what new rooms will emerge are anyone’s guess. Unlike the game of Clue, there won’t be just one little envelope at the end that contains the solution to the mystery. We each must find our own envelope. One thing is certain, though: after tearing down so many walls, we need to be careful about how many we put back up again.

OptimizeLife #CEO #CFO #COO #BoD #CXO #Professionalpedia #TeamBuilder #success #beyourself #goals #lifeisgood #Influencer #Successful #Business #WorkLife #OfficeLife #Work #Office #Inspiration #Marketing #Tips #Leadership #BusinessIntelligence #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Contributing Author: Gary Burnison is CEO of Korn Ferry

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.

Certified Professional Board of Director and Advisor.

Cliff Locks is a trusted confidant advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand person,  to make a significant contribution and impact.

As a Trusted Confidant Advisor, I support you, with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan, including marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.

Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts and fears.

The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.

As your trusted confidant, I’m always by your side. Holding your deepest secrets and never judging. Knows as much about you as you do, in complete confidence.

Often missing from the busy Executive’s life is a trusted person who understands the holistic complexity of their business and personal life.

I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I call “Executive Confidant.”

By holding a safe place for the Executive to work on life path issues, I repeatedly see remarkable benefits as personal values become integrated with wealth and family decisions, enhancing a more meaningful life.

As an Executive Confidant, I welcome a confidential conversation about the most important issues facing the business leader, including:

  • strategic planning
  • operations, planning, and execution
  • career transition
  • retirement
  • legacy
  • kids and money
  • marriage and divorce
  • health concerns
  • values and life purpose
  • vacations
  • mentoring & depth of the executive bench
  • succession planning

When I do my job well, I facilitate positive action in the leader’s professional and personal life. This consistently has a positive benefit on impacting the people in their sphere of influence.

The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful individuals often isolate themselves as a reaction to their inability to find people they can confide in.

Abundance and isolation are not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that abundance only solves problems and does not create them.

Material success does not make you invulnerable to the pitfalls of life – we need only to glance at the headlines to verify that.

Material success can create unique vulnerabilities that are often overlooked because, after all, the “problems” of the wealthy are not really problems.

The Executive Confidant can be particularly helpful when:

  • aligning life priorities with the responsibilities of wealth
  • wanting more meaning and purpose in life
  • desiring a candid and experienced perspective
  • usually, the answers are within us, but we can’t see them, or we are stuck. Clarity can come from skilled questioning and guided discovery. Being asked the right questions can be the first step in achieving ideal outcomes.

Who do you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?

Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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#BoardofDirectors #BoD #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #Engineering #corporate #office #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #excellence #development #motivation #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Predictive Mapping with Artificial Intelligence Powerful Combination

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 28, 2020 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

Predictive Mapping with Artificial Intelligence Powerful Combination

Between 2005 and 2014, natural disasters have claimed the lives of over 700,000 people and resulted in total damage of more than US$1.4 trillion.

During the past 50 years, the frequency of recorded natural disasters has surged nearly five-fold.

And as wildfires grow increasingly untamable, wreaking havoc across regions like the Amazon and California, the need for rapid response and smart prevention is higher than ever.

In this blog, I’ll be exploring how converging exponential technologies (AI, Robotics, Drones, Sensors, Networks) are transforming the future of disaster relief — how we can prevent catastrophe in the first place and get help to victims during that first golden hour wherein immediate relief can save lives.

Here are the three areas of greatest impact:

  1. AI, predictive mapping, and the power of the crowd
  2. Next-gen robotics and swarm solutions
  3. Aerial drones and immediate aid supply

Let’s dive in!

When it comes to immediate and high-precision emergency response, data is gold

Already, the meteoric rise of space-based networks, stratosphere-hovering balloons, and 5G telecommunications infrastructure is in the process of connecting every last individual on the planet.

Aside from democratizing the world’s information, however, this upsurge in connectivity will soon grant anyone the ability to broadcast detailed geotagged data, particularly those most vulnerable to natural disasters. 

Armed with the power of data broadcasting and the force of the crowd, disaster victims now play a vital role in emergency response, turning a historically one-way blind rescue operation into a two-way dialogue between connected crowds and smart response systems.

With a skyrocketing abundance of data, however, comes a new paradigm: one in which we no longer face a scarcity of answers. Instead, it will be the quality of our questions that matters most. 

This is where AI comes in: our mining mechanism.

In the case of emergency response, what if we could strategically map an almost endless amount of incoming data points? Or predict the dynamics of a flood and identify a tsunami’s most vulnerable targets before it even strikes? Or even amplify critical signals to trigger automatic aid by surveillance drones and immediately alert crowdsourced volunteers? 

Already, a number of key players are leveraging AI, crowdsourced intelligence, and cutting edge visualizations to optimize crisis response and multiply relief speeds.

Take One Concern, for instance.

Born out of Stanford under the mentorship of leading AI expert Andrew Ng, One Concern leverages AI through analytical disaster assessment and calculated damage estimates.

Partnering with the City of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and numerous cities in San Mateo County, the platform assigns verified, unique ‘digital fingerprints’ to every element in a city. Building robust models of each system, One Concern’s AI platform can then monitor site-specific impacts of not only climate change but each individual natural disaster, from sweeping thermal shifts to seismic movement.

This data, combined with that of city infrastructure and former disasters, are then used to predict future damage under a range of disaster scenarios, informing prevention methods and structures in need of reinforcement.

Within just four years, One Concern can now make precise predictions with an 85 percent accuracy rate under 15 minutes.

And as IoT-connected devices and intelligent hardware continue to boom, a blooming trillion-sensor economy will only serve to amplify AI’s predictive capacity, offering us immediate, preventive strategies long before disaster strikes.

Take forest fires, for instance.

Utah University atmospheric scientist Adam Kochanski and a team of researchers are now refining a computer model with new data to predict how fires will spread and what weather events will follow in their wake.

Initiating a “prescribed fire” — a controlled fire typically intended for habitat restoration in forest regions — the team used numerous infrared camera-fitted drones, laser scanning, and sensors to collect data while Kochanski tested his predictive model’s forecasts.

While generated data is still being processed, the experiment is contributing to ‘coupled fire-atmosphere models,’ which leverage data to determine how wildfires influence local weather conditions, and the interaction of the two. Yet already, Kochanski’s model proved remarkably predictive of the experimental fire’s actual behavior.

Paired with robust networks of sensors and autonomous drone fleets, computer models that incorporate weather conditions in AI forest fire mapping could help us to stem early fires before they gain momentum, saving forests, lives, and entire habitats.

As mobile connectivity and abundant sensors converge with AI-mined crowd intelligence, real-time awareness will only multiply in speed and scale.

Imagining the Future….

Within the next 10 years, spatial web technology might even allow us to tap into mesh networks. 

In short, this means that individual mobile users can together establish a local mesh network using nothing but the compute power in their own devices.

Take this a step further, and a local population of strangers could collectively broadcast countless 360-degree feeds across a local mesh network. 

Imagine a scenario in which armed attacks break out across disjointed urban districts, each cluster of eye witnesses and at-risk civilians broadcasting an aggregate of 360-degree videos, all fed through photogrammetry AIs that build out a live hologram in real time, giving family members and first responders complete information.

Or take a coastal community in the throes of torrential rainfall and failing infrastructure. Now empowered by a collective live feed, verification of data reports takes a matter of seconds, and richly layered data informs first responders and AI platforms with unbelievable accuracy and specificity of relief needs.

By linking all the right technological pieces, we might even see the rise of automated drone deliveries. Imagine: crowdsourced intelligence is first cross-referenced with sensor data and verified algorithmically. AI is then leveraged to determine the specific needs and degree of urgency at ultra-precise coordinates. Within minutes, once approved by personnel, swarm robots rush to collect the requisite supplies, equipping size-appropriate drones with the right aid for rapid-fire delivery.

This brings us to a second critical convergence: robots and drones.

While cutting-edge drone technology revolutionizes the way we deliver aid, new breakthroughs in AI-geared robotics are paving the way for superhuman emergency responses in some of today’s most dangerous environments. 

Let’s explore a few of the most disruptive examples to reach the testing phase.

First up….

Autonomous Robots and Swarm Solutions

As hardware advancements converge with exploding AI capabilities, disaster relief robots are graduating from assistance roles to fully autonomous responders at a breakneck pace.

Born out of MIT’s Biomimetic Robotics Lab, the Cheetah III is but one of many robots that may form our first line of defense in everything from earthquake search-and-rescue missions to high-risk ops in dangerous radiation zones.

Now capable of running at 6.4 meters per second, Cheetah III can even leap up to a height of 60 centimeters, autonomously determining how to avoid obstacles and jump over hurdles as they arise.

MIT Cheetah III

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 

Initially designed to perform spectral inspection tasks in hazardous settings (think: nuclear plants or chemical factories), the Cheetah’s various iterations have focused on increasing its payload capacity, range of motion, and even a gripping function with enhanced dexterity.

But as explained by the Lab’s director and MIT Associate Professor Sangbae Kim, Cheetah III and future versions are aimed at saving lives in almost any environment: “Let’s say there’s a fire or high radiation, [whereby] nobody can even get in. [It’s in these circumstances that] we’re going to send a robot [to] check if people are inside. [And even] before doing all that, the short-term goal will be sending robot where we don’t want to send humans at all, […] for example, toxic areas or [those with] mild radiation.”

And the Cheetah III is not alone.

This past February, Tokyo’s Electric Power Company (TEPCO) put one of its own robots to the test.

For the first time since Japan’s devastating 2011 tsunami, which led to three nuclear meltdowns in the nation’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, a robot has successfully examined the reactor’s fuel.

Broadcasting the process with its built-in camera, the robot was able to retrieve small chunks of radioactive fuel at five of the six test sites, offering tremendous promise for long-term plans to clean up the still-deadly interior.

Also out of Japan, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHi) is even using robots to fight fires with full autonomy. In a remarkable new feat, MHi’s Water Cannon Bot can now put out blazes in difficult-to-access or highly dangerous fire sites.

Delivering foam or water at 4,000 liters per minute and 1 megapascal (MPa) of pressure, the Cannon Bot and its accompanying Hose Extension Bot even form part of a greater AI-geared system to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance on larger transport vehicles.

As wildfires grow ever more untamable, high-volume production of such bots could prove a true lifesaver. Paired with predictive AI forest fire mapping and autonomous hauling vehicles, not only will solutions like MHi’s Cannon Bot save numerous lives, but avoid population displacement and paralyzing damage to our natural environment before disaster has the chance to spread.

But even in cases where emergency shelter is needed, groundbreaking (literally) robotics solutions are fast to the rescue.

After multiple iterations by Fastbrick Robotics, the Hadrian X end-to-end bricklaying robot can now autonomously build a fully livable, 180-square meter home in under 3 days. Using a laser-guided robotic attachment, the all-in-one brick-loaded truck simply drives to a construction site and directs blocks through its robotic arm in accordance with a 3D model.

Hadrian Bricklaying Robot

Source: Fastbrick Robotics

Meeting verified building standards, Hadrian and similar solutions hold massive promise in the long-term, deployable across post-conflict refugee sites and regions recovering from natural catastrophes.

But what if we need to build emergency shelters from local soil at hand? Marking an extraordinary convergence between robotics and 3D printing, the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) is already working on a solution.

In a major feat for low-cost construction in remote zones, IAAC has found a way to convert almost any soil into a building material with three times the tensile strength of industrial clay. Offering myriad benefits, including natural insulation, low GHG emissions, fire protection, air circulation and thermal mediation, IAAC’s new 3D printed native soil can build houses on-site for as little as $1,000.

But while cutting edge robotics unlock extraordinary new frontiers for low-cost, large-scale emergency construction, novel hardware and computing breakthroughs are also enabling robotic scale at the other extreme of the spectrum.

Again, inspired by biological phenomena, robotics specialists across the U.S. have begun to pilot tiny robotic prototypes for locating trapped individuals and assessing infrastructural damage.

Take RoboBees, tiny Harvard-developed bots that use electrostatic adhesion to ‘perch’ on walls and even ceilings, evaluating structural damage in the aftermath of an earthquake. 

Or Carnegie Mellon’s prototyped Snakebot, capable of navigating through entry points that would otherwise be completely inaccessible to human responders. Driven by AI, the Snakebot can maneuver through even the most densely packed rubble to locate survivors, using cameras and microphones for communication.

But when it comes to fast-paced reconnaissance in inaccessible regions, miniature robot swarms have good company.

Next-Generation Drones for Instantaneous Relief Supplies

Particularly in the case of wildfires and conflict zones, autonomous drone technology is fundamentally revolutionizing the way we identify survivors in need and automate relief supply.

Not only are drones enabling high-resolution imagery for real-time mapping and damage assessment, but preliminary research shows that UAVs far outpace ground-based rescue teams in locating isolated survivors.

As presented by a team of electrical engineers from the University of Science and Technology of China, drones could even build out a mobile wireless broadband network in record time using a “drone-assisted multi-hop device-to-device” program.

And as shown during Houston’s Hurricane Harvey, drones can provide scores of predictive intel on everything from future flooding to damage estimates.

Among multiple others, a team led by Texas A&M computer science professor and director of the university’s Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue Dr. Robin Murphy flew a total of 119 drone missions over the city, from small-scale quadcopters to military-grade unmanned planes. Not only were these critical for monitoring levee infrastructure, but also for identifying those left behind by human rescue teams.

But beyond surveillance, UAVs have begun to provide lifesaving supplies across some of the most remote regions of the globe.

One of the most inspiring examples to date is Zipline.

Created in 2014, Zipline has completed 12,352 life-saving drone deliveries to date. While drones are designed, tested and assembled in California, Zipline primarily operates in Rwanda and Tanzania, hiring local operators and providing over 11 million people with instant access to medical supplies.

Providing everything from vaccines and HIV medications to blood and IV tubes, Zipline’s drones far outpace ground-based supply transport, in many instances providing life-critical blood cells, plasma and platelets in under an hour.

Zipline Drones

Source: Zipline

But drone technology is even beginning to transcend the limited scale of medical supplies and food.

Now developing its drones under contracts with DARPA and the U.S. Marine Corps, Logistic Gliders, Inc. has built autonomously navigating drones capable of carrying 1,800 pounds of cargo over unprecedented long distances. 

Built from plywood, Logistic’s gliders are projected to cost as little as a few hundred dollars each, making them perfect candidates for high-volume, remote aid deliveries, whether navigated by a pilot or self-flown in accordance with real-time disaster zone mapping.

As hardware continues to advance, autonomous drone technology coupled with real-time mapping algorithms pose no end of abundant opportunities for aid supply, disaster monitoring, and richly layered intel previously unimaginable for humanitarian relief. 

Concluding Thoughts

Perhaps one of the most consequential and impactful applications of converging technologies is their transformation of disaster relief methods.

While AI-driven intel platforms crowdsource firsthand experiential data from those on the ground, mobile connectivity and drone-supplied networks are granting newfound narrative power to those most in need.

And as a wave of new hardware advancements gives rise to robotic responders, swarm technology and aerial drones, we are fast approaching an age of instantaneous and efficiently distributed responses, in the midst of conflict and natural catastrophes alike.

Empowered by these new tools, what might we create when everyone on the planet has the same access to relief supplies and immediate resources? In a new age of prevention and fast recovery, what futures can you envision?

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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#5G #Automotive #BoardofDirectors #BoD #artificialintelligence #AI #innovation #IoT #virtualreality #vr #AR #augmentedreality #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #BoardofDirectors #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #Engineering #corporate #office #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #excellence #development #motivation Contributors: Peter Diamandis and Clifford Locks #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Let’s get educated on the future of transportation, it’s faster than autonomous vehicles and flying cars

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 18, 2019 at 10:14 am / In: Uncategorized

Let’s get educated on the future of transportation, it’s faster than autonomous vehicles and flying cars

What’s faster than autonomous vehicles and flying cars?

Try Hyperloop, rocket travel and robotic avatars.

Hyperloop is currently working towards 670 mph (1080 kph)passenger pods, capable of zipping us from Los Angeles to downtown Las Vegas in under 30 minutes.

Rocket Travel (think SpaceX’s Starship) promises to deliver you almost anywhere on the planet in under an hour. Think New York to Shanghai in 39 minutes.

But wait, it gets even better…

As 5G connectivity, hyper-realistic VR, and next-gen robotics continue their exponential progress, the emergence of “Robotic Avatars” will all but nullify the concept of distance, replacing human travelwith immediate remote telepresence.

Let’s dive in.

Hyperloop One: LA to SF in 35 Minutes

Did you know that Hyperloop was the brainchild of Elon Musk? …just one in a series of transportation innovations from a man determined to leave his mark on the industry. 

In 2013, in an attempt to shorten the long commute between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the California state legislature proposed a $68 billion budget allocation for what appeared to be the slowest and most expensive bullet train in history.

Musk was outraged. The cost was too high, the train too sluggish. Teaming up with a group of engineers from Tesla and SpaceX, he published a 58-page concept paper for “The Hyperloop,” a high-speed transportation network that used magnetic levitation to propel passenger pods down vacuum tubes at speeds of up to 670 mph.

If successful, it would zip you across California in 35 minutes—just enough time to watch your favorite sitcom.

In January 2013, venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar, with Musk’s blessing, started Hyperloop One with myself, Jim Messina (former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for President Obama), and tech entrepreneurs Joe Lonsdale and David Sacks, as founding board members.

A couple of years after that, the Virgin Group invested in this idea, Richard Branson was elected chairman, and Virgin Hyperloop One was born.

“The Hyperloop exists,” says Josh Giegel, co-founder and chief technology officer of Hyperloop One, “because of the rapid acceleration of power electronics, computational modeling, material sciences, and 3D printing.”

Thanks to these convergences, there are now ten major Hyperloop One projects—in various stages of development—spread across the globe. Chicago to DC in 35 minutes. Pune to Mumbai in 25 minutes.

According to Giegel: “Hyperloop is targeting certification in 2023. By 2025, the company plans to have multiple projects under construction and running initial passenger testing.”

So think about this timetable: Autonomous car rollouts by 2020. Hyperloop certification and aerial ridesharing by 2023. By 2025— going on vacation might have a totally different meaning. Going to work most definitely will.

But what’s faster than Hyperloop?

Rocket Travel

As if autonomous vehicles, flying cars, and Hyperloop weren’t enough, in September of 2017, speaking at the International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide, Australia, Musk promised that for the price of an economy airline ticket, his rockets will fly you “anywhere on Earth in under an hour.”

Musk wants to use SpaceX’s megarocket, Starship, which was designed to take humans to Mars, for terrestrial passenger delivery. The Starship travels at 17,500 mph. It’s an order of magnitude faster than the supersonic jet Concorde.

Think about what this actually means: New York to Shanghai in thirty-nine minutes. London to Dubai in twenty-nine minutes. Hong Kong to Singapore in twenty-two minutes.

So how real is the Starship?

“We could probably demonstrate this [technology] in three years,” Musk explained, “but it’s going to take a while to get the safety right. It’s a high bar. Aviation is incredibly safe. You’re safer on an airplane than you are at home.”

That demonstration is proceeding as planned. In September 2017, Musk announced his intentions to retire his current rocket fleet, both the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, and replace them with the Starships in the 2020s.

Less than a year later, LA mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted that SpaceX was planning to break ground on an eighteen-acre rocket production facility near the port of Los Angeles.

And April of this year marked an even bigger milestone: the very first test flights of the rocket.

Thus, sometime in the next decade or so, “off to Europe for lunch” may become a standard part of our lexicon.

Avatars

Wait, wait, there’s one more thing.

While the technologies we’ve discussed will decimate the traditional transportation industry, there’s something on the horizon that will disrupt travel itself.

What if, to get from A to B, you didn’t have to move your body? What if you could quote Captain Kirk and just say: “Beam me up, Scotty.”

Well, shy of the Star Trek transporter, there’s the world of avatars.

An avatar is a second self, typically in one of two forms. The digital version has been around for a couple of decades. It emerged from the video game industry and was popularized by virtual world sites like Second Life and books-turned-blockbusters like Ready Player One.

A VR headset teleports your eyes and ears to another location, while a set of haptic sensors shifts your sense of touch. Suddenly, you’re inside an avatar inside a virtual world. As you move in the real world, your avatar moves in the virtual.

Use this technology to give a lecture and you can do it from the comfort of your living room, skipping the trip to the airport, the cross-country flight, and the ride to the conference center.

Robots are the second form of avatars. Imagine a humanoid robot that you can occupy at will. Maybe, in a city far from home, you’ve rented the bot by the minute—via a different kind of ridesharing company—or maybe you have spare robot avatars located around the country.

Either way, put on VR goggles and a haptic suit, and you can teleport your senses into that robot. This allows you to walk around, shake hands, and take action—all without leaving your home.

And like the rest of the tech we’ve been talking about, even this future isn’t far away.

In 2018, entrepreneur Dr. Harry Kloor recommended to All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest airline, the design of an Avatar XPRIZE. ANA then funded this vision to the tune of $10 million to speed the development of robotic avatars. Why? Because ANA knows this is one of the technologies likely to disrupt their own airline industry, and they want to be ready.

ANA recently announced its “newme” robot that humans can use to virtually explore new places. The colorful robots have Roomba-like wheeled bases and cameras mounted around eye-level, which capture surroundings viewable through VR headsets.

If the robot was stationed in your parents’ home, you could cruise around the rooms and chat with your family at any time of day. After revealing the technology at Tokyo’s Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies in October, ANA plans to deploy 1,000 newme’s by 2020.

With virtual avatars like “newme,” geography, distance, and cost will no longer limit our travel choices.

From attractions like the Eiffel Tower or the pyramids of Egypt, to unreachable destinations like the Moon or deep sea, we will be able to transcend our own physical limits, explore the world and outer space, and access nearly any experience imaginable.

Final Thoughts

Individual car ownership has enjoyed over a century of ascendency (power) and dominance.

The first real threat it faced—today’s ride-sharing model—only showed up in the last decade. But that ridesharing model won’t even get ten years to dominate.

Already, it’s on the brink of autonomous car displacement, which is on the brink of flying car disruption, which is on the brink of Hyperloop and rockets-to-anywhere decimation.

Plus, avatars. The most important part: All of this change will happen over the next ten years.

Welcome to a future of human presence where the only constant is rapid change.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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#5G #Automotive #BoardofDirectors #BoD #artificialintelligence #AI #innovation #IoT #virtualreality #vr #AR #augmentedreality #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #BoardofDirectors #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #Engineering #corporate #office #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #excellence #development #motivation Contributors: Peter Diamandis and Clifford Locks #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Learn about continuous, ultra-cheap, personalized, and proactive healthcare

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 11, 2019 at 10:36 am / In: Uncategorized

Learn about continuous, ultra-cheap, personalized, and proactive healthcare

The U.S. healthcare industry is in for a major disruption in the decade ahead.

It is so broken, that it’s horrifying.

U.S. healthcare spending is expected to hit a total of US$3.6 trillion in 2019.

Fear of liability prompts U.S. doctors to spend US$210 billion per year on procedures patients don’t need.

Of every 5,000 new drugs introduced, 5 make it to human testing, and only one is ultimately approved. Yet even then, the average pharmaceutical product takes 12 YEARS to get from lab to patient, costing upwards of $2.5 billion.

Over the next five blogs, we’ll be diving into the digital medicine and biotech revolution unfolding before us. A new generation of AI-enabled, data-driven companies will transform what is today “sick care” into healthcare.

In this blog, we’ll look at a new generation of diagnostics that enable you to become the CEO of your own health. Ultimately, how you can catch disease at “stage-0” before it becomes life threatening.

Let’s dive in…

Continuous DIY Diagnostics

On a wintery Wednesday in January 2026, you’re being watched. Carefully watched.

Technically, you’re asleep in your bed, but Google’s home assistant knows your schedule. Thanks to your Oura ring, it also knows you’ve just completed a REM cycle and are now entering Stage 1 sleep—making it the perfect time to wake you up.

A gentle increase in the room’s lighting simulates the sunrise, while optimized light wavelengths maximize wakefulness and improve your mood.

“Hey Google, how’s my health this morning?” “One moment,” says your digital assistant.

It takes thirty seconds for the full diagnostic to run, which is pretty good considering the system deploys dozens of sensors capturing gigabytes of data.

Smart sensors in toothbrush and toilet, wearables in bedding and clothing, implantables inside your body—a mobile health suite with a 360-degree view of your system. “Your microbiome looks perfect,” Google tells you. “Also, blood glucose levels are good, vitamin levels fine…”

Google is developing a full range of internal and external sensors that monitor everything from blood sugar to blood chemistry.

And that’s just Google. The list of once multimillion-dollar medical machines now being dematerialized, demonetized, democratized, and delocalized—that is, made into portable and even wearable sensors—could fill a textbook.

Consider the spectrum of possibilities.

On the whiz-bang side, there’s Exo’s AI-enabled, cheap, handheld ultrasound 3D imager—meaning you will soon be able to track anything from wound-healing to fetus growth from the comfort of your home.

Or take former Google X project leader Mary Lou Jepsen’s startup, Openwater, which uses red laser holography to create a portable MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), turning what is today a multimillion-dollar machine into a wearable consumer electronics device. With successful rollout, products like that of Openwater could soon give three-quarters of the world access to medical imaging they currently lack.

Yet simpler developments might be more revolutionary.

In less than two decades, wearables have gone from first-generation step-counting self-trackers to Apple’s fourth-generation iWatch, which includes an FDA-approved ECG scanner capable of real-time cardiac monitoring.

Or look at Final Frontier Medical Devices’ DxtER (winner of the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE): a collection of easy-to-use, noninvasive medical sensors, and a diagnostic AI, accessible via app. Already, DxtER reliably detects over fifty common ailments.

In convergence, these developments point towards a future of always-on health monitoring and cheap, easy diagnostics.

The technical term for this shift is “mobile health,” a field predicted to explode into a $102 billion market by 2022. Step aside, WebMD. The idea here is to put a virtual doctor, on demand, in your back pocket.

And we’re getting close.

Riding the convergence of networks, sensors, and computing, AI-backed medical chatbots are now flooding the market. These apps can diagnose everything from a rash to retinopathy.

And it’s not just physical ailments. Woebot is now taking on mental health, delivering cognitive behavioral therapy via Facebook Messenger to patients suffering from depression.

Proactive Healthcare

So where are these trends actually headed?

Take Human Longevity Inc., a company Peter Diamandis, co-founded in 2013. Its key offering, the “Health Nucleus” is an annual, three-hour health scan consisting of whole genome sequencing, whole body MRI, heart and lung CT, echocardiogram, and a slew of clinical blood tests—essentially the most complete picture of health currently available.

This picture is important for two reasons. The first is early disease detection.

In 2018, Human Longevity published stats on its first 1,190 clients. Nine percent of its patients uncovered previously undetected coronary artery disease (the number one killer in the world), 2.5 percent found aneurysms (the number two killer in the world), 2 percent saw tumors—and so forth. In total, a staggering 14.4 percent had significant issues requiring immediate intervention, while 40 percent found a condition that needed long-term monitoring.

The second reason this is important? Everything Human Longevity is measuring and tracking via half-day annual visits will soon come to you on demand. Thanks to always-on, always-watching sensors, your smartphone is about to become your doctor.

From Damage Control to Prevention

Skyrocketing AI capabilities, dematerializing sensors, and next-gen computing power are on the verge of embedding themselves in your wearables, home, future AR devices, and—one day—implantables.

In success, today’s era of lengthy, expensive, and reactive ‘sickcare’—mediated by insurance middlemen—is giving way to continuous, ultra-cheap, personalized, and proactive healthcare.

Soon to own our (technological) doctors (not to mention our health data), we will no longer correct for risk once losses are incurred. Instead, we’ll be minimizing risk 24/7, at extraordinarily low cost, without even thinking about it.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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#Healthcare #5G #BoardofDirectors #BoD #artificialintelligence #AI #innovation #IoT #virtualreality #vr #AR #augmentedreality #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #BoardofDirectors #executive doctors #doctor #medical #medicine #health #healthcare #hospital #medstudent #medschool #surgery #medicalschool #surgeon #hospitals #dentist #medicalstudent #futuredoctor #physician Contributors: Peter Diamandis and Clifford Locks #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Car Ownership is Changing

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 4, 2019 at 10:31 am / In: Uncategorized

Car Ownership is Changing

In 2018, for the sixth straight year, Los Angeles earned the dubious honor of being the most gridlocked metropolis in the world, where the average driver spends 2.5 working weeks per year trapped in traffic.

And countless cities are close behind. For the average driver, dreams of being elevated above jammed freeways and flying—uninterrupted—to one’s destination seem well out of reach. Yet these visions will soon become realities.

The era of the internal combustion engine (ICE) car is ending. From here on out, it’s all about electric vehicles, autonomous ride-sharing, and flying fleets. The implications for society and the automotive industry are HUGE.

Death of Car Ownership as We Know IT

Painful for me to realize what is coming. I built five Auto Shows and sold them to Motor Trend. I love the automotive industry! https://www.motortrendautoshows.com/

We may have reached “peak ICE” production this past year.

Don’t believe me? Oil demand is predicted to peak as early as 2021, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and some experts suggest it may have already peaked.

Currently, electric vehicles displace the need for 350,000 barrels of oil each day. And long term, EVs are projected to disrupt demand of over 58,000,000 barrels of oil per day — a figure steadily on the rise as EV costs plummet.

Speeding to first place in today’s transit race, EVs are set to win by sheer economic advantage, fast becoming the foundation for autonomous ride-sharing fleets of the future. As that happens, it will soon become un-economical and socially unacceptable for you to hold on to that old gas-guzzling car.

Next, we will see electric vehicles migrating to the skies.

By mid-2018, over US$1 billion had been invested by startups, VCs and aerospace giants in at least twenty-five different flying car companies. A dozen vehicles are being test-flown, while another dozen are at stages ranging from PowerPoint to prototype.

Let’s explore the next era of transportation…

The Hardware is Here

Just this year, Uber hosted its third annual flying car conference, Uber Elevate, in Washington D.C. The event attracted a motley crew of power elites: CEOs, entrepreneurs, architects, designers, technologists, venture capitalists, government officials, and real estate magnates. Over a thousand in total, all gathered to witness the birth of a new industry.

Jeff Holden, Uber’s (former) Chief Product Officer, initiated the conference with quite a vision.

“We’ve come to accept extreme congestion as part of our lives,” says Holden. “In the U.S., we have the honor of being home to ten of the world’s twenty-five most congested cities, costing us approximately $300 billion in lost income and productivity.”

Uber aims to solve urban mobility by offering “aerial ridesharing” solutions, taking advantage of untapped air space just as New York City scaled buildings to the skies to combat increasing congestion on the ground.

Aerial ridesharing might sound like a sci-fi cliché, but Holden has a solid track record of disruptive innovation. In the late 1990s, he followed Jeff Bezos from New York to Seattle and became one of the earliest employees at Amazon, where he spearheaded Amazon Prime.

Next, Holden went to another disruptive startup, Groupon, and then on to Uber, where he’s strung together a series of wins: UberPool, UberEats and, most recently and radically, Uber’s self-driving car program.

So when Holden proposed an even zanier product line—that Uber take to the skies—what followed was no surprise: the company’s leadership, as well as everybody else, took him seriously.

And for good reason. The theme of the Uber Elevate Summit isn’t actually about flying cars. The cars are already here. Instead, the focus was path to scale. And the more critical point: that path is a lot shorter than many suspect.

As of last year, over twenty-five different flying car startups have secured upwards of $1 billion in aggregate funding.

Larry Page, co-founder and CEO of Alphabet, was among the first to envision eVTOL potential, personally funding two companies, Zee-Arrow and Kittyhawk.

Then there are established players like Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and Bell Helicopter (now just called ‘Bell,’ a reference to the future disappearance of the helicopter itself), who are also in on the game.

Thus, for the first time in history, we’re past the point of talking about the possibility of flying cars. The cars are here.

Car Ownership Becomes Economically Irrational

“Uber’s goal,” according to Holden, “is to demonstrate flying car capability in 2020 and have aerial ridesharing fully operational in Dallas and LA by 2023.” He goes even further: “Ultimately, we want to make it economically irrational to own and use a car.”

How irrational? Let’s look at the numbers.

Today, the marginal cost of car ownership—that is, not the purchase price, but everything else that goes with a car: gas, repairs, insurance, parking, etc.—is 49 cents per passenger mile. For comparison, a helicopter, which has many more problems than just cost, covers a mile for about $8.93.

For their 2020 launch, UberAir wants to reduce that per mile price to $5.73, then rapidly drive it down to $1.84. But it’s Uber’s long-term target that’s the game-changer—44 cents per mile—or cheaper than the cost of driving.

And you get a lot per mile. The specs for Uber’s proposed service are impressive. Their main interest is in “electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles”—or eVTOLs for short.

For an eVTOL to qualify for Uber’s aerial ridesharing program, it must be able to carry one pilot and four passengers at a speed of over 150 mph for 3 continuous hours of operation.

While they envision 25 miles as their shortest flight (think Malibu to downtown Los Angeles), these requirements allow you to leap from northern San Diego to southern San Francisco in a single bound.

And Uber now boasts five partners who have committed to delivering eVTOLs that meet these specs, with another five or ten still to come. 

Aerial Freeways

But the vehicles alone don’t make car ownership irrational. So Uber has also partnered with NASA and the FAA to develop the air traffic management system to coordinate their flying fleet.

But beyond government players, Uber has additionally teamed up with architects, designers and real estate developers to create a string of “mega-skyports” needed for passengers to load and unload and for vehicles to take off and land.

To qualify as Uber-ready, a “mega-skyport” must be able to recharge vehicles, handle 1,000 take-offs and landings per hour (4,000 passengers) and occupy no more than three acres of land—which is small enough to sit atop old parking garages or the roofs of skyscrapers.

And according to Uber’s calculations, a network 40 skyports strong, positioned strategically around a city, should be able to clear a million passengers an hour.

Implications

Put all this together and by 2030, you’ll be able to order an on-demand aerial rideshare as easily as you do UberPool or UberEats. And if a century’s worth of transportation adoption rates are to be trusted, urban aviation could be a central mode of getting from A to B in the course of a mere decade.

But all of this raises a fundamental question: Why now? After dreaming up Blade Runner hover cars and Back to the Future DeLorean DMC-12s for centuries, how will we be able to accomplish this mission within the next decade?

There are over a hundred different patents on file in the U.S. for “roadable aircraft.” A handful have flown. Most have not. None have delivered on the promise of the Jetsons.

In fact, our frustration at this lack of delivery has become a meme unto itself. At the turn of the last century, in a now famous IBM commercial, comedian Avery Johnson asked: “It’s the year 2000, but where are the flying cars? I was promised flying cars. I don’t see any flying cars. Why? Why? Why?”

In 2011, in Peter Thiel’s now famous manifesto, “What Happened To The Future,” the prominent investor echoed this concern, writing: “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.”

Yet, as should be clear by now, the wait is over.

The Cars Are Here. And the infrastructure is coming fast. While we were sipping our lattes and checking our Instagram, science fiction became science fact.


Welcome to the age of mass genius.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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Multiplying Human Capital through the Power of Connectivity

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 27, 2019 at 10:36 am / In: Uncategorized

Multiplying Human Capital through the Power of Connectivity

We are about to massively increase the amount of Human Genius on planet Earth in two distinct ways.

First, by identifying and connecting those geniuses that already exist, but lack access to the right tools (i.e. they are off the grid). 

