Archive for new ideas show

African Sandwich Shop

Posted in Infinite City, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2012 by javedbabar

Bobby couldn’t believe that it had happened again. Rather than telling the person sitting opposite him about his business idea, he’d allowed him to talk for the full two minutes, till it was time to move onto the next person. The Speed Networking event was fun but also stressful. He didn’t like competition and aggression; maybe he wasn’t cut out for business.

The black lady he’d spotted earlier came and sat opposite him. She wore a bright turban and kaftan. Maybe she would be interested in hearing his idea for an African sandwich shop. Or maybe she was a pushy businesswoman who would tell him about her idea instead.

“Hello, I’m Betty,” she said. “My mind is filled with many profitable possibilities, but first I would like to hear about your business idea.”

“Oh thank you,” said Bobby, taken by surprise. “I have an idea for… Oh sorry, I didn’t introduce myself. My name is Bobby, I’ve recently moved to Lucerne, and I have an idea for an African sandwich shop.”

“That sounds very interesting,” said the lady, smiling broadly, and nodding her head, her turban almost toppling. “Please tell me more.”

“Oh, yes, sure. The main constituents of a sandwich are the bread, the filling, and the spread or sauce. I’m pretty tired of what’s available at most delis. White or brown bread with mayo or marge, and turkey, ham, beef or cheese salad.”

The woman nodded deeply, the top of her turban arcing eighteen inches. “Yes! Yes! So boring!” she said. People on both sides of them looked over.

“I’ve travelled quite a bit in Africa. There are simple, rich flavours there, so strange and delicious. I wanted to make creative use of them. Not so much mix and match, more adapt and innovate…”

The woman continued nodding, her turban top now attracting much attention. “What places have you been to? What flavours did you like?”

“Just in terms of bread ingredients, we could use carbohydrates like Morroccan cous cous, Egyptian Nile barley, Ethiopian injera, Tanzanian ugali, Zimbabwean sadza, Nigerian cassava, Namibian bush potatoes, and have a weekly Saharan Special where we try something really crazy.”

“Ha! Ha! That sounds wonderful!” Her nodding was huge; her voice booming. Speed Networkers and other attendees of the New Idea Show stopped and stared. “I can help you with this. I am a trained chef and master baker. Shall we test recipes next week?”

“That would be great! Which part of Africa do you come from? We can start with that.”

“I come from the Caribbean,” she said. “St Vincent and Grenadines. Not Africa.”

Bobby hadn’t considered this possibility. He must have looked shocked. “But I come from Africa originally. We all do. That’s why I wish to help you with your business. It will reconnect us to our source.”

“Our sauce?” said Bobby, before realizing his mistake.

As a bell rang to signal the session’s end, the New Ideas Show was abuzz with talk of the African sandwich shop.

Guru Who?

Posted in Infinite City, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2012 by javedbabar

It was tiring meeting so many people so quickly – thirty in an hour, for two minutes each. The New Ideas Show’s Speed Networking event was however a great way to broaden your business connections and share your backgrounds and goals. Who knew what it could lead to?

The problem was that Bobby was too polite. He held back and didn’t like talking over people. What happened at most of his meetings was that the other person told him all about themselves and their ideas, and heard nothing about him. Maybe he should think of the interactions as beatings rather than meetings.

He decided that in the next one, he would go first. He would own the meeting.

It was an Indian guy with shiny black beard and orange turban and robes. Not your usual business attire, but Bill Gates wore jeans, Larry Ellison wore turtle necks, and Richard Branson wore dresses, so each to his own.

He’d spotted this Indian guy earlier, and was keen to talk to him about one of his two business ideas – a “spice cream” van, exotically flavoured ice creams for sale to ethnic communities. He could target their holy festivals and their weddings circuit.

“Hello, I’m Bobby,” he said to the Indian guy. “I’d like to discuss my idea for…”

“How do you know that?” he interrupted.

“How do I know what?”

“How do you know that your name is Bobby?”

