Most of us frequent travelers have a pretty good idea of how long we can spend on an airplane without climbing the walls – now it’s time to rethink that, and the whole air travel business to boot! Imagine staying up in the air for three weeks! That’s how long the hybrid Airlander, a cross between a plane, an air balloon and a hovercraft, can stay up and that’s going to be the next big thing in the luxury travel industry. Check it out below:
Presumably, the sky-high costs entailed were too much for the US Army to handle, so now the Airlander is back in the British hangars, getting a make-over. The Airlander 2.0 will be bigger, better and reassigned to the travel industry – meaning, they’re hoping it will take off with the public as a cruise ship, rather than a means of transportation from A-to-B.
The voice-over ends on a futuristic note: “Luxury airship cruises – think about it!” If you’ve seen the Oscar winner animation movie Up, you’ll probably be down with the idea, but will it appeal to everyone?
With 17 million views so far, Simon Sinek’s talk on leaders who inspire action holds third place on the TED podium, but we’d rank it first for the insight it gives us entrepreneurs into the pattern behind great leadership. Now, almost five years after this was recorded, his “Golden Circle” idea still holds true and has been stated over and over again in articles and books geared for entrepreneurs ever since. “People don’t buy what you do,” he claims, “people buy why you do it,” and he explores this further in his latest NYTimes bestseller, “Leaders Eat Last.”
Renowned author of “Start with Why,” Sinek puts Apple’s raison d’être, challenging the status quo, at the core of his presentation, proving that the quality of a product should always come second to a company’s ethos. If the “why” is convincing enough, the “what” will be embraced by customers, he reiterates, while overlaying our own biology on top of his three-pronged why-how-what structure. Give him a listen and download a chapter of his book on the makeup of inspiring leaders, for free, here.
As mobile browsing and apps are overhauling our way of engaging with the Internet, each other and the world, there seems to be a plethora of new uses of smartphone tech being discovered every day. From keeping you safe to keeping you connected, they promote the kind of control that matches everything else in our busy, tech-packed lives. And the style-conscious among them even match our eyes… With the 6th Annual Fashion 2.0 Awards now only ten months away, it’s time to get a move on putting together the most digitally dazzling attire, wouldn’t you say? So without further ado, here’s our top ten must-have wearables that not only signal the start of a paradigm shift, but also look as sleek as any fashion accessory.
1. BiiSafe Buddy – This two-way tracking device is perfect for parents wanting to keep track of their kids, but it could also conceivably take off as a key helper for caregivers assisting Alzheimer’s patients. It comes in handy at other, more mundane, junctures: when, say, you’re on vacation with friends, this device lets you see the whereabouts of everyone in your party. With this nifty little tool that you can attach to your keychain, you’ll never lose sight of your loved ones, and vice versa, again.
2. MEMI – The smartbracelet for women, which you could try out these past days at the TechCrunch Startup Alley, vibrates when a new notification comes through on your phone. That way, women won’t need to glue their phones to their hands when they’re wearing a pocket-less skirt and their jeans pockets will deflate back to their original, body-hugging line. Moreover, fashionistas will breathe a sigh of relief to learn that the bracelet looks and weighs the same as the “real” thing, instead of a cheap gewgaw.
3. Google Glass – The smart glasses from Google, we all know full well by now, with everyone from movie stars to CNN’s Richard Quest wearing them over the past months. They might just be the easiest hands-free way of accessing the Internet, playing and shooting videos, navigating through a new city and so much more – but they’ve also come into a bit of a backlash from those who fear the wearer could use the spectacular spectacles to invade other people’s privacy. Having said that, if you’re not the peeping Tom type and you take the glasses off when driving, you should be just fine with a pair of these on hand.
4. Pebble Steel – After taking Kickstarter by storm, Pebble is well on its way to cornering the smart watch market, with most techies foreseeing little competition, but for the iWatch (rumored to be incoming soon). The new and improved (with leather and metal bands) Pebble is smaller and styled to look all but indistinguishable from an actual watch – still, it’s so much more than your average timepiece! It comes with an app store of its own, allowing you to check in on Foursquare, among other things, and it instantly receives any notification pushed to your phone. Caveat emptor: it works far better with Android smartphones than iOS!
5. Samsung Gear 2 – After the Galaxy Gear Smart Watch, this recent unveiling of Gear 2 is bringing the Samsung wearable stable up a notch. You can make and answer calls from your wrist, take photos as well, play music, plus enjoy all kinds of apps you’ve previously downloaded on your phone. It can even double as a TV remote in a pinch! In fact, the only downside to this device is Samsung’s controlling hand that keeps its functionality tethered to the parent company’s smartphones.
6. The Dash – These wireless earbuds from Bragi are the perfect jogging companion! While not having to worry about wires is implied, these in-ear phones also come with 4GB of storage, allowing you to run like the wind in step with your favorite earworms, without giving your phone a moment’s thought. That, you can just leave at home, safe in the knowledge that The Dash will monitor your activity all by its lonesome, to the very last burnt calorie.