And second, by connecting the average human cortex to the cloud, amplifying human intelligence (HI) with high-bandwidth Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI).

Nothing is more important to a company, nation, or individual than intelligence. It is the fundamental key to problem-solving and wealth creation, and underpins the human capital that drives every company and nation forward.

This blog covers both approaches, their timelines, and the game-changing implications.

Let’s dive in…

The Power of Connectivity

Our first innovation accelerator is the power of the network—a tool that allows minds to connect with other minds, exchange ideas and spark invention.

Until recently, most genius was squandered.

Even if you were born with incredible talents, the chances of you being able to use those abilities were limited at best. Gender, class and culture mattered. 

While IQ isn’t the only metric for genius, the standard distribution of the Stanford-Binet scale shows that only one percent of the population qualifies. Technically, this makes for 75 million geniuses in the world. But how many of them actually get to make an impact?

Even today, not that many.

Yet in tomorrow’s hyper-connected world, extraordinary individuals will no longer be casualties of class, country or culture.

Over the next 6 years, the unprecedented convergence of 5G and satellite networks will bring 4 billion new minds onto the web, unlocking the floodgates of human capital. 

In Abundance, we explored how the rise of the coffee house in eighteenth century Europe became a critical driver of the Enlightenment. These egalitarian establishments drew people from all walks of life, allowing novel notions to meet and mingle and, as author Matt Ridley famously wrote: “have sex.” By becoming a hub for information-sharing—a network—coffee shops were foundational in driving progress forward. 

Not surprisingly, we see similar network effects in cities, which are essentially coffee shops writ-large. Two-thirds of all growth takes place in urban environments because population density leads to the cross-pollination of ideas. 

This is why Santa Fe Institute physicist Geoffrey West discovered that doubling the size of a city produces a 15 percent increase in income, wealth, and innovation (as measured by the number of new patents).

But just as the coffeehouse pales in comparison to the city; so does the city pale in comparison to the globe.

In 2010, roughly one quarter of the Earth’s population, some 1.8 billion people, were connected to the internet. By 2017, that penetration had reached 3.8 billion people, or about half the globe.

But over the next half-dozen years, we are going to wire up the rest of humanity, adding 4.2 billion new minds to the global conversation. Soon, all eight billion of us, every single human, will be networked together at gigabit speeds.

If network size, density and fluidity have turned cities into the best transformation engines we’ve yet managed to create, then the fact that we are about to link the entire globe into a single network means the whole planet is just a few years away from becoming the largest innovation lab in history.

Linking the Brain to the Cloud

Our second catalyst of human capital is none other than BCI.

While genius may be a rare phenomenon, we are starting to understand its underlying neurobiology. There are two major strains to this work, a near-term and far-term approach. 

In the near-term, research into what might be called “the neurological basis for innovation”—that is, creativity, learning, motivation, and the state of consciousness known as flow—has allowed us to amplify these critical skills like never before.

Consider that classic test of creative problem-solving: the nine-dot problem. Connect nine dots with four lines in ten minutes without lifting your pencil from the paper. Under normal circumstances, fewer than 5 percent of the population can pull this off. In a study run at the University of Sydney in Australia, none of their test subjects did. 

But then the researchers took a second group of subjects, used transcranial direct stimulation to artificially mimic many of the neuroanatomical changes produced during flow. What happened? 40 percent solved the problem—a near record result.

The long-term approach takes a similar tack, using technology to improve cognitive function. Only, soon, the technology will be permanently implanted in our brains.

Inventors like Musk, whose Neuralink has made groundbreaking progress in BCI, and Braintree co-founder Bryan Johnson, who founded Kernel, have been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into next-generation brain implants.

The goal of “neuro-prosthetics” or “brain-computer interfaces” (BCIs), as Johnson explains, “is not about AI versus human. Rather, it’s about creating HI, or ‘Human Intelligence,’ the merger of humans and AI.”

Everybody agrees that Cyborg-nation is still a long ways off, but progress is moving faster than many suspect.

We already have BCIs that can help stroke victims regain control over paralyzed limbs, and others that help quadriplegics use computers simply by thinking. Sensory replacement devices are already here (think cochlear implants), and full-scale visual prosthetics—that final horizon—are coming this decade.

Memory is the latest frontier. In 2017, USC neuroscientist Doug Song repurposed the seizure-control neural-implants used by a group of epilepsy patients. By using them to stimulate the neuronal circuits implicated in learning and retention, Song produced a 30 percent boost in memory function. In the near term, this means new treatments for Alzheimer’s. In the long run, it’s brain enhancement for everyone.

And, as far as the full cyborg is concerned, by measuring the accelerating rate of exponential technologies, Ray Kurzweil famously pegged this development to the early 2030s.

Ray’s averaging an 86 percent success rate for his predictions, but even if he’s off by a decade, with the progress we’re already seeing in everything from networks to neuroscience, the end result is more genius, more breakthroughs, and more acceleration.

Multiplying Human Capital

With 5G on the ground, balloons in the air and private satellites blanketing the Earth from space, we are on the verge of connecting every person on the planet with gigabit connection speeds at de minimis cost. 

As 5G electrifies a world of trillions of sensors and devices, we’re about to live in a world where anyone anywhere can have access to the world’s knowledge, crowdfund ready capital across 8 billion potential investors, and 3D print on the cloud.

And as the population of online users doubles, we’re about to witness perhaps the most historic acceleration of progress and technological innovation known to man.

Meanwhile, groundbreaking progress in BCI is driving us closer to Ray Kurzweil’s prediction that our brains will connect seamlessly to the cloud by 2035. 

Elon’s Neuralink is already striving towards a 2 gigabit-per-second wireless connection between a patient’s brain and the cloud in the next few years.

And in the long-term, BCIs will amplify both average human intelligence and our access to an instantaneous wealth of knowledge.

Welcome to the age of mass genius.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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Hyperconnectivity and its Benefits

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 20, 2019 at 10:26 am / In: Uncategorized

Hyperconnectivity and its Benefits

We’re about to connect 8 billion people on the planet, everywhere, all the time, at near zero cost. This is a future of gigabit connection speeds at the top of Mt. Everest or in the Gobi desert.

Imagine downloading a feature-length movie in less time than it takes to read this sentence.

In the decade ahead, the convergence of 5G, satellite constellations, and stratospheric balloons will take us into warp drive, birthing a new age of hyperconnectivity. 

This is a blog about the tech under deployment today, and what will be possible tomorrow.

Let’s dive in…

5G

When researchers talk network evolution, “G” is the term-du-jour. It stands for “generation.”

In 1940, when the first telephone networks began to roll out, we were at 0G. This was the dark night of deception. It took forty years to crawl our way to 1G, which showed up with the first mobile phones in the 1980s. But this also marked the transition from deceptive to disruptive.

By the 90s—around the time the internet emerged—2G came along for the ride. But the ride didn’t last long. A decade later, 3G ushered in a new era of acceleration as bandwidth costs began to plummet at a staggeringly consistent 35 percent per year. 2010 saw 4G networks unleash smartphones, mobile banking and e-commerce.

But starting in 2020, 5G will hotwire the whole deal, delivering speeds a hundred times faster at near-zero prices.

How fast is 5G fast? With 3G, it takes 45 minutes to download a high-definition movie. 4G shrinks that to 21 seconds. But 5G? It takes longer to read this sentence than it takes to download that movie.

Balloons

Even while our terrestrial mobile networks receive a massive upgrade, new networks are sprouting, taking advantage of the vast real estate above our heads.

Alphabet is now rolling out Project Loon, which, when first proposed, could have been short for “Project Loony!” Born a decade back out of Google X—the tech giant’s skunk works—the idea was to replace terrestrial cell towers with stratospherically located hot air balloons.

That idea is now a reality.

Both light and durable enough to cruise the slipstreams some 20 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, Google’s 15×12-meter balloons are providing 4G-LTE connections to users on the ground.

Each balloon covers 5,000 square kilometers, and Google aims for a network of thousands, wiring the unwired, providing continuous coverage for anyone, anywhere on Earth.

Satellites

While balloons take advantage of room in the atmosphere, other companies are developing networks that inhabit space outside our planet.

Beyond the stratosphere, three major competitors are engaged in an entirely new kind of space race. First up is the work of an engineer named Greg Wyler, who has long pursued the use of technology to eradicate poverty. Back in the early 2000s, on a shoestring budget, Wyler helped bring 3G to communities in Africa. Today, backed with billions from SoftBank, Qualcomm and Virgin, he’s launching OneWeb: a constellation of about two thousand satellites bringing 5G download speeds to everyone.

Yet despite the radical network upgrade of OneWeb, Wyler’s a David compared to goliaths such as Amazon and SpaceX. Early this year, Amazon joined the satellite competition, announcing the e-commerce giant’s intention to deploy “Project Kuiper,” a constellation of 3,236 satellites aimed at providing high-speed broadband to unserved and underserved communities around the world.

And SpaceX topped these figures in 2019, as Musk’s rocket company began launching a monster constellation of now over 30,000 satellites called Starlink. If Musk succeeds, it’ll mean global gigabit connection speeds at near-zero costs. Sixty-six of those satellites are already in orbit, and another 1,000+ are scheduled to launch in 2020.

Higher still?

At 8,000 kilometers—in what’s technically called Medium-Earth orbit—O3B is the latest G on the block. O3B stands for “Other 3 Billion” and is a set of Boeing-built ‘multi-terabit’ satellites known as the ‘mPower network,’ targeted at bringing connectivity to all who currently lack it.

The Era of Hyperconnectivity

Now bursting into a tremendously competitive marketplace, today’s building blocks of connectivity are wiring the planet and transforming 21st century livelihood.

In less than a few decades, we will have built an ever-expanding nervous system, webbing together human civilization and facilitating the rapid-fire global exchange of ideas, goods, services, and human capital.

Reserve Peter Diamandis next book. If you’ve enjoyed the above blog much of it came from his up coming book The Future is Faster Than You Think and want to be notified when it comes out and get special offers (signed copies, free stuff, etc.), then register here to get early bird updates on the book and learn more!

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Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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Future of Virtual Reality moving from deceptive to disruptive

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 13, 2019 at 10:30 am / In: Uncategorized

Future of Virtual Reality moving from deceptive to disruptive

In 2016, venture investments in VR exceeded US$800 million, while AR and MR received a total of $450 million. Just a year later, investments in AR and VR startups doubled to US$3.6 billion.

And today, major players are bringing VR headsets to market that have the power to revolutionize the industry, as well as countless others.

Already, VR headset sales volumes are expected to reach 98.4 million by 2023, according to Futuresource Consulting. But beyond headsets themselves, Facebook’s $399 Oculus Quest brought in US$5 million in content sales within the first two weeks post-release this past spring.

With companies like Niantic ($4B valuation), Improbable ($2B valuation), and Unity ($6B valuation) achieving unicorn status in recent years, the VR space is massively heating up.

In this blog, we will dive into a brief history of VR, recent investment surges, and the future of this revolutionary technology.

Brief History of VR

For all of history, our lives have been limited by the laws of physics and mitigated by the five senses. VR is rewriting those rules.

It’s letting us digitize experiences and teleport our senses into a computer-generated world where the limits of imagination become the only brake on reality. But it’s taken a while to get here.

Much like AI, the concept of VR has been around since the 60s. The 1980s saw the first false dawn, when the earliest “consumer-facing” systems began to show up. In 1989, if you had a spare $250,000, you could purchase the EyePhone before the iPhone, a VR system built by Jaron Lanier’s company VPL (Lanier coined the term ‘virtual reality’).

Unfortunately, the computer that powered that system was the size of a dorm room refrigerator, while the headset it required was bulky, awkward and only generated about five frames a second—six times slower than the average television of that era.

By the early 1990s, the hype had faded and VR entered a two-decade deceptive phase. Through the 2000s, the convergence of increasingly powerful game engines and AI-image rendering software flipped the script. Suddenly, deceptive became disruptive and the VR universe opened for business.

The Disruptive Phase: Surges in VR Investment

In 2012, Facebook spent $2 billion on Oculus Rift. By 2015, Venture Beat reported that an arena which typically saw only ten new entrants a year, suddenly had 234.

In June 2016, HTC announced the release of its ‘Business Edition’ of the Vive for $1,200, followed six months later by their announcement of a tether-less VR upgrade.

A year later, Samsung cashed in on this shift, selling 4.3 million headsets and turning enough heads that everyone from Apple and Google, to Cisco and Microsoft decided to investigate VR.

Phone-based VR showed up soon afterwards, dropping barriers to entry as low as $5. By 2018, the first wireless adaptors, standalone headsets and mobile headsets hit the market.

Resolution-wise, 2018 was also when Google and LG doubled their pixels-per-inch count and increased their refresh rate from VPL’s five frames a second to over 120.

Around the same time, the systems began targeting more senses than just vision. HEAR360’s “omni-binaural” microphone suite captures 360 degrees of audio, which means immersive sound has now caught up to immersive visuals.

Touch has also reached the masses, with haptic gloves, vests and full body suits hitting the consumer market. Scent emitters, taste simulators, and every kind of sensor imaginable—including brainwave readers—are all trying to put the “very” into verisimilitude.

And the number of virtual explorers continues to mount. In 2017, there were 90 million active users, which nearly doubled to 171 million by 2018. YouTube’s VR channel has over three million subscribers.

And that number is growing. By 2020, estimates put the VR market at $30 billion, and it’s hard to find a field that will be left untouched.

Future of VR: Emotive and Immersive Education  

History class, 2030. This week’s lesson: Ancient Egypt. The pharaohs, the queens, the tombs—the full Tut.

Sure, you’d love to see the pyramids in person. But the cost of airfare? Hotel rooms for the entire class? Plus, taking two weeks off from school for the trip? None of these things are doable. Worse, even if you could go, you couldn’t go. Many of Egypt’s tombs are closed for repairs, and definitely off-limits to a group of teenagers.

Not to worry, VR solves these problems. And in VR world, you and your classmates can easily breach Queen Nefertari’s burial chamber, touch the hieroglyphics, even scramble atop her sarcophagus—impossible opportunities in physical reality. You also have a world-class Egyptologist as your guide.

But turning your attention to the back of the tomb doesn’t require waiting until 2030. In 2018, Philip Rosedale and his team at High Fidelity pulled off this exact virtual field trip.

First, they 3D-laser scanned every square inch of Queen Nefertari’s tomb. Next, they shot thousands of high resolution photos of the burial chamber. By stitching together more than ten thousand photos into a single vista, then laying that vista atop their 3D-scanned map, Rosedale created a stunningly accurate virtual tomb. Next, he gave a classroom full of kids HTC Vive VR headsets.

Because High Fidelity is a social VR platform, meaning multiple people can share the same virtual space at the same time, the entire class was able to explore that tomb together. In total, their fully immersive field trip to Egypt required zero travel time, zero travel expenses.

VR will not only cover traditional educational content, but also expand our emotional education.

Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, has spent two decades exploring VR’s ability to produce real behavioral change. He’s developed first-person VR experiences of racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination.

For example, experiencing what it would be like to be an elderly, homeless, African American woman living on the streets of Baltimore produces real change: A significant shift in empathy and understanding.

“Virtual reality is not a media experience,” explains Bailenson. “When it’s done well, it’s an actual experience. In general our findings show that VR causes more behavior changes, causes more engagement, causes more influence than other types of traditional media.”

Nor is empathy the only emotion VR appears capable of training. In research conducted at USC, psychologist Skip Rizzo has had considerable success using virtual reality to treat PTSD in soldiers. Other scientists have extended this to the full range of anxiety disorders.

VR, especially when combined with AI, has the potential to facilitate a top shelf traditional education, plus all the empathy and emotional skills that traditional education has long been lacking.

When AI and VR converge with wireless 5G networks, our global education problem moves from the nearly impossible challenge of finding teachers and funding schools for the hundreds of millions in need, to the much more manageable puzzle of building a fantastic digital education system that we can give away for free to anyone with a headset. It’s quality and quantity on demand.

In the workplace, VR will serve as an efficient trainer for new employees.

10,000 of Walmart’s 1.2 million employees have taken VR-based skills management tests. Learning modules that once took 35 to 45 minutes, now take 3 to 5. The company plans to train 1 million employees using the Oculus VR headset by the end of this year. The upfront costs of VR headsets will ultimately be recovered in labor efficiencies.

Multiple Worlds, Multiple Economies

We no longer live in only one place. We have real-world personae and online personae. This delocalized existence is only going to expand. With the rise of AR and VR, we’re introducing more layers to this equation.

You’ll have avatars for work and avatars for play and all of these versions of ourselves are opportunities for new businesses. Consider the multi-million-dollar economy that sprung up around the very first virtual world, Second Life. People were paying other people to design digital clothes and digital houses for their digital avatars.

Every time we add a new layer to the digital strata, we’re also adding an entire economy built upon that layer, meaning we are now conducting our business in multiple worlds at once.

Reserve Peter Diamandis next book. If you’ve enjoyed the above blog much of it came from his up coming book The Future is Faster Than You Think and want to be notified when it comes out and get special offers (signed copies, free stuff, etc.), then register here to get early bird updates on the book and learn more!

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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#BoardofDirectors #BoD #artificialintelligence #AI #innovation #IoT #virtualreality #vr #AR #augmentedreality #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #BoardofDirectors #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #Engineering #corporate #office #Biotech #Cleantech #CAD #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #excellence #development #motivation Contributors: Peter Diamandis and Clifford Locks #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Exponential Disruption and Its Future Impact On You

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 6, 2019 at 10:27 am / In: Uncategorized

Exponential Disruption and Its Future Impact On You

The average American meal travels 1,500-2,500 miles to get to your plate.

Food… What we eat, and how we grow it, will be fundamentally transformed in the next decade.

Already, vertical farming is projected to exceed a US$12 billion industry by mid-decade, surging at an astonishing 25 percent annual growth rate.

Meanwhile, the food 3D printing industry is expected to grow at an even higher rate, averaging nearly 40 percent annual growth.

And converging exponential technologies—from materials science to AI-driven digital agriculture—are not slowing down. Today’s breakthroughs will soon allow our planet to boost its food production by nearly 70 percent, using a fraction of the real estate and resources, to feed 9 billion by mid-century.

What you consume, how it was grown, and how it will end up in your stomach will all ride the wave of converging exponentials, revolutionizing the most basic of human needs.

Printing Food

3D printing has already had a profound impact on the manufacturing sector. We are now able to print in hundreds of different materials, making anything from toys to houses to organs. However, we are finally seeing the emergence of 3D printers that can print food itself.

Redefine Meat, an Israeli startup, wants to tackle industrial meat production using 3D printers that can generate meat, no animals required. The printer takes in fat, water, and three different plant protein sources, using these ingredients to print a meat fiber matrix with trapped fat and water, thus mimicking the texture and flavor of real meat.

Slated for release in 2020 at a cost of $100,000, their machines are rapidly demonetizing and will begin by targeting clients in industrial-scale meat production.

Anrich3D aims to take this process a step further, 3D-printing meals that are customized to your medical records, heath data from your smart wearables, and patterns detected by your sleep trackers. The company plans to use multiple extruders for multi-material printing, allowing them to dispense each ingredient precisely for nutritionally optimized meals. Currently in an R&D phase at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the company hopes to have its first taste tests in 2020.

These are only a few of the many 3D food printing startups springing into existence. The benefits from such innovations are boundless.

Not only will food 3D printing grant consumers control over the ingredients and mixtures they consume, but it is already beginning to enable new innovations in flavor itself, democratizing far healthier meal options in newly customizable cuisine categories.

Vertical Farming

Vertical farming, whereby food is grown in vertical stacks (in skyscrapers and buildings rather than outside in fields), marks a classic case of converging exponential technologies. Over just the past decade, the technology has surged from a handful of early-stage pilots to a full-grown industry.

Today, the average American meal travels 1,500-2,500 miles to get to your plate. As summed up by Worldwatch Institute researcher Brian Halweil, “we are spending far more energy to get food to the table than the energy we get from eating the food.”

Additionally, the longer foods are out of the soil, the less nutritious they become, losing on average 45 percent of their nutrition before being consumed.

Yet beyond cutting down on time and transportation losses, vertical farming eliminates a whole host of issues in food production.

Relying on hydroponics and aeroponics, vertical farms allows us to grow crops with 90 percent less water than traditional agriculture—which is critical for our increasingly thirsty planet.

Currently, the largest player around is Bay Area-based Plenty Inc. With over $200 million in funding from Softbank, Plenty is taking a smart tech approach to indoor agriculture. Plants grow on 20-foot high towers, monitored by tens of thousands of cameras and sensors, optimized by big data and machine learning.

This allows the company to pack 40 plants in the space previously occupied by one. The process also produces yields 350X greater than outdoor farmland, using less than 1 percent as much water.

And rather than bespoke veggies for the wealthy few, Plenty’s processes allow them to knock 20-35 percent off the costs of traditional grocery stores. To date, Plenty has their home base in South San Francisco, a 100,000 square-foot farm in Kent, Washington, an indoor farm in the United Arab Emirates, and recently started construction on over 300 farms in China.

Another major player is New Jersey-based Aerofarms, which can now grow 2 million pounds of leafy greens without sunlight or soil.

To do this, Aerofarms leverages AI-controlled LEDs to provide optimized wavelengths of light for each individual plant. Using aeroponics, the company delivers nutrients by misting them directly onto the plants’ roots— no soil required. Rather, plants are suspended in a growth mesh fabric made from recycled water bottles. And here too, sensors, cameras and machine learning govern the entire process.

While 50-80 percent of the cost of vertical farming is human labor, autonomous robotics promises to solve that problem. Enter contenders like Iron Ox, a firm that has developed the Angus robot, capable of moving around plant-growing containers.

The writing is on the wall, and traditional agriculture is fast being turned on its head. As explained by Plenty’s CEO Matt Barnard, “Just like Google benefitted from the simultaneous combination of improved technology, better algorithms and masses of data, we are seeing the same [in vertical farming].”

Materials Science

In an era where materials science, nanotechnology, and biotechnology are rapidly becoming the same field of study, key advances are enabling us to create healthier, more nutritious, more efficient, and longer-lasting food.

For starters, we are now able to boost the photosynthetic abilities of plants.

Using novel techniques to improve a micro-step in the photosynthesis process chain, researchers at UCLA were able to boost tobacco crop yield by 14-20 percent. Meanwhile, the RIPE Project, backed by Bill Gates and run out of the University of Illinois, has matched and improved those numbers.

Tyton Bioenergy, based in Danville*, has been working with tobacco as a source of biofuel and oil. With tobacco plants that can grow, says Thibodeau, up to 15 feet high, Tyton can secure an awful lot of plant matter to press and process into the raw materials for biofuel. In fact, the company says: “This proprietary energy tobacco can produce up to three times the amount of ethanol per acre as corn and three times the oil per acre as soy.”
Now, Tyton says they’ve figured out a way to use the tobacco biofuel as jet fuel, putting them in the surprisingly and increasingly crowded space for tobacco-based jet fuels – Boeing has been working on something similar for a little while, though using South African tobacco rather than American.

In yet another win for food-related materials science, Santa Barbara-based Apeel Sciences is further tackling the vexing challenge of food waste. Now approaching commercialization, Apeel uses lipids and glycerolipids found in the peels, seeds, and pulps of all fruits and vegetables to create “cutin”—the fatty substance that composes the skin of fruits and prevents them from rapidly spoiling by trapping moisture.

And to top things off, The University of Essex was even able to improve tobacco yield by 27-47 percent by increasing the levels of protein involved in photo-respiration.

By then spraying fruits with this generated substance, Apeel can preserve foods 60 percent longer, using an odorless, tasteless, colorless organic substance.

And stores across the U.S. are already using this method. By leveraging our advancing knowledge of plants and chemistry, materials science is allowing us to produce more food with far longer-lasting freshness and more nutritious value than ever before.

Convergence

With advances in 3D printing, vertical farming and materials sciences, we can now make food smarter, more productive, and far more resilient.

By the end of the next decade, you should be able to 3D print a fusion cuisine dish from the comfort of your home, using ingredients harvested from vertical farms, with nutritional value optimized by AI and materials science. However, even this picture doesn’t account for all the rapid changes underway in the food industry.


Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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#BoardofDirectors #BoD #artificialintelligence #AI #innovation #IoT #virtualreality #vr #AR #augmentedreality #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #BoardofDirectors #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #Engineering #corporate #office #Biotech #Cleantech #CAD #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #excellence #development #motivation Contributors: Peter Diamandis and Clifford Locks #InvestmentCapitalGrowth



Let’s get you educated on the Sensors Explosion & the Rise of IoT

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 30, 2019 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Let’s get you educated on the Sensors Explosion & the Rise of IoT

“Hey Google, how’s my health this morning?”

“One moment,” says your digital assistant.

It takes thirty seconds for the full diagnostic to run, as the system deploys dozens of sensors capturing gigabytes of data.

Smart sensors in toothbrush and toilet, wearables in bedding and clothing, implantables inside your body—a mobile health suite with a 360-degree view of your system.

“Your microbiome looks perfect,” Google tells you. “Also, blood glucose levels are good, vitamin levels fine, but an increased core temperature and IgE levels…”

“Google—in plain English?”

 “You’ve got a virus.”

“A what?”

“I ran through your last forty-eight hours of meetings. It seems like you picked it up Monday, at Jonah’s birthday party. I’d like to run additional diagnostics. Would you mind using the….?”

As the Internet of Things catapults to new heights, Google is developing a full range of internal and external sensors, monitoring everything from blood sugar to blood chemistry.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

The list of once multi-million dollar medical machines now being dematerialized, demonetized, democratized and delocalized—that is, made into portable and even wearable sensors—could fill a textbook.

Sensor Proliferation

Sensors will not only transform healthcare and diagnostics. Any electronic device that measures a physical, quantitative value—light, acceleration, temperature, etc.— then sends that information to other devices on a network, qualifies as a sensor.

Sensors add intelligence to our appliances. But more importantly, they add hours to our lives.

Consider that in less than a decade, when you run out of coffee, your kitchen cabinet will detect a shortage (cross-referencing sensor data with your coffee-drinking habits) and order more. A blockchain-enabled smart contract will subsequently place an order, triggering an Amazon drone delivery directly to your doorstep.

And of course, your very own Butler-bot might soon transport these freshly ground beans from delivery box to cabinet, sparing you the trouble.

If advances in computing power, AI, and networks represent the center mass of the digital revolution, then today’s sensor uprising is the outer edge of that revolt.

Comprising the first part of tomorrow’s smart environment information-processing pipeline, sensors are the data-gathering apparatus that provide our computers with the information they need to act.

Case Study: The Oura Ring

Not much more than a sleek, black band, the Oura Ring is the most accurate sleep tracker on the market, thanks to its TK sensors.

The product began in 2014 at an infectious disease lab in Finland. Health researcher Petteri Lahtela noticed that many of the diseases he’d been studying, including Lyme disease, heart disease and diabetes, shared a curious overlap: all of them negatively affected sleep.

Lahtela started to wonder if all these diseases cause insomnia or if it worked the other way around. Could these conditions be alleviated or, at least, improved, by fixing sleep?

To solve that puzzle, Lahtela decided he needed data, so he turned to sensors. In 2015, driven by advances in smartphones, we saw the convergence of incredibly small and powerful batteries with incredibly small and powerful sensors.

So small and powerful, in fact, that building a whole new kind of sleep tracker might be possible.

The sensors that caught Lahtela’s fancy were a new breed of heart rate monitors, particularly given that heart rate and variability serve as excellent sleep quality indicators. Yet at the time, all such trackers on the market were riddled with issues.

Fitbit and the Apple Watch, for instance, measure blood flow in the wrist via an optical sensor. Yet the wrist’s arteries sit too far below the surface for perfect measurement, and people don’t often wear watches to bed—as smart watches can interrupt the very sleep they’re designed to measure.

Lahtela’s upgrade? The Oura ring.

Location and sampling rates are its secret weapons. Because the finger’s arteries are closer to the surface than those in the wrist, the Oura gets a far better picture of the action. Plus, while Apple and Garamond measure blood flow twice a second, and Fitbit even raises this figure to 12x/second, the Oura ring captures data at 250 times per second.

And in studies conducted by independent labs, the ring is 99 percent accurate compared to medical grade heart rate trackers, and 98 percent accurate for heart rate variability.

Twenty years ago, sensors with this level of accuracy would have cost in the millions, requiring reasonably sized data centers and tremendous overheard processing costs.

Today, the Oura costs around $300 and sits on your finger—a perfect example of sensors’ exponential growth. 

Connected Devices and IoT

We are in the middle of a sensor revolution. The street name for this uprising is the “Internet of Things,” the huge mesh network of interconnected smart devices that will soon span the globe.

And it’s worth tracing the evolution of this revolution to understand how far we’ve come.

In 1989, John Romkey, one of the inventors of the transmission control protocol (TCP/IP), connected a Sunbeam toaster to the internet, making it the very first IoT device.

Ten years later, sociologist Neil Gross saw the writing on the wall and made a now famous prediction in the pages of Business Week: “In the next century, planet Earth will don an electric skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations […] These will monitor cities and endangered species, the atmosphere, our ships, highways and fleets of trucks, our conversations, our bodies—even our dreams.”

A decade later in 2009, Gross’ prediction bore out: the number of devices connected to the Internet exceeded the number of people on the planet (12.5 billion devices, 6.8 billion people, or 1.84 connected devices per person).

A year later, driven primarily by the evolution of smart phones, sensor prices began to plummet. By 2015, all this progress added up to 15 billion connected devices, with researchers at Stanford predicting 50 billion by 2020.

As most of these devices contain multiple sensors—the average smart phone has about twenty—this also explains why 2020 marks the debut of what’s been called “our trillion sensor world.”

Nor will we stop there. By 2030, those same Stanford researchers estimate 500 billion connected devices. And according to Accenture, this translates into a US$14.2 trillion economy.

Hidden behind these numbers is exactly what Gross had in mind—an electric skin that registers just about every sensation on the planet.

Consider optical sensors. The first digital camera, built in 1976 by Kodak engineer Steven Sasson, was the size of a toaster oven, took twelve black-and-white images, and cost over ten thousand dollars. Today, the average camera that accompanies your smartphone shows a thousand-fold improvement in weight, cost, and resolution.

And these cameras are everywhere: in cars, drones, phones, satellites— with uncanny image resolution to boot. Already, satellites photograph the Earth down to the half-meter range. Drones shrink that to a centimeter. And the LIDAR sensors atop autonomous cars are on track to capture just about everything—gathering 1.3 million data points per second, and registering change down to the single photon level.

Implications

We see this triple trend—of plummeting size and cost, alongside mass increases in performance—everywhere.

The first commercial GPS hit shelves in 1981, weighing 53 pounds and costing $119,900. By 2010, it had shrunk to a five-dollar chip small enough to sit on your finger.

The “inertial measurement unit” that guided our early rockets was a 50-pound, $20 million device in the mid-60s. Today, the accelerometer and gyroscope in your cellphone do the same job, yet cost about four dollars and weigh less than a grain of rice.

And these trends are only going to continue. We’re moving from the world of the microscopic, to the world of the nanoscopic.

As a result, we’ve begun to see an oncoming wave of smart clothing, jewelry, glasses—the Oura ring being but one example. Soon, these sensors will migrate to our inner bodies. Alphabet’s Verily branch is working on a miniaturized continuous blood glucose monitor that could assist diabetics in everyday treatment.

Research on smart dust, a dust-mote-sized system that can sense, store, and transmit data, has been progressing for years. Today, a “mote” is the size of an apple seed. Tomorrow, at the nano-scale, they’ll float through our bloodstream, exploring one of the last great terra incognita—the interior of the human body.

We’re about to learn a whole lot more, and not just about the body. About everything. The data haul from these sensors is beyond comprehension. An autonomous car generates four terabytes a day, or a thousand feature length films’ worth of information. A commercial airliner: Forty terabytes. A smart factory: A petabyte. So what does this data haul get us? Plenty.

Doctors no longer have to rely on annual check-ups to track patient health, as they now get a blizzard of quantified-self data streaming in 24-7.

Farmers now know the moisture content in both the soil and the sky, allowing pinpoint watering for healthier crops, bigger yields and—a critical factor in the wake of climate change—far less water waste.

In business, agility has been the biggest advantage. In times of rapid change, lithe and nimble trumps slow and lumbering, every time. While knowing every available detail about one’s customers is an admitted privacy concern, it does provide organizations with an incredible level of dexterity, which may be the only way to stay in business in tomorrow’s accelerated times.

Final Thoughts

Within a decade, we will live in a world where just about anything that can be measured will be measured— all the time. It will not be your knowledge that matters, but rather the questions you ask.

It’s a world of radical transparency, where privacy concerns will take on a whole new meaning.

From the edge of space to the bottom of the ocean to the inside of your bloodstream, our world’s emerging electric skin is producing a sensorium of endlessly available information. And riding rapid advances in AI, this “skin” possesses the machine learning required to make sense of that information.

Welcome to the hyper-conscious planet.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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#BoardofDirectors #BoD #artificialintelligence #AI #innovation #IoT #virtualreality #vr #AR #augmentedreality #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #BoardofDirectors #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #Engineering #corporate #office #Biotech #Cleantech #CAD #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #excellence #development #motivation Contributors: Peter Diamandis and Clifford Locks #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Let’s get you educated on the software infrastructure in computing and the impact on your business

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 23, 2019 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Let’s get you educated on the software infrastructure in computing and the impact on your business

The AR Cloud

As AR hardware advances within its deceptive growth phase, the business opportunity for AR content creators is now—whether building virtual universes or digitizing our physical one.

But to create multi-player games, social media communities, and messaging platforms linked to the same physical space, a centralized AR Cloud must first unify all headsets within a synced virtual overlay.

Just as search engines like Google serve multiple operating systems, the AR Cloud will serve every headset. Yet unlike today’s Cloud computing infrastructure, the AR Cloud will need to churn constant input-output loops in real-time, crunching and serving up far more data than we can currently comprehend.

While most AR apps available today offer one-time wonders like furniture try-outs or human anatomy lessons, AR-native apps linked to daily tasks in the physical world will change the way we do everything.

“A real-time 3D (or spatial) map of the world, the AR Cloud, will be the single most important software infrastructure in computing,” believes Ori Inbar, co-founder of Augmented World Expo. “In a nutshell, with the AR Cloud, the entire world becomes a shared spatial screen, enabling multi-user engagement and collaboration.”

But the AR Cloud is also set to transform how information is organized. Currently, we actively input our questions and find answers through 2D mediums. But the AR Cloud will soon enable a smart environment that feeds us what is relevant, when relevant.

Local business that are inherently pertinent to you and your problems will auto-populate individualized data in your AR interface. Individuals’ backgrounds will pop up at networking events, particularly of those who share your industry, interests or might be great partners for your next joint venture. That computing system you’ve just been shipped will guide you interactively through the assembly process—just give it a gaze and activate instructions with a blink.

Technological Requirements

But how do we actually build the AR Cloud?

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the closest we have come to a widespread communal AR experience was Pokémon Go. To function, the game’s servers store geolocation, player activity, and specific location data. But even in the case of this sophisticated online-merge-offline AR experience, there is no shared memory of activities occurring in each location.

In tomorrow’s AR Cloud, a centralized AR backend would incorporate shared memory data, allowing us both individual gamification and seamless shared experience.

But to do so, the AR Cloud requires us to perfect point cloud capture, a method of capturing and reconstructing 3D areas. Several techniques—laser scanners like LiDAR, depth sensors like Kinect, or drone and satellite camera footage—will together enable a universal, high-integrity point cloud.

