A Savy Entrepreneur Needs Nothing More Than The Internet And Some Good Ideas

A savvy entrepreneur needs nothing more than a laptop with a connection to the Internet and some good ideas to challenge traditional business models of successful company. Some examples include

i) Recruitment
In the 1990s with newspapers enjoyed a monopoly on job ads and recruitment firms charged high prices for their service, eg a percentage of first-year salary. On the other hand, online space was considerably cheaper and provided more detailed information to prospective recruits about the job, organisation, etc

ii) Quantum Computers
Quantum computers will operate in a completely different way from the current computers we are using. By using the counter intuitive properties of quantum mechanics, ie physical laws that describe the world at the atomic scale, quantum competers would operate millions of times faster than the best current computers. The quantum properties of tiny particles that make up atoms could be used to make an entirely new kind of computer that could perform thousands or millions of different computing operations at once. The current technology is using phosphorus atoms encased in silicon chips
The basic element of a quantum computer is a "qubit" which is the equivalent of a "bit" (a single unit of information) in a conventional computer, ie

"...a conventional computer has electric switches (called bits) which are either on or off. The switches in a quantum computer (called qubits) are partly on and partly off at the same time. Each qubit can act like many conventional bits, meaning qubit can do multiple operations at once. This makes its calculations thousands of times faster. To build a program of quantum computer, each of the qubits must be controlled while entangled, all moving in correlation with each other. What happens to one qubit affects every other one....... don't expect a quantum computer chip in your phone or desktop any time soon. They are very complex to operate, must be kept extremely cold and are not very good at everyday tasks such as e-mail..."

Tim Dodd, 2016

It has been suggested that the next wave of technical disruption will involve quantum computing.
"...quantum computers, which use subatomic particles to represent information, promised processing power orders of magnitude higher than the fastest of today's semiconductor-based supercomputers...... where a quantum computer chips through giant databases to give pinpoint predictions..."
Stuart Kennedy 2019


This operational scale would allow quantum computers to sift through large amounts of information to come up with solutions to complex problems, making it ideal for the era of big data. It has the potential to profoundly transform areas as diverse as 

- data analytics & engineering (sift through huge amounts of data quickly and find solutions to extremely complex problems where each data point is influenced by many others, like a search engine, weather forecasting, climate change modelling, building complex structures, etc)

- drug design (for researchers seeking to understand complex biological and chemical processes, it will be a fast way to identify new medical cures)

- banking (most banks do a "Monte Carlo simulation" which assesses the risk in a whole investment portfolio, twice a day. With the speed of a quantum computer it could be done in real time, eg continuously

- traffic management (traffic planners will have the ability to follow what is happening in every street in a city in real time)

- code breaking (making today's Internet security obsolete) and weather forecasting; it would change business, medicines, contemporary life, etc. It has been estimated that around 40% of the modern economy will benefit from quantum computers.

Some potential negative impacts are around privacy and manipulation of thinking, eg the opinions and social networking patterns of millions of people could be mapped and used to build a strategy to influence public opinion and the consumer choice

iii) automobile. Some of the latest technology (software-focussed) impacting the automobile industry around doing things in real time so that is possible to be upgraded continuously so able to keep up with the rapid changes in smart phones and other interface devices. It includes

- increasing amounts of renewable parts in the car like recycled aluminium

- autonomous driving capabilities, ie self driving with the car making many decisions in order to enhance safety   
    i) incorporates automatic acceleration, braking and steering for parking, etc
    ii) responds to navigation information so able to adjust the engine, transmission and cruise control for upcoming corners or hills; uses car cameras to scan the road ahead and adapt the suspension in advance of obstacles  etc and road conditions like potholes 
    iii) moulds the car's behaviour around the preferences of users, eg machine-learning technology

- alternative energy sources (electricity and hydrogen fuel cells (they combine hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity and the only emission is water) replacing fossil fuels; zero tailpipe emissions; improved battery performance  with interactive charging systems to top up batteries)

- increased in-car connectivity like cloud, etc so that it is possible to synchronise calendars and destinations across devices, sending things from phone or desktop to car/cloud by using touch screens and voice control (listening and sending messages, etc)

- prestige 
    i) gesture controls will impact on car's sound, ventilation and phone systems, etc, eg small holographic images react to hand gestures
    ii) more variety and customising cars to individual tastes
"...today I buy a car, tomorrow I buy mobility..."
Thomas Webber as quoted by Tony Davis, 2016

Current limitations of these new generation vehicles include limited computer power, poor maps (on 3D), lack of communication between vehicles and infrastructure, "hackability" (unauthorised outsiders able to get into the car's systems, etc), refilling stations, expense to produce, store and transport the highly inflammable hydrogen gas, etc

iii) 3-D (rapid prototyping)

Since its invention in mid-1980s, 3-D printing has been used by the likes of Boeing, Rolls-Royce and NASA to produce experimental prototypes in fallible plastics, which once perfected, would go into production and become metal components in very expensive machines.

With the original patents for this technology expiring in 2013, the price of 3-D printing machines has dropped significantly and interest has risen dramatically, eg every home would have a 3-D printer capable of printing espresso machines, typewriters, guns, etc.

"...the combination of robotic construction and 3-D printing is the future of the building industry..."

Coop Himmelbau as quoted by Stephen Dodd, 2016

Yet 3-D printing is still in its infancy, ie its equipment is relatively expensive and notoriously fallible; with a limited spectrum of materials usable, eg predominantly plastics with composite of wood, metals and stone.

iv) Professional Services.

For decades professional services has been dominated by large global/national firms that charge a premium for their services. Yet some questions have been continually asked by clients about these behemoths' dominance in the professional services industry:

- Is it right that clients are paying steep fees for work done largely by junior associates?

- How can your success be measured by billable hours and not by quality of work?

- Do you really want to slug away for a decade or more to try to make partner?

Until recently there was no viable alternative. With the Internet there is a virtual marketplace, ie on-demand services online (on-demand talent economy or Uber-fication of professional services, ie find a professional with the push of a button) where they match clients with high quality, independent professionals with the skills, pricing and availability needed.

Some examples are

- UpCounsel for attorneys

- VouchedFor for accountants and financial advisers

- RecruitLoop for recruiters

- SkilledBridge for consulting

- Freelancer, Elancer, Odesk for freelance designers and web developers, etc

These are similar to matching people with short-term jobs like

- Airtasker (you can find somebody to assemble your IKEA furniture)

- Mad Paws (somebody to look after your pets)

- Helping (someone to clean your house within a couple of hours)


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