7. Nod Bluetooth – What if you could swipe through TV offerings or answer a call on your smartphone remotely, with just a flick of your finger? The team behind Nod developed this gesture-controller ring to do that and more, like typing and surfing on a tablet, all via its bluetooth connection.
8. Nike+ Fuelband – Decribed as “the perfect intersection of sport and style,” Nike’s wristband will track every movement you make, whatever your gender or age, keeping you updated on your jogs or your iron pumping through its corollary smartphone app. Have the Fuelband on your side, and on your person at all times, and you can work toward a target weight, training schedule etc. – while the inner workings of your body will look like less and less of a mystery with every new workout!
9. Cuff Jewelry – It’s being marketed as a sort of rape whistle 2.0, with its creators insisting on the security advantages to wearing it, but I’d shell out for it regardless. It’s set to hit the stands in the fall and, given the subtle, classy look of the jewelry the tech comes encased in, it’s sure to sell like hot cakes. Working much the same way as BiiSafe, the device is probably the fashion-friendliest example on this list, with a wide range of trinkets to choose from, as a mount. Come to think of it, I’d go ahead and get them all, to have a matching Cuff for my every outfit!
10. Cyborg Antenna – This gadget’s not on the market per se, it isn’t wearable as much as implanted, and it’s not multi-functional. So why am I cheating you out of a more viable and available item on this list? Because the contraption lets the user hear paintings and paint symphonies! While some might even see it as an eye-sore, the antenna sticking out of color-blind artist Neil Harbisson’s head in fact complements the eyes. It acts as an aid that lets Neil perceive colors as aural frequencies. Moreover, the spectrum he can “hear” outranges that of an ordinary pair of eyes, as Neil’s antenna lets him also tune in to infrared and ultraviolet light!
Why would we bother going out for groceries when we can print our own yummy treats at home? Why should we stress about putting our liver through the wringer when the doc can print another one for us if push comes to shove? These and similar questions may now be just a glimmer in inventors’ eyes, but you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll be rolling off the tongues of the next generation. Here’s a look at how the 3D industry and the world’s best minds devoted to its furtherance are faring – here’s a hint: printing is the hottest disruptor out there and it’s progressing by leaps and bounds!
1. 3D in Outer Space – the Final Frontier?
After last year’s announcement that NASA will be firing up a 3D printer in space, Wired got in touch with all the players in this innovative project and put together a teleconference via You Tube where they could all tell us more about it. The talk brought together a NASA representative and the co-founder of Made in Space, the company that will tinker with the existing printer to ensure it’s fully operational in microgravity. So, come summer, when they’re planning the first test flight for the 3D printer, we just might be able to envision building whole cities on Mars through unmanned printer-fitted drones!
2. 3D from the Ground Floor Up!
While many of us can’t wait to get our hands on the soon-to-be pocket-size and travel-friendly 3D printer, others are shooting for the stars, by asking: how about turning the devices into construction-friendly behemoths? MIT, for instance, has been looking to silkworms in their attempt to develop the necessary tech that would put bricks-and-mortar construction companies out of business – at the same time, construction has already started on the world’s first printed house, in Amsterdam! While the added incentive of how much labor (and money) would be saved if we might print, instead of build, our houses – for the early-bird stage we’re at now, the driving force must surely be the sheer coolness of it all, the prospect of disrupting something we’ve been doing pretty much the same way since the pyramids!
While 3D printing is still in its infancy, the fight to end world hunger, along with the relatively smaller scale of the process, is helping move the projected “printed food” along faster than other output niches. There are already devices out there that are dedicated to molding a ready-made paste of food into whatever shape or form your heart desires – but the real victory, yet to be achieved, is making edible food out of thin air (as it were). Until we cross that bridge, here’s a first look at the “first food-safe 3D printers,” which were unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, just 4 months ago:
4. 3D for Art’s Sake
Possibly the most readily tangible upshot of 3D printing can be found in art. It’s the one space where every single loopy thought can be spat out by a 3D printer and then displayed for the world to see and appreciate – working with a medium so new, artists can do no wrong. The 3D Printshow held in New York in February is one place where you can be sure to find a comprehensive collection of everything artsy-techy being printed out nowadays – but pretty soon, art scenes everywhere will be crawling with 3D-printed oeuvres.
Amputees like Daniel Omar, pictured above, are already benefitting from the cost-effective option of 3D-printing missing limbs – but doctors are already looking further down the yellow-brick road. The next step is printing organs, which has already been achieved in Eastern China – but for the “small snag” of the printed kidneys only being viable for four months. If this tech were successful – or, rather, when – it would render UNOS’s long waiting lists obsolete and make a real dent in the many, but for now unavoidable, related deaths. Between stem cell research and printing organs, I’d say we’re well on our way to curing a sizable chunk of humanity’s health problems.
