• AS INSANE AS THIS WEEK’S ELECTION STRUCK MOST OF US, the next one in 2020 will make it look like kids’ play. “The most important factor influencing voting decisions is one’s social network” (this year over 50% of Americans log into Facebook alone) so political campaigns will be mining not only social graphs, but photos, tweets, posts, etc. to identify any personal influencers and what stories & subjects resonate. We can then expect continuous communication through artificial interfaces (like Siri, Google, Cortana) which will “incorporate ideologies, preferences, choice linguistic styles & slang, favorite topics & content …with hyper-focused, targeted advertising.” Moreover, by the 2020 election, “digital avatars will become photorealistic and fully programmable to render any candidate’s face to do and say anything in their exact voice, thanks to algorithmic audio dubbing.” In other words, we’ll have no idea whether the ads are real or fake. Fun election times ahead. [PETER DIAMANDIS – Nov 6,16]
  • STRATEGIES TO OBTAIN INVESTOR FINANCING in today’s environment often fail by forgetting the importance of first-impression-credibility – particularly when it comes to enhancements or omissions in their Business Plan. Examples: (1) Failing to highlight management team experience & skills or scalability to profitability, versus emphasis on just social commitment or attracting eyeballs; (2) Targeting a startup market with irrational arithmetic assumptions or broad expectations (like obtaining X% of the global market) which “implies overall poor business acumen”; (3) Unrealistic claims of either untapped markets or competitor negatives versus competitive-positioning, or “touting first-mover advantage as the primary barrier to entry versus real intellectual property or innovation”; (4) Claiming mega-million-dollar Valuation without proof of concept through customer acquisition and revenues, when average value for Angel investors is only around $2.5M; or projecting unrealistic growth; (5) “Using the word ‘conservative’ too many times, since investors expect aggressive projections (not crazy) on opportunities, volume and revenue.” DCG have decades of experience in drafting Business Plans and financial forecast modeling to meet the expectations of investors and lenders. Call us before your reality check bounces. [INC.COM – Nov 3, 16]
  • BIG COMPANIES ARE LITERALLY HOARDING TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN CASH – “more interested in predictable returns than in enterprise… run by corporate bureaucrats who shy away from risky investments in new technology, instead focusing on squeezing the most out of their sunk costs, fighting to defend niches, buying back their companies’ shares, and/or reinforcing their position by merging with former rivals.” The fact is that “capitalism is ageing fast” – the hundred most valuable European firms were founded over four decades ago and the proportion of mature American firms (over eleven years) has increased to 50% while the number of startups keeps declining. With ageing populations, restrictive trade agreements, overregulation of business and failing education systems, the next economy will either see a technology-driven renaissance or “creative destruction grinding to a halt.” [THE ECONOMIST – Oct 22, 16]
  • FLYING CARS ARE NO LONGER SCIENCE FICTION. UBER has a 5-year plan called ‘Elevate’ – on-demand, fully electric aircraft that will take off and land vertically from helipads, flying up to a hundred miles at 150mph, to “carry multiple passengers at a price equivalent to today’s UberX… Computers and electric cars have pushed battery technology forward and the U.S. Dep’t of Energy is spending tens of millions to accelerate research… while the FAA and NASA are finally implementing a long-promised ‘NextGen’ air traffic control system” to keep Elevate craft (and drones) from smashing into each other. Combined with bureaucratic and political issues, the timeline is questionable, but flying cars are coming. [WIRED.COM – Oct 17, 16]
  • COFFEE APPEARS TO DEFER AGING FOR WOMEN. Blood cell ‘telomeres’ are protective caps at the ends of chromosomes which are considered a “biomarker of aging, and shorter telomeres have been associated with age-related conditions including increased risk of cardiovascular disease.” Results of a 40-year study with nearly 5,000 female nurses monitoring coffee and caffeine intake are reported in Journal of Nutrition to have found that women who consumed 2 cups daily had a 29% better chance for longer telomeres; at 3 cups daily, the percentage increased to 36%. [LIFE EXTENSION – Dec 16]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: The link to Johnny Carson’s ‘Politicians’ False Statements’ video in last week’s Report was taken down, but the 25-year old skit – still totally relevant – is now accessible at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbWI9xIGba4

         Flu season is here until next summer. Flu shots purportedly reduced personal risk by nearly 50% last year plus lowered odds of passing the virus to others. Because the vaccine is made with a ‘killed’ virus, it cannot give you the flu.

        Post-Election advice: You have the right to remain silent; anything you say will be misquoted, then used against you.