1/99 Mindshare Trends
by Marlene B. Brown
Business Futurist, Marketing Consultant
MarmeL Mission Statement: We help companies stay competitive by understanding & taking action on the future trends impacting their industry.
Mindshare Trends:
MiniQuiz; Holiday Fun; Predictions

 

The snow is falling gently in Upstate New York. Bonnie and Clyde (our office cats) are cuddled up nearby. Holiday songs fill the air with joyous music. We're finishing up business, wrapping presents, getting ready for the wondrous celebrations this time of year brings. Before we leave, I'd like to bring you up-to-date on current trends, future predictions, and give you a gift of specially designed holiday fun! Let's begin.

What connection do diamonds have with nanotechnology? Who's Nkem Chukwu? How's Internet commerce? Who's shopping online? What's some neat software? Is e-mail used in the Middle East? Who wrote "A Time to Heal our Nation"? Who are the 3 kinds of people needed in the future? Who's Bill Parcells? Who won the Heisman Trophy? What's the IMF say about worldwide recession? When's the Euro take affect? What's Albinoni? What counts most in business? What went on in Hamilton, Ontario, CN? Who's the AFT? What's our latest Rotary honor? How many Santa's are there? Who's Furby? How'd I do with my '98 predictions? What's our holiday gift to you?

Diamond's unique properties let diamond transistors operate much faster than those made out of silicon. If nanotechnology, the science of the tiny, reaches its potential, everything from ultra-light cars, aircraft, spacecraft, and computers, could be made out of diamond. IBM has unveiled a new chip aimed at the e-commerce market that will support more than 65,000 network connections of network simultaneously. Two weeks after Nkem Chukwu, of Houston, Texas, delivered a baby girl, she delivered five more girls and two boys, completing the first known set of octuplets. Mrs. Chukwu, who entered the hospital in early October, was confined to bed for six weeks, with her head titled toward the floor in order to keep pressure off her lower body.

Business-to-business commerce is soaring and will reach $43 billion this year, five times more than the $7.8 billion in retail projected by Forrester Research. By 2002, the gap will double again. According to the latest online survey, conducted by Earthlink and World Research, more than sixty-nine percent of US users have shopped or plan to shop online. Individual shoppers are estimated to spend $316 US on average this season. The reasons the nearly 2,000 respondents listed for shopping online were no crowds, ability to shop day or night, and no need to deal with traffic or parking. Surveys are showing there's a 330 percent increase from 1997. Click here for some neat software you'll be sure to profit from.

For the first time, the Internet surpassed magazines as an information source. Although e-mail is increasingly used as a grassroots communications link, Iraq has no Internet systems. However, the Palestinian and Lebanese networks are extremely reliable, Syria's system is quickly growing, and Saudi Arabia will legalize the Internet in their kingdom. In Bosnia, an initiative called Project Bosnia will provide computers to judges and legal professionals so they can communicate with each other and the world.

Gerald Ford And Jimmy Carter, the 38th and 39th Presidents of the United States, wrote A Time to Heal Our Nation - Former Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times, saying "we believe the time has come to put aside political differences and plant seeds of justice and reconciliation." They proposed that the Senate avoid a trial against President Clinton with a compromise on a bipartisan resolution to censure him. The plan would have Clinton acknowledge that he lied under oath, but would protect him from prosecution for perjury in a future trial.

Michael Hammer, the reengineering guru, predicts we will have " three kinds of people in future organizations". The majority are the value-added performers, the people who do the real work. A small cadre will be coaches to facilitate and enable them. A handful will be leaders who direct the organization. These leaders will have the wisdom, talent and insight to determine the direction of the organization, and to create the environment in which everyone else can operate. The real goal will be to maximize the performance of the organization as a whole.

Bill Parcells, the tough coach who guided an amazing turnaround in NFL history, was teary-eyed as he spoke to his AFC East champion New York Jets. ''Our guys try hard for me all the time. We are not the greatest, but mentally we are pretty tough". This was the first division title for the Jets since 1969 when they were in the AFL. Ricky Williams, the Texas tailback, recently won college football's most precious prize, the Heisman Trophy. Breaking Tony Dorsett's career rushing record, and winning over Kansas State quarterback Michael Bishop by 1,563 points, Ricky said, ''''Any time you can be named the best at what you do, it's an honor. I wasn't nervous until I walked into the Heisman room and then I was just overwhelmed.''