The first series devoted to entrepreneurship is – what else but – a comedy. The HBO series Silicon Valleywill be eight-episodes long and, judging from the pilot that aired last Sunday (April 6), the tail end of our weekends will be a hoot from here on out! What’s it about, you ask?
It’s the show that best captures our entrepreneurial age.
Take a look at the trailer below and check back after the jump for a brief overview of the pilot:
The mirror series co-creator Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead alum) holds up to Silicon Valley seems pretty spot-on – if you’ve ever found yourself in the company of code-loving nerds and/or hungry wannabe entrepreneurs, you’ll recognize the “symptoms” right away. The best thing about the show is that all that social awkwardness, cryptic inside joking and general geekiness isn’t out of place here. Silicon Valley is pretty much the capital of techie-dom, so there won’t be any jokes lobbed at whip-smart programmers, because there’s no “jock,” “actress” or “average Joe” character around to make them!
Working within this convention gives Silicon Valley a certain edge over other satires poking fun at today’s growing nation of geeks (like The Big Bang Theory).
It’s a show about a programmer’s journey from mere employee and incubator resident to startup owner. In other words, it’s pretty much a fictionalized and jazzed-up version of bytes-to-riches stories we’ve read countless times before. This particular coming of (digital) age will surely stand out through its quick-fire dialogue, irreverent humor and likable stars, as well as become the most quoted series ever to grace the pages of tech blogs everywhere.
Entrepreneurs have now conquered another frontier. Television.
I’ll be watching for the hilarious namedropping – I have a feeling there’ll be no shortage of snappy cracks at all the bigwigs in the Internet world today. Why will you be tuning in this coming Sunday?
A self-styled “digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist” and the author of the best-seller What’s the Future of Business (WTF) Brian Solis was invited to speak at The Next Web conference in Amsterdam on where business is headed, in these disruption-prone times. His insight was forged through years of analyses of how the tech is making inroads into business, marketing, culture, society, everything really – and it boils down to a few calls to action: BE the disruption, BECOME the future, QUESTION everything!
He asks the people in the room if they’re going to let the future happen to them or strive to take it into their own hands. And he doesn’t let up until impressing on everybody that innovation has to happen in step with a complete overhaul of the old, outdated systems. They are going to be disrupted anyway, we might as well play a part in it, instead of watching from the sidelines and cry about it. In other words, if it isn’t broke… fix it nonetheless!
Out of the many, many ways the 3D printer has shown itself capable of changing the world as we know it, this innovative one that you can check out below might just be the most mind-blowing. True enough, the strength of this video made by Vimeo user J0n4s lies more with the 6 GoPro-shot pieces of footage that he spliced together, than the 3D-printed mount itself.
All in all though, this 360° panorama timelapse offers a rare glimpse, the first of its kind to be shot in video form, not just snapped, into an eagle’s-eye view. Take a gander at this fabulous eye-candy and check back after the jump for more on the “how” behind it all:
To realize this visually arresting clip, J0n4s 3D-printed a mount for all 6 GoPros he had on hand, then put each of them in its designated place and went for a bike ride. Having such a vista all day, every day might be a bit too much detail for most of us to handle – would we even be able to focus anymore? – but it makes for one killer daydream!
And now for the absolute topper, j0n4s has also shared his blueprints to building the 3D/GoPro contraption, so feel free to mimic his sweeping view of the world on your own bike! Here’s where you can download all the technical specs.
Ever since Facebook bought a foothold into VR technology with the takeover of Oculus Rift last week, rivers of ink have run on the subject across the media landscape. Apparently, virtual reality is the hottest commodity nowadays, as the people in the know are looking to it as the next big thing. With an ever-tightening time frame till it becomes as much a part of our daily lives as social media, VR is making the news these days without breaking a sweat – here’s, for instance, an interview on CNNMoney with the “father” of VR, Jaron Lanier. Take note, he’s not talking about the tech, rather about the net-scape in general:
Jaron Lanier is nowhere near a buzzword like VR is, but he was in fact the computer programmer who first tinkered with this tech, as founder of VPL Research, Inc., the first company to sell the then futuristic equipment. A writer and classical composer to boot, the man who put the term “virtual reality,” in its current meaning, on the map points at quite a few problems of our current society. Most of all, he comes up with a pretty interesting, and quotable, call to action:
[Granted, talking to a Renaissance-man might’ve tripped up the people at CNN. Looking at the clip, it’s hard to put a finger on what exactly they were trying to convey about him – was it that he’s a composer/hippie or, alternatively, a bona fide researcher with a lot to say about today’s state of affairs? Mixed together so blatantly, the in-your-face-ness of his artistic persona might come off a bit to strong for his words to carry the weight they deserve.]
