Sunday, March 23, 2014

Big Business

Megalopolic "Providers" are the trend.  These are groups of businesses that work together to provide value chains to customers.  Think Walmart or Target working with Comcast and Farmers Insurance and Providence Health care.  These "providers" will join not as a monopoly but as a people integrator attempting to nudge employees and entire market segments to "stay within the family" or "ecosystem".

This one is going to take a while, but I think by 2025 (yes 11 years) you will see clearly that this has started.

Big Businesses no longer need little businesses.  This my seem obvious and it may seem silly but the reality is that there are enough large businesses that they can spin off small businesses that will grow into large businesses to better take advantage of economies of scale and the little guy will loose.

Ok so why do we have little businesses and what is going to happen?  Big Business will continue... (it is a huge trend now) to hire sole source small businesses, train them and provide them with the benefits of economies of scale to keep a perception of owning ones own business.

Chick-fil-A is not a traditional franchise but its model is an expression of where business is going.  They offer "Franchise for $5,000 to a highly vetted business professional who will retain no ownership, stake or value whatsoever when the franchise ends.  (I am available Chick-fil-A!  It is a great job franchise model.)  They get a good portion of the profits, so you might compare them to an employee who is paid commission on sales.  Work hard at this proven model and you will do very well. On average these Owner Operators earn $190,000 according the all knowing Wikipedia.

Other companies behaving similarly where they provide the know how and materials and the business owner provides the motivated behavior.  Large businesses are compensated for their participation in local economies.  This isn't just for government contractors.  It is a perk that all large businesses use to demonstrate value to the community and earn tax breaks.

So back to the wacky idea, of "providers" these Megalopolic "Providers" will be careful to compete with other "Providers" in 1 on 1 markets.  This will drive brand and eliminate real competition without creating a monopoly similar to the current two system political market.  (that has got to be another post)

Local companies like plumbers and lawn care providers will join these groups to take advantage of buying power and the flexibility offered by being part of a group of people.  Less competition, more days off.  They will seemingly retain ownership of their companies.  It is critical to understand that these business owners will be well compensated, the few and the proud.  Industries where human effort is still needed will earn a premium compared to typical employees, and the perceived cost will be offset by the many benefits.

So what do you think?.... Go ahead and tell me that I'm wrong.  This is just a silly guess.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Health Trackers

There are many activity trackers on the market, so what kind of a guess is this?  Well its a wimpy one, I like those.  I am really less predicting the activity tracker market than the Health Tracker market.  This will happen fairly quickly.  By 2017 a company will realize that the 55 year old who is the biggest market segment for this product needs a device like this.

People want a single device that can understand our health situation.  Weather old or young, into fitness or maintenance, people need to have the guesswork removed when it comes to health.

Trackers are already improving sleep patterns and helping us get the exercise we need.  Soon they will alert us and get help when we have a heart attack, seizure, diabetic shock.  They will remind us to take medicine and tack on time to workouts if we eat a big meal.

Trackers will be a part of stay well programs at work.  These trackers will know our personal body rhythm from others.  They will be connected to our lives helping us to get help and live healthy. 

There will be other uses as well for these devices, they will recommend when to see a doctor about issues that are getting worse and meal choices when we enter a restaurant.  They will be an extension of what we now call our phones that will include many other wearable devices like jewelry, belts, purses and shoes all designed to work in concert to provide data, power and flexibility to the services we expect.

So what do you think?.... Go ahead and tell me that I'm wrong.  This is just a silly guess.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Body Mods

Everyone wants to be special.  Go to your nearest water park and you will see the desperate way that people want to be unique.

Tattoos, piercings and all manner of decoration are normal.

Modafinil and other drugs for those who expect more than coffee.

Height is what you make it.

Where is this going?

It seems clear to me is that we are driven to improve ourselves and our children.  (beware the children link is disturbing)

This isn't a blog about blame, so keep your Barbie hate or whatever to yourself.  Here I attempt to guess at what will be the next change(s) that push markets and people to a new place, a new reality.

Body Mods are currently split into two segments.  The poor get tattoos, piercings and maybe ear loops.  The rich buy drugs and get surgery.

The moment you have all been waiting for.... the prediction.  This time there are several.

The body mod that we all want is not coming any time soon.  My prediction is that modifications for weight control will be suppressed and will take an additional 10 years to be approved around the world.  Reasonable weight control drugs that would enable people to get to a standard BMI and maintain it without diet or exercise will be ready for commercial consumption by 2028 but they will not be available.  There is just too much money to be made in the fat business.

Drugs to promote muscle growth, increase libido, alter moods more effectively, increase focus and memory will be available over the counter by 2025.  These will be expensive in relative terms but there will be a large portion of the world who will pay.

Surgery for height will increase in popularity and you will know someone who has had the procedure by 2025.

Implanting memory units will at first be for those with lost memory but it will quickly become an add-on for the rich.  Expect that by 2030 surgery to improve your memory might sound reasonable.

I don't want to go to far into the future or get too silly.... so I will end it there.

So what do you think?.... Go ahead and tell me that I'm wrong.  This is just a silly guess.