Along a similar vein, a tremendous upcoming business challenge involves inputting scans from countless hardware devices and outputting data accessible to a range of platforms. I.e., the process of digitizing and updating every square foot of physical space as user-worn sensors collect data.

To achieve this, we might think of solutions similar to (but far more sophisticated than) Google Tango’s “area learning,” wherein devices use camera footage and location data to recognize places they’ve seen before. Depth sensing and motion tracking will also play a critical role in environment creation.

And in terms of AR self-orientation, companies will need to develop universal localizers that give devices ultra-fast positional awareness. In this instance, crowdsourced 3D mesh stitching might be employed to stitch together all data generated by AR users, thereby recreating digital versions of shared physical environments.

Finally, the AR Cloud will ride on massive surges in connectivity. As 5G, balloons and satellite networks proliferate worldwide, latency (i.e. the delay in data transfer) will vastly improve across AR devices, allowing constant real-time updates to the cloud.

Even today, network giants like Cisco, Microsoft, and IBM are already starting to tackle the AR Cloud’s infrastructural components.

Take Cisco, which now innovates across various IoT platform solutions—think: Cisco Kinetic, Cisco Jasper, and Cisco DNA (Digital Network Architecture)—supporting the ever-increasing bandwidth needs of smart, connected devices.

Or global non-profit Open AR Cloud (OARC), which spans projects from spatial indexing, to edge-computing and 5G, to security and privacy.

The Implications….

So what does it all mean?

Instant skills training: Anyone capable of following decent audiovisual explanations can become an expert on anything, whether in the middle of NYC or in rural Bangladesh, on-demand.

Screens go away: Your AR headset can project your watch, phone screen, health metrics, entertainment, anywhere and to the scale you desire. We first dematerialized radios, calculators, measuring tapes, and almost every computing tool into a handheld device. But now, we are dematerializing screens themselves— seeing through interfaces, not looking into them.

Control what you see: Eliminate what you don’t want to see and populate ordinary environments with your desired reality. Your office floor becomes a calm pond, your windows a mountain view. Your kids might be surrounded by open canvases, how-it-works rundowns on any tool, or written vocabulary as you speak to them. Imagine telling your AI, “every time you see a coffee cup in the world, fill it with flowers.”

Never forget anyone’s name or birthday: The combination of facial recognition, AR and AI will allow you to recognize anyone by name. You immediately know a familiar face when you see one, how you know that person, and relevant information at the right time.

Instantly recognize any “thing:” Look at any tool, piece of art, product (you name it!) and know exactly who made it, what it costs, what it does, how it might be assembled or disassembled, and the supply chain that brought it about.

Advent of digital fashion: Digital garments are overlaid seamlessly on your body in the AR Cloud, and digital copies of yourself might model new styles or innovative fashion ideas at whim. You can control who sees you in what clothing. Your colleagues can see you wearing one outfit, pedestrians another, your family members a third.

Training your AI: AR headwear will know where you’re looking, tracking your facial expressions, eye dilation and focus—all working with your personal AI to learn what you love, how you think, and what catches your imagination most.

Final Thoughts

Consider how companies, governments, artists and leaders will vie for priority in presenting AR-delivered data to your visual cortex.

Or ponder how you (or your AI) will curate your digital world. How you might maintain privacy (of which information and how much?). Do you want people looking at you to know your name? Your profession or birthdate?

AR will not only transform our world. It will fundamentally redefine it. Your combined AR/AI system can help you focus on what’s important, block out distractions, or help lift your mood when required.

The convergence of AR, gigabit/low-latency networks (such as 5G), IoT (i.e. sensors), AI and Blockchain is about to change almost every industry in the decade ahead, and create more opportunity for wealth creation than was possible in the past century!

Entrepreneurs pay attention! Consider these two economic predictions to understand the magnitude of what is coming.

  • First, McKinsey predicts that IoT will create $6.2 TRILLION of new economic value by 2025.
  • Second, Gartner predictions that AI augmentation will create $2.9 TRILLION of business value and 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity globally by 2021.

AR will play heavily in both. My advice to everyone… DON’T BLINK!

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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#BoardofDirectors #BoD #artificialintelligence #3DPrinting #AI #innovation #IoT #virtualreality #vr #d #augmentedreality #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #BoardofDirectors #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #Engineering #corporate #office #Biotech #Cleantech #CAD #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #excellence #development #motivation Contributors: Peter Diamandis and Clifford Locks #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

How Augmented Reality (AR) will change your industry

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 16, 2019 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

How Augmented Reality (AR) will change your industry

Augmented Reality (AR) has already exceeded over 2,000 AR apps on over 1.4 billion active iOS devices. Even if on a rudimentary level, the technology is now permeating the consumer products space.

And in just the next four years, the International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts AR headset production will surge 141 percent each year, reaching a whopping 32 million units by 2023.

AR will soon serve as a surgeon’s assistant, a sales agent, and an educator, personalized to your kids’ learning patterns and interests.

In this fourth installment of our five-part AR series, I’m doing a deep dive into AR’s most exciting industry applications, poised to hit the market in the next 5-10 years.

Let’s dive in.

Healthcare 

(1) Surgeons and physicians: 

Whether through detailed and dynamic anatomical annotations or visualized patient-specific guidance, AR will soon augment every human medical practitioner.

To start, AR is already being used as a diagnosis tool. SyncThink, recently hired by Magic Leap, has developed eye-tracking technology to diagnose concussions and balance disorders. Yet another startup, XRHealth, launched its ARHealth platform on Magic Leap to aid in rehabilitation, pain distraction, and psychological assessment.

SyncThink

Moreover, surgeons at the Imperial College London have used Microsoft’s HoloLens 1 in pre-operative reconstructive and plastic surgery procedures, which typically involves using CT scans to map blood vessels that supply vital nutrients during surgery.

As explained by the project’s senior researcher, Dr. Philip Pratt, “With the HoloLens, we’re now doing the same kind of [scan] and then processing the data captured to make it suitable to look at. That means we end up with a silhouette of a limb, the location of the injury, and the course of the vessels through the area, as opposed to this grayscale image of a scan and a bit more guesswork.”

Dramatically lowering associated risks, AR can even help surgeons visualize the depth of vessels and choose the optimal incision location.

And while the HoloLens 1 was only used in pre-op visualizations, Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 is on track to reach the operating table. Take Philips’ Azurion image-guided therapy platform, for instance. Built specifically for the HoloLens 2, Azurion strives to provide surgeons with real-time patient data and dynamic 3D imagery as they operate.

Moreover, AR headsets and the virtual overlays they provide will exponentially improve sharing of expertise across hospitals and medical practices. Niche medical specialists will be able to direct surgeons remotely from across the country (not to mention the other side of the planet), or even view annotated AR scans to offer their advice.

Magic Leap, in its own right, is now collaborating with German medical company Brainlab to create a 3D spatial viewer that would allow clinicians to work together in surgical procedures across disciplines.

Brain Lab

But beyond democratizing medical expertise, AR will even provide instantaneous patient histories, gearing doctors with AI-processed information for more accurate diagnoses in a fraction of the time.

By saving physicians’ time, AR will therefore free doctors to spend a greater percentage of their day engaging in face-to-face contact with their patients, establishing trust, compassion, and an opportunity to educate healthcare consumers (rather than merely treating them).

And when it comes to digital records, doctors can simply use voice control to transcribe entire interactions and patient visits, multiplying what can be done in a day, and vastly improving the patient experience.

(2) Assistance for those with disabilities: 

Today, over 3.4 million visually impaired individuals reside in the U.S. alone. But thanks to new developments in the AI-integrated smart glasses realm, associated constraints could soon fade in severity.

And new pioneers continue to enter the market, including NavCog, Horus, AIServe, and MyEye, among others. Microsoft has even begun development of a “Seeing AI” app, which translates the world into audio descriptions for the blind, as seen through a smartphone’s camera lens.

Vision of Children Foundation

During the Reality Virtual Hackathon in January, hosted by Magic Leap at MIT, two of the top three winners catered to disabilities. CleARsite provided environment reconstruction, haptic feedback, and Soundfield Audio overlay to enhance a visually impaired individual’s interaction with the world. Meanwhile, HeAR used a Magic Leap 1 headset to translate vocals or sign language into readable text in speech bubbles in the user’s field of view. Magic Leap remains dedicated to numerous such applications, each slated to vastly improve quality of life.

(3) Biometric displays:

In biometrics, cyclist sunglasses and swimmer goggles have evolved into the perfect medium for AR health metric displays. Smart glasses like the Solos ($499) and Everysight Raptors ($599) provide cyclists with data on speed, power, and heart rate, along with navigation instructions. Meanwhile, Form goggles ($199)—just released at the end of August—show swimmers their pace, calories burned, distance, and stroke count in real-time, up to 32 feet underwater.

SENTHIN1 Scientific Triathlon

Accessible health data will shift off our wrists and into our fields of view, offering us personalized health recommendations and pushing our training limits alike.

Retail & Advertising

(1) Virtual shopping:

The year is 2030. Walk into any (now AI-driven, sensor-laden, and IoT-retrofitted) store, and every mannequin will be wearing a digital design customized to your preferences. Forget digging through racks of garments or hunting down your size. Cross-referencing your purchase history, gaze patterns, and current closet inventory, AIs will display tailor-made items most suitable for your wardrobe, adjusted to your individual measurements.

Automation Tags – Pricing

An app available on most Android smartphones, Google Lens is already leaping into this marketplace, allowing users to scan QR codes and objects through their smartphone cameras. Within the product, Google Lens’s Style Match feature even gives consumers the capability to identify pieces of clothing or furniture and view similar designs available online and through e-commerce platforms.

(2) Advertising:

And these mobile AR features are quickly encroaching upon ads as well.

In July, the New York Times debuted an AR ad for Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” for instance, guiding smartphone users to scan the page with their Google Lens app and experience the show’s fictional Starcourt Mall come to life.

APP DEVELOPER MAGAZINE
Source: App Developer Magazine.

But immersive AR advertisements of the future won’t all be unsolicited and obtrusive. Many will likely prove helpful.

As you walk down a grocery store aisle, discounts and special deals on your favorite items might populate your AR smart glasses. Or if you find yourself admiring an expensive pair of pants, your headset might suggest similar items at a lower cost, or cheaper distributors with the same product. Passing a stadium on the way to work, next weekend’s best concert ticket deals might filter through your AR suggestions—whether your personal AI intends them for your friend’s upcoming birthday or your own enjoyment.

Instead of bombarding you at every turn on a needed handheld device, ads will appear only when most relevant to your physical surroundings— or toggle them off, and have your personal AI do the product research for you.

Education & Travel

(1) Customized, continuous learning:

The convergence of today’s AI revolution with AR advancements gives us the ability to create individually customized learning environments.

Throw sensors in the mix for tracking of neural and physiological data, and students will soon be empowered to better mediate a growth mindset, and even work towards achieving a flow state (which research shows can vastly amplify learning).

AR – Travel

Within the classroom, Magic Leap One’s Lumin operating system allows multiple wearers to share in a digital experience, such as a dissection or historical map. And from a collaborative creation standpoint, students can use Magic Leap’s CAD application to join forces on 3D designs.

In success, AR’s convergence with biometric sensors and AI will give rise to an extraordinarily different education system: one comprised of delocalized, individually customizable, responsive, and accelerated learning environments.

Continuous and learn-everywhere education will no longer be confined to the classroom. Already, numerous AR mobile apps can identify objects in a user’s visual field, instantaneously presenting relevant information. As user interface hardware undergoes a dramatic shift in the next decade, these software capabilities will only explode in development and use.

Gazing out your window at a cloud will unlock interactive information about the water cycle and climate science. Walking past an old building, you might effortlessly learn about its history dating back to the sixteenth century. I often discuss information abundance, but it is data’s accessibility that will soon drive knowledge abundance. 

(2) Training:

AR will enable on-the-job training at far lower costs in almost any environment, from factories to hospitals.

Smart glasses are already beginning to guide manufacturing plant employees as they learn how to assemble new equipment. Retailers stand to decimate the time it takes to train a new employee with AR tours and product descriptions.

And already, automotive technicians can better understand the internal components of a vehicle without dismantling it. Jaguar Land Rover, for instance, has recently implemented Bosch’s Re’flekt One AR solution. Training technicians with “x-ray” vision, the AR service thereby allows them to visualize the insides of Range Rover Sport vehicles without removing their dashboards.

In healthcare, medical students will be able to practice surgeries on artificial cadavers with hyper-realistic AR displays. Not only will this allow them to rapidly iterate on their surgical skills, but AR will dramatically lower the cost and constraints of standard medical degrees and specializations.

Meanwhile, sports training in simulators will vastly improve with advanced AR headset technology. Even practicing chess or piano will be achievable with any tabletop surface, allowing us to hone real skills with virtual interfaces.

(3) Travel:

As with most tasks, AI’s convergence with AR glasses will allow us to outsource all the most difficult (and least enjoyable) decisions associated with travel, whether finding the best restaurants or well-suited local experiences.

But perhaps one of AR’s more sophisticated uses (already rolling out today) involves translation. Whether you need to decode a menu or access subtitles while conversing across a language barrier, instantaneous translation is about to improve exponentially with the rise of AI-powered AR glasses. Even today, Google Translate can already convert menu text and street signs in real time through your smartphone.

Manufacturing

As I explored last week, manufacturing presents the nearest-term frontier for AR’s commercial use. As a result, many of today’s leading headset companies—including Magic Leap, Vuzix, and Microsoft—are seeking out initial adopters and enterprise applications in the manufacturing realm.

ARM BLUEPRINT
Source: Arm Blueprint.

(1) Design:

Targeting the technology for simulation purposes, Airbus launched an AR model of the MRH-90 Taipan aircraft just last year, allowing designers and engineers to view various components, potential upgrades, and electro-optical sensors before execution. Saving big on parts and overhead costs, Airbus thereby gave technicians the opportunity to make important design changes without removing their interaction with the aircraft.

(2) Supply chain optimization: 

AR guidance linked to a centralized AI will also mitigate supply chain inefficiencies. Coordinating moving parts, eliminating the need to hold a scanner at each checkpoint, and directing traffic within warehouses will vastly improve workflow.

After initially implementing AR “vision picking” in 2015, leading supply company DHL recently announced it would continue to use the newest Google smart lens in warehouses across the world. Or take automotive supplier ZF, which has now rolled out use of the HoloLens in plant maintenance.

Jasoren -notice the green arrow projected on the floor and the product photo and pick quantity. Improve your order picking and reduce costs.

(3) Quality assurance & accessible expertise:

AR technology will also play a critical role in quality assurance, as it already does in Porsche’s assembly plant in Leipzig, Germany. Whenever manufacturers require guidance from engineers, remote assistance is effectively no longer remote, as equipment experts guide employees through their AR glasses and teach them on the job.

Transportation & Navigation

(1) Autonomous vehicles:

To start, Nvidia’s Drive platform for Level 2+ autonomous vehicles is already combining sensor fusion and perception with AR dashboard displays to alert drivers of road hazards, highlight points of interest, and provide navigation assistance.

NEXT REALITY
Source: Next Reality – Augmented Reality News.

And in our current transition phase of partially autonomous vehicles, such AR integration allows drivers to monitor conditions yet eases the burden of constant attention to the road. Along these lines, Volkswagen has already partnered with Nvidia to produce I.D. Buzz electric cars, set to run on the Drive OS by 2020. And Nvidia’s platform is fast on the move, having additionally partnered with Toyota, Uber, and Mercedes-Benz. Within just the next few years, AR displays may be commonplace in these vehicles.

(2) Navigation:

THE VERGE
Source: The Verge.

We’ve all seen (or been) that someone spinning around with their smartphone to decipher the first few steps of a digital map’s commands. But AR is already making everyday navigation intuitive and efficient.

Google Maps’ AR feature has already been demoed on Pixel phones: instead of staring at your map from a bird’s eye view, users direct their camera at the street, and superimposed directions are immediately layered virtually on top.

Not only that, but as AI identifies what you see, it instantaneously communicates with your GPS to pinpoint your location and orientation. Although a mainstream rollout date has not yet been announced, this feature will likely make it to your phone in the very near future.

Entertainment

(1) Gaming:

We got our first taste of AR’s real-world gamification in 2016, when Nintendo released Pokémon Go. And today, the gaming app has now surpassed 1 billion downloads. But by contrast to VR, AR is increasingly seen as a medium for bringing gamers together in the physical world, encouraging outdoor exploration, activity, and human connection in the process.

And in the recently exploding eSports industry, AR has the potential to turn player’s screens into live action stadiums. Just this year, the global eSports market is projected to exceed US$1.1 billion in revenue, and AR’s potential to elevate the experience will only see this number soar.

(2) Art:

Many of today’s most popular AR apps allow users to throw dinosaurs into their surroundings (Monster Park), learn how to dance (Dance Reality), or try on highly convincing virtual tattoos (InkHunter).

And as high-definition rendering becomes more commonplace, art will, too, grow more and more accessible.

Magic Leap aims to construct an entire “Magicverse” of digital layers superimposed on our physical reality. Location-based AR displays, ranging from art installations to gaming hubs, will be viewable in a shared experience across hundreds of headsets. Individuals will simply toggle between modes to access whichever version of the universe they desire. Endless opportunities to design our surroundings will arise.  

Apple, in its own right, recently announced the company’s [AR]T initiative, which consists of floating digital installations. Viewable through [AR]T Viewer apps in Apple stores, these installations can also be found in [AR]T City Walks guiding users through popular cities, and [AR]T Labs, which teach participants how to use Swift Playgrounds (an iPad app) to create AR experiences.

(3) Shows:

And at the recent Siggraph Conference in Los Angeles, Magic Leap introduced an AR-theater hybrid called Mary and the Monster, wherein viewers watched a barren “diorama-like stage” come to life in AR.

VENTURE BEAT

Source: Venture Beat.

While audience members shared the common experience like a traditional play, individuals could also zoom in on specific actors to observe their expressions more closely.

Say goodbye to opera glasses and hello to AR headsets.

Final Thoughts

While AR headset manufacturers and mixed reality developers race to build enterprise solutions from manufacturing to transportation, AR’s use in consumer products is following close behind.

Magic Leap leads the way in developing consumer experiences we’ve long been waiting for, as the “Magicverse” of localized AR displays in shared physical spaces will reinvent our modes of connection.

And as AR-supportive hardware is now built into today’s newest smartphones, businesses have an invaluable opportunity to gamify products and immerse millions of consumers in service-related AR experiences.

Even beyond the most obvious first-order AR business cases, new industries to support the augmented world of 2030 will soon surge in market competition, whether headset hardware, data storage solutions, sensors, or holograph and projection technologies.

Jump on the bandwagon now— the future is faster than you think!

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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#BoardofDirectors #BoD #artificialintelligence #AI #innovation #IoT #virtualreality #vr #AR #augmentedreality #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #BoardofDirectors #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #Engineering #corporate #office #Biotech #Cleantech #CAD #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #excellence #development #motivation Contributors: Peter Diamandis and Clifford Locks #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

The Future is Faster Than You Think

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 9, 2019 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

The Future is Faster Than You Think

3D printing is about to transform manufacturing as we know it, decimating waste, multiplying speed to market, and harnessing never-before-used materials.

Already forecast to hit US$15.8 billion in value by 2020, additive manufacturing products and services are projected to more than double to $35.6 billion by 2024. Just five years from today.

But not only will 3D printing turn supply chains on their head here on Earth—shifting how and who manufactures our products—but it will be the vital catalyst for making space colonies (and their infrastructure) possible.

Welcome to the 2030 era of tailor-made, rapid-fire, ultra-cheap, and zero-waste product creation… on our planet, and far beyond.

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3D printing on the ISS

Today, the most expensive supply chain in the known universe extends only 241 miles.

Jutting straight up from mission control down here on Earth, this resupply network extends directly to the astronauts aboard the International Space Station (or the ISS).

Yet the supply chain’s hefty expense is due almost entirely to weight. Why? It costs $10,000 per pound just to get an object out of the Earth’s gravity well. And because it takes months for that object to actually reach the Space Station, a significant portion of the ISS’s precious real estate is taken up by storage of replacement parts.

In other words, the most expensive supply chain in history leads to the most exotic junkyard in the cosmos.

The first-ever company seeking to solve these problems, Made in Space had the ambitious goal to build a 3D printer that works in zero gravity. And just a few years later, Made in Space is now in space. For this reason, on a 2018 ISS mission, when an astronaut broke his finger, the team no longer needed to order a splint from Earth and wait months for its arrival.

Instead, they flipped on their 3D printer, loaded in some feed stock, found “splint” in their blueprint archive, and created what they needed, when they needed it.

Successes like that of Made in Space represent a level of on-demand manufacturing capability unlike anything we’ve seen before.

But how did we get here…?

The original 3D printers showed up back in the 80s. They were clunky, slow, hard to program, easy to break, and worked with only one material: Plastic.

Today, these machines have colonized most of the periodic table. We can now print in over 500 different materials, in full color, in metals, rubber, plastic, glass, concrete, and even in organic materials, such as cells, leather and chocolate.

The interfaces are nearly plug-and-play simple—meaning if you can learn to use Facebook, you can probably learn to 3D print.

And what we can now print is astounding. From jet engines to apartment complexes to circuit boards to prosthetic limbs, 3D printers can fabricate enormously complex devices in ever-shorter timeframes.

Moreover, because objects are being built one layer at a time, customization requires nothing more than altering a digital file. Design complexity, what was once one of the most expensive components of the manufacturing process, now comes for free.

And in a big win for our planet, 3D printing also cleans up the process.

In comparison, traditional manufacturing is about turning more into less. Start with a big hunk of whatever, and carve, shave, and shred your way down to the desired object. Most of what you’re producing along the way is waste.

But 3D printing turns this process on its head. By building up objects one layer at a time, the process uses 10 percent of the raw materials of traditional manufacturing.

Nor is it just waste that vanishes.

The on-demand nature of 3D printers removes the need for inventory and everything that inventory requires. Other than the space required for printing materials and the printer itself, 3D printing all but erases supply chains, transportation networks, stock rooms, warehouses and all the rest.

This one development—this single exponential technology—threatens to demonetize, dematerialize and democratize the entire $12 trillion manufacturing industry.

And once again, this development was a long time coming.

Until the early 2000s, 3D printers were exceptionally pricey toys. This started to shift in 2007, when what was once a several-hundred-thousand-dollar machine became available for under $10,000.

Just one year later, the first 3D-printed objects hit the market. Housewares, jewelry, clothing, even prosthetic limbs.

Transportation was next: 2011 saw the world’s first 3D-printed car. Jet engines soon followed, and rocket engines were not far behind.

But 2017 was the year that additive manufacturing entered its disruptive phase. By then, printing speeds had increased 150-fold, the variety of materials had increased 500-fold, and printers themselves could now be purchased for under $1,000.

3D Printing Convergences

As price dropped and performance increased, convergences began to arise—and this is what moves 3D printing from a manufacturing revolution to a society-wide force for change.

Take computing, for instance. A couple years back, the Israeli company Nano Dimension brought the first commercial circuit board printer to market, a development that lets designers prototype new circuit boards in hours instead of months. Since the design of circuit boards is a brake on the speed of computer development—that is, a brake on the biggest driver of technological acceleration—this convergence doesn’t just represent a revolution in computer manufacturing; it puts the pedal to the metal on an already accelerated process.

Another convergence sits at the intersection of energy and 3D printing, wherein additive manufacturing is already making batteries, wind turbines and solar cells— three of the most expensive and important components of the renewables revolution.

And even transportation is seeing similar impacts. Engines used to be among the most complicated machines on the planet. GE’s advanced turboprop, for instance, once contained 855 individually milled components. Today, with 3D printing, it has twelve. The upside? A hundred pounds of weight reduction and a 20 percent improvement in fuel burn.

Yet another convergence involves 3D printing and biotech. The first few 3D-printed prosthetics arrived in 2010. And today, hospitals are rolling them out at scale. Just last year, for instance, a Jordanian hospital introduced a program that can fit and build a prosthetic for an amputee in only 24 hours. The price tag? Less than US$20. Meanwhile, as 3D printers can now print electronics, we’re seeing innovations like the Hero Arm: the world’s first 3D-printed, multi-grip bionic prosthetic available at non-bionic prices.

And replacement body parts are about to become replacement organs.

Back in 2002, scientists at Wake Forest University 3D-printed the first kidney capable of filtering blood and producing urine. In 2010, Organovo, a San Diego-based bioprinting outfit, created the first blood vessel. And today, San Francisco-based 3D tissue printing company Prellis Biologics is achieving record speeds in its pursuit of printed human tissue with viable capillaries. In success, these additive manufacturing breakthroughs could forever end our shortage of donor organs.

And in the realm of real estate and infrastructure, the construction industry will be downright unrecognizable within just a few years.

But a story that might best illustrate the world-changing power of 3D printing belongs to a guy named Brett Devita.

Sickened by the tent cities he saw in Haiti after the earthquake, Devita decided to find a way to use emerging technology to provide permanent shelter for people who need it most. Forming a non-profit called New Story, he raised research capital from a group of investors known only as “the Builders” and created a solar-powered 3D printer that can work in the worst environments imaginable. Greatly democratizing the field, Devita’s printer erects a 400-800 square-foot home in 48 hours at the cost of about $4,000. But these homes aren’t bunkers—they consist of nifty modern designs complete with wrap-around porches.

And in the fall of this year (2019), New Story is starting construction of the world’s first 3D-printed community—100 homes to be given or sold (using no interest, micro-repayment loans available to anyone) to people who are currently homeless.

Final Thoughts

3D printing is not a mere paradigm shift in manufacturing.

It is fundamentally democratizing access to vital resources, redefining nodes of power in contemporary supply chains, and turning wasteful production processes into closed-loop economies.

Whether a bearer of infinite organ supply or trillions of sensors, 3D printing and the production materials it unlocks will permeate every industry imaginable.

And even in some of the most barren of environments—think: lonesome planets, disaster zones, or scattered among asteroids in space—additive manufacturing is one tomorrow’s greatest conduits for converting scarcity to abundance….


Want a copy of Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler next book? If you’ve enjoyed the book Bold or Abundance their new book should be amazingly informative. The Future is Faster Than You Think, pre-order on Amazon should be in on January 28, 2020.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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#BoardofDirectors #BoD #artificialintelligence #3DPrinting #AI #innovation #IoT #virtualreality #vr #d #augmentedreality #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #BoardofDirectors #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #Engineering #corporate #office #Biotech #Cleantech #CAD #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #excellence #development #motivation Contributors: Peter Diamandis and Clifford Locks #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

How AR, AI, Sensors & Blockchain are Merging Into Web 3.0

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 18, 2019 at 10:31 am / In: Uncategorized

How AR, AI, Sensors & Blockchain are Merging Into Web 3.0

How each of us sees the world is about to change dramatically…

For all of human history, the experience of looking at the world was roughly the same for everyone. But boundaries between the digital and physical are beginning to fade.

The world around us is gaining layer upon layer of digitized, virtually overlaid information — making it rich, meaningful, and interactive. As a result, our respective experiences of the same environment are becoming vastly different, personalized to our goals, dreams, and desires.

Welcome to Web 3.0, aka The Spatial Web. In version 1.0, static documents and read-only interactions limited the internet to one-way exchanges. Web 2.0 provided quite an upgrade, introducing multimedia content, interactive web pages, and participatory social media. Yet, all this was still mediated by 2D screens.

And today, we are witnessing the rise of Web 3.0, riding the convergence of high-bandwidth 5G connectivity, rapidly evolving AR eyewear, an emerging trillion-sensor economy, and ultra-powerful AIs.

As a result, we will soon be able to superimpose digital information atop any physical surrounding—freeing our eyes from the tyranny of the screen, immersing us in smart environments, and making our world endlessly dynamic.

In this third blog of our five-part series on augmented reality, we will explore the convergence between AR, AI, sensors, and blockchain, diving into the implications through a key use case in manufacturing.

A Tale of Convergence

Let’s deconstruct everything beneath the sleek AR display.

It all begins with Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) — electric circuits that perform rapid calculations to render images. (GPUs can be found in mobile phones, game consoles, and computers.)

However, because AR requires such extensive computing power, single GPUs will not suffice. Instead, blockchain can now enable distributed GPU processing power, and blockchains specifically dedicated to AR holographic processing are on the rise.

Next up, cameras and sensors will aggregate real-time data from any environment to seamlessly integrate physical and virtual worlds. Meanwhile, body-tracking sensors are critical for aligning a user’s self-rendering in AR with a virtually enhanced environment. Depth sensors then provide data for 3D spatial maps, while cameras absorb more surface-level, detailed visual input. In some cases, sensors might even collect biometric data, such as heart rate and brain activity, to incorporate health-related feedback in our everyday AR interfaces and personal recommendation engines.

The next step in the pipeline involves none other than AI. Processing enormous volumes of data instantaneously, embedded AI algorithms will power customized AR experiences in everything from artistic virtual overlays to personalized dietary annotations.

In retail, AIs will use your purchasing history, current closet inventory, and possibly even mood indicators to display digitally rendered items most suitable for your wardrobe, tailored to your measurements.

In healthcare, smart AR glasses will provide physicians with immediately accessible and maximally relevant information (parsed from the entirety of a patient’s medical records and current research) to aid in accurate diagnoses and treatments, freeing doctors to engage in the more human-centric tasks of establishing trust, educating patients and demonstrating empathy.

Convergence in Manufacturing

One of the nearest-term use cases of AR is manufacturing, as large producers begin dedicating capital to enterprise AR headsets. And over the next ten years, AR will converge with AI, sensors, and blockchain to multiply manufacturer productivity and employee experience.

(1) Convergence with AI

In initial application, digital guides superimposed on production tables will vastly improve employee accuracy and speed, while minimizing error rates.

Already, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) — whose airlines supply 82 percent of air travel — recently implemented industrial tech company Atheer’s AR headsets in cargo management. And with barely any delay, IATA reported a whopping 30 percent improvement in cargo handling speed and no less than a 90 percent reduction in errors.

With similar success rates, Boeing brought Skylight’s smart AR glasses to the runway, now used in the manufacturing of hundreds of airplanes. Sure enough—the aerospace giant has now seen a 25 percent drop in production time and near-zero error rates.

Beyond cargo management and air travel, however, smart AR headsets will also enable on-the-job training without reducing the productivity of other workers or sacrificing hardware. Jaguar Land Rover, for instance, implemented Bosch’s Re’flekt One AR solution to gear technicians with “x-ray” vision: allowing them to visualize the insides of Range Rover Sport vehicles without removing any dashboards.

And as enterprise capabilities continue to soar, AIs will soon become the go-to experts, offering support to manufacturers in need of assembly assistance. Instant guidance and real-time feedback will dramatically reduce production downtime, boost overall output, and even help customers struggling with DIY assembly at home.

Perhaps one of the most profitable business opportunities, AR guidance through centralized AI systems will also serve to mitigate supply chain inefficiencies at extraordinary scale. Coordinating moving parts, eliminating the need for manned scanners at each checkpoint, and directing traffic within warehouses, joint AI-AR systems will vastly improve workflow while overseeing quality assurance.

After its initial implementation of AR “vision picking” in 2015, leading courier company DHL recently announced it would continue to use Google’s newest smart lens in warehouses across the world. Motivated by the initial group’s reported 15 percent jump in productivity, DHL’s decision is part of the logistics giant’s $300 million investment in new technologies.

And as direct-to-consumer e-commerce fundamentally transforms the retail sector, supply chain optimization will only grow increasingly vital. AR could very well prove the definitive step for gaining a competitive edge in delivery speeds.

As explained by Vital Enterprises CEO Ash Eldritch, “All these technologies that are coming together around artificial intelligence are going to augment the capabilities of the worker and that’s very powerful. I call it Augmented Intelligence. The idea is that you can take someone of a certain skill level and by augmenting them with artificial intelligence via augmented reality and the Internet of Things, you can elevate the skill level of that worker.”

Already, large producers like Goodyear, thyssenkrupp, and Johnson Controls are using the Microsoft HoloLens 2—priced at $3,500 per headset—for manufacturing and design purposes.

Perhaps the most heartening outcome of the AI-AR convergence is that, rather than replacing humans in manufacturing, AR is an ideal interface for human collaboration with AI. And as AI merges with human capital, prepare to see exponential improvements in productivity, professional training, and product quality.

(2) Convergence with Sensors

On the hardware front, these AI-AR systems will require a mass proliferation of sensors to detect the external environment and apply computer vision in AI decision-making.

To measure depth, for instance, some scanning depth sensors project a structured pattern of infrared light dots onto a scene, detecting and analyzing reflected light to generate 3D maps of the environment. Stereoscopic imaging, using two lenses, has also been commonly used for depth measurements. But leading technology like Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 and Intel’s RealSense 400-series camera implement a new method called “phased time-of-flight” (ToF).

In ToF sensing, the HoloLens 2 uses numerous lasers, each with 100 milliwatts (mW) of power, in quick bursts. The distance between nearby objects and the headset wearer is then measured by the amount of light in the return beam that has shifted from the original signal. Finally, the phase difference reveals the location of each object within the field of view, which enables accurate hand-tracking and surface reconstruction.

With a far lower computing power requirement, the phased ToF sensor is also more durable than stereoscopic sensing, which relies on the precise alignment of two prisms. The phased ToF sensor’s silicon base also makes it easily mass-produced, rendering the HoloLens 2 a far better candidate for widespread consumer adoption.

To apply inertial measurement—typically used in airplanes and spacecraft—the HoloLens 2 additionally uses a built-in accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer. Further equipped with four “environment understanding cameras” that track head movements, the headset also uses a 2.4MP HD photographic video camera and ambient light sensor that work in concert to enable advanced computer vision.

For natural viewing experiences, sensor-supplied gaze tracking increasingly creates depth in digital displays. Nvidia’s work on Foveated AR Display, for instance, brings the primary foveal area into focus, while peripheral regions fall into a softer background— mimicking natural visual perception and concentrating computing power on the area that needs it most.

Gaze tracking sensors are also slated to grant users control over their (now immersive) screens without any hand gestures. Conducting simple visual cues, even staring at an object for more than three seconds, will activate commands instantaneously.

And our manufacturing example above is not the only one. Stacked convergence of blockchain, sensors, AI and AR will disrupt almost every major industry.

Take healthcare, for example, wherein biometric sensors will soon customize users’ AR experiences. Already, MIT Media Lab’s Deep Reality group has created an underwater VR relaxation experience that responds to real-time brain activity detected by a modified version of the Muse EEG. The experience even adapts to users’ biometric data, from heart rate to electro dermal activity (inputted from an Empatica E4 wristband).

Now rapidly dematerializing, sensors will converge with AR to improve physical-digital surface integration, intuitive hand and eye controls, and an increasingly personalized augmented world. Keep an eye on companies like MicroVision, now making tremendous leaps in sensor technology.

While I’ll be doing a deep dive into sensor applications across each industry in our next blog, it’s critical to first discuss how we might power sensor- and AI-driven augmented worlds.

(3) Convergence with Blockchain

Because AR requires much more compute power than typical 2D experiences, centralized GPUs and cloud computing systems are hard at work to provide the necessary infrastructure. Nonetheless, the workload is taxing and blockchain may prove the best solution.

A major player in this pursuit, Otoy aims to create the largest distributed GPU network in the world, called the Render Network RNDR. Built specifically on the Ethereum blockchain for holographic media, and undergoing Beta testing, this network is set to revolutionize AR deployment accessibility.