Every day, it’s becoming more and more clear that we’re living in an innovators’ world – still, as Yves Morieux notes in the TED Talk he delivered in San Francisco, we are slower to integrate new procedures to go with that new world shaped by our pioneers. Instead of resorting to the old systems of management, which bank on the two-pronged hard and soft approach, we should be overhauling them altogether. Listen to what the well-spoken Mr. Morieux proposes below and check back after the jump for more:
Acting as both consultant and director of the Boston Consulting Group’s Institute for Organization, Morieux has been studying what makes companies tick for years and found they’re not keeping accurate time. To prevent them from losing precious ground, manpower and profits, the six rules for greater inter-play which he thinks should replace our current, outdated, pillars of management are as follows:
1. Understand what others do within the company, beyond the surface
2. Reinforce integrators – existing managers – so they have discretionary power to make others cooperate
3. Increase total quantity of power, empowering everybody to use their judgment
4. Extend the shadow of the future, by creating feedback loops that expose people to the consequences of their actions
5. Increase reciprocity, by removing the buffers that make us self-sufficient
6. Reward those who cooperate and blame those who don’t.
If every one of us, as kids, asked about the stars, and the world, and life, and daisies and everything in between – why didn’t we stay curious throughout our adulthood? Did a parent or a teacher put paid to our innate curiosity with a scoffing “Give it a rest already?” Or did society change us bit by bit into a lean mean working machine that doesn’t have questions wired into its programming?
Warren Berger asks a lot of these questions, and trying to come up with more, in his latest book, “A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas.” “What if companies had mission questions rather than mission statements?” he asks, as his wide-eyed pursuit for less superficial sureties takes him down the yellow-brick road to Business Central. Out since the 4th of March, this book should surely make the must-read list of any would-be innovator – of which Berger himself, host of the “Innovators” lecture program at the University of Colorado, is an expert on. But even experts question, themselves, their knowledge, the world around them – stagnating is never an option.
How would you travel across China? By plane or by… uhm, foot? Some people seem to prefer the second option!
This millennium seems to be all about going places by shank’s mare – we’re walking for all sorts of causes nowadays and walkathons are a sure-fire trick employed by many fundraisers to get more money and more followers. We’re getting our inspiration from movies about walking (The Way Back) or about hitchhiking (Little World. People love a good “walking story”!
Falling squarely within this rising trend is Christoph Rehage, who’s gone and done the seemingly impossible: he’s hoofed it from Beijing to Ürümqi, in China, in just under a year – and he’s documented this cross-country walk in a bestselling travelogue, The Longest Way. Just how long? Check out his video and find out all the mind-blowing details about this hike… which is also, in equal measure, about growing out a beard!
So why did he do it in the first place? While most the interviews he’s given are in German, some insight into his reasons might be distilled from Christoph’s recount of his day-to-day while on the road: “It was just the way it would be on any normal day. Sometimes you think. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you worry about passports, dangers, pains, relatives and loved ones, and at other times your steps are light and you sing songs in the desert. Sometimes it is boring. And sometimes you feel at peace.” It might have been all about the haphazard moments of peace, about the magical vistas or just about letting his hair down… pun intended!
Forget conquering the skies, forget mapping the Milky Way, the next big challenge for the human race is getting out and walking! It’s no joke, look out your window and all those cars lining your street will surely give you a clearer picture of just how insurmountable this “dare” may turn out to be!
TED Talks became an online presence to reckon with as soon as they began “netcasting” their resulting videos for free, in June 2006. It’s almost 8 years and over 1700 talks later and, thanks to TED, the world has become larger, bursting with ideas from all its four corners, and at the same time, it feels more interconnected, its dreams – more within reach. As part of a new series of inspiring video lists here on VictorStuff, we’ve combed through the business-related TED Talks over the years and chosen the best, most go-getting, inspiring calls to action!
These will help you start what you’ve been considering or finish what you’ve started – or just get you through the day with a smile.
50. Tom Wujec is a Fellow at Autodesk and, in that capacity, has been working with companies to show them the way to a better-operating, tight-knit team. That way is called “business visualization” and Tom’s talk, embedded below, touches on some of the Gordian knots that design and technology can do away with at the office:
49. Nigel Marsh is the author of “Fat, Forty and Fired” and “Overworked and Underlaid,” as well as the Regional Group CEO of Young and Rubicam Brands for Australia & New Zealand. Putting aside the work he does in the high-profile position he occupies, he talks about attaining that precious balance between the office persona and the private sphere we’re all working in the service of. Even though that ultimate goal sometimes slips our mind.
48. Dan Ariely is a behavioral economist who has come upon a few truths about our “irrational” decisions, both in terms of our (impulse) buys and the calls we make in our personal lives. He’s written a bestselling book on the subject, Predictably Irrational, and you can watch him below holding court at TED with a related topic, illustrated by two mind-blowing experiments.
47. Bill Gates needs no introduction. He’s already such a popular figure thanks to his standing in the Forbes lists of billionaires, it’s hard to distance that high-flyer image from the brains that made it all come to be. In this TED Talk, he approaches a few of the head-scratchers that still have us all baffled and introduces us at the same time to a novel type of innovation-driven philantropy.
