•  MOST PEOPLE NOW IDENTIFY BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY AS THE ENGINE BEHIND CRYPTO-CURRENCY – which it is, but also dramatically more profound, just as the Internet is far more than E-mail. Currently, Blockchain is considered to be a game-changer for (1) the entire supply chain process, tracking product inventories from inception to consumer; (2) tracing & protecting intellectual property rights & payments with simultaneous transfer; (3) providing government agencies the capacity to digitize, issue and (hopefully) control personal information in an efficient & cost-effective manner; (4) transacting securities trades without errors and at reduced costs; (5) global & instant availability of medical records & life-saving info in event of emergency; (6) simplifying financial paperwork transactions related to asset-tracing, debt payments, invoicing, collections, etc. “Blockchain is changing the world.”  [AICPA-CIMA REPORT – Jul 25, 18]
  • “THE PURSUIT OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CAN BE SEEN AS PART OF HUMAN EVOLUTION… A.I. technology will soon encode its own ability to learn very accurate & detailed models of individual people…including how we will respond in any given situation, essentially predicting the choices we will make… Within a decade, we’ll each probably have a ‘digital double’ even more indispensable than today’s smartphones, living somewhere in the cloud…practically speaking, similar enough to take our place in all kinds of virtual interactions…making all the choices for which we don’t have time or knowledge…essentially living out countless lives in cyberspace so that living in the physical world is likely to be our best version… In fact, we are already accustomed to most of our decision-making taking place without conscious intervention because that is what our brains do now. Our digital double will be like a greatly expanded subconscious, just living outside the skull and continuously interacting with those of other people and organizations.” https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/artificial-intelligence-will-serve-humans-not-enslave-them/ [SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN – Sep 18]
  • WHY DO START-UP COMPANIES FAIL? Based on post-mortems, the top reason (in four of ten cases) has been absence of a true “market need for the technology or business model providing solution to a pain point in a scalable way.” Other reasons among the top ten: Missing key Team members for both “skills and sanity-checks on business & technology issues”; Disharmony among the Team from absence of clarity in strategic goals & direction; Running out of cash without a backup plan for additional financing; Ignoring risk from competitors; Ignoring user-friendly demands and customer feedback; Unrealistic pricing/costing issues; Absence of a model for secondary revenue channels; Failure to plan for effective timely marketing;  Losing focus. DCG have decades of experience in getting companies up & running or expanded in risk-controlled programs; we also provide pro-bono consulting services to start-ups.  Let us help before your reality check bounces!  [CB INSIGHTS – Feb 2, 18]
  •  BEWARE, ANOTHER RECESSION IS LOOMING. Overvalued stocks & properties enabled by ultralow interest rates, combined with inordinate levels of consumer spending on luxury goods & services facilitated by aggressive lending practices, are the same scenario which preceded both prior recessions during the past two decades. Today’s risk is further exacerbated by substantially fewer tools which the Federal Reserve might employ to re-stimulate another economic crisis – with interest rates already at lowest levels and federal deficits exceeding a trillion dollars annually, on top of $21 trillion debt which most believe unsupportable to maintain global credibility.
  • ODDS & ENDS: (1) Nine in ten pet-owners underestimate the lifetime cost of keeping a pet – now projected at nearly $22K for a dog and over $15K for a cat, mostly for food & vets, but also due to ‘pet pampering’ with extra treats/toys/treatments including luxury meals, spas & hotels. (2) Budget cuts have slashed IRS enforcement staff by a third since 2011 with the tax audit rate down over 40%; meanwhile IRS “estimates that business owners alone cheat the government of $125 billion annually.” (3) While Venture Capital firms poured some $85 billion into Startup companies last year (triple the amount in 2011), eight in ten U.S. companies launching IPOs in Q1 this year were still losing money – exceeding the percentage level during the dot-com boom in 2000.
  •  THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: “An executive decision is the action which must be taken when information is so incomplete that the answer does not suggest itself…  Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work.”

      “The habit of common and continuous speech is a symptom of mental deficiency. It proceeds from not knowing what is going on in other people’s minds… The time to stop talking is when the other person nods their head affirmatively but says nothing.”