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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

Download Resume

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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

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!

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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#5G #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

Augmented Reality is about to add a digital intelligence layer

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 4, 2019 at 10:03 am / In: Uncategorized

Augmented Reality is about to add a digital intelligence layer

Augmented Reality is about to add a digital intelligence layer to our every surrounding, transforming retail, manufacturing, education, tourism, real estate, and almost every major industry that holds up our economy today.

Just last year, the global VR/AR market hit a value of $814.7 billion, and it is only expected to continue surging at a 63 percent CAGR until 2025.

Apple’s Tim Cook has remarked, “I regard [AR] as a big idea like the smartphone […] The smartphone is for everyone. We don’t have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic, or country, or vertical market. It’s for everyone. I think AR is that big, it’s huge.”

And as Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, and numerous other players begin entering the AR market, we are on the cusp of witnessing a newly augmented world.

In one of the greatest technological revolutions of this century, smartphones dematerialized cameras, stereos, video game consoles, TVs, GPS systems, calculators, paper, and even matchmaking as we knew it.

AR glasses will soon perpetuate this, ultimately dematerializing the smartphone itself. We will no longer gaze into tiny, two-dimensional screens but rather see through a fully immersive, 3D interface.

While already beginning to permeate mobile applications, AR will soon migrate to headsets, and eventually reach us through contact lenses — replacing over 3 billion smartphones in use today.

I am immensely excited about this five-part AR blog series. In it, we will cover:

  • Importance of AR as an emerging technology
  • Leading AR hardware
  • AR convergence with AI, blockchain, and sensors
  • Industry-specific applications
  • Broader implications of the AR Cloud

Let’s dive in!

Introducing the Augmented World

AR superimposes digital worlds onto physical environments (by contrast to VR, which completely immerses users in digital realities). In this way, AR allows users to remain engaged with their physical surroundings, serving as a visual enhancement rather than replacement.

As AR hardware costs continue to plummet — and advancements in connectivity begin enabling low-latency, high-resolution rendering — today’s AR producers are initially targeting businesses through countless enterprise applications.

And while AR headsets remain too pricey for widespread consumer adoption, distribution is fast increasing. Roughly 150,000 headsets were shipped in 2016, and this number is expected to reach 22.8 million by 2022.

Meanwhile, AR app development has skyrocketed, allowing smartphone users to sample rudimentary levels of the technology through numerous mobile applications. Already, over 1 billion people across the globe use mobile AR, and a majority of mobile AR integrations involve social media (84%) and e-commerce (41%).

Yet while well-known players like Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet, Qualcomm, Samsung, NVIDIA, and Intel have made tremendous strides, well-funded startups remain competitive.

Magic Leap, a company aiming to eliminate the screen altogether, has raised a total of $2.6 billion since its founding in 2010. With its own head-mounted virtual retinal display, Magic Leap projects a digital light field into users’ eyes to superimpose 3D computer-generated imagery over set environments, whether social avatars, news broadcasts or interactive games.

Mojo Vision, in its own right, has raised $108 million in its efforts to develop and produce an AR contact lens. Or take Samsung’s recently granted U.S. patent to develop smart lenses capable of streaming text, capturing videos, and even beaming images directly into a wearer’s eyes. Given their multi-layered lens architecture, the contacts are even designed to include a motion sensor (for eye movement tracking), hidden camera, and display unit.

And as of this writing, nearly 1,800 different AR startups populate the crowdfunding site Angel’s List.

While AR isn’t (yet) as democratized as VR, $100 will get you an entry-level Leap Motion headset, while a top-of-the-line Microsoft HoloLens 2 remains priced at $3,500. However, heads-up-displays in luxury automobiles — arguably the first AR applications to go mainstream — will soon become a standard commodity in economy models.

And as corporate partnerships with AR startups grow increasingly common, the convergence of augmented reality with sensors, networks, and IoT will transform almost every industry imaginable.

A Taste of Industry Transformations

Over the next few weeks of blogs, we will do a deeper dive into each industry, but it is worth considering some of AR’s most notable implications across a range of sectors.

In Manufacturing & Industry, AR training simulations are already beginning to teach us how to operate numerous machines and equipment, even to fly planes. Microsoft, for instance, is targeting enterprise clients with its HoloLens 2, as the AR device’s Remote Assist function allows workers to call in virtual guidance if unfamiliar problems arise in the manufacturing process.

Healthcare: AR will allow surgeons to “see inside” clogged arteries, provide precise incision guides, or flag potential risks, introducing seamless efficiency in everything from reconstructive surgeries to meticulous tumor removals. Medical students will use AR to peel back layers on virtual cadavers. And in everyday health, we will soon track nearly every health and performance metric — whether heart rate, blood pressure, or nutritional data — through AR lenses (as opposed to wearables).

Education: In our classrooms, AR will allow children (and adults alike!) to explore both virtual objects and virtual worlds. But beyond the classroom, we will have the option to employ AR as a private teacher wherever we go. Buildings will project their history into our field of view. Museums might have AR-enhanced displays. Every pond and park will double as a virtual-overlaid lesson in biology and ecology. Or teach your children the value of money with virtual budgeting and mathematical tabulations at grocery and department stores. Already, apps like Sky Map and Google Translate allow users to learn about their surroundings through smartphone camera lenses, and AR’s teaching capabilities are only on the rise.

Yet Retail & Advertising take AR’s transformative potential to a new level. Hungry and on a budget? Your smart AR contact lenses might show you all available lunch specials on the block, cross-referenced with real-time customer ratings, special deals, and your own health data for individualized recommendations. Storefront windows will morph to display your personalized clothing preferences, continuously tracked by AI, as eye-tracking technology allows your AR lenses to project every garment that grabs your attention onto your form, in your size. Smart AR advertising — if enabled — will target your every unique preference, transparently informing you of comparable, cheaper options the minute you reach for an item.

And in Entertainment, we will soon be able to toggle into imaginary realities, or even customize physical spaces with our own designs. 3D creations will become intuitive and shareable. Sports player stats will be superimposed onto live sporting events, as spectators recreate immersive stadiums with front-row seats in their own backyards. Turn on game mode, and every streetside, park, store, and neighborhood merges into a virtually overlaid game, socially interactive and interspersed with everyday life.

In Transportation, AR displays integrated in vehicle windows will allow users to access real-time information about the restaurants, stores, and landmarks they pass. Walking, biking, and driving directions will be embedded in our routes through AR. And when sitting in your autonomous vehicle-turned office on the way to work, AR will have the power to convert any vessel into a virtual haven of your choice.

A Day in the Life of 2030

Reaching for your AR-enabled glasses upon waking up, your Jarvis-like AI populates your visual field with any new updates and personalized notifications.

You begin the day with a new pancake recipe, directed seamlessly by a cooking app in your AR glasses, with ingredients tailored to new programmed dietary preferences. Glancing at your plate, your glasses inform you of the meal’s nutritional value, tracking these metrics in your health monitor.

As you need to fly cross-country today, your AI hails an autonomous shuttle to the airport. Along the way, you switch your glasses to creation mode, allowing you to populate entire swaths of the city with various art pieces your friends have created in the virtual world. Dropping a few of your own 3D designs across the city, your AR glasses even allow you to turn the vehicle floor into a virtual pond as you glide along a smart highway (equipped for electric vehicle charging).

Upon arriving at the airport, your AR glasses switch gears to navigation mode, displaying arrows that direct you seamlessly to your boarding gate.

Walking into your hotel, you activate tourist mode, offering a number of facts and relevant figures about nearby historical buildings and monuments. Toggle to restaurant mode for a look at nearby eatery reviews, tailored to the colleagues you’ll be dining with.

Winding down, you briefly scroll through some pictures captured with your glasses throughout the day, sharing them with family through an interface completely controlled via eye movements.

Welcome to the augmented world of 2030.

Final Thoughts

While enterprises are fueling initial deployment of AR headsets for employee training and professional retooling, widespread consumer adoption is fast reaching the horizon. And as hardware and connectivity skyrocket, driving down prices and democratizing access, sleek AR glasses — if not dematerialized lenses — will become an everyday given.

Advancements in cloud computing and 5G coverage are making AR products infinitely more scalable, ultra-fast, and transportable.

Yet ultimately, AR will give rise to neural architectures directly embedded through brain-computer interfaces. Our mode of interaction with the IoT will evolve from smartphone screens, to AR glasses, to contact lenses, to BCIs.

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 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

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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Delivering an amazing life breakthrough in your intelligence

Posted by Cliff Locks On July 31, 2019 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Delivering an amazing life breakthrough in your intelligence

In the coming decade, we may soon begin connecting our brains to an AI.

Elon Musk’s company Neuralink just announced groundbreaking progress on its “Brain-Computer Interface” (BCI) technology, striving towards a 2 gigabit-per-second wireless connection between a patient’s brain and the cloud in the next few years.

Initial human trials are expected by the end of 2020. Long-term, Elon expects BCI installation to be as painless and simple as LASIK surgery (a thirty-minute visit, no stitches or general anesthesia required).

Over a decade ago, Ray Kurzweil predicted that our brains would seamlessly connect to the cloud by 2035. Even considering his 86% prediction accuracy rate, this prediction seemed somewhat ambitious. But Neuralink’s recent announcement adds significant credence to Ray’s prediction and timeline.

In the long-term, the implications of high-bandwidth BCI are extraordinary. 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.

BCIs will ultimately make the resource of human intelligence massively abundant.

In this blog, I’ll be exploring:

  • Neuralink’s groundbreaking advancements;
  • Roadmaps for BCI;
  • Implications of human capital abundance & the future of intelligence.

Let’s plug in…

Neuralink Update

Beyond the pioneering technology itself, Neuralink has a compelling business plan.

The company’s brain implants, connected via Bluetooth to an external controller, are designed to first treat patients with cervical fractures and neurological disorders, allowing them to restore somewhat normal function. Long-term, they will be made available to the general population for enhanced capability, or to enable AI enhancement of our brain.

In the company’s first public announcement, Elon outlined three main goals of Neuralink’s device:

  • Increase by orders of magnitude the number of neurons you can read from and write to in safe, long-lasting ways;
  • At each stage, produce devices that serve critical unmet medical needs of patients;
  • Make it as simple and automated as LASIK.

The three-pound organ within our skulls that we call the brain is composed of 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses, encompassing everything we see, feel, hear, taste, and remember. Everything that makes me, me, and everything that makes you, you.

In the near-term, Neuralink aims to restore function to those patients who have suffered brain and spinal injuries, helping reinstate their ability to feel and regain motor agency. Beyond such use cases, however, Neuralink ultimately strives to achieve a full “symbiosis with AI,” according to Elon. He makes the important distinction, however, that merging with AI will be an option — not a requirement — in the future.

BCI devices will serve as the brain’s tertiary “digital superintelligence layer,” a layer we arguably already experience in the form of phones, laptops, wearables, and the like.

Yet as explained by Elon, “the constraint is how well you interface — the input and the output speeds. You have a very slow output speed, with typing on keys. Your input speed is faster due to vision.”

Neuralink will eradicate these barriers to speed, providing instantaneous, seamless access to an abundance of knowledge, processing power, and even sensory experience.

Understanding the Hardware

One breakthrough enabling Neuralink’s technology is the development of flexible electrode “threads” with a diameter measuring one-tenth the width of a human hair (4 – 6 μm in width, or the approximate width of a neuron). These can be inserted into the uppermost levels of the human cortex and interface (read & write) with neurons.

1,024 of these threads attach to a single small Neuralink chip (“N1”) that is embedded into the skull, just below your scalp. Each of the N1 chips collects and transmits 200Mbps of neural data, and up to 10 such chips (implanted into a patient) allow for the grand total of a 2Gbps wireless connection. The wireless connection is then made via Bluetooth to an ear-mounted device that connects this brain data to the cloud.

Enter an era wherein users can control their brain implants via an iPhone app. Or imagine the 2030 generation of iPhones (if iPhones are still around), revamped to include a separate App Store: Brain Edition.

Given the threads’ infinitesimal size, large number and flexibility, Neuralink had to developed a special purpose, high-precision robot to perform the thread insertion procedure.

Within the procedure, a mere 2mm incision in the scalp and skull is needed for each implant, small enough to be closed with crazy glue. Minimizing risk of brain trauma, the robot’s 24-micron needle is designed to precisely place threads and avoid damaging blood vessels. In initial quadriplegic patients, one array will reside in the somatosensory region of the brain and three in the motor cortex.

As summed up by lead Neuralink surgeon Dr. Matthew MacDougall, “We developed a robotic inserter that can rapidly and precisely insert hundreds of individual threads, representing thousands of distinct electrodes, into the cortex in under an hour.”

Progress in Neuralink’s labs has been fast and furious. Over the past two years, the size-to-performance ratio of Neuralink’s electrodes has improved seven-fold.

Recalling Ray Kurzweil’s prediction of high-speed BCI by 2035 (only 15 years from now), how far can the technology go in this short timeframe?

Well, let’s consider that if chip performance doubles every two years, we are about to witness a 128X improvement in the technology over the next 15 years.

For perspective, remember that the first-generation iPhone was only released in 2007 — just a dozen years ago — and look how far that technology has traveled!

Bolstered by converging exponential technologies, BCIs will undoubtedly experience massive transformation in the decade ahead.

But Neuralink is not alone….

While there are likely dozens of other top-secret BCI government ventures taking place in the U.S., China, and Russia, to name a few countries, here are some of the key players driving the industry in the U.S.:

(1) Kernel is currently working on a “noninvasive mind/body/machine interface (MBMI)” that will be able to receive signals from neurons in far greater numbers than the 100 neurons that current neuromodulators can stimulate.

Kernel’s CEO and my friend Bryan Johnson aims to initially use the neuroprosthetic to treat disorders such as Alzheimer’s, strokes, and concussions. Yet long-term, Johnson envisions the technology will also help humans keep up with the rapid advancement of computation.

(2) Facebook announced in 2017 its work on a noninvasive BCI that would integrate with the company’s augmented reality headset, providing a “brain click” function at the most basic level. According to Zuckerberg, the BCI can already distinguish if a user is thinking about an elephant or a giraffe, and it will ultimately be used for type-to-text communication.

“Our brains produce enough data to stream 4 HD movies every second. The problem is that the best way we have to get information out into the world—speech—can only transmit about the same amount of data as a 1980s modem. We’re working on a system that will let you type straight from your brain about 5X faster than you can type on your phone today,” as explained by Zuckerberg in a post.

(3) CTRL-Labs, a startup founded by the creator of Microsoft Internet Explorer Thomas Reardon and his partners, is now developing a BCI moderated through a wristband that detects voltage pulses from muscle contractions.

The group aims to eventually detect individual clusters of muscle cells so that users can link imperceptible movements to a variety of commands.

(4) One of the earliest BCI benefactors, DARPA has funded BCI research since the 1970s, aiming to use the technology in recovery and enhancement. Yet recent advancements remain under wraps.

(5) While most of the invasive BCI technologies mentioned here await human trials, BrainGate has already demonstrated success in humans. In one iteration of their technology, researchers implanted 1 – 2 electrodes in the brains of three paralyzed patients. The implants allowed all three to move a cursor on a screen by simply thinking about moving their hands. One participant even recorded eight words per minute.

This astounding feat, possible with just two electrodes, suggests tremendous promise for the thousands of electrodes that Elon plans to achieve in Neuralink’s devices. While FDA approval for human trials will likely take time (Neuralink has primarily tested their technology in mice and a few monkeys), use in human therapeutics is now finally on the horizon.

How much time?

Financial analysts forecast a $27 billion market for neural devices within the next six years. Elon anticipates reaching human trials by the end of next year. And by 2035, the technology is set to achieve low-cost, widespread adoption.

Neuralink’s high-bandwidth brain connection will exponentially transform information accessibility. Thought-to-speech technology will allow us to control avatars — both digital and robotic — directly with our minds.

We will not only upload photos and conversations to the cloud, but entire memories, ideas, and abstract thought. Say goodbye to Google search and 2D screen-confined engines as we adapt to querying directly from our brains.

And for those of you worried about Terminator-like scenarios of AI’s destruction of the human race, BCI will offer us the potential to join tomorrow’s intelligence revolution, rather than be crushed by it.

Closing Thoughts…

Every human today is composed of ~40 trillion cells that all function together in a collaborative fashion, constituting you, me, and every person alive.

One of the most profound and long-term implications of BCI is its ability to interconnect all of our minds. To share our thoughts, memories, and actions across all of humanity.

Imagine just for a moment: a future society in which each of us are connected to the cloud through high-bandwidth BCI, allowing the unfiltered sharing of feelings, memories and thoughts.

Imagine a kinder and gentler version of the Borg (from Star Trek), allowing the linking of 8 billion minds via the cloud and reaching a state of transformative human intelligence.

For those concerned about the domination of AI (i.e. the Terminator scenario), take some comfort in the notion that it isn’t AI versus humans alone. A new version of Human Augmented Intelligence (HI) is just around the corner.

Our evolution from screens to augmented reality glasses to brain-computer interfaces is already beginning. Prepare for the accelerating pace of groundbreaking HI.

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

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

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

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

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

#blockchain #bitcoin #cryptocurrency #crypto #ethereum #btc #money #litecoin #bitcoins #forex #cryptonews #bitcoinmining #eth #trading #bitcoinnews #cryptocurrencies #altcoin #blockchaintechnology #coinbase #business #cryptotrading #investment #technology #entrepreneur #trader #ripple #investing #ico #xrp Contributor: Peter Diamandis #HR #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

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

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

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

The Future of Work in the Age of Web 3.0

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 9, 2019 at 10:20 am / In: Uncategorized

The Future of Work in the Age of Web 3.0

What is the future of work?

Is our future one of ‘technological socialism’ (where technology is taking care of our needs)?

Or is our future workplace completely virtualized, whereby we hang out at home in our PJ’s while walking about our VR Corporate HQ?

This blog will look at the Future of Work during the age of Web 3.0… Examining scenarios in which AI, VR and the spatial web converge to transform every element of our career, from training, to execution, to free time.

 In the past weeks,I explored the vast implications of Web 3.0 on news, media, smart advertising and personalized retail. You can see the blogs here: https://www.investmentcapitalgrowth.com/icg-blog/

A Quick Recap on Web 3.0: 

While Web 1.0 consisted of static documents and read-only data (static web pages), Web 2.0 introduced multimedia content, interactive web applications, and participatorysocial media, all of these mediated by two-dimensional screens.

But over the next 2 to 5 years, the convergence of 5G, artificial intelligence, VR/AR, and a trillion-sensor economy will enable us to both map our physical world into virtual space and superimpose a digital data layer onto our physical environments.

Suddenly, all our information will be manipulated, stored, understood and experienced in spatial ways. 

In this third installment of the Web 3.0 series, I’ll be discussing the Spatial Web’s vast implications for:

  1. Professional Training
  2. Delocalized Business & the Virtual Workplace
  3. Smart Permissions & Data Security

Let’s get started…

Virtual Training, Real-World Results….

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 200Academy training centers, running over 45 modules and simulating everything from unusual customer requests to a Black Friday shopping rush.

Then in September 2018, Walmart committed to a 17,000-headsetorder 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 6-year aircraft design process into the course of 6 months, turning physical mock-ups 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 Fly Inside 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.

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 Target Solutions. 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 urgent, Web 3.0and its VR interface will offer an immediate solution for 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 be an electric,autonomous vehicle mechanic at age 15? 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 enter a new industry.

But beyond professional training and virtually enriched, real-world work scenarios, Web 3.0 promises entirely virtual workplaces and blockchain-secured authorization systems.

Rise of the Virtual Workplace & Digital Data Integrity

 In addition to enabling an annual $52 billion Virtual Goods marketplace, the Spatial Web is also giving way to “virtual company headquarters” and completely virtualized companies, where employees can work from home or any place on the planet.

Too good to be true? Check out an incredible publicly listed company called eXp Realty.

Launched on the heels of the 2008 financial crisis, eXp Realty beat the odds, going public this past May and surpassing a $1B market cap on day one of trading.

But how? Opting for a demonetized virtual model, eXp’s founder Glenn Sanford decided to ditch brick and mortar from the get-go, instead building out an online virtual campus for employees,contractors and thousands of agents.

And after years of hosting team meetings, training seminars, and even agent discussions with potential buyers through 2D digital interfaces, eXp’s virtual headquarters went spatial.

What is eXp’s primary corporate value? FUN! And Glenn Sanford’s employees love their jobs.

In a bid to transition from 2Dinterfaces to immersive, 3D work experiences, virtual platform VirBELA built out the company’s office space in VR, unlocking indefinite scaling potential and an extraordinary new precedent:

Foregoing any physical locations for a centralized VR campus, eXp Realty has essentially thrown out all overhead and entered a lucrative market with barely any upfront costs.

Delocalize with VR, and you can now hire anyone with Internet access (right next door or on the other side of the planet), redesign your corporate office every month, throw in an ocean-view office or impromptu conference room for client meetings, and forget about guzzled-up hours in traffic.

Throw in the Spatial Web’s fundamental blockchain-based data layer, and now cryptographically secured virtual IDs will let you validate colleagues’ identities or any of the virtual avatars we will soon inhabit.

This becomes critically important for spatial information logs — keeping incorruptible records of who’s present at a meeting, which data each person has access to and AI-translated reports of everything discussed and contracts agreed to.

But as I discussed in a previous Spatial Web blog, not only will Web 3.0 and VR advancements allow us to build out virtual worlds, but we’ll soon be able to digitally map our real-world physical offices or entire commercial high rises too.

As data gets added and linked to any given employee’s office, conference room or security system, we might then access online-merge-offline environments and information through augmented reality.

Imaging showing up at your building’s concierge and your AR glasses automatically check you into the building, authenticating your identity and pulling up any reminders you’ve linked to that specific location.

You stop by a friend’s office,and his smart security system lets you know he’ll arrive in an hour. Need to book a public conference room that’s already been scheduled by another firm’s marketing team? Offer to pay them a fee and, once accepted, a smart transaction will automatically deliver a payment to their company account.

With blockchain-verified digital identities, spatially logged data and virtually manifest information, business logistics take a fraction of the time, operations grow seamless and corporate data will be safer than ever.

Final Thoughts

 While converging technologies slash the lifespan of Fortune 500 companies, bring on the rise of vast new industries and transform the job market, Web 3.0 is changing the way we work, where we work and who we work with.

 Life-like virtual modules are already unlocking countless professional training camps, modifiable in real-time and easily updated, including Peter Diamandis’ Singularity University.

Virtual programming and blockchain-based authentication are enabling smart data logging, identity protection and on-demand smart asset trading.

And VR/AR-accessible worlds (and corporate campuses) not only demonetize, dematerialize, and delocalize our everyday workplaces, but enrich our physical worlds with AI-driven, context-specific data.

Welcome to the Spatial Web workplace.

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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

The Future of Blockchain… in a Digital Age

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 26, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

The Future of Blockchain… in a Digital Age

Governments are one of the last strongholds of an undigitized, linear sector of humanity, and they are falling behind fast.

Apart from their struggle to keep up with private sector digitization, federal governments are in a crisis of trust.

 

At almost a 60-year low, only 19 percent of Americans reported that they could trust their government “always” or “most of the time” in a recent Pew survey. And the U.S. is not alone.

The Edelman Trust Barometer revealed last year that 47 percent of the world population distrust their nations’ institutions. Even in Canada, only 26 percent of surveyed Canadians consider regulators and government officials to be credible.

In many cases, the private sector — particularly tech behemoths — are driving greater progress in regulation-targeted issues like climate change than state leaders.

And as decentralized systems, digital disruption, and private sector leadership take the world by storm, traditional forms of government are beginning to fear irrelevance.

However, the fight for exponential governance is not a lost battle.

Early visionaries like Estonia and the UAE are leading the way in digital governance, empowered by a host of converging technologies.

In this blog, we will cover three key trends:

  1. Digital governance divorced from land
  2. AI-driven service delivery and regulation
  3. Blockchain-enforced transparency

Let’s dive in.

Governments Going Digital

States and their governments have forever been tied to physical territories, and public services are often delivered through brick-and-mortar institutions.

Yet public sector infrastructure and services will soon be hosted on servers, detached from land and physical form.

Enter 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.

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.

Today, most banks have closed their offices as 99 percent of banking transactions occur online (with 40 percent of citizens using cryptographically secured e-IDs). And by 2020, e-tax will be entirely automated with Estonia’s new e-Tax and Customs Board portal, allowing companies and tax authority to exchange data automatically.

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 30,000 e-residents, Estonia issues electronic IDs to global residents anywhere in the world. While e-residency doesn’t grant territorial rights, over 5,000 e-residents have already established companies within Estonia’s jurisdiction.

After registering companies online, entrepreneurs pay automated taxes — 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 group or movement seeking statehood.

We may soon see the rise of competitive governing ecosystems, each testing new infrastructure and public e-services to compete with mainstream governments for taxpaying citizens.

And what better to accelerate digital governance than AI?

Legal Compliance Through AI

Just last year, the UAE became the first nation to appoint a State Minister for AI (actually a friend of Peter Diamandis, H.E. Omar Al Olama), aiming to digitize government services and halve annual costs. Among multiple sector initiatives, the UAE hopes to deploy robotic cops by 2030.

Meanwhile, the U.K. now has a Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence, and just last month, world leaders convened at the World Government Summit to discuss guidelines for AI’s global regulation.

As AI infuses government services, emerging applications have caught my eye:

  1. Smart Borders and Checkpoints:

With biometrics and facial recognition, traditional checkpoints will soon be a thing of the past.

Cubic Transportation Systems — the company behind London’s ticketless public transit — is currently developing facial recognition for automated transport barriers. Digital security company Gemalto predicts that biometric systems will soon cross-reference individual faces with passport databases at security checkpoints, and China has already begun to test this at scale.

While the Alibaba Ant Financial affiliate’s “Smile to Pay” feature allows users to authenticate digital payments with their face, nationally overseen facial recognition technologies allow passengers to board planes, employees to enter office spaces, and students to access university halls.

With biometric-geared surveillance at national borders, supply chains and international travelers could be tracked automatically, and granted or denied access according to biometrics and cross-referenced databases.

  1. Policing and Security:

Leveraging predictive analytics, China is also working to integrate security footage into a national surveillance and data-sharing system. By merging citizen data in its “Police Cloud” — including everything from criminal and medical records, transaction data, travel records and social media — it may soon be able to spot suspects and predict crime in advance.

But China is not alone.

During London’s Notting Hill Carnival this year, the Metropolitan Police used facial recognition cross-referenced with crime data to pre-identify and track likely offenders.

  1. Smart Courts:

AI may soon be reaching legal trials as well.

UCL computer scientists have developed software capable of predicting courtroom outcomes based on data patterns with unprecedented accuracy.

Assessing risk of flight, the National Bureau of Economic Research now uses an algorithm leveraging data from hundreds of thousands of NYC cases to recommend whether defendants should be granted bail.

But while AI allows for streamlined governance, the public sector’s power to misuse our data is a valid concern and issues with bias as a result of historical data still remain.

As tons of new information is generated about our every move, how do we keep governments accountable?

Enter the blockchain.

Transparent Governance and Accountability

Without doubt, alongside AI, the government’s greatest disruptor is the newly minted blockchain.

Relying on a decentralized web of nodes, blockchain can securely verify transactions, signatures, and other information. This makes it essentially impossible for hackers, companies, officials, or even governments to falsify information on the blockchain.

As you’d expect, many government elites are therefore slow to adopt the technology, fearing enforced accountability. But blockchain’s benefits to government may be too great to ignore.

First, blockchain will be a boon for regulatory compliance.

As transactions on a blockchain are irreversible and transparent, uploaded sensor data can’t be corrupted. This means middlemen have no way of falsifying information to shirk regulation, and governments eliminate the need to enforce charges after the fact.

Apply this to carbon pricing, for instance, and emission sensors could fluidly log carbon credits onto a carbon credit blockchain, such as that developed by Ecosphere+. As carbon values are added to the price of everyday products or to corporations’ automated taxes, compliance and transparency would soon be digitally embedded.

Blockchain could also bolster government efforts in cybersecurity. As supercities and nation-states build IoT-connected traffic systems, surveillance networks and sensor-tracked supply chain management, the blockchain is critical in protecting connected devices from cyberattack.

But blockchain will inevitably hold governments accountable as well.

Bribery accounts for about 2 percent of global GDP (or $1.5 trillion), according to The World Bank, and corruption accounts for an estimated 10 percent of the cost of doing business globally.

By automating and tracking high-risk transactions, blockchain may soon eliminate fraud in cash transfers, public contracts and aid funds. Already, the UN World Food Program has piloted blockchain to manage cash-based transfers and aid flows to Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Blockchain-enabled “smart contracts” could automate exchange of real assets according to publicly visible, pre-programmed conditions, disrupting the $9.5 trillion market of public sector contracts and public investment projects.

Eliminating leakages and increasing transparency, a distributed ledger has the potential to save trillions.

Future Implications

It is truly difficult to experiment with new forms of government. It’s not like there are new countries waiting to be discovered where we can begin fresh. And with entrenched bureaucracies and dominant industrial players, changing an existing nation’s form of government is extremely difficult and usually only happens during times of crisis or outright revolution.

Perhaps we will develop and explore new forms of government in the virtual world (to be explored during a future blog), or perhaps Sea Steading will allow us to physically build new island nations. And ultimately, as we move off the Earth to Mars and space colonies, we will have yet another chance to start fresh.

But, without question, 90 percent or more of today’s political processes herald back to a day before technology, and it shows in terms of speed and efficiency.

Ultimately, there will be a shift to digital governments enabled with blockchain’s transparency and we will redefine the relationship between citizens and the public sector.

Peter Diamandis hopes, i-voting will allow anyone anywhere to participate in policy, and cloud-based governments will start to compete in e-services. As 4 billion new minds come online over the next several years, people may soon have the opportunity to choose their preferred government and citizenship digitally, independent of birthplace.

In 50 years, what will our governments look like? Will we have an interplanetary order, or a multitude of publicly run ecosystems? Will cyber-ocracies rule our physical worlds with machine intelligence, or will blockchains allow for hive mind-like democracy?

The possibilities are endless, and only we can shape them.

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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Web 3.0 is Transforming Media & Retail

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 12, 2018 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Web 3.0 is Transforming Media & Retail

Converging exponential technologies will transform media, advertising and the retail world. The world we see, through our digitally enhanced eyes, will multiply and explode with intelligence, personalization and brilliance. This is the age of Web 3.0. Last week, I discussed the what and how of Web 3.0 (also known as the Spatial Web), walking through its architecture and the converging technologies that enable it. To recap, while Web 1.0 consisted of static documents and read-only data, Web 2.0 introduced multimedia content, interactive web applications, and participatory social media, all of these mediated by two-dimensional screens — a flat web of sensory confined information. During the next 2 to 5 years, the convergence of 5G, AI, a trillion sensors and VR/AR will enable us to both map our physical world into virtual space and superimpose a digital layer onto our physical environments. Web 3.0 is about to transform everything from the way we learn and educate, to the way we trade (smart) assets, to our interactions with real and virtual versions of each other. And while users grow rightly concerned about data privacy and misuse, the Spatial Web’s use of blockchain in its data and governance layer will secure and validate our online identities, protecting everything from your virtual assets to personal files. In this second installment of the Web 3.0 series, I’ll be discussing the Spatial Web’s vast implications for a handful of industries:
  1. News & Media Coverage
  2. Smart Advertising
  3. Personalized Retail
Let’s dive in.

Transforming Network News with Web 3.0

News media is big business. Just last year, global news media (including print) generated over 150 billion USD in circulation and advertising revenue. The news we listen to impacts our mindset. Listen to dystopian news on violence, disaster and evil, and you’ll more likely be searching for a cave to hide in, rather than technology for the launch of your next business. Today, different news media present starkly different realities of everything from foreign conflict to domestic policy. And outcomes are consequential. What reporters and news corporations decide to show or omit of a given news story plays a tremendous role in shaping the beliefs and resulting values of entire populations and constituencies. But what if we could have an objective benchmark for today’s news, whereby crowdsourced and sensor-collected evidence allows you to tour the site of journalistic coverage, determining for yourself the most salient aspects of a story? Enter mesh networks, AI, public ledgers, and virtual reality. While traditional networks rely on a limited set of wired access points (or wireless hotspots), a wireless mesh network can connect entire cities via hundreds of dispersed nodes that communicate with each other and share a network connection non-hierarchically. 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 protests break out across the country, each cluster of activists broadcasting an aggregate of 360-degree videos, all fed through photogrammetry AIs that build out a live hologram of the march in real time. Want to see and hear what the NYC-based crowds are advocating for? Throw on some VR goggles and explore the event with full access. Or cue into the southern Texan border to assess for yourself the handling of immigrant entry and border conflicts. Take a front seat in the Capitol during tomorrow’s Senate hearing, assessing each Senator’s reactions, questions and arguments without a Fox News or CNN filter. Or if you’re short on time, switch on the holographic press conference and host 3D avatars of live-broadcasting politicians in your living room. We often think of modern media as taking away consumer agency, feeding tailored and often partisan ideology to a complacent audience. But as wireless mesh networks and agnostic sensor data allow for immersive VR-accessible news sites, the average viewer will necessarily become an active participant in her own education of current events. And with each of us interpreting the news according to our own values, I envision a much less polarized world. A world in which civic engagement, moderately reasoned dialogue, and shared assumptions will allow us to empathize and make compromises. The future promises an era in which news is verified and balanced; wherein public ledgers, AI and new web interfaces bring you into the action and respect your intelligence — not manipulate your ignorance.

Web 3.0 Reinventing Advertising

Bringing about the rise of ‘user-owned data’ and self-established permissions, Web 3.0 is poised to completely disrupt digital advertising — a global industry worth over 192 billion USD. Currently, targeted advertising leverages tomes of personal data and online consumer behavior to subtly engage you with products you might not want, or sell you on falsely advertised services promising inaccurate results. With a new Web 3.0 data and governance layer, however, distributed ledger technologies will require advertisers to engage in more direct interaction with consumers, validating claims and upping transparency. And with a data layer that allows users to own and authorize third-party use of their data, blockchain also holds extraordinary promise to slash not only data breaches and identity theft, but covert advertiser bombardment without your authorization. Accessing crowdsourced reviews and AI-driven fact-checking, users will be able to validate advertising claims more efficiently and accurately than ever before, potentially rating and filtering out advertisers in the process. And in such a streamlined system of verified claims, sellers will face increased pressure to compete more on product and rely less on marketing. But perhaps most exciting is the convergence of artificial intelligence and augmented reality. As Spatial Web networks begin to associate digital information with physical objects and locations, products will begin to “sell themselves.” Each with built-in smart properties, products will become hyper-personalized, communicating information directly to users through Web 3.0 interfaces. Imagine stepping into a department store in pursuit of a new web-connected fridge. As soon as you enter, your AR goggles register your location and immediately grant you access to a populated register of store products. As you move closer to a kitchen set that catches your eye, a virtual salesperson — whether by holographic video or avatar — pops into your field of view next to the fridge you’ve been examining and begins introducing you to its various functions and features. You quickly decide you’d rather disable the avatar and get textual input instead, and preferences are reset to list appliance properties visually. After a virtual tour of several other fridges, you decide on the one you want and seamlessly execute a smart contract, carried out by your smart wallet and the fridge. The transaction takes place in seconds, and the fridge’s blockchain-recorded ownership record has been updated. Better yet, you head over to a friend’s home for dinner after moving into the neighborhood. While catching up in the kitchen, your eyes fixate on the cabinets, which quickly populate your AR glasses with a price-point and selection of colors. But what if you’d rather not get auto-populated product info in the first place? No problem! Now empowered with self-sovereign identities, users might be able to turn off advertising preferences entirely, turning on smart recommendations only when they want to buy a given product or need new supplies. And with user-centric data, consumers might even sell such information to advertisers directly. Now, instead of Facebook or Google profiting off your data, you might earn a passive income by giving advertisers permission to personalize and market their services. Buy more, and your personal data marketplace grows in value. Buy less, and a lower-valued advertising profile causes an ebb in advertiser input. With user-controlled data, advertisers now work on your terms, putting increased pressure on product iteration and personalizing products for each user. This brings us to the transformative future of retail.

Personalized Retail – Power of the Spatial Web

In a future of smart and hyper-personalized products, I might walk through a virtual game space or a digitally reconstructed Target, browsing specific categories of clothing I’ve predetermined prior to entry. As I pick out my selection, my AI assistant hones its algorithm reflecting new fashion preferences, and personal shoppers — also visiting the store in VR — help me pair different pieces as I go. Once my personal shopper has finished constructing various outfits, I then sit back and watch a fashion show of countless Peter avatars with style and color variations of my selection, each customizable. After I’ve made my selection, I might choose to purchase physical versions of 3 outfits and virtual versions of 2 others for my digital avatar. Payments are made automatically as I leave the store, including a smart wallet transaction made with the personal shopper at a per-outfit rate (for only the pieces I buy). Already, several big players have broken into the VR market. Just this year, Walmart has announced its foray into the VR space, shipping 17,000 Oculus Go VR headsets to Walmart locations across the U.S. And just this past January, Walmart filed two VR shopping-related patents. In a new bid to disrupt a rapidly changing retail market, Walmart now describes a system in which users couple their VR headset with haptic gloves for an immersive in-store experience, whether at 3am in your living room or during a lunch break at the office. But Walmart is not alone. Big e-commerce players from Amazon to Alibaba are leaping onto the scene with new software buildout to ride the impending headset revolution. Beyond virtual reality, players like IKEA have even begun using mobile-based augmented reality to map digitally replicated furniture in your physical living room, true to dimension. And this is just the beginning….says Peter Diamandis. As AR headset hardware undergoes breakneck advancements in the next 2 to 5 years, we might soon be able to project watches onto our wrists, swapping out colors, styles, brand and price points. Or let’s say I need a new coffee table in my office. Pulling up multiple models in AR, I can position each option using advanced hand-tracking technology and customize height and width according to my needs. Once the smart payment is triggered, the manufacturer prints my newly customized piece, droning it to my doorstep. As soon as I need to assemble the pieces, overlaid digital prompts walk me through each step, and any user confusions are communicated to a company database. Perhaps one of the ripest industries for Spatial Web disruption, retail presents one of the greatest opportunities for profit across virtual apparel, digital malls, AI fashion startups and beyond. 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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com  

Web 3.0 is coming, let’s get you ready for it

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 5, 2018 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Web 3.0 is coming, let’s get you ready for it

The boundaries between digital and physical space are disappearing at a breakneck pace. What was once static and boring is becoming dynamic and magical.

For all of human history, looking at the world through our eyes was the same experience for everyone. Beyond the bounds of an over-active imagination, what you see is the same as what I see.

But all of this is about to change. Over the next 2 to 5 years, the world around us is about to light up with layer upon layer upon layer of rich, fun, meaningful, engaging and dynamic data. Data you can see and interact with.

This magical future ahead is called the Spatial Web and will transform every aspect of our lives, from retail and advertising, to work and education, to entertainment and social interaction.

Massive change is underway as a result of a series of converging technologies from 5G global networks and ubiquitous artificial intelligence, to 30+ billion connected devices (known as the IoT), each of which will generate scores of real-world data every second, everywhere.

The current A.I. explosion will make everything smart, autonomous, and self-programming.

Blockchain and cloud-enabled services will support a secure data layer, putting data back in the hands of users and allowing us to build complex rule-based infrastructure in tomorrow’s virtual worlds.

And with the rise of online-merge-offline (OMO) environments, two-dimensional screens will no longer serve as our exclusive portal to the World Wide Web.

Instead, Virtual and Augmented Reality eyewear will allow us to interface with a digitally mapped world, richly layered with visual data.

Welcome to the Spatial Web.

Let’s dive in. 

What is The Spatial Web?

While we humans exist in three dimensions, our web today is flat.

The web was designed for shared information, absorbed through a flat screen.

But as proliferating sensors, ubiquitous AI and interconnected networks blur the lines between our physical and online worlds, we need a spatial web to help us digitally map a three-dimensional world.

To put Web 3.0 in context, let’s take a trip down memory lane.

In the late 1980s, the newly birthed World Wide Web consisted of static web pages and one-way information — a monumental system of publishing and linking information unlike any unified data system before it.

To connect, we had to dial up through unstable modems and struggle through insufferably slow connection speeds.

But emerging from this revolutionary albeit non-interactive infodump, Web 2.0 has connected the planet more in one decade than empires did in millennia.

Granting democratized participation through newly interactive sites and applications, today’s web era has turbocharged information-sharing and created ripple effects of scientific discovery, economic growth and technological progress on an unprecedented scale.

We’ve seen the explosion of social networking sites, wikis, and online collaboration platforms. Consumers have become creators; physically isolated users have been handed a global microphone; and entrepreneurs can now access billions of potential customers.

But if Web 2.0 took the world by storm, the Spatial Web emerging today will leave it in the dust.

While there’s no clear consensus about its definition, the Spatial Web refers to a computing environment that exists in three-dimensional space — a twinning of real and virtual realities — enabled via billions of connected devices, and accessed through the interface of Virtual and Augmented Reality.

In this way, the Spatial Web will enable us to both build a twin of our physical reality in the virtual realm and bring the digital into our real environments.

It’s the next era of web-like technologies:

  • Spatial computing technologies, like augmented and virtual reality;
  • Physical computing technologies, like IoT and robotic sensors;
  • And decentralized computing: both blockchain — which enables greater security and data authentication — and edge computing, which pushes compute power to where it’s most needed, speeding everything up.

Geared with natural language search, data mining, machine learning, and AI recommendation agents, the Spatial Web is a growing expanse of services and information, navigable with the use of ever more sophisticated AI assistants and revolutionary new interfaces.

Where Web 1.0 consisted of static documents and read-only data, Web 2.0 introduced multimedia content, interactive web applications, and social media on two-dimensional screens. But converging technologies are quickly transcending the laptop and will even disrupt the smartphone in the next decade.

With the rise of wearables, smart glasses, AR / VR interfaces and the IoT, the Spatial Web will integrate seamlessly into our physical environment, overlaying every conversation, every road, every object, conference room and classroom with intuitively presented data and AI-aided interaction.

Think: the Oasis in “Ready Player One,” where anyone can create digital personas, build and invest in smart assets, do business, complete effortless peer-to-peer transactions, and collect real estate in a virtual world.

Or imagine a virtual replica or “digital twin” of your office, each conference room authenticated on the blockchain, requiring a cryptographic key for entry.

Peter Diamandis discussed with his good friend and “VR guru” Philip Rosedale, he is  absolutely clear that in the not-too-distant future, every physical element of every building in the world is going to be fully digitized.

This digitization of life means that suddenly every piece of information can become spatial, every environment can be smarter by virtue of AI, and every data point about me and my assets — both virtual and physical — can be reliably stored, secured, enhanced and monetized.

In essence, the Spatial Web lets us interface with digitally enhanced versions of our physical environment and build out entirely fictional virtual worlds — capable of running simulations, supporting entire economies and even birthing new political systems.

How Does It Work?

Let’s start with the stack.

In the PC days, we had a database accompanied by a program that could ingest that data and present it to us as digestible information on a screen.

Then in the early days of the Web, data migrated to servers. Information was fed through a website, with which you would interface via a browser — whether Mosaic or Mozilla.

And then came the Cloud.

Resident at either the edge of the Cloud or on your phone, today’s rapidly proliferating apps now allow us to interact with previously read-only data, interfacing through a smartphone.

But as Siri and Alexa have brought us verbal interfaces, AI-geared phone cameras can now determine your identity and sensors are beginning to read our gestures.

And now we’re not only looking at our screens but through them, as the convergence of AI and AR begins to digitally populate our physical worlds.

While Pokémon Go sent millions of mobile game-players on virtual treasure hunts, IKEA is just one of the many companies letting you map virtual furniture within your physical home — simulating everything from cabinets to entire kitchens. No longer the one-sided recipients, we’re beginning to see through sensors, creatively inserting digital content in our everyday environments.

Let’s take a look at how the latest incarnation might work. In this new Web 3.0 stack, my personal AI would act as an intermediary, accessing public or privately authorized data through the blockchain on my behalf, and then feed it through an interface layer composed of everything from my VR headset, to numerous wearables, to my smart environment (IoT-connected devices or even in-home robots).

But as we attempt to build a smart world with smart infrastructure, smart supply chains and smart everything else, we need a set of basic standards with addresses for people, places and things. Just like our web today relies on the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and other infrastructure, by which your computer is addressed, and data packets are transferred, we need infrastructure for the Spatial Web.

And a select group of players is already stepping in to fill this void.

Proposing new structural designs for Web 3.0, some are attempting to evolve today’s web model from text-based web pages in 2D to three-dimensional AR and VR web experiences located in both digitally mapped physical worlds and newly created virtual ones.

With a spatial programming language analogous to HTML, imagine building a linkable address for any physical or virtual space, granting it a format that then makes it interchangeable and interoperable with all other spaces.

But it doesn’t stop there.

As soon as we populate a virtual room with content, we then need to encode who sees it, who can buy it, who can move it…

And the Spatial Web’s eventual governing system (for posting content on a centralized grid) would allow us to address everything from the room you’re sitting in, to the chair on the other side of the table, to the building across the street.

Just as we have a DNS for the web and the purchasing of web domains, once we give addresses to spaces (akin to granting URLs), we then have the ability to identify and visit addressable locations, physical objects, individuals or pieces of digital content in cyberspace.

And these not only apply to virtual worlds but to the real world itself. As new mapping technologies emerge, we can now map rooms, objects and large-scale environments into virtual space with increasing accuracy.

We might then dictate who gets to move your coffee mug in a virtual conference room, or when a team gets to use the room itself. Rules and permissions would be set in the grid, decentralized governance systems or in the application layer.

Taken one step further, imagine then monetizing smart spaces and smart assets. If you have booked the virtual conference room, perhaps you’ll let me pay you 0.25 BTC to let me use it instead?

But given the Spatial Web’s enormous technological complexity, what’s allowing it to emerge now?

Why Is It Happening Now?

While countless entrepreneurs have already started harnessing blockchain technologies to build decentralized apps (or dApps), two major developments are allowing today’s birth of Web 3.0:

  • High-resolution wireless VR/AR headsets are finally catapulting Virtual and Augmented Reality out of a prolonged winter.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts the VR and AR headset market will exceed 81 million units per year shipped in 2021, with revenues reaching $170 billion by 2022. Already in the next 18 months, two billion devices will be enabled with AR. And tech giants across the board have long begun investing heavy sums.

In early 2019, HTC is releasing the VIVE Focus, a wireless self-contained VR headset. At the same time, Facebook is charging ahead with its Project Santa Cruz — the Oculus division’s next-generation standalone, wireless VR headset. And Magic Leap has finally rolled out its long-awaited Magic Leap One mixed reality headset.

  • Mass deployment of 5G will drive 10 to 100 gigabit connection speeds in the next 6 years, matching hardware progress with the needed speed to create virtual worlds.

We’ve already seen tremendous leaps in display technology. But as connectivity speeds converge with accelerating GPUs, we’ll start to experience seamless VR and AR interfaces with ever-expanding virtual worlds.

And with such democratizing speeds, every user will be able to develop in VR.

But accompanying these two catalysts is also an important shift towards the decentralized web and a demand for user-controlled data.

Converging technologies, from immutable ledgers and blockchain to machine learning, are now enabling the more direct, decentralized use of web applications and creation of user content. With no central point of control, middlemen are removed from the equation and anyone can create an address, independently interacting with the network.

Enabled by a permission-less blockchain, any user — regardless of birthplace, gender, ethnicity, wealth or citizenship — would thus be able to establish digital assets and transfer them seamlessly, granting us a more democratized Internet.

And with data stored on distributed nodes, this also means no single point of failure. One could have multiple backups, accessible only with digital authorization, leaving users immune to any single server failure.

Implications Abound – What’s Next…

With a newly built stack and an interface built from numerous converging technologies, the Spatial Web will transform every facet of our everyday lives — from the way we organize and access our data, to our social and business interactions, to the way we train employees and educate our children.

We’re about to start spending more time in the virtual world than ever before.

Beyond entertainment or gameplay, our livelihoods, work and even personal decisions are already becoming mediated by a Web electrified with AI and newly emerging interfaces.

Could you use an expert in your corner? 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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Staying in touch with family and friends for Thanksgiving in 2028 is going to be more immersive.

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 28, 2018 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Staying in touch with family and friends for Thanksgiving in 2028 is going to be more immersive.

I hope you had a very pleasant Thanksgiving with your family. Yes, it was very enjoyable with our growing family (NY, CT and MD) getting together for a wonderful meal and catching up with life’s happenings. My Thanksgiving was also filled with texting, Skyping, Zooming, Tweeting, FaceTime, Beam robots and ringing phones. Some people HATE the way technology impacts their family at gatherings — people on digital devices rather than having conversations — ‘making us more alone, even when we’re together.’ But is that really true? This blog is about perspective on the impact of digital devices, and the bigger picture of what’s going on: an accelerating trend whereby our connection with people is independent of our physical location. It turns out that we’ve ALWAYS said that new technology isolates us… “Back in my day, we didn’t have all these distractions” – Millions of disgruntled grandparents around the world. “Yeah, in your day, life was pretty boring and disconnected.” – Millions of millennials today. We’ve always preferred to get what we want, when we want. Every new communication technology has moved us closer to “immediate,” “faster,” “cheaper,” “higher quality” and “instant” communications with whomever we want, whenever we want. And that trend is accelerating. The fact is we tend to romanticize the past. And we like to complain about the present. And we are resistant to change. Check out the two photos below that clearly tell that story.

The Upside of Technology

This Thanksgiving, I was in constant contact with relatives scattered around the world: Brothers in Florida, and friends around the world including Australia, Greece, and India by Skype, Zoom, FaceTime and Beam. 100 Years Ago… holiday contact with distant relatives either didn’t happen, happened through infrequent snail mail, or rarely through a long trek by horse and buggy. Ultimately, you were stuck with the locals — which is fine — unless the people you loved were a world apart… 50 Years Ago… a long-distance phone call served as the high-tech mode of ‘connectedness.’ The telephone offered reasonably immediate communications, except on holidays (for those of you who remember) when you couldn’t actually get a line out (“All lines to that country are currently busy, please hang up and try later”). And, oh, by the way, it was really expensive. Today… we’ve got instant, global, free, wireless communication capabilities in full-color, high-definition video, and even telepresence robots. The bottom line is that technology allows us to more intimately connect with friends and family who are geographically distant, and this, in my opinion, is a really good thing. So, what’s the problem? Why concerns over “distraction” and “isolation”?

It’s Not Only the Technology, It’s Also Your Boring Uncle and Brainless Conversation

We (humans) tend to prioritize spending time with those people who bring us the most enjoyment or satisfaction. We can blame the technology all we want… BUT this means messaging our best friends rather than having conversations at a dinner table with distant relatives with whom we have little in common. which seems like a better way to spend our time. We can force it and try really hard — be polite, do the right thing. But when the barrier to connection drops so low that we can ditch the uncle and chat with the buddy, it’s a tough thing to avoid. The point here is that the quality of our connection is skyrocketing, and the barrier to connection is plummeting.

Thanksgiving – November 2028

What does Thanksgiving look like in November 2028, just 10 years from now? I imagine much of it will look a lot like it does today. Except that augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) will account for half of the people around the dinner table. On the augmented reality front, technologies from companies like HTC, Magic Leap, Microsoft and Apple will allow distant family members and friends to join in the conversation in a multitude of different fashions. Some may beam in from the other side of the planet, showing up as full-sized participants virtually sitting in the chair across the table, while others may be one-tenth-sized figures standing on the tabletop. Or… in the case of virtual reality (or High Fidelity), we could imagine an hour-long pre-dinner reunion taking place in a completely virtual world with 100 distant family members joining from a dozen corners of the globe to exchange stories and catch up. We are entering a period of rapid societal transformation. An era in which traditions will morph and limitations of decades past will lift, allowing us to recreate our social networks and celebrations.

What does the future look like, with Sensors, IoT, AI, Blockchain and Connectivity.

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 21, 2018 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

What does the future look like, with Sensors, IoT, AI, Blockchain and Connectivity.

We profit from it, we fear it, and we find it impossibly hard to quantify… risk.

While not the sexiest of industries, insurance can be a life-saving protector, pooling everyone’s premiums to safeguard against some of our greatest, most unexpected losses.

One of the most profitable in the world, the insurance industry exceeded $1.2 trillion in annual revenue since 2011 in the U.S. alone.

But risk is becoming predictable. And insurance is getting disrupted fast.

By 2025, we’ll be living in a trillion-sensor economy, according to Stanford research. And as we enter a world where everything is measured all the time, we’ll start to transition from protecting against damages to preventing them in the first place.

But what happens to health insurance when Big Brother is always watching? Do rates go up when you sneak a cigarette? Do they go down when you eat your vegetables?

And what happens to auto insurance when most cars are autonomous? Or life insurance when the human lifespan doubles?

For that matter, what happens to insurance brokers when blockchain makes them irrelevant?

In this blog, I’ll be discussing four key transformations:

  1. Sensors and AI replacing your traditional broker
  2. Blockchain
  3. The ecosystem approach
  4. IoT and insurance connectivity

Let’s dive in.

AI and the Trillion-Sensor Economy

As sensors continue to proliferate across every context — from smart infrastructure to millions of connected home devices to medicine — smart environments will allow us to ask any question, anytime, anywhere.

And as I often explain, once your AI has access to this treasure trove of ubiquitous sensor data in real time, it will be the quality of your questions that make or break your business.

But perhaps the most exciting insurance application of AI’s convergence with sensors is in healthcare.

Tremendous advances in genetic screening are empowering us with predictive knowledge about our long-term health risks.

Leading the charge in genome sequencing, Illumina predicts that in a matter of years, decoding the full human genome will drop to $100, taking merely one hour to complete. Other companies are racing to get you sequences faster and cheaper.

Adopting an ecosystem approach, incumbent insurers and insurtech firms will soon be able to collaborate to provide risk-minimizing services in the health sector.

Using sensor data and AI-driven personalized recommendations, insurance partnerships could keep consumers healthy, dramatically reducing the cost of healthcare.

Some fear that information asymmetry will allow consumers to learn of their health risks and leave insurers in the dark. However, both parties could benefit if insurers become part of the screening process.

A remarkable example of this is Gilad Meiri’s company, Neura AI. Aiming to predict health patterns, Neura has developed machine learning algorithms that analyze data from all of a user’s connected devices (sometimes from up to 54 apps!).

Neura predicts a user’s behavior and draws staggering insights about consumers’ health risks. Meiri soon began selling his personal risk assessment tool to insurers, who could then help insured customers mitigate long-term health risks.

But artificial intelligence will impact far more than just health insurance.

In October of 2016, a claim was submitted to Lemonade, the world’s first peer-to-peer insurance company. Rather than being processed by a human, every step in this claim resolution chain — from initial triage through fraud mitigation through final payment — was handled by an AI.

This transaction marks the first time an AI has processed an insurance claim. And it won’t be the last. A traditional human-processed claim takes 40 days to pay out. In Lemonade’s case, payment was transferred within three seconds.

However, Lemonade’s achievement only marks a starting point. Over the course of the next decade, nearly every facet of the insurance industry will undergo a similarly massive transformation.

New business models like peer-to-peer insurance are replacing traditional brokerage relationships, while AI and blockchain pairings significantly reduce the layers of bureaucracy required (with each layer getting a cut) for traditional insurance.

Consider Juniper, a startup that scrapes social media to build your risk assessment, subsequently asking you 12 questions via an iPhone app. Geared with advanced analytics, the platform can generate a million-dollar life insurance policy, approved in less than five minutes.

But what’s keeping all your data from unwanted hands?

Blockchain Building Trust

Current distrust in centralized financial services has led to staggering rates of underinsurance. Add to this fear of poor data and privacy protection, particularly in the wake of 2017’s widespread cybercriminal hacks.

Enabling secure storage and transfer of personal data, blockchain holds remarkable promise against the fraudulent activity that often plagues insurance firms.

As explained by Peter Diamandis and Symbiont’s President Caitlyn Long, “The centralized database model of insurance companies and other organizations is becoming redundant.” Developing blockchain-based solutions for capital markets, Symbiont develops smart contracts to execute payments with little to no human involvement.

But distributed ledger technology (DLT) is enabling far more than just smart contracts.

Also targeting insurance is Tradle, leveraging blockchain for its proclaimed goal of “building a trust provisioning network.” Built around “know-your-customer” (KYC) data, Tradle aims to verify KYC data so that it can be securely forwarded to other firms without any further verification.

By requiring a certain number of parties to reuse pre-verified data, the platform makes your data much less vulnerable to hacking and allows you to keep it on a personal device. Only its verification — let’s say of a transaction or medical exam — is registered in the blockchain.

As insurance data grow increasingly decentralized, key insurance players will experience more and more pressure to adopt an ecosystem approach.

The Ecosystem Approach

Just as exponential technologies converge to provide new services, exponential businesses must combine the strengths of different sectors to expand traditional product lines.

By partnering with platform-based insurtech firms, forward-thinking insurers will no longer serve only as reactive policy-providers, but provide risk-mitigating services as well.

Especially as digital technologies demonetize security services — think autonomous vehicles — insurers must create new value chains and span more product categories.

For instance, France’s multinational AXA recently partnered with Alibaba and Ant Financial Services to sell a varied range of insurance products on Alibaba’s global e-commerce platform at the click of a button.

Building another ecosystem, Alibaba has also collaborated with Ping An Insurance and Tencent to create ZhongAn Online Property and Casualty Insurance — China’s first Internet-only insurer, offering over 300 products. Now with a multibillion-dollar valuation, Zhong An has generated about half its business from selling shipping return insurance to Alibaba consumers.

But it doesn’t stop there. Insurers that participate in digital ecosystems can now sell risk-mitigating services that prevent damage before it occurs.

Imagine a corporate manufacturer whose sensors collect data on environmental factors affecting crop yield in an agricultural community. With the backing of investors and advanced risk analytics, such a manufacturer could sell crop insurance to farmers. By implementing an automated, AI-driven UI, they could automatically make payments when sensors detect weather damage to crops.

Now let’s apply this concept to your house, your car, your health insurance.

What’s stopping insurers from partnering with third-party IoT platforms to predict fires, collisions, chronic heart disease—and then empowering the consumer with preventive services?

This brings us to the powerful field of IoT.

Internet of Things and Insurance Connectivity

Leap ahead a few years. With a centralized hub like Echo, your smart home protects itself with a network of sensors. While gone, you’ve left on a gas burner and your Internet-connected stove notifies you via a home app.

Better yet, home sensors monitoring heat and humidity levels run this data through an AI, which then remotely controls heating, humidity levels, and other connected devices based on historical data patterns and fire risk factors.

Several firms are already working toward this reality.

AXA plans to one day cooperate with a centralized home hub whereby remote monitoring will collect data for future analysis and detect abnormalities.

With remote monitoring and app-centralized control for users, MonAXA is aimed at customizing insurance bundles. These would reflect exact security features embedded in smart homes.

MonAXA connects homes to homeowners’ smartphones via IoT. Source: MonAXA

Wouldn’t you prefer not to have to rely on insurance after a burglary? With digital ecosystems, insurers may soon prevent break-ins from the start.

By gathering sensor data from third parties on neighborhood conditions, historical theft data, suspicious activity and other risk factors, an insurtech firm might automatically put your smart home on high alert, activating alarms and specialized locks in advance of an attack.

Insurance policy premiums are predicted to vastly reduce with lessened likelihood of insured losses. But insurers moving into preventive insurtech will likely turn a profit from other areas of their business. PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that the connected home market will reach $149 billion USD by 2020.

Let’s look at car insurance.

Car insurance premiums are currently calculated according to the driver and traits of the car. But as more autonomous vehicles take to the roads, not only does liability shift to manufacturers and software engineers, but the risk of collision falls dramatically.

But let’s take this a step further.

In a future of autonomous cars, you will no longer own your car, instead subscribing to Transport as a Service (TaaS) and giving up the purchase of automotive insurance altogether.

This paradigm shift has already begun with Waymo, which automatically provides passengers with insurance every time they step into a Waymo vehicle.

And with the rise of smart traffic systems, sensor-embedded roads, and skyrocketing autonomous vehicle technology, the risks involved in transit only continue to plummet.

Final Thoughts

Insurtech firms are hitting the market fast. IoT, autonomous vehicles and genetic screening are rapidly making us invulnerable to risk. And AI-driven services are quickly pushing conventional insurers out of the market.

In 2017, there were 3.8 billion digitally connected people on the planet.

By 2024, roll-out of 5G on the ground, as well as OneWeb and Starlink in orbit are bringing 4.2 billion new consumers to the web — most of whom will need insurance.

Yet, because of the changes afoot in the industry, none of them will buy policies from a human broker.

While today’s largest insurance companies continue to ignore this fact at their peril (and this segment of the market), thousands of entrepreneurs see it more clearly: as one of the largest opportunities ahead.

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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Machines Will Do More Work Than Humans By 2025, Says The WEF

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 17, 2018 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

Machines Will Do More Work Than Humans By 2025, Says The WEF

The World Economic Forum has just released its latest AI job forecast, projecting changes to the job market on a historic scale. While machines currently constitute roughly 29 percent of total hours worked in major industries — a fraction of the 71 percent accounted for by people — the WEF predicts that in just 4 years, this ratio will begin to equalize (with 42 percent total hours accounted for by AI-geared robotics). But perhaps the report’s most staggering projection is that machine learning and digital automation will eliminate 75 million jobs by 2025. However, as new industries emerge and technological access allows people to adopt never-before-heard-of professions, the WEF offers a hopeful alternative, predicting the creation of nearly 133 million new roles aided by the very technologies currently displacing many in our workforce.

Why it’s important: Already, more than 57 million workers — nearly 36 percent of the U.S. workforce — freelance. And based on today’s workforce growth rates as assessed by 2017’s Freelancing in America report, the majority of America’s workforce will freelance by 2027. Advancements in connectivity, AI and data proliferation will free traditional professionals to provide the services we do best. Doctors supplemented by AI-driven diagnostics may take more advisory roles, teachers geared with personalized learning platforms will soon be freed to serve as mentors, and barriers to entry for entrepreneurs — regardless of socioeconomic background — will dramatically decline.  http://bit.ly/2xCrKCD

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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

In 2018 alone, over 22,000 businesses around the world borrowed more than $380 billion from crowdlending services

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 3, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

In 2018 alone, over 22,000 businesses around the world borrowed more than $380 billion from crowdlending services

In 2018 alone, over 22,000 businesses around the world borrowed more than $380 billion from crowdlending services. Disruptive business models are often powered by alternative financing.

In this blog, we’ll discuss:

  1. Peer-to-peer lending
  2. AI financial advisors and robo traders
  3. Seamless Transactions

Let’s dive right in…

Decentralized Lending = Democratized Access to Finances

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending is an age-old practice, traditionally with high risk and extreme locality. Now, the P2P funding model is being digitized and delocalized, bringing lending online and across borders.

Zopa, the first official crowdlending platform, arrived in the United Kingdom in 2004. Since then, the consumer crowdlending platform has facilitated lending of over 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion USD) of loans .

Person-to-business crowdlending took off, again in the U.K., in 2005 with Funding Circle, now with over 5 billion euros (~5.8 billion USD) of capital loaned to small businesses around the world. Now, in 2018 alone, over 22,000 businesses around the world borrowed over $380 billion from crowdlending services.

Crowdlending next took off in the United States in 2006, with platforms like Prosper and Lending Club. The U.S. crowdlending industry has boomed to $21 billion in loans, across 515 thousand loans.

Let’s take a step back… to a time before banks, when lending took place between trusted neighbors in small villages across the globe. Lending started as peer-to-peer transactions.

As villages turned into towns, towns turned into cities, and cities turned into sprawling metropolises, neighborly trust and the ability to communicate across urban landscapes broke down. That’s where banks and other financial institutions came into play — to add trust back into the lending equation.

With crowdlending, we are evidently returning to this pre-centralized-banking model of loans, and moving away from cumbersome intermediaries (e.g. high fees, regulations, and extra complexity).

Fueled by the permeation of the internet, P2P lending took on a new form as ‘crowdlending’ in the early 2000’s. Now, as blockchain and artificial intelligence arrive on the digital scene, P2P lending platforms are being overhauled with transparency, accountability, reliability and immutability.

Artificial Intelligence Micro Lending & Credit Scores

We are beginning to augment our quantitative decision-making with neural networks processing borrowers’ financial data to determine their financial ‘fate’ (or, as some call it, your credit score). Companies like Smart Finance Group (backed by Kai Fu Lee and Sinovation Ventures) are using Artificial Intelligence to minimize default rates for tens of millions of microloans.

Smart Finance is fueled by users’ personal data, particularly smartphone data and usage behavior. Users are required to give Smart Finance access to their smartphone data, so that Smart Finance’s artificial intelligence engine can generate a credit score from the personal information.

The benefits of this AI-powered lending platform do not stop at increased loan payback rates — there’s a massive speed increase as well. Smart Finance loans are frequently approved in under 8 seconds. As we’ve seen with other artificial intelligence disruptions, data is the new gold.

Digitizing access to P2P loans paves the way for billions of people currently without access to banking to leapfrog the centralized banking system — just as Africa bypassed landline phones and went straight to mobile. Leapfrogging centralized banking and the credit system is exactly what Smart Finance has done for hundreds of millions of people in China.

Blockchain Backed Crowdlending

As artificial intelligence accesses even the most mundane mobile browsing data to assign credit scores, blockchain technologies — particularly immutable ledgers and smart contracts — are massive disruptors to the archaic banking system, building additional trust and transparency on top of current P2P lending models.

Immutable ledgers provide the necessary transparency for accurate credit and loan defaulting history. Smart contracts executed on these immutable ledgers bring the critical ability to digitally replace cumbersome, expensive third parties (like banks), allowing individual borrowers or businesses to directly connect with willing lenders.

Two of the leading blockchain platforms for P2P lending are ETHLend and SALT Lending.

ETHLend is an Ethereum-based decentralized application aiming to bring transparency and trust to P2P lending through Ethereum network smart contracts.

Secure Automated Lending Technology (SALT) allows cryptocurrency asset holders to use their digital assets as collateral for cash loans, without the need to liquidate their holdings, giving rise to a digital-asset-backed lending market.

While blockchain poses a threat to many of the large, centralized banking institutions, some are taking advantage of the new technology to optimize their internal lending, credit scoring, and collateral operations.

In March 2018, ING and Credit Suisse successfully exchanged 25 million euros using HQLA-X, a blockchain-based collateral lending platform.

HQLA-X runs on the R3 Corda blockchain — a platform designed specifically to help heritage financial and commerce institutions migrate away from their inefficient legacy financial infrastructure.

Blockchain and tokenization are going through their own fintech and regulation shakeup right now. In a future blog, I’ll discuss the various efforts to more readily assure smart contracts, and the disruptive business model of security tokens and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Parallels to the Global Abundance of Capital

The abundance of capital being created by the advent of P2P loans closely relates to the unprecedented global abundance of capital.

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and crowdfunding are taking a strong stand in disrupting the $164 billion venture capital market. The total amount invested in ICOs has risen from $6.6 billion in 2017 to $7.15 billion USD in the first half of 2018. Crowdfunding helped projects raise more than $34 billion in 2017, with experts projecting that global crowdfunding investments will reach $300 billion by 2025.

In the last year alone, using ICOs, over a dozen projects have raised hundreds of millions of dollars in mere hours. Take Filecoin, for example, which raised $257 million in only 30 days; its first $135 million was raised in the first hour. Similarly, the Dragon Coin project (which itself is revolutionizing remittance in high-stakes casinos around the world) raised $320 million in its 30-day public ICO.

Some Important Takeaways…

  • Technology-backed fundraising and financial services are disrupting the world’s largest financial institutions — anyone, anywhere, at anytime will be able to access the capital they need to pursue their idea.
  • The speed at which we can go from “I’ve got an idea” to “I run a billion-dollar company” is moving faster than ever.
  • Following Ray Kurzweil’s Law of Accelerating Returns, the rapid decrease in time to access capital is intimately linked (and greatly dependent on) a financial infrastructure (technology, institutions, platforms, and policies) that can adapt and evolve just as rapidly.

This new abundance of capital, requires financial decision-making with ever-higher market prediction precision. That’s exactly where artificial intelligence is already playing a massive role.

Artificial Intelligence, Robo Traders and Financial Advisors

On May 6, 2010, the Dow Jones Industrial Average suddenly collapsed by 998.5 points (equal to 8 percent, or $1 trillion). The crash lasted over 35 minutes and is now known as the ‘Flash Crash’. While no one knows the specific reason for this 2010 stock market anomaly, experts widely agree that the Flash Crash had to do with algorithmic trading.

With the ability to have instant, trillion-dollar market impacts, algorithmic trading and artificial intelligence are undoubtedly ingrained in how financial markets operate.

In 2017, CNBC.com estimated that 90 percent of daily trading volume in stock trading is done by machine algorithms, and only 10 percent is carried out directly by humans.

Artificial intelligence and financial management algorithms are not only available to top Wall Street players.

Robo-advisor financial management apps, like Wealthfront and Betterment, are rapidly permeating the global market. Wealthfront currently has $9.5 billion in assets under management, and Betterment has $10 billion.

Artificial intelligent financial agents are already helping financial institutions protect your money and fight fraud. A prime application for machine learning is in detecting anomalies in your spending and transaction habits, and flagging potentially fraudulent transactions.

As artificial intelligence continues to exponentially increase in power and capabilities, increasingly powerful trading and financial management bots will come online, finding massive new and previously lost streams of wealth.

How else are artificial intelligence and automation transforming finance?

Disruptive Remittance and Seamless Transactions

When was the last time that you paid in cash at a toll booth? How about for a taxi ride?

EZ-Pass, the electronic tolling company implemented extensively on the East Coast, has done wonders to reduce traffic congestion and increase traffic flow.

Driving down I-95 on the East Coast of the United States, drivers rarely notice their financial transaction with the state’s tolling agencies. The transactions are seamless.

The Uber app enables me to travel without my wallet. I can forget about payment on my trip, free up my mental bandwidth and time for higher-priority tasks. The entire process is digitized and, by extension, automated and integrated into Uber’s platform. (Note: This incredible convenience manytimes causes me to accidentally walk out of taxi cabs without paying!).

In January 2018, we saw the success of the first cutting-edge, AI-powered Amazon Go store open in Seattle, Washington. The store marked a new era in remittance and transactions — gone are the days of carrying credit cards and cash, and gone are the cash registers. And now, on the heals of these early ‘beta-tests’, Amazon is considering opening as many as 3,000 of these cashierless stores by 2023.

Amazon Go stores use AI algorithms that watch various video feeds (from advanced cameras) throughout the store to identify who picks up groceries, exactly what products they select, and how much to charge that person when they walk out of the store. It’s a grab and go experience.

Let’s extrapolate the notion of seamless, integrated payment systems from Amazon Go and Uber’s removal of post-ride payment to the rest of our day-to-day experience.

Imagine this near future:

  • As you near the front door of your home, your AI assistant summons a self-driving Uber that takes you to the Hyperloop station (after all, you work in L.A. but live in San Francisco).
  • At the station, you board your pod, without noticing that your ticket purchase was settled via a wireless payment checkpoint.
  • After work, you stop at the Amazon Go, pick up dinner — your virtual AI assistant passes your Amazon account information to the store’s payment checkpoint, as the store’s cameras and sensors track you, your cart and charge you auto-magically.
  • At home, unbeknownst to you, your AI has already restocked your fridge and pantry with whatever items you failed to pick up at the Amazon Go.

Once we remove the actively transacting aspect of finance, what else becomes possible?

Top Conclusions

Extraordinary transformations are happening in the finance world.

We’ve only scratched the surface of the fintech revolution.

All of these transformative financial technologies require high-fidelity assurance, robust insurance, and a mechanism for storing value.

Peter Diamandis and I’ll dive into each of these other facets of financial services in future blogs.

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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

 

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

How Good Money is Redefining Banking

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 26, 2018 at 10:02 am / In: Uncategorized

How Good Money is Redefining Banking

The CIA estimates over $90 trillion of global value is stored in cash, banknotes, money markets, and bank accounts. In 2018, a mere 8 percent (about $5 trillion) of this $90 trillion is in the form of cold, hard cash. In this two-part blog series, we’ll cover how the internet, mobile devices, sensors, blockchain and AI are driving a revolution in the financial world and dramatically changing how we move money across the globe. In this blog, I will cover:
  1. How a company called Good Money is redefining banking
  2. The mobile money revolution
  3. Cross-border payments
Let’s dive in.

How Good Money is Redefining Banking

Right now, most people store their money in a bank account. A person pays a fee (on average $400 per year) to put money in her bank account, and the bank then further profits on the client’s money by investing in other projects. The kicker: these projects do not necessarily align well with the customer’s values, or provide any benefits or major returns… In fact, the average interest rates are effectively zero — currently on the order of 0.01 percent for checking accounts. These large, centralized, intermediary institutions are ripe for disruption — and that is exactly the vision of platforms like Good Money. Good Money is a mobile-first banking wallet that allows users to hold all of their assets, both fiat and cryptocurrencies, in one place. The wallet has no annual fee ($0 per year vs. the average $400 per year of consumer checking accounts) and allows for full fiat and cryptocurrency interoperability. Further, Good Money offers a 1.8 percent interest rate — over 100 times greater than interest rates offered by traditional checking accounts. Beyond interest rates, a second failure of traditional consumer banking is that customers do not control how their stored money is invested by banks. Meaning that your money could well be invested in the petroleum industry when you are in fact a die-hard environmentalist. As the name implies, Good Money enables you as the user to choose how your stored money is invested, aligning it with your vision for humanity. Fundamentally, we think of banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citibank as necessary and very basic — places for us to store our money so that we have easy access without carrying around wads of cash. Good Money’s vision adds a number of important features ranging from interoperability between Fiat and Crypto Currencies, as well as reasonable check-interest rates and most importantly, control of where your hard-earned cash gets invested. Beyond Good Money, Mobile-first banking platforms are rising around the world. Let’s take a deeper look.

The Mobile Money Revolution

As we’ve discussed in past blogs, the number of humans being connected to the web in the next six years is breathtaking. Over the next 5 years, as global 5G network coverage and space-based systems come online, we will soon connect the entire planet. In 2010, about a quarter of humanity was connected (1.8 billion people). By 2017, that number had risen to half of the planet’s population (3.8 billion). And now, we are on track to connect the entire human race — 8 billion people — by 2024. This translates to four billion new consumers, soon to upload and download on the internet for the first time in years ahead. In terms of finance, all four billion of these new users are going to want access to the same banking services that each of us has come to expect. At the low end, it is estimated that 2 billion people around the world today lack the ability to securely save money, transfer money, and make payments. Beyond the basic benefits of banking, we forget that banking also translates to health and education — allowing us to save money for future emergency medical fees or borrow money to pay for our children’s schooling. So why is it that 2 billion people don’t yet have access to banking? The short answer is that the tremendous cost of building and maintaining traditional banks, bank tellers, cash- and location-based bank branches and ATMs doesn’t make economic sense in poorer countries. What if we skip the buildings and the people and go straight to all-digital, all-mobile operations? Mobile phones are rapidly permeating the developing world; it’s estimated that Africa surpassed 1 billion mobile phones in 2017. In 2016, 61 percent (or 100 million) of the 163 million people in Bangladesh, had mobile phones. This rapid rise in mobile phones is providing an avenue for entrepreneurs, investors, and particularly Telecom companies to bring banking services to the 2 billion unbanked people across the globe. One brilliant example is the Bangladesh-based, Gates Foundation-backed start-up bKash. bKash started in 2011 with $5 million and a vision of providing mobile financial services to the unbanked in Bangladesh. Since their arrival on the Bangladeshi financial scene, bKash has gained 17 million users and over $20 million in donations and investments. With a low 1.85 percent fee (only on withdrawals), Bangladeshis are paying salaries through bKash, storing their money in bKash, and using bKash for their day-to-day shopping. And with growing profits, bKash plans to roll out other foundational financial services like loans and insurance. Ant Financial (formerly Alipay, a subsidiary of Alibaba) recently purchased a 20 percent stake in bKash, in part to help enhance bKash’s services with lessons learned from deploying Alipay in China. Ant Financial is at the forefront of the fintech revolution, facilitating $8 trillion of transactions in online payments last year alone. To further illustrate just how massive Ant Financial is, its most recent $14 billion funding round sets it up for a $150 billion valuation — nearly twice Goldman Sachs’ $87 billion valuation. In South Africa and parts of Southern Asia, telecom provider Vodafone’s M-Pesa (‘pesa’ = ‘money’ in Swahili) brings mobile payments and banking to 30 million customers in 10 different countries. M-Pesa’s initial use-case was transferring money across long distances, serving workers who face the major problem of physically transporting cash to support their families from afar. Now, even the Indian government is using M-Pesa to pay pensions to retirees who live in rural areas, eliminating the former delays and crimes associated with shipping cash across the country. Without bank branches or ATMs, how do M-Pesa mobile banking customers withdraw and deposit cash?
  1. M-Pesa embeds agents — sole individuals who sell cellphone airtime — in various shops around their service areas.
  2. These agents then exchange airtime minutes with customers for cash and vice versa.
  3. M-Pesa customers load the airtime to their SIM card.
  4. Customers use the mobile phone minutes as mobile money, by text message, through the M-Pesa platform to transfer money and make payments.
This system has penetrated more than 96 percent of households in Kenya. A 2016 MIT paper shows the impact of mobile payment capabilities: M-Pesa lifted 2 percent of Kenyan Households (196,000 families) out of extreme poverty between 2008 and 2016. To conclude the above, we’re seeing developing countries use mobile phones to leapfrog the antiquated centralized banking model of finance, creating wealth and lifting people out of poverty. Still, with this explosion of mobile banking in developing nations, there is a massive economic opportunity to further improve security, reliability, connectivity, and user control. As we saw above, traditional banks are lagging behind more nimble technology companies (Alibaba, Vodafone, etc.) in implementing these transformative platforms.

Cross-Border Payments

With mobile payment and banking infrastructure in place across the globe, you would imagine that moving money from country to country would be relatively straightforward. Here’s an interesting question — if you wanted to move $9,999 from New York to London, what is the fastest way to do it? Some would argue that physically carrying the money in cash on an airplane would be the fastest route (you need to declare more than $10,000 with US Customs). You could also opt to make the payment through your bank. Your bank would then use a network called SWIFT to move your money to a London bank. SWIFT currently sits at the center of most cross-border payment technology. Transactions on the SWIFT network can take 3-5 days to process; the network processes 24 million transactions per day (about 277 transactions per second). In addition to bank-varying fees, during the 3-5 day transfer time, exchange rates can vary by over 5%, a large tax for businesses making international payments. Because of these relatively long transfer times, unpredictable fees (due to exchange rate variability), and a slew of security issues, banks and other fintech players are investigating alternatives. With the coming innovation in cross-border payment infrastructure, Accenture forecasts that global cross-border payments will rise by 5.6 percent per year through 2022. One exciting attempt to redefine international remittance is Stellar.org. In partnership with IBM, Stellar promotes its mission to move money quickly across borders, and “to expand access to low-cost financial services to fight poverty and maximize individual potential.” The Stellar network can process over 1,000 transactions per day — more than 3x the number of transactions on the SWIFT network, on an immutable and decentralized blockchain. Rather than waiting 3-5 days for the SWIFT network to process your transaction, Stellar processes transactions in 3-5 seconds. In addition to bypassing day-to-day exchange rate variability, Stellar’s low fee of about $0.01 per 600,000 transactions makes the network highly competitive with existing infrastructure. Platforms like Stellar also offer cross-border, mobile-to-mobile money lending services, which we’ll cover in our next blog.

Conclusion

The fintech sector disrupts far more than “business as usual” on Wall Street. How we transact and move money also transforms the day-to-day lives of people all over the world. The convergences of technology such as IoT, Blockchain and AI will transform all aspects of Fintech (and insurance), challenging the long-dominant infrastructure of Wall Street. In Part Two next week Peter Diamandis and I will cover the Future of Finance and Banking, we’ll explore how exponential technologies are impacting investing and lending, AI financial advisory services (e.g. Robo-Traders), new stores of value (e.g. Bitcoin and Stable Coins), and a discussion on how we might ensure that FinTech can be trusted in our rapidly accelerating future. With the dematerialization, demonetization and democratization of financial resources, today is the greatest time in human history to be an entrepreneur — no matter where you live on planet Earth. 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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

How to Speak Well… and Listen Better

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 12, 2018 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

How to Speak Well… and Listen Better

Every one of us knows the importance of being attentive with colleagues, clients, and family members. We must be attentive if we must learn new ideas, listening is also a sign of politeness. However, it can be so difficult to keep quiet, we want to make our opinions known, and we seem to have the answer. You can learn to be a better listener by talking and paying attention. Listening could come in the form of showing interest such as ‘explain your idea more, any other suggestion or what makes you think in that manner? Whenever you exhibit interest while talking, you will not only gain new knowledge. Also, you will seen as a highly esteemed as a cooperative leader at your place of work. I recommend you consider reading How to Win Friends & Influence People: Dale Carnegie – Amazon.com or listening to the audiobook How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age (Unabridged) Could you use an expert in your corner? 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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Executive Presence – Casual Friday Conundrum

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 5, 2018 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Executive Presence – Casual Friday Conundrum

When you look at your CEO or Founder do you think “I will look just as amazing if I had a special stylist.” And if you happen to share the same sentiments with me, or if you are not so sure of the clothes to put on a simple Friday, here is some help. Let’s get started, as a senior executive heading for a conference out of the city; you’d need to pack clothing for business sessions, golfing outfits and probably a cocktail dinner. A stylist’s job is to assist him/her concentrate on a professional business dressing, ensuring that he/she has a fitting representation in every area.  He/she would like to ensure that every component of her dressing, shoes, jewelry and other accessories complements each other; for instance, you would want to avoid patterned or bold designs which distract peoples focus from the presentation. You would like to ensure that your audience is paying attention to you. With regards to the golfing session, I suggest that you are a bit conservative since you will be playing with other business executives and then for the cocktail dinner, don’t forget that it’s a business dinner, and you should put on something handsome/beautiful. Ask yourself have I upgraded my shirts and suits in recent time? Have they become old, are they dated? Have you purchased new ties? Have you add or shed weight? It is very crucial to put all that into consideration because tailoring plays a big role in how good you appeared in your clothing.  Are you still using your old glass or you’ve just bought a new one? The new glass will make you look fresher and modern, and you have to consider that. Then do you have good shoes? Are they suitable for your kind of business? Well-polished shoes with newly done heels. Sorry men but then the media has always been paying so much attention to women fashion. My suggestion, every woman needs the services of specialists who can give them a personal evaluation of the look that suits them best. Women need to provide answers to certain questions like; is my clothing reflective of the position I’m occupying? Is this cloth appropriate for my shape, body style, and age? If presented the same cloth again, would I buy it? And then if you don’t like the styles and the colors of the clothes shown in the fashion magazines, you don’t have to buy it. Make sure you only buy clothing items that are beautiful on you and also make you comfortable. What about the accessories? Do you have shoes that enhance your appearance or those that make it worse? What about your bags? Are they big enough to contain all your paper presentation? Do you have a smaller bag to contain other essential items? Many of us are confident to some extent with our style and sense of fashion for normal business meetings, however, we often become confused on casual Fridays when companies permit us to dress down or maybe even adorned jeans. So how should we dress on casual Fridays? I believe that this is one area where several people both men and women alike, are so confused about the right thing to wear. If you work in an organization that allows you to wear jeans, I think any black jeans or dark wash jeans would be fantastic, and certainly not those ragged ones you wear at home for gardening or yard work. For the men, a beautiful, and maybe a dark stripe shirt blended with a nice sweater together with a navy blazer will always be a fantastic choice. You can put on more casual shoes. However they should be suitable for the position you occupied, nice belt and a well-polished loafer complements the dressing. For the women, once more I believed that jeans would also be a fantastic choice or maybe a cotton trouser, a light wool trouser and they could adorn a pretty blouse and sweater and maybe a set of sweaters, blending it all with flat shoes. Always have it in mind that you might need to meet your favorite client on a casual Friday, and you have to look your best. 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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Do You Ask Yourself…HOW AM I DOING?

Posted by Cliff Locks On August 22, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Do You Ask Yourself…HOW AM I DOING?

As a dad to three children, each has chosen to earn their Master Degrees (Social Work-LSW, Entrepreneurship-MBA, and Mechanical Engineering-MS), they are happy and fully independent, with two weddings within years’ time. Yes, my wife and I are a blessed, but it’s not luck, it was very predictable. As an executive coach, I’ve been asked to be a parenting instructor on many occasions. I get asked ‘what’s our biggest blunder as a parent?’ To put it more clearly, as a parent what can I improve to be a great parent?     The challenge starts with us the parents because we don’t set high expectations for our kids and neither do we set one for ourselves. Therefore, as parents, we are not disciplined in our parenting responsibilities. For instance, when discussing how our kids relate with each other, they might call themselves terrible names, hitting each other and generally treating each other in an unkind manner and we do nothing to correct it, maybe because we think that’s they can’t become bettered manner or simply because we see it as a very challenging task to even correct this bad behavior. So, the problem is that we set our expectations too low, so how then can we make our expectations high? Well, that involve two parts, to begin with, you must have a vision of the way you will parent your kids, and this is what I referred to as parenting with a purpose. For instance, I could have a vision of raising kids that cares about the feelings and needs of other people. The other part involves having well-stated guidelines of how you want your kids to behave in a given situation. For instance, if we are going to visit our Grand Ma and Grand Pa we could tell our child, “when we get to grandparent’s place, ask her about her trip, inquire about her health, inform her about your school project and inquire from her if there is any game she would love to play with you, and when she is preparing dinner, ask her ask if there is something you can do to assist” most times, we tell people what they are not supposed to do rather than what they should. It’s very important that we set good examples for our kids. Kids develop their attitude and lifestyle from our behavioral pattern, and how we react to situations, for instance, they can learn how to control themselves and how to cope with situations by observing the way we deal with situations when we are under pressure. If people upset us, do we rant at others or do we imbibe good strategies that help us to put our frustration in check? Can you relate with this? Set high standards and be exemplary to your kids. It appears that the keys to excellent parenting and amazing leadership intertwined. Written goals will help in this endeavor. Yes, your children should have written goals in a marble notebook or loose leaf that is updated each semester in school, if not more often. My youngest son had write on – wipe off board with his goals written down in his childhood bedroom. There is still one thing which is common for good leaders and parents, and that is they both look for experts for professional support. 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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Cliff Locks Host Angel Investors Network Podcast with David Hunter, CEO of Star Rapid – A Global Injection Molding Manufacturer Using, Augmented Reality, Predictive Analytics, and We Review the Benefits in Building a Team Learning Culture

Posted by Cliff Locks On August 15, 2018 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Cliff Locks Host Angel Investors Network Podcast with David Hunter, CEO of Star Rapid – A Global Injection Molding Manufacturer Using, Augmented Reality, Predictive Analytics, and We Review the Benefits in Building a Team Learning Culture

I interview David Hunter, CEO of Star Rapid. David and his team have perfected the design for manufacturing when developing a new product to avoid costs and delays down the line. Star Rapid is working on cutting-edge technology including Augmented Reality, Predictive Analytics, Robotic Exoskeletons, creating components for smart-clothing and IoT devices. Podcast Discussion includes the positive contribution continuous learning makes, supporting a vibrant team environment. Star Rapid continues to add automation to its manufacturing lines, freeing up line workers. These team members are re-educated and promoted to higher value jobs; it allows the company to continue to accelerate its growth and seamlessly onboard new clients.

Cliff Locks Host Angel Investors Network Podcast with Zvi Band is the CEO and Founder Contactually, one of the fastest growing companies on the INC 5000 list, listed at 513; raised $17.8 million in investors’ funds.

Posted by Cliff Locks On August 8, 2018 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Cliff Locks Host Angel Investors Network Podcast with Zvi Band is the CEO and Founder Contactually, one of the fastest growing companies on the INC 5000 list, listed at 513; raised $17.8 million in investors’ funds.

Contactually is a leader in business software, Zvi, and his team early on recognized software is something, people are forced to use, not enjoy using. This is a challenge. Zvi knew that needed to change. So, his team doesn’t design its software products to fit into an existing mold; they design it to help people with their work. Contactually software identifies past clients and others in the users’ contact sphere of influence and prioritizes relationships with them. Their customers are seeing a 42% increase in Gross Income. That’s huge.   Podcast  

Cliff Locks Host Angel Investors Network Podcast with Tony Pompliano, CEO and President of ANEXIO, a company on the Inc 500 list of America’s fastest-growing privately held companies

Posted by Cliff Locks On August 1, 2018 at 10:03 am / In: Uncategorized

Cliff Locks Host Angel Investors Network Podcast with Tony Pompliano, CEO and President of ANEXIO, a company on the Inc 500 list of America’s fastest-growing privately held companies

ANEXIO is transforming the IT industry by building high-performance technology infrastructure to serve the complex computing needs of the world’s most innovative companies. Learn how ANEXIO’s revenues have grown over 1,400 percent since 2013 and continue to accelerate as the company builds new infrastructure for emerging technologies.   Podcast      

RETIREMENT PLANNING: WILL I EVER RETIRE?

Posted by Cliff Locks On July 18, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

RETIREMENT PLANNING: WILL I EVER RETIRE?

The term retirement is something that really frightens many executives, will I have sufficient money when I’m retired? What will be my daily activities after I retired? This blog will make retirement a little less frightening experience. Retirement is a great beginning and not a miserable end. You maybe asking yourself are people still going to retire? I think the word retirement has gone through a lot of transformations and needs to be redefined. In times past, retirement was all about picking that expensive gold watch and going on vacation and then relaxing in your backyard when you retuned from your vacation.  Well a lot has changed, and we are no longer inclined towards that direction. Our society has become multi-tasking and highly energized and people have no wish to slow down. Though they still go on retirement, but retirement now has a whole new meaning. So, what are people supposed to do? For individuals that are above the age of 50 like me, what are we supposed to do to get prepared for retirement? Well to start with, you need to revisit all your dreams and wishes and every other thing you promised yourself but have not been able to be accomplished, its time you picked them up and say “now I can make all these a reality” then you carefully analyze them to see what is realistically achievable and those that are not so feasible. Maybe your dream was to buy and RV and see America’s National Parks, is that still achievable? Or you need to just make few changes and to make it achievable and then you commence preparing for it. Well many of us are not prepared to start thinking about it yet; however, we have retired parents, so how can we be of assistance to them at this stage of their lives? My Dad is 90 years old and my Mom is in her late 80’s. It’s about family looking after them, in my case, I have four siblings and we are all involved in a gentle and supportive manner. My folks are still residing in the home I grew up in and enjoying life. Yes, they’ve slowed down somewhat; as their 11 grandchildren get married they attend all the weddings. You may know I’m industry Supply Chain expert with a concentration in Reverse Logistics. Well my Mom is defiantly driving volume of product returns. She loves shopping at Costco, Walmart, and Amazon, she must be returning 60%+ of her purchases. I have a hypothesis that product returns are more prevalent in our senior population. As the Baby Boomers retire, yes there are 65.2 million of us. The Reverse Logistics industry should be seeing a huge up tick in business. Let’s get back to your needs. Well, you must start by analyzing your present mental and financial state, to be sure your prepared. Don’t do it alone, if you need someone to talk to reach out to me. Remember it’s a new starting point, for the very first time in your life; you’ll be presented a wonderful opportunity for change in your life, you can go wherever you wish, do anything you want, assist other family and friends, realize that this an amazing time in your life and a start with an awesome stage of your life with limitless freedom and possibilities. Okay so when we finally retired, how are we supposed to start our lives in retirement? I believe it’s something that calls for celebration; you should celebrate yourself after several decades of putting in hard work into your careers and raising your families. A lot of positive attitude can go a long way. Please keep me in mind for senior executive engagements, board openings and coaching. 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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Cliff Locks Host Angel Investors Network Podcast with John Bennett of Sunny Days in Homecare – INC 5000 Company

Posted by Cliff Locks On July 11, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Cliff Locks Host Angel Investors Network Podcast with John Bennett of Sunny Days in Homecare – INC 5000 Company

I interview John Bennett of Sunny Days in Homecare. John and his team added automation technology to their senior living business, which allowed for seamless execution for his 684 employees. The company has enjoyed close to 200% growth in 3 years and has a solid plan for rapid and significant growth. Including taking in qualified investors funding and franchising. Podcast We also discuss how seniors can continue to enjoy life and live in their homes by aging in place. For example, my Dad is 90 and my Mom is in her late 80’s, living in the home I grew up in, close to 60 years ago. Sunny Days in Homecare business model is playing an important role, when we look at the demographics, they are in their favor, as there are 64.1 million Baby Boomers, which now accounts for 22.9 percent of the U.S. population. Baby Boomers were born between 1946 to 1964, so the youngest baby boome5 turned 54 and our oldest is 72, The data is from-2017 Census Bureau report.  

SALARY NEGOTIATION EXPERTISE

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 13, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

SALARY NEGOTIATION EXPERTISE

In our country today, any discussion about money is a forbidden topic, it generally seems that we are more willing to discuss about our personal lives much more than our finances, but then, if we don’t find it at ease to discussing financial matters, we will never receive the kind of salary that we merit. I’ll share some secrets of salary negotiation and at the end of this blog post give you a powerful tool as my a personal gift to you. Why do we find it so difficult to have any meaningful discussion about our salaries and have the confidence to negotiate our remuneration? I believe that the major thing that is required of people is to have the mindset for negotiating salary. For whatever reason, most people don’t know that when they are searching for jobs that they are free to reject the offer proposed by their employers and make a counteroffer or maybe they lack the boldness to do such, but several organizations usually anticipate that a counteroffer will be made.  Let’s apply this to another area of our lives, you can’t enter a car dealership and requested for the price of a new vehicle, and they told you it is going to cost you $55,000; actually, you won’t say “that sounds fantastic.” No, because they anticipate a counter offer from you. Therefore you have to bring in your knowledge and negotiate till you arrive at a sensible figure. The same thing is applicable while job hunting, but here people tend to forget their negotiation skills… a research conducted on LinkedIn reveals that 39% individuals were very nervous about negotiating their salary. Are there any moments we should refrain from negotiating salary? Definitely yes, if you are undergoing a lateral move, or you are enrolling for an executive training program with a pre-stated salary which absolutely nothing can change, however, it has little to do with bad timing; it’s more about people carrying out their negotiation with the wrong approach Are you maybe asking what are we not getting right while negotiating our salaries? Here are some mistakes that people make. To start with, most people don’t carry out an adequate background research, since you are quite aware that you will have to negotiate your salary, you need to get adequate information, it is your best ally, the more information you can get about the market value of your skills, the better you will be able to negotiate Furthermore, many people tend to be extremely emotional while negotiating, the fact is you are not pleading to geta salary increase, you are not requesting for pay raise, and you are not stamping your feet and giving deadlines; it is purely a business judgment supported by research. But many individuals tend to turn it extremely personal. Pay attention, if you happen to be a middle manager trying to land your first C-level employment. Well that you still have a mortgage, saving for your kid’s college and a car payment, and your financially tight this is not a reason to request for extra pay. And if you happen to be older and are preparing for buying a summer home you’ve probably got your original mortgage obligation or whatever doesn’t compel your company to pay you more. They will only pay you according to the value you provide them. Here are my suggestions and strategies so you can get our deserved remunerations. People need to get back to do their research work; the more time you have to do this, the better. Let me give you a quick instance, I was having a discussion with this lawyer who happens to be a public defender but moved to a private firm and was given a pay increase of $20,000, well that’s fantastic I said, it’s a good offer. Will you put in a counteroffer? But then she took a good look at me and was like; it seems you didn’t hear what I said; I’m getting extra $20,000! And that is not dependent on the present salary; I became very curious made some findings, I discovered that the take-home pay of an average public defender is $50,000; also, the salary paid by an average private firm is $80,000. Therefore, while she might have gotten a pay increase of $20,000, but she was still poorly paid, and the sad part is that some bigger firms and firms in big cities might pay as much as $160,000 which means people are missing out on thousands of dollars. One more strategy I’ll like to recommend is that when you are not given any specific figure, its better you allow them to quote a figure first. Therefore, if they request you to state your requirements, you may put it back to them by asking them the kind of budget they have in mind. And to my last final advice, when you are seeking a pay raise, I want to emphasize again that you need to be well-equipped with information, and you should take note of that, make a record of all your achievements. That doesn’t require you to subject your resumes to weekly updates but take special note of those occasions when you receive a commendation from your boss, take special note of when you successfully negotiated a massive deal, note when you agreed to new contract, take special note of when you were very popular, ensure you accurately outlined the figures and what new skills you can bring to the table when making request for that pay raise, and don’t just end it there, use PowerPoint and Excel to state your case, build a convincing and accurate portfolio of your work and display it on your tablet or laptop to allow you to easily access, pass an information across and make a lasting impression. The Basic Principles of Effective Salary Negotiations Three presuppositions of this principle are:
  • Labor is an intangible
  • Salary relates to the level of responsibility
  • Employees must make more money for the company than they cost.
How much am I worth? Is only what’s fair and competitive for the quantity and quality of work you contribute. And since your contributions can be greater or less than another person’s in that same job, what’s fair and competitive is not a fixed price, but a range. You should aim for the top of that range. When you examine your present compensation or look at a new salary, consider holding this attitude: When I’m paid the very best my skills can get in this company in this market, I’m fairly compensated. That’s the basic principle of effective salary negotiations. It helps ensure that both sides will be happy. Good negotiations, after all, are always win-win negotiations. You don’t have to sweat it out; you can use my great resource ‘Negotiating your Salary, How to Make $1,000 @ Minute.’ (PDF) Visit Please keep me in mind for full-time and consultative 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. Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com

Cliff Locks joins Angel Investor’s Network as a podcast host.

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 30, 2018 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Cliff Locks joins Angel Investor’s Network as a podcast host.

I interview Scot Hunsaker CEO of the Ardent Group in St. Louis and author of Heroic Ownership: Build You Team, Plan Your Exit, Create Your Legacy. Podcast Angel Investors Network Podcast with Cliff Locks Ardent Group helps business owners prepare for a healthy succession and teaches their employees how to think like owners. His new book is available on Amazon and will help ensure your business a sustainable legacy. Please keep me in mind for full-time and consultative 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.

PERSONAL BRANDING GETTING EASIER

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 23, 2018 at 10:07 am / In: Uncategorized

PERSONAL BRANDING GETTING EASIER

I enjoy being an innovative pacesetter. I’m very fortunate that I have six special advisers that are on the ground to keep me abreast of the latest developments and that means I can keep up with what is trending globally in my fields of interests, which I’ve listed and is part of my branding message. Branding and Social Media   ♦ Artificial Intelligence ♦ Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Immersive Technology ♦ Big Data ♦ Biotechnology and Nanotechnology ♦ Business Intelligence ♦ Composites ♦ Cybersecurity ♦ Fuel Cell Technology ♦ Internet of Things (IoT) ♦ SaaS Enterprise Software ♦ Sales and Marketing Growth Hacking ♦ Smart Grid and Battery Storage ♦ Social Media Software ♦ Supply Chain and Reverse Logistics You may be asking yourself what is personal branding. Let’s take a deeper dive, the majority of executives have given serious consideration to their brand, in fact, you may never thought you needed to pay attention to it. But the world has gone through a lot of changes, and we now have a high level of competition, and if we want to achieve success, we must stand out from the crowd. We have to distinguish ourselves and get ourselves established, and if we are going to achieve that, we need to have a brand and since people now know that branding is very important for their business. Therefore, imagine yourself in a social function where you have a chance of making acquaintances and developing new business partnerships, and you have a business card with your photo on it. When you give it to people, they will, of course, be pleasantly surprised as it much easier for you to be rememberable, right? Now think about adding your LinkedIn profile web address to make it easier to connect. In fact, to any information, you wish like your social media links. Therefore it’s a terrific way to refer people whatever you are offering. I’ve taken time to get educated and gain an incredibly deep understanding of social media. I believe the use of video is extremely hot right now, and it’s even getting hotter. An excellent way to get your message across to those who need to hear you by making use of videos. And think about it, you need to pass information to your boss, your team is scattered across the globe, and you must communicate with them, and you want to present yourself to people online beyond the written letters, how can you achieve this? Videos! It’s a powerful tool that enables you to be communicative completely; it enables you to bond emotionally with other people, it is far superior to your regular reviews, email messages and what have you. Therefore, it provides you a superior platform, and a means to be unique. Several individuals would say that videos make them uncomfortable, facing a camera makes them feel awkward; but we’re getting a lot more accustomed to it, right. We’re carrying out Skype and Zoom calls with colleagues and family, and so it’s a kind of desensitization; get yourself accustomed to it, you’ll be fantastic on video, and right now it is making all the difference. It’s time you have to come on board. Many thanks for viewing this blog. Please share with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to being your professional Advisor and Board Member and would enjoy working with you to enhance your leadership skills. Please click on the chat app on the lower right or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities for you and your company to achieve its goals

DO YOU DREAD NETWORKING?

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 2, 2018 at 10:02 am / In: Uncategorized

DO YOU DREAD NETWORKING?

Networking activities, they could be very unpleasant, right? And we imagine we’re the only one who always feels stressed about networking. Everybody appears to be familiar with somebody; everybody else has somebody to talk with. Should you stop attending company functions and seminars? Absolutely not! Careers are developed on connections, and when we interact with executives far from our office, environment, there is the opportunity to reenergize and become innovative. I teach you four strategies to get your networking considerably less unpleasant. Irrespective of your knowledge or position, most individuals hate networking, why should this be the case? Personally, I think, networking is extremely ambiguous. Therefore I will reveal to you the strategies that will assist you in making networking a lot more exciting experience for you. To start with, have a particular objective. Do you wish to connect with one individual, or possibly two or more people? Secondly, go with a friend. This will assist you to divide and defeat. What exactly do I mean by that? Surely, to start with, entering into the function is a lot more exciting and secondly, you may separate, and as you’re circulating and talk with people, you could introduce one another to the people you’ve met. Recommendation three, how exactly do you initiate a discussion? There exists an unwritten law that says when you notice two people discussing, you stay out of the way. It might be a confidential discussion. However, if you notice 3 or more people, move close to the company, create eye contact with somebody and put on a smile. Should they make eye contact and also smile back, that is certainly their nonverbal signal that it’s fine for you to join them. As soon as you join the party, introduce yourself and get involved in the discussion. Or else people would believe you’re only there to listen without making any useful contribution. Now how can you make a great discussion, honest discussion? Ask questions, for instance, ask people what brought them to that venue, ask them if they have attended that event on previous occasions and also the major reason why they are at the event. And suggestion number four, how can you get out of a discussion? Share company cards, ask the individual if it’s possible for you to get in touch with them at some future date or simply excuse yourself. Here is a bonus – number five, read ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People’: by Dale Carnegie, you’ll quickly enjoy these 12 points, which I’ll elaborate on.
  1. Get you out of a mental rut, give you new thoughts, new visions, new ambitions.
  2. Enable you to make friends quickly and easily.
  3. Increase your popularity.
  4. Help you to win people to your way of thinking.
  5. Increase your influence, your prestige, your ability to get things done.
  6. Enable you to win new clients, new customers.
  7. Increase your earning power.
  8. Make you a better salesman, a better executive.
  9. Help you to handle complaints, avoid arguments, keep your human contacts smooth and pleasant.
  10. Make you a better speaker, a more entertaining conversationalist.
  11. Make the principles of psychology easy for you to apply in your daily contacts.
  12. Help you to arouse enthusiasm among your associates.

Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain. Human nature does not like to admit fault. When people are criticized or humiliated, they rarely respond well and will often become defensive and resent their critic. To handle people well, we must never criticize, condemn or complain because it will never result in the behavior we desire.
  2. Give honest and sincere appreciation. Appreciation is one of the most powerful tools in the world. People will rarely work at their maximum potential under criticism, but honest appreciation brings out their best. Appreciation, though, is not simple flattery, it must be sincere, meaningful and with love.
  3. Arouse in the other person an eager want. To get what we want from another person, we must forget our own perspective and begin to see things from the point of view of others. When we can combine our desires with their wants, they become eager to work with us and we can mutually achieve our objectives.

Six Ways to Make People Like You

  1. Become genuinely interested in other people. “You can make more friends in two months by being interested in them, than in two years by making them interested in you.” The only way to make quality, lasting friendships is to learn to be genuinely interested in them and their interests.
  2. Smile. Happiness does not depend on outside circumstances, but rather on inward attitudes. Smiles are free to give and have an amazing ability to make others feel wonderful. Smile in everything that you do.
  3. Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language. “The average person is more interested in their own name than in all the other names in the world put together.” People love their names so much that they will often donate large amounts of money just to have a building named after themselves. We can make people feel extremely valued and important by remembering their name.
  4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves. The easiest way to become a good conversationalist is to become a good listener. To be a good listener, we must actually care about what people have to say. Many times people don’t want an entertaining conversation partner; they just want someone who will listen to them.
  5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest. The royal road to a person’s heart is to talk about the things he or she treasures most. If we talk to people about what they are interested in, they will feel valued and value us in return.
  6. Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely. The golden rule is to treat other people how we would like to be treated. We love to feel important and so does everyone else. People will talk to us for hours if we allow them to talk about themselves. If we can make people feel important in a sincere and appreciative way, then we will win all the friends we could ever dream of.

Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking

  1. The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it. Whenever we argue with someone, no matter if we win or lose the argument, we still lose. The other person will either feel humiliated or strengthened and will only seek to bolster their own position. We must try to avoid arguments whenever we can.
  2. Show respect for the other person’s opinions. Never say “You’re wrong.” We must never tell people flat out that they are wrong. It will only serve to offend them and insult their pride. No one likes to be humiliated, we must not be so blunt.
  3. If you’re wrong, admit it quickly and emphatically. Whenever we are wrong we should admit it immediately. When we fight we never get enough, but by yielding we often get more than we expected. When we admit that we are wrong people trust us and begin to sympathize with our way of thinking.
  4. Begin in a friendly way. “A drop of honey can catch more flies than a gallon of gall.” If we begin our interactions with others in a friendly way, people will be more receptive. Even if we are greatly upset, we must be friendly to influence people to our way of thinking.
  5. Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes. Do not begin by emphasizing the aspects in which we and the other person differ. Begin by emphasizing and continue emphasizing the things on which we agree. People must be started in the affirmative direction and they will often follow readily. Never tell someone they are wrong, but rather lead them where we would like them to go with questions that they will answer “yes” to.
  6. Let the other person do a great deal of the talking. People do not like listening to us boast, they enjoy doing the talking themselves. Let them rationalize and talk about the idea, because it will taste much sweeter to them in their own mouth.
  7. Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers. People inherently like ideas they come to on their own better than those that are handed to them on a platter. Ideas can best be carried out by allowing others to think they arrived at it themselves.
  8. Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view. Other people may often be wrong, but we cannot condemn them. We must seek to understand them. Success in dealing with people requires a sympathetic grasp of the other person’s viewpoint.
  9. Be sympathetic with the other person’s ideas and desires. People are hungering for sympathy. They want us to recognize all that they desire and feel. If we can sympathize with others, they will appreciate our side as well and will often come around to our way of thinking.
  10. Appeal to the nobler motives. Everyone likes to be glorious in their own eyes. People believe that they do things for noble and morally upright reasons. If we can appeal to others’ noble motives we can successfully convince them to follow our ideas.
  11. Dramatize your ideas. In this fast paced world, simply stating a truth isn’t enough. The truth must be made vivid, interesting, and dramatic. Television has been doing it for years. Sometimes ideas are not enough and we must dramatize them.
  12. Throw down a challenge. The thing that most motivates people is the game. Everyone desires to excel and prove their worth. If we want someone to do something, we must give them a challenge and they will often rise to meet it.

Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

  1. Begin with praise and honest appreciation. People will do things begrudgingly for criticism and an iron-fisted leader, but they will work wonders when they are praised and appreciated.
  2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly. No one likes to make mistakes, especially in front of others. Scolding and blaming only serves to humiliate. If we subtly and indirectly show people mistakes, they will appreciate us and be more likely to improve.
  3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person. When something goes wrong, taking responsibility can help win others to your side. People do not like to shoulder all the blame and taking credit for mistakes helps to remove the sting from our critiques of others.
  4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders. No one likes to take orders. If we offer suggestions, rather than orders, it will boost others confidence and allow them to learn quickly from their mistakes.
  5. Let the other person save face. Nothing diminishes the dignity of a man quite like an insult to his pride. If we don’t condemn our employees in front of others and allow them to save face, they will be motivated to do better in the future and confident that they can.
  6. Praise every improvement. People love to receive praise and admiration. If we truly want someone to improve at something, we must praise their every advance. “Abilities wither under criticism, they blossom under encouragement.”
  7. Give the other person a fine reputation to live up to. If we give people a great reputation to live up to, they will desire to embody the characteristics with which we have described them. People will work with vigor and confidence if they believe they can be better.
  8. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct. If a desired outcome seems like a momentous task, people will give up and lose heart. But if a fault seems easy to correct, they will readily jump at the opportunity to improve. If we frame objectives as small and easy improvements, we will see dramatic increases in desire and success in our employees.
  9. Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest. People will most often respond well when they desire to do the behavior put forth. If we want to influence people and become effective leaders, we must learn to frame our desires in terms of others’ desires.
Many thanks for viewing this blog. Please share with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to being your professional Advisor and Board Member and would enjoy working with you to enhance your leadership skills. Please click on the chat app on the lower right or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities for you and your company to achieve its goals.

2 WORDS THAT GUARANTEE SUCCESS

Posted by Cliff Locks On April 25, 2018 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

2 WORDS THAT GUARANTEE SUCCESS

What is really a word? Clearly, a word means a whole lot. Just one word can be so potent that it can either make or mar your day. Let’s explore together the right words we can make use of with our teams and clients and those we should refrain from using in our working place. Let’s begin by giving you an instance of just how potent or effective our words could become. A basic word such as “hopefully” or ‘try” tends to really disturb the receivers thinking system. Consequently, if you tell me ‘I hope we will see’ or hopefully, I’m going to be present, or I’ll try to be available, the truth is, I don’t have the slightest idea if you will or won’t be available, and this brings about anxiety. There are specific words we must completely avoid making use of at our workplace. When a colleague didn’t finish a task assigned to them they probably tell you ‘I was really busy I’m sorry’ well that is not a really tenable excuse, because you know that they are not the only one busy, in fact, the whole office is. At times you may hear, ‘I never realized that it was part of my duty’. As a senior executive you’re probably thinking, when I assign it to you it is part of your responsibility.  The team member may say “oh I’m really sorry, but I forget, how many times as one of the company’s leaders you’re thinking, maybe I should forget to pay you as well. You can see this needs a positive and solid resolution, to avoid losing faith in a team member. Are there any particular words that bosses appreciate hearing? Yes, you should always remember these two words, ‘no problem’. Your boss might be really stressed when he request you to carry out a task; it could be something achievable or something unrealistic, just say no problem at that moment and then find a way to negotiate later, saying no problem lessens the anxiety and stress of the moment. Here are some additional amazing words we can use: Other words which can serve as a backup to ‘no problem,’ they include: ‘I’ll handle it,’ ‘I know just how you feel’ ‘of course’ these are great words you can use to interact with your senior team members and teach your subordinates. Many thanks for viewing this blog. Please share with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to being your professional Advisor and Board Member and would enjoy working with you to enhance your leadership skills. Please click on the chat app on the lower right or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities for you and your company to achieve its goals.

THE LAW OF SELLING: NEVER LOWER YOUR PRICE

Posted by Cliff Locks On April 18, 2018 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

THE LAW OF SELLING: NEVER LOWER YOUR PRICE

Every one of us has one aspect of our job we would rather not get involved in, for some it’s selling. As far as selling is concerned, what’s the first mistake common to many of us? The first selling mistake commonly made by many professionals is that they don’t ask enough questions to allow the customer, to help define the customers’ needs and become the first choice of the buyer. When you are operating in a professional sales market or product to a product sale, you are up against extremely competent opponents, and you want to ensure that you are their preferred solution choice. How do you become the preferred choice for the buyer? This is achieved by lessening the risk of the buyer; well risks are in two dimensions, personal risk, and business risk. Well, you want to lessen the level of both risks and emerge as the buyer’s preferred choice. And we can discover from our customers if we are their preferred choice or not by asking them; if not for the price, would we still be your preferred choice? This is followed by a very important question “why?” yes, because if a customer confides in you the reasons you are his preferred choice, he already established in his mind the value you adding to him and it enables you to know why as well as understand why you are qualified to charge a premium price for your product. I recommend that we should not reduce our price. Yes, I do understand that customers are constantly asking for discounts. You may be asking yourself is there a way out? This is an important topic, and it is something you should expect that the buyer will ask for, it is very normal, particularly under this type of economic condition. So, the topmost thing you need to do first is to re-establish that you are the preferred choice of the buyer. Next to that is to really recognize the value you provide. If you have no idea of the kind of value you provide, you’ll always be intransigent and defensive. Furthermore, you should prepare yourself ahead because you are going to get crushed, you have to anticipate it, you have to be aware of what you are up against and prepared to tackle it head-on. And as a matter of fact, you may get to this stage where they crushed it, and you will be like, bring it on, you already crushed me once, twice thrice, I’m ready to protect myself against any crushed, consequently, it is something you want to look forward to and anticipate. Never give without getting; let me clarify what is. Having a generous attitude and rendering excellent service to your clients is certainly one of the factors that will ensure your success as a sales professional and talented entrepreneur, and more importantly your negotiation skills, making business deals while still retaining your generosity, you also should give your customers that opportunity to show some generosity as well. And they might call you up, we are sure you wouldn’t mind arranging an additional meeting with us, your response could be; well that’s just fantastic, it would be great to meet with another team member in the company that would gain something from my services and maybe might referred me to another individual or be a reference and let it be a seed sown for the future. You are sowing quite a lot of seed for the future, and you should afford them this opportunity too. In return, this will allow you to realize how crucial your service is. Here is an example there was this client that needed a special report which would take me 3 hours of my time. Well, this is an age where everybody is time conscious, and so when they asked if I help you with this report, can you please link me up with this CFO/COO senior executive? And they concluded that it is not that important. Therefore, it enables you to evaluate or find means of determining the worth or value of something. Consequently, 2 to 3 hours of your day is crucial, and it comes with so much stress, hard work and productivity and any other thing that comes with it, and they didn’t consider it important enough to refer you up. Therefore, it allows you to evaluate and determine those things that are essential and those that are not. Following these suggestions, you’ll improve your chance of winning the negotiation. And there won’t be any need for us to offer discounts while we developed awesome relationships with our customers. Many thanks for viewing this blog. Please share with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to being your professional Advisor and Board Member and would enjoy working with you to enhance your leadership skills. Please click on the chat app on the lower right or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks together to help enhance leadership skills.

HR: IS YOUR DIVERSITY PROGRAM A NOD OR A KNOCKOUT?

Posted by Cliff Locks On April 4, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

HR: IS YOUR DIVERSITY PROGRAM A NOD OR A KNOCKOUT?

In all my years, I have never come across anyone who does not cherish diversity. As a matter of fact, many of us do. Diversity has to do with being fair. Different employees assist us to interact with an extensive customer base and based on research, diversity is connected with business success. As an Executive and Board of Director, I’ve experienced many diversity plans in organizations. A few are just made to be in line with the trending culture. However, many others are genuinely switching practices and impacting the profit. I will discuss four things organizations are doing, to ensure that diversity programs really have an effect. In order to make diversity program successful, begin with sponsorship. While initiating sponsorship programs, organizations match superior leaders or supports with junior women or those in minority to assistance and support for them. The success of those being sponsored is based on the assessment of the senior. Collaboration, in successful diversity programs, the obligation is distributed between a skill or diversity head and a substantial potential business manager. This collaboration conveys the significance of diversity at work. Education, leaders must realize that there are certain typical behavioral distinctions between males and females. For example, females might not aspire for post in which they do not consider themselves to be 100% qualified in the job’ specifications. On the contrary, men will most times feel more assured making that jump even though they’re not completely professional. Leaders need to realize that when a job is available, there are several candidates out there that could be suitable for the position. Flexibility, organizations that adopt adjustable work plans and appreciate professions with different abilities see the value in their employees. When critically analyzed from different perspectives, we come to the conclusion that diversity programs really enhance growth. Many thanks for viewing this blog. Please share with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to being your professional Advisor and Board Member and would enjoy working with you to enhance your leadership skills. Please click on the chat app on the lower right or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities for you and your company to achieve its goals.

ATTENTION MULTITASKERS

Posted by Cliff Locks On March 28, 2018 at 10:03 am / In: Uncategorized

ATTENTION MULTITASKERS

While you are reading this blog, what other thing are you thinking about or working on? Probably you are busy with some documents or maybe checking your message. Possibly you have numerous streams of digital information staring right at you. Please pay attention multi-taskers! That is if I can get you to concentrate; based on the most recent neuroscience study from Stanford, the further you multitask, the more your brain is suffers. The further you multitask, the more difficult it is to prevent disturbances. The further you multitask, the tougher it is to concentrate on a specific thing and the further you multitask, the more challenging it is to get anything accomplished. You will discover a couple of simple strategies to assist you achieved the optimum function for your brain at the workplace. In order to make your brain concentrate, the first thing you need to do is to have a task list of what you intend to accomplish for the day and organized these tasks in a manner you will find sensible. After that, stop yourself from that obsessive habit of email checking. Rather than looking at your messages always, check them on a predetermined schedule and disable that minute beep which signals that a new message has arrived. Last but not the least, any time you have to multi task, ensure that you do match those activities properly. This means that if you are making a rather long and tiresome conference call, certainly it’s alright to look at your message; but when you’re speaking with your superior, never check your phone. Furthermore, do not combine critically essential activities, any time have to multi-task. Something I can guarantee you is that by doing fewer task at any specific time, you will achieve more. Many thanks for viewing this blog. Please share with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to being your professional Advisor and Board Member and would enjoy working with you to enhance your leadership skills. Please click on the chat app on the lower right or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks, so we can together to enhance your leadership skills.

EXACTLY WHY VACATION IS GREAT FOR THE BOTTOM-LINE

Posted by Cliff Locks On March 21, 2018 at 10:01 am / In: Uncategorized

EXACTLY WHY VACATION IS GREAT FOR THE BOTTOM-LINE

Going on vacation can really make a great influence on your team and your wellness. As a matter of fact, in one research, it was discovered that for each extra 10 hours of vacation time spent, their performance and profitability at the end of the year was discovered to have increased by 8%. It was the start of Spring yesterday March 20th and it’s undoubtedly the time to plan your vacations. I wish you a wonderful vacation and well-deserved rejuvenation and tranquility. During one of my vacations, I MindMap a new division for my company, AutoExpo which is now http://www.motortrend.com/auto-shows/, this added millions of dollars of value to my company, increasing EBITDA and the profitable exit. Many thanks for viewing this blog. Please share with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to being your professional Advisor and Board Member and would enjoy working with you to enhance your leadership skills. Please click on the chat app on the lower right or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities for you and your company to achieve its goals.

IS WORKING KILLING YOU

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 28, 2018 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

IS WORKING KILLING YOU

During this cold winter, where I have spent the better part of my time staying glue to my desk, I observed some stiffness in my back. Sitting down for a long period of time is not good for anyone of us. Sitting down has long been associated with high cholesterol levels, hypertension, diabetes as well as spinal disc injury. In a study of 220,000 people which was published in the annals of internal medicine, individuals that sat down for up to 8 hours daily had a 15% higher possibility of dying within 3 years compare to those people who sat down for just 4 hours. Sitting down is really harming us. I am a trained certified EMT; prior to resigning from your job or before subjecting yourself to this appalling reality, allow me to provide you with 3 suggestions that will assist you to protect your health at work. Let’s begin with the most apparent remedy to sitting down, be active. Hourly, have a little stretch out or take a stroll for a couple of minutes. You might consider going along with a colleague or friend for your stroll, you can even have a business discussion while strolling. Next thing you can do is to always sit down on a wobbly object. Sitting down on a training ball or chair without a back compels your important muscles to be active; this ensures your sitting down is less docile and much more proactive. Finally, try an alternate table. Standing tables are very much trendy now majority of the standing tables are adjustable, and you can elevate them if you wish to stand up or decrease them if you wish to sit down. If you observed that sitting down is causing you more harm than good, then, it is time for you to get up walk. Many thanks for viewing this blog. Please share with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to being your professional Advisor and Board Member and would enjoy working with you to enhance your leadership skills. Please click on the chat app on the lower right or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities for you and your company to achieve its goals.

BE A GAME-CHANGER

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 7, 2018 at 10:19 am / In: Uncategorized

BE A GAME-CHANGER

Mike Webster who played football for Pittsburgh Steelers and died when he was 50 years old was discovered by a Nigerian forensic pathologist Dr. Omalu to have an extremely traumatized brain resulting from many years of playing football. Of course, Dr. Omalu, the forensic expert had no idea of what game of football is all about, but that didn’t discourage him, did the NFL doubted his integrity? Certainly not! However did he assisted in transforming the game’s regulations and avert potential head trauma? Certainly yes! Dr. Omalu happens to be someone we can regard as an honest outsider, most of you are only honestly insiders, it is not uncommon that you also have a burning desire to bring about changes in how the game is being played, in this instance the office game. I’m a professional Advisor and Board Member., and this blog will teach you some strategies you can applied in order to become an agent of change in your office. Everybody has the capacity to become an agent of change, including you. Below are three suggestions you can put to use. To begin with, engage someone you regard as an honest outsider. This person can be an Advisor and Board Member., a consultant or an expert on a given subject. The person must be someone who will look you squarely in the face and give you his honest opinion about what has been happening with a bit of consideration. Also, be in partnership with an influential figure from inside, a respected individual that the organization considers as being trustworthy since such individuals prioritize the interest of the organization. Conclusively, teach your leaders to be good listeners. The kind of leaders who will involve the people in the organization, not those that will be preoccupied with making sure that nothing changes.  Individuals that will say thank you instead of yes-but.  Those are the ones that will make wonderful partner with you as an agent of change. All you need is a little assistance from an honest outsider and some form of assistance from a powerful insider, then you are on your way to becoming the agent of change that every organization appreciates. Many thanks for viewing this blog. Please share with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to being your professional Advisor and Board Member and would enjoy working with you to enhance your leadership skills. Please click on the chat app on the lower right or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities for you and your company to achieve its goals.

BE MINDFUL OF SECONDARY STRESS

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 31, 2018 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

BE MINDFUL OF SECONDARY STRESS

You have gotten your stress in check, right? Haven’t you? You may possibly have your unique way of managing it. Probably you get involved in yoga, or maybe breathe in and out until you are able to count 10 mindfully, perhaps you even reflect; however have you considered secondary stress? Secondary stress is the one you receive from the individuals surrounding you. You receive it from the individuals that are hurrying hysterically, from the folks munching down their sandwich at lunch time. You receive secondary stress from the folks tailing you on the interstate as well as from those who are continuously complaining about how occupied they are. Stress is infectious. As a matter of fact the foremost stress control specialist, Jordan Friedman states “Secondary stress influences a lot more individuals in secondary smoke.” Is it possible for secondary stress to be messing up your job?  Moreover, is there something you could do regarding it? Certainly there is, continue watching. Below are three suggestions to shield you from the harm of secondary stress. To start with, stay clear of it. To minimize secondary stress, stay away from circumstances in which there’s a great deal of it; tiring traffic, busy streets, lengthy lines and what have you. Next, control it. To shield yourself from secondary stress, get a five-minute escape every hour at the workplace. You could move around or you can simply take your hands of the away from the keyboard, shut your eyes and inhale deeply. And in conclusion, don’t stress yourself more than necessary, be calm when reacting to minor Keep your reactions to minor angers. No swearing, no yelling. And when you are confronted with a big calamity at the workplace, communicate perfectly, instead of being too harshly and make it a practice to constantly highlight the positive. Stress lead to secondary stress. However calmness produces secondary calmness. Many thanks for viewing my blog. If you happen to know anybody suffering from secondary stress, kindly share this blog post with them. You can click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

You Too Can Have A Stroke Of Genius

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 24, 2018 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

You Too Can Have A Stroke Of Genius

Have you at any time felt as though you don’t have the needed creative answer within you? Possibly you have been working on a very difficult path and the answers aren’t just coming? Probably you are seeking to put together an idea, smart idea for a client or a talk with your team and you can’t seem to be making any headway. Probably you’re seeking a innovative plan or motivational speech for your company and you feel a little disconcerting. I’ve had the experience as well, but sometimes I get out of bed in the morning and before I even set my feet on the floor, I instantly have an idea or a solution to an issue I’ve been attempting to fix. Evidently, your brain is at its most creative level just after you relax or rest; like just after you’ve slept. I’m a professional trainer and in this blog, I will teach you the ideas which will ensure that you will have a flash of genius even, if you have no time to get some sleep. To acquire that flicker of genius, let your brain rest. Let’s begin with the apparent one, sleep. Always have more sleep at night, if you do sleep for less than 7 hours, try to sleep for longer hours at night, less than 7 hours of sleep is an indication that you are not having adequate night sleep and you will not be able to think clearly. Therefore, your priority is to make sure that you have more hours to sleep at night. Disconnect yourself from modern technology from time to time. There is a reason that organizations like Google, known for advancement has table tennis at the workplace. This is to enable the brain to relax and refresh. Go for a walk. Try not to take lunch at your desk. Go for a walk and if possible do it outdoors. Research indicates that going for walks truly enhances the neuro cell connection development in your brain. Splitting up the intense work with a few rests in between is an important suggestion. Therefore, you’re confused, get your imaginative juices running by giving your brain a resting period. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Ditch Your 2018 Smart Goals

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 17, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Ditch Your 2018 Smart Goals

I’m going to commit a corporate profanation right now in this blog and this is it, I really hate the word “smart goals”. You might have got to know about it probably from one of the professional development trainers in your office. They often tell you to have smart goals, what does that mean? S means Specific M means Measurable, A means Accountable R means Relevant or Reliable, T means timely or Time bound. In all honesty, how many of you have tried out these five criteria in a different environment apart from a corporate setting? It is really intricate. Let’s stick with the basics and concentrate on achieving our goals and not just setting them. It is the moment to enhance your goal. First step: Consider the numbers. What is the number in regards to new clients acquisition and reduced churn? How much will this equate into increased revenue? Second step: Note it down, have it written down and post it in a place that you can easily see it every day. Third Step: Be responsible and seek assistance from your team, advisors and your board. When you are focused and approach things simply, you will get your goals accomplished. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.  

An Easier Way To Succeed In 2018

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 10, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

An Easier Way To Succeed In 2018

Achieving more success usually seems like a great deal of work. On a daily basis, there is always a new book I come across having a three-point approach, a five-point approach, or ten proven ways to make progress at work. Now if you resemble me in any manner, number one, you are way behind in your reading and number two, you are very much still enthusiastic for additional success this year. I’ve uncovered a lazy approach to be successful and supported by research, no books, and no tricks. You will really like just how simple it truly is to be successful this year. All of us take great pride in ourselves on how special we are, however research reveals that we are who we are mainly because of the type of people around us . Those around us impact our actions beyond what we can even imagine. Consider it in this way; if you want to drop 10 lbs. this year, do you suppose you’re very likely to shed it if you are associating with your best pal who also wishes to shake off 10 lbs. or with a new guy that has actually succeeded in losing 10, and possibly 15 lbs. Research reveals that the biggest impact on our conduct and our professional achievements is people we associated with. So, what exactly is the lazy approach to transform your life this year? It’s easy, spend time with the people you wish to become like. Below are 3 suggestions to assist you achieving that. 1) Pick a senior colleague to have lunch with; somebody at the workplace that you esteem. 2) Create a new friend from somebody, an individual you’ve been appreciating from a distance for some time. 3) Be part of a group that is already doing something you want to do as participating in a group will certainly make things simpler to accomplish. And when you’re being lazy and creating positive transformations in your life this year, realize that any decision you make; regardless if it’s on working smarter, becoming more fit or voting intelligently will have a ripple and influence hundreds and possibly thousands of people. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Ditch The Resolutions

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 27, 2017 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Ditch The Resolutions

This past year, did you make any New Year’s decision or resolution? Were you able to fulfill it? I mean seriously stand by it for the full year? If you were able to keep your resolution, well done, since you succeeded in defying a very difficult reality as far as making resolutions is concerned. New Year’s resolutions have relatively great chances for failure and it’s not surprising, we have a tendency to make these huge hairy audacious resolutions and we neglect to prepare the required support we need to stick to them constantly for the whole year. This year, dump the resolutions; rather take action that research shows will make you happier in 2017. Studies have discovered little things that we could accomplish conveniently. Things that truly illuminate the happiness centers in our brain, I’m going to break the rules, in respect of 2018, I have chosen 16 things that you could pick from to ensure a satisfaction boost. I decided on that many because I want to ensure there is one or more that resounds with you individually. Don’t be anxious; I will go through every one of them in a moment and just, so you understand, I have selected number 9 as the most important that will make me happier in 2017. I want to know which one you choose to make you happier. Here we go 16 modest things that will cause you to be happier in 2018. Number 1: be inquisitive. Ask many questions. It is the first skill to improve your network. Number 2: be on your own. Everybody requires some periods of tranquility, Create out some me moment to experience happiness and become effective. Number 3: clean up your desk. Get rid of the piles, put something attractive on your desk, and allow it to become a spot in which you delight in spending time. Number 4: give assistance to somebody. Give your assistance to a person that really needs it but may not have asked you. Number 5: eat healthier. Take a Greek yogurt rather than a donut, a fruit rather than a cookie, water rather than soda. Number 6: be a student. Discover a new challenge, it is going to rejuvenate your brain and make you feel even more proficient. Number 7: show appreciation openly. Say it many times daily and allow other people hear. Number 8: say your thanks silently. Each day take a peaceful time to be grateful for a good thing in your life. Number 9: communicate with your family. Give a call to your folks or siblings or somebody important in your life that requires your attention. Number 10: take a chance. Attempt something new or maybe something even frightening. Number 11: move around more, look for excuses to escape from your desk, use the stairs rather than the elevator. Number 12: do little acts of kindness; help someone with a cup of coffee, help someone open the elevator door; assist someone with a suitcase on the subway staircases. Number 13: endorse someone on LinkedIn. You don’t have to wait until you are asked, do it your own volition. Number 14: donate your money to a good cause. If there is a cause that is really important to you, spend your money on it. Number 15: give someone a gift. According to psychologists, we are often happier when we give someone a gift than we are mainly concerned about ourselves. And number 16: Laugh; the more you laugh, the happier you will become. Wishing you a wonderful holidays and a great year ahead! Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Executive Testing Overdose

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 20, 2017 at 10:05 am / In: Uncategorized

Executive Testing Overdose

  Every one of us concur that it is extremely vital to have an idea of what others think of us in our place of work, and this is the more reason why evaluations, often known as multi-raters or 360 have grown widespread as well as commercialized. However, my question is; can taking numerous 360 or multi meter evaluations hamper, instead of assistance the executives? I was in this executive office the other day when he opened this file drawer, and right inside were about 15 or probably 20 evaluations. These include but not limited to DISK, EQ, MBTI, leadership efficacy, competencies, strengths, half brain, whole brain, social status and whatever you can imagine, everything was there. I’m quite familiar with the majority of these tools. As a professional Advisor and Board Member. However, the problem is that you can’t find any multi rater evaluation online that really links to a professional accomplishment. I will be discussing 3 factors that make evaluations harmful in this blog, pay attention to the third factor; it is the most important of all. Our executives might not be achieving any success with multi rater evaluation. What could be the reason? The number factor is that it doesn’t have any objective or goal, so then what’s the need? If you visit your physician for your annual checkup, if your doctor decides to conduct extensive tests including a sonogram and an MRI, of course you will be wondering what the doctor is up to. Same is applicable to evaluations in the office. Most of the times, evaluations are conducted without any specific objective or aim. And without objective, it is definitely the wrong evaluation for the executive. Secondly, multi rater evaluations are demanding on your company. Let’s briefly consider the time cost; whenever one executive conducts an evaluation, at least 12 people spend about half an hour to conclude it. Now just 12 multiply individuals by 30 minutes, multiply by their hourly charges multiply every professional in the organization that have been involved in a leadership program, multiply by the number of leadership training just one professional will have to attend in in his lifetime and we will be dealing with a huge cost that is not in any way commensurate with the gains. Finally, evaluations have a brief lifespan. Usually following an evaluation, there is no or little feedback and in any case there isn’t any follow-up. Though there could be about a 20-minute somewhat discussion of the outcome, but then, the evaluation is put in the drawer, there it stays permanently with its colleagues and hardly surfaces again. What then is my recommendation? As a professional Advisor and Board Member, I have a feasible and extremely effective strategy to assist my clients to become conscious of how people perceive them in the workplace. To start with, I will never make use of a web based broad based multi rater evaluation except feedback is required in certain sections and I’m able to get an evaluation that matches the specific section for consideration. For instance, I could utilize an executive availability index or a private branding evaluation. Then I carried out an interview based, directed 360 where I can directly know more about the strengths of my client, the opportunities and also from their seniors, colleagues, and direct subordinates. All my questions are always kept open ended, allowing the team member to fully express him/herself. My clients always appreciate the unique and personal feedback I generate using this method. In conclusion, I utilize the information to assist my client generate a useful goal that can improve their leadership influence. Thereafter we can work jointly to develop an action plan that commensurate with enduring success. Of course, it is extremely important to learn all that I can about my client; however, evaluations must be utilized intelligently to get the best results. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Lessons From The Empty Nest

Posted by Cliff Locks On at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Lessons From The Empty Nest

Certainly, my nest has become empty. It provides me lots of moment for reflection. I’ve invested the past 20 years, accomplishing mainly two things; nurturing children and guiding executive leaders. And I’ve discovered that raising children and management both possess similar characteristics. Today I will share with you my four best lessons from nurturing 3 wonderful children. This advice is effective for parents and managers alike and ensure you view it until the very end where share a very personal matter. Below are my best advices for nurturing wonderful children or dealing with fabulous team members. Advice number one, always be happy on your own. Being parents that we are, most times, we are so focused on the happiness of our children, however if you desire happy children, you need to be happy on your own. Children do not need moms and dads who are burned out and distressed or dull and neither do your co-workers. Therefore, look after yourself, have adequate sleep, eat healthy and balanced, exercise regularly and ensure to find the time to go after your own passions and hobbies. Advice number 2, grant freedom. Allow your children to have a voice, while they are still small allow them to choose their own interests and guide develop their routines and as they mature assign duties to them, whether it’s for carrying out washing or making lunches or emptying the dish washing machine. It will not take much time before they will carry out activities like scheduling their own doctor sessions and taking care of their personal finances. And when you are in your place of work, apply the same rules, learn to let go and assign duties in order to develop your skills. Advice numbers 3, express your thoughts. Communicate with your children, have dinners or maybe take a walk and think about having a family time set apart for “no technology”. Allow your children to express themselves, more importantly; ask for what they think about some issues. When it comes to the place of work, the same is applicable. Advice numbers 4, love, on daily basis show love and be affectionate with your children. Obviously, at your place of work, we exchange public display of affection (PDA) with – public displays of appreciation (PDA) therefore involve, love and empower. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Everybody Wants More Of It

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 13, 2017 at 10:03 am / In: Uncategorized

Everybody Wants More Of It

What exactly is the topmost thing that all CEO desires? The most important thing that every executive I have met desires is time. A longer time to work; extra time to sleep; a longer time to exercise; and more time to spend with loved ones. Nowadays work is 24/7 activity, it’s so tiresome and usually there’s no end in view. If your to-do list is unmanageable or is dominating your life, I have some helpful suggestions for you. Time is not just a precious resource; it is also a scarce resource. Therefore, similar to any scarce resource, you simply cannot misuse it, you need to manage it. Scheduling how your time need to be used enhances the possibility that you’ll use it wisely, in this area, it’s your calendar that’s your greatest companion. Accordingly I have three solid calendar suggestions for you. Calendar suggestion number 1: Plan valuable time. Valuable time indicates something which you cherish, it might be moment with your loved ones, your time to exercise, time to ponder and study. Begin by marking out important time on your calendar. Then fill it in with your best color and never allow anybody play with it. Calendar suggestion number 2: Plan your energy consuming work during times of high energy and low-energy consuming work during times of low energy. It appears so clear, doesn’t it? However it’s remarkable how often we misuse time, performing mindless works when our brains are prepared for serious work. Finally, my lowest effective clients, they look at their message the entire day and they become fully distracted. My most productive clients, they begin their day with the 30 minute e-mail check, and then they log off. They shut it down for some hours when they perform brain challenging work. I also have clients that use their talented Admin to handle their inbox, make time to meet during the day for items needing clarity. Calendar suggestion number 3: Each morning I first ask, what exactly are the three major things I need to do today? Jot them down, I love to jot them on a little yellowish paper and place it on my laptop. After that look at your calendar, in the event that these three items are not present on your calendar, plan them right away prior to you even beginning your day. If you end up complaining about getting so occupied you may need to have a look at your calendar and ask, does my calendar represent my values and personal preferences? Am I controlling my most scarce resource, time, as efficiently as possible? If you are not satisfied with the response, not to worry worries; it’s actually time to calendar more purposefully. I’m a professional Advisor and Board Member; let’s work together and enhance your leadership potential. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly forwarding it, posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Creating Exponential Growth At Your Company

Posted by Cliff Locks On December 6, 2017 at 7:04 pm / In: Uncategorized

Creating Exponential Growth At Your Company

 

We are local and linear thinkers in a global and exponential world.

Our biggest challenge as executives and entrepreneurs is to retrain our linear brains and project exponentially.

This isn’t easy… but it directly affects your ability to do big, bold things.

You are probably asking, what exponential growth actually looks like, and the radical power it can have.

Here’s the overview…

Our brain is excellent at extrapolating linearly.

It’s easy to predict where you’ll end up after 30 linear steps (30 meters away).

But if I asked you to predict where you’ll be in 30 exponential steps — where an exponential is a simple doubling… 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and so on — it gets harder.

In 30 exponential steps you’ll be a billion meters away – put differently, you’ll circumnavigate the Earth 26 times!

Predicting exponential growth is not intuitive.

It’s probably worth memorizing the following:

  • Double something 10 times, you get ~1,000x
  • Double something 20 times, you get ~1 million-fold increase
  • Double something 30 times, you get ~1 billion-fold increase

Entrepreneurs who understand the power of exponential growth, and can hop onto an exponential growth curve, can benefit significantly where others do not.

Let’s close with a fun experiment… Ask a friend or colleague, consider giving them the following choice:

Option #1: Offer them $1 a day for the next 30 days.

Option #2: Offer them a penny on the first day, two cents on the second day, four cents on the third day, and so on.

Chances are, they take the first option.

$30 isn’t bad for zero work.

But if they took the second offer, what started out with a penny would result in $10 million on the final day.

Now we’re talking!

Remember these numbers and how vital it is to recognize exponential growth.

The same forces that enabled the fall of Kodak and the rise of Facebook can also lead to your next 100 Million Dollar opportunity.

I am interested in serving you as Board Member or work with you as an Advisor. I am a professional, easy to work with, always understanding of your vision and the big picture, and ready to pitch in to help you in ways that are appropriate.

Contact me for your no-obligation discussion. Schedule a call at: www.calendly.com/clifflocks.

Please buy Bold – How to Go Big, Make Bank, and Better the World By: Peter H. Diamandis (Audio), we can work on this together. http://adbl.co/2kjPS97

 

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

Three Ways To In Inspire Yourself

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 28, 2017 at 9:16 am / In: Uncategorized

Three Ways To In Inspire Yourself

What exactly inspires you? What really inspires the people under your supervision? The number one thing that one will think about is money or positions. They are what we refer to as extrinsic rewards. The trouble with extrinsic rewards is; they are completely not within our control; therefore, we cannot rely on them for inspiration. There can be something different that inspires us. It is that idea we get all energized about, it’s the thing that is important within us; an intrinsic reward. In this brief blog post, I will let you know about three intrinsic rewards and ways you can take advantage of them to inspire not just yourself but other people under your control as well as every other person you manage. In his well-known book “Drive” the writer Daniel Pink identifies the major three intrinsic inspiration; autonomy, mastery, and purpose or simply put AMP. Let’s begin with autonomy. Autonomy is an opportunity to get things done the way you want; nobody likes an interfering boss. When you’re responsible for something, you become inspired. Therefore, seek for places in which you will have the privilege of being in charge, to get it done the way you want. In case you supervise other people, seek the chance to allow them to have some freedom The following one is mastery; mastery is a chance to make improvements in something. While you’re developing, you become inspired. Therefore, if your job is not very interesting, seek an opportunity somewhere else to gain knowledge or experience something different at the job. You may think about volunteering for a team or enrolling some form of training. The third idea that inspires us is purpose. Having purpose signifies you feel you are making contributions in a useful manner. However, it’s this third one purpose that appears to confuse most of us. Since many of us have different jobs and we’re not saving the world daily. To identify a purpose that inspires you, take some moment to analyze both of these two relevant questions. 1. What type of association do you discover to be satisfying and essential to your success? 2. When do you make an influence that is actually important to you? Thinking about these questions can assist you to uncover your purpose. Once you’re encouraged, occupied and contented, you will become inspired and in similar manner, once you empower, involve and please your team members, they likewise will become inspired. Therefore, AMP it up, autonomy, mastery, and purpose in your life as well as in everyday life of everyone close to you. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, or use this link to schedule a call www.calendly.com/clifflocks so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Asking Questions Will Allow You To Become A Better Executive To Your Team

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 21, 2017 at 2:58 pm / In: Uncategorized

Asking Questions Will Allow You To Become A Better Executive To Your Team

Learn the questions to ask that will ensure you’ll be a better business coach to your team. I can help you to become a better mentor to your employees, in terms of helping people deal with strategic issues. Watch this video prior to your annual employee reviews. You’ll find positive improvements! Visit: www.InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com Schedule a Call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

#1 HABIT OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 11, 2017 at 10:53 pm / In: Uncategorized

#1 HABIT OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

When it gets to certain stage in your career, it is not uncommon for you to hear about the kinds of habits displayed by successful people. Generally, these kinds of habits are many and comprise the newest ranging from the best attitudes in networking to focus. The best ten are generally clever in all honesty, and they are really lot more difficult than they seemed and many people have not been able to gain a mastery of them. Today I will be revealing just one and the best habit of the extremely successful leaders. As a matter of fact, it could well be something you have been doing and stopped along the line because you have so many other tasks taking your time.  It’s pretty easy and it what we all can achieve. The topmost habit is known as lunchtime. Extremely successful individual don’t work round the clock. It is not in their habit to munched their sandwiches when they are on a conference call, what they do is go for real vacation to rejuvenate and revitalize. They apply wisdom while spending their vacation. You can apply the following strategies to put your lunch hour to wise use. To start with, move around. Being stationary for the whole day will cause harm to your body, therefore, move away from your table and if there is no time for you to go to the gym just take a stroll instead. The next habit you must inculcate is eating together with other people. Make use of the lunch hour to network with fresh colleagues or to develop current relationships. Have you been making use of your lunch hour wastefully, turn your lunch hour to a great habit and pretty soon you will realize just how really efficient you can become. An additional resource: Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

The Importance of Selling Yourself

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 18, 2017 at 5:16 pm / In: Uncategorized

The Importance of Selling Yourself

If I mention the word “self-promotion or probably “marketing yourself” what exactly crops up in your mind? Several people believe that self- promotion is not a good term; selling yourself has some negative meaning. Though this channel of selling can be utilized for bad purposes, it can as well be utilized for good. Moreover, when there is no selling, we won’t have the opportunity to have several amazing things since virtually everything we have and uses were sold to us. The clothes we are putting on, our mobile phones, jewelry, etc. if you really have something tangible to offer in your place of work, then it is about time to conquer your hatred for selling. I will reveal 3 strategies to overcome your hatred for selling today, in order to be able to offer your wonderful service and talents to a whole lot more people. Listed below are three strategies to take out the not so good that is associated with selling and include the good. To start with, repackage selling; begin to see selling in a different light. Have a change of orientation. Begin to realize that selling involves giving or offering service, when other people realize the different ways through which you can be of service, they would like to patronize your services Next to that is the need to concentrate on making a difference. Whenever you talk about the services you render, concentrate on the influence you can make, the results you can achieve, the advantages you offer. People love to purchase things that are useful to them. In conclusion, be enthusiastic; people love to make their purchases from those that are genuinely passionate about the service they render. If you talk with passion, vigor and enthusiastically about your services, many people will easily buy into your ideas and invest in your passion. If you render your services with the right attitude, for the right purpose and to the right folks, selling won’t have any inkling of evil. As a matter of fact, selling your special abilities and priceless contributions can really make a big difference in the world. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog post, if you enjoyed it, I consider sharing it with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it.  I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director.  As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit Investment Capital Growth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

How To Negotiate With Colleagues

Posted by Cliff Locks On at 4:08 pm / In: Uncategorized

How To Negotiate With Colleagues

Making deals in the place of work is every task. We all wish that our suggestion to be accepted, we fight for scarce resources, we wish to have access to those who call the shots, therefore we naturally have to make deals. Making negotiation at the place of work is worlds apart from negotiating the cost of a condo or car. At our place of work, we make negotiations with our colleagues and supervisors and at times our buddies- we have a long-term relationship with these folks. Today I will be revealing 3 strategies for making negotiation with your colleagues in the workplace and thereby maintaining your relationship as well. You can apply the 3 strategies discussed here to maintain your relationship while making negotiations. The first one is that you need to concentrate on a collective future. Generally, people are more inclined to be a bit fairer if they are aware that you are together with them for the long haul. Always reiterate collective interest that will be beneficial to both of you down the road. You could say something such as I’m quite aware that both of us are devoted to effecting changes that will enhance our performance in the long-term. The second strategy is that you must steer clear of anything that will make them angry. It is totally unreasonable to say something that will make them angry when you are to develop a long-term relationship. Keep away from those topics that will get them worked up. Never say something such as all you are interested in is your final profit. The third strategy is that you must always maintain your calmness. Behavior is infectious; hence if you speak quietly and with calmness, the person you are making negotiation with will be more inclined to accept. If your partner becomes a bit angry or tempers start flaring, slow the conversation down and speak in a reduce tone. This will go a long way in calming the flaring nerves. Allow everywhere to become quiet and then tell your partner that you love to resolve the problem with them. We are all aware that careers thrive on relationships, there when making deals with your colleagues, always to maintain and even enhance your relationship with them. In future, you might have forgotten what the negotiation is all about, but how you treated the feelings of the partner you negotiated with will never be forgotten. Many thanks for taking time to read this blog post, if you enjoyed it, I consider sharing it with your loved ones and colleagues, by kindly posting it on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook, and tweeting it. I’m Cliff Locks, a professional executive advisor and Board of Director. As I say, be passionate in everything you do, model great leadership for others, understand your strengths and use them, set positive goals, make definitive plans based on them – and execute, it’s ok to admit when you fail and move on, and always motivate others. Let’s work together to enhance your leadership skills potential, visit Investment Capital Growth.com and click on the chat app on the lower right, so we can schedule time together to help you fulfill your vision of success and opportunities help your company achieve its goals.

Achieving Your Goals

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 5, 2017 at 10:18 pm / In: Uncategorized

Achieving Your Goals

As a society, we are often obsessed with setting goals. It is not even impossible that you are not happy with yourself because you haven’t made sufficient progress on your list of goals for the year, or in your case, maybe you have too many goals that you don’t even have the faintest idea of where to take off and what you should be concentrating on. From one year to another, we are constantly falling short because of the goal trapped we set for ourselves. Rather than following this pattern, let’s have something different this year; let’s replace our vast goals with just one or two goals that can really make a real difference in our choices. Start by relaxing and two-part exercise to work through during the fourth quarter and the upcoming end of year holiday period. Exercise one: select two words to define this last year. As an individual, 2017 was exciting and a little disconcerting. Exercise two: select two words to explain how the New Year will be for you. As an individual, 2018 will be amazing and impactful. How many goals do you currently work on? Is it working for you? If you need help in accomplishing your goals, let’s talk. schedule a call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks

There’s Just One Key To Happiness

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 29, 2017 at 1:48 pm / In: Uncategorized

There’s Just One Key To Happiness

You’ve possibly heard may be on too many occasions on how you can achieve happiness. As a matter of fact, it seems to be the latest Holy Grail. You already know that the quest for fame or wealth does not lead to happiness. But it is not impossible that you are pondering if it is really necessary to have deep reflections and keep a thankfulness diary in order to attain that much desired happy state. Well, due to a Harvard research that has been closely monitoring the lifestyles of over 700 for almost ten decades, we currently understand that there actually exists just one big key to happiness, do you have an idea of what that is? There is no other big key to happiness other than interpersonal relationships. In the research, it was discovered that the individuals who have the most robust working relationships were not just happier, they were also healthier. Now these kinds of relationships were not just with spouses and family members but also with best friends and colleagues. Do you ever spend quality time with your friends?  23% percent of Americans admitted to not having anyone to discuss with; how terrible. We   all can do something about this ugly situation. Let’s spend lesser time with television and spend more qualitative time with people. Obviously, internet relationships have not done to make us happier. Let’s become more familiar with our neighbors. One of the most important achievements to my personal life this year has been a book society as well as spending time with my neighbors down in the hallway. Let’s welcome our co-workers to have coffee breaks with us. Relationships in the workplace bring a lot of considerable transformation to our happiness and this is awesome. Study shows that having a high five, fist bump or handshake with friends in the workplace will make the friendship bonds even stronger. Attaining happiness is actually not too complex. It’s about one basic thing, opening ourselves to others and equally allowing others to open themselves to us. Thanks for taking time to read this blog post, if you enjoyed it, I highly recommend you share with your loved ones. I’m a professional mentor; enhance up your leadership potential by making an appointment to talk. I look forward to helping you define your vision of success and achieving it. Schedule a Call: www.calendly.com/clifflocks