46. Seth Godin is a marketing guru who’s discovered that the old way of doing business is best left aside, in favor of marketing to those possessed of what he calls “otaku.” He means the hardcore fanbase of an idea, and he’s bent on opening companies’ eyes to the great marketing potential of switching from kowtowing to the masses to targeting the right, i.e. already obsessed, consumers.
45. Amanda Palmer has come into a lot of heat over the way she spent the money earned through crowdfunding – but the feminine icon’s overcome the haters and is now closer to her fans than ever. She was among the first artists to go over the head of agents, labels etc. and, instead, reach out directly to her fans through Kickstarter. This talk addresses that cultural shift she helped launch and the benefits of quashing the old business models in the music industry.
44. Richard St. John wrote a book on success and cut it all down to a 3-minute expose on the most brilliant and triumphant pioneers of our age. In this short speech, he reveals the results of 500 interviews he’s conducted with successful people. It reads as a who’s who of very quotable bright ideas, issued by the people who’ve come up in the world, from rags to riches, as it were.
43. Dan Pink, a career analyst and former speechwriter for none other than Al Gore, aims to make a case for overhauling the way companies are run. He’s bringing the relevant evidence to the table, by way of experiments conducted objectively, and will prove that the creativity needed for the very survival of capitalism isn’t achieved, rather it’s constrained, by the old rewards-based business model.
42. Simon Sinek is the author of “Leaders Eat Last” and as well-informed an expert you might imagine from that title. An adjunct of the RAND Corporation, he’s also a university professor and a pretty enthralling public speaker – below you’ll find him outlining the patterns of leadership he’s observed by studying businesspeople in top management positions over the years.
41. Susan Cain is rooting for the underdog in her book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” meaning anyone who’s less valued in our current culture for being an introvert. She takes the TED stage to explore what introverts have brought to the world, despite being sidelined by it every step of the way – maybe, just maybe, we shouldn’t put that much store by someone’s words just because they’re shouting the loudest.
40. Andrew McAffee enunciates one of the hardest pills 21st century people have had to swallow – the same way industrialization required independent producers to rethink their profession and go into mass production, so too nowadays computerization may threaten the livelihoods of many. Despite that, the research scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management singles out a sunny path for the workforce of tomorrow.
39. Noreena Hertz is a well-known and well-respected economist who has blazed a trail for the AIDS-relief project (RED) as well as actually predicting the financial meltdown that took us all by storm in 2008. Below, you can hear her explain why the overreliance on experts, in any field, can lead to our undoing and why the insight of the ground-floor worker-bee should be equally, if not more, valued.
38. Chade-Meng Tan has been at Google for donkey’s years – and now he’s uniquely-placed to heap praise on the company that many hail as both forward-thinking and staff-oriented. As Google’s “Jolly Good Fellow” (aka, their head of Personal Growth) reports, among other things, the company’s search service has inspired him to work on creating a tech-based way to bring about world peace.
37. Paul Collier delivered his TED Talk below back in 2008, but the points he made are just as salient in today’s global economy – as we’ve seen at Davos this year, poverty is very much a thorn in the side of many developed countries and no amount of closed-door conferencing seems to make a dent in it. Like Collier’s book of the same name, “The Bottom Billion,” this powerful speech outlines how this financial gap can be done away with.
36. Roger Stein drew a parallel between the models used in finance to predict risks, and nip them in the bud, and those used in pharmaceuticals, for funding drug research. He found the latter one lacking and that was all the more frustrating as his father was diagnosed with cancer. A researcher originally, now chief analytics officer at State Street Global Exchange, Stein explains how the bold new financial model he proposes can pair large amounts of money with the drug research that badly needs it.
35. Gary Vaynerchuk is the kind of guy who won’t take “I can’t” for an answer. A successful entrepreneur, Vaynerchuck also acts as a consultant for other start-up founders who might lack the self-confidence to solider on. His dynamic (some would say hyper) talk touches on social media in particular and the Internet in general to inject a strong adrenaline shot into the hearts of the meek.
34. Pankaj Ghemawat, an economist and researcher on all things related to globalization, brought a bunch of data and a rude awakening to those gathered at TEDGlobal 2012. Contrary to popular belief, the connectivity and market benefits of the computer age, touted by everyone (in the developed world), aren’t nearly as prevalent as we might think.
33. Ray Anderson isn’t quoting data, he is, by his own admission, a “carpet guy,” and the head of the Flor company who sells carpeting. He lives (or rather lived, as he passed in 2011) in the real world and, being so grounded in it, he’s well-placed to understand its woes – it’s why he’s developed a way to make his business sustainable and keep his “promise to eliminate any negative impact our company may have on the environment by the year 2020.” Hopefully, his successors will continue living by these words. RIP.
32. Howard Rheingold is one of the greatest creative minds of our age, who prophesized the ever-tightening bonds the Internet would eventually engender and is now actively supporting community building online. Drawing inferences from fields far and wide, he connects anthropology, economics, even biology to explain why the evolutionary rung we’ve just stepped onto is indicative of a new reality: sharing (or open source) isn’t caring as much as it’s good business.
