In response to many requests for the presentation given for the Coastal Carolina Wall College Global Business Forum key note, I’ve included it here. You may also find the PDF link at www.PeterGasca.com. Enjoy!
I read a great article in Fast Company’s Co.Design by contributing author Hellen Walters, who writes about the “4 Elements That Make A Good User Experience Into Something Great”. As the title implies, product design is critical for not only function but also to set expectations for “what we expect (the product) to do, and then, ideally, get the hell out of our way until we need it again”. Apple products, such as the iPod, are great examples. Apple was the first to introduce a music player that was intuitive, attractive (red anyone?), and didn’t scare the Belarus out of you! For us working in the toy industry (and especially for us integrating more technology into our designs), these concepts are as important as ever and should be a part of the design team’s tattoo collection.Source: fastcodesign.com
- 2 years ago
Most entrepreneurs and business managers are aware of two important trends that affect business these days:
1. The Baby Boomer Generation is HUGE, reaching retirement, and possesses significant assets that they are predisposed of spending. They are also easier to relate to for most business managers (i.e. - me).
2. The birth rate in the US has been in decline, meaning that the market for upcoming generations of consumers is shrinking. As well, generations such as the Millennials are maturing faster and are more sophisticated then their predecessors, which means they are more difficult to reach (figuratively) and relate to.
It is easy, therefore, to tend toward a business strategy that focuses on older consumers (let’s face it, it’s smart move). With that said, however, if companies are able to develop a strategy to tap into the potential of younger generations (an easy task if understood properly), they can develop an intense loyalty that will be easy to defend against larger, stodgier companies.
Is Facebook sustainable?
Facebook announced this week that it anticipates filing for its much anticipated initial public offering, or IPO, as early as this Wednesday, 1 February 2012. It is estimated (by some very smart people) that the company could raise $10 billion (that’s US$, and with a “B”), which would give the company an immediate market capitalization ranging between US$75-100 billion. To put this in perspective, the Washington Post compared this to other discussion-worthy IPO’s, which shows that Facebook is in impressive company:
On Friday, January 20, Lamar Smith (R-TX), the chief architect of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and Harry Reid (D-NV), the author of Protect IP Act (PIPA), pulled the controversial online piracy bills after months of controversy and protests, culminating in a day of online protests by major websites who “went black” to protest the bill. I was late in understanding the entire issue, and indeed really knew very little about it until talk of blackouts started to swirl. Now, before I have really wrapped my arms around it, they are dead. Regardless, the topic has peaked my interest, and like any responsible citizen, I have felt compelled to know more. I initially wrote about it, briefly, in “SOPA SOPA!”, but I was looking at the topic very generally. I have been seeking for a couple of days to find a way to better express my views, without having to reference Rick Santorum. On Friday, it was done for me.
On Wednesday, several prominent internet sights went “dark” to protest two new bills in the legislature. They were described by the Google landing page as follows:
Two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and impose harmful regulations on American business. Millions of Internet users and entrepreneurs already oppose SOPA and PIPA. The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.
While I don’t pretend to completely understand what the laws propose, I was struck by what one of the republican candidates for president, Rick Santorum, said on Thursday night during the Reblican Debate in Charleston, SC. His comment is posted below, but in summary, he stated, “The Internet is not a free zone where anybody can do anything they want to do.”
Then it struck me … the Internet is basically a free zone, and that’s what makes it so wonderful! Rick Santorum isn’t entirely wrong, and in fact the merit behind his argument is sound. Unfortunately, the playing field has changed so radically that we can no longer examine the situation as he has proposed, as a threat to intellectual property rights for example. This is like saying that all sprinters should be slowed down because humans have just gotten faster!
I understand and appreciate the importance of intellectual property rights, especially as a developer of new products, but the internet is like open source software … if you put something out there, then you should expect it to become part of internet lexicon. This freedom is what has promoted so much great information (and, granted, some very bad information) to be available at the click of a button. Censoring this will crush this. Instead, we should embrace this freedom and, consequently, learn how to live with it and further it. Music artists as well as the entire music industry has already started innovating in order to protect music and provide a living for artists, and we can all take a page out of this lesson.
Obviously, I am not alone in this sentiment (see a small sample of sights below that went dark), and I hope the legislators understand that impact censorship will have, and more important, the slippery slope it will create if it passes. Let the Internet be what it is, and let it be us who adapts.
Cisco, the worlds largest producer of internet switches and routers, estimates that that global cloud traffic will increase 12 fold by 2015!. This is an amazing figure, especially when you consider that traditional data center traffic (yawn) is estimated to increase 4 fold in that time … a staggering figure in and of itself! In all, between cloud and traditional data center traffic, data traffic is estimated to reach 4.6 zettabytes by 2015! Zettabytes! How big of a portable flash drive will THAT be?
First, there was Friendster, which faded as fast as it hit the scene in 2002. Then there was MySpace, created in 2003 by former employees of Friendster who saw the potential of the service and realized its grave weaknesses. MySpace showed potential, especially after being purchased by Rupert Murdoch in 2005 for a paltry sum of $580M, and it seemed poised to become the dominate social networking site for our generation. But then they both … faded and died. Now, Friendster is a social gaming site focused mainly in the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore, and MySpace was recently sold for $35M to a small group of investors, including Justin Timberlake. So what went wrong, and is there another big shakeout looming between Google+ and Facebook?
The Next Green AND Solar Building?
An interesting story about solar power gives an exciting glance at the future of solar panels, which fundamentally changes the preconceived notion that solar panels need to lie flat, spread out over acres of space, and require hours of sunlight in order to be most efficient. The new concept allows for solar panels to be built in just about any size or shape, providing potential applications to structures, towers, and even public artworks! Could this mean that in the future, ALL structures will be made to produce solar power? Could it mean that existing solar panel eyesores could become works of arts and spread throughout a city? The possibilities are exciting!
Google Music launched on Thursday, so I now can see my favorite bands from space? Not quite, but it does appear the new music service will give iTunes a run for its money. Just based on the reach and scale of Google and Android (Android’s market share has doubled in the last year) compared to Apple and iTunes, you would think by default the behemoth has a competitive advantage, but there does appear to be a few features in Google Music that will put iTunes to the test.
- 2 years ago
The statistics are staggering. Between growth in Asia and the empowerment of young generations, the influence of technology on our lives, and our businesses, is a force more powerful than we can imagine. According to Advertising Age, here are some very interesting statistics:
Netflix made the news again today, but for a completely different reason than irking its customers. According to Venture Beat:
- Netflix accounts for 28% of ALL bandwidth usage nationally.
- Neflix peaked at 32% of downstream traffic this year.
- Neflix, HTTP, YouTube and BitTorrent account for 64.4% of all bandwith consumption!
More interestingly, there continues to be a rapid shift of traffic away from desktops (PCs) to set-top boxes, gaming consoles, and smart devices. Only 45% of internet traffic on fixed networks goes to desktop computers!
All I can say is … wow. Netflix may have lost 800,000 subscribers since “Quickster-gate”, but they were on the right track. Streaming is the future. For now, however, stop streaming video and slowing down my email!
I am a supporter and advocate of technology, especially when it makes my life simple, but I am also typically a late adopter. I still use my iPhone 3G, which replaced a Motorola Razor I used for a number of years. I typically hold onto Mac computer until the hard drive falls out … then I refurbish it. So, it is no surprise that it took me some time to warm up to twitter.