The Investment Capital Growth Blog

Welcome To The ICG Blog

Strategic Insights For Business Leaders & Their Teams

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

Get Inspired, Stay Connected:

  • Subscribe To Our Blog For Updates
  • Follow ICG on Social Media
  • Engage Our Consultants

Subscribe To The ICG Blog

Posts by Topic

ICG Newsletter Signup

ICG's Monthly Newsletter delivers insightful and actionable information for business owners and their teams. Get the latest updates from the ICG team each month including exclusive case studies, expert commentary, special offers and real life examples of business success. Join the thousands of subscribers that enjoy our informative publication by entering your contact information below.

Contact us.

Forging a >50% renewable electric economy by 2030 is your company ready?

Posted by Cliff Locks On July 10, 2019 at 10:16 am / In: Uncategorized

Forging a >50% renewable electric economy by 2030 is your company ready?

By 2030, more than 50 percent of the U.S. economy will run on electricity derived from renewables. What are the implications as we shift the U.S. and global energy economies away from fossil fuels?

For the first time ever, our harnessing of renewable energy has surpassed domestic reliance on coal, a critical milestone for democratizing energy. 

Current technological advances in wind, solar, hydrogen, geothermal, hydroelectric power, nuclear and localized grids are forging a future of cheap, abundant, and ubiquitous energy.

Today’s blog I’ll be exploring the ways in which we are fast approaching an all-electric, renewable energy economy. Two areas of disruption take center stage:

  1. How we produce energy;
  2. How we utilize energy.

Let’s dive in!

Energy Production

Simply put, our world in the coming decades will need a lot more energy than it does today.

The industrial and technological booms of emerging nations are bringing online billions of high-demand energy consumers, now just as voracious as their American and European counterparts. Already, China’s energy consumption is expected to double by 2030, and India is right on its tail.

In our ‘linear and scarcity-minded’ world of fossil fuels, these skyrocketing trends present a problem: more demand equals more environmental devastation, higher prices, and increased geopolitical tensions as the ‘haves’ supply the ‘have-nots.’

Luckily, a ‘global and exponential mindset’ offers an alternative. Rather than slicing the pie into thinner and thinner slices, let’s just bake more pies.

Namely, higher-priced hydrocarbon fuels drive market incentives to invest heavily in alternative energy sources. Advances in batteries, solar, wind, geothermal, and even nuclear fusion offer humanity a future in which we can viably switch from coal, petroleum, and natural gas to renewables, and eventually to an all-electric economy.

Between 2010 and 2017, utility-scale solar photovoltaic capital costs in the U.S. have fallen by a factor of five, from $5-6 per kilowatt to a mere $1-2. And the only constraint to plummeting prices is technology, not resource availability.

In today’s fossil fuels market, by far the greatest cost is the commodity itself, i.e. coal, oil, or natural gas. But the opposite is true for renewables. Think of the commodities needed: sun, wind, (to a large degree) nuclear power, and water are all free.

All costs borne by producers lie in building and maintaining the infrastructure to harness power from these renewable energies. As a result, the greatest business opportunities surrounding these sources are primarily unlocked by improving the technology.

And the rate of technological advancement is accelerating.

Companies like GE are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in microgrids and smart grids, which will make electricity far more accessible to larger populations. Several companies in solar energy, such as SunRun, Sun Power and Sunnova Energy Corp, are vastly improving the efficiency of solar cells, whether in production, installation or manufacturing.

But how is our energy used?

Energy Utilization

Today, transportation represents roughly 29 percent of the U.S.’s total energy use. Yet almost none of that energy use is currently electric.

Herein lies the greatest growth opportunity for U.S. electrification. As advancements in renewable energy drive down the price of electricity, the market will respond by capitalizing on this electrification.

While only 20.5 percent of the U.S. economy is currently electrified, that number has the potential to jump to more than 50 percent by 2030.

But how will this happen?

Because of exciting innovations across the three greatest energy-guzzling sectors: transportation, commercial and residential, and industrial.

While these sectors represent electrification potential to varying degrees, here’s one route by which we might reach a 50 percent renewable energy economy over the next decade:

Shifting the Transportation Sector (29% of Current Energy Use) to Renewable Electricity:

Electric vehicles (EVs) are cheaper per mile, require less maintenance, demonstrate greater reliability, and have far fewer moving parts (<200 in electric cars vs. >1,000 parts in gas-fueled cars) than internal combustion engine-driven vehicles.

Ultimately, when a product is cheaper and better, consumers switch. Let’s take a look.

Image result for Transportation Sector (29% of Current Energy Use) to Renewable Electricity

The price per mile of an EV is already four times cheaper than that of its gasoline-fueled counterpart. (An EV’s average operating cost is 3.72¢ per mile vs. that of a gasoline-fueled vehicle, which stands at 16.00¢ per mile.)

However, EVs represented only 2 percent of the U.S. personal car market in 2018. And while we are about to witness the massive electrification of personal and commercial vehicles over the coming decade, passenger vehicles represent only 63 percent of all transportation energy use. The remaining 37 percent consists of air and freight.

Nonetheless, companies and governments alike are achieving extraordinary progress in making these systems run fully on electricity from renewable energy sources.

Aircraft: This year’s Paris Air Show witnessed the introduction of electric commercial airplanes, as EasyJet announced its partnership with startup Wright Electric to roll out a fleet of electric planes (capable of traveling a little less than 300 miles).

Trucking: In the large-scale ground transit arena, Tesla boasts that its electric trucks can save $100,000 per year on fuel costs.

Image result for nikola trucking

And as projects like Hyperloop and the Boring Company reduce our dependency on air travel for long distance human and freight, exponential technologies like VR will soon begin to indirectly disrupt our need to physically travel in the first place.

Shifting the Industrial Sector (32% of Current Energy Use) to Renewable Electricity:

Visit www.gilmanindustries.com for onsite Hydrogen production solutions

While still constituting a minority, electricity represents a more significant chunk, 17 percent, of the industrial sector’s energy use.

Beyond the obvious suspects — turning on lights, running air conditioners, etc. — several industrial processes use electricity on a tremendous scale.

Take aluminum production, a relatively modern invention dating back only to 1886, which requires a high-voltage electric current to extract aluminum from bauxite ore. Currently, the best smelters use around 13 kilowatt-hours to produce one kilogram of aluminum. (For reference, it takes approximately 29 kilowatt-hours to power the average American home for one day.) 

Or look at the creation of synthetic gas, not to mention that of carbon-based polymers and aggregates, both requiring high amounts of energy in the form of electric current.

Tomorrow’s advanced-materials economy will require a much higher proportion of energy to take the form of electricity.

Shifting the Commercial & Residential Sector (38% of Current Energy Use) to Renewable Electricity:

Lastly, almost half of the commercial and residential sector’s energy use is already electric. And the reasons for this perhaps speaks best to the economic argument for electrification with renewables.

It used to be that almost all of this sector’s energy was derived from fossil fuels. But as the price of electricity has continued to decline, home adoption rates of electricity have increased accordingly, as reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

In the EU, it’s mission critical to change the energy mix, once you look at whom is supplying the EU with energy imports. You’ll get a better idea.

And as renewables and converging technologies continue to drive down cost, commercial and residential use of electricity will only soar.

Calculating for the Total

If we assume that energy use ratios by sector – transportation, residential and commercial, and industrial — remain relatively constant, our economy is already on target for over 50 percent electrification from renewables in the next decade.

Our trajectory to a 66 percent electric transportation industry by 2030 alone puts us at a 19.3 percent electric total economy.

Next up: if another 30 percent of the industrial sector becomes electrified — requiring a conservative annual increase of 3 percent — that adds another 7.1 percent to our aggregate economy’s electrification.

And already today, the residential and commercial sector is well on its way to full electrification. With the continued rate of transition, a whopping 62 percent of this sector will be electrified using renewables in just ten years. That represents 23.6 percent of the U.S.’s total energy use.

Added together, these massive shifts represent a 50 percent renewable-electric economy, and a 110 percent increase in U.S. electrification in just 10 years.

Welcome to a future driven by electrons generated from renewable sources of energy.

What are the implications to your business? Your industry? What will the impacts be on global geopolitics, our families, and our environment?

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

leadership #business #CXO #CEO #CFO #BofD #Entrepreneur #WSJ #VC #socialmedia #Diversity #BigData #CorpGov #elearning #Marketing #Periscope #Recruiting #technology #startup #HRTech #Recruitment #sales #Healthcare #cloud #work #motivation Contributor: Peter Diamandis #InvestmentCapitalGrowth

Exponential CHINA – something you can’t ignore and why you should be educated on their tech market and the size of their GDP

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 26, 2019 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

Exponential CHINA – something you can’t ignore and why you should be educated on their tech market and the size of their GDP

President Donald Trump with China’s President Xi Jinping during their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The rise of China as an epicenter of rapid-fire innovation and technological disruption is more important than ever before in transforming each and every one of our businesses.

Soon to surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest economy with a $14 trillion GDP, China has grown at about 9.6 percent CAGR since 1989, accounting for over an estimated 35 percent of global economic growth from 2017 to 2019 — nearly double the U.S. GDP’s predicted 18 percent.

In less than two years, China’s government plan to lead the world in AI by 2030 has witnessed a record-breaking surge in both AI enterprise and innovation across biotech and longevity, smart manufacturing, autonomous and electric vehicles, next-gen renewable energies, and new tech-driven markets you’ve never even heard of.

As Eric Schmidt has explained, “it’s pretty simple. By 2020, they will have caught up. By 2025, they will be better than us. By 2030, they will dominate the industries of AI.”

And the figures don’t lie.

PricewaterhouseCoopers recently projected AI’s deployment will add $15.7 trillion to the global GDP by 2030, with China taking home $7 trillion of that total, dwarfing North America’ $3.7 trillion in gains. 

Behind the scenes, a growing force of driven AI entrepreneurs trains cutting-edge algorithms on some of the largest datasets available to date.

Key Takeaways: China, AI & The Future of Your Business

While countless Chinese startups still observe U.S. company strategies and iterate on Western business trends, today’s American businesses would be severely remiss to forego analysis of Chinese companies and best practices. 

At the peak of its ongoing heyday, China is undergoing a technological renaissance bolstered by thousands of startups and dozens of multibillion-dollar tech companies. As firms like Alibaba, Tencent and Xiaomi capitalize on China’s now 1 billion+ Internet users at home, burgeoning Chinese unicorns have now established thriving markets among Western consumers.

Yet for many, what drives the business of China remains shrouded in mystery. What’s driving this entrepreneurial ecosystem? How can entrepreneurs collaborate with China or model its innovative culture closer to home?

This blog presents key insights from the go-to experts in China: Dr. Kai-Fu Lee of Sinovation Ventures and David Li of Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab.

Dr. Kai-Fu Lee serves as chairman and CEO of Sinovation Ventures, a venture fund with US$2B AUM. Dr. Lee has previously served as President of Google China, held numerous executive positions, including at Microsoft, Apple, and SGI, and named one of the top hundred most influential people by TIME magazine.

David Li is Founder and Director of Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab (SZOIL) and has been honored with the title of “Top Maker in Asia.” One of the foremost leaders of Shenzhen’s Maker Movement, Mr. Li co-founded Maker Collider, a platform to develop next-gen IoT from the maker community; XinCheJian, the first hacker space in China to promote hacker maker culture and open source hardware; among others.

When thinking about the AI industry and the underlying technological architecture as a whole, one tool I find highly useful is Kai-Fu Lee’s “Four Waves of AI.” As outlined in his diagram below, these consist of Internet AI, Business AI, Perception AI, and the most nascent wave, Autonomous AI.

The Four Waves of AI. Source: Dr. Kai-Fu Lee.

Yet while U.S. tech giants may have birthed the first two waves of AI, the data emerging today stands compellingly in China’s favor across all four categories.

China’s Competitive Advantage

Witnessing an explosion in grassroots innovation, smart manufacturing, abundant and high-quality data, China is surging ahead on the back of several core drivers: 

(1) Massive proliferation of engineers and entrepreneurs: Demand for AI engineers has skyrocketed in the matter of a mere three years across China. The proliferation of local entrepreneurs, makers, tinkerers, and AI scholars is on a scale unimaginable by U.S. businesses, CEOs and VCs.

But underpinning these numbers is a radically different cultural approach to innovation and an abundance mindset about tools and (lack of) constraints in breaking open new markets. 

As David Li synthesizes, “What’s happening in China is not just headline innovation. It’s what’s going on at the bottom side of China. People are excited. Entrepreneurship is everywhere. Opportunity is everywhere. And [common citizens] are supported by this rapid advancement of technology. They don’t see technology coming and say, ‘My God! It’s going to take my job.’ […] They ask ‘How do I make a buck with this new thing?’ And when we have tens of millions of people thinking like this, it’s what makes China’s economy work.”

One booming example is Shenzhen.

We often think of “catch-up” regions receiving new gadgets, technologies and intellectual property from “developed” regions on the tail-end of their development. Some U.S. tech giant brimming with capital builds the next big breakthrough, and its wisdom, technology, and know-how slowly trickle down the hierarchy.

Not in Shenzhen. With a mean age of 28.65, Shenzhen residents have local dynamism embedded in their DNA. David Li captures this environment, one in which “people want to grab onto every opportunity [and believe they] have the tenacity to make something happen.”