31. David S. Rose gives us a straight-up 10-item list of things an entrepreneur needs to check off when pitching to a venture capitalist. A VC himself, he knows the ins and outs of the business of proposing ideas and expecting a big payoff – inasmuch as being persuasive is inextricably connected to personal growth, this here talk is pure gold!
30. Lisa Gansky has authored a book called “The Mesh: Why the Future of Business Is Sharing,” which she delves into, in just about a quarter of an hour, below. She is an entrepreneur with a vision – or maybe even some kind of prescience – who’s looked at the lay of the land and concluded that the future of business will bank less on establishing ownership of goods and more on gaining access to them.
29. Alex Tabarrok is an economist seeing our present times through rose-tinted glasses – and we tend to agree with him when we hear him lay out the coordinates of the inter-connected, open-minded world we live in. He – along with fellow blogger Tyler Cowen – is the mind behind marginalrevolution.com, one of the most popular economic blogs out there and his claim to fame is borne out by this illuminating talk:
28. Robert Newirth is a researcher of the informal economy known as “System D” (from the French “debrouillard,” which roughly translates to resourceful, ingenious). He spent four years investigating every nook and cranny of this black market and written a book about his findings, “Stealth of Nations.” This eye-opening talk below is all the more enthralling as the figures relating to System D alone are a tell-tale sign of the unstoppable rise of an alternative to on-the-books employment.
27. Jeff Bezos is the founder and CEO of Amazon.com and, back in 2003 at the time of this speech, he was gauging the Internet by employing a revelatory parallel with the God Rush and the advent of electricity. His conclusions are for you to discover below, suffice it to say that, by his account, the web was primitive 11 years ago. With Amazon’s “drone delivery” now ready to be unrolled, we wonder if Bezos would now rethink his assessment to reflect we’ve passed the net-anderthal stage.
26. Baba Shiv is a neuroeconomist whose main area of expertise is human decision-making, as well as how that bears on marketing practices. He speaks about how helping his wife through a harrowing fight with cancer has led him to surmise that constant decision-making is the hardest part of being in a touch-and-go situation and calls of that magnitude are best left to someone else (preferably, an expert).
25. Erik Brynjolfsson is not a doomsayer, but it does take him a while to point out the silver lining in our mechanized age. The director of the MIT Center for Digital Business stands up on the TED stage to sum up the findings of his research work so far, refuting the common-sense idea that human beings should be afraid of technology taking over their jobs.
24. Wingham Rowan, a well-known TV presenter and producer in the UK, as well as a policy trailblazer, has written dozens of policy papers on online markets – particularly, how they impact our traditional understanding of keeping regular work hours. His involvement with the Beyond Jobs project (http://modernmarketsforall.com/) is all about connecting would-be workers of the “irregular schedule” variety with employers who don’t mind or even seek this flexibility.
23. David Logan is a business professor and management consultant who specializes in “tribal leadership,” in other words, the human penchant for tribal organization. How does that factor into our modern culture? By delving into data gleaned from a ten-year study on tribes and their leaders, Logan distills the five stages of tribal organizations and explains why getting to the fifth one – which he refers to as “Life Is Great” – is what we should all strive for.
22. Rachel Botsman describes another type of sharing that’s come out of the Internet age – the kind that has us pitching in and connecting with relative strangers without batting an eye. Collaborative Consumption, a concept Botsman’s written about (What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption) and founded an innovation incubator around, is predicated on our trust in the supplier’s reputation. Find out more about that, below!
21. Cynthia Breazeal, a roboticist at MIT, designs robots endowed with enough AI to render them useful around the house, around our kids even. Doomsayers and survivalists may carp about robots taking over our world and sci-fi movies may still demonize the idea of self-teaching or self-aware robots – but there’s no denying robotics is the next stepping stone humanity will be focusing its efforts on attaining.
20. Martin Jacques makes an excellent case against our insistence on using Western yardsticks to assess (and scratch our heads at) China’s growing economy. A Guardian columnist, economist and professor, as well as an author in his own right, Jacques has gained a valuable insight into China since his curiosity was sparked during a holiday trip that also included stopovers in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
19. Paul Kemp-Robertson is the cofounder of Contagious Communications, an advertiser who knows the ins and outs of branding, as well as foreseeing a tighter, tech-driven connection brands will employ to loyalize consumers. He notes that Bitcoin’s rise was made possible by the significant drop in the trust people place on institutions – and raises the interesting question of whether brands can fill the trust gaps with branded currency.
18. Clay Shirky, a social media theorist and professor, was making a great point back in 2012 when he delivered this at times hilarious talk, calling on governments to take a page from the Internet’s open-source book. If there was a way of implementing the models of transparency and open debate that we have online, at the level of governance – who knows, perhaps public dissatisfaction wouldn’t escalate into unrest, street riots or Ukraine-type revolutions.
