What a week for Water!

While not everyone knows of the secret water project we’re working on, they will soon enough.
It’s not as if it’s not already a global problem.  Not as if we aren’t “aware” (at least somewhat) of the challenges that are facing us on the water front.

Suffice to say, water is a big issue.

However, it’s getting bigger and bigger.

Indeed, it has often been said- more ware will be fought over water, than oil.

Well, perhaps a Nobel Peace Prize around Water awareness should be in order.

Though, I’m not a big fan of “awareness” alone.

How about Water action.

Yes, let’s take an “Action“!

If you don’t believe me, see below.  Here is a series of articles, just this week, that outline what I’m saying.


Water wars? Thirsty, energy-short China stirs fear – Remapping of rivers in world’s most heavily populated region is happening on a gigantic scale, with potentially strategic implications

What happens when China starts diverting rivers for their own purposes:


From Salon:

What happens when we run out of water?  Do you wonder where water goes and all of the items it’s used in?  This article starts to explain some of that.


From Fastcodedesign:

The World’s drinking water crisis.  Every year, we’re paying more and more for water as our infrastructure rots and supplies shrink.


From FastCompany:

Why GE, Coca-Cola, and IBM Are Getting Into the Water Business


Indeed, we need to flush out more and more ideas around water conservation.

And last- from Kohler:

Here is a Kolers reponse and action….a $6,500 toilet!  That plays music!!!!   Yes, that’s the answer.


I’m sure there will be more and more to come.

Sitting at the Fortune Green 2011 Conference- What a collection

The Fortune Green Brainstorming event is happening the next few days in beautiful Laguna, California.

This is a collection of amazing sustainability and environmental directors from around the world.

The current IBM pre-conference event is paneled by Executives from Disney, IBM, Wal-Mart, Dupont and more.

As larger companies start (or continue) their efforts around sustainable efforts, environmental impacts, and ways to create real change in the world, there will…hopefully… be a tremendous impact on the environment.

Large companies have something in the strength of numbers.  If more and more companies look for programs and initiatives that can engage their own employee base, then small action items can result in large and dramatic changes.

When is being #108,067 considered an “early adopter”?

I recently received a great email from Reid Hoffman- Founder of Linked In.  Ok, granted it was a form letter, but it was nice none the less.
It said that I was number 108,067 in joining Linked In, and that is quite a milestone considering that LI just passed 100MM members.

It’s interesting as I’ve watched the social networking landscape change over time.  I recall being in Chicago in 1998 when a friend of mine- John Stoiber- had the idea for relationship based site.  Of course no one listened to him (primarily I believe because he was in Chicago, and not the Valley).

I recall as well (with a bit of personal disdain), being at Stanford speaking on a panel.  There was also someone speaking as well- some “kid” named Mark Zuckerberg.  Espousing on about something called “TheFacebook”.
Of course, I thought that was nothing more than really taking the Harvard Freshman handout and putting it online.  That surely wouldn’t work.

Not that a new network wasn’t needed, as it clearly was.  There was a massive pent up frustration in MySpace, and it just wasn’t working.

I had at the time something called 6Bacon (6 degrees of separation; 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon), anyway you get the idea.  This platform had multi-friend buckets, online geo-targeting and maps, channel ability, and all sorts of functionality (some of which still don’t exist to this day).

Alas, I picked the wrong team to help execute on that, and the company never gained traction.

Now, I read about Quora, Path, and the newly funded Color.com (by the way, congratulation Peter), and I find myself thinking….here we go again.

There is indeed a need for something that replaces Facebook- and it again “CLEARLY” can be done and beaten.

By the time your parents and grand parents are now in FaceBook and you face the dilemma to accept them or not, it’s time for a new cool factor platform.

Hmmmm, I wonder what’s next?

Can’t make it to TED? No worries, take an adventure with BIL

If you’re not aware, TED is this week in Los Angles.  TED is the uber conference ($6,000 to attend and a waiting list to boot).  It is peppered with luminaries from around the world giving inspiring speeches on a wide range of topics.
Can’t get in?  No worries.  There is BIL.  Yes, this is not an uber conference, but an “un” conference.  It is something that might best be described as organized chaos.  At BIL, you can attend (for free), are encouraged to bring items that might solve problems at an unconference (coffee, fruit, food, expertise, etc), and can expect to enjoy the same type of TED talks, but in a more friendly environment.

BIL is this weekend (www.BILConference.com), and is open to all.

There was a great article recently in the Wall Street Journal as well ( http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703408604576164341605544626.html?KEYWORDS=bil+conference )

I would encourage anyone that wants to get out, contribute, and make a difference- to themselves, their environment, and quite possibly the world- to attend BIL.
See you this weekend.