“Look, that’s my name. That’s what it says on my driver’s licence. I’ve had it all my life. Is that good enough for you?” Jeez, who was this guy!

“It’s good enough for me,” said the Indian guy. “But is it good enough for you?”

“Of course it’s good enough for me. It’s my name. What are you getting at?” Was he trying to link his business idea with his name? Maybe he could call his product “Bobby’s Spice Cream”. But that was hardly important right now. “Look, I’m not really sure…”

“I am Makasha, a spiritual teacher who has learnt at the feet of the great Guru Baba, and acted as OM’s personal assistant.” OM was short for Ozwald Malchizedek, a controversial local figure.

Bobby’s politeness was his failing. He said, “Oh, what did you learn?”

“There are two Universal Laws that supersede all others: The Law of Attraction and the Law of Karma. The Law of Attraction says that you get what you wish for; it is a qualitative, emotional law. The Law of Karma says you get what you give; it is a quantitative, rational law. You exist at the place where these two laws meet. You are always at their centre. The only thing to choose is your orientation.”

Bobby had heard about these laws before, but not thought about them too much. Who has time these days?

“All human beings are aware of these laws, consciously or unconsciously, but they choose to ignore them, instead wasting their lives on trivial matters like making money and chasing…”

The bell rang. “Oh our time is up. It was very holy to meet you. Please take my card.” His shiny orange, gold-edged business card said “Makasha, Spiritual Master. Personal appointments from $100/hr. Corporate incentive schemes available.”

Pyramid Power

Posted in Infinite City, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2012 by javedbabar

The silver-haired TV producer was an interesting fellow, if a little creepy. The bell rang at the Speed Networking event, and the outer circle of people each moved one chair clockwise.

The girl now sitting opposite Bobby was pretty. She was in her late twenties, dark-haired, with a diamond nose-stud and silver Ankh necklace. Surprisingly she wore a pin-striped business suit, rather than jeans or a dress like most ladies present. It seemed too formal for an event in Lucerne. The New Ideas Show’s Speed Networking event was about creativity not formality. At least that’s what he’d supposed.

“Hello, I’m Caroline,” she said. “And I run my own business.”

“Pleased to meet you, I’m Bobby, currently erm… in between jobs. What kind of business do you have?”

Her right eye twitched before she answered, saying, “I would like to make an appointment with you one day next week to discuss it.”

Bobby was confused by her answer. That wasn’t what he’d asked, so he repeated the question. “What kind of business is it?”

Her right eye twitched again. “I would like to make an appointment with you to discuss it.”

Momentarily he was flattered, thinking this was her way of asking him out on a date. Then he thought, who are you kidding? She’s repeating a script.

“I’m not trying to be difficult, Caroline, but how can I gauge my interest in your business if you won’t tell me what it is?”

“It is a business that is accessible to anybody who is passionate about helping others and acquiring wealth. We offer world class training in leadership dynamics, mind dynamics, and sales dynamics. Its all about beliefs and habits. If you believe you can do it, and are willing to develop productive habits, you truly can.”

“But what will I do?” He was losing patience with this woman, but was also amused. Besides, you are allowed to indulge babes.

She said, “You will develop a passive income which will be received monthly, with little effort required once you’ve set up your system. You can work flexible hours from any location.”

“That sounds great but…”

“I started last year and am already a millionaire.”

Bobby thought, maybe I’m wrong about this girl. Is she really on to something? “That’s amazing! In twelve months you’ve made a million dollars?”

Her eye twitched and she looked uncomfortable. “Not a million dollars, yet. A million friends though. Money comes and goes, but friends last forever.”

Bobby couldn’t help laughing. “You’ve got a million friends. Wonderful! Where are they all?”

“Well, I’ve only got one thousand friends myself. And if they have one thousand friends each, that’s a network of one million people, ready to make money. It’s all about relationships – like atoms at the quantum level…”

Bobby interrupted, “And how will they all make money?” He suspected this was a pyramid scheme set-up; the classic eight-ball model where rather than the steady arithmetic progression of 1+2+3+4+5=15 you use a geometric short cut of 1+2+4+8=15, which runs out of steps far quicker, leaving the smallest players struggling.