17. Philip Zimbardo has gone from studying villainy to heroism and can now make accurate judgments regarding the whole spectrum of human behavior. As the head psychologist in the Stanford Prison Experiment, he was responsible for one of the most groundbreaking discoveries about how our mind works. Watch him below as he explains how our success is strongly linked to the way we perceive time.
16. Harish Manwani, with a career spanning close to 40 years, has made his way up from the ground floor at Unilever, where he’s now top management. The COO shares his vision about running a business, arguing that the larger-than-life scope and worldwide reach of his company isn’t by any means an excuse for hunkering down to the balance sheet. On the contrary, businesses, small and big alike, should believe and act on a responsibility-, not money-centric, vision.
15. Annette Heuser is an executive director on a very special, potentially world-changing mission: to reform the way we rate countries. Nowadays, this task falls to just three US-based credit-rating agencies, which should give us all pause. That much power, concentrated in the hands of the very few can’t bode well – so Heuser goes on to propose investing The International Nonprofit Credit Rating Agency (INCRA) with the responsibility of assessing sovereign risk.
14. Seth Priebatsch dropped out of Princeton and, from his current position as head of an innovative startup called SCVNGR, boasts about it for the whole world (those watching his TED Talk, at least). His company, like his address below, is about the next real-world-topping layer, following the social one that’s defined our online existence over the past decade or so. Spoiler: it’s about integrating game dynamics into the mix!
13. Don Tapscott is the kind of man this ever-changing world desperately needs: a futurist, he theorizes on how to take advantage of the coordinates of our current age to the fullest extent. The author of no fewer than 14 books, which touch on the seismic shifts we’ve been lucky to witness over such a small period of time, Tapscott singles out the four pillars of this open net-scape that he sees as the seeds of its future greatness.
12. Larry Page, the CEO of Google and a household name to most of us, outlines in this recent talk the next moves, and the daring dreams, of his company. As a veritable leader and uncontested pioneer in all things Internet, Google aims to keep ahead of the pack by branching out in all manner of directions – some (like signal-beaming balloons) more doable than others (bikes in the skies)!
11. Michael Sandel has his ear to the ground and his finger on the pulse of our society. As a political philosopher and Harvard professor thereof, he’s identified a worrying trend in the way we go about our lives. And that trend consists of our propensity to let money dictate everything from social interactions to individual and societal well-being. Is it really a good idea to rely on sugar and honey for our society’s enduring health?
10. Keith Chen, a behavioral economist and researcher, posits that the language we speak can have a powerful, if unconscious, influence on our willingness to save money. His findings suggest that languages that don’t allow for verbal auxiliaries when referring to future tenses render their native speakers more unlikely to save. Learn more about this ground-breaking find up ahead and adjust your thriftiness accordingly!
9. Cameron Herold is a successful entrepreneur and popular lecturer who can now, with hindsight, assess the years he spent in school striving to conform to the pigeon holes and the norms and the common denominators were a total waste. As a mentor for startups across five continents, he’s helped entrepreneurs get a leg up in the market, but he sees that to really make a difference we all need to give would-be entrepreneurs a hand even earlier on – as early as grade school. Watch on for a rousing call to informal education.
8. Alisa Miller, the CEO of Public Radio International, shares with us below a dismal set of figures about the fourth power in the state – and concludes that it’s wasting a lot of the clout at its disposal on popular ratings-makers, when it should be weighing in on the world’s affairs, rather than Britney Spears’. The media coverage in the US is partial to just a few parts of the world and, consequently, the news Americans have access to is contributing to their blinkered perspective thereon.
7. Roselinde Torres is an expert on leadership, a title she’s attained after devoting much of her life to studying leaders and which has gotten her work quoted by the likes of BusinessWeek and The Economist. In this TED Talk, she lays out the questions that everyone aspiring to be a leader should ask themselves, as well as find inspiration in, instead of resorting to programs or workshops that oftentimes don’t work one bit.
6. Dan Cobley graduated from Oxford’s Physics department, only he’s never worked as a physicist – that hasn’t stopped him from applying the principles and laws which govern that field to his true calling, marketing. Google’s director of marketing for central and northern Europe stands before us with a straight face and connects theories of branding with the most defining laws of physics – and it actually makes sense!
5. Didier Sornette eats risk for breakfast! As director of the Financial Crisis Observatory and author of “Why Stock Markets Crash: Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems,” he endeavors to predict and perhaps even preempt financial crises. Seen speaking here in 2013, he’s drawing on our experience with the last 2008 market crash that we’re still reeling from today and posits that we’re not out of the woods just yet…
4. James B. Glattfelder isn’t a conspiracy theorist, but, as a complex systems theorist, he does recognize the monopoly of control that our world is precariously predicated on. Originally a physicist, Glattfelder draws on a bunch of eye-opening data gleaned through a now famous study and surmises, ominously, that the reins of economic power are held by less than 1% of the actors on the economic stage.