Alphabet Chairman Eric Schmidt (an investor in Otoy’s network), has even said, “I predicted that 90% of computing would eventually reside in the web based cloud… Otoy has created a remarkable technology which moves that last 10%—high-end graphics processing—entirely to the cloud. This is a disruptive and important achievement. In my view, it marks the tipping point where the web replaces the PC as the dominant computing platform of the future.”

Leveraging the crowd, RNDR allows anyone with a GPU to contribute their power to the network for a commission of up to $300 a month in RNDR tokens. These can then be redeemed in cash or used to create users’ own AR content.

In a double win, Otoy’s blockchain network and similar iterations not only allow designers to profit when not using their GPUs, but also democratize the experience for newer artists in the field.

And beyond these networks’ power suppliers, distributing GPU processing power will allow more manufacturing companies to access AR design tools and customize learning experiences. By further dispersing content creation across a broad network of individuals, blockchain also has the valuable potential to boost AR hardware investment across a number of industry beneficiaries.

On the consumer side, startups like Scanetchain are also entering the blockchain-AR space for a different reason. Allowing users to scan items with their smartphone, Scanetchain’s app provides access to a trove of information, from manufacturer and price, to origin and shipping details.

Based on NEM (a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency that implements a blockchain consensus algorithm), the app aims to make information far more accessible and, in the process, create a social network of purchasing behavior. Users earn tokens by watching ads, and all transactions are hashed into blocks and securely recorded.

The writing is on the wall—our future of brick-and-mortar retail will largely lean on blockchain to create the necessary digital links.

Final Thoughts

Integrating AI into AR creates an “auto-magical” manufacturing pipeline that will fundamentally transform the industry, cutting down on marginal costs, reducing inefficiencies and waste, and maximizing employee productivity.

Bolstering the AI-AR convergence, sensor technology is already blurring the boundaries between our augmented and physical worlds, soon to be near-undetectable. While intuitive hand and eye motions dictate commands in a hands-free interface, biometric data is poised to customize each AR experience to be far more in touch with our mental and physical health.

And underpinning it all, distributed computing power with blockchain networks like RNDR will democratize AR, boosting global consumer adoption at plummeting price points.

As AR soars in importance—whether in retail, manufacturing, entertainment, or beyond—the stacked convergence discussed above merits significant investment over the next decade. Already, 52 Fortune 500 companies have begun testing and deploying AR/VR technology. And while global revenue from AR/VR stood at $5.2 billion in 2016, market intelligence firm IDC predicts the market will exceed $162 billion in value by 2020.

The augmented world is only just getting started.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

Download Resume

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#BoardofDirectors #BoD #artificialintelligence #AI #innovation #IoT #virtualreality #vr #d #augmentedreality #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO BoardofDirectors #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #Engineering #corporate #office #Biotech #Cleantech #CAD #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #excellence #development #motivation Contributors: Peter Diamandis and Clifford Locks #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Emerging Augmented Reality (AR) technologies are driving increased demand for innovations, 5G will provide the key to unlocking AR’s potential

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 11, 2019 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Emerging Augmented Reality (AR) technologies are driving increased demand for innovations, 5G will provide the key to unlocking AR’s potential

Today, adults in the U.S. spend over nine hours a day looking at screens. That counts for more than a third of our livelihoods.

Yet even though they serve as a portal to 90 percent of our media consumption, screens continue to define and constrain how and where we consume content, and they may very soon become obsolete.

Riding new advancements in hardware and connectivity, augmented reality (AR) is set to replace these 2D interfaces, instead allowing us to see through a digital information layer. And ultimately, AR headsets will immerse us in dynamic stories, learn-everywhere education, and even gamified work tasks.

If you want to play AR Star Wars, you’re battling the Empire on your way to work, in your cubicle, cafeteria, bathroom and beyond.

We got our first taste of AR’s real-world gamification in 2016, when Nintendo released Pokemon Go. Thus began the greatest cartoon character turkey shoot in history. With 5 million daily users, 65 million monthly users, and over $2 billion in revenue, the virtual-overlaid experience remains one for the books.

In the years since, similar AR apps have exploded. Once thick and bulky, AR glasses are becoming increasingly lightweight, stylish, and unobtrusive. And over the next 15 years, AR portals will become almost unnoticeable, as hardware rapidly dematerializes.

Companies like Mojo Vision are even rumored to be developing AR contact lenses, slated to offer us heads-up display capabilities — no glasses required.

In this second installation of our five-part AR blog series, we are doing a deep dive into the various apps, headsets, and lenses on the market today, along with projected growth.

Let’s take a look…

Mobile AR

We have already begun to sample AR’s extraordinary functions through mobile (smartphone) apps. And the growth of the market is only accelerating.

Snap recently announced it will raise $1 billion in short-term debt to invest in media content, acquisitions, and AR features. Both Apple and Google are racing to deploy phones with requisite infrastructure to support hyper-realistic AR.

And in the iOS space, developers use ARKit in iPhone software, from the SE to the latest-generation X, to bring high-definition AR experiences to life. Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly emphasized his belief that AR will “change the way we use technology forever.”

While recent rumors reveal the company’s AR glasses project has been discontinued, Apple’s foray in AR is far from over. Just recently, the tech giant broadcasted a large collection of job postings for AR and VR experts. And although somewhat speculative, Apple is likely waiting for the consumer market to mature before releasing its first-generation AR glasses or pivoting towards an entirely new AR hardware product.

For now, Apple seems to be promoting the extensive hardware advancements showcased by its A12 bionic chip, not to mention the variety of apps available in its App Store.

  • In the productivity realm: IKEA place allows users to try out furniture in the home, experimenting with styles and sizing before ordering online. Or take Vuforia Chalk, a novel AR tool that helps customers fix appliances with real-time virtual assistance. As users direct their smartphone cameras towards troublesome appliances, remote tech support workers can draw on consumers’ screens to guide them through repair steps.
  • As to the AR playground, Monster Park brings Jurassic Park dinosaurs into any landscape you desire, immersing you in a modern-day Mesozoic Era. Meanwhile, Dance Reality can guide you through detailed steps and timing of countless dance styles.
  • In virtually immersive learning, BBC’s Civilisations lets you hold, spin, and view x-rays of ancient artifacts while listening to historical narrations. WWF’s Free Rivers transforms your tabletop into natural landscapes, from the Himalayas to the African Sahara, allowing you to digitally manipulate entire ecosystems to better understand how water flow affects habitats.
  • Or even create your own DIY AR worlds and objects using Thyng.

Yet for Android users, options are just as varied, based on the Android software-compatible ARCore used by developers. While the recently announced Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 aims to capture enterprise clients, Android smartphone hardware provides remarkable AR experiences for everyday consumers.

  • For sheer doodling, DoodleLens (Android APP) brings your doodles to life, transforming paper drawings into 3D animated figures that you can place and manipulate in your physical environment. And even more directly, Just a Line (Android APP) allows anyone to create a 3D drawing within their physical surroundings, making space itself an endless canvas.
  • Learn as you travel: Google Translate (Android APP) can now take an image of any foreign street sign, menu, or label and provide instantaneous translation in real time. And beyond Earth-bound adventures, the now open-sourced Sky Map (Android APP) guides you through constellations across the night sky.
  • Even alter your own body with Inkhunter, (Android APP) which allows users to preview any potential tattoo design on their skin. Or as is familiar to most younger folks, change your look with Snapchat’s (Android APP) computer vision-derived filters, which have already reached 90 percent of 12-to 24-year-olds in the U.S.

Leading Headsets

Although the number of AR headsets breaking into the market may seem overwhelming, a few of the top contenders are now pushing the envelope in everything from wide FOV immersion to applications in enterprise.

(1) Highest Resolution

DreamGlass: Connected to a PC or Android-based smartphone, DreamWorld’s headset offers 2.5K resolution in each lens, beating out Full HD resolution screens, but in AR. Now flooded by investment, resolution improvements minimize pixel size, reducing the “screen door effect,” whereby pixel boundaries disrupt the image like a screen’s mesh. Offering unprecedented levels of hand- and head-tracking precision, the headset even features 6 degrees of freedom (i.e. axes of directional rotation).

And with a flexible software development kit (SDK), supported by Unity and Android, the device is highly accessible to developers, making it a ready candidate for countless immersive experiences. Already at $619, the DreamGlass and comparable technology are only falling in price.

(2) Best for Enterprise

Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2: In just four years (since Google’s release of the last iteration), the Google Glass has gotten a major upgrade, now geared with an 8-megapixel camera, detachable lens, vastly increased battery life, faster connection, and ultra-high-performance Snapdragon XR1 CPU. Already, the Glass has been sold to over 100 businesses, including GE, agricultural machinery manufacturer AGCO, and health record company Dignity Health.

But perhaps most remarkable are the bucks AR can make for business. Using the Glass, GE has increased productivity by 25 percent, and DHL improved its supply chain efficiency by 15 percent. While only (currently) available for businesses, the new-and-improved AR glasses stand at $999 and will continue to ride plummeting production costs.

(3) Democratized AR

Vuzix Blade: Resembling chunky Oakley sunglasses, these smart glasses are extraordinarily portable, with a built-in Android OS as well as both WiFi and Bluetooth connection. Designed for everyday consumer use (at a price point of $700), the Vuzix Blade is slowly chipping away at smartphone functionalities. For easy control of an intuitive interface, a touchpad on the device’s temples allows consumers to display everything from social media platforms and user messages to “light AR” experiences. Meanwhile, an 8MP HD camera makes your phone camera null and void, allowing users to remain immersed in their experience while digitally capturing it at the same time. All the while, built-in Alexa capabilities and vibration alerts extend users’ experience beyond pure visual stimulation.

(4) Widest Field of View (FOV)

Microsoft HoloLens 2: This newly announced headset leads the industry with a 43° x 29° FOV, more than double its (2016-released) predecessor’s capability. But this drastic increase in visual immersiveness is far from the only device improvement. For improved long-use comfort, the headset’s center of gravity now rests on the top of the head, moving away from typical front-loaded headsets.

An even more novel functionality, tiny cameras on the nose bridge verify a user’s identity by scanning the wearer’s eyes and customizing the display based on distance between pupils. Once accompanied by emotion-deducing AIs (now under development), this tracking technology could even evolve to intuitively predict a user’s desires and emotional feedback in future models. Geared with a Qualcomm 850 mobile processor and Microsoft’s own AI engine built-in, Hololens’ potential is limitless.

(5) Class A Comfort

Magic Leap One: Weighing less than 0.8 pounds, this headset provides one of the most lightweight experiences available today with a 40° x 30° FOV, just barely eclipsed by that of Microsoft’s HoloLens 2. En route to dematerialization, Magic Leap merely requires a small “Lightpack” attachment in the wearer’s pocket, connected via cable to the goggles. A handheld controller additionally contains a touchpad, haptic feedback, and six degrees of freedom motion sensing. Meanwhile, light sensors make the digital renderings even more realistic, as they reflect physical light into the viewer’s space.

Teasing AR’s future convergence with AI, Magic Leap even features a virtual human called “Mica,” which responds to a user’s emotions (detected through eye-tracking) by returning a smile or offering a friendly gesture.

Final Thoughts

As headsets plummet in price and size, AR will rapidly permeate households over the next decade.

Once we have mastered headsets and smart glasses, AR-enabled contact lenses will make our virtually enhanced world second nature.

And ultimately, BCIs will directly interface with our neural signals to provide an instantaneous, seamlessly intuitive connection, merging our minds with limitless troves of knowledge, rich human connection, and never-before-possible experiences.

While only approaching the knee of the curve, these pioneering mobile apps and novel headset technologies explored above will soon give rise to one of the most revolutionary industries yet to be seen— one that will fundamentally transform our lives.

Just remember over 120 million workers throughout the world (11.5 million in the U.S.) will need to be retrained in the next three years due to artificial intelligence, according to an IBM survey. “Upskilling” these workers will be a big challenge as workers today require more training than ever to learn new skills — 36 days versus three days in 2014, per IBM. And often skills most valued by employers (“soft skills” like communication and ethics) take more time to develop.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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#BoardofDirectors #BoD #artificialintelligence #AI #innovation virtualreality #vr #d #augmentedreality #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #corporate #office #Biotech Cleantech #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #excellence #development #motivation Contributors: Peter Diamandis and Clifford Locks #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Smart Technology and Integration, How It’s Changing Our Lives

Posted by Cliff Locks On August 28, 2019 at 10:15 am / In: Uncategorized

Smart Technology and Integration, How It’s Changing Our Lives

Each week alone, an estimated 1.3 million people move into cities, driving urbanization on an unstoppable scale. 

By 2040, about two-thirds of the world’s population will be concentrated in urban centers. Over the decades ahead, 90 percent of this urban population growth is predicted to flourish across Asia and Africa.

Already, 1,000 smart city pilots are under construction or in their final urban planning stages across the globe, driving forward countless visions of the future.

As data becomes the gold of the 21st century, centralized databases and hyper-connected infrastructures will enable everything from sentient cities that respond to data inputs in real time, to smart public services that revolutionize modern governance. 

Connecting countless industries — real estate, energy, sensors and networks, transportation, among others — tomorrow’s cities pose no end of creative possibilities and stand to completely transform the human experience.

In this blog, we’ll be taking a high-level tour of today’s cutting-edge urban enterprises involved in these three areas:

  1. Hyperconnected urban ecosystems that respond to your data
  2. Smart infrastructure and construction
  3. Self-charging green cities

Let’s dive in!

Smart Cities that Interact with Your Data

Any discussion of smart cities must also involve today’s most indispensable asset: data.

As 5G connection speeds, IoT-linked devices and sophisticated city AIs give birth to trillion-sensor economies, low latencies will soon allow vehicles to talk to each other and infrastructure systems to self-correct.

Even public transit may soon validate your identity with a mere glance in any direction, using facial recognition to charge you for individualized travel packages and distances.

As explained by Deloitte Public Sector Leader Clare Ma, “real-time information serves as the ‘eye’ for urban administration.”

In most cities today, data is fragmented across corporations, SMEs, public institutions, nonprofits, and personal databases, with little standardization.

Yet to identify and respond to urban trends, we need a way of aggregating multiple layers of data, spanning traffic flows, human movement, individual transactions, shifts in energy usage, security activity, and almost any major component of contemporary economies.

Only through real-time analysis of information flows can we leverage exponential technologies to automate public services, streamlined transit, smarter security, optimized urban planning and responsive infrastructure.

And already, cutting-edge cities across the globe are building centralized data platforms to combine different standards and extract actionable insights, from smart parking to waste management. 

Take China’s Nanjing, for instance. 

With sensors installed in 10,000 taxis, 7,000 buses and over 1 million private vehicles, the city aggregates daily data across both physical and virtual networks. After transmitting it to the Nanjing Information Center, experts can then analyze traffic data, send smartphone updates to commuters and ultimately create new traffic routes.

Replacing the need for capital-intensive road and public transit reconstruction, real-time data from physical transit networks allow governments to maximize value of preexisting assets, saving time and increasing productivity across millions of citizens.

But beyond traffic routing, proliferating sensors and urban IoT are giving rise to real-time monitoring of any infrastructural system.

Italy’s major rail operator Trenitalia has now installed sensors on all its trains, deriving real-time status updates on each train’s mechanical condition. Now capable of calculating maintenance predictions in advance of system failure, transit disruptions are becoming a thing of the past. 

Los Angeles has embedded sensors in 4,500 miles worth of new LEDs (replacing previous streetlights). The minute one street bulb malfunctions or runs low, it can be fixed near-immediately, forming part of a proactive city model that detects glitches before they occur.

And Hangzhou, home to e-commerce giant Alibaba, has now launched a “City Brain” project, aiming to build out one of the most data-responsive cities on the planet.

With cameras and other sensors installed across the entire city, a centralized AI hub processes data on everything from road conditions to weather data to vehicular collisions and citizen health emergencies.

Overseeing a population of nearly 8 million residents, Hangzhou’s City Brain then manages traffic signals at 128 intersections (coordinating over 1,000 road signals simultaneously), tracks ambulances en-route and clears their paths to hospitals without risk of collision, directs traffic police to accidents at record rates, and even assists city officials in expedited decision-making. No more wasting time at a red light when there is obviously no cross traffic or pedestrians.

Already, the City Brain has cut ambulance and commuter traveling times by half. And as reported by China’s first AI-partnered traffic policeman Zheng Yijiong, “the City Brain can detect accidents within a second” allowing police to “arrive at [any] site [within] 5 minutes” across an urban area of over 3,000 square miles.

But beyond oversight of roads, traffic flows, collisions and the like, converging sensors and AI are now being used to monitor crowds and analyze human movement.

Companies like SenseTime now offer software to police bureaus that can not only identify live faces, individual gaits and car license plates, but even monitor crowd movement and detect unsafe pedestrian concentrations.

Some researchers have even posited the use of machine learning to predict population-level disease spread through crowd surveillance data, building actionable analyses from social media data, mass geolocation and urban sensors.

Yet aside from self-monitoring cities and urban AI ‘brains,’ what if infrastructure could heal itself on-demand. Forget sensors, connectivity and AI — enter materials science.

Self-Healing Infrastructure 

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates a $542.6 billion backlog needed for U.S. infrastructure repairs alone.

And as I’ve often said, the world’s most expensive problems are the world’s most profitable opportunities.

Enter self-healing construction materials.

First up, concrete.

In an effort to multiply the longevity of bridges, roads, and any number of infrastructural fortifications, engineers at Delft University have developed a prototype of bio-concrete that can repair its own cracks.

Mixed in with calcium lactate, the key ingredients of this novel ‘bio-concrete’ are minute capsules of limestone-producing bacteria distributed throughout any concrete structure. Only when the concrete cracks, letting in air and moisture, does the bacteria awaken.

Like clockwork, the bacteria begins feeding on surrounding calcium lactate as it produces a natural limestone sealant that can fill cracks in a mere three weeks — long before small crevices can even threaten structural integrity.

As head researcher Henk Jonkers explains, “What makes this limestone-producing bacteria so special is that they are able to survive in concrete for more than 200 years and come into play when the concrete is damaged. […] If cracks appear as a result of  pressure on the concrete, the concrete will heal these cracks itself.”

Yet other researchers have sought to crack the code (no pun intended) of living concrete, testing everything from hydrogels that expand 10X or even 100X their original size when in contact with moisture, to fungal spores that grow and precipitate calcium carbonate the minute micro-cracks appear.

But bio-concrete is only the beginning of self-healing technologies. 

As futurist architecture firms start printing plastic and carbon-fiber houses, engineers are tackling self-healing plastic that could change the game with economies of scale. 

Plastic not only holds promise in real estate on Earth; it will also serve as a handy material in space. NASA engineers have pioneered a self-healing plastic that may prove vital in space missions, preventing habitat and ship ruptures in record speed. 

The implications of self-healing materials are staggering, offering us resilient structures both on earth and in space.

One additional breakthrough worth noting involves the magic of graphene.

Perhaps among the greatest physics discoveries of the century, graphene is composed of a 2D honeycomb lattice over 200X stronger than steel, yet remains an ultra-thin one atom thick. 

While yet to come down in cost, graphene unlocks an unprecedented host of possibilities, from weather-resistant and ultra-strong coatings for existing infrastructure, to multiplied infrastructural lifespans. Some have even posited graphene’s use in the construction of 30 km tall buildings.

And it doesn’t end there.

As biomaterials and novel polymers will soon allow future infrastructure to heal on its own, nano- and micro-materials are ushering in a new era of smart, super-strong and self-charging buildings.

Revolutionizing structural flexibility, carbon nanotubes are already dramatically increasing the strength-to-weight ratio of skyscrapers. 

But imagine if we could engineer buildings that could charge themselves… or better yet, produce energy for entire cities, seamlessly feeding energy to the grid.

Self-Powering Cities

As exponential technologies across energy and water burst onto the scene, self-charging cities are becoming today’s testing ground for a slew of green infrastructure pilots, promising a future of self-sufficient societies.

In line with new materials, one hot pursuit surrounds the creation of commercializable solar power-generating windows. 

In the past few years, several research teams have pioneered silicon nanoparticles to capture everyday light flowing through our windows. Little solar cells at the edges of windows then harvest this energy for ready use. 

Scientists at Michigan State, for instance, have developed novel “solar concentrators.” Capable of being layered over any window, these solar concentrators leverage non-visible wavelengths of light — near infrared and ultraviolet — pushing them to those solar cells embedded at the edge of each window panel.

Rendered entirely invisible, such solar cells could generate energy on almost any sun-facing screen, from electronic gadgets to glass patio doors to reflective skyscrapers.

And beyond self-charging windows, countless future city pilots have staked ambitious goals for solar panel farms and renewable energy targets.

Take Dubai’s “Strategic Plan 2021,” for instance.

Touting a multi-decade Dubai Clean Energy Strategy, Dubai aims to gradually derive 75 percent of its energy from clean sources by 2050.

With plans to launch the largest single-site solar project on the planet by 2030, boasting a projected capacity of 5,000 megawatts, Dubai further aims to derive 25 percent of its energy needs from solar power in the next decade.

And in the city’s “Strategic Plan 2021,” Dubai aims to soon:

  • 3D-print 25 percent of its buildings;
  • Make 25 percent of transit automated and driverless;
  • Install hundreds of artificial “trees,” all leveraging solar power and providing the city with free WiFi, info-mapping screens, and charging ports;
  • Integrate passenger drones capable of carrying individuals to public transit systems;
  • And drive forward countless designs of everything from underwater bio-desalination plants to smart meters and grids.

A global leader in green technologies and renewable energy, Dubai stands as a gleaming example that any environmental context can give rise to thriving and self-sufficient eco-powerhouses.

But Dubai is not alone, and others are quickly following suit.

Leading the pack of China’s 500 smart city pilots, Xiong’an New Area (near Beijing) aims to become a thriving economic zone powered by 100 percent clean electricity.

And just as of this December, 100 U.S. cities are committed and on their way to the same goal.

Cities as Living Organisms

As new materials forge ahead to create pliable and self-healing structures, green infrastructure technologies are exploding into a competitive marketplace.

Aided by plummeting costs, future cities will soon surround us with self-charging buildings, green city ecosystems, and urban residences that generate far more than they consume.

And as 5G communications networks, proliferating sensors and centralized AI hubs monitor and analyze every aspect of our urban environments, cities are fast becoming intelligent organisms, capable of seeing and responding to our data in real time.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

#BoardofDirectors #BoD #artificialintelligence #AI #innovation #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #corporate #office #Biotech Cleantech #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #excellence #development #motivation Contributors: Peter Diamandis and Clifford Locks #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Imagine making fuel, plastics, and concrete out of thin air.

Posted by Cliff Locks On August 22, 2019 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Imagine making fuel, plastics, and concrete out of thin air.

That’s the promise of Direct Air Capture (DAC), a technology that fundamentally disrupts our contemporary oil economy.

Mimicking what already occurs in nature, DAC essentially involves industrial photosynthesis, harnessing the power of the sun to draw carbon directly out of the atmosphere.

This captured carbon can then be turned into numerous consumer goods, spanning fuels, plastics, aggregates and concrete (as I write this blog, I’m even wearing shoes 3D-printed from carbon).

A vital component of every life form on Earth, carbon stands at the core of our manufacturing, energy, transportation, among the world’s highest-valued industries.

And in the coming 10 years, sourcing carbon out of the air will become more cost-effective than carbon sourced from the ground (oil).

By 2030, the carbon capture and utilization (CCU) industry is expected to reach $800 billion. And by 2050, that number will surge more than 4X to a $4 Trillion market, according to McKinsey.

But let’s start with the basics…

Direct Air Capture: The What and the How

Carbon capture might seem like old news, usually written off as prohibitively expensive and unrealistic.

But DAC is fast changing the rules of the game, capable of sucking massive quantities of carbon dioxide out of the air, anywhere, at any time.

First-generation CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) used a technology called Point Source Capture to take CO2 directly from smoke stacks and pump it into the ground for permanent sequestration.

Yet this process required massive industrial plants tethered to CO2 emission points, allowing far less flexibility.

DAC, by contrast, can be deployed anywhere, completely independent of emission patterns.

This is because CO2 gets distributed evenly within the atmosphere. There is as much CO2 above Los Angeles, California as rests above the Patagonian Desert. And for the purposes of DAC, this equal distribution means decimated transportation costs.

So how does it work? While a few different techniques have been developed, the most common involves industrial-scale fans that transmit ambient air through a filter. This latter component then uses a chemic adsorbent (which holds molecules in the form of a thin film on its surface) to produce a pure, storable stream of carbon dioxide.

But beyond the value of carbon itself, DAC could serve as a negative carbon technology, helping us lock away atmospheric CO2 while birthing an abundance of material products.

Today’s Biggest Players

Companies like Global Thermostat, Carbon Engineering, and Climeworks are now on the cutting edge of DAC technologies, capturing record quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere.

Just last October (2018), a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report even stated that DAC could be feasible enough to reach worldwide adoption in just the next 3 years. As estimated by NAS, once the price of CO2 extraction dips below $100-150 per ton of carbon, the air-captured commodity will be economically competitive with traditionally sourced oil.

Since the report’s release, DAC has gained tremendous traction. Bill Gates-backed Carbon Engineering recently closed a $68 million series C financing round and now claims it can achieve CO2 extraction at as little as $94 per ton, at scale.

Or take Swiss startup Climeworks, which has recently deployed its third DAC plant after receiving north of $35 million in funding from the Zürcher Kantonal Bank.

Yet another contender, Global Thermostat has already demonstrated that its technology can remove CO2 for a mere $120 per ton at its facility in Huntsville, Alabama. And at scale, the startup predicts it could achieve DAC for as little as $50 a ton.

Demonstrating the sheer range of use cases, Global Thermostat has now closed deals with industrial giants from Coca-Cola—which aims to use DAC to source CO2 for its carbonated beverages—to Exxon Mobile. In just the next few years, this latter oil and gas giant intends to pioneer a DAC-to-fuel business on the back of Global Thermostat’s techniques.

Iterating upon the basic method of DAC explained above, Carbon Engineering’s approach involves a potassium hydroxide solution. This reacts with CO2 to form potassium carbonate, which—in the process—removes a certain amount of carbon dioxide from the air passing over it.

While air remnants containing less CO2 are released, the final solution is then treated to separate out captured carbon dioxide.

Once carbon capture is complete, processes like DAC-derived fuels can begin.

Direct Air Capture Fuels

The know-how for converting air into fuel has been around for a hundred years or more. After all, it’s the way all plant life grows. But until now, there was no cheap and abundant source of CO2.

For millions of years, plant species have captured CO2, converting it to sugar via photosynthesis. In succession, plants have then either burned the sugar directly or converted sugars to hydrocarbon fuels via high pressure within the Earth’s surface over long periods of time.

Theoretically, this is not hard to do. The process requires two steps: first, electrolysis separates hydrogen from H2O. Secondly, the Sabatier reaction (1897) and Fischer-Tropsch process (1925) together result in bonding of the carbon molecule in CO2 to hydrogen molecules to thereby create hydrocarbon fuels— just like the ones we purchase at gas stations or use in our stoves.

Essentially, DAC uses solar (or other renewable energy sources) to capture carbon dioxide from the air, bond it with hydrogen molecules and create burnable fuels molecularly identical to natural gas and diesel.

In other words, the process mimics a battery in its method of energy storage. It takes energy from the sun and stores it in a permanently exploitable fuel source.

Very soon, we will indeed be able to make fuel out of thin air.

Imagine a world powered by carbon-neutral fuels. The advantage here, in part, is that DAC fuels use the same infrastructural elements—pipes, gas stations, and the like—that already support our modern fossil fuel economy. Yet even using legacy distribution systems, DAC eliminates the environmental toll.

Perhaps most exciting, DAC could equalize fuel costs across the globe, democratizing immediate access. Remote or oil-distant regions, which currently suffer high fuel prices given long-distance transit, will be able to source their own fuel, regardless of geography. And not only will DAC fundamentally redefine geopolitics, but it will be an economic boon to nations like Australia, no longer in need of international oil shipments.

But captured CO2-to-fuel is just one of many exciting examples of DAC’s extraordinary potential. 

Commercial Use Cases Are Limitless

In just the next few decades, we are about to manufacture a significant percentage of the world’s plastics and building materials out of the air.

Take concrete, for instance. One of the most widely used materials on Earth, second only to water, concrete now accounts for a whopping 7 percent of global CO2 emissions.

Yet as it turns out, injecting CO2 into cement as it’s being manufactured strengthens the mixture and produces a far sturdier end-product. This process also permanently sequesters CO2 into cement, largely offsetting the material’s high footprint.

Up until now, however, we had no cheap and abundant source of CO2 to achieve this. Yet with current DAC technologies and soon-to-come iterations, suppliers can now produce far more robust cement at lower costs.

NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE finalist CarbonCure is one such enterprise. Having raised more than $9 million, the team is now developing its latest application of DAC to create carbon-neutral concrete.

Yet another XPRIZE finalist, Carbon Upcycling UCLA, utilizes CO₂ to create a product dubbed CO₂NCRETE. A low-carbon concrete-equivalent material, CO₂NCRETE™ has achieved a CO₂ footprint approximately 50 percent lower than that of traditional concrete. And the product is just as viable.

Or take Carbon Capture Machine, which can create carbon basic solids usable in a variety of applications. First, proprietary CCM technology dissolves CO2 from any source in dilute alkali and creates a building material.

Diving quickly into technicality: the carbonate solution reacts with readily and abundantly available calcium (Ca++) and magnesium (Mg++) brines to selectively precipitate CaCO3 (Precipitated Calcium Carbonate, PCC) and MgCO3·3H2O (Precipitated Magnesium Carbonate, PMC).

In success, these conversion products are carbon-negative, high-value feedstocks in great demand across countless legacy industries. PCCs, for instance, are currently used in paper-making, plastics, paints, and adhesives, while future applications in cement and concrete are now under development.

Cement PMC, on the other hand, is an entirely new product that can be cast into final shapes and thermally cured at low temperature. As a consequence, the solid undergoes spontaneous reaction bonding to form rigid solids (blocks, panels, tiles, etc.).

But beyond Earth-bound utility, DAC could hold countless vital applications in extra-planetary ventures.

With a 98 percent CO2 atmosphere, Mars could be an ideal target for DAC, not to mention an optimal source of needed commodities. To successfully colonize and establish a society on Mars, DAC could help us produce everything from fuel and food to 3D printed replacement parts and construction tools.

Even today, SpaceX’s intended Mars strategy largely relies on the conversion of CO2 into methane for rocket fuel. Meanwhile, NASA is hosting a $1 million CO2 Conversion Centennial Challenge, inviting teams to devise carbon utilization technologies that turn CO2 into sugar molecules on Mars.

Final Thoughts

Direct Air Capture will soon allow us to sequester gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere, yielding material abundance for countless everyday products. By making CO2 a vital part of our economy, we can begin to derive incredible value from one of our principal climate change agents, currently emitted as a “waste” product.

And applications of captured carbon are near-limitless. Whether for fuel on Mars, smart city infrastructural equipment, or everyday plastic commodities, our atmosphere’s carbon reserves are free for the taking and will fundamentally transform our global energy and materials economy.

Welcome to the age of carbon-derived abundance.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

#BoardofDirectors #BoD #artificialintelligence #AI #innovation #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #corporate #office #Biotech Cleantech #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #excellence #development #motivation Contributor: Peter Diamandis and Clifford Locks #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

20 Questions About Boards

Posted by Cliff Locks On August 7, 2019 at 10:03 am / In: Uncategorized

20 Questions About Boards

I’ve been asked to share my Board Document. Always feel free to reach out or refer me to your colleagues, for a Board of Directors or strategic senior executive position.

1. What is a board of directors?

A corporation, whether for-profit or nonprofit, is required to have a governing board of directors. A board of directors is made up of a group of senior advisors who oversee the activities of a company and represent its shareholders. Every public company must have a board of directors. Private companies are not required to have boards, although many of them do.

2. What is the difference between a for-profit “corporate” board and a nonprofit board?

For-profit board members often are paid; nonprofit board members usually are not. For-profit board members uniquely attend to decisions about dispersing profits to owners (stockholders) oftentimes in the form of stock equity and dividends. Nonprofit board members do not seek to maximize and disperse profits to the owners — the owners of nonprofits are members of the community. They serve in the interest of public stakeholders.

3. What does a board of directors do?

Corporate boards select, appoint, and review the performance of the chief executive and other key executives. They determine the direct compensation and incentive plan for these executives; ensure the availability of financial resources; review and approve annual budgets and company financials; and approve strategic decisions.

4. What is the role of the board’s Chairman?

The Chairman of the board manages the board’s business and acts as its facilitator and guide. Chairmen determine board composition and organization, clarify board and management responsibilities, plan and manage board committee meetings, and develop the effectiveness of the board. In many companies, CEOs serve as Chairmen; in other companies the role is separated.

5. What is the difference between the CEO and the Chairman?

A CEO is a company’s top decision maker – all other executives answer to him or her. CEOs are accountable to the board of directors for company performance. The Chairman of a company is the head of its board of directors. The board is elected by shareholders and is responsible for protecting investors’ interests, such as the company’s profitability and stability. The board selects the Chairman.

6. How many people are typically on corporate boards?

Boards typically have between 7 and 15 members, although some boards have as many as 31 members. According to a Corporate Library study the average board size is 9.2 members. Some analysts think boards should have at least seven members to satisfy the board roles and committees.

7. How do I find out how many women are on a company’s board of directors?

Companies usually list their directors in the corporate governance section of their website. You can often identify the women by their names, but if not, you can go to the company’s 10K document and read their bios. 

8. What are corporate board committees?

There are four primary board committees: executive, audit, compensation, and nominating, although there may be others, depending on corporate philosophy and special circumstances relating to a company’s line of business. It’s usually recommended that the compensation and audit committees be made up of independent directors. The executive committee is a smaller group that might meet when the full board is not available. The audit committee reviews the financial statements with internal auditors and outside audit companies. The compensation committee determines the salaries and bonuses of top executives, including the board itself. The nominating committee decides the slate of directors for the shareholders to vote their approval.

9. Why are some board members considered independent and others are not?

An independent director, or outside director, is a member of a board of directors who does not work for the company. Independent directors are important because they bring diverse backgrounds to decision making and are unbiased regarding company decisions. Independent directors are paid a standard fee for each board meeting. Inside directors are members of the corporation, usually part of the corporation’s management team.

10. What are corporate bylaws and why are they important?

Corporate bylaws are rules that govern how a company operates. They state the rights and powers of shareholders, directors, and officers. If the board wishes to change bylaws, they often need to have shareholders vote for these changes.

11. What is conflict of interest?

Conflict of interest occurs when the personal or professional interests of a board member or senior executive are potentially at odds with the best interests of the corporation. Conflicts of interest often result in loss of public confidence and a damaged reputation. A conflict of interest might occur if two CEOs sit on each other’s boards.

12. What are the qualifications to be on a corporate board of directors?

Individuals who are asked to serve on a board of directors have several years of executive experience or other equivalent professional experience in key areas that are beneficial to the company. Directors must be able to read, understand, and offer suggestions and comments on financial statements. Board members should be representative of the constituents that a company serves, including ethnic diversity, gender, and age.

13. How are new board members chosen?

In a public company, directors are selected based on criteria set by the nominating committee. Most new directors are chosen for their expertise in key areas that are useful to the corporation. Sometimes, CEOs and board chairs select directors they already know. Or, they will turn to executive search firms to find qualified candidates that meet their search criteria.

