At Manhattan College in 2000-02′, I had a professor, Joe Basten, who taught Computer Information Systems. Professor Basten was a retired Boeing Engineer who designed jets like the 747 Jumbo Jet which is rarely in use today because of fuel costs. Professor Basten was especially memorable to me because he was a visionary type of guy but also would rationalize his logic down to the ground so that it really made sense. One day in class while discussing the creation, formation and use of the internet, he said, “Today is the age of information and tomorrow will be the age of creation!”
Today we see a tremendous amount of change taking place. People now interact on the internet on things like Facebook and LinkedIN where essentially you can create who you want to be. I mean you don’t have to put every picture or air out those bits of information that you truly don’t want anyone to know, so there is still some autonomy, but there is certainly that creative-control that allows one to be – who they want the world to see. A form of creation, that is not a new concept with socialites, celebrities, entertainers, but one that may be new to the masses of people who use to spend week nights in front of the television, now they do so with an Ipad, laptop or trips back and forth to the computer to check respective social media pages and maybe update their profile status, or pictures. Since the end of 2009 I’ve watched many large companies like BJs wholesale, Verizon, and even Walmart try to figure out how to use social media to capture the business and attention of retail customers. Here we are, more than half way through 2011, and we hear on the radio advertisements and offerings for consumers to “Like” the companies fan page.
More and more big businesses are allocating dollars to participate in Social Media. Further in business we see change. More importantly, we need change. Change because many big businesses have failed, many small businesses still do things the way they use to in the 80′s or the way their predecessors did them. But also, many businesses are not yet using the internet to lure in the customers they want. So while many of us individuals may know or think we know the best methodologies, many businesses lag way behind because their day-to-day efforts have not changed much with the times. Additionally, in the small and mid-sized companies we see life styles and habitual business practices that lead to poor financials that essentially stifle the ability to grow. Which points to even more change, these bad habits basically leave the back door open to competition, new and existing.
Starting a new business today can be especially challenging, as always. Today their is a lot of competition, in every sector their are the leaders and their are the followers. But as businesses have failed, certain best practices have risen to lead the pack. Weather you want to enter a new region or even a new sector of business their is a multitude of information available on-line, available from the internet. You can buy contacts, you can buy private company information, you can buy project solicitations, even the federal government has a website that is extremely relevant to information systems implementation and a variety of commercial construction projects that they are the owners of nationwide. Additionally, there is a tremendous amount of innovation taking place in sectors: alternative energy, commercial real estate, healthcare and defense. Alternative energy because we are so dependent on oil, now our government is allocating money to new innovations, many companies have failed, while their are new entrepreneurial efforts being put in place as we speak that leverage new technologies to bring more efficient alternative energy mechanisms like solar panels, wind turbines and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) a traditional alternative energy. Over and above this, the Geo-political landscape is changing with the global economy and it seems to be our #1 priority to remain the global super power.. which I believe is becoming more and more challenging but our defense and technology efforts – new weapons systems that are being built, I mean laser beams that shoot down planes at the speed of light, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are here, did you know that?
Anyway, here’s a handful of promising start ups: Hess owned Nuvera Fuel Cells. Nuvera has been along for a while and basically waiting for Original Equipment Manufactures (OEM) like GM to begin mass production with their fuel cell technology. Cody Jones and partners Blue Flame Trading, which sells LPG to international clients worldwide – they are already very active. And Mike and Matt Glynn’s Aeronautica which manufactures wind turbines that will be used in alternative energy projects through out the Northeast and beyond. In construction, George A. Fuller Company, whose founder George A. Fuller was an architect who started the concept of General Contracting and is best known for the creation of the modern skyscraper. Today the firm is owned and operated by Peter Palazzo as they tackles challenging and innovative New York City projects, like those happening on the waterfront in Williamsburg Brooklyn. In the field of healthcare there are groups that focus on improving the quality of life for Autistic children and adults such as Nashoba Learning Group. I just have to mention former World Wrestling Entertainment Champion, Chris Nowinski’s Sports Legacy Institute (SLI) that focuses on improving the life of college and professional athletes, or any athlete for that matter by increasing the awareness of concussions and brain disease – of all the aforementioned (SLI) probably has made the biggest impact. Recently Chris has appeared in well known outlets CNN Headline News, Reader’s Digest, HBO and Real Sports. Finally, Julie Whipple and Anthony Taylor’s Visionary Basketball Group (VBG) has a unique business model that provides communities with basketball training, skills and drills, they recently acquired a facility in Melrose and have several hundred active clients, they are certainly a group to keep an eye on.
So, even though when you turn on the television or read through any news website or newspaper you read about bad news, or when you flip to the business section the rhetoric and context of the articles is often not palatable so it’s easy to think it wasn’t written for you. As professor Basten said10 years ago, we are in the midst of serious change, yesterday and today are the age of information, meaning: you can go on-line and learn about just about anything your heart desires. Businesses of all sizes are trying to figure out the best way to publish content – ultimately people searching will gravitate towards the best information – so quality content is the key to success when publishing online. Thus “the age of information” companies like Brafton can help you publish quality content online. Ruckus Marketing takes it a step further and publishes content but also helps you manage the content and will implement a strict ROI systemic approach to driving leads and creating revenue. Or you can do it yourself using things like Hubspot and SalesForce! Therefore as people capture and use this information to build their subject matter expertise and go to market with a product, service or just an idea, we enter “the age of creation.”