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Last night was the inaugural broadcast of my new radio and podcast segment “Spheres of Influence”

The show will broadcast twice weekly on 93.8 MixFM on Tuesday and Thursday evening right after the 6pm news. The podcast of each show will be available for download right here after the broadcast.

This show is the start of a continuing project to explore the ever shifting nature of business relationships and business models by interviewing guests who are living this change on a daily basis at the coal face.

The internet, social media, mobile and technology are constantly reshaping how we do business. Every industry in the world is being forced to re-evaluate what they do and how they do it.

My particular area of interest is Influence. Nothing gets done without influence but the very nature of influence has changed and it is this that is forcing change. Last century influence could be bought if you had a big enough marketing budget. Consequently influence was about manipulation, getting people to come around to you way of thinking.  In the 21st century Influence is attained through trust. This has been the natural result of the use of personal technology and customers being globally and instantly connected.

The five forces that have been responsible for this are:

  • Computing
  • Communication
  • Connectivity
  • Collaboration
  • Convergence

Computing

The 1970s are today considered the decade that computing came into its own.  With the invention of the microprocessor was invented in 1973 which allowed computers to become a lot smaller.  In 1969 NASA put a man on the moon with a computer system, the most sophisticated the world had ever seen, that had 6 megabytes of processing power.  The lunar lander had just 64kbs. From the standpoint of today that is a remarkable achievement.  Today a R200 flash disk holds around 64 gigabytes of storage and there is more computing power in a toaster than what put a man on the moon.

Computing revolutionised how we live and work.

Communication

The 1980s was the time of the mobile device.  If you owned a mobile device in the 80s it would have weighed about a kilogram, taken 10 hours to charge and given around 30 minutes of talk time. There were 5 million subscribers by the end of that decade.  Today 5 million devices are sold every day, they weigh around 160 grams and have 20 hours of talk time. My relatively cheap Acer phone has 3 sim slots that allows for easy network switching when I travel.

Constant global connection is a daily feature of our lives.

Connectivity

The 1990s was about the internet and getting connected.  If you connected to the Internet in the 90s you probably did it on a 14.4kbs modem and you couldn’t be on the Internet and the phone at the same time. By the end of 1995 16 million people around the world were connected.  Today that figure is well over 3 billion and growing daily with Africa being the worlds fastest growing online population.

Being connected is not novel, it is has become essential and almost invisible. We don’t notice it until we don’t have it.

Collaboration

The 2000s were characterised by collaboration, the time of Social Media.  While MySpace was the first big one, it would be Facebook that would come to dominate.  Facebook had 100 million users in 2005. Today there are 2 billion social media users across all platforms.  That means it’s a global standard. But it’s not just social: Think of Dropbox, Evernote and other productivity platforms and apps. We ccan share, communicate and collaborate anytime and anywhere. Collaboration is a way of life today.

Convergence

Where we find ourselves today is computing, communication, connectivity and collaboration have all converged to one place: Our mobile device. Today it’s everything wherever you are.

This has changed everything. Every industry is seeing the change.  Sometimes it’s painful, sometimes its phenomenal.  We see the obvious examples with the demise of Kodak and the revolution of Uber. But this change is the ways that are less obvious in how we market, how we sell, how we build networks.

Every Tuesday and Thursday I will be interviewing guests who are at the forefront of this change.  Who are living it daily: Industry leaders but also people on the ground from HR to IT. And as we unpack this new world we will bring you the insight to stay ahead in your industry. We’ll highlight people and companies who understand this new world and are doing it right and we’ll analyse situations where it being done wrong.

I want input from the listeners to this show.  If you have topics you feel should be discussed or guests we should have on the show, if YOU want to be on the show please email me at ryan@hogarth.co.za or tweet me at @ryanhogarth.

 

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