3. Sheena Iyengar, author of “The Art of Choosing,” looks at the exceeding number of choices we are faced with today and, as a psycho-economist, draws parallels between our decisional behavior in different settings. Watch her outline her findings below, as she correlates our inability to choose a brand of jam off the supermarket shelf to our resistance to making life decisions, when we’re overwhelmed by the sheer number of options we’re presented with.
2. Eddie Obeng, a business educator who set up the first virtual business school, Pentacle, gives an inspiring, rapid-fire talk below about the mind processes that thwart our understanding of, and acting in, the “new world.” He offers a gloriously commonsensical way of explaining why we can’t adapt to the demands of this new world if our behavioral cogs, wheels and levers are still rooted in the old. And understandably so, since we can’t upgrade or rewire our brains every two months like an operating system!
1. Matt Ridley, author of “The Rational Optimist,” which is also how he describes himself to be, proposes an explanation for our species’ continuous thriving, even while it grows exponentially larger every year. By always reconfiguring the “collective brain,” as he calls it, by always sharing ideas and adding a piece of our own minds to foster them, we are actively furthering human kind. And the pace of that advancement has never been faster than it is today, when “ideas are having sex with each other as never before.”
The folks over at Patreon, You-Tubers extraordinaire, have made another smashing hit of a video, this time by tapping into the new viral craze that’s sweeping the Internet right now. Remember the famous helmet-camera footage of the infamous dive off the 1 World Trade Center that went off without a hitch (except for the authorities’ overreaction in the aftermath)? Well, now cameras of all types, and GoPros in particular, are being mounted on body parts all across the world and resulting materials – uploaded online like there’s no tomorrow!
This video below will show you that Warner Bros. Pictures and Zack Snyder have nothing on Average Joe’s resourcefulness. Like us to see the world through Superman’s eyes, thanks to a GoPro camera mounted on the hero’s head! It’s the type of eye-opening upgrade that should be featured in Man of Steel 2, wouldn’t you agree?
Watch out, entrepreneurs! There’s a new incubator in town, and it’s based… behind bars! At San Quentin’s prison, the inmates are being encouraged to go into business by consultants who hark from the cream of the Internet crop: LinkedIn, Quora and other Internet giants. The Last Mile program was first introduced in 2011 and unrolled over a six-month period in the slammer – at the end of which, on “demo day,” the enrollees got to pitch their idea to the big-leaguers they’re hoping to one day become.
By all accounts, working towards setting up a start-up makes more sense than earning a degree or turning your hand at whatever menial jobs inmates can do day in, day out, in the hopes of using that skill once on the outside. That’s because pitching a start-up is all about the – ehem – killer idea, not the criminal record of the person behind it. In the age bursting at the seams with information, the Internet’s actually serving as a different kind of sponge too, the wiping-your-slate-clean kind!
“The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool,” Stephen King once said, and it should be enough to put you on your guard when it comes to creating a team for any venture, business or otherwise. That’s not to say that trusting someone else to jump on your bandwagon and steer it the way you intend it to go is wrong – it’s just that weeding out the “liar” is not everyone’s forte. That’s where psychology and body language experts come in, with yardsticks and indicators to help you peek behind the prettified screen most people hide behind.
David DeSteno, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, has devoted the better part os his career to finding the best ways of flushing out untrustworthy people. Here’s a video of him explaining the dos and don’ts of trusting, so, if you think you’ll ever find yourself on the horns of a should-or-shouldn’t-trust dilemma, bookmark this for future reference:
Essentially, Mr. DeSteno is drawing up a four-step guideline for deciding who is only tooting their own horn without anything to back it up and who’s really deserving of your trust. Just remember the points he’s made and choosing your next team member or business partner should be a breeze:
We’re so used to hearing about globalization and the Internet’s big pool of togetherness we’re all splashing about in on a daily basis – so much so that we tend to forget not everyone in the world is so closely connected. In fact, one third of earthlings don’t have access to the so-called “world-wide” web (acc. to a report by the ITU). That’s why, in an effort to better spread the wealth of information, the biggest movers and shakers are now thinking up ways of building a sort of Net dome over the world that would link us all up, circumventing all obstacles, including landscape-related ones that have stumped Internet providers so far.
If Larry Page has any say in it, everyone will be served up a slice of the Internet pie through the introduction of… balloons – they’d be shot into the stratosphere and left there to waft in the wind, all the while Internet would be beamed down to the Net-deprived people walking the earth below. [Check out Page’s full exposition on this unconventional idea that we’ve already covered HERE]
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg though, has another type of machinery in mind when it comes to empowering the world with all-you-can-click Internet. He just announced yesterday that he’d be setting up a lab, and equipping it with 50-odd aeronautics experts, in the service of developing drones that dole out wi-fi from above. The newcomers to the Facebook HQ will be working tirelessly to find the best MO for putting up drones or other “connectivity aircraft” – all of which ties in nicely with FB’s Internet.org project.