Archive for business start up

Soul Capture

Posted in Alternative Energy, Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2012 by javedbabar

Bobby’s mind was being expanded by the presentations at the Devils’ Den. It was definitely the best event at the New Ideas Show in Lucerne’s glassy community centre, commonly called the Transparent Temple.

He’d sat among the audience hoping to get some inspiration for starting his own business, but instead he was becoming a little scared. Floating cities, underwater container houses, head plug-ins, and programmable matter – the ideas seemed impossible, or at least unbelievable. Was that why it was called Devil’s Den? Had they made pacts with the devil?

A guy he recognized walked towards the stage; he managed the recycling facility on the edge of the village. Surely his idea would be reasonable. He was a down to earth guy.

The host Collette held her nose as he approached. She said, “Didn’t you bathe this week, my friend?”

He smiled to himself, and then at everyone. “Sorry about that. I just came from work at the transfer station. It’s an occupational hazard.”

Panel member and social media activist Juno Osh drew back in distaste. The audience laughed. Low-tech pioneer Amisha Jordan however was pleased, and said, “It’s good to see a real working man in here. Not just a load of pencil heads.”

“Enough flirting, trash junkies,” said Collette. “I know business sometimes gets dirty, but there’s no need for business people to be dirty.”

The audience booed and the transfer station manager dropped his smile. “Only joking,” she said. She couldn’t afford to lose public goodwill for she had no talents; she was only famous for being famous. “Please introduce yourself and tell us about your idea.”

“My name is Toby, and my business is recycling. These days we try to minimize waste. The best thing of course is to not make it in the first place – you can reduce your product packaging by wise buying choices, and even eliminate it by going to bulk stores. But there’s still plenty of trash. That’s the nature of a modern capitalist economy. I noticed a while ago that at our transfer station, we reuse every resource – card, paper, plastic, metal, wood, glass – except one.”

The audience was curious. Someone called out, “What’s that, pal?”

Toby said magisterially, “Ourselves. Our bodies are cremated, buried, thrown into the sea, and in some cultures chopped up and left as a final act of compassion and generosity for wild beasts to devour.”

Collette said, “Urrggh!”

“Valuable minerals are wasted. And more importantly, valuable experiences that are encoded in our cells. I have developed technology that can compare original and final DNA in terms of quality and quantity, and measure the relative effects of nature and nurture.”

“Can you actually do that?” said Juno, suddenly interested.

“Well not fully, only fifty percent of it.”

“Well I could get the other fifty percent from my social networks. I think we can do business.”

He wasn’t the first amateur entrepreneur led astray by Juno Osh. She’d captivated many with dreams of social media glory but her rewards were rarely tangible. Her promises were made but not kept. They were as vaporous as souls.

Container Houses

Posted in Alternative Energy, Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2012 by javedbabar

After the nerd had presented his idea for a floating city – floating in air, not water – came a girl with a more sensible idea – container houses. Bobby was enjoying the Devils’ Den event at the New Ideas Show. He was looking for ideas to start his own business in job-poor Lucerne.

“The essential problem is not lack of housing,” said the presenter, who had neglected to mention her name. “It has to do with distribution. Just like with food – where some become obese, whilst others starve – people have too much or too little shelter. For example why does a childless couple have a ten thousand square foot house in Strattus that they use one month a year, while someone in Mumbai has a hundred square foot room housing three generations?”

“Isn’t that their reward, and their choice?” said Arthur Choo, ex-chief economist of the Bank of Canadia. “They are wealth creators, and every dollar they spend is multiplied within the economy.”

“That may be true,” said the presenter. “But I believe they should be encouraged to make better choices. Shipping containers provide an equitable, flexible solution. They are easy to load, unload, stack, transfer and transport. Everyone should get one. Isn’t that a basic right of democracy, fair housing? A house is the basis…”

She was interrupted by Amisha Jordan, promoter of traditional and low-tech solutions. “I like the idea, but it’s been done already. There are offices and hotels made of containers in port cities.”

