Is Miami the place to catch the next Unicorn or just a bunch of mosquitos?

Start-up city Miami

Start-up city Miami

Sometimes opportunities reveal themselves in very subtle ways that only trained eyes can spot.  Some other times, opportunities are like a mosquitos that it just keep coming back, and keep buzzing around until you slap yourself, only to realize that you missed it.

The story of Miami and its up and coming startup scene, is turning out to be like that of the mosquito; an opportunity that you almost slapped your neck and missed it – but didn’t!

Back on September 16th, 2013, I wrote in this same blog, a post about the Miami tech scene (https://innovationstrategy4.biz/2013/09/16/is-the-super-hot-miami-tech-scene-sustainable/ ), in it I speculated if the movement that started to gain the attention of a few was sustainable, it could turn out to be something big. The post attracted some attention and was the trigger for many interesting conversations with high-tech investors and VCs in South America, Europe and the US Norths East.

Fast-forward to today and you can actually feel the vibrant ecosystem buzz with energy, very accurately represented by the sign on the terrace at the top of BUILDING.co, one of the newest and hottest co-working spaces in Miami that reads: “Start-up City Miami”.

I think the 2015 Kauffman index (http://www.kauffman.org/microsites/kauffman-index ) is not wrong, Miami has the highest startup density, and if you have already started your search to catch the next Unicorn (a company valued at $1 Billion dollars+), you most definitely need to keep a watchful eye on Miami, because if you blink, you will end up slapping your neck, only to realize that just like that mosquito, you might have just missed your chance of a life time.

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Why should we hire you when we can outsource or crowdsource it?

Yes, I know, it is a loaded question, but every opportunity I get to run this experiment on my digital marketing students I do it; and to add a little motivation for them to participate, I add: “… and whomever gives me the right answer, I will make sure they get the job.”

Usually many eager hands go up for a chance to answer the question, so I pick a few students and listen to their answers, but so far to this day, all have missed the point.  But everyone deserve a second chance and invite them to think about it a little more and write me an email with the answer.

Imagine you are at a job interview — I tell the class — and the interview has gone great, they like you, you like them and then, as you are just about the head out, someone knocks at the door and a head pops in through the corner of the door frame.  The head belongs to the  the boss of-the-boss of the people interviewing you.  She apologizes for the interruption and ask you if she can ask you one last question before you leave.  You nod your head in approval and she walks into the room and asks the question — “So why should we hire you and not just outsource/freelance it?”

Although the scenario above is unlikely to happen to you in an interview, I can assure you it is happening, and it is happening every day in all companies.  The main reason for this is because employee costs have a direct and significant impact the to the bottom line. But the interesting part is; if the current trend towards an open talent economy holds, things will flip upside-down and the same question might sound something like “So why should we freelance/crowdsource it and not just hire you?”

According to my friends at Deloitte, in their Human Capital Trends 2013 leading indicators publication, by 2020 half the people you rely on will not actually work for you.  So allow me to be the first one to welcome to the open talent economy — “a collaborative, transparent, technology-driven, rapid-cycle way of doing business. What the open source model did for software, the open talent economy is doing for work.”

So getting back to what is the right answer, as you might already suspect, it depends.  Not all the jobs can be outsourced for a myriad of reasons.  To name a few, security, intellectual property, technology trade barriers, physical location dependency, etc.  But many can be freelanced/outsourced/crowdsourced and by doing so, companies and individuals will gain significant advantages in cost, flexibility and speed.

If I was at that interview, I will answer to the executive something like “If your company is ready to outsource/crowdsource/freelance then you should and I am the freelancer to do it for you.  If in the other hand, the company is not ready, I can help you innovate faster and more efficiently than anyone else.”  Then I will pause to let her process the info and then toss my favorite theatrical quote for the occasion, “Help me… help you.” — Jerry Maguire [1996].

by Juan Meza

Most Innovative Companies of 2013

The most innovative companies of 2013 can be considered to be the ones which are on the verge or already leading a market takeover. These companies combine together a diverse group of experts and innovators, all of which have their eyes set towards changing the world. Whether it is the creation of new technology or the innovative footwear, these are the top 5 companies which leaped all others according to the fast company magazine.