14. How has the role of the board of directors evolved over the years?

Many boards used to be comprised of employees, family members, and friends. But shareholder influence and government regulation now require boards to have independent directors not associated with the company or its executive team. Today there are many shareholder resolutions requiring companies to diversify their boards, and appoint directors of different backgrounds, gender, and race.

15. What is the time commitment of a board member?

Board directors must be able to commit the time necessary to responsibly fulfill their commitment to the organization. This includes board training, analyzing financial statements, reviewing board documents before board meetings, attending board meetings, serving on committees to which they are assigned, attending meetings, and doing whatever else the company requires. Most boards meet at least four times a year and some meet monthly.

16. What are the personal and professional benefits of being on a corporate board?

Being asked to serve on a corporate board is flattering. It shows that your skills are valued outside of your own organization. Directors meet interesting people and grapple with interesting issues. Independent director are often well paid.

17. How much do board members get paid?

Corporate directors are well compensated, and compensation is often determined by the size of the company. It’s not unusual for corporate directors of large companies to be paid $100,000 or more each year they serve. They often are also granted stock options, which could become very valuable.

18. Do boards have term or age limits?

Some boards have term limits and age limits and others do not. The National Association of Corporate Directors recommends term limits of 10 to 15 years to promote turnover and obtain fresh ideas. Age limits range from 70 to 80 years old, and many companies have no limit at all. Without term or age limits it is often difficult for companies to suggest to board members that they retire or leave.

19. How do boards of directors affect people and communities?

Boards of directors guide corporate behavior. Decisions made by the boards of public companies can directly impact our daily lives. For example, a board might approve decisions to close or relocate factories or merge with other companies, which could result in loss of jobs in a community. Good companies often provide financial support to non-profit organizations in their communities.

20. Are boards required to consider diversity when electing directors?

There are no rules about board composition. But it is well recognized that diversity on boards contributes to better decision making. Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted the ruling known as “The Governance Disclosure Rule” which requires companies to consider diversity when nominating director candidates. There is no standard, however, as to what constitutes a diverse board.

Sources:

  • Daniel L. Kurtz and Sarah E. Paul, Managing Conflicts of Interest: A Primer for Nonprofit Boards (BoardSource 2006). Accessed on October 23, 2010.
  • McNamara, Carter. Overview of Roles and Responsibilities of Corporate Board of Directors. (Free Management Library). Accessed on October 23, 2010.
  • Investopedia Staff. Evaluating The Board Of Directors. (Investopedia). Accessed on October 23, 2010.
  • What are corporate bylaws and why are they important? (AllBusiness) Accessed on October 23, 2010.
  • Brush, Michael. Pay soars in the boardroom. (MSN Money, 2005). Accessed on October 23, 2010.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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Continuing Education is a Priority for the Executive Suite and Board Members

Posted by Cliff Locks On July 24, 2019 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Continuing Education is a Priority for the Executive Suite and Board Members

How ‘Boards That Learn’ Elevate Themselves and the Organizations They Serve.

Qualified is no longer a destination, but more so a continuous journey. There was a time in the not-so-distant past that dictated that once you ‘reached’ a new professional level or title, it was yours to keep – forever. No additional strings attached or hoops to jump through. After all, you paid your dues and earned your status, right? Not so much anymore… Constant technology advancements, the increasing availability of relevant decision-making data, and even the speed of change itself have all accelerated, relegating previous knowledge and experience to a potentially lower status of importance when evaluating the entire picture. Having ‘reached’ a level of decision-making leadership importance with disregard for ongoing learning, new skill attainment, or knowledge-honing is a dangerous belief and can be a premonition of poor future personal and company performance, especially within the Board.

Darwin Smith, when reminiscing on his extraordinary performance as CEO of Kimberly-Clark, stated, “I never stopped trying to be qualified for the job.” This led his insatiable appetite for continuous learning and solicitation of feedback, which ultimately transformed the sputtering and shrinking industrial giant into the number one paper-based consumer products company in the world. “Business is not about profit. It’s about personal and organizational greatness” – no doubt fostered by a corporate environment of continuous learning and employee personal growth.

Benjamin Barber, the late eminent political theorist, once said, “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures, I divide the world into learners and non learners.” What Benjamin realized and so eloquently summarized is the principle of true learning and the fact that it is perpetual. There is no end to the process. A person, or group, that knows how to learn, understands the importance, and makes it a priority is a much more informed, resilient, and effective decision-making entity.

Of the 80+ Boards, Board Members, executives, and organizations I work with yearly in my Board consulting practice, including select programs focused on Board continuing education, I am still (visibly) surprised by the lack of discipline in many Board’s and Board Member’s continuing education priority. In more extreme cases, Boards and Board Members feel that they have already learned all they need to know to properly govern a company or effectively weigh in on the corporate strategic plan. These are truly tests of my emotional intelligence and mindfulness as I carefully craft my responses to move continuing education up the Board totem pole.

Group learning sessions with your Board are one of the best ways to collectively educate while simultaneously building Board camaraderie. The number of instances where I am requested to speak on a variety of topics at Board meetings are increasing, a sign that some Boards are making an effort to infuse continuous learning directly into their existing and allocated Board meeting time. In Betsy Atkins’ July 9th, 2019 Forbes article entitled ‘How To Run An Effective Board Meeting,’ she suggests, “At least twice a year, include outside experts in your board meetings. Instead of a board dinner, bring in a meal and have an expert cover topics such as the future of your industry, technology changes impacting your business or corporate governance trends such as ESG or Activism.”

“It is incumbent on boards to ensure they are current and directors should always be learning,” states Jane Davel, Non-Executive Director specializing in Board governance and marketing. “Continuing professional development should be a discussion item at the Board table on a frequent basis.” Unfortunately, this is not always the norm due to increasing Board meeting agenda topics, pressing and urgent matters requiring resolution, meandering discussions, and the common misperception that Board Directorship is a task and not a discipline. Some Boards, however, have bucked this trend by offering yearly education stipends to incentivize ongoing learning. These Boards have realized that continually educating their Board Members not only increases their collective effectiveness, but also raises job satisfaction. Additionally, education components leading to accreditations or continuing professional education credits (CPEs or PDUs) can raise company perception when earned Board-related certifications are proudly displayed on public company proxy statements.

“High-performing Boards demand more from their Directors and Advisors. For example, do Directors have enough understanding of how digital business models, digital ecosystems, and the hyper-scaling of digital platforms is facilitating rapid growth to help reinvent the corporate business model?,” rhetorically asks Cliff Locks, a Board Member at Investment Capital Growth. “The science of building a high-performing Board and delivering superior shareholder value over the long-term needs to include continuous assessments and ongoing education.”

This education includes learning about the advancements in AI and innovation. Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft Cloud and AI Group, told WSJ Pro AI, at the end of last year how AI can be at the center of companies’ efforts to digitally transform themselves. Excerpt from Mr. Guthrie’s conversation then: “Every organization is trying to digitally transform themselves, and really do it on at least four dimensions. One is how they can connect better with their customers. Two is how they can connect better to their employees. Three is how do they transform their operations and be more efficient in terms of how they run the company. And then fourth is typically how do they transform their products and services,” Mr. Guthrie said. “We often show this view of a clover of four petals, and at the center is really data, and AI, the ability to take data, and get insight from it and then drive actions that transform each of those four initiatives.” When you need help reach out to Cliff Locks, for strategic consulting.

The balance of expertise, experience, and certification (education), something I like to call the ‘Career Trifecta,’ is extremely important for all professional positions, including Board Directorship. For Board candidates, probe for their level of understanding and proficiency of this important balance and check for their desire to continuously learn. For existing Board Members, leverage continuing education opportunities to raise proficiency and performance levels. The benefits are immense.

How are you prioritizing your Board’s continuing education?

Reach out directly to my good friend Mark A. Pfister to discuss Board Continuing Education single session topics or ongoing Board education programs with his ‘Board of Directors Meeting Facilitation & Continuing Education’ offering and National Speaking Tour topics.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

#leadership #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #BofD #Entrepreneur #WSJ #VC #socialmedia #Diversity #BigData #CorpGov #elearning #innovation #AI #ArtificialIntellegence #Marketing #Periscope #Recruiting #technology #startup #HRTech #Recruitment #sales #Healthcare #cloud #work #motivation #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Forging a >50% renewable electric economy by 2030 is your company ready?

Posted by Cliff Locks On July 10, 2019 at 10:16 am / In: Uncategorized

Forging a >50% renewable electric economy by 2030 is your company ready?

By 2030, more than 50 percent of the U.S. economy will run on electricity derived from renewables. What are the implications as we shift the U.S. and global energy economies away from fossil fuels?

For the first time ever, our harnessing of renewable energy has surpassed domestic reliance on coal, a critical milestone for democratizing energy. 

Current technological advances in wind, solar, hydrogen, geothermal, hydroelectric power, nuclear and localized grids are forging a future of cheap, abundant, and ubiquitous energy.

Today’s blog I’ll be exploring the ways in which we are fast approaching an all-electric, renewable energy economy. Two areas of disruption take center stage:

  1. How we produce energy;
  2. How we utilize energy.

Let’s dive in!

Energy Production

Simply put, our world in the coming decades will need a lot more energy than it does today.

The industrial and technological booms of emerging nations are bringing online billions of high-demand energy consumers, now just as voracious as their American and European counterparts. Already, China’s energy consumption is expected to double by 2030, and India is right on its tail.

In our ‘linear and scarcity-minded’ world of fossil fuels, these skyrocketing trends present a problem: more demand equals more environmental devastation, higher prices, and increased geopolitical tensions as the ‘haves’ supply the ‘have-nots.’

Luckily, a ‘global and exponential mindset’ offers an alternative. Rather than slicing the pie into thinner and thinner slices, let’s just bake more pies.

Namely, higher-priced hydrocarbon fuels drive market incentives to invest heavily in alternative energy sources. Advances in batteries, solar, wind, geothermal, and even nuclear fusion offer humanity a future in which we can viably switch from coal, petroleum, and natural gas to renewables, and eventually to an all-electric economy.

Between 2010 and 2017, utility-scale solar photovoltaic capital costs in the U.S. have fallen by a factor of five, from $5-6 per kilowatt to a mere $1-2. And the only constraint to plummeting prices is technology, not resource availability.

In today’s fossil fuels market, by far the greatest cost is the commodity itself, i.e. coal, oil, or natural gas. But the opposite is true for renewables. Think of the commodities needed: sun, wind, (to a large degree) nuclear power, and water are all free.

All costs borne by producers lie in building and maintaining the infrastructure to harness power from these renewable energies. As a result, the greatest business opportunities surrounding these sources are primarily unlocked by improving the technology.

And the rate of technological advancement is accelerating.

Companies like GE are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in microgrids and smart grids, which will make electricity far more accessible to larger populations. Several companies in solar energy, such as SunRun, Sun Power and Sunnova Energy Corp, are vastly improving the efficiency of solar cells, whether in production, installation or manufacturing.

But how is our energy used?

Energy Utilization

Today, transportation represents roughly 29 percent of the U.S.’s total energy use. Yet almost none of that energy use is currently electric.

Herein lies the greatest growth opportunity for U.S. electrification. As advancements in renewable energy drive down the price of electricity, the market will respond by capitalizing on this electrification.

While only 20.5 percent of the U.S. economy is currently electrified, that number has the potential to jump to more than 50 percent by 2030.

But how will this happen?

Because of exciting innovations across the three greatest energy-guzzling sectors: transportation, commercial and residential, and industrial.

While these sectors represent electrification potential to varying degrees, here’s one route by which we might reach a 50 percent renewable energy economy over the next decade:

Shifting the Transportation Sector (29% of Current Energy Use) to Renewable Electricity:

Electric vehicles (EVs) are cheaper per mile, require less maintenance, demonstrate greater reliability, and have far fewer moving parts (<200 in electric cars vs. >1,000 parts in gas-fueled cars) than internal combustion engine-driven vehicles.

Ultimately, when a product is cheaper and better, consumers switch. Let’s take a look.

Image result for Transportation Sector (29% of Current Energy Use) to Renewable Electricity

The price per mile of an EV is already four times cheaper than that of its gasoline-fueled counterpart. (An EV’s average operating cost is 3.72¢ per mile vs. that of a gasoline-fueled vehicle, which stands at 16.00¢ per mile.)

However, EVs represented only 2 percent of the U.S. personal car market in 2018. And while we are about to witness the massive electrification of personal and commercial vehicles over the coming decade, passenger vehicles represent only 63 percent of all transportation energy use. The remaining 37 percent consists of air and freight.

Nonetheless, companies and governments alike are achieving extraordinary progress in making these systems run fully on electricity from renewable energy sources.

Aircraft: This year’s Paris Air Show witnessed the introduction of electric commercial airplanes, as EasyJet announced its partnership with startup Wright Electric to roll out a fleet of electric planes (capable of traveling a little less than 300 miles).

Trucking: In the large-scale ground transit arena, Tesla boasts that its electric trucks can save $100,000 per year on fuel costs.

Image result for nikola trucking

And as projects like Hyperloop and the Boring Company reduce our dependency on air travel for long distance human and freight, exponential technologies like VR will soon begin to indirectly disrupt our need to physically travel in the first place.

Shifting the Industrial Sector (32% of Current Energy Use) to Renewable Electricity:

Visit www.gilmanindustries.com for onsite Hydrogen production solutions

While still constituting a minority, electricity represents a more significant chunk, 17 percent, of the industrial sector’s energy use.

Beyond the obvious suspects — turning on lights, running air conditioners, etc. — several industrial processes use electricity on a tremendous scale.

Take aluminum production, a relatively modern invention dating back only to 1886, which requires a high-voltage electric current to extract aluminum from bauxite ore. Currently, the best smelters use around 13 kilowatt-hours to produce one kilogram of aluminum. (For reference, it takes approximately 29 kilowatt-hours to power the average American home for one day.) 

Or look at the creation of synthetic gas, not to mention that of carbon-based polymers and aggregates, both requiring high amounts of energy in the form of electric current.

Tomorrow’s advanced-materials economy will require a much higher proportion of energy to take the form of electricity.

Shifting the Commercial & Residential Sector (38% of Current Energy Use) to Renewable Electricity:

Lastly, almost half of the commercial and residential sector’s energy use is already electric. And the reasons for this perhaps speaks best to the economic argument for electrification with renewables.

It used to be that almost all of this sector’s energy was derived from fossil fuels. But as the price of electricity has continued to decline, home adoption rates of electricity have increased accordingly, as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

In the EU, it’s mission critical to change the energy mix, once you look at whom is supplying the EU with energy imports. You’ll get a better idea.

And as renewables and converging technologies continue to drive down cost, commercial and residential use of electricity will only soar.

Calculating for the Total

If we assume that energy use ratios by sector – transportation, residential and commercial, and industrial — remain relatively constant, our economy is already on target for over 50 percent electrification from renewables in the next decade.

Our trajectory to a 66 percent electric transportation industry by 2030 alone puts us at a 19.3 percent electric total economy.

Next up: if another 30 percent of the industrial sector becomes electrified — requiring a conservative annual increase of 3 percent — that adds another 7.1 percent to our aggregate economy’s electrification.

And already today, the residential and commercial sector is well on its way to full electrification. With the continued rate of transition, a whopping 62 percent of this sector will be electrified using renewables in just ten years. That represents 23.6 percent of the U.S.’s total energy use.

Added together, these massive shifts represent a 50 percent renewable-electric economy, and a 110 percent increase in U.S. electrification in just 10 years.

Welcome to a future driven by electrons generated from renewable sources of energy.

What are the implications to your business? Your industry? What will the impacts be on global geopolitics, our families, and our environment?

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

leadership #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #BofD #Entrepreneur #WSJ #VC #socialmedia #Diversity #BigData #CorpGov #elearning #Marketing #Periscope #Recruiting #technology #startup #HRTech #Recruitment #sales #Healthcare #cloud #work #motivation Contributor: Peter Diamandis #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Start to Ask WHO, not HOW for Successful Project Implementation

Posted by Cliff Locks On July 3, 2019 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Start to Ask WHO, not HOW for Successful Project Implementation

When most entrepreneurs (including me) face a challenge, our first reaction is to ask: how do I solve this problem.”

As an Executive Strategic Coach I teach a powerful management shortcut for success.

Don’t ask “how.” Instead, ask “who.”

This blog explores that concept. Feel free to contact me when you need a “who” to seamlessly execute a project.

Start to Ask WHO, not HOW…

How much value are you leaving on the table because you don’t have a WHO or because you are caught in the minutia of implementing a project?

As entrepreneurs, each of us has a constant stream of ideas and new projects that might add massive value — if they ever get implemented.

Now, the idea is that as soon as I come up with an idea, my sole responsibility is to ask, “Who am I going to tag in to implement this project?” It has been an absolute game-changer.

Ultimately, asking WHO, not HOW, has transformed my ability to multiplex across my constantly increasing number of business ventures and projects.

Now if an idea comes to me during a moment of overload, I can still move it forward. I’ll spend 30 minutes creating an Impact Filter (a Strategic Coach client tool) explaining why the project is important, defining measurable criteria for success, and then hand that document to the right “who” in my ecosystem.

Simple enough, right? So why are we programmed to dive right into the HOW without thinking to ask WHO?

The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma…

As Dan Sullivan explained, “Our education system plays a major role in why we ask HOW and not WHO from the get-go. With the exception of a few exceptional schools, the education system is designed to prepare people for a life of ‘HOW.’

Kids in traditional classrooms around the world are graded on HOW they solve particular problems on their own. When you leave school, you need to collaborate and delegate to thrive. But in school, they don’t call it collaborating and delegating — they call it cheating.”

The education system engrains asking HOW and discourages asking WHO.

If you want to create a massive impact, you need to overcome old habits and begin to view human capital as an abundant resource. From there, curate a strong and passionate team to support you and act as your WHOs.

By delegating the HOW to my WHOs, my productivity and my overall passion go through the roof because I can remove myself from the mental weight and obligation of unfinished projects, allowing me to focus on what I truly love to do.

A final note for this section: you can even ask WHO when you build your team — go ahead and find yourself a WHO that finds WHOs!

Digitizing and Delocalizing WHOs

Over the past two decades, we’ve seen various forms of software emerge as the WHOs that figure out HOW.

I can verbally ask my phone (through Siri) ‘what is the GDP of Guatemala’, and Google serves as the WHO that executes the research task.

Before the advent of search engines, you’d have had to go to the library and do the research to find the right book, or you would have had to instruct an employee to travel and do that research for you.

Platforms and services like Amazon, Google and Baidu are all WHOs that entrepreneurs can tap to carry out the HOW.

In a similar vein, in a world soon to be electrified with gigabit connection speeds, entrepreneurs anywhere in the world can find their WHOs anywhere else in the world.

Eventually, our ultimate WHO will be an artificial intelligence software shell (think: Jarvis) that’s always on, always listening, always watching… always there to help and be the WHO for your every HOW.

Closing Thoughts

Finding your WHOs will make your HOWs happen faster and cheaper than ever before.

At the end of the day, while it’s really important for you as a leader to be smart, driven, ethical and visionary, the only way for you to scale your impact is to build an incredible team of WHOs behind you.

Right now is the greatest time in human history to find your WHOs. What are you waiting for?

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

#projectmanagement #artificialintelligence #AI #innovation #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #CIO #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #corporate #office #luxury #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #aviation #excellence #development Contributor: Peter Diamandis #motivation #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Exponential CHINA – something you can’t ignore and why you should be educated on their tech market and the size of their GDP

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 26, 2019 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Exponential CHINA – something you can’t ignore and why you should be educated on their tech market and the size of their GDP

President Donald Trump with China’s President Xi Jinping during their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The rise of China as an epicenter of rapid-fire innovation and technological disruption is more important than ever before in transforming each and every one of our businesses.

Soon to surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest economy with a $14 trillion GDP, China has grown at about 9.6 percent CAGR since 1989, accounting for over an estimated 35 percent of global economic growth from 2017 to 2019 — nearly double the U.S. GDP’s predicted 18 percent.

In less than two years, China’s government plan to lead the world in AI by 2030 has witnessed a record-breaking surge in both AI enterprise and innovation across biotech and longevity, smart manufacturing, autonomous and electric vehicles, next-gen renewable energies, and new tech-driven markets you’ve never even heard of.

As Eric Schmidt has explained, “it’s pretty simple. By 2020, they will have caught up. By 2025, they will be better than us. By 2030, they will dominate the industries of AI.”

And the figures don’t lie.

PricewaterhouseCoopers recently projected AI’s deployment will add $15.7 trillion to the global GDP by 2030, with China taking home $7 trillion of that total, dwarfing North America’ $3.7 trillion in gains. 

Behind the scenes, a growing force of driven AI entrepreneurs trains cutting-edge algorithms on some of the largest datasets available to date.

Key Takeaways: China, AI & The Future of Your Business

While countless Chinese startups still observe U.S. company strategies and iterate on Western business trends, today’s American businesses would be severely remiss to forego analysis of Chinese companies and best practices. 

At the peak of its ongoing heyday, China is undergoing a technological renaissance bolstered by thousands of startups and dozens of multibillion-dollar tech companies. As firms like Alibaba, Tencent and Xiaomi capitalize on China’s now 1 billion+ Internet users at home, burgeoning Chinese unicorns have now established thriving markets among Western consumers.

Yet for many, what drives the business of China remains shrouded in mystery. What’s driving this entrepreneurial ecosystem? How can entrepreneurs collaborate with China or model its innovative culture closer to home?

This blog presents key insights from the go-to experts in China: Dr. Kai-Fu Lee of Sinovation Ventures and David Li of Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab.

Dr. Kai-Fu Lee serves as chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures, a venture fund with US$2B AUM. Dr. Lee has previously served as President of Google China, held numerous executive positions, including at Microsoft, Apple, and SGI, and named one of the top hundred most influential people by TIME magazine.

David Li is Founder and Director of Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab (SZOIL) and has been honored with the title of “Top Maker in Asia.” One of the foremost leaders of Shenzhen’s Maker Movement, Mr. Li co-founded Maker Collider, a platform to develop next-gen IoT from the maker community; XinCheJian, the first hacker space in China to promote hacker maker culture and open source hardware; among others.

When thinking about the AI industry and the underlying technological architecture as a whole, one tool I find highly useful is Kai-Fu Lee’s “Four Waves of AI.” As outlined in his diagram below, these consist of Internet AI, Business AI, Perception AI, and the most nascent wave, Autonomous AI.

The Four Waves of AI. Source: Dr. Kai-Fu Lee.

Yet while U.S. tech giants may have birthed the first two waves of AI, the data emerging today stands compellingly in China’s favor across all four categories.

China’s Competitive Advantage

Witnessing an explosion in grassroots innovation, smart manufacturing, abundant and high-quality data, China is surging ahead on the back of several core drivers: 

(1) Massive proliferation of engineers and entrepreneurs: Demand for AI engineers has skyrocketed in the matter of a mere three years across China. The proliferation of local entrepreneurs, makers, tinkerers, and AI scholars is on a scale unimaginable by U.S. businesses, CEOs and VCs.

But underpinning these numbers is a radically different cultural approach to innovation and an abundance mindset about tools and (lack of) constraints in breaking open new markets. 

As David Li synthesizes, “What’s happening in China is not just headline innovation. It’s what’s going on at the bottom side of China. People are excited. Entrepreneurship is everywhere. Opportunity is everywhere. And [common citizens] are supported by this rapid advancement of technology. They don’t see technology coming and say, ‘My God! It’s going to take my job.’ […] They ask ‘How do I make a buck with this new thing?’ And when we have tens of millions of people thinking like this, it’s what makes China’s economy work.”

One booming example is Shenzhen.

We often think of “catch-up” regions receiving new gadgets, technologies and intellectual property from “developed” regions on the tail-end of their development. Some U.S. tech giant brimming with capital builds the next big breakthrough, and its wisdom, technology, and know-how slowly trickle down the hierarchy.

Not in Shenzhen. With a mean age of 28.65, Shenzhen residents have local dynamism embedded in their DNA. David Li captures this environment, one in which “people want to grab onto every opportunity [and believe they] have the tenacity to make something happen.”

Growing from a population of 300,000 to 15 million in just 40 years, Shenzhen has registered over 3 million companies. That makes 1 in 5 Shenzhen residents a CEO.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you, look at Shenzhen’s GDP. A mere fishing village in 1987, Shenzhen stood at 0.1 percent of Hong Kong’s GDP. Today? Shenzhen is surging past a US$350 billion GDP, far exceeding its next-door neighbor.

(2) End of a copycat era: But beyond skyrocketing rates of local entrepreneurship, China’s “copycat economy” is long gone. Today, local entrepreneurs have created and iterated upon novel concepts, resulting in markets that far exceed the scale of their American counterparts. 

Take Chinese mobile payments spending, which now exceeds the U.S. by a ratio of 50 to 1. Or video-based social networking apps that are making it big in Western markets (think video-sharing app TikTok, now wildly popular amongst U.S. teens). Shared bicycle networks that span hundreds of millions of users. And gamified, socialized e-commerce that presents one of the biggest playgrounds for AI training on the planet.

Even in legacy markets, China has become a dominant global player, out-diversifying Western counterparts. Take mobile phone shipments worldwide. As explained by David Li, “In 2017, Apple stood at 14%, Samsung at 15%, and [of] everybody else, almost all are Chinese companies. And with the exception of Xioami, everybody else is headquartered in Shenzhen.” This means “one city in China has 70% of the global market share of mobile phones.”

(3) An abundance of capital pouring into AI: Last year, for the first time ever, China surpassed North America in venture capital financing, as Chinese startups raised over US$56 billion in the first half of the year. By end of Q2, Chinese startups accounted for 47% of global VC funding.

Already, Chinese investments in AI, chips and electric vehicles have reached an estimated $300 billion. Meanwhile, AI giant Alibaba has unveiled plans to invest $15 billion in international research labs from the U.S. to Israel, with others following suit.

Just last year alone, nearly 100 Chinese startups hit unicorn status, each reaching a $1 billion valuation. Think about that for a moment. China saw the birth of 1 unicorn almost every 3.6 days.

And even while trade tensions have temporarily slowed investor enthusiasm, groundbreaking startup after startup has sent investment figures booming. Led by FinTech giant Ant Financial (an affiliate of Alibaba that last year raised nearly as much capital as all U.S. and European FinTech companies combined), China’s list of unicorns grows ever longer, currently standing at around 186 tech startups. 

(4) Astronomical quantities of high quality data to train AI algorithms: China not only has three times the available AI-driven mobile platform users as does the U.S., but usage time and real-world, layered data vastly exceed that enjoyed by Western tech giants. Not only do Chinese citizens spend 50 times more than do American counterparts in mobile payments, they order 10 times more in food delivery, and produce about 300 times more real-world movement data through use of shared bicycle platforms (not to mention ridesharing services).

These numbers are notable, yes. But what’s truly remarkable about these statistics is what the data reveal about offline activity.

Whereas most U.S. tech giants enjoy tomes of data about their users’ every click and online glance, it is mobile payments, ridesharing data, and smart city technologies that offer goldmines of real-world information about everyday users. And in China, last year’s mobile payment transactions exceeded the country’s GDP (don’t believe me? Read an explanation here). Credit cards and cash have grown virtually obsolete, and even beggars hold up signs reading, “I’m hungry, scan me.” This massive adoption of AI across all facets of life facilitates unprecedented levels of training and improvement across data-dependent algorithms.

(5) Arguably the most AI-supportive government in the world: Just two years ago, China’s government issued its plan to make China the global center of AI innovation, aiming for a 1 trillion RMB (about $150 billion USD) AI industry by 2030.

And when China’s State Council speaks, everyone listens.

As the nation’s political system incentivizes local officials to outcompete others for leadership in CCP initiatives, positive feedback loops have seen countless government officials luring in AI companies and entrepreneurs with generous subsidies and advantageous policies. Mayors across the country (largely in eastern China) have built out innovation zones, incubators and government-backed VC funds, even covering rent and clearing out avenues for AI startups and accelerators.

Beijing plans to invest $2 billion in an AI development park, which would house up to 400 AI enterprises and a national AI lab, driving R&D, patents and societal innovation. Hangzhou, home to Alibaba’s HQ, has also launched its own AI park, backed by a fund of 10 billion RMB (nearly $1.6 billion USD). But Hangzhou and Beijing are just two of the 19 different cities and provinces investing in AI-driven city infrastructure and policy.

Cities like Xiong’an New Area are building out entire AI metropoles in the next two decades, centered around autonomous vehicles, smart solar panel-embedded roads, and computer vision-geared infrastructure. Projected to take in over $580 billion in infrastructure spending over the next 20 years, Xiong’an has ambitious plans to split its entire downtown in two levels: a top level for parks, trees, pets, kids, bicycles, skateboards, and human pedestrians, and a lower level reserved solely for cars (autonomous, electric vehicles, of course), eliminating the possibility of vehicle-human collisions and multiplying efficiency.

Lastly, local governments have begun to team with China’s leading AI companies to build up party-corporate complexes. Acting as a “national team,” companies like Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, SenseTime, and iFlyTek collaborate with national organizations like China’s National Engineering Lab for Deep Learning Technologies to pioneer research and supercharge innovation.

Pulling out all the stops, China’s government is flooding the market with AI-targeted funds as Chinese tech giants and adrenalized startups rise to leverage this capital.

Final Thoughts

China’s emergence as a leader in AI sets the stage and offers a tremendous opportunity for U.S.-Chinese collaboration lessons learned, one that is vital for expediting and shaping the direction of future progress.

As the world learns to grapple with a future of dual human-AI intelligence, U.S. and Chinese businesses stand at a critical juncture in history, requiring shared innovation and new modes of cooperation.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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Tokenizing the World with Blockchain

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 19, 2019 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Tokenizing the World with Blockchain

These five ideas convey an overriding truth. In our world of escalating change, the core principles of strategy have not only remained the same; they are now more important than ever for creating enduring success.

In almost every industry you can think of, blockchain is poised to cut out middlemen, dramatically improve transparency, and multiply the efficiency of countless transactions worldwide.

While most well-known for its application in cryptocurrencies, blockchain is on the cusp of fundamentally revolutionizing supply chains, healthcare, elections, and real estate. 

But what is blockchain, and how does it work?

Blockchains emerged in 1991 as a way to timestamp digital documents, but became much more widely-known in 2009 when “Satoshi Nakamoto,” whose true identity is disputed, used blockchain to create the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

A blockchain is a decentralized database shared across a network of computers, or “nodes,” that can only be altered after approval from all nodes in the system. Once information is created in a blockchain, it is very difficult to change.

Each block within a blockchain contains (1) data, (2) the hash, or a digital fingerprint of the block, and (3) the hash of the previous block. Different types of data can be stored within blocks, such as the sender, receiver, and transaction amount in the case of Bitcoin. A block’s hash, which is generated based on the data within that block, changes if its data is altered.

Blockchains are extremely secure for several reasons:

  • Because each block contains its own hash and the hash of the previous block, changing one hash will make the rest of the blockchain invalid.
  • Proof-of-work is a mechanism that slows the creation of new blocks, requiring about 10 minutes per block in the case of Bitcoin. This delay makes it extremely difficult to recreate an entire blockchain after changing the data of one block.
  • Consensus models vet computers seeking to join the blockchain with proof-of-work and proof-of-stake tests. Proof-of-work tests require nodes to solve computational challenges in exchange for tokens, which can then be used in proof-of-stake tests to purchase entry into a blockchain. 

Next 5 “Blockchain Breakthroughs” (2019-2024):

One of the most successful entrepreneurs in government and enterprise technology, Eric Pulier is my go-to expert on all things blockchain. The best-known venture capital groups in the world have financed companies that Pulier has founded or co-founded, including MediaPlatform, US Interactive, Desktone and SOA Software.

“Blockchain is a new way of looking at value and a new way of creating a transaction between parties where you don’t need a third-party intermediary and can track things and really have trust.”

— Eric Pulier, Founder, CEO, vAtomic

In the next five years, Pulier predicts five blockchain trends, each poised to disrupt major players and birth entirely new business models by 2024.

Let’s dive in…

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs)

An NFT is a token on the Ethereum blockchain that contains unique metadata that differentiates it from other tokens. While currency is fungible and can be easily transferred, NFTs can be used to store much more complex and individual-specific information.

Government documents such as marriage certificates, land registrars, food-grade ratings, and driver’s licenses can all be tokenized using NFTs. In retail, consumers can use blockchain to verify the legitimacy of luxury goods. Digital goods and tickets can easily be stored as NFTs on blockchains.

Pulier predicts, “Now, the token, which is like a Bitcoin, can be a ticket, or a coupon, or a collectible. It could represent a real world good, like a coffee or a piece of art. So, what you’re going to see is the emergence of an entirely new space where non-fungible tokens are going to completely change the economy.”

Security tokens

Security tokens are cryptographic, programmable securities that serve as an asset that can also take action. Security tokens can pay dividends, pay interest, or even invest in other tokens or assets, among other functions. Smart contracts, for instance, will allow assets to automatically pay dividends on a specific date if criteria are met.

As Pulier explains, “Most of the tokens that you might be familiar with are called utility tokens, and they don’t represent a piece of a real world object or of an actual equity. Security tokens are now emerging this year.” Security tokens have huge potential to decrease liquidity issues but will require additional infrastructure to take hold, such as their own exchanges, Security Token Offerings (STOs), and wallets.

Tokenized assets 

“Everything that you can imagine that doesn’t have liquidity is going to be fractionalized and tokenized and put on exchanges,” predicts Pulier. Over the next five years, security tokens will start to represent a new form of liquidity in assets that traditionally have lacked liquidity, such as real estate or art. Pulier anticipates these assets will start trading 24/7, 365 days a year.

Malta and Switzerland lead the way in developing infrastructure for tokenized assets. The U.S. SEC and EU’s ESMA have begun issuing comments about plans to put regulations in place. 

Self-sovereign identity

As cyberattacks continue to proliferate, new forms of identity verification will leap onto the scene to protect users. Self-sovereign identity will allow users to maintain a single digital identity across multiple platforms while selecting the information they wish to share on each. This mode of interaction would drastically transform the current digital marketplace that has turned personal data into a commodity.

“Identity is going to be returned through blockchain back to the individual so that the individual will own their data and then be able to marshal it out based on what’s best for them as opposed to how Facebook or Google or other people may want to exploit it,” says Pulier.

In 2014, identity assurance processes cost the U.K. a staggering £3.3 billion. Self-sovereign identity would significantly reduce these costs as well. In e-commerce, online logins will be exponentially more secure and efficient. For financial services, Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) work will be transferable from one bank to another, decimating costs. In healthcare, self-sovereign identifies will put medical history records back into the hands of individual patients, and transparency of permissioned access will become the new standard.

Free speech

“Blockchain allows you to have an immutable record, something that no government can tear down no matter what, because a distributed ledger all over the world is going to undermine the despots, undermine the organizations and the governments that want to clamp down on free speech, and coupled with ubiquitous bandwidth, create a world where everybody is going to be able to have a voice. No speech is going to be able to be brought down or in some way kept away from the masses,” predicts Pulier.

The trend away from hierarchical societies towards networked structures has become increasingly prevalent over the last few decades. Blockchain will only accelerate this transition across the globe, unleashing profound social impacts. Enabling trust within vast networks of decentralized control, blockchain is about to unlock a phenomenon that few human societies have ever achieved before.