“Not underwater,” said the presenter. People gasped.

“What? You are hoping to build underwater housing?”

“Yes, in international waters. They belong to everyone so people can live where they like. There’s no need to be oppressed by the outmoded paradigms of nation states. We can…”

Arthur Choo said, “I’m afraid it’s not that simple. International waters have regulations too. You can’t just live where you like; in the same way you can’t just fish where you like. There are guidelines.”

“I will look into the legal framework later. Right now I’m concerned with mastering physical, chemical and biological environments; looking at things like pressure, temperature, humidity and light; water, food, waste and toxins; sea creatures, microorganisms and fungi. Once those are managed, everything is possible.”

“Okay,” said Arthur Choo. “I’m willing to look at this at a conceptual level. Go on.”

“I’ve also located undersea methane vents, and begun work on dolphin communications and plankton farms…”

Uh-oh, thought Bobby. This girl is all out to sea. Why are young entrepreneurs obsessed by the sea? He’d heard ideas for boats made of recycled bottles, floating cities and marine farms. He didn’t realize they were in tune with the soul of the planet, the global unconscious, and being drawn towards the creative source.

Floating City

Posted in Alternative Energy, Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2012 by javedbabar

Bobby was at the New Ideas Show in Lucerne. It was a great opportunity to do some research for his new business. He’d grown tired of salesmen chattering though and slipped into the audience for Devils’ Den. The first amateur entrepreneur brave enough to face the panel of expert investors was a tall nerdish looking boy.

“Come on up!” said the host, Collette Vapinski, a lady famous for being famous. The boy began walking swiftly but slowed down as he approached the stage. “Come on! Let’s speed it up! We’re in the age of global business. There’s no time to hang about!” The audience laughed. “Woo! There goes an Indian company spicing up your code! Choo! There goes a Chinese company copying your product and shipping it before you do!” Arthur Choo, ex-chief economist of the Bank of Canadia, looked up at her, annoyed. She mouthed, “Sorry.”

The boy had reached the stage. “Please introduce yourself and tell us about your idea.”

“Hello everybody,” said the boy. “My name is Cedric and I’d like to tell you about my idea for a floating city. It is one kilometre wide and houses up to a million citizens in high-density housing. There is large-scale vertical gardening, and a one hundred percent recycling facility that…”

“Wait a minute!” called Amisha Jordan, a promoter of traditional and low-tech technologies. “A floating city? You mean in the sea? No? In the air! How will you do that? It sounds ridiculous!”

The boy was scared by her interruption, but recovered and continued. “It will be built of a mixture of carbon alloys and holograms. All heating will be solar, cooling will be by winds, and it will levitate by means of electromagnetism. It will be useful for inhospitable regions of earth. One kilometre above the earth’s surface there are fewer noxious gases, and cleaner air to breathe…”

“Excuse me,” said Arthur Choo. “Are we speaking of the near future or several centuries yet? What’s your timeline?” It was not a hostile question.

“I’m thinking two hundred years in the future, the same time frame as Sony’s futurists.”

Someone in the audience called out “Two hundred years!” and Cedric hesitated, but Arthur Choo nodded and said, “Go on.”

Cedric was encouraged by this and spoke rapidly. “It will be an entirely independent entity, and can move with the seasons to optimise energy production and resident comfort. It will have fully secure access and good immigration controls. Of course tourism will be a major…”

Social media pioneer June Osh interrupted. “What about using these cities on other planets. Have you thought of that?”

“Yes, it is certainly a possibility for…”

“How much do you need?” she said.

Cedric answered immediately, “I’m looking for five hundred billion dollars for half of the company.”

“I’m in!” said June Osh. There was a gasp from the crowd. “But I don’t have the funds available yet so will only act as an advisor. My website Farmbook is not yet profitable, but it does have one billion members. We could try crowd funding…”

Good luck to you both, thought Bobby. Maybe he didn’t have the right frame of mind to be an entrepreneur.