The International Monetary Fund reports that, although financial crises in Asia and Russia still pose threats, the danger of a worldwide recession has eased in recent weeks. The IMF credited interest rate cuts in the United States and elsewhere with helping to stabilize the situation. The euro, Europe's new unit of currency, comes into existence on Jan. 1, 1999. During "Conversion Weekend" exchange rates will be "irrevocably fixed" against the euro and one another, resulting in a couple of days of intense activity for players in the financial markets. While introducing a single European currency is a task, as all new public debt among participating countries will be denominated in euros, it will exist side by side with national currencies until 2002.

Astronomers have spotted the oldest supernova, one farther away than any other seen to date. Dubbed Albinoni, the exploding star helps confirm earlier observations about a mysterious force that seems to be pushing the universe farther and farther apart, counteracting any effects of gravity. The team leader reports, "this one is nearly 10 billion years back in time, 18 billion light-years away." The discovery was named the top science breakthrough of the year by the journal Science.

What counts most in business? One of the major reasons companies will become and remain successful and competitive will be all the little things they do to deliver customer service that delights. Our "Delight Award" of the month goes to Hewlett-Packard. We had purchased another color printer from H-P, and just past the 30-day mark, it stopped working. We called H-P's toll-free customer service number. They not only defined the problem in less than five minutes, they overnighted a new part. Nice to not have to deal with another "pass-the-buck" approach.

This month, one of the groups I had the honor of presenting for was the Hamilton, Ontario, CN Speakers Association on the topics of "Internet Marketing" and "Meeting Planner Partners". I also was privileged to be the General Session keynoter in Washington, DC for the AFT (American Federation of Teachers) at their Information Technology Conference, on the topic of "TechnoTouch: High Tech + High Touch = High Return". What a great group of people! View pictures here. Our Rotary site was honored recently by being featured as the Syracuse newspapers CNY web site of the week. View the information here, and meet our new Outbound exchange students!

Yes, there is a Santa Claus, 102 of them with driver's licenses in 29 states. Santa Claus of Oakley, CA, a retired Teamster who legally changed his name from Robert Neilsen in the mid 1970s, is ready to listen to Christmas wishes, as is Kris Kringle, who lives at 1 Noel Drive in North Pole, OH. Santa A. Claus, a retired school bus driver from Catasqua, PA, has two reindeer in his back yard to live up to the Father Christmas image.

Furby is that latest holiday craze. It has several sensors that react to external stimuli in a preprogramed way. For example, if you pet its stomach or back, it purrs with glee. It falls asleep when it's in the dark and, naturally, awakens when exposed to light or loud noises. And it can speak a language called Furbish, and it can learn. As you play with them, they will begin to intersperse their Furbish with bits and pieces of English.

Last January, in my Mindshare Trends, I made several predictions for 1998. You can view them here and see how I did. One of the predictions was that PCs would hit the $500 mark. IBM has a 300MMX Aptiva for $599, Compaq just announced a Desktop PC for $499, and HP is down. Next month, I'll share with you my 1999 predictions. If you'd like my report on the Latest on the Y2K Bug, click on the link on the front page of my web site, request it, and it'll be on its way to you, with my compliments!

My special holiday present to each of you, my over 1,500 readers from around the world, can be found here. Enjoy, and send me your New Year favorites! Keep your faith strong and your family close. May your God or spiritual being look down upon you and yours with good health and good cheer, now and into the new year. Thank you for being a part of my life.

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Copyright 1998 Marlene Brown - feel free to forward to others you think would benefit. Reproduction for publications is encouraged with byline.

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Marlene B. Brown, MS, CSP, CMC, Business Futurist
Future Trends Keynoter, Motivational Speaker on:
Embracing Change/Technology, Leadership/Teamwork
Marketing Consultant, Award-winning Website Designer
Author:"TechnoTouch: 21st Century Leadership" (book)
& "TechnoTouch Relationship Selling" (software prog)
Tel: 315-853-1318 * Web: http://www.technotouch.com/

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