DANGEROUS DEPENDENCIES and ENTERPRISING OPPORTUNISTS - 2011
WHERE SECURITY AND SAFETY ARE ILLUSIONS
Written by author Douglas Castle for publication in THE GLOBAL FUTURIST (http://TheGlobalFuturist.blogspot.com) and in THE TNNWC NEWSFEED [RSS and DAILY EMAIL] (http://TheNationalNetworkerWeblog.blogspot.com)
Dear Friends, Fellow Futurists and Members:
Human Beings generally become complacent when things appear to be consistent, and they fashion their dependencies around the expectation that things will either remain the same or get better. This is tantamount to sleeping on a known fault line -- it is a form of enslavement by indolence. It is that assumptive thinking that the "status quo will not change", or that "the worst is over." It is like falling asleep while you're supposed to be on guard duty.
When economic, political and social times are relatively good for just a brief time, even after a lengthy and historically unprecedented period of calamitous recession, massive unemployment, price-gouging, artificial shortages, breaches of the public trust, gross fiduciary mismanagement by some of the biggest financial and industrial institutions on the planet, giant environmental disasters (how about BP's enormous oil spill and toxic 'cleanup' attempts off of the Gulf Coast of the United States ?) in the ethnic cleansing and wholesale genocide --we fall under the spell of things will be "normal" or "stable" again.
The public has a very, very short memory. Going further, it would be safe to say that the public, like any individual survivor of a childhood traumatic episode, develops a form of amnesia to blot out the most painful childhood memories. Amnesia and denial.
Ironically, we either forget, blot out or otherwise fail to learn from powerfully informative negative experiences and make meaningful adaptations or preparations. It is as if it were better to hide from the pain of the wound or attack than to prepare for the possibility of its recurrence. We, the people, are amazingly adept at hiding from unpleasant realities. We will even seek to justify that which cannot be justified because we do not wish to accept a frightening, changing, seemingly chaotic world fraught with danger.
If we anticipate what the possible changes to the peacetime dreamy (or imagined) norm of these "fundamentals" and "staples" upon which we have come to rely could possibly be (imagining the worst case scenario) and what our potential exposure would be, we would begin developing contingency plans and backup positions. Complacency and Dependence are dangerous things -- they make our adaptation skills atrophy, and make us look increasingly tempting as victims. Anticipate, Project and Prepare.
Forgetting or denial are not options for rational people or rational organizations. Past experience is not to be dismissed as a bad dream -- it must be treated and applied as a learning experience. There is no rational advantage to the avoidance of learning. A refusal to learn and to react to the telltale signs and signals of dangerous changes about to occur is an invitation for History's worst to repeat itself, over and over...
What follows is not investment advice -- it is merely an extrapolation of current trends with some of history's painful lessons applied. Companies which embrace some or any of the characteristics or engage in some of the emerging fields which follow are simply going to be more likely to survive and thrive than those which fail to do so:
SUCCESSFUL COMPANY CHARACTERISTICS AND EMERGING FIELDS
1) Companies which are expending an increasing percentage of their budgets and resources on identifying areas of their own dependencies and exposure, vigilantly observing relevant trends, and preparing contingency plans;
Remember: Complacency and Dependency are the reasons that companies and entire industries fail when exclusive suppliers (i.e., constructive monopolists) go out of business, reduce supplies, increase prices, work at a direct conflict with their customers' interests or compromise their customers' information, or restrict access to it -- like holding it for ransom.
Imagine if some of the current free social media services that form the centerposts of many major businesses and provide a regular means of communication were to begin charging substantial fees? Or if backup systems providers wanted to hold our data and records for ransom -- or to simply sell our personal information to third parties without our knowledge and /or consent (example: MySpace)?
2) Companies which render high caliber advisory services to other companies, organizations and individuals regarding supplier dependencies, vulnerabilities and deficiencies and prescribe or implement the means to reduce the risks imposed by these potential negatives;
3) Companies which provide these types of services to businesses and organizations: data and communications security, backup, encryption, transmittal and information compression and storage technologies;
4) Companies which are in the business of sourcing vendors and suppliers (especially in emergency situations) for businesses and organizations -- some of my colleagues have referred to these types of companies as "just in time escort services."
5) Companies providing personal protection, and personal protection-related technologies for corporate executives, organizational leaders and political figures.
6) Companies providing social media/ search engine reputation management services to personal, corporate and organizational clients. With the advent, proliferation and increased dependency upon search engines, data-mining and cross-referencing technologies, the Internet has become an open forum (with an embedded and indelible memory) for anonymous parties who (rightly or wrongly) post complaints about their mistreatment at the hands of other companies, organizations and individuals. Whether or not these allegations or reports are truthful, they can do severe damage to the reputation of the party being spoken about.
Imagine a scenario in the very near future in which companies, organizations, lobbyists, political parties and other resourceful and imaginative hire SWAT teams of whiners and maligners [great phrase, eh?] to damage the competition by loading the search engines and social media with negative propaganda...
7) Companies which develop self-sustaining, green (i.e., environmentally-friendly) or "living - off- of- the- grid" energy technologies which enable households and companies to become increasingly self-sufficient and increasingly independent of merciless utilities, constructive monopolies, the vagaries of the capital markets, and other "third-party" risks. Count among these companies all of those who are working on alternative energy, utilities or transportation technologies which employ abundant and inexpensive natural resources. Note: Many of these companies are in the incubation stage as I write this.
Where there is danger there is always opportunity - the keys are to pay attention and to be imaginative.
p.s. Yes. You've been hearing a great deal about TNNWC's GIST VIDEO. The picture below, gives you, well, a gist about GIST. Can you imagine taking your company's entire business plan, service or product and condensing it into a presentation of 2 - 3 minutes? We live in an era where time is so precious because people are so busy. YOU MUST GET YOUR MESSAGE ACROSS FASTER THAN THE COMPETITION'S.
Look below, pause for laughter, and then visit GIST at http://bit.ly/GISTrevolution.
http://bit.ly/GISTIFY - Go there to find a real solution to AUDIENCE NARCOLEPSY. Really.
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