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Each year, Consumer Goods & Technology Magazine puts together an issue that peers into the future. I’ve been named one of their esteemed visionaries in the past, and again this year for their 2020 Imperative issue.

Here’s the opening comment from the magazine: any my insight is shared below that.

“It’s no secret that consumer goods companies must drastically change the way they do business in order to compete — and the pace of change needs to happen faster than ever before.

CGT2014Gone are the days of executing large-scale technology implementations at a leisurely pace. In 2014, consumer goods executives must often jump head first into new initia-tives — like big data, digital marketing and omnichannel selling — without much of a safety net to protect their brands, businesses or investments. That’s the exciting, yet challenging, world we live and work in today.

But, what about five or 10 years from now? How can consumer goods companies best prepare themselves to stay in front of future trends, many of which are just educated
guesses at this point?

In the 2014 Review & Outlook Report, we asked 75 of
the industry’s brightest minds — each of whom is driving change in the consumer goods industry in his or her own right — to look into their crystal ball and tell us:
“What one initiative must consumer goods companies pursue now in order to compete and grow in the year 2020?”


Jim Carroll’s observations

Going forward, the biggest trend impacting the consumer goods and retail sector is that the pace of innovation has clearly shifted to the speed dictated by Silicon Valley — which means that the innovation will now occur at the speed of Moore’s law. 

(Remember, Moore’s law explains that roughly, the processing power of a computer chip doubles every 18 months while its cost cuts in half. It provides for the pretty extreme exponential growth curve we see with a lot of consumer and computer technology today.)

The checkout process? It’s now being driven at hyper-speed through the introduction of iPad-enabled checkout devices, which accelerates change.

The introduction of ever more intelligent, connected packaging technologies shifts control of innovation from traditional packaging companies to tech companies, the makers of bits and chips and RFID and tags.

In store interaction, with consumers more engaged with their iPhone than with a salesperson, now evolve at staggering speed as in-store promotion technologies no longer involve cool cardboard box end-cap displays, but hi-tech LED televisions wired to Facebook Like buttons.

And of course, there’s the Amazon helicopter drone delivery system. Science fiction? Maybe so — but if you think so, then I suggest you watch a few old episodes of The Jetson’s cartoon show. Watch carefully, and you’ll see that George was actually having FaceTime chats, read his news off the Internet, and has Internet-sensor, connected clothing. What was once sci- ence fiction now becomes reality faster than ever before.

This means that in the future, the consumer goods industry is going to have to learn to innovate at the speed of companies such Apple, Google, Twitter and Facebook, as opposed to a more leisure- ly pace of innovation found in the past. Clearly, Moore’s law rules! Hence, my catchphrase — the future belongs to those who are fast!

#1, #2, #1, #1
March 18th, 2003

Back from March break …. and an interesting discovery here today. My primary line of business happens to be that I’m a frequent keynote speaker at conferences. Today, a search for “keynote speaker” in a variety of search engines places me at the following spots (ignoring the paid listings):

Google – 1
Altavista – 2
Yahoo – 1
Teoma – 1
AOL – 1

I’ve worked long and hard to get the right balance of keywords/meta tags in my Web pages, and this goes to prove that search engine marketing is a strategy that can work

My first 100% spam-free day!
November 26th, 2002

Manage spam by doing it at the DNS, like EasyDNS does…..

This morning was a revelation — I retrieved my e-mail at 5:30am, as I do most mornings.

Of the 95 messages waiting (all of which came in overnight), 4 were real, and the rest were spam.

And the fact it, every single spam message was filed in the trash can, where I could give it a cursory review before tossing it. That’s a first, and it tells me that I finally have spam under control here.

There are two tools that have finally given me such a wonderful spam solution.

First, the company (easyDNS) that provides me domain name management services has implemented a beta test of a new feature that intercepts and tags spam as soon as it arrives. (easyDNS is a Toronto based company that provides domain management services — I’ve been using them for years for the 100 or so domains I operate — highly recommended.)

The beta uses the open-source MessageWall code to examine the sender domain of each and every incoming message. In essence, the name of the domain is checked against a variety of sources — is it on a blacklist of known spam providers? Does it fail a “reverse domain lookup,” which makes it suspicious? Is it coming from an e-mail program that is designed to send spam? Does it fail a number of other tests that indicate it is likely spam? If so, EasyDNS tags the message header with a warning, so that my e-mail software (Pegasus) can automatically throw it in the trash.

easyDNS is using a variety of well-known domain black list services such as the Open Relay Database, the Relay Stop List (RSL) and the Spamhaus Block List (SBL). But they are also a founding member of the DNS Provider’s Blacklist Blocklist, a group of similar companies that has banded together to come up with solutions to the spam problem.

The result of the beta? I’ve found that this new feature is getting 75%-80% of the spam arriving here.

Why does 20% still get through? Spam artists, being the low-life scumballs that they are, hijack valid domains that aren’t caught by domain level tests. There is an obvious time lag between the establishment of a new domain name, and when it is first globally identified as a spam-haus.

To deal with that, I’ve got a 2nd line of defense — SpamPal.

SpamPal watches e-mail as it comes in from my Pop3 server, and examines each and every message for likely spam patterns. It does a wonderful job in getting rid of the rest of the stuff that easyDNS didn’t target.

Result? Today, my first spam-free day!

Links:
[ easyDNS ] [ MessageWall ] [ DNS Providers Blacklist ] [ SpamPal ]

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