1. Nike

FuelStefan Olander,  the lead of the Nike’s Digital Sport division, is working in collaboration with a team of engineers who are creating of a pair of Nike Shoes with embedded sensors. These sensors would be able to detect the pressure which is created by the shoes. The data collected is then digitally fed to an iPhone. This device is just a fragment of the innovative products and services the company plans to launch.

2. Amazon

Having introduced the same day shipping options in a number of US Markets, and then same day delivery service Amazon deserves to be at the top grabbing the 2nd spot among the most innovative companies. In all, the entire retail industry has by now realized the true potential of Amazon, as it notches up its market shares with every second that passes by. That’s not all, as every other week the company manages to make the news through the launch of a new technology or service.

3. Square

Empowering the customers with the credit card management and transaction services using a mobile device, is the basic idea which Square had at the start, but now it has managed to extend its lead over all of its competitors.

4. Splunk

Whether it is the billions of clicks on Facebook and Twitter or any activity on all other websites, Splunk has the expertise and the resources for monitoring, indexing as well as collecting the data and putting it to good use through which has provided new business opportunities and profits for its clients.

5. Fab

With dozens of online boutiques and design centric products, Fab managed to capturea revenue of about $ 150 million in 2012. Moreover, the membership for the company is also progressing at maddening pace which earns it the right to be termed among the top innovation companies.

For the complete list go to http://www.fastcompany.com/section/most-innovative-companies-2013

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BitCoin (BTC) an alternative to cash – Trends to watch in 2013

According to Global Trends in their GT Briefing December 2012: Trends to watch in 2013, they mention BitCoin as an alternative to cash under “Who needs Banks anyway?” section of their report.  This along with Mobile-wallets and Crowdfunding, are definitely things to keep close tabs on as I suspect they will gain significant traction to in 2013.

 

The Global Trends to watch in 2013 are:

  1. Social everything: New generations and their digital world stepping forward
  2. Redefining value: The consumer is winning the fight to own the new consumer
  3. Distributed everything:  Mobility in production and consumption
  4. The next “industrial” revolution: Robots and smart machines reshaping work
  5. The new space race: Pushing the frontiers of technology once again?
  6. Geopolitical wars: The fight to control the future
  7. Resource wars escalating: From a world of abundance to shortage
  8. Business stepping up:  From profit to purpose
  9. Information is power: The security challenge
  10. Who needs banks anyway? Reshaping the financial system

Extracted from Global Trends http://www.globaltrends.com/monthly-briefings/176-gt-briefing-december-2012-10-key-trends-to-watch-in-2013  Related presentation materials can be downloaded in PDF for further reading at http://www.globaltrends.com/images/stories/GT2013/Global%20Trends_Ten%20Key%20Trends%20to%20Watch%20for%202013.pdf

10 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2013

According to @trendwatching the top 10 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2013 are:

  1. Presumer & Custowners
  2. Emerging
  3. Mobile Moments
  4. New Life Inside
  5. Appscriptions
  6. Celebration Nation
  7. Data Myning
  8. Again Made Here
  9. Full Frontal
  10. Demanding Brands

Extract from Trendwatching.com  http://trendwatching.com/trends/10trends2013/

Top 20 Trends in 2013 Forecast – 2013 Trend Report from Trend Hunter.

 

Are you a trend junkie?

If so what is on your “Dashboard”? http://bit.ly/TawHUu

13 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2012

Crucial Consumer Trends for 2012  by  @trendwatching   My favorite is #5 Cash-Less, I can’t wait for this one anymore!

  1. Red Carpet
  2. DIY Health
  3. Dealer-Chich
  4. Eco-Cycology
  5. Cash-Less
  6. Bottom of the Urban Pyramid
  7. Idle Sourcing
  8. Flawsome
  9. Screen Culture
  10. Recommerce
  11. Emerging Maturalism
  12. Point & Know
  13. More-ism

Extract from Trendwatching.com http://bit.ly/SMAJC5

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