Growing from a population of 300,000 to 15 million in just 40 years, Shenzhen has registered over 3 million companies. That makes 1 in 5 Shenzhen residents a CEO.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you, look at Shenzhen’s GDP. A mere fishing village in 1987, Shenzhen stood at 0.1 percent of Hong Kong’s GDP. Today? Shenzhen is surging past a US$350 billion GDP, far exceeding its next-door neighbor.

(2) End of a copycat era: But beyond skyrocketing rates of local entrepreneurship, China’s “copycat economy” is long gone. Today, local entrepreneurs have created and iterated upon novel concepts, resulting in markets that far exceed the scale of their American counterparts. 

Take Chinese mobile payments spending, which now exceeds the U.S. by a ratio of 50 to 1. Or video-based social networking apps that are making it big in Western markets (think video-sharing app TikTok, now wildly popular amongst U.S. teens). Shared bicycle networks that span hundreds of millions of users. And gamified, socialized e-commerce that presents one of the biggest playgrounds for AI training on the planet.

Even in legacy markets, China has become a dominant global player, out-diversifying Western counterparts. Take mobile phone shipments worldwide. As explained by David Li, “In 2017, Apple stood at 14%, Samsung at 15%, and [of] everybody else, almost all are Chinese companies. And with the exception of Xioami, everybody else is headquartered in Shenzhen.” This means “one city in China has 70% of the global market share of mobile phones.”

(3) An abundance of capital pouring into AI: Last year, for the first time ever, China surpassed North America in venture capital financing, as Chinese startups raised over US$56 billion in the first half of the year. By end of Q2, Chinese startups accounted for 47% of global VC funding.

Already, Chinese investments in AI, chips and electric vehicles have reached an estimated $300 billion. Meanwhile, AI giant Alibaba has unveiled plans to invest $15 billion in international research labs from the U.S. to Israel, with others following suit.

Just last year alone, nearly 100 Chinese startups hit unicorn status, each reaching a $1 billion valuation. Think about that for a moment. China saw the birth of 1 unicorn almost every 3.6 days.

And even while trade tensions have temporarily slowed investor enthusiasm, groundbreaking startup after startup has sent investment figures booming. Led by FinTech giant Ant Financial (an affiliate of Alibaba that last year raised nearly as much capital as all U.S. and European FinTech companies combined), China’s list of unicorns grows ever longer, currently standing at around 186 tech startups. 

(4) Astronomical quantities of high quality data to train AI algorithms: China not only has three times the available AI-driven mobile platform users as does the U.S., but usage time and real-world, layered data vastly exceed that enjoyed by Western tech giants. Not only do Chinese citizens spend 50 times more than do American counterparts in mobile payments, they order 10 times more in food delivery, and produce about 300 times more real-world movement data through use of shared bicycle platforms (not to mention ridesharing services).

These numbers are notable, yes. But what’s truly remarkable about these statistics is what the data reveal about offline activity.

Whereas most U.S. tech giants enjoy tomes of data about their users’ every click and online glance, it is mobile payments, ridesharing data, and smart city technologies that offer goldmines of real-world information about everyday users. And in China, last year’s mobile payment transactions exceeded the country’s GDP (don’t believe me? Read an explanation here). Credit cards and cash have grown virtually obsolete, and even beggars hold up signs reading, “I’m hungry, scan me.” This massive adoption of AI across all facets of life facilitates unprecedented levels of training and improvement across data-dependent algorithms.

(5) Arguably the most AI-supportive government in the world: Just two years ago, China’s government issued its plan to make China the global center of AI innovation, aiming for a 1 trillion RMB (about $150 billion USD) AI industry by 2030.

And when China’s State Council speaks, everyone listens.

As the nation’s political system incentivizes local officials to outcompete others for leadership in CCP initiatives, positive feedback loops have seen countless government officials luring in AI companies and entrepreneurs with generous subsidies and advantageous policies. Mayors across the country (largely in eastern China) have built out innovation zones, incubators and government-backed VC funds, even covering rent and clearing out avenues for AI startups and accelerators.

Beijing plans to invest $2 billion in an AI development park, which would house up to 400 AI enterprises and a national AI lab, driving R&D, patents and societal innovation. Hangzhou, home to Alibaba’s HQ, has also launched its own AI park, backed by a fund of 10 billion RMB (nearly $1.6 billion USD). But Hangzhou and Beijing are just two of the 19 different cities and provinces investing in AI-driven city infrastructure and policy.

Cities like Xiong’an New Area are building out entire AI metropoles in the next two decades, centered around autonomous vehicles, smart solar panel-embedded roads, and computer vision-geared infrastructure. Projected to take in over $580 billion in infrastructure spending over the next 20 years, Xiong’an has ambitious plans to split its entire downtown in two levels: a top level for parks, trees, pets, kids, bicycles, skateboards, and human pedestrians, and a lower level reserved solely for cars (autonomous, electric vehicles, of course), eliminating the possibility of vehicle-human collisions and multiplying efficiency.

Lastly, local governments have begun to team with China’s leading AI companies to build up party-corporate complexes. Acting as a “national team,” companies like Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, SenseTime, and iFlyTek collaborate with national organizations like China’s National Engineering Lab for Deep Learning Technologies to pioneer research and supercharge innovation.

Pulling out all the stops, China’s government is flooding the market with AI-targeted funds as Chinese tech giants and adrenalized startups rise to leverage this capital.

Final Thoughts

China’s emergence as a leader in AI sets the stage and offers a tremendous opportunity for U.S.-Chinese collaboration lessons learned, one that is vital for expediting and shaping the direction of future progress.

As the world learns to grapple with a future of dual human-AI intelligence, U.S. and Chinese businesses stand at a critical juncture in history, requiring shared innovation and new modes of cooperation.

Board of Directors | Board of Advisors | Strategic Leadership

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

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

The Future of 3D Printing and How it’s Changing the World

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 1, 2019 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

The Future of 3D Printing and How it’s Changing the World

3D printing (additive or augmented manufacturing) translates digital files into three-dimensional objects by layering material in a process known as additive manufacturing. Printheads release matter in precise orientations that can produce complex structures, ranging from jewelry to three-story homes.

250 Materials: Current 3D printers can produce functional part- and full-color objects from over 250 different materials, including metals, plastics, ceramics, glass, rubber, leather, stem cells, and even chocolate. 

100x Faster: More recently, groundbreaking stereolithography methods have succeeded in producing complex shapes at up to 100 times the speed of traditional 3D printers. Building from a bed of photoreactive liquid resin, the application of different light wavelengths has been found to selectively harden the resin as it’s released and thereby achieve a continuous print. Say goodbye to incremental layering!

90% Material Efficient: Beyond rapid and high-resolution production, additive manufacturing poses extraordinary second-order implications. Promising decimated economic and environmental costs, 3D printing eliminates tremendous amounts of waste, as raw material requirements are reduced by as much as 90 percent.

3D printing further unlocks opportunities for mass customization, democratized production, and systematic perfection.

Avi Reichental’s Top Predictions:

My friend Peter Diamandis, good friend Avi Reichental is the “go-to expert” in augmented manufacturing and the Founder and CEO of XponentialWorks, an advisory, venture investment and incubation ecosystem company that aims to monetize exponential tech innovation and business model disruption.

For 12 years, Reichental served as the CEO of 3D Systems, the largest publicly traded 3D printing company in the world. An early additive manufacturing pioneer.

By 2024, Reichental predicts:

  • 50 percent of all manufacturing companies will have 3D printing operations in production;
  • 40 percent of all surgeons will practice with 3D models;
  • 50 percent of all consumer businesses will have revenue-bearing 3D printing operations.

But it doesn’t stop there. Already, major international breakthroughs in additive manufacturing are accelerating these trends and birthing new convergent applications. 

The Next 5 Printing Breakthroughs (2019-2024)

  1. 3D printing speeds are slated to increase by 50X – 100X.

3D printing rates have typically been limited by (1) how much force a printhead can apply, (2) how fast a printer can heat the material to induce flow, and (3) how quickly the printhead itself can move. In a new feat, however, the MIT Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity recently created a printer 10 times faster than traditional desktop models and three times faster than a $100,000 industrial-scale system. Achieving record speeds, the MIT team printed a helical bevel gear in a mere 10 minutes, and a pair of eyeglass frames in only 3.6. The acceleration of 3D printing will revolutionize nearly every industry, from retail to manufacturing.

2. Sustainable, affordable, 3D-printed neighborhoods are launching.

The construction and real estate industries will experience disruption at monumental scales, as 3D-printed homes offer cheaper, environmentally-friendly alternatives to traditional housing. 3D-printed homes appeared for the first time last year in the Dutch city of Eindhoven, where a shortage of bricklayers increased the demand for this technology. The futuristic buildings waste less cement, cutting costs and resources. In the future, home printers will incorporate infrastructure including drainage pipes and even potentially smart sensors, rendering a fully integrated living experience. And more recently, a startup called NewStory was able to build 100 homes in 8 months for about $6,000 each.

3. Convincing and delicious 3D-printed steaks and burgers in fine restaurants on Earth and in space

3D-printed meat using plant-based proteins will provide a more sustainable solution to feeding the world’s growing population. Livestock produces 14.5 to 18 percent of global human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. Yet 3D-printed meat can provide the same satisfaction of meat consumption without the harmful environmental effects. Over the next five years, costs will lower and textures will improve. Israeli company Chef-it and Giuseppe Scionti’s NovaMeat are already making progress

4. Metal 3D printers will overtake plastics.

Prepare for the emergence of 3D-printed jewelry, car and airplane parts, kitchenware, and prototypes. 3D metal printers will not only eliminate waste in manufacturing, but also create more lightweight parts — a development especially pertinent to aircraft construction. This technology will grow increasingly available at the consumer level as well, providing more flexibility in product design than traditional plastic printers. Biodegradable cellulose may also overcome plastics in 3D printers of the future, as the MIT Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity has demonstrated with its 3D-printed antimicrobial surgical forceps. The mechanically robust, chemically versatile material is just one example of the endless possibilities of 3D-printed materials beyond plastics.  

5. “Hey” will be the most frequently used command in design engineering.

“Hey Cogni, design me a new pair of shoes, 8.5 Medium, with load bearing for my weight,” is a phrase Reichental anticipates using in the next five years. Smart 3D printers with natural language processing, AI-powered generative design and customization abilities will allow for seamless design engineering. “Think of the complete fashion industry that doesn’t have cutting and sizing and waste and that can create bespoke garments, shoes, belts, accessories, food,” Reichental notes. “There is not going to be a single industry that will be spared by the next wave of additive and generative design.” 

Final Thoughts…

As new methods and materials continue to spring up, how will you integrate 3D printing into your own business in the coming years? What new ventures will you build around these emerging applications?

Keep these thoughts in mind as we explore AI next week, another catalyzing technology that will only enhance the “Hey” demand functionality of 3D printers and many more devices.

Convergence leads us to transformative breakthroughs… and the human brain still beats computers when it comes to drawing these sorts of connections. Leverage that power, and what else becomes possible?

Please keep me in mind as your Executive Coach, openings for Senior Executive Engagements, and Board of Director openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff Locks

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

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

Smart Cities that Interact with Your Big Data

Posted by Cliff Locks On March 20, 2019 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Smart Cities that Interact with Your Big Data

Each week alone, an estimated 1.3 million people move into cities, driving urbanization on an unstoppable scale.

By 2040, about two-thirds of the world’s population will be concentrated in urban centers. Over the decades ahead, 90 percent of this urban population growth is predicted to flourish across Asia and Africa.

Already, 1,000 smart city pilots are under construction or in their final urban planning stages across the globe, driving forward countless visions of the future.

As data becomes the gold of the 21st century, centralized databases and hyper-connected infrastructures will enable everything from sentient cities that respond to data inputs in real time, to smart public services that revolutionize modern governance.

Connecting countless industries — real estate, energy, sensors and networks, transportation, among others — tomorrow’s cities pose no end of creative possibilities and stand to completely transform the human experience.

In this blog, we’ll be taking a high-level tour of today’s cutting-edge urban enterprises involved in these three areas:

  1. Hyperconnected urban ecosystems that respond to your data
  2. Smart infrastructure and construction
  3. Self-charging green cities

Let’s dive in!

Smart Cities that Interact with Your Data

Any discussion of smart cities must also involve today’s most indispensable asset: data.

As 5G connection speeds, IoT-linked devices and sophisticated city AIs give birth to trillion-sensor economies, low latencies will soon allow vehicles to talk to each other and infrastructure systems to self-correct.

Even public transit may soon validate your identity with a mere glance in any direction, using facial recognition to charge you for individualized travel packages and distances.

As explained by Deloitte Public Sector Leader Clare Ma, “real-time information serves as the ‘eye’ for urban administration.”

In most cities today, data is fragmented across corporations, SMEs, public institutions, nonprofits, and personal databases, with little standardization.

Yet to identify and respond to urban trends, we need a way of aggregating multiple layers of data, spanning traffic flows, human movement, individual transactions, shifts in energy usage, security activity, and almost any major component of contemporary economies.

Only through real-time analysis of information flows can we leverage exponential technologies to automate public services, streamlined transit, smarter security, optimized urban planning and responsive infrastructure.

And already, cutting-edge cities across the globe are building centralized data platforms to combine different standards and extract actionable insights, from smart parking to waste management.

Take China’s Nanjing, for instance.

With sensors installed in 10,000 taxis, 7,000 buses and over 1 million private vehicles, the city aggregates daily data across both physical and virtual networks. After transmitting it to the Nanjing Information Center, experts can then analyze traffic data, send smartphone updates to commuters and ultimately create new traffic routes.

