Steve Grossman


Information in the information age

Unrelated stories = future

Three unrelated BusinessWeek stories caught my eye today that pointed to a future I’ve written about here and here.

First, a report on Microsoft’s decision to give external programs access to Outlook’s e-mail, calendar and contacts. It is an unusual move for them, but one that clearly speaks to the move towards fewer walls and more data integration despite software programs and web domains. It’s a smart move.

Next is a story about Jaguar jumping to “Google Mail and other cloud software – saving millions of pounds.” The story outlines the difficulty in making the switch, but also mentions that it is a strategy “of simplification, standardisation and modernisation”. Um, yeah. It’ll also give them access to integrations and mashups that haven’t even been invented yet.

Last, a report on Twitter’s Business Model. No really. David L. Smith presents the best article on the subject I’ve read as he presents a number of possible revenue streams for the micro-blogging site. The one that stood out was this one:

Network marketing

The larger Twitter grows, the more the connectivity between users benefits all. But there is gold beyond the conversations that are going on. The pure connectivity in itself is valuable. While Twitter may not run advertising, many companies would love to license the right to target people using what is called “birds of a feather” targeting: identifying a group of people with a common interest and then expanding that target by finding others with similar interests. A number of companies are doing this right now, while honoring privacy; they don’t have to know who the people are.”

Though I’d not thought of it in terms of Network Marketing before, this is exactly where I believe we’re heading and I don’t believe Twitter will be the only one. We’re about to see a huge movement towards consolidations and acquisitions and the beginning of scalable revenue streams. One of them will be co-branding between users and companies.

Think I’m right or wrong?


Filed under: Business_models, Life_technology, Society, Trends, Work_technology

Manheim + Training = Award

I’m proud to have an opportunity today to brag on my company and several of my associates. Under the guidance and vision of Tabetha Taylor and Tony Ocasio, my company’s training department created an online training module for our 1200 plus vehicle inspectors that work at our locations throughout North America. This module was entered into the Web Marketing Associations annual WebAward Competition and it won the Employment Standard of Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Web Development.

Read about it here.

The website offers a comprehensive and immersive learning experience covering the basics of vehicle imaging and inspecting. It’s an important part of the training philosophy that seeks to engage our employees in multiple ways. New hires are invited to participate in the training as a part of their initial onboarding. This provides a foundation on which the local certified trainer (at least one at every location) can build. In addition, members of the National Training team make periodic visits to all locations to conduct specialized training and certification testing.

I’m proud to be a part of a company that is embracing technology as a means to train and engage its workforce. Winning this award makes it all the better. Tabetha and Tony have had the vision for online training for years and I’m thrilled to see their efforts rewarded. My congrats to them, their team and web developers. 

Filed under: Trends, Work_technology

Where I’m hoping to point

I started this blog because of my deep interest in the birth of the information age and the way it will affect business. I’m not the only one writing about these things of course, but I do offer a unique perspective combined with personal beliefs that empower my goal – that you be motivated to join this economic and societal revolution too. It is a time of great change – and great opportunity. We need you – your ideas, thoughts, passions, dreams.

As I just said though, I’m not the only one writing about the core topic of information and business. Another such writer/speaker is Gerd Leonhard who I first ran across through the blog “Future of Music” because it often pertains to my other blog, Why I Failed.

I say all this because of the post that appeared there on May 10: 8 Key Trends for the Next 5 Years. It’s one of those posts that I wish I had written. It captures much of what I too see coming and yet so much more.
It’s the so much more that’s so important. For instance, in talking about netbook-like devices he says:

“They will be touchscreen, zoom-interface enabled, cloud-computing, speech-controlled, location-aware, mobile-money equipped, socially hyper-networked, always-everywhere-on, HD-camera equipped and possibly project images and audio or even support basic holography”

And about business and marketing:

“UGC or UGDC (user-generated content or user-generated & derived content) may make up to 50% of the global content consumption by 2015. Consumers will be (co)-creators, marketers, sellers and buyers, and come in a hundred variations, from totally passive to totally active. Then, indeed, filtering, culling and curation will be the key to success.”

Please read the whole thing. No matter what you do, there are ramifications to you in this post. Enjoy and dream big.

Filed under: Business_models, Life_technology, Work_technology

A Foundational Post

I launched this blog about a month ago and have posted random thoughts since then. I’ve also tried different themes, configured twitter to auto-post here (and vice-versa) and thought about writing a foundational post about why I launched this blog.