Water continues to be a global problem

In a recent article by USA Today ( http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/environment/2011-03-03-1Apurewater03_CV_N.htm), it showed how toilet water is being converted to drinking water in a few locations around the world.
What was more interesting to me was the following quote,”Water is going to be the oil of the 21st century,” predicts Bill Cooper, director of the Urban Water Research Center at the University of California-Irvine.”

Indeed, water is going to be a bigger issue as populations grow.  Water touches everything we do- from the coffee you drink in the morning, to the jeans you wear, to the electricity that turns on your computer so you can read this post.

The Virtual water footprint is ever growing, and as the needs and uses of water increase, the available amounts continue to decrease.
What actions can you take as an individual that would make a difference?

More actions are needed that can help solve this growing global crisis.

Why can’t a tax break be considered an “economic stimulus”?

I’m not trying to constantly make political arguments here, but I am curious with the fight that is coming up regarding the Bush tax cuts.

I continue to hear over and over (mostly from the liberal or democrat side), that “NOT” letting the tax cuts expire, at least on the top most wealthy percent, will “cost” over $700 Million dollars.

his is un the theory around the amount of taxes that would be collected from the wealthy when their taxes go up.
Well, for starters I’m always confused by what is considered “weatlthy”?

In the world of Obama, that is over $2oo,000 for an individual, and only $250, 000 for a couple.

Now I say only, as I’m now living in California mostly full time.  I know that $250,000 may go far in an area like Arkansas, or even my home town of Kansas City.  But in Los Angeles?

I wonder how some people survive on that.
However, I digress.  Back to the point.

At the same time there is a discussion about letting the tax cuts expire, there is a concurrent discussion about creating another “stimulus” package.
This “stimulus” would be where the government creates an $800 Billion loan under the premise that the money would be used to “perhaps” create jobs.

More likely, to really pay for teachers, firefighters, orphans and children- which always seems to be the argument.

Ok, I digress again.
On point- Is the country, business, and YOU as an individual- better served with $800 Million in debt being dolled out by the government?  Would YOU personally feel any benefit from that?  Would it add money in your pocket, savings, or child’s education fund?

What about the tax side?  See, if the $700 Billion was “not” collected by the government, that is money that WOULD be left for the individual.

I for one would rather- given the choice of $800 Billion in the hands of the Government, or $700 Billion in the hands of the people- would choose the latter!!
It seems the argument always goes to class warfare- the have’s and the have not’s- the “wealthy” against the poor.

Me?  I think it is the people against the Goverment.

Power to the People

Can a new company be bigger than Face book? Google?

I’m often asked (or maybe it’s just my own delusional thoughts) about whether or not a company can be bigger than Google?

Well, I’ve become quite adept at making that assertion.

Part of the retort comes from the fact I’ve been compiling statistics and information as a case for the mobile messaging company we’ve been building that  will launch this year.
So, for stats and circumstance- here is an interesting way to look at the numbers.

Question- Can a new company be bigger than Facebook?  What about Google? No way you say?

Let’s see-

As a comparison in how to be bigger than Google.  Notice I say bigger than, as in a “NEW” model and market that is bigger than Google, but not competitive with.
To begin:

#1- there are an estimated 1.7 Billion people on the internet (http://royal.pingdom.com/2010/01/22/internet-2009-in-numbers/).

Not everyone goes to Google every day, and of those that do go to the site, not everyone clicks on an ad  (but the last numbers I had was Google converted about 12.5 Billion ad click per month).

#2- there are 4.6 Billion people with a cell phone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_mobile_phones_in_use ).

That cell phone is personal, portable, and usually pasted to the side of a person’s ear or belt- thus it is always with them.

There are on average 5 calls or more made per day- which translates to over 25 Billion calls per day!

That makes the mobile phone the ultimate marketing vehicle to the consumer.  Talks about total personalization.

Messaging capabilities based on propinquity (the ability to deliver something close to the point of time or relevance) alone will change the paradigm of marketing.

When a brand wants to deliver a message and they are reliant upon newspaper, radio, TV and Internet, there is nothing time based in the delivery of the message.   With the phone, messages could be delivered based upon a specific time of day tied to an event.

Location based services, content options, MMS delivery, coupons, rolling time based optimization and more will all lead to the next generation of Tech Titans.

There is a very easy argument that the future mobile companies can dwarf the googles of the world by sheer default in the number of cell phones versus Computers.

What is the killer app?  “Voice is the killer app”!
While there is indeed a fight over the app market (think iphone app, blackberry app world, Nokia Ovie, etc).,  that opportunity worldwide really only accounts for about 6% of the total handset market.

The majority of the world are not on smart phones, nor will they be any time soon.

So, I would surmise that anyone, or  one company that can provide a service into the voice channel and monetize the potentially billions and billions of calls per day- can,  and most assuredly will,  beat FB, Google, or any other internet based company.
The real race for the consumer has really just begun.