Final Thoughts

Operating as peer-to-peer decentralized “digital ledgers,” blockchains will reduce the spread of corrupted information, increase transparency, witness multiplied efficiency in countless processes, and cut out unnecessary intermediaries across almost every industry. 

Within supply chains, blockchains will seamlessly record each touchpoint of an item, increasing production transparency for buyers who wish to make more informed purchase decisions. For elections anywhere, blockchain is poised to decentralize the voting process while maintaining fidelity to prevent election hacks. And in real estate, property record histories stored on blockchains will decimate time invested in due diligence and financial verifications. 

At the individual level, blockchain technologies will allow you to more easily verify your identity, share your health records, maximize gain from your financial assets, and track the origins of your every purchase. 

And at the broader societal level, blockchains will catalyze a sweeping shift away from hierarchical structures towards democratized networks at larger scales than ever before experienced by humankind. A next-generation tool capable of maintaining trust in large populations, blockchain will define a brand new order.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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Future of Real Estate & Construction

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 12, 2019 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Future of Real Estate & Construction

These five ideas convey an overriding truth. In our world of escalating change, the core principles of strategy have not only remained the same; they are now more important than ever for creating enduring success.

In the wake of the housing market collapse of 2008, one entrepreneur decided to dive right into the failing real estate industry. But this time, he didn’t buy any real estate to begin with. Instead, Glenn Sanford decided to launch the first-ever cloud-based real estate brokerage, eXp Realty.

Contracting a virtual platform VirBELA to build out the company’s mega-campus in VR, eXp Realty demonstrates the power of a dematerialized workspace, throwing out hefty overhead costs and fundamentally redefining what ‘real estate’ really means. Ten years later, eXp Realty has an army of 14,000 agents across all 50 U.S. states, 3 Canadian provinces, and 400 MLS market areas… all without a single physical office.

But VR is just one of many exponential technologies converging to revolutionize real estate and construction. As floating cities and driverless cars spread out your living options, AI and VR are together cutting out the middleman. 

Already, the global construction industry is projected to surpass $12.9 trillion in 2022, and the total value of the U.S. housing market alone grew to $33.3 trillion last year. Both vital for our daily lives, these industries will continue to explode in value, posing countless possibilities for disruption.

In this blog, I’ll be discussing the following trends:

  • New prime real estate locations;
  • Disintermediation of the real estate broker and search;
  • Materials science and 3D printing in construction. 

Let’s dive in! 

Location Location Location

Until today, location has been the name of the game when it comes to hunting down the best real estate. But constraints on land often drive up costs while limiting options, and urbanization is only exacerbating the problem.

Beyond the world of virtual real estate, two primary mechanisms are driving the creation of new locations:

(1) Floating Cities:

Offshore habitation hubs, floating cities have long been conceived as a solution to rising sea levels, skyrocketing urban populations, and threatened ecosystems.

In success, they will soon unlock an abundance of prime real estate, whether for scenic living, commerce, education, or recreation.

One pioneering model is that of Oceanix City, designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels and a host of other domain experts. Intended to adapt organically over time, Oceanix would consist of a galaxy of mass-produced, hexagonal floating modules, built as satellite “cities” off coastal urban centers, and sustained by renewable energies.

While individual 4.5-acre platforms would each sustain 300 people, these hexagonal modules are designed to link into 75-acre tessellations sustaining up to 10,000 residents. Each anchored to the ocean floor using biorock, Oceanix cities are slated to be closed-loop systems, as external resources are continuously supplied by automated drone networks.

Electric boats or flying cars might zoom you to work, city-embedded water capture technologies would provide your water, and while vertical and outdoor farming supply your family meal, share economies would dominate goods provision.

OCEANIX City. Source: Oceanix.

Joined by countless government officials whose islands risk submersion at the hands of sea level rise, the UN is now getting on board. And just this year, seasteading is exiting the realm of science fiction and testing practical waters.

As French Polynesia seeks out robust solutions to sea level rise, their government has now joined forces with the San Francisco-based Seasteading Institute. With a newly designated special economic zone and 100 acres of beachfront, this joint Floating Island Project could even see up to a dozen inhabitable structures by 2020. And what better to fund the $60 million project than the team’s upcoming ICO?

But aside from creating new locations, autonomous vehicles (AVs) and flying cars are turning previously low-demand land into the prime real estate of tomorrow.

(2) Autonomous Electric Vehicles and Flying Cars:

Today, the value of a location is a function of its proximity to your workplace, your city’s central business district, the best schools, or your closest friends.

But what happens when driverless cars desensitize you to distance, or Hyperloop and flying cars decimate your commute time? Historically, every time new transit methods have hit the mainstream, tolerance for distance has opened up right alongside them, further catalyzing city spread.

And just as Hyperloop and the Boring Company aim to make your commute immaterial, autonomous vehicle (AV) ridesharing services will spread out cities in two ways: (1) by drastically reducing parking spaces needed (vertical parking decks = more prime real estate); and (2) by untethering you to the steering wheel. Want an extra two hours of sleep on the way to work? Schedule a sleeper AV and nap on your route to the office. Need a car-turned-mobile office? No problem. 

Meanwhile, aerial taxis (i.e. flying cars) will allow you to escape ground congestion entirely, delivering you from bedroom to boardroom at decimated time scales. 

Already working with regulators, Uber Elevate has staked ambitious plans for its UberAIR airborne taxi project. By 2023, Uber anticipates rolling out flying drones in its two first pilot cities, Los Angeles and Dallas. Flying between rooftop skyports, drones would carry passengers at a height of 1,000 to 2,000 feet at speeds between 100 to 200 mph. And while costs per ride are anticipated to resemble those of an Uber Black based on mileage, prices are projected to soon drop to those of an UberX.

But the true economic feat boils down to this: if I were to commute 50 to 100 kilometers, I could get two or three times the house for the same price. (Not to mention the extra living space offered up by my now-unneeded garage.)

All of a sudden, virtual reality, broadband, AVs or high-speed vehicles, are going to change where we live and where we work. So rather than living in a crowded, dense urban core for access to jobs and entertainment, our future of personalized, autonomous, low-cost transport opens the luxury of rural areas to all without compromising the benefits of a short commute.

Once these drivers multiply your real estate options, how will you select your next home? 

Disintermediation: Say Bye to Your Broker

In a future of continuous and personalized preference-tracking, why hire a human agent that knows less about your needs and desires than a personal AI? 

Just as disintermediation is cutting out bankers and insurance agents, so too is it closing in on real estate brokers. Over the next decade, as AI becomes your agent, VR will serve as your medium.

To paint a more vivid picture of how this will look, over 98 percent of your home search will be conducted from the comfort of your couch, through next-generation VR headgear.

Once you’ve verbalized your primary desires for home location, finishings, size, etc. to your personal AI, it will offer you top picks, tour-able 24/7, with optional assistance by a virtual guide and constantly updated data. As a seller, this means potential buyers from two miles, or two continents, away.

Throughout each immersive VR tour, advanced eye-tracking software and a permissioned machine learning algorithm follow your gaze, further learn your likes and dislikes, and intelligently recommend other homes or commercial residences to visit.

Curious as to what the living room might look like with a fresh coat of blue paint and a white carpet? No problem! VR programs will be able to modify rendered environments instantly, changing countless variables, from furniture materials to even the sun’s orientation. Keen to input your own furniture into a VR-rendered home? Advanced AIs could one day compile all your existing furniture, electronics, clothing, decorations, and even books, virtually organizing them across any accommodating new space.

As 3D scanning technologies make extraordinary headway, VR renditions will only grow cheaper and higher resolution. One company called Immersive Media (disclosure: I’m an investor and advisor) has a platform for 360-degree video capture and distribution, and is already exploring real estate 360-degree video.

Smaller firms like Studio 216, Vieweet, Arch Virtual, ArX Solutions, and Rubicon Media can similarly capture and render models of various properties for clients and investors to view and explore. In essence, VR real estate platforms will allow you to explore any home for sale, do the remodel, and determine if it truly is the house of your dreams.

Once you’re ready to make a bid, your AI will even help estimate a bid, process and submit your offer. Real estate companies like Zillow, Trulia, Move, Redfin, ZipRealty (acquired by Realogy in 2014) and many others have already invested millions in machine learning applications to make search, valuation, consulting, and property management easier, faster, and much more accurate.

But what happens if the home you desire most means starting from scratch with new construction?

Furnishing your home will be much easier.

Here is an example of an Lowe’s Home Center APP.

New Methods & Materials for Construction

For thousands of years, we’ve been constrained by the construction materials of nature. We built bricks from naturally abundant clay and shale, used tree limbs as our rooftops and beams, and mastered incredible structures in ancient Rome with the use of cement.

But construction is now on the cusp of a materials science revolution. Today, I’d like to focus on three key materials:

  1. Upcycled Materials: 

Imagine if you could turn the world’s greatest waste products into their most essential building blocks. Thanks to UCLA researchers at CO2NCRETE, we can already do this with carbon emissions. 

Today, concrete produces about 5% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. But what if concrete could instead conserve greenhouse emissions? CO2NCRETE engineers capture carbon from smokestacks and combine it with lime to create a new type of cement. The lab’s 3D printers then shape the upcycled concrete to build entirely new structures. Once conquered at scale, upcycled concrete will turn a former polluter into a future conserver.

Related image

Or what if we wanted to print new residences from local soil at hand? Marking an extraordinary convergence between robotics and 3D printing, the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) is already working on a solution.

In a major feat for low-cost construction in remote zones, IAAC has found a way to convert almost any soil into a building material with three times the tensile strength of industrial clay. Offering myriad benefits, including natural insulation, low GHG emissions, fire protection, air circulation and thermal mediation, IAAC’s new 3D printed native soil can build houses on-site for as little as $1,000. 

  1. Nanomaterials:

Nano- and micro-materials are ushering in a new era of smart, super-strong and self-charging buildings. While carbon nanotubes dramatically increase the strength-to-weight ratio of skyscrapers, revolutionizing their structural flexibility, nanomaterials don’t stop here.

Several research teams are pioneering silicon nanoparticles to capture everyday light flowing through our windows. Little solar cells at the edges of windows then harvest this energy for ready use. Researchers at the U.S. National Renewable Energy Lab have developed similar smart windows. Turning into solar panels when bathed in sunlight, these thermochromic windows will power our buildings, changing color as they do.

  1. Self-Healing Infrastructure:

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that the U.S. needs to spend roughly $4.5 trillion to fix nationwide roads, bridges, dams and common infrastructure by 2025. But what if infrastructure could fix itself?

Enter self-healing concrete. Engineers at Delft University have developed bio-concrete that can repair its own cracks. As head researcher Henk Jonkers explains, “What makes this limestone-producing bacteria so special is that they are able to survive in concrete for more than 200 years and come into play when the concrete is damaged. […] If cracks appear as a result of pressure on the concrete, the concrete will heal these cracks itself.”

But bio-concrete is only the beginning of self-healing technologies. As futurist architecture firms start printing plastic and carbon-fiber houses like the stunner seen below (using Branch Technologies’ 3D printing technology), engineers have begun tackling self-healing plastic.

WATG Designs 3D-Printed Freeform House with Carbon-Fiber Reinforced Plastic. Source: WATG.

And in a bid to go smart, burgeoning construction projects have started embedding sensors for preemptive detection. Beyond materials and sensors, however, construction methods are fast colliding into robotics and 3D printing. 

While some startups and research institutes have leveraged robot swarm construction (namely, Harvard’s robotic termite-like swarm of programmed constructors), others have taken to large-scale autonomous robots.

One such example involves Fastbrick Robotics. After multiple iterations, the company’s Hadrian X end-to-end bricklaying robot can now autonomously build a fully livable, 180-square meter home in under 3 days. Using a laser-guided robotic attachment, the all-in-one brick-loaded truck simply drives to a construction site and directs blocks through its robotic arm in accordance with a 3D model.

Source: Fastbrick Robotics.

Meeting verified building standards, Hadrian and similar solutions hold massive promise in the long-term, deployable across post-conflict refugee sites and regions recovering from natural catastrophes.

Imagine the implications. Eliminating human safety concerns and unlocking any environment, autonomous builder robots could collaboratively build massive structures in space, or deep underwater habitats.

Final Thoughts

Where, how, and what we live in, form a vital pillar of our everyday lives. The concept of “home” is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. At the same time, real estate and construction are two of the biggest playgrounds for technological convergence, each on the verge of revolutionary disruption.

As underlying shifts in transportation, land reclamation, and the definition of “space” (real vs. virtual) take hold, the real estate market is about to explode in value, spreading out urban centers on unprecedented scales, and unlocking vast new prime “property.”

Meanwhile, converging advancements in AI and VR are fundamentally disrupting the way we design, build, and explore new residences. Just as mirror worlds create immersive, virtual real estate economies, VR tours and AI agents are absorbing both sides of the coin to entirely obliterate the middleman.

And as materials science breakthroughs meet new modes of construction, the only limits to tomorrow’s structures are those of our own imagination.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

#innovation #executive #RealEstate #Construction #HR #leadership #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #BofD #VR #AR #Entrepreneur #WSJ #VC #socialmedia #Diversity #Engineering #BigData #CorpGov #elearning #Marketing #Periscope #Recruiting #technology #HRTech #Recruitment #sales #cloud #work Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Five year forecast for transportation and energy, each is poised to disrupt major players and birth entirely new business models

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 6, 2019 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Five year forecast for transportation and energy, each is poised to disrupt major players and birth entirely new business models

On the heels of energy abundance, we are additionally witnessing a new transportation revolution, which sets the stage for a future of seamlessly efficient travel at lower economic and environmental costs. In just five days, the Sun provides Earth with an energy supply exceeding all proven reserves of oil, coal, and natural gas. Capturing just 1 part in 8,000 of this available solar energy would allow us to meet 100 percent of our energy needs. This article includes a discussion of Hydrogen, which can be used both as a feedstock and an energy carrier.

Autonomous cars drive 1 billion miles on U.S. roads. Then 10 billion.

Alphabet’s Waymo alone has already reached 10 million miles driven in the U.S. The 600 Waymo vehicles on public roads drive a total of 25,000 miles each day, and computer simulations provide an additional 25,000 virtual cars driving constantly. Since its launch in December, the Waymo One service has transported over 1,000 pre-vetted riders in the Phoenix area.

With more training miles, the accuracy of these cars continues to improve. Since last year, Waymo has decreased its disengagement rate by 50 percent, now achieving a rate of just one human intervention per 11,017 self-driven miles. Similarly, GM Cruise has improved its disengagement rate by 321 percent since last year, trailing close behind with only one human intervention per 5,025 miles self-driven.

  • Autonomous taxis as a service in top 20 U.S. metro areas.

Along with its first quarterly earnings released last week, Lyft recently announced that it would expand its Waymo partnership with the upcoming deployment of 10 autonomous vehicles in the Phoenix area. While individuals previously had to partake in Waymo’s “early rider program” prior to trying Waymo One, the Lyft partnership will allow anyone to ride in a self-driving vehicle without a prior NDA.

Strategic partnerships will grow increasingly essential between automakers, self-driving tech companies, and rideshare services. Ford is currently working with Volkswagen, and Nvidia now collaborates with Daimler (Mercedes) and Toyota. Just last week, GM Cruise raised another $1.15 billion at a $19 billion valuation as the company aims to launch a ride-hailing service this year.

They’re going to come to the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Houston, other cities with relatively good weather. In every major city within five years in the U.S. and in some other parts of the world, you’re going to see the ability to hail an autonomous vehicle as a ride.

  • Cambrian explosion of vehicle formats.

If you look today at the average ridership of a taxi, a Lyft, or an Uber, it’s about 1.1 passengers plus the driver. So, why do you need a large four-seater vehicle for that?

Small electric and Hydrogen, autonomous pods that seat as few as two people will begin to emerge, satisfying the majority of ride-hailing demands we see today. At the same time, larger communal vehicles will appear, such as Uber Express, that will undercut even the cheapest of transportation methods — buses, trams and the like. Finally, last-mile scooter transit (or simply short-distance walks) might connect you to communal pick-up locations.

By 2024, an unimaginably diverse range of vehicles will arise to meet every possible need, regardless of distance or destination.

  • Drone delivery for lightweight packages in at least one U.S. city.

Wing, the Alphabet drone delivery startup, recently became the first company to gain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to make deliveries in the U.S. Having secured approval to deliver to 100 homes in Canberra, Australia, Wing additionally plans to begin delivering goods from local businesses in the suburbs of Virginia. 

The current state of drone delivery is best suited for lightweight, urgent-demand payloads like pharmaceuticals, thumb drives, or connectors. And as Amazon continues to decrease its Prime delivery times—now as speedy as a one-day turnaround in many cities—the use of drones will become essential.

  • Robotic factories drive onshoring of U.S. factories… but without new jobs.

The supply chain will continue to shorten and become more agile with the re-onshoring of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and other countries. Naam reasons that new management and software jobs will drive this shift, as these roles develop the necessary robotics to manufacture goods. Equally as important, these robotic factories will provide a more humane setting than many of the current manufacturing practices overseas. 

Top 5 Energy Breakthroughs (2019-2024)

  • First “1 cent per kWh” deals for solar and wind signed.

Ten years ago, the lowest price of solar and wind power fell between 10 to 12 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), over twice the price of wholesale power from coal or natural gas.

Today, the gap between solar/wind power and fossil fuel-generated electricity is nearly negligible in many parts of the world. In G20 countries, fossil fuel electricity costs between 5 to 17 cents per kWh, while the average cost per kWh of solar power in the U.S. stands at under 10 cents.

Spanish firm Solarpack Corp Technological recently won a bid in Chile for a 120 MW solar power plant supplying energy at 2.91 cents per kWh. This deal will result in an estimated 25 percent drop in energy costs for Chilean businesses by 2021.

We will see the first unsubsidized 1.0 cent solar deals in places like Chile, Mexico, the Southwest U.S., the Middle East, and North Africa, and we’ll see similar prices for wind in places like Mexico, Brazil, and the U.S. Great Plains.

  • Solar & Wind will reach >15 percent of U.S. electricity, and begin to drive all growth.

Just over 8 percent of energy in the U.S. comes from solar and wind sources. In total, 17 percent of American energy is derived from renewable sources, while a whopping 63 percent is sourced from fossil fuels, and 17 percent from nuclear.

Last year in the U.K., twice as much energy was generated from wind than from coal. For over a week in May, the U.K. went completely coal-free, using wind and solar to supply 35 percent and 21 percent of power, respectively. While fossil fuels remain the primary electricity source, this weeklong experiment highlights the disruptive potential of solar and wind power that major countries like the U.K. are beginning to emphasize.

Solar and wind are still a relatively small part of the worldwide power mix, only about 6 percent. Within five years, it’s going to be 15 percent in the U.S. and more than close to that worldwide, “We are nearing the point where we are not building any new fossil fuel power plants.”

  • It will be cheaper to build new solar/wind/batteries than to run on existing coal.

Last October, Northern Indiana utility company NIPSCO announced its transition from a 65 percent coal-powered state to projected coal-free status by 2028. Importantly, this decision was made purely on the basis of financials, with an estimated $4 billion in cost savings for customers. The company has already begun several initiatives in solar, wind, and batteries. 

NextEra, the largest power generator in the U.S., has taken on a similar goal, making a deal last year to purchase roughly 7 million solar panels from JinkoSolar over four years. Leading power generators across the globe have vocalized a similar economic case for renewable energy.

  • ICE car sales have now peaked. All car sales growth will be electric and hydrogen.

While electric vehicles (EV) have historically been more expensive for consumers than internal combustion engine-powered (ICE) cars, EVs are cheaper to operate and maintain. The yearly cost of operating an EV in the U.S. is about $485, less than half the $1,117 cost of operating a gas-powered vehicle.

As Hydrogen fueling stations continue to expand, especially with the Evolve onsite technology, the upfront costs of Hydrogen vehicles will decline until a long-term payoff calculation is no longer required to determine which type of car is the better investment. Hydrogen will become the obvious choice.


The Hydrogen Council envisages that by 2030, 230–250TWh of surplus solar and wind energy could be converted to hydrogen. It suggests hydrogen could provide almost a fifth of total energy consumed by 2050, and cut carbon emissions by about six billion tonnes compared to today. Moreover, it will tackle the air pollution that is the scourge of so many industrialized nations.

Many experts believe that internal combustion engine (ICE)-powered vehicles peaked worldwide in 2018 and will begin to decline over the next five years, as has already been demonstrated in the past 5 months. At the same time, EVs and Hydrogen vehicles are expected to quadruple their market share to 1.6 percent this year.

  • New storage technologies will displace Li-ion batteries for tomorrow’s most demanding applications.

Lithium ion batteries have dominated the battery market for decades, I anticipates new storage technologies will take hold for different contexts. Flow batteries and Hydrogen production, which can collect and store solar and wind power at large scales, will supply our electrical grids.

Final Thoughts

Major advancements in transportation and energy technologies will continue to converge over the next five years. A case in point, Tesla’s recent announcement of its “robotaxi” fleet exemplifies the growing trend towards joint priority of sustainability and autonomy. 

On the connectivity front, 5G and next-generation mobile networks will continue to enable the growth of autonomous fleets, many of which will soon run on renewable energy sources. This growth demands important partnerships between energy storage manufacturers, automakers, self-driving tech companies, and ridesharing services.

In the eco-realm, increasingly obvious economic advantages will catalyze consumer adoption of autonomous hydrogen and electric vehicles. In just five years, I predict that self-driving rideshare services will be cheaper than owning a private vehicle for urban residents. And by the same token, plummeting renewable, including clean hydrogen production energy costs will make these fuels far more attractive than fossil fuel-derived from electricity.

Today, Americans spend over 84 billion hours a year behind the steering wheel. Yet as universally optimized AI systems cut down on traffic, aggregate time spent in vehicles will decimate, while hours in your (or not your) car will be applied to any number of activities as autonomous systems steer the way. All the while, sharing an electric vehicle will cut down not only on your carbon footprint but on the exorbitant costs swallowed by your previous SUV. How will you spend this extra time and money? What new natural resources will fuel your everyday life? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, Advisory Board, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of opportunities within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

#innovation #Venture #Executive #CXO #CEO #CFO #BofD Contributors: Ramez Naam and Peter Diamandis

Concentrate on what’s important – not what’s new

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 22, 2019 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

Concentrate on what’s important – not what’s new

How to thrive in today’s dynamic world.

Our only sustainable competitive advantage is our ability to learn faster than our competitors.

In his 1997 Harvard Business Review article, “The Living Company” Arie de Geuss asserted that sustainable competitive advantage cannot be achieved through particular products or strategies. These are soon overtaken by fast-moving events. Instead, he argued, an organization’s survival depends on its ability to build an adaptive enterprise – one that constantly learns and renews its strategies as the environment changes.

The Darwinian logic of this idea is inescapable. Learning must be imbued in the culture of every organization for it to sustain itself as a “living company.”

Organizational learning, however, does not happen by itself. It must be ignited, sustained and directed through a deliberate company-wide process. There is no greater leadership responsibility than this.

To contend with today’s dynamic world, this must be a dynamic process – a learning cycle that guides organizations continuously from the discovery of fresh insights to the implementation of innovative actions. This requires an essential shift of gear from strategy as planning to strategy as learning.

Consider the Fire Service and the US military’s technique of action-learning. After every engagement it applies its famed Fire Service “Post-incident critique and post-incident analysis”, and the US military’s “After Action Review” to examine what worked and what didn’t, to ensure that every subsequent engagement will be an improvement over the prior one. This makes a huge difference to its prospects of winning.

Success means putting the customer at the center of business decisions 

I was reading an article from Willie Pietersen, a professor of the Practice of Management at Columbia Business School and a former CEO of multibillion-dollar businesses such as Lever Foods, Seagram USA, and Tropicana. As a young brand manager, at Unilever, Willie became fixated on emphasizing the distinctive product attributes of his brand and presented his strategy to his boss accordingly. His boss gave him a chilly reception. “Your thinking is back to front,” he said. “Customers don’t buy attributes. They are looking for solutions to their needs. You must learn to think outside-in, not inside-out.” With that, his boss handed him Theodore Levitt’s 1960 masterpiece, (2 minute video) “Marketing Myopia.” Levitt’s ideas have influenced his thinking ever since.

Products, Levitt argues, are a means to an end, not an end in themselves. Their job is to satisfy customer needs. As a result, a product-centered, rather than a customer-driven, orientation can destroy a company’s ability to survive change. The railroads failed, according to Levitt, “because they assumed themselves to be in the railroad business rather than in the transportation business.”

Levitt’s underlying idea is that companies don’t sell products. They sell benefits. Competition expresses itself through the provision of benefits that transcend the product itself.

Take Hallmark Cards’ statement of purpose: “We help people connect with one another and give voice to their feelings.” The cards themselves are simply a vehicle. Human connection is the value they provide.

This means there is no such thing as a commodity. There are human beings at either end of any transaction and the service model – the way the transaction is conducted – is the key benefit.

In the burgeoning “tech revolution” we see dangerous signs that product centricity is beginning to eclipse customer centricity. Customers are too often offered acronyms or buzzwords – Al, IoT, Cloud Computing, Big Data – rather than the benefits they confer. To compete successfully, claims Levitt, companies must build “a customer-satisfying process, not a goods-producing process.”

Strategy is about achieving differentiation by making choices

Strategy is plagued by greater confusion than any other business discipline. Ask five companies to explain their strategy and you will get five very different notions of what a strategy looks like.

Strategy was born in the military, then co-opted by business. Businesses, however, court failure by neglecting to apply the key concepts of this essential leadership domain.

Michael Porter, in a 1996 article titled “What is Strategy?” and in a subsequent interview with Fast Company magazine, defines strategy’s essentials as follows:

1) Strategy is a process of making choices on where to compete, what to offer, and how to differentiate your business by creating greater value for customers than competing alternatives.

2) Such choice-making requires balancing trade-offs. The essence of strategy is deciding what not to do.

3) Operational effectiveness is not a strategy. It is necessary, but not sufficient.

There is a dangerous notion that in a world of rapid change, strategy is no longer necessary. This, Porter calls “ridiculous” and “a deeply flawed view of competition.” While strategies may need to be updated more frequently, without a clear direction, no company can succeed for long.

Customers have choices. To succeed, companies must have what I call a “winning proposition”, a compelling reason why customers should choose their offering over their competitors.

Amazon provides a striking example: “We make it easy for people to buy things by offering a wide range of products at great prices with fast delivery.” This statement not only explains the benefit to the customer, it tells employees what (and what not) to concentrate on every hour of every day to enhance that benefit.

Leaders must be able to simplify a complex world 

In the mid-90s the United States Army War College introduced a new acronym to describe the confusing world order left behind in the wake of the Cold War: VUCA. Today the business world, no less than the military one, is beset by the same forces of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.

It is the responsibility of leaders to create clarity from a bewildering world. Effective leadership is impossible without the ability to distill an organization’s challenges and its strategic focus.

Simplicity is not a short cut: it is hard, messy work. Blaise Pascal, the seventeenth-century French mathematician and philosopher, captured this aptly when he said: “I am sorry to write you this long letter, but I didn’t have time to write you a short one.”

No organization’s strategy should be longer than 10 pages. Boiling it down in this way is in itself an exercise in clarity of thought which can then be shared by the entire organization.

Sam Palmisano, the former CEO of IBM, insisted on this clarity of thought, requiring that every executive in IBM be able to answer these 4 questions in a concise and compelling way:

1)  Why should customers choose to do business with us?

2)  Why should investors choose to give us their money?

3)  Why should employees choose to work for us?

4)  Why should communities welcome us in their midst?

By laying out these simple, yet profound questions, Palmisano forced his executives to address the needs of all the company’s key stakeholders and to understand how they fit together.

To move people at the deepest level, you need compelling stories

The final deliverable of a strategy is not simply a document.

People don’t follow documents, they follow leaders and ideas. Of course, it is important to record your strategy for easy reference, but that is only where the main task begins. The ultimate aim of leadership is to win the hearts and minds of your employees in support of your strategy.

Howard Gardner, the developmental psychologist, in an interview in Strategy + Business, emphasized the importance of story-telling as a way to engage and motivate employees. “People have a real thirst for stories that give them a better sense of how they belong” he said. He emphasized that effective leadership involves the creation of powerful narratives, and that the greater the change you aim to make, the more important the story becomes.

3M has embraced this concept by transforming business planning from a list of bullet points into a narrative that not only tells everyone what the goals are, but also how to reach them.

The crucial task is to translate the strategy document into a compelling leadership message, then to convey that message repeatedly with impact and sincerity. Leaders must return to one of our oldest human traditions, that of story-telling. As the poet Muriel Rukeyser observed, “the universe is made of stories, not atoms.”

What are the elements of an effective story? I suggest they contain the following essentials:

–  They simplify complexity

–  They engage people emotionally through vivid metaphors and examples and pictures

–  They raise – and resolve – an important issue

–  They clearly frame a “call to action”

–  They are embodied by their tellers

Stories arise from our universal search for causes and effects, for purposes and ideals. Stories create meaning. Increasingly, this desire for meaning and authenticity is being subjugated to the deadening dominance of PowerPoint presentations.

These five ideas convey an overriding truth. In our world of escalating change, the core principles of strategy have not only remained the same; they are now more important than ever for creating enduring success.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

The Future of Entertainment. I think you’ll be surprised!

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 15, 2019 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

The Future of Entertainment. I think you’ll be surprised!

Twenty years ago, entertainment was dominated by a handful of producers and monolithic broadcasters, a near-impossible market to break into. Today, the industry is almost entirely dematerialized, while storytellers and storytelling mediums explode in number. And this is just the beginning.

Netflix turned entertainment on its head practically overnight, shooting from a market cap of US$8 billion in 2010 (the same year Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy) to a record US$185.6 billion only 8 years later. This year, it is expected to spend a whopping 15 billion on content alone. 

Meanwhile, VR platforms like Google’s Daydream and Oculus have only begun bringing the action to you, while mixed reality players like Dreamscape will forever change the way we experience stories, exotic environments and even classrooms of the future. 

In the words of Barry Diller, a former Fox and Paramount executive and the chairman of IAC, “Hollywood is now irrelevant.”

In this two-part series, I’ll be diving into three future trends in the entertainment industry: AI-based content curation, participatory story-building, and immersive VR/AR/MR worlds.

Today, I’ll be exploring the creative future of AI’s role in generating on-demand, customized content and collaborating with creatives, from music to film, in refining their craft. 

Let’s dive in!

AI Entertainment Assistants

For many of us, film brought to life our conceptions of AI, from Marvel’s JARVIS to HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

And now, over 50 years later, AI is bringing stories to life like we’ve never seen before.

Converging with the rise of virtual reality and colossal virtual worlds, AI has begun to create vastly detailed renderings of dead stars, generate complex supporting characters with intricate story arcs, and even bring your favorite stars — whether Marlon Brando or Amy Winehouse — back to the big screen and into a built environment.

While still in its nascent stages, AI has already been used to embody virtual avatars that you can converse with in VR, soon to be customized to your individual preferences. 

But AI will have far more than one role in the future of entertainment as industries converge atop this fast-moving arena.

You’ve likely already seen the results of complex algorithms that predict the precise percentage likelihood you’ll enjoy a given movie or TV series on Netflix, or recommendation algorithms that queue up your next video on YouTube. Or think Spotify playlists that build out an algorithmically refined, personalized roster of your soon-to-be favorite songs.

And AI entertainment assistants have barely gotten started.

Currently the aim of AIs like Google’s Assistant or Huawei’s Xiaoyi (a voice assistant that lives inside Huawei’s smartphones and smart speaker AI Cube), AI advancements will soon enable your assistant to search and select songs based on your current and desired mood, movies carefully picked out to bridge you and your friends’ watching preferences on a group film night, or even games whose characters are personalized to interact with you as you jump from level to level.

Or even imagine your own home leveraging facial technology to assess your disposition, cross-reference historical data on your entertainment choices at a given time or frame of mind, and automatically queue up a context-suiting song or situation-specific video for comic relief.

Curated Content Generators

Beyond personalized predictions, however, AIs are now taking on content generation, multiplying your music repertoire, developing entirely new plotlines, and even bringing your favorite actors back to the screen or — better yet — directly into your living room.

Take AI motion transfer, for instance.

Employing the machine learning subset of generative adversarial networks (GAN), a team of researchers at UC Berkeley has now developed an AI motion transfer technique that superimposes the dance moves of professionals onto any amateur (‘target’) individual in seamless video. 

By first mapping the target’s movements onto a stick figure, Caroline Chan and her team create a database of frames, each frame associated with a stick-figure pose. They then use this database to train a GAN and thereby generate an image of the target person based on a given stick-figure pose.

Map a series of poses from the source video to the target, frame-by-frame, and soon anyone might moonwalk like Michael Jackson, glide like Ginger Rogers or join legendary dancers on a virtual stage.

Somewhat reminiscent of AI-generated “deepfakes,” the use of generative adversarial networks in film could massively disrupt entertainment, bringing legendary performers back to the screen and granting anyone virtual stardom. 

Just as digital artists increasingly enhance computer-generated imagery (CGI) techniques with high-fidelity 3D scanning for unprecedentedly accurate rendition of everything from pores to lifelike hair textures, AI is about to give CGI a major upgrade.

Fed countless hours of footage, AI systems can be trained to refine facial movements and expressions, replicating them on any CGI model of a character, whether a newly generated face or iterations of your favorite actors.

Want Marilyn Monroe to star in a newly created Fast and Furious film? No problem! Keen to cast your brother in one of the original Star Wars movies? It might soon be as easy as contracting an AI to edit him in, ready for his next Jedi-themed birthday.

Companies like Digital Domain, co-founded by James Cameron, are hard at work to pave the way for such a future. Already, Digital Domain’s visual effects artists employ proprietary AI systems to integrate humans into CGI character design with unparalleled efficiency. 

As explained by Digital Domain’s Digital Human Group director Darren Handler, “We can actually take actors’ performances — and especially facial performances — and transfer them [exactly] to digital characters.

And this weekend, AI-CGI cooperation took center stage in Avengers: Endgame, seamlessly recreating facial expressions on its villain Thanos.

Even in the realm of video games, upscaling algorithms have been used to revive childhood classic video games, upgrading low-resolution features with striking new graphics. 

One company that has begun commercializing AI upscaling techniques is Topaz Labs. While some manual craftsmanship is required, the use of GANs has dramatically sped up the process, promising extraordinary implications for gaming visuals. 

But how do these GANs work? After training a GAN on millions of pairs of low-res and high-res images, one part of the algorithm attempts to build a high-resolution frame from its low-resolution counterpart, while the second algorithm component evaluates this output. And as the feedback loop of generation and evaluation drives the GAN’s improvement, the upscaling process only gets more efficient over time.

“After it’s seen these millions of photos many, many times it starts to learn what a high resolution image looks like when it sees a low resolution image,” explained Topaz Labs CTO Albert Yang.

Imagine a future in which we might transform any low-resolution film or image with remarkable detail at the click of a button.

But it isn’t just film and gaming that are getting an AI upgrade. AI songwriters are now making a major dent in the music industry, from personalized repertoires to melody creation. 

AI Songwriters and Creative Collaborators 

While not seeking to replace your favorite song artists, AI startups are leaping onto the music scene, raising millions in VC investments to assist musicians with creation of novel melodies and underlying beats… and perhaps one day with lyrics themselves.

Take Flow Machines, a songwriting algorithm already in commission. Now used by numerous musical artists as a creative assistant, Flow Machines has even made appearances on Spotify playlists and top music charts.