It’s time to write that post:

First, I am fascinated and dissatisfied with the web. Fascinated because it is the outward and interactive manifestation of the greatest global transformation of the last 400 years: the birth of the Information Age.  Dissatisfied because I can’t wait for it to get where it’s going.

And I have ideas about that.

Second, I am fascinated with business models and in light of this global transformation fully expect them to change dramatically too.

And I have ideas about that.

Third, I am immersed in the world of Social Networking or Social Media. I have multiple blogs, web pages, wiki’s, RSS feeds, integrated services and assorted other freely available web 2.0 tools. And all of them are pieces in an as yet unfinished web that I call online me.

And what’s unique about that?

Nothing except for the fact that I’m not a Gen-Y’er, I’m a 47 year old husband/dad/businessman/boomer. And that gives me a unique perspective on all the above.

And so I have hopes for this blog. Hopes that I can have an outlet for my ideas, concepts, observations and thoughts on the Internet, business and life at the dawn of the Information Age. And hopes that I can help other non-Gen-Y folks grasp the significant and life changing opportunities that are all around us.

And so I offer a blog about ideas, concepts, observations and thoughts on the Internet, business and life at the dawn of the Information Age.

It’s time to get excited.

Filed under: Business_models, Life_technology, Smart_technology, Social_media, Trends, Work_technology

One of many uses for twitter

Sarah Evans – if you’re not following her somewhere, you should be – has a comprehensive and enlightening article on Mashable about using twitter to find your next job.

HOW TO: Find a Job on Twitter

Lots of tips, links and ideas to look into even if you’re not in the market. I particularly like the background creation link and information about VisualCV.

I came across VisualCV, an online Resume site, some time ago but never pursued it. Even though I’m not in the market, I think I’ll give it a try now. It’s exactly what’s missing from my online world. I have a bio, multiple blogs, twitter, presences on multiple social networking sites, but nowhere that simply and clearly shows me like a resume does.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Filed under: Life_technology, Trends, Work_technology

Noteworthy March 6, 2009

  • Zoho has updated their online office suite. According to Mashable, they’ve made it an even more serious replacement for desktop software.
  • If you’d like insight into the future of the music business, check out the Future of Music interview with Terry McBride. Here’s the money quote in my opinion:

“What’s happened in the last ten years is kind of moot. The next 18 months will determine the future of the music business.”

He’s right.

Filed under: Life_technology, Trends, Work_technology

The future according to Microsoft

This is an impressive display of future technologies from the folks in Redmond. It’s full of cool stuff like interactive smart boards – across continents, electronic newspapers, “smart cards” – credit, insurance, etc. and a host of other beautifully portrayed ideas.

Microsoft Office Labs vision 2019 (montage + video) – istartedsomething

I fully believe we’ll see all this and more and much of it before 2015. My reasoning is that much of the innovation still to come won’t come from the big companies except through acquisitions perhaps. But it’ll be small, focused, probably dispersed/networked groups that will make the biggest and most unexpected leads forward. Which is why we’ll go farther, faster.

It’s gonna be an amazing ride.

Filed under: Life_technology, Trends, Work_technology

Links for 3/2/2009

  • Yahoo Finance brings us Businessweek’s Innovations of the Future. #7 Social Media Literacy is fascinating. 
  • Don Tapscott of Grown Up Digital has an insightful look at the future of government. 
  • Chris Brogan hits two ideas: why Facebook Connect isn’t enough and Cisco’s vision for the future.
  • The Future Banking Blog predicts the Future of Identity.
  • And you won’t believe the Sixth Human Sense designed by MIT students.

Filed under: Life_technology, Social_media, Work_technology

Trust the kids, they’re the experts

I’m reading “Grown Up Digital” right now and highly recommend it. Here’s a quote from today’s post from the blog of the same name:

“There are myths about kids spending time online, that it is dangerous or making them lazy,” said MacArthur study author Mizuko Ito. “But we found that spending time online is essential for young people to pick up the social and technical skills they need to be competent citizens in the digital age.”

Check out the whole post here:

Grown Up Digital » Trust the kids to know what they’re doing

Filed under: Life_technology, Trends, Work_technology

Manage Your Profile

Make Sure Your Facebook Profile Doesn’t Lose You A Job – Dumb Little Man

Just sayin…

Filed under: Life_technology, Trends, Work_technology