Mike Amman: eCommerce and Globalization 2014

The hunt for new talent

My view is that California is doing very well and growing faster than the media will talk about.  We are about 3 year from when the baby boomers retire or pull back to enjoy life and not press ahead for one more swing of the bat. This will give talent the opportunity to move up and all employers will have to change their minds on the ability to “just replace the retirees” since supply will remain low and demand is about to really increase for Talent.

I know that optimism doesn’t sell but everyone is going to turn optimist in 2014. My view was Emily Hay’s in 2013 using the lucky “13 theme in my annual report. And she was right it was a great year even though most could not come to believe it and where looking for a head fake and a crash in the economy especially with Washington closing the Federal government.  However, 2013 did set us up for a booming economy “around the world” in 2014. So don’t miss it.  Here’s the old book that saw this trend in 1999 – The Long Boom: A Vision For The Coming Age Of Prosperity  by Peter Schwartz.  In my opinion economic prosperity is a hard trend (vs. soft) with China, Russia and Africa allowing for economic growth. The type of government is beginning to become secondary to the “right to conduct commerce” in all nations. Again this says Globalization is here and not going to happen.

Wearable Tech

This issue of Wired and the article – Try it on. Why Wearable Tech Will Be as Big as the Smartphone is the trend for the next couple of years – think I-Pad 3 years ago and the domination of “some wearable’s” becoming the must haves over the next 3 years. The articles idea of fashion and tech gadget coming together to dominate the consumer electronics market is key along with new methods of financing these gadgets. Kickstarter and other new methods of funding will drive this new device market into “smart” mobile that will be all over your body in the next 5 years. Wired has this one right! The example of a bracelet or ring that communicates with social media (blue light on for a like on Facebook) providing interaction without looking at the smartphone will caught on.

Innovation Districts

Here’s another big idea that is happening in Detroit and other cities with Innovation Districts – this has happened for years but Brookings has now labeled it again.


What’s interesting is with the Internet and Globilization (it’s complete – but people still taking about it going to happen) you can be anywhere and not have to be somewhere close yet the trend is to get close in a high cost location vs. lower cost suburban “greenfield” locations.So most articles on Silicon Valley say it’s dying with the move of technology to urban San Francisco. I don’t believe it and nether should you. Silicon Valley has grown into the Greater Silicon Valley which encompasses most of Northern California. Although there are concentrations of technology stepping back you can find fast advancements in a full array of technology throughout Northern (and parts of Southern California). Silicon Valley has such a long winning streak that others want to recreate it, relocate it or rename themselves as the next Silicon Valley when in fact it is using technology to grow itself into a Greater Silicon Valley both physically and virtually. Most view Silicon Valley as a place and therefore only see one side and not the “virtual impact of the connection” that we all have to this true center of innovation. Innovation is not a zero sum game of winners and losers but more of getting on the innovation train and moving fast to adapt, adopt and integrate technology into our fast fusion of business and personal lives.

E-fulfillment Issues

And finally when you look at the e fulfillment issue over the Holiday Days on delivery you see that there’s still work to be done within the “system” or as we say “supply chain” integration. With UPS and FedEx unable to keep pace with Amazon, Wal-Mart, and others the physical delivery of stuff is still tough to do. This will be fixed in 2014.

Big ideas for 2014

We watched our 2+ year old grandson Leo open our presents over face time this holiday. Since we see him almost daily over face time this is no big deal for him or us. I just wish I was Leo’s age because he is going to have an interesting life with more choice and opportunities than anything all your predictors have insights to offer.

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