And startups are fast following suit, including Amper, Popgun, Jukedeck and Amadeus Code.

But how do these algorithms work? By processing thousands of genre-specific songs or an artist’s genre-mixed playlist, songwriting algorithms are now capable of optimizing and outputting custom melodies and chord progressions that interpret a given style. These in turn help human artists refine tunes, derive new beats, and ramp up creative ability at scales previously unimaginable.

As explained by Amadeus Code’s founder Taishi Fukuyama, “History teaches us that emerging technology in music leads to an explosion of art. For AI songwriting, I believe [it’s just] a matter of time before the right creators congregate around it to make the next cultural explosion.” 

Envisioning a future wherein machines form part of the creation process, Will.i.am has even described a scenario in which he might tell his AI songwriting assistant, “Give me a shuffle pattern, and pull up a bass line, and give me a Bootsy Collins feel…” 

AI: The Next Revolution in Creativity

Over the next decade, entertainment will undergo its greatest revolution yet. As AI converges with VR and crashes into democratized digital platforms, we will soon witness the rise of everything from edu-tainment, to interactive game-based storytelling, to immersive worlds, to AI characters and plot lines created on-demand, anywhere, for anyone, at almost zero cost.

We’ve already seen the dramatic dematerialization of entertainment. Streaming has taken the world by storm, as democratized platforms and new broadcasting tools birth new convergence between entertainment and countless other industries. 

Posing the next major disruption, AI is skyrocketing to new heights of creative and artistic capacity, multiplying content output and allowing any artist to refine their craft, regardless of funding, agencies or record deals.

And as AI advancements pick up content generation and facilitate creative processes on the back end, virtual worlds and AR/VR hardware will transform our experience of content on the front-end.

In our next blog of the series, we’ll dive into mixed reality experiences, VR for collaborative storytelling, and AR interfaces that bring location-based entertainment to your immediate environment.

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis #innovation #invent #inventor #engineer #Entrepreneur #AI #ArtificialIntelligence #VC #WSJ

The Future of 3D Printing and How it’s Changing the World

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 1, 2019 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

The Future of 3D Printing and How it’s Changing the World

3D printing (additive or augmented manufacturing) translates digital files into three-dimensional objects by layering material in a process known as additive manufacturing. Printheads release matter in precise orientations that can produce complex structures, ranging from jewelry to three-story homes.

250 Materials: Current 3D printers can produce functional part- and full-color objects from over 250 different materials, including metals, plastics, ceramics, glass, rubber, leather, stem cells, and even chocolate. 

100x Faster: More recently, groundbreaking stereolithography methods have succeeded in producing complex shapes at up to 100 times the speed of traditional 3D printers. Building from a bed of photoreactive liquid resin, the application of different light wavelengths has been found to selectively harden the resin as it’s released and thereby achieve a continuous print. Say goodbye to incremental layering!

90% Material Efficient: Beyond rapid and high-resolution production, additive manufacturing poses extraordinary second-order implications. Promising decimated economic and environmental costs, 3D printing eliminates tremendous amounts of waste, as raw material requirements are reduced by as much as 90 percent.

3D printing further unlocks opportunities for mass customization, democratized production, and systematic perfection.

Avi Reichental’s Top Predictions:

My friend Peter Diamandis, good friend Avi Reichental is the “go-to expert” in augmented manufacturing and the Founder and CEO of XponentialWorks, an advisory, venture investment and incubation ecosystem company that aims to monetize exponential tech innovation and business model disruption.

For 12 years, Reichental served as the CEO of 3D Systems, the largest publicly traded 3D printing company in the world. An early additive manufacturing pioneer.

By 2024, Reichental predicts:

  • 50 percent of all manufacturing companies will have 3D printing operations in production;
  • 40 percent of all surgeons will practice with 3D models;
  • 50 percent of all consumer businesses will have revenue-bearing 3D printing operations.

But it doesn’t stop there. Already, major international breakthroughs in additive manufacturing are accelerating these trends and birthing new convergent applications. 

The Next 5 Printing Breakthroughs (2019-2024)

  1. 3D printing speeds are slated to increase by 50X – 100X.

3D printing rates have typically been limited by (1) how much force a printhead can apply, (2) how fast a printer can heat the material to induce flow, and (3) how quickly the printhead itself can move. In a new feat, however, the MIT Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity recently created a printer 10 times faster than traditional desktop models and three times faster than a $100,000 industrial-scale system. Achieving record speeds, the MIT team printed a helical bevel gear in a mere 10 minutes, and a pair of eyeglass frames in only 3.6. The acceleration of 3D printing will revolutionize nearly every industry, from retail to manufacturing.

2. Sustainable, affordable, 3D-printed neighborhoods are launching.

The construction and real estate industries will experience disruption at monumental scales, as 3D-printed homes offer cheaper, environmentally-friendly alternatives to traditional housing. 3D-printed homes appeared for the first time last year in the Dutch city of Eindhoven, where a shortage of bricklayers increased the demand for this technology. The futuristic buildings waste less cement, cutting costs and resources. In the future, home printers will incorporate infrastructure including drainage pipes and even potentially smart sensors, rendering a fully integrated living experience. And more recently, a startup called NewStory was able to build 100 homes in 8 months for about $6,000 each.

3. Convincing and delicious 3D-printed steaks and burgers in fine restaurants on Earth and in space

3D-printed meat using plant-based proteins will provide a more sustainable solution to feeding the world’s growing population. Livestock produces 14.5 to 18 percent of global human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. Yet 3D-printed meat can provide the same satisfaction of meat consumption without the harmful environmental effects. Over the next five years, costs will lower and textures will improve. Israeli company Chef-it and Giuseppe Scionti’s NovaMeat are already making progress

4. Metal 3D printers will overtake plastics.

Prepare for the emergence of 3D-printed jewelry, car and airplane parts, kitchenware, and prototypes. 3D metal printers will not only eliminate waste in manufacturing, but also create more lightweight parts — a development especially pertinent to aircraft construction. This technology will grow increasingly available at the consumer level as well, providing more flexibility in product design than traditional plastic printers. Biodegradable cellulose may also overcome plastics in 3D printers of the future, as the MIT Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity has demonstrated with its 3D-printed antimicrobial surgical forceps. The mechanically robust, chemically versatile material is just one example of the endless possibilities of 3D-printed materials beyond plastics.  

5. “Hey” will be the most frequently used command in design engineering.

“Hey Cogni, design me a new pair of shoes, 8.5 Medium, with load bearing for my weight,” is a phrase Reichental anticipates using in the next five years. Smart 3D printers with natural language processing, AI-powered generative design and customization abilities will allow for seamless design engineering. “Think of the complete fashion industry that doesn’t have cutting and sizing and waste and that can create bespoke garments, shoes, belts, accessories, food,” Reichental notes. “There is not going to be a single industry that will be spared by the next wave of additive and generative design.” 

Final Thoughts…

As new methods and materials continue to spring up, how will you integrate 3D printing into your own business in the coming years? What new ventures will you build around these emerging applications?

Keep these thoughts in mind as we explore AI next week, another catalyzing technology that will only enhance the “Hey” demand functionality of 3D printers and many more devices.

Convergence leads us to transformative breakthroughs… and the human brain still beats computers when it comes to drawing these sorts of connections. Leverage that power, and what else becomes possible?

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

A dramatic extension of the human healthspan is just over the horizon

Posted by Cliff Locks On April 24, 2019 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

A dramatic extension of the human healthspan is just over the horizon

Exploring the three R’s of Regenerative Medicine:

Replenish: Stem Cells – The Regenerative Engine of The Body

Replace: Organ Regeneration and Bioprinting

Rejuvenate: Young Blood & Parabiosis

Let’s dive in.

Replenish: Stem Cells – The Regenerative Engine of the Body

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can transform into specialized cells such as heart, neurons, liver, lung, skin and so on, and can also divide to produce more stem cells.

In a child or young adult, these stem cells are in large supply, acting as a built-in repair system. They are often summoned to the site of damage or inflammation to repair and restore normal function.

But as we age, our supply of stem cells begins to diminish as much as 100- to 10,000-fold in different tissues and organs. In addition, stem cells undergo genetic mutations, which reduce their quality and effectiveness at renovating and repairing your body.

Imagine your stem cells as a team of repairmen in your newly constructed mansion. When the mansion is new and the repairmen are young, they can fix everything perfectly.

But as the repairman age and reduce in number, your mansion eventually goes into disrepair and finally crumbles.

What if you could restore and rejuvenate your stem cell population?

One option to accomplish this restoration and rejuvenation is to extract and concentrate your own autologous adult stem cells from places like your adipose (or fat) tissue or bone marrow.

These stem cells, however, are fewer in number and have undergone mutations (depending on your age) from their original ‘software code.’

Many scientists and physicians now prefer an alternative source, obtaining stem cells from the placenta or umbilical cord, the leftovers of birth.

These stem cells, available in large supply and expressing the undamaged software of a newborn, can be injected into joints or administered intravenously to rejuvenate and revitalize. 

Think of these stem cells as chemical factories generating vital growth factors that can help to reduce inflammation, fight autoimmune disease, increase muscle mass, repair joints, and even revitalize skin and grow hair.

Over the last decade, the number of publications per year on stem cell-related research has increased 40x. 

Figure: The number of stem cell publications increased by over 40 fold over the last decade.

The stem cell market is expected to increase to $170 billion by 2020.

Rising R&D initiatives to develop therapeutic options for chronic diseases and growing demand for regenerative treatment options are the most significant drivers of this budding industry.

Biologists led by Kohji Nishida at Osaka University in Japan have discovered a new way to nurture and grow the tissues that make up the human eyeball. 

The scientists are able to grow retinas, corneas, the eye’s lens and more, using only a small sample of adult skin.

In a Stanford study, seven of 18 stroke victims who agreed to stem cell treatments showed remarkable motor function improvements.

This treatment could work for other neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS.

Doctors from the USC Neurorestoration Center and Keck Medicine of USC injected stem cells into the damaged cervical spine of a recently paralyzed 21-year-old man.

Three months later, he showed dramatic improvement in sensation and movement of both arms.

In 2019, doctors in the U.K. cured a patient with HIV for the second time ever thanks to the efficacy of stem cells. After giving the cancer patient (who also had HIV) an allogeneic haematopoietic (e.g. blood) stem cell treatment for his Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the patient went into long-term HIV remission — 18 months and counting at the time of the study’s publication.

Celularity

In 2017, Dr. Bob Hariri and I announced a new company called Celularity.

Celularity is built on 20 years of research conducted by Dr. Hariri and his team on the placenta, its cells and tissues. Decades ago, he recognized the power of the placenta, what I often describe as the 3D printer that creates an embryo. He set out to harness the power of placental cells to augment our biology, immunity and longevity.

Celularity focuses on three primary stem cell technologies:

  1. Biosourcing: “saving your child’s boot-disk”
  2. Function regeneration
  3. Cell therapy 

Replace: Organ Regeneration & 3D Printing

Every 10 minutes, someone is added to the U.S. organ transplant waiting list, totaling over 113,000 people waiting for replacement organs as of January 2019.

Countless more people in need of ‘spare parts’ never make it onto the waiting list. And on average, 20 people die each day while waiting for a transplant.

As a result, 35 percent of all U.S. deaths (~900,000 people) could be prevented or delayed with access to organ replacements.

The excessive demand for donated organs will only intensify as technologies like self-driving cars make the world safer, given that many organ donors result from auto and motorcycle accidents. Safer vehicles mean less accidents and donations.

Clearly, replacement and regenerative medicine represent a massive opportunity.

Figure: The organ transplant waiting list is growing significantly faster than the number of transplants and available donors.

Organ Entrepreneurs

Enter United Therapeutics CEO, Dr. Martine Rothblatt. A one-time aerospace entrepreneur (she was the founder of Sirius Satellite Radio), Rothblatt changed careers in the 1990s after her daughter developed a rare lung disease.

Her Moonshot today is to create an industry of replacement organs. With an initial focus on diseases of the lung, Rothblatt set out to create replacement lungs. To accomplish this goal, her company United Therapeutics has pursued a number of technologies in parallel.

3D Printing Lungs

In 2017, United teamed up with one of the world’s largest 3D printing companies, 3D Systems, to build a collagen bioprinter and is paying another company, 3Scan, to slice up lungs and create detailed maps of their interior.

This 3D Systems bioprinter now operates according to a method called stereolithography. A UV laser flickers through a shallow pool of collagen doped with photosensitive molecules. Wherever the laser lingers, the collagen cures and becomes solid.

Gradually, the object being printed is lowered and new layers are added. The printer can currently lay down collagen at a resolution of around 20 micrometers but will need to achieve resolution of a micrometer in size to make the lung functional. 

Once a collagen lung scaffold has been printed, the next step is to infuse it with human cells, a process called recellularization.

The goal here is to use stem cells that grow on scaffolding and differentiate, ultimately providing the proper functionality. Early evidence indicates this approach can work.

In 2018, Harvard University experimental surgeon Harald Ott reported that he pumped billions of human cells (from umbilical cords and diced lungs) into a pig lung stripped of its own cells.

When Ott’s team reconnected it to a pig’s circulation, the resulting organ showed rudimentary function.

Figure: 3D printed structure mimicking part of a human airway.

Humanizing Pig Lungs

Another of Rothblatt’s organ manufacturing strategies is called xenotransplantation, the idea of transplanting an animal’s organs into humans who need a replacement.

Given the fact that adult pig organs are similar in size and shape to those of humans, United Therapeutics has focused on genetically engineering pigs to allow humans to use their organs. “It’s actually not rocket science,” said Rothblatt in her 2015 TED talk. “It’s editing one gene after another.”

To accomplish this goal, United Therapeutics made a series of investments in companies such as Revivicor Inc. and Synthetic Genomics Inc., and signed large funding agreements with the University of Maryland, University of Alabama, and New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center to create xenotransplantation programs for new hearts, kidneys and lungs, respectively.

Rothblatt hopes to see human translation in three to four years. 

In preparation for that day, United Therapeutics owns a 132-acre property in Research Triangle Park and built a 275,000-square-foot medical laboratory that will ultimately have the capability to annually produce up to 1,000 sets of healthy pig lungs — known as xenolungs — from genetically engineered pigs.

Lung Ex Vivo Perfusion Systems

Beyond 3D printing and genetically engineering pig lungs, Rothblatt has already begun implementing a third, near-term approach to improve the supply of lungs across the U.S.

Only about 30 percent of potential donor lungs meet transplant criteria in the first place; of those, only about 85 percent of those are usable once they arrive at the surgery center. 

As a result, nearly 75 percent of possible lungs never make it to the recipient in need.

What if these lungs could be rejuvenated? This concept informs Dr. Rothblatt’s next approach.

In 2016, United Therapeutics invested $41.8 million in TransMedics Inc., an Andover, Massachusetts company that develops ex vivo perfusion systems for donor lungs, hearts and kidneys. 

The XVIVO Perfusion System takes marginal-quality lungs that initially failed to meet transplantation standard-of-care criteria and perfuses and ventilates them at normothermic conditions, providing an opportunity for surgeons to reassess transplant suitability.

Rejuvenate Young Blood & Parabiosis

In HBO’s parody of the Bay Area tech community, “Silicon Valley,” one of the episodes (Season 4, Episode 5) is named “The Blood Boy.”

In this installment, tech billionaire Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) is meeting with Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) and his team, speaking about the future of the decentralized internet. A young, muscled twenty-something disrupts the meeting when he rolls in a transfusion stand and silently hooks an intravenous connection between himself and Belson. 

Belson then introduces the newcomer as his “transfusion associate” and begins to explain the science of parabiosis: “Regular transfusions of the blood of a younger physically fit donor can significantly retard the aging process.”

While the sitcom is fiction, that science has merit, and the scenario portrayed in the episode is already happening today.

On the first point, research at Stanford and Harvard has demonstrated that older animals, when transfused with the blood of young animals, experience regeneration across many tissues and organs. 

The opposite is also true: young animals, when transfused with the blood of older animals, experience accelerated aging.

But capitalizing on this virtual fountain of youth has been tricky.

Ambrosia

One company, a San Francisco-based startup called Ambrosia, recently commenced one of the trials on parabiosis. 

Their protocol is simple: Healthy participants aged 35 and older get a transfusion of blood plasma from donors under 25, and researchers monitor their blood over the next two years for molecular indicators of health and aging.

Ambrosia’s founder Jesse Karmazin became interested in launching a company around parabiosis after seeing impressive data from animals and studies conducted abroad in humans: In one trial after another, subjects experience a reversal of aging symptoms across every major organ system.

“The effects seem to be almost permanent,” he said. “It’s almost like there’s a resetting of gene expression.”

Infusing your own cord blood stem cells as you age may have tremendous longevity benefits.

Following an FDA press release in February 2019, Ambrosia halted its consumer-facing treatment after several months of operation. 

Understandably, the FDA raised concerns about the practice of parabiosis because to date, there is a marked lack of clinical data to support the treatment’s effectiveness.

Elevian

On the other end of the reputability spectrum is a startup called Elevian, spun out of Harvard University. Elevian is approaching longevity with a careful, scientifically validated strategy.

CEO Mark Allen, MD, is joined by a dozen MDs and Ph.Ds out of Harvard. Elevian’s scientific founders started the company after identifying specific circulating factors that may be responsible for the “young blood” effect.

One example: A naturally occurring molecule known as “growth differentiation factor 11,” or GDF11, when injected into aged mice, reproduces many of the regenerative effects of young blood, regenerating heart, brain, muscles, lungs and kidneys.

More specifically, GDF11 supplementation reduces age-related cardiac hypertrophy, accelerates skeletal muscle repair, improves exercise capacity, improves brain function and cerebral blood flow, and improves metabolism. 

Elevian is developing a number of therapeutics that regulate GDF11 and other circulating factors. The goal is to restore our body’s natural regenerative capacity, which Elevian believes can address some of the root causes of age-associated disease with the promise of reversing or preventing many aging-related diseases and extending the healthy lifespan. 

Conclusion

In 1992, futurist Leland Kaiser coined the term “regenerative medicine”:

“A new branch of medicine will develop that attempts to change the course of chronic disease and in many instances will regenerate tired and failing organ systems.”

Since then, the powerful regenerative medicine industry has grown exponentially to over $28 billion in 2018.

And this rapid growth is anticipated to continue, surpassing $80 billion by 2023.

A dramatic extension of the human healthspan is just over the horizon. Soon, we’ll all have the regenerative superpowers previously relegated to a handful of animals and comic books.

What new opportunities open up when anybody, anywhere, and at anytime can regenerate, replenish, and replace entire organs and metabolic systems on command?


Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

The value of an MBA in today’s business

Posted by Cliff Locks On April 17, 2019 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

The value of an MBA in today’s business

If so, why?

Should you, your colleagues or your children go to graduate school?

If not, what are your alternatives?

Millions of young adults across the globe — and their parents and mentors — find themselves asking these questions every year. I have three children and each has earned their Masters’ Degrees. My oldest son earned his MBA in Entrepreneurship, my youngest son earned his Master in Engineering, and my daughter earned her Masters in Social Work. Each is gainfully employed and building a great life for themselves. Only one went to an Ivy League School. The child that went to New York State University, I think received an amazing education for the tuition investment. Two of my children choose to attend a Study Abroad Program, one for a semester and one for a year, which allowed them to grow culturally and gain additional independence and highly recommend.

My earlier blogs, explored how exponential technologies are rising to meet the needs of the rapidly changing workforce.

In this blog, I’ll dive into a highly effective way to build the business acumen and skills needed to make the most significant impact in these exponential times.

To start, let’s dive into the value of graduate school versus apprenticeship — especially during this time of extraordinarily rapid growth, and the micro-diversification of careers.

The True Value of an MBA

All graduate schools are not created equal.

For complex technical trades like medicine, engineering and law, formal graduate-level training provides a critical foundation for safe, ethical practice.

(Until these trades are fully augmented by artificial intelligence and automation…)

For the purposes of today’s blog, let’s focus on the value of a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree, compared to acquiring your business acumen through various forms of apprenticeship.

The Waning of Business Degrees

Ironically, business schools are facing a tough business problem.

The rapid rate of technological change, a booming job market, and the digitization of education are chipping away at the traditional graduate-level business program.

The data speaks for itself. 

The Decline of Graduate School Admissions

Enrollment in two-year, full-time MBA programs in the U.S. fell by more than one-third from 2010 to 2016.

During the 2018 admissions period, applications to business schools in the United States dropped 7 percent from the previous year.

While in previous years, top business schools (e.g. Stanford, Harvard, and Wharton) were safe from the decrease in applications, this year, they also felt the waning interest in MBA programs.

  • Harvard Business School: 4.5 percent decrease in applications, the school’s biggest drop since 2005.
  • Wharton: 6.7 percent decrease in applications.
  • Stanford Graduate School: 4.6 percent decrease in applications.

Another signal of change began unfolding over the past week. You may have read news headlines about an emerging college admissions scam, which implicates highly selective U.S. universities, sports coaches, parents and students in a conspiracy to game the undergraduate admissions process.

Already, students are filing multibillion-dollar civil lawsuits arguing that the scheme has devalued their degrees or denied them a fair admissions opportunity.

MBA Graduates in the Workforce

To meet today’s business needs, startups and massive companies alike are increasingly hiring technologists, developers, and engineers in place of the MBA graduates they may have preferentially hired in the past.

While 85 percent of U.S. employers expect to hire MBA graduates this year (a decrease from 91 percent in 2017), 52 percent of employers worldwide expect to hire graduates with a master’s in data analytics (an increase from 35 percent last year). 

We’re also seeing the waning of MBA degree holders at the CEO level.

For decades, an MBA was the hallmark of upward mobility towards the C-suite of top companies.

But as exponential technologies permeate not only products but every part of the supply chain — from manufacturing and shipping to sales, marketing and customer service — that trend is changing by necessity.

Looking at the Harvard Business Review’s Top 100 CEOs in 2018 list, more CEOs on the list held engineering degrees than MBAs (34 held engineering degrees, while 32 held MBAs).

There’s much more to leading innovative companies than an advanced business degree.

How Are Schools Responding?

With disruption to the advanced business education system already here, some business schools are applying notes from their own innovation classes to brace for change.

Over the past half-decade, we’ve seen schools with smaller MBA programs shut their doors in favor of advanced degrees with more specialization. This directly responds to market demand for skills in data science, supply chain and manufacturing.

Some degrees resemble the precise skills training of technical trades. Others are very much in line with the apprenticeship models we’ll explore next.

Regardless, this new specialization strategy is working and attracting more new students.

Over the past decade (2006 to 2016), enrollment in specialized graduate business programs doubled.

Higher education is also seeing a preference shift toward for-profit trade schools, like coding boot camps. This shift is one of several forces pushing universities to adopt skill-specific advanced degrees. 

But some schools are slow to adapt, raising the question: how and when will these legacy programs be disrupted? 

A survey of over 170 business school deans around the world showed that many programs are operating at a loss.

But if these schools are world-class business institutions, as advertised, why do they keep the doors open even while they lose money? 

The surveyed deans revealed an important insight: they keep the degree program open because of the program’s prestige.

Why Go to Business School?

Shorthand Credibility, Cognitive Biases and Prestige

Regardless of what knowledge a person takes away from graduate school, attending one of the world’s most rigorous and elite programs gives grads external validation.

With over 55 percent of MBA applicants applying to just 6 percent of graduate business schools, we have a clear cognitive bias toward the perceived elite status of certain universities.

To the outside world, thanks to the power of cognitive biases, an advanced degree is credibility shorthand for your capabilities.

Simply passing through a top school’s filtration system means that you had some level of abilities and merits. 

And startup success statistics tend to back up that perceived enhanced capability. Let’s take, for example, universities with the most startup unicorn founders (see the figure below).

When you consider the 320+ unicorn startups around the world today, these numbers become even more impressive. 

Stanford’s 18 unicorn companies account for over 5 percent of global unicorns, and Harvard is responsible for producing just under 5 percent.

Combined, just these two universities (out of over 5,000 in the U.S., and thousands more around the world) account for 1 in 10 of the billion-dollar private companies in the world. 

Figure: Universities with the most unicorn startup founders

By the numbers, the prestigious reputation of these elite business programs has a firm basis in current innovation success.

While prestige may be inherent to the degree earned by graduates from these business programs, the credibility boost from holding one of these degrees is not a guaranteed path to success in the business world.

For example, you might expect that the Harvard School of Business or Stanford Graduate School of Business would come out on top when tallying up the alma maters of Fortune 500 CEOs.

It turns out that the University of Wisconsin-Madison leads the business school pack with 14 CEOs to Harvard’s 12.

Beyond prestige, the success these elite business programs see translates directly into cultivating unmatched networks and relationships.

Relationships

Graduate schools — particularly at the upper echelon — are excellent at attracting sharp students. 

At an elite business school, if you meet just five to 10 people with extraordinary skill sets, personalities, ideas or networks, then you have returned your $200,000 education investment.

It’s no coincidence that some 40 percent of Silicon Valley venture capitalists are alumni of either Harvard or Stanford.

From future investors to advisors, friends and potential business partners, relationships are critical to an entrepreneur’s success.

Apprenticeships 

As we saw above, graduate business degree programs are melting away in the current wave of exponential change.

With an increasing $1.5 trillion in student debt, there must be a more impactful alternative to attending graduate school for those starting their careers.

When I think about the most important skills I use today as an entrepreneur, writer and strategic thinker, they didn’t come from my decade of graduate school at Harvard or MIT… they came from my experiences building real technologies and companies, and working with mentors. 

Apprenticeship comes in a variety of forms; here, I’ll cover three top-of-mind approaches:

  1. Real-world business acumen via startup accelerators
  2. A direct apprenticeship model
  3. The 6 D’s of Mentorship

Startup Accelerators & Business Practicum  

Let’s contrast the shrinking interest in MBA programs with applications to a relatively new model of business education: startup accelerators.

Startup accelerators are short-term (typically three to six months), cohort-based programs focusing on providing startup founders with the resources (capital, mentorship, relationships and education) needed to refine their entrepreneurial acumen.

While graduate business programs have been condensing, startup accelerators are alive, well and expanding rapidly.

In the 10 years from 2005 (when Paul Graham founded Y Combinator) through 2015, the number of startup accelerators in the U.S. increased by more than tenfold.

 Figure: The number of startup accelerators in the U.S. from 2005 through 2015.

The increase in startup accelerator activity hints at a larger trend: our best and brightest business minds are opting to invest their time and efforts in obtaining hands-on experience, creating tangible value for themselves and others, rather than diving into the theory often taught in business school classrooms.

The “Strike Force” Model

The Strike Force concept is hiring an elite team of young entrepreneurs who work directly with top level senior C level team members on a rotation basis across your departments/division within your business, including travel by executives side, sit in on every meeting, and help build business and be mentored at the same time.

Previous Strike Force members have gone on to launch successful companies, including Bold Capital Partners, my $250 million venture capital firm.

Strike Force is an apprenticeship for the next-generation of exponential entrepreneurs.

To paraphrase Tony Robbins: If you want to short-circuit the video game, find someone who’s been there and done that and is now doing something you want to one day do.

Every year, over 500,000 apprentices in the U.S. follow this precise template.

These apprentices are learning a craft they wish to master, under the mentorship of experts (skilled metal workers, bricklayers, medical technicians, electricians, and more) who have already achieved the desired result.

What if we more readily applied this model to young adults with aspirations of creating massive value through the vehicles of entrepreneurship and innovation?

For the established entrepreneur: How can you bring young entrepreneurs into your organization to create more value for your company, while also passing on your ethos and lessons learned to the next generation?

For the young, driven millennial: How can you find your mentor and convince him or her to take you on as an apprentice? What value can you create for this person in exchange for their guidance and investment in your professional development?

The 6 D’s of Mentorship

In my last blog on education, I shared how mobile device and Internet penetration will transform adult literacy and basic education.

Mobile phones and connectivity already create extraordinary value for entrepreneurs and young professionals looking to take their business acumen and skill set to the next level. 

For all of human history up until the last decade or so, if you wanted to learn from the best and brightest in business, leadership or strategy, you either needed to search for a dated book that they wrote at the local library or bookstore, or you had to be lucky enough to meet that person for a live conversation.

Now you can access the mentorship of just about any thought leader on the planet, at any time, for free.

Thanks to the power of the Internet, mentorship has digitized, demonetized, dematerialized, and democratized. 

What do you want to learn about?

Investing? Leadership? Technology? Marketing? Project management?

You can access a near-infinite stream of cutting-edge tools, tactics, and lessons from thousands of top performers from nearly every field — instantaneously, and for free. 

For example, every one of Warren Buffett’s letters to his Berkshire Hathaway investors over the past 40 years is available for free on a device that fits in your pocket. 

The rise of audio — particularly podcasts and audiobooks — is another underestimated driving force away from traditional graduate business programs and toward apprenticeships. I use Audible by Amazon for my audiobooks.

Over 28 million podcast episodes are available for free. Once you identify the strong signals in the noise, you’re still left with thousands of hours of long-form podcast conversation from which to learn valuable lessons.

Whenever and wherever you want, you can learn from the world’s best.

In the future, mentorship and apprenticeship will only become more personalized.

Imagine accessing a high-fidelity, AI-powered avatar of Bill Gates, Richard Branson or Brian Tracy and Zig Ziglar (two of my early mentors) to help guide you through your career.

Virtual mentorship and coaching are powerful education forces that are here to stay.

Bringing It All Together

The education system is rapidly changing.

Traditional master’s programs for business are ebbing away in the tides of exponential technologies.

Apprenticeship models are reemerging as an effective way to train tomorrow’s leaders.

In a future blog, I’ll revisit the concept of apprenticeships and other effective business school alternatives. 

If you are a young, ambitious entrepreneur (or the parent of one), remember that you live in the most abundant time ever in human history to refine your craft. 

Right now, you have access to world-class mentorship and cutting-edge best-practices — literally in the palm of your hand. What will you do with this extraordinary power?

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Training and Retooling a Dynamic Workforce Using AR and VR

Posted by Cliff Locks On April 10, 2019 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

Training and Retooling a Dynamic Workforce Using AR and VR

As I often tell my clients, people generally remember only 10 percent of what we see, 20 percent of what we hear, and 30 percent of what we read…. But over a staggering 90 percent of what we do or experience.

By introducing gamification, immersive testing activities, and visually rich sensory environments, adult literacy platforms have a winning chance at scalability, retention and user persistence.

Beyond literacy, however, virtual and augmented reality have already begun disrupting the professional training market.

As projected by ABI Research, the enterprise VR training market is on track to exceed $6.3 billion in value by 2022.

Leading the charge, Walmart has already implemented VR across 200 Academy training centers, running over 45 modules and simulating everything from unusual customer requests to a Black Friday shopping rush.

Then in September of last year, Walmart committed to a 17,000-headset order of the Oculus Go to equip every U.S. Supercenter, neighborhood market, and discount store with VR-based employee training.

In the engineering world, Bell Helicopter is using VR to massively expedite development and testing of its latest aircraft, FCX-001. Partnering with Sector 5 Digital and HTC VIVE, Bell found it could concentrate a typical six-year aircraft design process into the course of six months, turning physical mockups into CAD-designed virtual replicas.

But beyond the design process itself, Bell is now one of a slew of companies pioneering VR pilot tests and simulations with real-world accuracy. Seated in a true-to-life virtual cockpit, pilots have now tested countless iterations of the FCX-001 in virtual flight, drawing directly onto the 3D model and enacting aircraft modifications in real-time.

And in an expansion of our virtual senses, several key players are already working on haptic feedback. In the case of VR flight, French company Go Touch VR is now partnering with software developer FlyInside on fingertip-mounted haptic tech for aviation.

Dramatically reducing time and trouble required for VR-testing pilots, they aim to give touch-based confirmation of every switch and dial activated on virtual flights, just as one would experience in a full-sized cockpit mockup. Replicating texture, stiffness and even the sensation of holding an object, these piloted devices contain a suite of actuators to simulate everything from a light touch to higher-pressured contact, all controlled by gaze and finger movements.

Learn Anything, Anytime, at Any Age

When it comes to other high-risk simulations, virtual and augmented reality have barely scratched the surface.

Firefighters can now combat virtual wildfires with new platforms like FLAIM Trainer or TargetSolutions. And thanks to the expansion of medical AR/VR services like 3D4Medical or Echopixel, surgeons might soon perform operations on annotated organs and magnified incision sites, speeding up reaction times and vastly improving precision.But perhaps most urgently, Virtual Reality will offer an immediate solution to today’s constant industry turnover and large-scale re-education demands.

VR educational facilities with exact replicas of anything from large industrial equipment to minute circuitry will soon give anyone a second chance at the 21st-century job market.

Want to become an electric, autonomous vehicle mechanic at age 44? Throw on a demonetized VR module and learn by doing, testing your prototype iterations at almost zero cost and with no risk of harming others.
Want to be a plasma physicist and play around with a virtual nuclear fusion reactor? Now you’ll be able to simulate results and test out different tweaks, logging Smart Educational Record credits in the process.

As tomorrow’s career model shifts from a “one-and-done graduate degree” to continuous lifelong education, professional VR-based re-education will allow for a continuous education loop, reducing the barrier to entry for anyone wanting to try their hand at a new industry.

Whether in pursuit of fundamental life skills, professional training, linguistic competence or specialized retooling, users of all ages, career paths, income brackets and goals are now encouraged to be students, no longer condemned to stagnancy.

As VR and artificial intelligence converge with demonetized mobile connectivity, we are finally witnessing an era in which no one will be left behind.

HR #leadership #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #Entrepreneur #WSJ #VC #socialmedia #Diversity #BigData #CorpGov #elearning #Marketing #Periscope #Recruiting #technology #startup #HRTech #Recruitment #sales #Healthcare #cloud #work

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Bringing artificial intelligence into your organization

Posted by Cliff Locks On April 3, 2019 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Bringing artificial intelligence into your organization


The goal is to help you think about the specific benefits of artificial intelligence and the areas you can consider automating, in your organization or area of responsibility. Here are examples of successfully deployed artificial intelligence applications. When you need help reach out to me, my contact information is on the bottom of this post.

AI tool helps companies detect expense account fraud.

Employers across a range of industries are using artificial intelligence in a bid to curb questionable write-offs hidden within employee expense reports, writes Angus Loten for WSJ Pro.

The cost of fraud. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, in a report last year, analyzed nearly 2,700 global employee-expense fraud cases detected over the previous year that resulted in $7 billion in losses.

AI-based fraud detection. AppZen offers an auditing tool that works with popular expense-management software packages such as SAP SE’s Concur or Chrome River Technologies Inc.‘s Expense tool. AppZen can scour 100% of employee expense reports, according to the company. The tool’s capabilities include computer vision that is able to read submitted receipts, deep learning that leverages training data to account for nuances or identify anomalies, and semantic analysis to organize objects and relationships, such as currencies, taxes and spend types.AI can speed, improve audits. Manual audits typically rely on only a random sampling of less than 10% of expense reports, allowing many erroneous or fraudulent claims to slip through undetected, says Anant Kale, AppZen’s chief executive. And while manual audits can take days or even weeks to complete, AppZen’s automated review takes only a few minutes to flag questionable items, the company says. These can include minor violations—such as accidental double entries for the same expense reported by separate employees, out-of-policy hotel mini-bar purchases or unapproved upgrades to first-class airline seats—to cases where outright fraud may be occurring.

