The coming changes to your house

It’s easy to forget that the places we live in are a direct reflection of our current technology. We’ve all come a long way since we lived in cave 76 (That was for all the Mel Brookes fans), and we generally are living in houses built on top of the shoulders of giants. Great entrepreneurial, scientific and engineering minds which make the modern world very comfortable indeed. We are currently on the cusp of a quite a few physical changes appearing in our homes. Before we explore what they might be, let’s think about how long some of the current technologies in our homes have been around:

  • Letter Boxes – mail services started encouraging these to be installed in houses for deliveries in the mid 1800’s
  • Indoor Plumbing – In the 1860’s only 5% of American houses had running water, flush toilets were very uncommon until the mid 1900’s
  • Driveways – much less than 80 years old as a standard inclusion
  • Electricity – uncommon in suburban homes until the 1930’s
  • White goods – (electricity needed) were rare in modern economies until post WW2
  • Televisions – 1956 in Australia
  • VCR’s – the early 1980s
  • Home Computers – the mid 1980s
  • Internet – the mid 1990’s

There’s many more examples, but you get the picture – where we live changes based on the technological possibilities, and their facilitation requirements of the day. So let’s run a thought experiment on what will begin appearing in homes, based on the technologies about to arrive, and those already here and functioning.

Drone delivery landing pads: With deliveries already happening they need to land somewhere. Apartment buildings are already being designed with them on rooftops, and your house will be no different. Maybe it will have an auto opening lid which closes over after the drop off has been made?

drone landing pads

Smart Toilet: I’ve written about this before – but we can expect it to be our health partner in life, and since Alaphabet had a patent approved on the smart bathroom last year, this is one of those realities which will surprise with its speed of arrival.

Smart shower: One that takes a photo of you everyday… not to invade your privacy, but to ensure it knows you have a dangerous sun spot long before you do.

All glass becomes web enabled screens: If you’ve always wanted a house with a view, well it’s about to come a lot cheaper than anyone expects. All the glass in our homes will become web enabled screens. The resolution of our windows will be indistinguishable from an actual view into the real world. All of a sudden anyone can have a real time, harbour view, which changes perspective on different windows in the house to give perfect perception in real time. Maybe those rich people with actual harbour mansions will make money selling their views via a live feed cam?

Charging stations in all driveways: Our driving future is all electric as is our entire economy. Expect every place cars stop will have a charging facility on hand. If they ever stop – I’ll probably send mine out to work for me when I’m not using it.

Virtual Reality Room: It will be a bit like the home office was, or maybe part of it. We’ll conduct meetings with work that feel so real, we’ll wonder why going to the office is even necessary. We’ll also use our VR rig to shop online for things we want to touch and experience. Our haptic gloves and suits will assist in the purchase process. We’ll also use it to choose hotel rooms, holidays, and even do exercise. In the latter case we’ll have a treadmill which keeps us stationary while we seemingly move around and explore other worlds

Of course the list of ‘new fixtures’ in the home will be longer as many forms of technology will change our habitat. And quite frankly that is the key – not that the technology makes it possible, but that entrepreneurs and emerging startups shine a path on what is possible and make us want it. This is where tomorrows economy will be made up from. Just like Bill Gates promised to put a computer on every desk in every home, and Jobs put one in your pocket, you can put something in our house as well – and you need not invent the thing in question. Exciting times ahead.

Here’s a little radio interview I did on this topic yesterday.

New Book – The Lessons School Forgot

Speed

A friend and I were discussing an imminent launch I am working on. There’s a lot of nervous energy. There are so many factors, reasons to hesitate, be cautious, ensure everything is tight. On the flipside, reasons to zoom ahead.  

He came up with a great analogy for any start up. It’s like the movie Speed.

Speed Movie Visual

You can’t drop below a certain speed or you won’t stay alive. You can’t go too fast or you might crash on a difficult corner. It’s a real balancing act of momentum & due consideration.  

At some point we all approach an unfinished bridge and we just have to go for it!

MBA

Once upon a time I thought it would be a good use of my time doing an MBA. I was quite into my ‘career’ and thought that this would enhance it.

It still can in enhance career prospects in some organizations. But before you embark on upwards of a $30,000 investment and 3 years of your spare time consider this. MBA’s are only a ticket to the ball game, and if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur this ticket is not required.

Graduation

The fact is MBA’s were designed for management with a non business undergraduate degree to enhance their business acumen. They are essentially undergraduate course work regurgitated. Add to this the fact that everyone in conglomerate X already has one and the point of difference it once provided has disappeared.

In a web 2.0 world marketing & entrepreneurship are moving so fast, University course work simply can’t keep up. I think we’re better off following todays leading thinkers (all of which have blogs) and taking a vocation of business related learning. If you really want to stand out, learn another language, learn how to build an e-commerce website, be a leading thinker on social trends

By the way, the name is a giveaway: Master of Business Administration, not Master of Business Strategy… and who wants to become an administrator?

Flux

My previous entry We Need espoused the virtues of doing rather than planning. I do not bend. However, you will ‘need’ to do certain things at certain points. Just don’t fall into the trap of thinking all your needs can be achieved symmetrically. A pre-launch desire for symmetry will kill you before your start.

A world of flux will cause a never ending planning cycle….A world of flux will cause a never ending planning cycle…..A world of flux will cause a never ending planning cycle…..

Who funds who?

We have discovered we need $500K to fund our project. So far this has proven to be our biggest obstacle. We haven’t the cash ourselves. To investors we are asking for too little to be taken seriously. This is what you get by being diligent. Forecasting to the dollar, and finding innovative ways to produce and promote your business.

VC’s incorrectly believe that the size of the opportunity is proportionate to the size of the capital required. They are stuck in the post war TV industrial complex . Heard of Google? They started in 1996 with $100K USD. It would have been the easiest thing in the world to put a $7 million advertising launch campaign into the financials. Thereby boosting our cash requirements to $7.5 million. Would the VC’s then stand up and look? If they do, you don’t want their cash. They simply don’t ‘get it’.

Business funding in Australia can be place into 4 categories:

  1. Family & Friends ($50k – $500K)
  2. No Mans Land  ($500k – $1m)
  3. Angel Capital ($1m- $3m)
  4. Venture Capital ($3m+)

Attitudes vary significantly by category. We realized quickly that we were not in traditional VC territory. Only in no mans land can you invent your own funding rules. However, you need to move up or down the funding food chain to make it happen. You need to ask if you can ‘bootstrap’ the idea with less cash, or sell the dream to some hardened investors. Also, not to be underestimated is the ‘close knit consortium’. Topic of the next blog.