Replacing the need for capital-intensive road and public transit reconstruction, real-time data from physical transit networks allow governments to maximize value of preexisting assets, saving time and increasing productivity across millions of citizens.

But beyond traffic routing, proliferating sensors and urban IoT are giving rise to real-time monitoring of any infrastructural system.

Italy’s major rail operator Trenitalia has now installed sensors on all its trains, deriving real-time status updates on each train’s mechanical condition. Now capable of calculating maintenance predictions in advance of system failure, transit disruptions are becoming a thing of the past.

Los Angeles has embedded sensors in 4,500 miles worth of new LEDs (replacing previous streetlights). The minute one street bulb malfunctions or runs low, it can be fixed near-immediately, forming part of a proactive city model that detects glitches before they occur.

And Hangzhou, home to e-commerce giant Alibaba, has now launched a “City Brain” project, aiming to build out one of the most data-responsive cities on the planet.

With cameras and other sensors installed across the entire city, a centralized AI hub processes data on everything from road conditions to weather data to vehicular collisions and citizen health emergencies.

Overseeing a population of nearly 8 million residents, Hangzhou’s City Brain then manages traffic signals at 128 intersections (coordinating over 1,000 road signals simultaneously), tracks ambulances en-route and clears their paths to hospitals without risk of collision, directs traffic police to accidents at record rates, and even assists city officials in expedited decision-making. No more wasting time at a red light when there is obviously no cross traffic or pedestrians.

Already, the City Brain has cut ambulance and commuter traveling times by half. And as reported by China’s first AI-partnered traffic policeman Zheng Yijiong, “the City Brain can detect accidents within a second” allowing police to “arrive at [any] site [within] 5 minutes” across an urban area of over 3,000 square miles.

But beyond oversight of roads, traffic flows, collisions and the like, converging sensors and AI are now being used to monitor crowds and analyze human movement.

Companies like SenseTime now offer software to police bureaus that can not only identify live faces, individual gaits and car license plates, but even monitor crowd movement and detect unsafe pedestrian concentrations.

Some researchers have even posited the use of machine learning to predict population-level disease spread through crowd surveillance data, building actionable analyses from social media data, mass geolocation and urban sensors.

Yet aside from self-monitoring cities and urban AI ‘brains,’ what if infrastructure could heal itself on-demand. Forget sensors, connectivity and AI — enter materials science.

Self-Healing Infrastructure

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates a $542.6 billion backlog needed for U.S. infrastructure repairs alone.

And as I’ve often said, the world’s most expensive problems are the world’s most profitable opportunities.

Enter self-healing construction materials.

First up, concrete.

In an effort to multiply the longevity of bridges, roads, and any number of infrastructural fortifications, engineers at Delft University have developed a prototype of bio-concrete that can repair its own cracks.

Mixed in with calcium lactate, the key ingredients of this novel ‘bio-concrete’ are minute capsules of limestone-producing bacteria distributed throughout any concrete structure. Only when the concrete cracks, letting in air and moisture, does the bacteria awaken.

Like clockwork, the bacteria begins feeding on surrounding calcium lactate as it produces a natural limestone sealant that can fill cracks in a mere three weeks — long before small crevices can even threaten structural integrity.

As head researcher Henk Jonkers explains, “What makes this limestone-producing bacteria so special is that they are able to survive in concrete for more than 200 years and come into play when the concrete is damaged. […] If cracks appear as a result of pressure on the concrete, the concrete will heal these cracks itself.”

Yet other researchers have sought to crack the code (no pun intended) of living concrete, testing everything from hydrogels that expand 10X or even 100X their original size when in contact with moisture, to fungal spores that grow and precipitate calcium carbonate the minute micro-cracks appear.

But bio-concrete is only the beginning of self-healing technologies.

As futurist architecture firms start printing plastic and carbon-fiber houses, engineers are tackling self-healing plastic that could change the game with economies of scale.

Plastic not only holds promise in real estate on Earth; it will also serve as a handy material in space. NASA engineers have pioneered a self-healing plastic that may prove vital in space missions, preventing habitat and ship ruptures in record speed.

The implications of self-healing materials are staggering, offering us resilient structures both on earth and in space.

One additional breakthrough worth noting involves the magic of graphene.

Perhaps among the greatest physics discoveries of the century, graphene is composed of a 2D honeycomb lattice over 200X stronger than steel, yet remains an ultra-thin one atom thick.

While yet to come down in cost, graphene unlocks an unprecedented host of possibilities, from weather-resistant and ultra-strong coatings for existing infrastructure, to multiplied infrastructural lifespans. Some have even posited graphene’s use in the construction of 30 km tall buildings.

And it doesn’t end there.

As biomaterials and novel polymers will soon allow future infrastructure to heal on its own, nano- and micro-materials are ushering in a new era of smart, super-strong and self-charging buildings.

Revolutionizing structural flexibility, carbon nanotubes are already dramatically increasing the strength-to-weight ratio of skyscrapers.

But imagine if we could engineer buildings that could charge themselves… or better yet, produce energy for entire cities, seamlessly feeding energy to the grid.

Self-Powering Cities

As exponential technologies across energy and water burst onto the scene, self-charging cities are becoming today’s testing ground for a slew of green infrastructure pilots, promising a future of self-sufficient societies.

In line with new materials, one hot pursuit surrounds the creation of commercializable solar power-generating windows.

In the past several years, several research teams have pioneered silicon nanoparticles to capture everyday light flowing through our windows. Little solar cells at the edges of windows then harvest this energy for ready use.

Scientists at Michigan State, for instance, have developed novel “solar concentrators.” Capable of being layered over any window, these solar concentrators leverage non-visible wavelengths of light — near infrared and ultraviolet — pushing them to those solar cells embedded at the edge of each window panel.

Rendered entirely invisible, such solar cells could generate energy on almost any sun-facing screen, from electronic gadgets to glass patio doors to reflective skyscrapers.

And beyond self-charging windows, countless future city pilots have staked ambitious goals for solar panel farms and renewable energy targets.

Take Dubai’s “Strategic Plan 2021,” for instance.

Touting a multi-decade Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, launched by UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2015, Dubai aims to gradually derive 75 percent of its energy from clean sources by 2050.

With plans to launch the largest single-site solar project on the planet by 2030, boasting a projected capacity of 5,000 megawatts, Dubai further aims to derive 25 percent of its energy needs from solar power in the next decade.

And in the city’s “Strategic Plan 2021,” Dubai aims to soon:

• 3D-print 25 percent of its buildings;
• Make 25 percent of transit automated and driverless;
• Install hundreds of artificial “trees,” all leveraging solar power and providing the city with free WiFi, info-mapping screens, and charging ports;
• Integrate passenger drones capable of carrying individuals to public transit systems;
• And drive forward countless designs of everything from underwater bio-desalination plants to smart meters and grids.

A global leader in green technologies and renewable energy, Dubai stands as a gleaming example that any environmental context can give rise to thriving and self-sufficient eco-powerhouses.

But Dubai is not alone, and others are quickly following suit.

Leading the pack of China’s 500 smart city pilots, Xiong’an New Area (near Beijing) aims to become a thriving economic zone powered by 100 percent clean electricity.

And just as of this December, 100 U.S. cities are committed and on their way to the same goal.

Cities as Living Organisms

As new materials forge ahead to create pliable and self-healing structures, green infrastructure technologies are exploding into a competitive marketplace.

Aided by plummeting costs, future cities will soon surround us with self-charging buildings, green city ecosystems, and urban residences that generate far more than they consume.

And as 5G communications networks, proliferating sensors and centralized AI hubs monitor and analyze every aspect of our urban environments, cities are fast becoming intelligent organisms, capable of seeing and responding to our data in real time.

Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way. Email me: Cliff@InvestmentCapitalGrowth.com or Schedule a call: Cliff

innovation #engineer #engineering #tech #technology #biotech #biotechnology #CXO #CEO #CFO #VP #VC #WSJ #NYT #INC500

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL BRAND?

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 13, 2019 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL BRAND?

One of the most discussed topics in the place of work at the moment is personal branding. But then I have come to realized that many of you might not want to be associated with the term ‘brand’. The problem could be in the fact that word may seem strange to you. On the other hand, the term ‘reputation’ won’t be so strange at all. I’m very sure that everyone agrees that we all have reputation; and as a matter of fact, our values and reputation paves the way for us.

Your brand can be regarded as an integral part of your reputation; it doesn’t matter if we believe it or not, but the truth is we all have one reputation or the other. Therefore, every one of us is a brand.

Every brand wants to be the industry leader and so do we. We want clients to accept our ideas, at our place of work, we want to be the ones selected to carry out important tasks. We love to be picked for appreciation and recognition and yes, we love to the ones picked for elevation. Now is the time to get your take your brand to the next level.

What are the best characteristics of your brand? What are you recognized for? Why was your brand selected? You have to fine-tuned, make perfect and then strengthen your best attribute, express it, make use of it when talking, apply it in when you are communicating and writing your bios. When you are willing to fully give all that makes you unique, people will definitely pick your brand as their favorite.

Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way.

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

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

How to combine easy to create Crowd Solution with AI to acheive superhuman performance levels

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 24, 2019 at 11:45 am / In: Uncategorized

How to combine easy to create Crowd Solution with AI to acheive superhuman performance levels

AI and the Crowd: A Collaboration

This article will provide you live examples of AI and the Crowd, creating an effective collaboration. We start with the field of Biology. The machinery of biology is built from proteins, and a protein’s shape defines its function.

One of the most challenging (and consequential) problems in modern medicine revolves around predicting the structure of proteins based on their amino acid sequences.

The human body can make vast numbers of different proteins, with estimates ranging in the tens of thousands. How a protein folds into a 3D structure depends on the number and types of amino acids it contains.

Normally, proteins take on whatever shape is most energy efficient, but they can become tangled and mis-folded, leading to disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

A protein can twist and bend between each amino acid, so that a protein with hundreds of amino acids has the potential to take on a staggering number of different structures: 1 followed by 300 zeroes (i.e. more possible ways to fold than there are atoms in the universe).

Understanding the mechanics of protein folding would be a boon to medicine and drug discovery. Yet up until a decade ago, figuring out which of the many folding configurations a protein would take was a problem relegated (in vain) to the best of supercomputers….

Until one team of researchers at the University of Washington launched an online game called FoldIt.

FoldIt: The Crowd Solution

Aiming to crowdsource this seemingly impossible ‘puzzle,’ FoldIt gives players a sequence of amino acids, which users can then experiment with and fold into any number of structures.

More than just a number-crunching task, finding the right folding combo is in part a game of intuition. And in less than a few weeks, FoldIt proved that the human brain’s pattern recognition capacity in aggregate could outperform even the most complex of computer programs.

Within no time of FoldIt’s release in 2008, tens of thousands of online gamers signed up to compete — young, old, individual puzzle players, and even competitive teams of aspiring scientists.

Their goal? Click, drag and pull a given protein’s chains into configurations that minimize energy, just as molecules self-assemble in real life.

Seeing the bigger picture, leveraging spatial reasoning, and following gut instincts on the basis of ‘what doesn’t look right,’ the crowd consistently outperformed its software counterpart, yielding tremendous contributions to Alzheimer’s and cancer research.

And in 2011, the FoldIt community landed a key victory in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Over the course of the preceding decade, researchers had struggled with countless methods to determine the structure of a retroviral protease of the Mason-Pfizer monkey virus, a critical enzyme in the replication of HIV. Yet failure after failure left top scientists baffled, unable to solve the protein’s crystal structure.

In a last-ditch attempt to leverage the crowd, one Polish scientist turned to FoldIt’s army of puzzle-solvers….

Within just ten days, one team of online gamers scattered across three continents solved the viral protein’s structure, crowning ten years of hard work with a ten-day victory.

And until very recently, this was the best possible option for predicting protein folding…

Enter AlphaFold

Having reached superhuman performance levels in the games of chess and Go, Google’s DeepMind recently turned its neural networks to healthcare.

In 2018, DeepMind announced a new deep learning tool called AlphaFold for predicting protein folding to aid drug discovery.

To monitor progress of the software, a biannual protein-folding competition called the ‘Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction (CASP)’ was created.

The rules are simple. Teams are all given an amino acid sequence, and the team that submits the most accurate structure prediction wins.

On its first foray into the competition, AlphaFold won hands-down against a field of 98 entrants, predicting the most accurate structure for 25 out of 43 proteins, compared to the second-place team, which was only able to predict 3 out of 43 proteins.

How fast does AlphaFold work? The program initially took a couple of weeks to predict a protein structure, but now creates predicted models in a couple of hours.

AlphaFold is only the beginning of AI’s quest to make a real impact in the realm of disease treatment and medical breakthroughs.

As Peter Diamandis has predict, DeepMind’s victory represents the second step in an evolution from the crowd to pure AI, whereby AI is now beginning to take over highly complex tasks from the interim step of the Crowd.

In the meantime…. what if we could combine the collective intelligence of the crowd with the computational power of machines?

AI and the Crowd: A Collaboration

Today, we occupy a rare moment in history where AI can facilitate and even enhance the genius of collective human intelligence, or what we might call the ‘hive mind.’

Back in 2016, Eric Schmidt suggested that the next Google will be a crowdsourcing AI company:

“[That] model, [in which] you crowdsource information in, you learn it, and then you sell it, is in my view a highly-likely candidate for the next $100 billion corporations.”

“If I was starting a company, I’d start with that premise today. How can I use this concept of scalability and get my users to teach me? If my users teach me and I can sell to them and others a service that is better than their knowledge, it’s a win for everybody.”

Complementary forces, AI and crowdsourced wisdom offer radically different benefits.

In the case of collective intelligence, humans have the major advantage of intuition.

Instead of number-crunching our way through any problem, we know when to crunch numbers or which tools to use, and can redefine complex puzzles from creative new vantage points.

Unlike pretty much all AI systems, we can also often explain the reasoning behind our decisions and choices, the logic driving our conclusions.

And when combined, the aggregate predictions of crowds tend to be extraordinarily accurate, far exceeding individual estimates.

But even aggregating the expertise and ideas of thousands of minds has its limits and inaccuracies.

Enter AI-aided swarm intelligence.

Already, MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence is working to combine the best of collective genius with machine systems that optimize our productivity, hive mind solutions, company profits and even the methods we use to think about difficult issues.

If two brains are better than one, how could we take advantage of a hundred, a thousand, or even 8 billion?

And MIT isn’t alone.

Now, a company called Unanimous A.I. has developed swarm AI-based software solutions that connect people and their collective expertise, settling on crowdsourced answers in real-time.

With Swarm AI, Unanimous’ crowdsourced predictions — from sports wagers to Oscar betting — now outperform both top expert forecasts and pure AI-generated projections.

Given any question, Swarm AI projects several possible answers on a screen, measuring the confidence with which each player pulls a virtual bubble toward their preferred answer.

Aggregating “collective confidence” of the group, Unanimous’ algorithm then settles on an answer, outperforming all traditional voting systems.

Imagine the implications: crowdsourced medical diagnoses, financial predictions, even tech-aided democracies and moral value judgments…

Already, Swarm AI-moderated group predictions have offered a tremendous upgrade to radiological evaluations. Moderating the assessments of eight leading Stanford radiologists regarding whether 50 chest X-rays showed signs of pneumonia, Unanimous’ software yielded a group prediction 33 percent more accurate than any individual evaluation.

And some have even posited the use of ASI (Artificial Swarm Intelligence) in determining ethical judgment calls.

Final Thoughts

The use of crowdsourcing to train AI systems is one of the most overlooked, deceptively growing and MONUMENTAL industries of the next decade….

If artificial intelligence is the electricity of the 21st century, collective intelligence will soon be its most valuable fuel.

And as we continue to approach the merging of mind and machine at an ever-accelerating pace, just imagine the unprecedented new solutions we can create, together.

Please keep me in mind as your life coach, openings for senior executive engagements, and board openings. If you hear of anything within your network that you think might be a positive fit, I’d so appreciate if you could send a heads up my way.

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

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

The Responsibilities Being At The Executive Conference Table

Posted by Cliff Locks On January 16, 2019 at 10:13 am / In: Uncategorized

The Responsibilities Being At The Executive Conference Table

Most of us are made men and women; what exactly do you mean by that? Well it means we are now senior executives, we have been recognized by both our colleagues and seniors to deserve us getting an invite to make contributions during meetings. However, the trouble is most of us seems to be quite executives. Though we are now seated at the table, however we are at the table and we are not making important contribution. If you aspired to be in a senior position in your place of work, then it is about time you got your communication improved.

You can begin by promising yourself to contribute to the discussion even if it’s just once in a meeting. However, you need to first relieve yourself of the pressure to make a brilliant contribution in every meeting. On the contrary, make a pledge to ask a question. Can that be really hard? Well if you are really observant, you will realize that meetings are avenue for discussing challenges and their disadvantages or the way out and their benefits. So you only need to ask a question either about the challenges or the solution. How terrible is the challenge? What will be the disadvantage if no action is taken? And if you want to ask questions about the solution, what are the advantages of taking this option, what will be our position, what will be our benefit? If your goal is to make progress in your profession, don’t just occupy the table, be relevant at the table.

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 or use the below contact form.

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

Breakthrough Opens Door To $100 Ultrasound Machine

Posted by Cliff Locks On November 7, 2018 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

Breakthrough Opens Door To $100 Ultrasound Machine

This a big breakthrough in MedTech.

What it is: University of British Columbia engineers recently built a new ultrasound transducer that can lower the cost of ultrasound to under $100. The patent-pending sensor is smaller than most bandages and can be powered by a smartphone. Conventional ultrasounds operate using a piezoelectric transducer; the UBC team synthesized a polymer resin (I.e. polymer capacitive micro-machined ultrasound transducers) to replace the expensive piezoelectrics. The sonograms produced from this new polymer-based transducer are as clear as traditional sonograms; in addition, the new polymer is flexible and can be built into a variety of wearable devices. “You could miniaturize these transducers and use them to look inside your arteries and veins,” said engineer Robert Rohling. “You could stick them on your chest and do live continuous monitoring of your heart in your daily life. It opens up so many different possibilities.”

Why it’s important: We are rapidly approaching a 1-trillion-plus sensor economy, where you’ll be able to know anything, anywhere, at anytime. A variety of sensors will augment our five biological senses with unthinkable data acquisition capabilities. Healthcare is one of the first areas that will benefit from sensors. Imagine a future where we no longer need to worry about curing cancer, because our personal tumor-seeking sensor-shell can detect early signs of cancer before cells even become cancerous.  

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

Machine Learning Confronts the Elephant in the Room – A visual prank exposes an Achilles’ heel of computer vision systems: Unlike humans, they can’t do a double take.

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 31, 2018 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

Machine Learning Confronts the Elephant in the Room – A visual prank exposes an Achilles’ heel of computer vision systems: Unlike humans, they can’t do a double take.

Score one for the human brain. In a new study, computer scientists found that artificial intelligence systems fail a vision test a child could accomplish with ease.

“It’s a clever and important study that reminds us that ‘deep learning’ isn’t really that deep,” said Gary Marcus, a neuroscientist at New York University who was not affiliated with the work.

The result takes place in the field of computer vision, where artificial intelligence systems attempt to detect and categorize objects. They might try to find all the pedestrians in a street scene, or just distinguish a bird from a bicycle (which is a notoriously difficult task). The stakes are high: As computers take over critical tasks like automated surveillance and autonomous driving, we’ll want their visual processing to be at least as good as the human eyes they’re replacing.

It won’t be easy. The new work accentuates the sophistication of human vision — and the challenge of building systems that mimic it. In the study, the researchers presented a computer vision system with a living room scene. The system processed it well. It correctly identified a chair, a person, books on a shelf. Then the researchers introduced an anomalous object into the scene — an image of an elephant. The elephant’s mere presence caused the system to forget itself: Suddenly it started calling a chair a couch and the elephant a chair, while turning completely blind to other objects it had previously seen.

“There are all sorts of weird things happening that show how brittle current object detection systems are,” said Amir Rosenfeld, a researcher at York University in Toronto and co-author of the study along with his York colleague John Tsotsos and Richard Zemel of the University of Toronto.

Researchers are still trying to understand exactly why computer vision systems get tripped up so easily, but they have a good guess. It has to do with an ability humans have that AI lacks: the ability to understand when a scene is confusing and thus go back for a second glance.

The Elephant in the Room

Eyes wide open, we take in staggering amounts of visual information. The human brain processes it in stride. “We open our eyes and everything happens,” said Tsotsos.

Artificial intelligence, by contrast, creates visual impressions laboriously, as if it were reading a description in Braille. It runs its algorithmic fingertips over pixels, which it shapes into increasingly complex representations. The specific type of AI system that performs this process is called a neural network. It sends an image through a series of “layers.” At each layer, the details of the image — the colors and brightnesses of individual pixels — give way to increasingly abstracted descriptions of what the image portrays. At the end of the process, the neural network produces a best-guess prediction about what it’s looking at.

“It’s all moving from one layer to the next by taking the output of the previous layer, processing it and passing it along to the next layer, like a pipeline,” said Tsotsos.

Neural networks are adept at specific visual chores. They can outperform humans in narrow tasks like sorting objects into best-fit categories — labeling dogs with their breed, for example. These successes have raised expectations that computer vision systems might soon be good enough to steer a car through crowded city streets.

They’ve also provoked researchers to probe their vulnerabilities. In recent years there have been a slew of attempts, known as “adversarial attacks,” in which researchers contrive scenes to make neural networks fail. In one experiment, computer scientists tricked a neural network into mistaking a turtle for a rifle. In another, researchers waylaid a neural network by placing an image of a psychedelically colored toaster alongside ordinary objects like a banana.

This new study has the same spirit. The three researchers fed a neural network a living room scene: A man seated on the edge of a shabby chair leans forward as he plays a video game. After chewing on this scene, a neural network correctly detected a number of objects with high confidence: a person, a couch, a television, a chair, some books.

In the unmodified image at left, the neural network correctly identifies many items in a cluttered living room scene with high probability. Add an elephant, as in the image at right, and problems arise. The chair in the lower-left corner becomes a couch, the nearby cup disappears, and the elephant gets misidentified as a chair.

Amir Rosenfeld

Then the researchers introduced something incongruous into the scene: an image of an elephant in semiprofile. The neural network started getting its pixels crossed. In some trials, the elephant led the neural network to misidentify the chair as a couch. In others, the system overlooked objects, like a row of books, that it had correctly detected in earlier trials. These errors occurred even when the elephant was far from the mistaken objects.

Snafus like those extrapolate in unsettling ways to autonomous driving. A computer can’t drive a car if it might go blind to a pedestrian just because a second earlier it passed a turkey on the side of the road.

And as for the elephant itself, the neural network was all over the place: Sometimes the system identified it correctly, sometimes it called the elephant a sheep, and sometimes it overlooked the elephant completely.

“If there is actually an elephant in the room, you as a human would likely notice it,” said Rosenfeld. “The system didn’t even detect its presence.”

Everything Connected to Everything

When human beings see something unexpected, we do a double take. It’s a common phrase with real cognitive implications — and it explains why neural networks fail when scenes get weird.

Today’s best neural networks for object detection work in a “feed forward” manner. This means that information flows through them in only one direction. They start with an input of fine-grained pixels, then move to curves, shapes, and scenes, with the network making its best guess about what it’s seeing at each step along the way. As a consequence, errant observations early in the process end up contaminating the end of the process, when the neural network pools together everything it thinks it knows in order to make a guess about what it’s looking at.

“By the top of the neural network you have everything connected to everything, so you have the potential to have every feature in every location interfering with every possible output,” said Tsotsos.

The human way is better. Imagine you’re given a very brief glimpse of an image containing a circle and a square, with one of them colored blue and the other red. Afterward you’re asked to name the color of the square. With only a single glance to go on, you’re likely to confuse the colors of the two shapes. But you’re also likely to recognize that you’re confused and to ask for another look. And, critically, when you take that second look, you know to focus your attention on just the color of the square.

“The human visual system says, ‘I don’t have right answer yet, so I have to go backwards to see where I might have made an error,’” explained Tsotsos, who has been developing a theory called selective tuning that explains this feature of visual cognition.

Most neural networks lack this ability to go backward. It’s a hard trait to engineer. One advantage of feed-forward networks is that they’re relatively straightforward to train — process an image through these six layers and get an answer. But if neural networks are to have license to do a double take, they’ll need a sophisticated understanding of when to draw on this new capacity (when to look twice) and when to plow ahead in a feed-forward way. Human brains switch between these different processes seamlessly; neural networks will need a new theoretical framework before they can do the same.

Leading researchers in the world are working on it, though, and they’re calling for backup. Earlier this month, Google AI announced a contest to crowdsource image classifiers that can see their way through adversarial attacks. The winning entry will need to unambiguously distinguish between an image of a bird and an image of a bicycle. It would be a modest first step — but also a necessary one.

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

New Electric Drone Has Groundbreaking Flight Time

Posted by Cliff Locks On October 24, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

New Electric Drone Has Groundbreaking Flight Time

Impossible Aerospace has announced the US-1, an unmanned quadcopter that can fly for over 2 hours on a single charge. That’s over four times as long as similar battery-powered drones, and on par with gas-fueled systems. US-1 can carry a payload of up to 2 kg (~4.4 pounds), with options like multispectral sensors, survey cameras and optical cameras. Hydrogen Fuel Cells will increase this capability even further.

Why it’s important: Beyond its substantial flight time improvement, the US-1 demonstrates the engineering breakthroughs enabled by first-principles thinking. “Most drones are designed with the philosophy that once you are done figuring out the payload and propulsion, you add the battery pack,” Impossible Aerospace CEO Spencer Gore, who previousy worked at Tesla, told IEEE. “Instead, from the very beginning, we designed a battery pack that was meant to fly.”  http://bit.ly/2Q7pbir

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

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

AI – Nvidia researchers develop AI system that generates synthetic scans of brain cancer

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

AI – Nvidia researchers develop AI system that generates synthetic scans of brain cancer

A current limitation on the accuracy of machine learning and AI systems is access to training data, particularly in a healthcare setting, where privacy concerns add additional limits. To address this need, Nvidia, the Mayo Clinic, and the MGH and BWH Center for Clinical Data Science have created a general adversarial network (GAN) to create synthetic 3D MRIs of brains with cancerous tumors. These synthetic images were then used to train neural networks to identify the presence of cancer on real patient data. So far, images have increased the accuracy of models by up to 80 percent, a 14 percent improvement and big step in identifying cancer earlier.

Why it’s important: Applying seemingly trivial concepts from one area to another — like using a GAN to create faces — can enable breakthroughs and a tangible positive impact. Look for Nvidia and team to fine-tune this approach to other types of cancer and disease in the brain to dramatically improve patient care.  http://bit.ly/2OQfHYW

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

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

Five Challenges with Today’s Elementary Schools and Five Guiding Principles for Future Education

Posted by Cliff Locks On September 19, 2018 at 10:07 am / In: Uncategorized

Five Challenges with Today’s Elementary Schools and Five Guiding Principles for Future Education

As kids worldwide head back to school, I’d like to share some thoughts on the future of education. Without question, the #1 driver for Education = Inspiration.

This blog covers five subjects related to elementary school education:

  1. Five Issues with Today’s Elementary Schools
  2. Five Guiding Principles for Future Education
  3. An Elementary School Curriculum for the Future
  4. Exponential Technologies in our Classroom
  5. Mindsets for the 21st Century

Excuse the length of this blog, but if you have kids, the details might be meaningful. If you don’t, then next week’s blog will return to normal length and another fun subject.

OKAY, let’s dive in…

Five Issues with Today’s Elementary Schools

There are probably lots of issues with today’s traditional elementary schools, but I’ll just choose a few that bother me most.

  1. Grading: In the traditional education system, you start at an “A,” and every time you get something wrong, your score gets lower and lower. At best it’s demotivating, and at worst it has nothing to do with the world you occupy as an adult. In the gaming world (e.g. Angry Birds), it’s just the opposite. You start with zero and every time you come up with something right, your score gets higher and higher.
  2. Sage on the Stage: Most classrooms have a teacher up in front of class lecturing to a classroom of students, half of whom are bored and half of whom are lost. The one-teacher-fits-all model comes from an era of scarcity where great teachers and schools were rare.
  3. Relevance: When I think back to elementary and secondary school, I realize how much of what I learned was never actually useful later in life, and how many of my critical lessons for success I had to pick up on my own. (I don’t know about you, but I haven’t ever actually had to factor a polynomial in my adult life.)
  4. Imagination – Coloring inside the Lines: Probably of greatest concern to me is the factory-worker, industrial-era origin of today’s schools — programs so structured with rote memorization that it squashes the originality from most children. I’m reminded that “the day before something is truly a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.” Where do we pursue crazy ideas in our schools? Where do we foster imagination?
  5. Boring: If learning in school is a chore, boring or emotionless, then the most important driver of human learning, passion, is disengaged. Having our children memorize facts and figures, sit passively in class and take mundane standardized tests completely defeats the purpose.

An average of 7,200 students drop out of high school each day, totaling 1.3 million each year. This means only 69% of students who start high school finish four years later. And over 50% of these high school dropouts name boredom as the No. 1 reason they left.

Five Guiding Principles for Future Education:

I imagine a relatively near-term future in which robotics and artificial intelligence will allow any of us, from ages 8 to 108, to easily and quickly find answers, create products or accomplish tasks, all simply by expressing our desires.

From ‘mind to manufactured in moments.’ In short, we’ll be able to do and create almost whatever we want.

In this future, what attributes will be most critical for our children to learn to become successful in their adult lives? What’s most important for educating our children today?

For me it’s about passion, curiosity, imagination, critical thinking and grit.

  1. Passion: You’d be amazed at how many people don’t have a mission in life… A calling… something to jolt them out of bed every morning. The most valuable resource for humanity is the persistent and passionate human mind, so creating a future of passionate kids is so very important. For my 7-year-old boys, I want to support them in finding their passion or purpose… something that is uniquely theirs. In the same way that the Apollo program and Star Trek drove my early love for all things space, and that passion drove me to learn and do.
  2. Curiosity: Curiosity is something innate in kids, yet something lost by most adults during the course of their life. Why? In a world of Google, robots and AI, raising a kid that is constantly asking questions and running “what if” experiments can be extremely valuable. In an age of machine learning, massive data and a trillion sensors, it will be the quality of your questions that will be most important.
  3. Imagination: Entrepreneurs and visionaries imagine the world (and the future) they want to live in, and then they create it. Kids happen to be some of the most imaginative humans around… it’s critical that they know how important and liberating imagination can be.
  4. Critical Thinking: In a world flooded with often-conflicting ideas, baseless claims, misleading headlines, negative news and misinformation, learning the skill of critical thinking helps find the signal in the noise. This principle is perhaps the most difficult to teach kids.
  5. Grit/Persistence: Grit is defined as “passion and perseverance in pursuit of long-term goals,” and it has recently been widely acknowledged as one of the most important predictors of and contributors to success.

Teaching your kids not to give up, to keep trying, and to keep trying new ideas for something that they are truly passionate about achieving is extremely critical. Much of my personal success has come from such stubbornness. I joke that both XPRIZE and the Zero Gravity Corporation were “overnight successes after 10 years of hard work.”

So given those five basic principles, what would an elementary school curriculum look like? Let’s take a look…

An Elementary School Curriculum for the Future

For the purpose of illustration, I’ll speak about ‘courses’ or ‘modules,’ but in reality these are just elements that would ultimately be woven together throughout the course of K-6 education.

Module 1: Storytelling/Communications

When I think about the skill that has served me best in life, it’s been my ability to present my ideas in the most compelling fashion possible, to get others onboard, and support birth and growth in an innovative direction. In my adult life, as an entrepreneur and a CEO, it’s been my ability to communicate clearly and tell compelling stories that has allowed me to create the future. I don’t think this lesson can start too early in life. So imagine a module, year after year, where our kids learn the art and practice of formulating and pitching their ideas. The best of oration and storytelling. Perhaps children in this class would watch TED presentations, or maybe they’d put together their own TEDx for kids. Ultimately, it’s about practice and getting comfortable with putting yourself and your ideas out there and overcoming any fears of public speaking.

Module 2: Passions

A modern school should help our children find and explore their passion(s). Passion is the greatest gift of self-discovery. It is a source of interest and excitement, and is unique to each child.

The key to finding passion is exposure. Allowing kids to experience as many adventures, careers and passionate adults as possible. Historically, this was limited by the reality of geography and cost, implemented by having local moms and dads presenting in class about their careers. “Hi, I’m Alan, Billy’s dad, and I’m an accountant. Accountants are people who…”

But in a world of YouTube and virtual reality, the ability for our children to explore 500 different possible careers or passions during their K-6 education becomes not only possible but compelling. I imagine a module where children share their newest passion each month, sharing videos (or VR experiences) and explaining what they love and what they’ve learned.

Module 3: Curiosity & Experimentation

Einstein famously said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Curiosity is innate in children, and many times lost later in life. Arguably, it can be said that curiosity is responsible for all major scientific and technological advances — the desire of an individual to know the truth.

Coupled with curiosity is the process of experimentation and discovery. The process of asking questions, creating and testing a hypothesis, and repeated experimentation until the truth is found. As I’ve studied the most successful entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies, from Google and Amazon to Uber, their success is significantly due to their relentless use of experimentation to define their products and services.

Here I imagine a module which instills in children the importance of curiosity and gives them permission to say, “I don’t know, let’s find out.”

Further, a monthly module that teaches children how to design and execute valid and meaningful experiments. Imagine children who learn the skill of asking a question, proposing a hypothesis, designing an experiment, gathering the data and then reaching a conclusion.

Module 4: Persistence/Grit

Doing anything big, bold and significant in life is hard work. You can’t just give up when the going gets rough. The mindset of persistence, of grit, is a learned behavior and I believe can be taught at an early age, especially when it’s tied to pursuing a child’s passion.

I imagine a curriculum that, each week, studies the career of a great entrepreneur and highlights their story of persistence. It would highlight the individuals and companies that stuck with it, iterated and ultimately succeeded.

Further, I imagine a module that combines persistence and experimentation in gameplay such as that found in Dean Kamen’s FIRST LEGO league, where 4th graders (and up) research a real-world problem such as food safety, recycling, energy and so on, and are challenged to develop a solution. They also must design, build and program a robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS®, then compete on a tabletop playing field.

Module 5: Technology Exposure

In a world of rapidly accelerating technology, understanding how technologies work, what they do and their potential for benefiting society is, in my humble opinion, critical to a child’s future. Technology and coding (more on this below) are the new “lingua franca” of tomorrow.

In this module, I imagine teaching (age appropriate) kids through play and demonstration. Giving them an overview of exponential technologies such as computation, sensors, networks, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, genetic engineering, augmented/virtual reality and robotics, to name a few. This module is not about making a child an expert in any technology, it’s more about giving them the language of these new tools, and conceptually an overview of how they might use such a technology in the future. The goal here is to get them excited, give them demonstrations that make the concepts stick, and then to let their imaginations run.

Module 6: Empathy

Empathy, defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another,” has been recognized as one of the most critical skills for our children today. And while there has been much written, and great practices for instilling this at home and in school, today’s new tools accelerate this.

Virtual reality isn’t just about video games anymore. Artists, activists and journalists now see the technology’s potential to be an empathy engine, one that can shine spotlights on everything from the Ebola epidemic to what it’s like to live in Gaza. And Jeremy Bailenson has been at the vanguard of investigating VR’s power for good.

For more than a decade, Bailenson’s lab at Stanford has been studying how VR can make us better people. Through the power of VR, volunteers at the lab have felt what it is like to be Superman (to see if it makes them more helpful), a cow (to reduce meat consumption) and even a coral (to learn about ocean acidification).

Silly as they might seem, these sorts of VR scenarios could be more effective than the traditional public service ad at making people behave. Afterwards, they waste less paper. They save more money for retirement. They’re nicer to the people around them. And this could have consequences in terms of how we teach and train everyone from cliquey teenagers to high court judges.

Module 7: Ethics/Moral Dilemmas

Related to empathy, and equally important, is the goal of infusing kids with a moral compass. Over a year ago, I toured a special school created by Elon Musk (the Ad Astra school) for his five boys (age 9 to 14). One element that is persistent in that small school of under 40 kids is the conversation about ethics and morals, a conversation manifested by debating real-world scenarios that our kids may one day face.

Here’s an example of the sort of gameplay/roleplay that I heard about at Ad Astra, that might be implemented in a module on morals and ethics. Imagine a small town on a lake, in which the majority of the town is employed by a single factory. But that factory has been polluting the lake and killing all the life. What do you do? It’s posed that shutting down the factory would mean that everyone loses their jobs. On the other hand, keeping the factory open means the lake is destroyed and the lake dies. This kind of regular and routine conversation/gameplay allows the children to see the world in a critically important fashion.

Module 8: The 3R Basics (Reading, wRiting & aRithmetic)

There’s no question that young children entering kindergarten need the basics of reading, writing and math. The only question is what’s the best way for them to get it? We all grew up in the classic mode of a teacher at the chalkboard, books and homework at night. But I would argue that such teaching approaches are long outdated, now replaced with apps, gameplay and the concept of the flip classroom.

Pioneered by high school teachers Jonathan Bergman and Aaron Sams in 2007, the flipped classroom reverses the sequence of events from that of the traditional classroom.

Students view lecture materials, usually in the form of video lectures, as homework prior to coming to class. In-class time is reserved for activities such as interactive discussions or collaborative work — all performed under the guidance of the teacher.

The benefits are clear:

  1. Students can consume lectures at their own pace, viewing the video again and again until they get the concept, or fast-forwarding if the information is obvious.
  2. The teacher is present while students apply new knowledge. Doing the homework into class time gives teachers insight into which concepts, if any, that their students are struggling with and helps them adjust the class accordingly.
  3. The flipped classroom produces tangible results: 71% of teachers who flipped their classes noticed improved grades, and 80% reported improved student attitudes as a result.

Module 9: Creative Expression & Improvisation

Every single one of us is creative. It’s human nature to be creative… the thing is that we each might have different ways of expressing our creativity.

We must encourage kids to discover and to develop their creative outlets early. In this module, imagine showing kids the many different ways creativity is expressed — from art to engineering to music to math — and then guiding them as they choose the area (or areas) they are most interested in. Critically, teachers (or parents) can then develop unique lessons for each child based on their interests, thanks to open education resources like YouTube and the Khan Academy. If my child is interested in painting and robots, a teacher or AI could scour the Web and put together a custom lesson set from videos/articles where the best painters and roboticists in the world share their skills.

Adapting to change is critical for success, especially in our constantly changing world today. Improvisation is a skill that can be learned, and we need to be teaching it early.

In most collegiate “improv” classes, the core of great improvisation is the “Yes, And…” mindset. When acting out a scene, one actor might introduce a new character or idea, completely changing the context of the scene. It’s critical that the other actors in the scene say “Yes, and…” accept the new reality, then add something new of their own.

Imagine playing similar role-play games in elementary schools, where a teacher gives the students a scene/context and constantly changes variables, forcing them to adapt and play.

Module 10: Coding

Computer science opens more doors for students than any other discipline in today’s world. Learning even the basics will help students in virtually any career, from architecture to zoology.

Coding is an important tool for computer science, in the way that arithmetic is a tool for doing mathematics and words are a tool for English. Coding creates software, but computer science is a broad field encompassing deep concepts that go well beyond coding.

Every 21st century student should also have a chance to learn about algorithms, how to make an app or how the Internet works. Computational thinking allows preschoolers to grasp concepts like algorithms, recursion and heuristics — even if they don’t understand the terms, they’ll learn the basic concepts.

There are more than 500,000 open jobs in computing right now, representing the No. 1 source of new wages in the United States, and these jobs are projected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs.

Coding is fun! Beyond the practical reasons for learning how to code, there’s the fact that creating a game or animation can be really fun for kids.

Module 11: Entrepreneurship & Sales

At its core, entrepreneurship is about identifying a problem (an opportunity), developing a vision on how to solve it, and working with a team to turn that vision into reality. I mentioned Elon’s school, Ad Astra: here, again, entrepreneurship is a core discipline where students create and actually sell products and services to each other and the school community.

You could recreate this basic exercise with a group of kids in lots of fun ways to teach them the basic lessons of entrepreneurship.

Related to entrepreneurship is sales. In my opinion, we need to be teaching sales to every child at an early age. Being able to “sell” an idea (again related to storytelling) has been a critical skill in my career, and it is a competency that many people simply never learned.

The lemonade stand has been a classic, though somewhat meager, lesson in sales from past generations, where a child sits on a street corner and tries to sell homemade lemonade for $0.50 to people passing by. I’d suggest we step the game up and take a more active approach in gamifying sales, and maybe having the classroom create a Kickstarter, Indiegogo or GoFundMe campaign. The experience of creating a product or service and successfully selling it will create an indelible memory and give students the tools to change the world.

Module 12: Language

A little over a year ago, I spent a week in China meeting with parents whose focus on kids’ education is extraordinary. One of the areas I found fascinating is how some of the most advanced parents are teaching their kids new languages: through games. On the tablet, the kids are allowed to play games, but only in French. A child’s desire to win fully engages them and drives their learning rapidly.

Beyond games, there’s virtual reality. We know that full immersion is what it takes to become fluent (at least later in life). A semester abroad in France or Italy, and you’ve got a great handle on the language and the culture. But what about for an 8-year-old?

Imagine a module where for an hour each day, the children spend their time walking around Italy in a VR world, hanging out with AI-driven game characters who teach them, engage them, and share the culture and the language in the most personalized and compelling fashion possible.

Bottom line, how we educate our kids needs to radically change given the massive potential of exponential tech (e.g. artificial intelligence and Virtual Reality), per Peter Diamandis and he is right!

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

AI Superpowers USA vs. China

Posted by Cliff Locks On at 10:02 am / In: Uncategorized

AI Superpowers USA vs. China

Kai-Fu Lee is one of the most plugged-in AI investors on the planet, heading management of over $2 billion AUM between six funds, and over 300 portfolio companies in the U.S. and China.

Drawing from his pioneering work in AI, executive leadership at Microsoft, Apple and Google (where he served as founding president of Google China), and his founding of VC fund Sinovation Ventures, Lee shares invaluable insights about:

  1. The four factors driving today’s AI ecosystems;
  2. China’s extraordinary inroads in AI implementation;
  3. Where autonomous systems are headed;
  4. How we’ll need to adapt.

With a foothold in both Beijing and Silicon Valley, Lee looks at the power balance between Chinese and U.S. tech behemoths — each turbocharging new applications of deep learning and sweeping up global markets in the process.

In this blog, I’ll be discussing Lee’s ‘Four Waves of AI,’ an excellent framework for discussing where AI is today and where it’s going. I’ll also be featuring some of the hottest Chinese tech companies leading the charge, worth watching right now.

With Sino-U.S. competition heating up, who will own the future of technology?

Let’s dive in.

The First Wave: Internet AI

In this first stage of AI deployment, we’re dealing primarily with recommendation engines — algorithmic systems that learn from masses of user data to curate online content personalized to each one of us.

Think Amazon’s spot-on product recommendations, or that “Up Next” YouTube video you just have to watch before getting back to work, or Facebook ads that seem to know what you’ll buy before you do.

Powered by the data flowing through our networks, Internet AI leverages the fact that users automatically label data as we browse. Clicking vs. not clicking; lingering on a webpage longer than we did on another; hovering over a Facebook video to see what happens at the end.

These cascades of labeled data build a detailed picture of our personalities, habits, demands and desires: the perfect recipe for more tailored content to keep us on a given platform.

Currently, Lee estimates that Chinese and American companies stand head-to-head when it comes to deployment of Internet AI. But given China’s data advantage, he predicts that Chinese tech giants will have a slight lead (60-40) over their U.S. counterparts in the next five years.

While you’ve most definitely heard of Alibaba and Baidu, you’ve probably never stumbled upon Toutiao.

Starting out as a ‘copycat’ of America’s wildly popular Buzzfeed, Toutiao reached a valuation of $20 billion by 2017, dwarfing Buzzfeed’s valuation by more than a factor of 10. But with almost 80 million daily active users, Toutiao doesn’t just stop at creating viral content.

Equipped with natural-language processing and computer vision, Toutiao’s AI engines survey a vast network of different sites and contributors, rewriting headlines to optimize for user engagement, and processing each user’s online behavior — clicks, comments, engagement time — to curate individualized news feeds for millions of consumers.

And as users grow more engaged with Toutiao’s content, the company’s algorithms get better and better at recommending content, optimizing headlines, and delivering a truly personalized feed.

It’s this kind of positive feedback loop that fuels today’s AI giants surfing the wave of Internet AI.

The Second Wave: Business AI

While Internet AI takes advantage of the fact that netizens are constantly labeling data via clicks and other engagement metrics, business AI jumps on the data that traditional companies have already labeled in the past.

Think: banks issuing loans and recording repayment rates; hospitals archiving diagnoses, imaging data and subsequent health outcomes; or courts noting conviction history, recidivism and flight.

While we humans make predictions based on obvious root causes (strong features), AI algorithms can process thousands of weakly correlated variables (weak features) that may have much more to do with a given outcome than the usual suspects.

By scouting out hidden correlations that escape our linear cause-and-effect logic, Business AI leverages labeled data to train algorithms that outperform even the most veteran of experts.

Apply these data-trained AI engines to banking, insurance and legal sentencing, and you get minimized default rates, optimized premiums, and plummeting recidivism rates.

While Lee confidently places America in the lead (90-10) for Business AI, China’s substantial lag in structured industry data could actually work in its favor going forward.

In industries where Chinese startups can leapfrog over legacy systems, China has a major advantage.

Take Chinese app Smart Finance, for instance.

While Americans embraced credit and debit cards in the 1970s, China was still in the throes of its Cultural Revolution, largely missing the bus on this cutting-edge technology.

Fast forward to 2017, and China’s mobile payment spending outnumbered that of Americans’ by a ratio of 50 to 1. Without the competition of deeply entrenched credit cards, mobile payments were an obvious upgrade to China’s cash-heavy economy, embraced by 70 percent of China’s 753 million smartphone users by the end of 2017.

But by leapfrogging over credit cards and into mobile payments, China largely left behind the notion of credit.

And here’s where Smart Finance comes in.

An AI-powered app for micro-finance, Smart Finance depends almost exclusively on its algorithms to make millions of micro loans. For each potential borrower, the app simply requests access to a portion of the user’s phone data.

On the basis of variables as subtle as your typing speed and battery percentage, Smart Finance can predict with astounding accuracy your likelihood of repaying a $300 loan.

Such deployments of Business AI and Internet AI are already revolutionizing our industries and individual lifestyles. But still on the horizon lie two even more monumental waves — perception AI and autonomous AI.

The Third Wave: Perception AI

In this wave, AI gets an upgrade with eyes, ears and myriad other senses, merging the digital world with our physical environments.

As sensors and smart devices proliferate through our homes and cities, we are on the verge of entering a trillion-sensor economy.

Companies like China’s Xiaomi are putting out millions of IoT-connected devices, and teams of researchers have already begun prototyping smart dust — solar cell- and sensor-geared particulates that can store and communicate troves of data anywhere, anytime.

As Kai-Fu explains, Perception AI “will bring the convenience and abundance of the online world into our offline reality.” Sensor-enabled hardware devices will turn everything from hospitals to cars to schools into online-merge-offline (OMO) environments.

Imagine walking into a grocery store, scanning your face to pull up your most common purchases, and then picking up a virtual assistant (VA) shopping cart. Having pre-loaded your data, the cart adjusts your usual grocery list with voice input, reminds you to get your spouse’s favorite wine for an upcoming anniversary, and guides you through a personalized store route.

While we haven’t yet leveraged the full potential of perception AI, China and the U.S. are already making incredible strides. Given China’s hardware advantage, Lee predicts China currently has a 60-40 edge over its American tech counterparts.

Now the go-to city for startups building robots, drones, wearable technology, and IoT infrastructure, Shenzhen has turned into a powerhouse for intelligent hardware, as I discussed last week. Turbocharging output of sensors and electronic parts via thousands of factories, Shenzhen’s skilled engineers can prototype and iterate new products at unprecedented scale and speed.

With the added fuel of Chinese government support and a relaxed Chinese attitude toward data privacy, China’s lead may even reach 80-20 in the next five years.

Jumping on this wave are companies like Xiaomi, which aims to turn bathrooms, kitchens, and living rooms into smart OMO environments. Having invested in 220 companies and incubated 29 startups that produce its products, Xiaomi surpassed 85 million intelligent home devices by the end of 2017, making it the world’s largest network of these connected products.

One KFC restaurant in China has even teamed up with Alipay (Alibaba’s mobile payments platform) to pioneer a ‘pay-with-your-face’ feature. Forget cash, cards and cell phones, and let OMO do the work.

The Fourth Wave: Autonomous AI

But the most monumental — and unpredictable — wave is the fourth and final: autonomous AI.

Integrating all previous waves, autonomous AI gives machines the ability to sense and respond to the world around them, enabling AI to move and act productively.

While today’s machines can outperform us on repetitive tasks in structured and even unstructured environments (think Boston Dynamics’ humanoid Atlas or oncoming autonomous vehicles), machines with the power to see, hear, touch and optimize data will be a whole new ballgame.

Think: swarms of drones that can selectively spray and harvest entire farms with computer vision and remarkable dexterity, heat-resistant drones that can put out forest fires 100X more efficiently, or Level 5 autonomous vehicles that navigate smart roads and traffic systems all on their own.

While autonomous AI will first involve robots that create direct economic value — automating tasks on a one-to-one replacement basis — these intelligent machines will ultimately revamp entire industries from the ground-up.

Kai-Fu Lee currently puts America in a commanding lead of 90-10 in autonomous AI, especially when it comes to self-driving vehicles. But Chinese government efforts are quickly ramping up the competition.

Already in China’s Zhejiang province, highway regulators and government officials have plans to build China’s first intelligent superhighway, outfitted with sensors, road-embedded solar panels and wireless communication between cars, roads and drivers.

Aimed at increasing transit efficiency by up to 30 percent while minimizing fatalities, the project may one day allow autonomous electric vehicles to continuously charge as they drive.

A similar government-fueled project involves Beijing’s new neighbor Xiong’an. Projected to take in over $580 billion in infrastructure spending over the next 20 years, Xiong’an New Area could one day become the world’s first city built around autonomous vehicles.

Baidu is already working with Xiong’an’s local government to build out this AI City with an environmental focus. Possibilities include sensor-geared cement, computer vision-enabled traffic lights, intersections with facial recognition and parking lots-turned parks.

Lastly, Lee predicts China will almost certainly lead the charge in autonomous drones. Already, Shenzhen is home to premier drone maker DJI. Named “the best company I have ever encountered” by Chris Anderson, DJI owns an estimated 50 percent of the North American drone market, supercharged by Shenzhen’s extraordinary maker movement.

While the long-term Sino-U.S. competitive balance in fourth wave AI remains to be seen, one thing is certain: in a matter of decades, we will witness the rise of AI-embedded cityscapes and autonomous machines that can interact with the real world and Peter Diamandis says it will help solve today’s most pressing grand challenges.

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

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

LOSE THE VOLUNTEER BLUES

Posted by Cliff Locks On August 29, 2018 at 11:05 am / In: Uncategorized

LOSE THE VOLUNTEER BLUES

Just like most business executives, I am passionate about helping our youths; consequently, I registered to provide STEM learning resources to the Scouting community. Please consider reaching out to your local Scouting Council and offer to be a Merit Badge Council and a Board Member. Here is a comprehensive list of Councils in the USA by State and County: http://bit.ly/2PcTV1d

I just learned of another great group, I came across, Pencil. This is a non-profit firm that promotes a volunteer opportunity. You can be a pro-bono professional Advisor and Board Member to a School Principal, and create other student educational opportunities. There are many groups around the country that provide similar resources, just Google your County and Not for Profit, here is an example in New Jersey: http://www.njnonprofits.org/NPEducation.html. Pencil is serving the New York City area.

Pencil serves over 500 public school students (ages 16-22) annually through a competitive career readiness training program that culminates in a paid six-week summer internship at a company in New York City. Volunteers are a critical component of this program, serving as mentors, supervisors, and instructors.

Michael Haberman; is the CEO of Pencil. The Pencil is a voluntary organization, which is working hard to assist in fixing one of the greatest challenges fronting our nation; which happens to be the education tragedy. For instance, in New York City, 74.3% of the 1.1 million public school kids will finish. Additionally, even though a higher percentage of students are graduating citywide, less than half of city high school graduates are determined to be “college ready.”, and we reckon that everybody can be involved in helping with the solutions. The group creates a perfect fit, they take individuals with amazing enterprise abilities, attach them with a community school head and assist them to fix a couple of the difficulties that will eventually lead to students attaining success.

In 2017 Pencil worked with 1,224 business volunteers to directly serve 2,500 public school students across all five boroughs of New York. Volunteers sign up with the Pencil organization, and are matched with one of the 500 schools, and there are various ways through which volunteers operate to provide assistance and encouragement. For instance, there is the A rap international engineering, this group has already started working with a high school in Brooklyn, and right there, they are assisting to link scientific and mathematical curriculum to real-life issues. As a result of this, the student has learned how bridges are constructed, they have been taught a lot about wind generators and, a year ago, they built their dance studio, and they have started making use of it. And there is also the international marketing company Ogilvy, Ogilvy is in partnership with several students to train them about the field of advertising and marketing, and in the course of the year, they set up their 360-degree marketing campaign with radio, Television, outside the office, and online; definitely motivating the students to realize that, when they are educated, there is practically nothing they cannot accomplish.  I think this is awesome.

Here are two photos of American Airlines providing student learning opportunities through Pencil.

The Pencil program is so wonderful that virtually any professional businessman or woman with talent will be a fantastic volunteer and partner with schools. If you happen to be a professional administrator, talented in marketing or even if you’re merely enthusiastic about speaking with students on how you achieved your goals, we’re the specialists at assisting you to understand how you can genuinely influence a public school.

For anyone who is enthusiastic and is interested in volunteering for Pencil, kindly visit www.pencil.org; News: https://pencil.org/pencil-news-clips/

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

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

 

 

 

Visionary Analysis – Are You Ready for the Fastest Internet Connection in the World

Posted by Cliff Locks On July 25, 2018 at 10:16 am / In: Uncategorized

Visionary Analysis – Are You Ready for the Fastest Internet Connection in the World

In the next 6 years, 4 billion “New Consumers” are about to be connected to the World Wide Web, at Gigabit connection speeds, at near zero-cost.

 

 

By 2024, we are connecting every person on Earth to the web with bandwidths far beyond what Fortune 500 CEOs and heads of nations had daily access to just a couple of decades back.

This revolution will ignite a renaissance of innovation, and once again transform our planet.

In the next 4 to 7 years, every person on Earth will gain access to the world’s information.

What will these 4.2 billion new consumers discover? What will they consume? What new companies will they build? What industries will they disrupt?

We’ve already seen unprecedented acceleration of network growth and connectivity. But as the other half of our planet plugs into the web, this acceleration will only accelerate.

So where are we going and how are we getting there?

Networks are currently being deployed in 3 different areas:

  1. 5G, ushering in a wireless world
  2. Balloons connecting all 8 billion of us from the atmosphere
  3. Space-based networks

Let’s dive in…

5G for Gigabit Connection Speeds, Worldwide

The jump from 3G to 4G brought you the revolutionary era of smartphones, mobile banking and e-commerce.

But if you thought that was big, think again.

With plans for wide-scale deployment in 2020, 5G will be 100X faster than 4G, and 10X faster than your average broadband connection.

To get a sense of what that actually means, imagine downloading a movie on your phone in a matter of seconds —or better yet, having your autonomous vehicle communicate with smart city sensors in real time.

With 1 to 10 Gbps connection speeds, 5G is at the core of tomorrow’s trillion-sensor economy.

Powering autonomous vehicles, smart factories (IIoT), remotely controlled drones, VR and AR, in-home IoT, and the world’s first smart cities, 5G is about to allow every person on the planet to tap into data from billions of sensors around the globe.

It’s the promise of on-demand knowledge for anyone, anywhere, anytime.

As Peter Diamandis and his friend and former Qualcomm CTO Matt Grob explains, “5G networks will allow you to measure 100,000 sensors in a city block.”

Imagine the extraordinary possibilities that such a smart world could unlock. No question about your environment is unanswerable, and answers are less than a split second away.

With companies like Qualcomm and Intel leading the charge, some estimates put 5G infrastructure spending at over $326 billion by 2025.

And while major players are linking the world’s devices and sensors at gigabit connection speeds on the ground, others are working from the atmosphere.

As Google places high-altitude balloons in the stratosphere, SpaceX is beginning to populate space with constellations of Internet-transmitting satellites.

Balloons Blanketing the Earth

With balloons and drones hovering about 20 to 50 kilometers off the ground, companies like Google are working to connect 4 billion people to the web at unprecedented speeds.

Coming out of Google’s X — commonly known as the ‘Moonshot Factory’ — Google Loon is building out balloons that can direct themselves up and down the stratosphere, creating an aerial wireless network with up to 4G LTE connection capacities.

Project Loon has essentially redesigned the key components of a cell tower to be light and durable enough for a 15x12m balloon navigating 20 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.

Powered by solar panels that charge their batteries, Loon’s balloons are guided using predictive models of wind patterns and decision-making algorithms. Depending on where coverage is needed, balloons are quickly navigated into the right wind stream for directed migration.

Each with a coverage area of 5,000 square kilometers, balloons can be deployed in no time. Using custom-built Autolaunchers, Project Loon can now fill and launch a new balloon into its network every 30 minutes, per crane.

And by August of last year, Google had shown data transmission between balloons over 100 kilometers apart (in the stratosphere) and back down to Earth with connection speeds of up to 10 Mbps, directly to LTE phones on the ground.

Having successfully provided connectivity to over 100,000 Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria in 2017, Loon aims to put thousands of balloons in the stratosphere, giving you connectivity anywhere on the planet.

But Alphabet isn’t alone. Travel out another several thousand kilometers, and companies from OneWeb to SpaceX are powering satellite networks in the thousands.

Space-Based Networks

Imagine a swarm of thousands of satellites, migrating across the horizon, delivering a constant stream of broadband to the most remote corners of the globe.

Now imagine this as early as 2020. With OneWeb and SpaceX deploying satellite constellations in low Earth orbit, science fiction is only years away.

Backed by billions in funding from Qualcomm, Richard Branson and SoftBank, among other investors, OneWeb is working on a constellation of about 1,980 satellites in total.

Aiming to be fully operational by the mid-2020s, OneWeb’s initial constellation is set to offer download speeds of up to 50 Mbps worldwide.

In the meantime, OneWeb founder Greg Wyler has projected that customers will start receiving 500 Mbps of bandwidth in 2019 as OneWeb’s second generation satellites aim for 2.5 Gbps by 2021.

And just this past June, the satellite broadband company received Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval to serve U.S. customers with a constellation of 720 satellites.

But OneWeb isn’t stopping there. Using Amazon’s Blue Origin rockets to launch their satellites into space, OneWeb is gearing up for Round 2, recently requesting FCC approval of another 1,260 satellites, aiming for global, high-speed broadband.

With targets of “connecting every unconnected school” by 2022, OneWeb hopes to entirely “bridge the digital divide” by 2027.

And beyond OneWeb, we’ve already seen SpaceX launch numerous satellites into orbit aboard its Falcon 9 this year.

Charging full speed ahead with its ambitious project Starlink, SpaceX has unveiled plans for a 4,425 satellite constellation in low Earth orbit to cover the globe with megabit and gigabit speeds.

Finally granted a license from the FCC in March 2018 to operate an array of broadband internet satellites, SpaceX has been predicted to gain over 40 million subscribers for Starlink by 2025, translating to about $30 billion in revenue.

But while revenue potential and connection speeds skyrocket, one primary challenge to satellite internet is latency.

Even with strong broadband, it takes much more time for communications to travel to a satellite and back than via terrestrial connections.

But as OneWeb and Starlink jump onto the scene, their low Earth orbit constellations are predicted to offer broadband speeds with unprecedentedly low latency. As of 2016, OneWeb’s constellation was designed to have just 30 milliseconds of latency — a remarkable leap for satellites.

And with satellites placed closer to Earth, Starlink shows promise for much lower latency in the long-term. In addition to its initial 4,425 satellite constellation at about 1,150 kilometers above Earth, Starlink plans to place another 7,500+ satellites even closer at 340 kilometers in altitude.

As tweeted by Musk, the two experimental satellites deployed from one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets, “TinTin A [and TinTin B] are both closing the link to ground with phased array at high bandwidth, low latency (25ms).”

And with SpaceX’s intended proximity to Earth, latency delays would only continue to plummet, one day reaching comparability to current cable and fiber response times. As explained by SpaceX VP Patricia Cooper to the U.S. Senate Chamber of Commerce, Starlink’s network would provide 25ms latency and 1 Gbps speeds.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Zoom out another several thousand kilometers and you’ve reached O3b’s fleet.

Working at an altitude about 8,000 kilometers above the Earth, O3b — or “Other 3 Billion” — has already built out an initial fleet of 16 satellites, including 4 new ones launched just this past spring.

It’s already provided connectivity to multiple small island nations, but O3b is only getting started. Partnering with Boeing, O3b plans to launch an upgraded network in 2021, an ‘mPower network’ set to become the first ‘multi-terabit’ satellite constellation in space.

(As of September 2017, Boeing Satellite Systems International agreed to build a fleet of seven superpowered satellites to provide connectivity from medium Earth orbit for SES’ O3b network.)

Ushering in a new era, SES promises the “most powerful, flexible, and scalable satellite-based network ever, [delivering] multiple terabits of throughput to connect exponentially more people.”

Having contracted its first O3b mPower partner, Boeing Satellite Systems, SES’s constellation is planned to have 30,000 fully shapeable and steerable beams, which can be shifted in real time to align with consumers’ changing needs and connectivity demands.

Offering coverage to almost 400 million square kilometers — four-fifths of the Earth’s surface — O3b mPower could become the most bandwidth-efficient system ever.

Combined, these privately run fleets could one day meet the internet traffic needs of entire countries, far-flung islands smattering the Earth, and the most remote of peoples, now accessing a trillion-sensor economy on-demand, and at historic speeds.

The Big Picture

With 5G on the ground, balloons in the air and private satellites blanketing the Earth from space, we are on the verge of connecting every person on the planet with gigabit connection speeds at de minimis cost.

As 5G electrifies a world of trillions of sensors and devices, we’re about to live in a world where anyone anywhere can have access to the world’s knowledge, crowdfund ready capital across 8 billion potential investors, and 3D print on the cloud.

And as the population of online users doubles, we’re about to witness perhaps the most historic acceleration of progress and technological innovation known to man. Thank you Peter Diamandis for sharing your wisdom!

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

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.

 

IS YOUR BOSS DIFFICULT?

Posted by Cliff Locks On July 2, 2018 at 10:03 am / In: Uncategorized

IS YOUR BOSS DIFFICULT?

Do you happen to be one of those individuals who have to put up with a difficult boss? Almost everyone seems to have complained about their boss during their career. It generally seems that there are many terrible bosses out there; but then bad employees are just as many as bad bosses.

Could it be that you haven’t been patient enough to see things from your boss’s point of view? Besides your boss might be under another boss who might be pressuring him/her. It is time you see your boss from another dimension and improve your relationship with him/her.

To begin with, start by asking your boss what you can do to be of assistance.

Following that, look for something your boss is quite excellent at. Everybody has something good on the inside of them, find it out and let others know about it.

When you are patient enough to be kind with your boss, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if your boss mystically turns out to be the best ally you have at the workplace.

Seven suggestions how to work around your situation, adapted from Ron Kelleher:

1. Lead by Example

All leaders lead by example. The issue is, are you setting a good example or a bad one?

2. Trust Those You Lead

Yes, I have found that if people see that you trust them, they will return your trust. On the other hand, if people feel that you don’t trust them they will become untrustworthy themselves.

3. Get Out of Their Way

One sign that you trust your people is that when you give them an assignment, you get out of their way and let them work. Being a micro-manager who hovers over your people makes you a poor supervisor, certainly not a leader.

General George Patton said, “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”

It’s been my experience the more you tell people what to do the more you restrict their creativity. The more you restrict someone’s creativity, the less they have invested in your success.

4. Take Responsibility

Leaders take responsibility when things don’t go according to plan. If you are a good leader, you don’t throw your people under the bus when results don’t come in as expected. It was your job to lead. It was your job to anticipate and deal with problems. Take responsibility.

5. Give Credit

When things go well good leaders know the results accrue to the hard work of the team and they give the team credit.

I learned early in my management career the quickest way to build morale in the organization is to build up the people who did great work. Shout their achievements from the rooftops. Let everyone know how great your team is.

Andrew Carnegie said, “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.”

6. Don’t Play Favorites

Good leaders do not play favorites. I know it’s hard not to have favorites sometimes. There are some people you like more than others. Some are kindred spirits that you click with the minute you meet. Others make you tense up the minute they come into the room.

7. Listen for Understanding

One of the most valuable skills any leader can have is the ability to listen. Learn to listen, not just to hear, but to understand. Often understanding comes from comprehending that which is beyond what is said.

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

NEED MORE TIME IN YOUR DAY?

Posted by Cliff Locks On June 27, 2018 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

NEED MORE TIME IN YOUR DAY?

Are you battling with shortage of time to accomplish all your set targets for the day?

Most executives do complain of having to attend to many meetings daily that they have little time to carry out their work. If you belong to this category, I have found a way out for you:

To start with, cultivate the habit of delegating some of your meetings; get a team member who will gain from such experience and exposure.

Ensure that you fully briefed the team member about your expectations beforehand and arrange how you will handle whatever feedbacks arising from the meeting.

Following that, you need to schedule and plan your working hours.  Working shouldn’t be left to when your calendar has a free space.

If there should be any free space, another will surely schedule meeting for such moment, therefore, planned your time consciously. The periods you would like to be busy with work marked such moments in color and ensure that it becomes sacrosanct and unchangeable.

When you deliberately planned your working periods, you will soon realize that you have extra hours to put to productive use.

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

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

SOCIAL MEDIA: HOW LINKEDIN CAN DOUBLE YOUR INCOME

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 16, 2018 at 10:08 am / In: Uncategorized

SOCIAL MEDIA: HOW LINKEDIN CAN DOUBLE YOUR INCOME

Every one of us is well familiar with the common saying “it is not about your knowledge, it is all about who you know.” I’ll be revealing my networking strategies which have assisted me in no little way to double my yearly income.

 

LinkedIn - Cliff Locks

 

I have over three thousand LinkedIn connections, well everybody can click and invite people to get additional connections, however, I’m pretty sure that you are asking how well am I acquainted with those connections individually, so I will share how I achieved that and my strategy.

When I initially started making use of LinkedIn as a tool for business development, I use the actual business cards of real business people that I have collected for many years and have the contacts moved to my database on LinkedIn. Now every week, regardless of where I am, whether a networking event or a cocktail party, anybody I meet in the week, on Friday I connected with them and mentioned something we talked about in our discussion to make the connection to become personal.

It’s important, and it’s not much effort to remain active and personal with your connections. LinkedIn contains an amazing tool in which there is an information feed of every one of my connects, together with the organizations that are associated with. Therefore, if any of my client or colleague has a birthday, been promoted or switched to a new firm, I will get the notification so what I do is to a congratulatory email to them thereby ensuring that we remain connected.

Here is my strategy to remain connected over a long period of time. There is another amazing tool on LinkedIn which grants you access to the email details of your connects, I send out periodic emails and blog posts to my VIP connections and our clients and keep them abreast of developments in our organization, whether it is brand new projects that we are embarking on, self improvement strategies, or about recent events in our industry.

You may be asking yourself, how exactly does networking and keeping in touch influence the growth of your business?

When you have good connections on LinkedIn, what happens is that both your business and community will realize that you have extensive expertise and resources to contribute. I believe in giving back to my connection and should anyone requests for help, and I love assisting my colleagues. So in the long run, being generous leads to the growth of the business. I am a large proponent of giving back to the society, when you do something for your community, what you are doing is assisting your contacts and colleague to connect with each other. In the long run, that will greatly help my own company to grow and develop.

In case you have any secret networking strategies, kindly drop them in the comment section and in case you are yet to, kindly link up with me on LinkedIn, let me know what you’re working on and can I assist you.

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.

LEARN HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR BRAIN FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE

Posted by Cliff Locks On May 9, 2018 at 10:06 am / In: Uncategorized

LEARN HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR BRAIN FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE

Let’s start with some biology, out of the total energy content of our body; our brains make use of about 20%. The end product of energy is waste. Fortunately, our brain is self-cleansing. Therefore, it easily removes all the accumulated wastes. The cleaning is carried out by the brain while we are sleeping. Amazing right? However, there is a little bit problem. Scientist recommends that an adult should have at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night. However, not many of us are getting up to 7 hours of sleep per night. About 80% of us are deprived of sleep. The implication of this is that 80% of us deny our brains the sufficient time it needs for self-cleaning. On the negative end, this can cause neurodegenerative ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease. On the not so negative end, the implication is that we are damaging our concentration ability, our ability to solve problems and our ability for creative imagination. Here are some simple strategies to improve your sleep and thereby to enhance your brain in the process.

Developed a bedtime routine that assists you to unwind, I follow advice from Matthew Walker, an expert on sleep.

Choose any activity you need to reduce every evening. For many of us, that means we have to disconnect ourselves from technological devices. Have a constant hour for bedtime and stay committed to it. For me, I always endeavor to get to bed by 11:30 pm and get up at the same time every day, for me it’s 7:30 am. The first 5 to 10 minutes, I mentally run through my day and have excellent creative solutions, which I capture by writing them down or entering them into my smartphone’s calendar. And if there’s one thing that you take away from this, it would be going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time, no matter whether it’s the weekday or the weekend. Even if you’ve had a bad night of sleep, still wake up at the same time of day and reset.

The second thing is that we are a dark-deprived society in this modern era and we need darkness in the evening to allow the release of a hormone called melatonin. And melatonin helps the healthy timing of our sleep.

So try to dim down half the lights in your home in the hour before bed. Stay away from screens, especially those LED screens — they emit blue light that puts the breaks on melatonin. And those blue-light emitting devices fool your brain into thinking that it’s still daytime, even though it’s nighttime and you want to get to sleep.

The third key ingredient is to keep it cool. Many of us have a bedroom that’s too warm regarding temperature.
So an optimal temperature is about 68 degrees Fahrenheit or about 18 and a half degrees Celsius. And the reason is that your brain and your body need to drop their core temperature by about two or three degrees Fahrenheit to initiate good sleep. And that’s the reason why you’ll always find it easier to fall asleep in a room that’s too cold than too hot. So having a cool room takes your brain and body in the right temperature direction to get good sleep.

The fourth critical factor is avoiding alcohol and caffeine. Unfortunately, this makes me deeply unpopular, but alcohol is perhaps the most misunderstood drug when it comes to sleep. People think that it helps them fall asleep. That’s not true. Alcohol is a class of drugs that we call, “the sedatives.” And what you’re doing is just knocking your brain out. You’re not putting it into a natural sleep.

We also know that alcohol will fragment your sleep. So you’ll wake up many more times throughout the night. And alcohol is also a very potent chemical for blocking your dream sleep or your rapid eye movement sleep.

Caffeine is also a problem. Many of us know that caffeine can keep us awake. It’s an alerting chemical; it’s a stimulant regarding a class of drugs. But few people know that even if you can have a cup of coffee after dinner, and you fall asleep fine, and maybe you stay asleep, the depth of the deep sleep that you have when there is caffeine within your brain isn’t as deep as when you’ve abstained from that cup of coffee after dinner. So as a consequence, you wake up the next morning, you feel unrefreshed, and you don’t remember waking up or having a difficult time falling asleep, but now you find yourself reaching for two or three cups of coffee in the morning, and you develop this dependency, this addiction cycle.

The fifth and final tip for better sleep is to not stay in bed awake. So if you haven’t fallen asleep within 20 or so minutes or you’ve woken up, and you’re finding it difficult to fall back asleep, don’t stay in bed awake. The reason is that your brain very quickly starts to learn the association between your bed being about the place that you’re awake rather than your bed is about sleep. So the advice is to get up, go to another room and in dim light, just read a book. No screens, no email checking, no food. And only when you feel sleepy should you return to bed and that way you can then actually re-learn the association between your bedroom being about the place of sleep rather than being awake.

I should also note that some people don’t like the idea of getting up and going out to a different room if it’s dark and they’re warm in bed. But, it works!

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.

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 IT BETTER TO BE FEARED OR LOVED?

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 21, 2018 at 10:04 am / In: Uncategorized

IS IT BETTER TO BE FEARED OR LOVED?

The manner in which people regard you in your workplace is an indication of how important you are. Consequently, is it preferable to be fear than loved? Many of us put in a lot of effort in our working place so as to be regarded as a capable person. However, when an individual becomes overly competent without any form of friendliness, no one likes associating with them. It is not even impossible that you loathe them. On the contrary, when an individual is friendly, kind and warm but completely incompetent; you end up feeling sorry for them. So then what is the way out?

Years of  research have proven that if you concentrate on being kind and nice and show your ability to everyone. You will be loved in your workplace; moreover, you will become an important figure in the office as well. I’m a professional Advisor and Board Member.

If you will increase your level of friendliness in the workplace, you must begin by communicating friendliness in a non-verbal manner. Always maintain your hand to be in a receptive position, smile continuously and don’t speak so loudly. To showcase friendliness verbally in the office, share personal experiences, even in both informal and formal environments. Look for opportunities to be on the same people with opinions and perspectives of others. If no one likes you at work, the probability of you being regarded as a leader is 1 out 2000.

Therefore, if you want people to like you, trust you and regard you as an important figure at work, begin by being friendly.

Many thanks for viewing this blog. Please share with your friends and colleagues. I look forward to be 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.

Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial success, exponential entrepreneur you can emulate

Posted by Cliff Locks On February 14, 2018 at 3:18 pm / In: Uncategorized

Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial success, exponential entrepreneur you can emulate

A good friend, Peter Diamandis did an interview recently where he was asked to deconstruct Elon Musk’s entrepreneurial success.

Having known Musk for 17 years, we’ve had the chance to watch his meteoric rise into someone who is arguably the greatest entrepreneur of our age.

In this blog, I’ll share what we’ve learned from Musk — lessons that I believe every exponential entrepreneur must emulate.

We’ve broken these lessons into 3 sections:

  1. Deep-rooted passion
  2. A crystal-clear massively transformative purpose
  3. First-principles thinking

Let’s dive in.

Deep-Rooted Passion

“I didn’t go into the rocket business, the car business, or the solar business thinking, ‘This is a great opportunity.’ I just thought, in order to make a difference, something needed to be done. I wanted to create something substantially better than what came before.” – Elon Musk

Musk only tackles those problems where he has deep rooted passion and conviction.

After selling PayPal, with $165M in his pocket, Musk set out to pursue three Moonshots, and subsequently built three multibillion-dollar companies: SolarCity, Tesla and SpaceX.

This passion allowed him to push forward through extraordinarily difficult times and take big risks.

You might think it was always easy for Musk, but back in 2008 he was at a lowest low: SpaceX had just experienced its third consecutive failure of the Falcon-1 launch vehicle, Tesla was out of money, SolarCity was not getting financed, and Musk was going through a divorce. Musk borrowed money for basic living. Traumatic times.

Despite the 2008 economic crisis at the time, he bet every penny he had, and eventually everything turned around.

Ultimately, it was his passion, refusal to give up, and grit/drive that allowed him to ultimately succeed and begin to impact the world at a significant scale.

A “Crystal Clear” Massively Transformative Purpose

Part of Musk’s ability to motivate his team to do great things is his crystal-clear Massively Transformative Purpose, which drives each of his companies.

As I always say, social movements, rapidly growing organizations, and remarkable breakthroughs in science and technology are all backed by a powerful MTP.

Musk’s MTP for Tesla and SolarCity is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.

To this end, every product Tesla brings to market is focused on this vision and backed by a Master Plan Musk wrote over 10 years ago.

Elon’s MTP for SpaceX is to backup the biosphere by making humanity a multiplanet species.

Elon has been preaching this since the founding of SpaceX back in 2002 even when he was experiencing numerous rocket failures.

“I think fundamentally the future is vastly more exciting and interesting if we’re a spacefaring civilization and a multiplanet species than if we’re or not. You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. And that’s what being a spacefaring civilization is all about.” – Elon Musk

These MTPs are like a north star for Elon and his employees.

They keep all efforts focused and aligned, which helps his organizations grow cohesively even in times of chaos.

First Principles Thinking

First principles thinking is a mode of inquiry stolen from physics designed to relentlessly pursue the foundations of any given problem from fundamental truths.

Elon has deployed this thinking strategy to give himself an unfair advantage when developing new batteries, a key component for both Tesla and SolarCity.

Here is Elon describing first principles thinking in this 2012 interview with Kevin Rose:

“I think it is important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. The normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy. [When reasoning by analogy] we are doing this because it’s like something else that was done or it is like what other people are doing — slight iterations on a theme.

First principles is kind of a physics way of looking at the world. You boil things down to the most fundamental truths and say, “What are we sure is true?” … and then reason up from there.

Somebody could say, “Battery packs are really expensive and that’s just the way they will always be… Historically, it has cost $600 per kilowatt hour. It’s not going to be much better than that in the future.”

With first principles, you say, “What are the material constituents of the batteries? What is the stock market value of the material constituents?”

It’s got cobalt, nickel, aluminum, carbon, some polymers for separation and a sealed can. Break that down on a material basis and say, “If we bought that on the London Metal Exchange what would each of those things cost?”

It’s like $80 per kilowatt hour. So clearly you just need to think of clever ways to take those materials and combine them into the shape of a battery cell and you can have batteries that are much, much cheaper than anyone realizes.”

First principle thinking works so well because it gives us a proven strategy for editing out complexity, while also allowing entrepreneurs to sidestep the tide of popular opinion.

Closing Thoughts

These 3 tactics from Elon I believe have contributed to his massive success as an exponential entrepreneur. Ultimately, for you to make a difference in your business, if you’re not absolutely passionate and driven by that purpose, you will not take risks when you need to, and you will not keep going in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. As you build your own companies keep this in mind and be sure to go after something you believe in with all your heart and soul. My Personal Executive Advising Program can help you, it gives you the big breath of fresh air and ideas you need to jump-start your career and your business. I help you tackle business challenges or personal ones. The choice is yours. This is a completely personalized one-on-one experience that will be perfectly tailored to your needs and desires.

The Personal Executive Advising Program Includes:

* Goal setting to help you move steadily forward

* Leadership Development for being an inspired & effective manager

* Personal Development to give you a better work/home balance

* Change Implementation to start the changes needed to help you reach your full potential

* Millionaire’s mindset; Yes, I’ve guided my clients to be successful Multi-Millionaires. I’ve done it myself and you deserve this level of success in your life, if you want it.

Advising sessions are weekly for 60 minutes by phone or Skype. We have an open, free-flowing conversation that goes wherever your interests and needs take us. These conversations take place over a one, three or six-month, or one-year period depending on your specific needs and schedule.

Click on this link to get started: popl.ink/WeMXTp

Contributor: Peter Diamandis

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.

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