Business Transformation

Foot Locker’s game plan to win over sneakerheads. Foot Locker Inc., spurred by growing market pressure to offer a higher degree of personalization and on-demand services, is aiming to integrate and gather data from across its operations—everything from website clicks to delivery preferences—and then apply algorithms to the data to quickly and accurately glean market intelligence, often in real time.

To do all of this, Pawan Verma, chief information and customer connectivity officer at the New York-based sports footwear retailer, has boosted the company’s tech staff roughly 30% over the past three years, while creating separate teams that work on data, apps, interfaces between apps and operating systems, artificial intelligence, augmented reality and machine learning. In an interview with WSJ Pro’s Angus Loten, Mr. Verma spoke about the challenges of turning a 45-year-old shoe retailer into an agile, tech-driven venture for Gen Z “sneaker freaks” and working with data and artificial intelligence.

WSJ: What are your biggest challenges working with data, AI and emerging digital capabilities?Mr. Verma: There are several areas, but a key one is around security. We are collecting billions of events and using machine-learning software to find a signal from noise. For example, when we have a product launch, such as Nike Air Force or Jordan Retro, billions of bots mimicking customers will try to render our websites and mobile apps useless by staging distributed-denial-of-service attacks on our internal and cloud infrastructure. This can drive customers away from the products they want and impact the social currency of our brand. We created tools, with some vendor partnerships, that deflect bot traffic and protect the site.

Robots

Using robots to comfort the lonely. Sue Karp, who was forced to retire early by a stroke and now lives alone, begins every day by greeting her robot companion, ElliQ. The robot greets her back. “I’ve got dogs, but they don’t exactly come up and say ‘Good morning’ in English,” says Ms. Karp.

Robots pals. Intuition Robotics’ ElliQ can ease senior loneliness, reports the WSJ’s Christopher Mims. Studies have found that loneliness is worse for health than obesity or inactivity, and is as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It’s also an epidemic: A recent study from Cigna Corp. found that about half of Americans are lonely.

What ElliQ can do. ElliQ consists of a tablet, a pair of cameras and a small robot head on a post, capable of basic gestures like leaning in to indicate interest and leaning back to signal disengagement. ElliQ can also help its owner connect to family members. Through an app, ElliQ will prompt children and grandchildren to start video chats with their relative, send notes and links, and share photos.

Human-like responses. Unlike Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa or similar voice-activated assistants, ElliQ is capable of spontaneous communication, has a wide variety of responses and behaves unpredictably. Its creators say this is essential to making it feel, if not alive, then at least present. It uses what its creators call cognitive AI to know when to interrupt with a suggestion—“Take your medicine”—and when to stay quiet, such as when a person has a visitor.Medicare Advantage might cover ElliQ. The robot is undergoing a trial with 100 participants conducted by researchers from Baycrest Health Sciences hospital in Toronto and the University of California San Francisco, at retirement communities in Palo Alto and Toronto, in part to verify that ElliQ alleviates feelings of loneliness. If so, the robot might be eligible for coverage under Medicare Advantage.

Human Capital

HR turns to artificial intelligence to speed recruiting. Human-resource departments are increasing turning to AI technologies that can help reduce the time to fill open positions, reports the Financial Times. Among the new tools:

• Machine learning devices that can go through huge numbers of applications to find candidates who match an employer’s needs.
• Chatbots that can answer candidate questions and help screen early-stage candidates.
• Video systems that can be used to interview candidates and can help determine if a recruit is confident or passionate and issues.

While some HR tech firms claim their tools are free of bias, that hasn’t proven to always be the case. The systems also need to be trained to effectively screen job candidates. And then there’s the human tendency to overuse new tech tools, which could lead HR to add new steps to their existing processes and extend the hiring process.

Work in the age of AI. Employees and employers have a different perspective on how AI will change the workplace, according to a report in the MIT Sloan Management Review. Workers appear ready to embrace the changes that are coming. More than 60% of workers, according to an Accenture study, have a positive view of the impact of AI on their work. Business leaders, on the other hand, believe that only about one-quarter of their workforce is prepared for AI adoption.

Come together. But common ground can be found. It begins with senior executives seeking clarity around talent gaps and figuring out which skills their workers need. From there, execs should look at how to advance those skills for human-AI collaboration.A different way to view the world. This calls for a new way of looking at business. First, employers and employees must show each other that they’re willing to adapt to a workplace built around people and intelligent machines. Second, worker education needs to embrace smart technologies to speed learning, expand thinking and bring out latent intelligence. And third, both parties must be motivated to learn and adapt.

#artificial intelligence #AI #innovation #HR #executive #business #CXO #CEOo #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #travel #corporate #office #luxury #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #aviation #excellence #development #motivation

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Networked Vehicles Will Allow for Automated Megacities

Posted by Cliff Locks On March 27, 2019 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

Networked Vehicles Will Allow for Automated Megacities

Tomorrow’s cities are reshaping almost every industry imaginable, and birthing those we’ve never heard of.

Riding an explosion of sensors, megacity AI ‘brains,’ high-speed networks, new materials and breakthrough green solutions, cities are quickly becoming versatile organisms, sustaining and responding to the livelihood patterns of millions.

Over the next decade, cities will revolutionize everything about the way we live, travel, eat, work, learn, stay healthy, and even hydrate.

And countless urban centers, companies, and visionaries are already building out decades-long visions of the future.

Setting its sights on self-sustaining green cities, the UAE has invested record sums in its Vision 2021 plan, while sub-initiatives like Smart Dubai 2021 charge ahead with AI-geared government services, driverless car networks and desalination plants.

A trailblazer of smart governance, Estonia has leveraged blockchain, AI and ultra-high connection speeds to build a new generation of technological statecraft. 

And city states like Singapore have used complex computational models to optimize everything from rainwater capture networks to urban planning, down to the routing of its ocean breeze.

While not given nearly enough credit, the personal vehicle and urban transportation stand at the core of shaping our future cities.

Yet today, your car remains an unused asset about 95 percent of the time.

In highly dense cities like Los Angeles, parking gobbles up almost 15 percent of all urban land area. 

And with a whopping economic footprint, today’s global auto insurance market stands at over $200 billion. 

But the personal vehicle model is on the verge of sweeping disruptions, and tomorrow’s cities will transform right along with it.

Already, driverless cars pose game-changing second-order implications for the next decade. 

Take land use, for instance. By 2035, parking spaces are expected to decline by 5.7 million square meters, a boon for densely packed cities where real estate is worth its area in gold.

Beyond sheer land, a 90 percent driverless car penetration rate could result in $447 billion of projected savings and productivity gains.

But what do autonomous vehicles mean for city planning?

Let’s imagine a 100 percent autonomous vehicle (AV) penetration rate. Cars have reached Level-5 automation, are 100 percent self-driving and can now communicate seamlessly with each other.

With a packing density 8X what it is today in most cities, commutes now take a fraction of the time. Some have even predicted aggregate time savings of over 2.7 billion unproductive hours.

But time savings aside, cars can now be entirely reimagined, serving a dual purpose for sleep, office work, morning calls, time with your kids, you name it.

With plummeting commute times and functional vehicles (think: a mobile office, bed, or social space), cities need no longer be geographically concentrated, allowing you to live well outside the bounds of a business district.

And as AVs give rise to an on-demand, Cars-as-a-Service (CaaS) business model, urban sprawl will enable the flourishing of megacities on an unprecedented scale.

While architects and civil engineers leap to the scene, others are already building out smart network precursors for a future of decentralized vehicles.

Using Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) for low power consumption, Huawei has recently launched a smart parking network in Shanghai that finds nearby parking spots for users on the go, allowing passengers to book and pay via smartphone in record time.

In the near future, however, vehicles — not drivers — will book vertically stacked parking spots and charge CaaS suppliers on their own (for storage).

This is where 5G networks come in, driving down latencies between driverless cars, as well as between AVs and their CaaS providers. Using sensor suites and advanced AI, vehicles will make smart transactions in real-time, charging consumers by the minute or mile, notifying manufacturers of wear-and-tear or suboptimal conditions, and even billing for insurance dollars in the now highly unlikely case of a fender-bender.

With an eye to the future, cellular equipment manufacturers are building out the critical infrastructure for these and similar capabilities, embedding chip-sets under parking spaces across Shanghai, each collating and transmitting real-time data on occupancy rates, as the company ramps up its 5G networks.

And Huawei is not alone.

Building out a similar solution is China Unicom, whose smart city projects span the gamut from smart rivers that communicate details of environmental pollution, to IoT and AI-geared drones in agriculture.

Already, China Unicom has established critical communications infrastructure with an NB-IoT network that spans over 300 Chinese cities, additionally deploying eMTC, a lower power wide area technology that leverages existing LTE base stations for IoT support.

Beyond its mobile carriers, however, China has brought together four key private sector players to drive the world’s largest coordinated smart city initiative yet. Announced just last August at China’s Smart City International Expo, the official partnership knights a true power team, composed of Ping An, Alibaba, Tencent, and Huawei (PATH).

With 500 cities under their purview, these tech giants are each tackling a piece of the puzzle.

On the heels of over ten years of research and 50 billion RMB (over US$7.4 billion), Chinese insurance giant Ping An released a white paper addressing smart city strategies across blockchain, biometrics, AI and cloud computing.

Meanwhile, Alibaba plans to embed seamless mobile payments (through AliPay) into the fabric of daily life, as Tencent takes charge of communications and Huawei works on hardware and 5G buildout (not to mention its signature smartphones). 

But it isn’t just driverless vehicles that are changing the game for smart cities.

One of the most advanced city states on the planet, Singapore joins Dubai in envisioning a future of flying vehicles and optimized airway traffic flow. 

As imagined by award-winning architect of Singapore’s first zero-carbon house, Jason Pomeroy, Singapore could in the not-too-distant future explore everything from air rights to flying car structures built above motorways and skyscrapers. 

“Fast-forward 50 years from now. You already see drone technology getting so advanced, [so] why are we not sticking people into those drones. All of a sudden, your sky courts, your sky gardens, even your private terraces to your condo [become] landing platform[s] for your own personalized drone.”

Goodyear’s Concept Urban Aerial Mobility Ecosystem

Already, Singapore’s government is bolstering advanced programs to test drone capacity limits, with automated routing and private sector innovation. Most notably, Airbus’ ‘Skyways’ venture has begun building out its vision for urban air mobility in Singapore, where much of the company’s testing has taken place.

Yet, as megacities attract millions of new residents from across the planet, building out smart networks for autonomous and flying vehicles, one of our greatest priorities becomes smart city governance.

Smart Public Services & Optimized Urban Planning 

With the rise of urbanization, I’m led to the conclusion that megacities will become the primary nodes of data acquisition, data integration and thereby the primary mechanism of governance.

In just over 10 years, the UN forecasts that around 43 cities will house over 10 million residents each. Autonomous and flying cars, delocalized work and education, and growing urban populations are all beginning to transform cities into interconnected, automated ecosystems, sprawled over vast swaths of geography. 

Now more than ever, smart public services and automated security will be needed to serve as the glue that holds these megacities together. Public sector infrastructure and services will soon be hosted on servers, detached from land and physical form. And municipal governments will face the scale of city states, propelled by an upwards trend in sovereign urban hubs that run almost entirely on their own.

Take e-Estonia.

Perhaps the least expected on a list of innovative nations, this former Soviet Republic-turned digital society is ushering in an age of technological statecraft.

Hosting every digitizable government function on the cloud, Estonia could run its government almost entirely on a server.

Starting in the 1990s, Estonia’s government has covered the nation with ultra-high-speed data connectivity, laying down tremendous amounts of fiber-optic cable. By 2007, citizens could vote from their living rooms.

With digitized law, Estonia signs policies into effect using cryptographically secure digital signatures, and every stage of the legislative process is available to citizens online, including plans for civil engineering projects. 

But it doesn’t stop there.

Citizens’ healthcare registry is run on the blockchain, allowing patients to own and access their own health data from anywhere in the world — X-rays, digital prescriptions, medical case notes — all the while tracking who has access.

And i-Voting, civil courts, land registries, banking, taxes, and countless e-facilities allow citizens to access almost any government service with an electronic ID and personal PIN online. 

But perhaps Estonia’s most revolutionary breakthrough is its recently introduced e-citizenship. 

With over 50,000 e-residents from across 157 countries, Estonia issues electronic IDs to remote ‘inhabitants’ anywhere in the world, changing the nature of city borders themselves. While e-residency doesn’t grant territorial rights, over 6,000 e-residents have already established companies within Estonia’s jurisdiction.

From start to finish, the process takes roughly three hours, and 98 percent of businesses are all established online, offering data security, offshore benefits, and some of the most efficient taxes on the planet. 

After companies are registered online, taxes are near-entirely automated — calculated in minutes and transmitted to the Estonian government with unprecedented ease.

The implications of e-residency and digital governance are huge. As with any software, open-source code for digital governance could be copied perfectly at almost zero cost, lowering the barrier to entry for any megacity or village alike seeking its own urban e-services.

As Peter Diamandis good friend David Li often advocates, he’s seen thriving village startup ecosystems and e-commerce hotbeds take off throughout China’s countryside, resulting in the mass movement and meteoric rise of ‘Taobao Villages.’

As smart city governance becomes democratized, what’s to stop these or any other town from building out or even duplicating e-services?

But Estonia is not the only one pioneering rapid-fire government uses of blockchain technology. 

Within the next year, Dubai aims to become the first city powered entirely by the Blockchain, a long-standing goal of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Posing massive savings, government adoption of blockchain not only stands to save Dubai over 5.5 billion dirham (or nearly US$1.5 billion), but is intended to roll out everything from a citywide cryptocurrency emCash, to an RTA-announced blockchain-based vehicle monitoring system.

Possibly a major future smart city staple, systems similar to this latter blockchain-based network could one day underpin AVs, flying taxis and on-demand Fly-as-a-Service personal drones.

With a similar mind to Dubai, multiple Chinese smart city pilots are quickly following suit.

Almost two years ago, China’s central government and President Xi Jinping designated a new megalopolis spanning three counties and rivaling almost every other Chinese special economic zone: Xiong’an New Area.

Deemed a “crucial [strategy] for the millennium to come,” Xiong’an is slated to bring in over 2.4 trillion RMB (a little over US$357 billion) in investment over the next decade, redirecting up to 6.7 million people and concentrating supercharged private sector innovation.

And forging a new partnership, Xiong’an plans to work in direct consultation with ConsenSys on ethereum-based platforms for infrastructure and any number of smart city use cases. Beyond blockchain, Xiong’an will rely heavily on AI and has even posited plans for citywide cognitive computing.

But any discussion of smart government services would be remiss without mention of Singapore.

One of the most resourceful, visionary megacities on the planet, Singapore has embedded advanced computational models and high-tech solutions in everything from urban planning to construction of its housing units.

Responsible for creating living spaces for nearly 80 percent of its residents (through government-provided housing), the nation’s Housing and Development Board (HBD) stands as an exemplar of disruptive government.

Singapore uses sophisticated computer models, enabling architects across the board to build environmentally optimized living and city spaces. Take Singapore’s simulated ocean breeze for optimized urban construction patterns. 

As explained by HBD’s CEO Dr. Cheong Koon Hean, “Singapore is in the tropics, so we want to encourage the breezes to come through. Through computer simulation, you can actually position the blocks[,] public spaces [and] parks in such a way that help[s] you achieve this.”

National Geographic

And beyond its buildings, Singapore uses intricate, precision-layered infrastructure for essential services, down to water and electrical tunnels, commercial spaces underground, and complex transportation networks all beneath the city surface. 

Even in the realm of feeding its citizens, Singapore is fast becoming a champion of vertical farming. It opened the world’s first commercial vertical farm over 6 years ago, aiming to feed the entire island nation with a fraction of the land use. 

Whether giving citizens a vote on urban planning with the click of a button, or optimizing environmental conditions through public housing and commercial skyscrapers, smart city governance is a key pillar of the future.

Visions of the Future

Bringing together mega-economies, green city infrastructure and e-services that decimate inefficiency, future transportation and web-based urban services will shape how and where we live, on unthinkable dimensions.

Networked drones, whether personal or parcel deliveries, will circle layered airways, all operated using AI city brains and blockchain-based data infrastructures. Far below, driverless vehicles will give rise to on-demand Cars-as-a-Service, sprawling cities and newly unlocked real estate. And as growing megacities across the world begin grappling with next-gen technologies, who knows how many whimsical city visions and architectural plans will populate the Earth — and one day, even space.

Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff

#innovation #engineer #engineering #tech #technology #artificialintelligence #AI #executive #business #CXO #CEO #executive #success #work #follow #leadership #travel #corporate #office #luxury #entrepreneur #coaching #businessman #professional #aviation #excellence #development #motivation

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Smart Cities that Interact with Your Big Data

Posted by Cliff Locks On March 20, 2019 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Smart Cities that Interact with Your Big Data

Each week alone, an estimated 1.3 million people move into cities, driving urbanization on an unstoppable scale.

By 2040, about two-thirds of the world’s population will be concentrated in urban centers. Over the decades ahead, 90 percent of this urban population growth is predicted to flourish across Asia and Africa.

Already, 1,000 smart city pilots are under construction or in their final urban planning stages across the globe, driving forward countless visions of the future.

As data becomes the gold of the 21st century, centralized databases and hyper-connected infrastructures will enable everything from sentient cities that respond to data inputs in real time, to smart public services that revolutionize modern governance.

Connecting countless industries — real estate, energy, sensors and networks, transportation, among others — tomorrow’s cities pose no end of creative possibilities and stand to completely transform the human experience.

In this blog, we’ll be taking a high-level tour of today’s cutting-edge urban enterprises involved in these three areas:

  1. Hyperconnected urban ecosystems that respond to your data
  2. Smart infrastructure and construction
  3. Self-charging green cities

Let’s dive in!

Smart Cities that Interact with Your Data

Any discussion of smart cities must also involve today’s most indispensable asset: data.

As 5G connection speeds, IoT-linked devices and sophisticated city AIs give birth to trillion-sensor economies, low latencies will soon allow vehicles to talk to each other and infrastructure systems to self-correct.

Even public transit may soon validate your identity with a mere glance in any direction, using facial recognition to charge you for individualized travel packages and distances.

As explained by Deloitte Public Sector Leader Clare Ma, “real-time information serves as the ‘eye’ for urban administration.”

In most cities today, data is fragmented across corporations, SMEs, public institutions, nonprofits, and personal databases, with little standardization.

Yet to identify and respond to urban trends, we need a way of aggregating multiple layers of data, spanning traffic flows, human movement, individual transactions, shifts in energy usage, security activity, and almost any major component of contemporary economies.

Only through real-time analysis of information flows can we leverage exponential technologies to automate public services, streamlined transit, smarter security, optimized urban planning and responsive infrastructure.

And already, cutting-edge cities across the globe are building centralized data platforms to combine different standards and extract actionable insights, from smart parking to waste management.

Take China’s Nanjing, for instance.

With sensors installed in 10,000 taxis, 7,000 buses and over 1 million private vehicles, the city aggregates daily data across both physical and virtual networks. After transmitting it to the Nanjing Information Center, experts can then analyze traffic data, send smartphone updates to commuters and ultimately create new traffic routes.

Replacing the need for capital-intensive road and public transit reconstruction, real-time data from physical transit networks allow governments to maximize value of preexisting assets, saving time and increasing productivity across millions of citizens.

But beyond traffic routing, proliferating sensors and urban IoT are giving rise to real-time monitoring of any infrastructural system.

Italy’s major rail operator Trenitalia has now installed sensors on all its trains, deriving real-time status updates on each train’s mechanical condition. Now capable of calculating maintenance predictions in advance of system failure, transit disruptions are becoming a thing of the past.

Los Angeles has embedded sensors in 4,500 miles worth of new LEDs (replacing previous streetlights). The minute one street bulb malfunctions or runs low, it can be fixed near-immediately, forming part of a proactive city model that detects glitches before they occur.

And Hangzhou, home to e-commerce giant Alibaba, has now launched a “City Brain” project, aiming to build out one of the most data-responsive cities on the planet.

With cameras and other sensors installed across the entire city, a centralized AI hub processes data on everything from road conditions to weather data to vehicular collisions and citizen health emergencies.

Overseeing a population of nearly 8 million residents, Hangzhou’s City Brain then manages traffic signals at 128 intersections (coordinating over 1,000 road signals simultaneously), tracks ambulances en-route and clears their paths to hospitals without risk of collision, directs traffic police to accidents at record rates, and even assists city officials in expedited decision-making. No more wasting time at a red light when there is obviously no cross traffic or pedestrians.

Already, the City Brain has cut ambulance and commuter traveling times by half. And as reported by China’s first AI-partnered traffic policeman Zheng Yijiong, “the City Brain can detect accidents within a second” allowing police to “arrive at [any] site [within] 5 minutes” across an urban area of over 3,000 square miles.

But beyond oversight of roads, traffic flows, collisions and the like, converging sensors and AI are now being used to monitor crowds and analyze human movement.

Companies like SenseTime now offer software to police bureaus that can not only identify live faces, individual gaits and car license plates, but even monitor crowd movement and detect unsafe pedestrian concentrations.

Some researchers have even posited the use of machine learning to predict population-level disease spread through crowd surveillance data, building actionable analyses from social media data, mass geolocation and urban sensors.

Yet aside from self-monitoring cities and urban AI ‘brains,’ what if infrastructure could heal itself on-demand. Forget sensors, connectivity and AI — enter materials science.

Self-Healing Infrastructure

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates a $542.6 billion backlog needed for U.S. infrastructure repairs alone.

And as I’ve often said, the world’s most expensive problems are the world’s most profitable opportunities.

Enter self-healing construction materials.

First up, concrete.

In an effort to multiply the longevity of bridges, roads, and any number of infrastructural fortifications, engineers at Delft University have developed a prototype of bio-concrete that can repair its own cracks.

Mixed in with calcium lactate, the key ingredients of this novel ‘bio-concrete’ are minute capsules of limestone-producing bacteria distributed throughout any concrete structure. Only when the concrete cracks, letting in air and moisture, does the bacteria awaken.

Like clockwork, the bacteria begins feeding on surrounding calcium lactate as it produces a natural limestone sealant that can fill cracks in a mere three weeks — long before small crevices can even threaten structural integrity.

As head researcher Henk Jonkers explains, “What makes this limestone-producing bacteria so special is that they are able to survive in concrete for more than 200 years and come into play when the concrete is damaged. […] If cracks appear as a result of pressure on the concrete, the concrete will heal these cracks itself.”

Yet other researchers have sought to crack the code (no pun intended) of living concrete, testing everything from hydrogels that expand 10X or even 100X their original size when in contact with moisture, to fungal spores that grow and precipitate calcium carbonate the minute micro-cracks appear.

But bio-concrete is only the beginning of self-healing technologies.

As futurist architecture firms start printing plastic and carbon-fiber houses, engineers are tackling self-healing plastic that could change the game with economies of scale.

Plastic not only holds promise in real estate on Earth; it will also serve as a handy material in space. NASA engineers have pioneered a self-healing plastic that may prove vital in space missions, preventing habitat and ship ruptures in record speed.

The implications of self-healing materials are staggering, offering us resilient structures both on earth and in space.

One additional breakthrough worth noting involves the magic of graphene.

Perhaps among the greatest physics discoveries of the century, graphene is composed of a 2D honeycomb lattice over 200X stronger than steel, yet remains an ultra-thin one atom thick.

While yet to come down in cost, graphene unlocks an unprecedented host of possibilities, from weather-resistant and ultra-strong coatings for existing infrastructure, to multiplied infrastructural lifespans. Some have even posited graphene’s use in the construction of 30 km tall buildings.

And it doesn’t end there.

As biomaterials and novel polymers will soon allow future infrastructure to heal on its own, nano- and micro-materials are ushering in a new era of smart, super-strong and self-charging buildings.

Revolutionizing structural flexibility, carbon nanotubes are already dramatically increasing the strength-to-weight ratio of skyscrapers.

But imagine if we could engineer buildings that could charge themselves… or better yet, produce energy for entire cities, seamlessly feeding energy to the grid.

Self-Powering Cities

As exponential technologies across energy and water burst onto the scene, self-charging cities are becoming today’s testing ground for a slew of green infrastructure pilots, promising a future of self-sufficient societies.

In line with new materials, one hot pursuit surrounds the creation of commercializable solar power-generating windows.

In the past several years, several research teams have pioneered silicon nanoparticles to capture everyday light flowing through our windows. Little solar cells at the edges of windows then harvest this energy for ready use.

Scientists at Michigan State, for instance, have developed novel “solar concentrators.” Capable of being layered over any window, these solar concentrators leverage non-visible wavelengths of light — near infrared and ultraviolet — pushing them to those solar cells embedded at the edge of each window panel.

Rendered entirely invisible, such solar cells could generate energy on almost any sun-facing screen, from electronic gadgets to glass patio doors to reflective skyscrapers.

And beyond self-charging windows, countless future city pilots have staked ambitious goals for solar panel farms and renewable energy targets.

Take Dubai’s “Strategic Plan 2021,” for instance.

Touting a multi-decade Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, launched by UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2015, Dubai aims to gradually derive 75 percent of its energy from clean sources by 2050.

With plans to launch the largest single-site solar project on the planet by 2030, boasting a projected capacity of 5,000 megawatts, Dubai further aims to derive 25 percent of its energy needs from solar power in the next decade.

And in the city’s “Strategic Plan 2021,” Dubai aims to soon:

• 3D-print 25 percent of its buildings;
• Make 25 percent of transit automated and driverless;
• Install hundreds of artificial “trees,” all leveraging solar power and providing the city with free WiFi, info-mapping screens, and charging ports;
• Integrate passenger drones capable of carrying individuals to public transit systems;
• And drive forward countless designs of everything from underwater bio-desalination plants to smart meters and grids.

A global leader in green technologies and renewable energy, Dubai stands as a gleaming example that any environmental context can give rise to thriving and self-sufficient eco-powerhouses.

But Dubai is not alone, and others are quickly following suit.

Leading the pack of China’s 500 smart city pilots, Xiong’an New Area (near Beijing) aims to become a thriving economic zone powered by 100 percent clean electricity.

And just as of this December, 100 U.S. cities are committed and on their way to the same goal.

Cities as Living Organisms

As new materials forge ahead to create pliable and self-healing structures, green infrastructure technologies are exploding into a competitive marketplace.

Aided by plummeting costs, future cities will soon surround us with self-charging buildings, green city ecosystems, and urban residences that generate far more than they consume.

And as 5G communications networks, proliferating sensors and centralized AI hubs monitor and analyze every aspect of our urban environments, cities are fast becoming intelligent organisms, capable of seeing and responding to our data in real time.

Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff

innovation #engineer #engineering #tech #technology #biotech #biotechnology #CXO #CEO #CFO #VP #VC #WSJ #NYT #INC500

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Next Data-Driven Healthtech Revolution System

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 27, 2019 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

Next Data-Driven Healthtech Revolution System

Increasing your healthspan (i.e. making 100 years old the new 60) will depend to a large degree on artificial intelligence.

Health Nucleus: Transforming ‘Sick Care’ to Healthcare

Much of today’s healthcare system is actually sick care

Most of us assume that we’re perfectly healthy, with nothing going on inside our bodies, until the day we travel to the hospital writhing in pain only to discover a serious or life-threatening condition. 

Chances are that your ailment didn’t materialize that morning; rather, it’s been growing or developing for some time. You simply weren’t aware of it.

At that point, once you’re diagnosed as “sick,” our medical system engages to take care of you. 

What if, instead of this retrospective and reactive approach, you were constantly monitored, so that you could know the moment anything was out of whack? 

Better yet, what if you more closely monitored those aspects of your body that your gene sequence predicted might cause you difficulty? Think: your heart, your kidney, your breasts. 

Such a system becomes personalized, predictive and possibly preventative. 

This is the mission of the Health Nucleus platform built by Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI).

While not continuous — that will come later, with the next generation of wearable and implantable sensors — the Health Nucleus was designed to ‘digitize’ you once per year to help you determine whether anything is going on inside your body that requires immediate attention.

The Health Nucleus visit provides you with the following tests during a half-day visit:

  1. Whole genome sequencing (30x coverage)
  2. Whole body (non-contrast) MRI
  3. Brain magnetic resonance imaging/angiography (MRI/MRA)
  4. CT (computed tomography) of the heart and lungs
  5. Coronary artery calcium scoring
  6. Electrocardiogram
  7. Echocardiogram
  8. Continuous cardiac monitoring
  9. Clinical laboratory tests and metabolomics

In late 2018, HLI published the results of the first 1,190 clients through the Health Nucleus.

The results were eye-opening — especially since these patients were all financially well-off, and already had access to the best doctors.

Following are the physiological and genomic findings in these clients who self-selected to undergo evaluation at HLI’s Health Nucleus. 

Physiological Findings [TG] 

  • 2 percent had previously unknown tumors detected by MRI
  • 2.5 percent had previously undetected aneurysms detected by MRI
  • 8 percent had cardiac arrhythmia found on cardiac rhythm monitoring, not previously known
  • 9 percent had moderate-severe coronary artery disease risk, not previously known
  • 16 percent discovered previously unknown cardiac structure/function abnormalities
  • 30 percent had elevated liver fat, not previously known 

Genomic Findings [TG]

  • 24 percent of clients uncovered a rare (unknown) genetic mutation found on WGS
  • 63 percent of clients had a rare genetic mutation with a corresponding phenotypic finding

In summary, HLI’s published results found that 14.4 percent of clients had significant findings that are actionable, requiring immediate or near-term follow-up and intervention.

Long-term value findings were found in 40 percent of the clients we screened.

Long-term clinical findings include discoveries that require medical attention or monitoring but are not immediately life-threatening.

The bottom line: most people truly don’t know their actual state of health.

The ability to take a fully digital deep dive into your health status at least once per year will enable you to detect disease at Stage 0 or Stage 1, when it is most curable.

Sensors, Wearables and Nanobots

Wearables, connected devices and quantified self apps will allow us to continuously collect enormous amounts of useful health information.

Wearables like the Quanttus wristband and Vital Connect can transmit your electrocardiogram data, vital signs, posture and stress levels anywhere on the planet.

In April 2017, Peter Diamandis and his team granted $2.5 million in prize money to the winning team in the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, Final Frontier Medical Devices.

Using a group of noninvasive sensors that collect data on vital signs, body chemistry and biological functions, Final Frontier integrates this data in their powerful, AI-based DxtER diagnostic engine for rapid, high-precision assessments.

Their engine combines learnings from clinical emergency medicine and data analysis from actual patients.

Google is developing a full range of internal and external sensors (e.g. smart contact lenses) that can monitor the wearer’s vitals, ranging from blood sugar levels to blood chemistry.

In September 2018, Apple announced its Series 4 Apple Watch, including an FDA-approved mobile, on-the-fly ECG.

Granted its first FDA approval, Apple appears to be moving deeper into the sensing healthcare market.

Further, Apple is reportedly now developing sensors that can non-invasively monitor blood sugar levels in real time for diabetic treatment. IoT-connected sensors are also entering the world of prescription drugs.

Last year, the FDA approved the first sensor-embedded pill, Abilify MyCite.

This new class of digital pills can now communicate medication data to a user-controlled app, to which doctors may be granted access for remote monitoring.

Perhaps what is most impressive about the next generation of wearables and implantables is the density of sensors, processing, networking and battery capability that we can now cheaply and compactly integrate.

Take the second-generation OURA ring, for example, which focuses on sleep measurement and management.

The OURA ring looks like a slightly thick wedding band, yet contains an impressive array of sensors and capabilities, including:

  • 2 infrared LED
  • 1 infrared sensor
  • 3 temperature sensors
  • 1 accelerometer
  • a 6-axis gyro
  • a curved battery with a 7-day life
  • the memory, processing and transmission capability required to connect with your smartphone

Disrupting Medical Imaging Hardware

In 2018, we saw lab breakthroughs that will drive the cost of an ultrasound sensor to below $100, in a packaging smaller than most bandages, powered by a smartphone.

Dramatically disrupting ultrasound is just the beginning.

Nanobots & Nanonetworks

While wearables have long been able to track and transmit our steps, heart rate and other health data, smart nanobots and ingestible sensors will soon be able to monitor countless new parameters and even help diagnose disease.

Some of the most exciting breakthroughs in smart nanotechnology from the past year include:

Researchers from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) demonstrated artificial microrobots that can swim and navigate through different fluids, independent of additional sensors, electronics or power transmission.

Researchers at the University of Chicago proposed specific arrangements of DNA-based molecular logic gates to capture the information contained in the temporal portion of our cells’ communication mechanisms. Accessing the otherwise-lost time-dependent information of these cellular signals is akin to knowing the tune of a song, rather than solely the lyrics.

MIT researchers built micron-scale robots able to sense, record, and store information about their environment. These tiny robots, about 100 micrometers in diameter (approximately the size of a human egg cell), can also carry out preprogrammed computational tasks Engineers at University of California, San Diego developed ultrasound-powered nanorobots that swim efficiently through your blood, removing harmful bacteria and the toxins they produce. 

But it doesn’t stop there. 

As nanosensor and nanonetworking capabilities develop, these tiny bots may soon communicate with each other, enabling the targeted delivery of drugs and autonomous corrective action.

Mobile Health

The OURA ring and the Series 4 Apple Watch are just the tip of the spear when it comes to our future of mobile health. This field, predicted to become a $102 billion market by 2022, puts an on-demand virtual doctor in your back pocket. 

Step aside, WebMD. 

In true exponential technology fashion, mobile device penetration has increased dramatically, while image recognition error rates and sensor costs have sharply declined.

As a result, AI-powered medical chatbots are flooding the market; diagnostic apps can identify anything from a rash to diabetic retinopathy; and with the advent of global connectivity, mHealth platforms enable real-time health data collection, transmission and remote diagnosis by medical professionals. 

Already available to residents across North London, Babylon Health offers immediate medical advice through AI-powered chatbots and video consultations with doctors via its app.

Babylon now aims to build up its AI for advanced diagnostics and even prescription. Others, like Woebot, take on mental health, using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in communications over Facebook Messenger with patients suffering from depression.

In addition to phone apps and add-ons that test for fertility or autism, the now-FDA-approved Clarius L7 Linear Array Ultrasound Scanner can connect directly to iOS and Android devices and perform wireless ultrasounds at a moment’s notice.

Next, Healthy.io, an Israeli startup, uses your smartphone and computer vision to analyze traditional urine test strips — all you need to do is take a few photos. 

With mHealth platforms like ClickMedix, which connects remotely located patients to medical providers through real-time health data collection and transmission, what’s to stop us from delivering needed treatments through drone delivery or robotic telesurgery? 

Welcome to the age of smartphone-as-a-medical-device. 

Conclusion

With these DIY data collection and diagnostic tools, we save on transportation costs (time and money), and time bottlenecks.

No longer will you need to wait for your urine or blood results to go through the current information chain: samples sent to the lab, analyzed by a technician, results interpreted by your doctor, and only then relayed to you.

Just like the “sage-on-the-stage” issue with today’s education system, healthcare has a “doctor-on-the-dais” problem.

Current medical procedures are too complicated and expensive for a layperson to perform and analyze on their own. The coming abundance of healthcare data promises to transform how we approach healthcare, putting the power of exponential technologies in the patient’s hands and revolutionizing how we live.

Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks MedTech #pharma #innovation #HealthTech #biotech #biotechnology #science #biology #research #scientist #BoD #CEO #VC #WSJ #INC500 Contributor: Peter Diamandis

AI Augments Healthcare and Longevity

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 20, 2019 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized