My take on AR/VR for 2018. I need to know this because my startup depends on it.

On Facebook, Shel Israel, one of the leading thinkers on how digital affects the way we live, work, and play put forward the following question regarding what 2018 holds for augmented reality:

What is your assessment of how AR changed in 2017? What is your prediction for AR and business in 2018?

I thought about this because my vantage point is that I’m putting together a start up that has a focus on using immersive technology for healthcare and medical training. So, I’m looking as how it affects an industry analysts are saying will be among the most impacted. I’ve become an enthusiast with a heavy dose of realism. And maybe some skepticism.

It’s not that I’m letting that skepticism hold me down. On the contrary, I’m banking on immersive to move forward. But I’ve seen how “irrational exuberance” can lead the pioneers to convince themselves that it’s a revolution and not an evolution. This happens, quite often, because they only talk among themselves and never really listen or get to understand their prospective client base.

In 2018 (and probably 2019), we won’t see significant adoption of immersive technology. People within healthcare have started to hear whispers that it’s coming. But that’s not enough because — and this is especially important for medical practitioners — the standard that they care about is evidence-based best practices. Not the oohs an ahs that can accompany someone’s first journey to another setting when they put a headset on. Great ideas, solid ideas can be as worthless as pie-in-the-sky ideas.

To be sure, the whispers will get louder this year and into next. I see 2020 when things really start to change. Right now, it may be mostly certain niches that get the investments and the subsequent action. My partners and I have gotten our niche. Now it’s our challenge to get partners on the outside. A hospital system. A medical society dedicated to our niche practice. A medical school that’s associated with a hospital.

One thing I have to point out is that the methodologies and the metrics for all of this have yet to be developed. Most discussions take place in AR/VR forums, conferences, etc. Those doing the talking are people like me. It’s not being done at medical conferences. Sure, there may be a speaker here and there. Or even a panel. But overall, just like social media was 10–12 years ago, most of the players in the space talk among themselves. Most “leading companies” have a website, some sort of prototype, a kickass client (if they’re lucky) to give them credibility…and that’s it.

I think the answer in the midterm will be education. Would-be entrepreneurs have to educate themselves about the sectors within the medical professions that they want to target. They need to know what hospital systems are the most innovative. They need to know how decision makers think, from hospital administrators to medical school research officials, to influential types in medical associations and societies who will publish, edit, and read medical journals that produce studies on evidence based best practices. Getting press attention in TechCrunch or Mashable is awesome. But that’s not likely the publications that the decision makers read.

We also have to think as to how we will educate our future clients. That means speaking on THEIR terms in ways that they can relate to how they practice medicine, or purchase equipment, lead their hospital, administrate their medical and nursing schools.

So, to me, I think this will be a learning year for those who seek to enter the field. We’ll see smaller, targeted projects geared toward actual needs where the education may be elementary as opposed to the creation of breakthrough medical procedures that have yet to get full adoption. It will be this way for the next 2–3 years. At that point, key decision makers will really start to come on board.

That’s the route we’re taking. Go in assertively, but humbly. It’s time to learn…so when the industry takes off, we’ll have enough intellectual capital coupled with hands on experience to lead the way.

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About.me is “in” for 2014…and thanks Leigh Anne!!

I’m digging this sudden upsurge of traffic I’m getting on my about.me page.  I have no idea how or why it’s happening but apparently it is.

About.me is a pretty cool idea.  It allows people to create one page personal profile sites that (at least should) feature a large photograph along with a bio and links to the person’s social media presences on various social networks.

Some of the people who’ve taken the plunge are quite impressive.  Successful creative types from all over the world.  Europe, Africa, Pakistan, Australia, India and the Americas. I’ll soon point out several of them, but I’ll start out by concentrating on my new connection there…Leigh Anne Estrada, an enthusiastic marketing consultant from St. Simon’s Island, GA.  She’s got her own consultancy, Creative Marketing Ideas, where she helps a slew of local and regional clients with their marketing efforts.

She’s obviously read this blog as she’s suggested that I start using kettlebells  in my workout.  Yes, good idea.  I’m upping the ante on the work on my abs and I’m planning to add several exercises to my routine for that.

Time to get back to work – and to do some more exploring on about.me

 

What Jeff Bezos now faces owning the Washington Post

So Jeff Bezos is buying the Washington Post.  That’s a big deal.  Literally.  A big deal for big media, for the digital economy, for news delivery, for all of us.

No one knows where this will go.  I’m predicting that Bezos will struggle.  He’ll initially be embraced by the Washington glitterati as he’ll be seen as a new, hip and vital power player. DC insiders love – and are built on power players.  But he’ll find the path to digital news publishing – in an extremely competitive Washington environment – to be a major challenge as there are a myriad of relationships between the media and members of Congress and Congressional staffers and lobbyists and top association members and political consultants and political fundraisers and military officials and business leaders and on and on and on.

The Post’s brand is tied into it’s political coverage.  It’s a national publication, but it doesn’t have major ties into the national business and financial players as the Wall Street Journal does.  Hell, it doesn’t even cover LOCAL business that well.  It doesn’t have the ties to cultural world as does the New York Times.

Bezos has to maintain (read: be willing to pay and not disrupt) that political insider connectivity that it commands.  That’s the Post’s lifeblood.  He can’t underestimate that there’s a built in power structure here in Washington that has a symbiotic relationship with the media and that BECAUSE the media landscape is changing, the Post’s ability to maintain its standing within that structure is as vital as it is to have a leader who has the vision to manage its successful transformation into the newer digital age.

Will he succeed? Time will tell.  But be prepared for some major bumps in the road.

InterActivate: It’s Time

This week I (finally) launched my business.  InterActivate.

InterActivate is a digital marketing communications agency designed to help regional and local that offers comprehensive and customized marketing and engagement plans for small and mid-sized businesses to help them thrive in the digital age.

It’s also time to re-launch the business blog, Digital Street Journal.

It’s time indeed.

Gingrich, janitors, the 1%, and you and me

First of all, do yourself a favor and watch this movie:

http://www.philosopherkingsmovie.com/

The defining moment during this Republican presidential primary season came for me when Newt Gingrich suggested that school systems get rid of most of their janitors in order to hire students.  It wasn’t just what he said, it was the subsequent response and lack of response that cued something off in me. Yeah, I was upset that he feels that it’s OK for 12 year olds to mix together chemicals, stand on 10 foot ladders to change light bulbs in the gym, and mop up their classmates piss.  I get that.  I’m a father of a teen.  And I realize that this policy will end up causing some kids to be the target of abuse from a slew of their classmates as they intentionally urinate all over the floor so the poorest of the poor can mop it up.

What got me more was that he has no problem suggesting the mass firing of what I consider to be hard working under appreciated blue collar working class men and women who simply trying to provide a life for themselves and, perhaps, their family.

And what REALLY got to most of all was that the vast majority of well, us, didn’t even notice this last part.  Most focused on the comment about the kids.  We didn’t see that we’ve got a major presidential candidate who’s calling for a policy in which perhaps thousands of “union member” janitors lose their jobs.  Had to use those words “union member” for effect of course. Continue reading Gingrich, janitors, the 1%, and you and me

Welcome 2010

It’s a new year and a time for new opportunities.

That’s the challenge in life.  Recognizing that life itself is an opportunity.  Nothing is guaranteed.   Luck can play a role.  But the most important thing is to get up and try to accomplish something.  Each and every day.

Set goals.  Make adjustments in your life to achieve those goals.  Build a foundation for the future.

Of course all this is obvious.  It’s just that sometimes it’s hard to recognize.

In 2010, I’m starting a business.  Setting goals.  Laying down a foundation. Making adjustments.

Here’s to a new year.

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A new, healthy client

I recently got a new client who’s starting a new business of his own.  He’s  a top caterer in a major city, but he’s changing gears.   His name is Greg and he’s strong environmentalist.  So, he’s now establishing a consultancy to help anything from restaurants and other caterers all the way up to large entities that provide dining services (universities, hospitals, etc) “go green”.  That means local and organic.

It’s inspiring.  As I get older, I’m becoming more careful with my diet.  You hear about clogged arteries, the epidemic of obesity, early diabetes…and you perhaps don’t realize those things can happen to you.  They haven’t – yet.  But they can.

I plan to learn a lot from Greg.

And that means finding local and organic places to buy food.

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