Archive for entrepreneur

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.


Programmable Matter

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Conceptual Art, Lucerne Village, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2012 by javedbabar

There was chaos at the Devils’ Den event, with the host Collette Vapinski running around, shouting at her assistants. The previous presenter’s slideshow had malfunctioned. Instead of impressing the panel of expert investors with his technical prowess, the flashes of goofy pictures, drugs, pornography and End Time prophecies bemused and disgusted them. The amateur entrepreneur left in shame.

Collette said, “On behalf of the organizers of the New Ideas Show, I would like to apologize to all audience members for this unexpected occurrence. If people are really upset, we can curtail the event. Who would like us to cancel the rest of Devils’ Den?” A few hands went up. “Okay, not too many of you, so we’ll continue. Please give us five minutes to set up again.”

Bobby realized that he’d been thinking too conventionally. The first notion he was developing was that of a “spice cream” van, serving exotic flavoured ice creams. The second was that of an African Sandwich shop, which sounded exciting but he hadn’t yet thought about what his definition of “African sandwiches” should be.

Presenters today had shown their ideas for floating cities, underwater container houses, and head plug-ins to connect men and machines directly. He too should stretch his imagination.

After a while, Collette Vapinski said, “Okay, we’re back in business!” The audience cheered. “Who’s next?”

A tall blonde girl, wearing a loose white dress, walked up to the stage.

“Not her! Not her!” said low-tech pioneer Amisha Jordan. “She’s some kind of fraudster.”

Ex-banker Arthur Choo and social media activist Juno Osh both burst out laughing. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” said Amisha. “You won’t be laughing later.”

Collette said, “Excuse me panel, what’s so funny? Would you please explain to our audience?”

Juno said, “Cindy will explain.” Arthur nodded.

“Grrr!” said Amisha. “I’m tempted to take a break. I don’t want to share the stage with this crook.” Juno and Arthur gave welcoming smiles to the girl in the white dress, while Amisha sat in a grump.

“Hello everybody,” said the girl. “My name is Cindy. I’d like to present my idea for programmable matter. It’s a way of arranging electrons and atoms into different shapes. You can change the information and energy present in objects to transform them into other objects. Einstein said that all items are energy with differing vibrations. It we can change their frequency, we can change their form. It works with products and with people. My initial tests with repurposing, invisibility, and time travel have been very encouraging, leading to…”

Amisha said, “This is ridiculous. She somehow sneaked into my office last night and tried to trick me out of money.” She walked off the stage. “I’ll be back when she’s gone.”

Juno and Arthur however were both entranced, and said nothing.

Collette said to the girl, “So what’s your offer?”

One-quarter of my company for one million dollars.”

Juno said, “Hey, yesterday you said one-half of your company for one million dollars.”

“Well, I transported myself to all three of your offices, and received two expressions of interest. So I changed the terms. Of course, if you are no longer interested, I could go elsewhere.”

“No, no,” said Arthur. “I’m very interested.”

“Me too,” said Juno. “Let’s talk after.”

Devil's Den

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2012 by javedbabar

Bobby had lived in Lucerne for six months. It was in truth as beautiful as when he’d first seen it – those stunning black and white mountains at opposite ends of the valley, with forests, lakes and rivers between – but its sheen had worn off somewhat. Just because a place is beautiful, he’d realized, doesn’t mean that you can find work there. He was fed up with selling muffins and pumping gas. He needed to start his own business; he had some ideas but no clue what to do with them.

He was delighted to hear that their glassy community centre, commonly called the Transparent Temple, was hosting a New Ideas Show. This was a forum for business start-ups, and those providing ancillary services, to promote themselves in a community-minded atmosphere. He saw many trucks coming on Friday, setting up for the weekend show.

On Saturday morning Bobby entered the Great Hall, which was full of bright stalls and banners. There were sandwich and massage franchises, internet hosting and search engine optimisation services, all competing for your attention. There were also branding and shipping specialists, designers, printers, accountants and lawyers. They all introduced themselves, presented data, gave you their cards, and wanted yours – to receive special offers and enter prize draws, they said. Their chatter was overwhelming.

Bobby came to a quieter area set with chairs, and joined the audience there in expectation of something interesting. The scheduled event soon started. He recognized the host, Collette Vapinski, a glamorous lady famous for being famous. She said, “Hello everyone! Welcome to Devils’ Den, a place where our panel of expert investors quizzes amateur entrepreneurs about their business proposals, and if they are impressed, offer funding in exchange for shares.”

“Without further ado, I will introduce our expert panel. First we have Amisha Jordan, known for her faith in traditional and low-tech technologies. She is quoted as saying, “When the world runs out of fuel and you’re living back in the Stone Age, I will be dancing with Leonardo in the Renaissance.” There were boos from the crowd.

“Next we have Arthur Choo, once chief economist of the Bank of Canadia, now author of the bestselling book, “POP: Principle of Profit”, which promotes the open market as the most rational medium of exchange.” There was polite applause.

“Finally there is Juno Osh, founder of Farmbook, who believes that open source technology and social media not only build healthier communities, but will actually save the world.” People cheered wildly.

“Okay, who is brave enough to be the first to enter the Devils’ Den?” She looked around before her eyes settled on Bobby.

Was this his moment? he wondered.

In business isn’t it now or never?

He recalled the term prime mover advantage from a business book he’d browsed at the library. This is where initiative meets opportunity and the winner takes all.

He waited too long though. Collette Vapinski’s gaze moved on. She pointed to a tall guy with glasses, who got up and walked to the stage.