Friday, October 25, 2013

My Predictions for 2020

The documentary Transcendent Man is a great look at what the future might be like for us. In the documentary Ray Kurzweil talks about the snowball effect that technology has on itself that allows exponential and rapid growth in new technologies.

While 2020 seems like such a long way off here are some of my personal predictions of how life will be different:

  • Wearable tech is the norm - Google Glass and smart watches are in their infancy. By 2020 it will be more normal to check your watch for a text message than to pull your phone out of your pocket. Wearable tech will totally sync with your house, car, phone, and watch. It will be commonplace to use smart devices to make payments, unlock doors, adjust lighting, and other menial tasks from one centralized smart network.
  • Cloud ownership over physical ownership - By 2020 I predict cloud ownership will be more normal than physical ownership. Photos, documents, music, movies, will all be in the cloud and lead to the ultimate death of removable media and physical storage.
  • Driverless Cars - Self-driving cars will be a reality for the at least some of the mainstream population. The only hold up will be because of new regulations needed to work out the legal kinks. By 2020 at least some main roads and freeways could possibly be okay-ed for self-driving vehicles. Ultimately as the technology advances self-driving cars will be the norm on all roads and greatly improve traffic flow without having to add more traffic lanes.
  • Improved Night Vision - Night-vision car windshields and prescription night-vision glasses my be available by 2020. Researchers have made great advancements in night vision technology over the last few years that will allow everyone a chance to use night-vision in a useful way in their daily lives.
  • 3D Printing - By 2020 many homes will own 3D printers. This will be the death of many factories and brick and mortar retails stores. Instead of buy a wrench from Home Depot you'll probably be able to log on you their website and buy a "digital" wrench you can print right at home. Traditional regulations will get much more complicated as outlawed products like some weapons will be able to be printed at home.
  • Extreme Personalization - We are already seeing personalized results from Google & Facebook - more about that here. The days of a "one-size-fits-all" mentality are ending. Instead by 2020 more products and services will be tailored to your individual likes and dislikes. Databases will store and remember your preferences and will shape your interaction with the world.
  • Change in Shopping Patterns - Amazon has started slowly rolling out its home delivery service in a few cities nationwide. By 2020 many people will be using this service, or one similar, instead of going out to shop. Huge distribution centers are being constructed now instead of huge shopping centers. In 2020 people will order groceries and other basic items via their computer, TV, and tablets for same-day home delivery. The days of fighting crowds at the mega-store are coming to an end.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Axiom 41: Reciprocity

"In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us." -Flora Edwards

"It is better to give than receive." -Unkown

I was channel surfing late one night and came across one of those Christian shows asking for donations. The preacher was talking about the Biblical teachings of reciprocity. Reciprocity means whatever you give to God he blesses you back tenfold. 

I didn't connect the concept of reciprocity and business until I read The Education of Millionaires. The book talks about giving unto others without requesting anything in return. Sometimes this can backfire if you give to a person who is a taker by heart. Surprisingly enough though, this seems to be the minority of people. Most people are so taken aback when you give to them without asking for anything in return that you often get paid back exponentially in the long run by establishing a strong personal connection.

This Axiom will be a short one. Make it a point to share with others without asking for anything in return. Share knowledge, time, resources, connections, and you will find that in time the same will be shared with you. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Axiom 40: Color Psycology

You've probably never heard about a little something called color psychology but we're all subjected to it subconsciously every single day. Colors affect everyone emotionally and color psychology reveals the secrets of how we can use color to our advantage.

This is not a quack science. Casinos have used color psychology for years to design table games, slot machines, and the ambiance of the casino floor to get you to part with your money more easily. Politicians use color psychology to dress in a way that helps them identify with their audience and convey a specific tone to their message. Big corporations use color psychology to reinforce brand messaging and create an emotional connection with customers.

What's quite interesting with color psychology is that meaning of colors can vary among cultures and also change over time. A color that has one emotional response here in America could have the opposite response in China. Furthermore, like fashion, the popularity of colors changes over time. Some advertising and PR firms conduct studies and release color psychology reports ever year.

So how can you use color psychology to your advantage?

The biggest impact you can have personally is to make sure your clothes communicate the right message with color. You don't need to worry about this everyday, but you should keep it in mind for any important client meetings, job interviews, etc.

So what color should you wear?

There is a great guide to all colors and their meaning here. Generally the two best colors to wear when it counts are red or blue. Red is a power color and conveys strength, passion, action. Red can also have a negative meaning in some situations and convey aggression so wear it sparingly. Red is a great color for job interviews and new business ventures. Blue is usually the most well received color and conveys calmness, control, and deep thinking. Blue is a great color for important client meetings.

And there are many more uses beyond red and blue. Do a little research for yourself and you'll find that color can influence the message you are trying to convey.