Saturday, March 16, 2019

business ideas

business ideas

Bold business ideas: Where is tech taking us? - Financial Times

Posted: 14 Mar 2019 04:05 PM PDT

For the first 250 metres it all goes well. I am in Singapore, in the back of a prototype driverless car, gazing at the other side of the road. Then our car decides to veer slowly into the path of the oncoming rubbish truck.

Our emergency driver lunges for the wheel, yanks us back to safety, then tells me the game plan. This isn't a vanilla driverless car, he explains, it is a do-it-yourself driverless car, made with off-the-shelf technology, and the goal is to get it on the road as fast as possible.

But the car, which works a treat for the rest of the day, is only step one. Step two is to fully automate Singapore's economy. Step three is to put all citizens on universal basic incomes. Step four is to use facial recognition technologies to close off the city to unwanted foreign migrants. It is a straight line, in other words, from the technological to the economic to the social, then the political.

If the 2010s were the decade of the unicorn — the mythical beast of the $1bn tech start-up — the 2020s appear poised for a unicorn stampede. With Timandra Harkness, the co-presenter of our BBC Radio 4 show FutureProofing, I have spent the past three years scanning the horizon for what is coming in terms of disruptive technologies. The cupboard isn't bare: eggless synthetic biology scrambled eggs, stem cell rejuvenation, weaponised nanobots, the colonisation of Mars, passenger-bearing mega-drones and brain-to-brain communication systems.

Across disparate fields, from artificial intelligence to robotics, from 3D printing to nanotechnology, from genetics to quantum computing, a pattern is emerging: technological developments are starting not just to accelerate but to amplify one another.

They are poised to reshape the business landscape. The core capacity we are going to need to survive, says Astro Teller, the so-called Captain of Moonshots at X, Google's research unit, may be dynamic stability — the velocity to stay upright.

But as the rubbish-truck economy of Henry Ford's fossil-driven mass production starts to yield to the age of the algorithm, what is the impact on business and society? Where does this rollercoaster look like it is going to take us?

My hunch it is not just speed that matters, it is direction. If technology is not the answer but the amplifier of intent, there is a primary question we have to answer: What are the problems we are looking to solve?

It looks like there are two different directions emerging. We have the option to prize artificial over human intelligence, to deploy technology in a centralised model that solves for shareholder value at the expense of jobs, that automates — according to projections by University of Oxford academics Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne — 47 per cent of US and UK white-collar jobs by 2035.

This would hit national balance sheets with the double whammy of lower tax revenues and surging welfare costs, and set the stage — with increased inequality and the perception of an economy no longer working for the many — for broader support for challenger populist movements.

But there is also another option: to do the opposite, not to replace human intelligence but to augment it. Go back 1,000 years and the means of production was the land, and the barrier to entry was the wall. For the past 200 years the means of production has been the factory, and the barrier to entry the capital to own it. But with this new set of technologies, from APIs, the cloud and open data, to the sharing economy and micro-printing, the barriers to entry are dropping fast.

The potential is there, to unlock a new wave of cognitive surplus and put power in people's hands to drive innovations across the challenges that confront us, from distributed solar energy to data-driven banking for the unbanked, from 3D-printed ultra-low-cost housing to sensor-based micro-irrigation for drought-resilient agriculture.

What does real boldness look like for me as we head into the 2020s? It is boldness not just of execution but of intent.

6 Luxury Business Ideas That Generate Huge Profits - The Good Men Project

Posted: 13 Mar 2019 11:30 PM PDT

Everybody wants to achieve financial freedom, but only a few have the business idea--and the guts--to start turning this dream into reality.

Making money is tough, but if you have a business idea geared toward the rich, you may have a shot at becoming rich yourself. Everybody wants to achieve financial freedom, but only a few have the business idea–and the guts–to start turning this dream into reality. While hundreds of businesses start with minimum capital, there are others that have a pocket full of cash but lack the idea to make their business click. The following ideas are outright luxurious. If you have money to spend, these business ideas may work in your favor:

1.    Offer red carpet services

Often meant for the elite, a red-carpet service will include different individual elements such as event planning, professional emcees, ushers, and valet parking – all packed in one. However, you need to have good contacts with business owners hosting trade shows and special events. Remember, red carpet services are used for high-class events, and if you can establish your name in the industry, you have an excellent shot at gaining repeat clients.

2.    Rent out luxurious cars

Car rental services are common, but you can take it to another level by renting out luxurious cars at affordable prices. People who've always wanted to ride in a luxurious Lamborghini or a Bentley have luxury car rental options to drive in the car of their dreams. On the other hand, wealthier clients who don't want to use their car while on an outing can still indulge themselves by using a premium car rental service. Although the initial capital required is high because you must buy many luxurious cars, the returns prove to be massive and quick. You can charge a fixed sum for a car or provide hourly rentals.

3.    Sell specialty rugs

Rugs are a symbol of class. They have an innate beauty that seems to draw in rich people to specialty rug stores. Since you already know the type of customers you will deal with, paying attention to the rug quality proves more beneficial. Affluent customers are fond of quality rugs, and they will keep coming back if they like the touch and feel of the rugs in your selection. You can strike up a deal with a foreign supplier who will provide a variety of Indian, Persian, and Oriental rugs and carpets. Don't forget to calculate the duties and taxes payable. This business idea will involve high initial capital because the suppliers often require bulk orders to build trust.

4.    Interior decoration

Wealthy people have plenty of money to spend on decorating their houses. Starting your own interior decoration company puts yourself in a position to embellish the homes of rich people. If you have a creative flair and artistic abilities, interior decoration is a great way to do what you love while earning money. But make sure you have certification because most clients are picky, and they like to work with certified interior decorators. You need to have resources to source designer furniture and fixtures. Since you will be working for posh clients, standard fixtures may not do the trick.

5.    Auction antique objects

In addition to designing their own homes, some rich people are interested in buying antique objects as collectibles. Whether it is a 17th-century coin or a table from The Renaissance, these timeless classics are worth fortunes. You not only need excellent sources to find these objects but also prove their authenticity to the customers. If you can succeed in doing these two, you can expect to turn in massive profits in no time.

6.    Start a tanning salon

Probably an out of the box idea but starting a tanning salon can work both for the rich and the not so rich people; natural sun tanning takes a lot of time, and too many people are busy these days with work. That's why artificial salon tanning has become widely popular. Starting a tanning salon does not involve a considerable capital like renting out luxurious cars or selling antique objects. However, you need to ensure that people in your area are interested in artificial tanning. This might be a growing trend, but your business location will be crucial to deciding your popularity and success.

With so many business ideas out there, you're spoilt for choice. So, make the most of your money by trying one of these ideas and starting your journey toward financial freedom.

This content is sponsored by Jim Bevin.

Photo: Shutterstock

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