She looked away and said, “I’m not sure yet. I’m building my network first. It could be any business. I would like to make an appointment with you…”

Her Ankh caught the light and shone out. Bobby held a grudging admiration for her persistence but felt her belief was misguided, like workers in Ancient Egypt, playing their part in building a great pyramid, but only ever laying its lowest blocks.

Reality TV

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2012 by javedbabar

The man in black with a silver crew-cut and tiny beard said, “Hello, I’m Frank, TV Producer.”

That’s more like it, thought Bobby. I couldn’t really see myself with the previous two people – a lawyer and an accountant – but I could probably hang out with a TV producer. That was the whole purpose of the New Ideas Show’s Speed Networking event – to meet the kind of people you wouldn’t usually come across, and share your backgrounds and goals. You never know what these new relationships can lead to.

“Pleased to meet you, I’m Bobby. I’m new in town and looking for work.”

“Excellent,” said Frank. “I always need new people. Do you watch much TV? What skills do you have? Are you single? Are you politically engaged?”

“That’s a lot of questions,” said Bobby. He wondered how he was expected to answer.

“I’m sorry; it’s the nature of my business to always question. I mainly produce reality TV shows and am always asking Who? What? How? When? And What For? Have you seen Lonely London and its spin-off Lovely London? The First One In? Why Should I Live Like That? What? You haven’t seen any of them? You’re not much of a viewer.”

“Don’t take it personally. I’ve had a lot going on in my life. There’s been no time for TV.”

“Not to worry,” said Frank, running has hand over his silvered head and stroking his tiny beard. “I’m looking to base a new show in Lucerne. I think it’s the perfect location with rich natural and cultural assets. There’s the Old Families, logging and farming for five generations, and new families escaping the stresses and expense of the city; there’s poor kids barely making a living, and billionaires building holiday homes; Anglo-Saxons and Natives, with Chinese and Indians coming in…”

So that’s the modern media business, thought Bobby. Take a trend and put your own spin on it. Make it distinctive. “What do you have in mind?” he asked.

“I’m still developing the idea. I’ve ruled out hidden cameras and hoaxes; this town is too small for those, and job searches and sports are mundane. I’m focussing on ethnic, supernatural, self-improvement…” he thought for a moment, “and maybe dating themes…”

Bobby couldn’t help interrupting. “How about helping Guru Baba,” – a famous holy man who had retired to Lucerne – “to build his karma and find a new wife in his next life?” He couldn’t believe he’d said something so ridiculous; it had come from nowhere.

Frank nodded his head, amused. “I don’t think that’s it, but I like your thinking. Look I’m in real need of story editors and segment producers. It doesn’t seem that you have technical skills, but you are a creative thinker. There are all kinds of things that need to happen behind the scenes; we need to script action, manipulate events, influence audience voting, re-stage scenes – create sensational television by whatever means. Maximise the voyeur-wow-factor to increase viewers and maximise advertising revenues.”

“But that sounds quite contrived. Don’t you make reality television?” said Bobby.

“It’s all about sex and money and twenty-four hour surveillance – how much more real can you get?”

Speed Networking

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , on July 8, 2012 by javedbabar

The New Ideas Show was not what Bobby had expected. He’d imagined a wild bunch of inventors with lab coats and wild hair, making robots bleep and crystals glow. The village’s glassy community centre – known as the Transparent Temple – was instead filled with slick suited and booted individuals constantly tapping screens and talking – to you or someone else, you couldn’t always say – promoting their internet hosting and search optimisation services, and generally giving you a headache.

He’d found respite in the audience of Devils’ Den, a show where amateur entrepreneurs sought to impress expert investors, but now that was over, he was back in the melee.

Bobby noticed a new group forming in an offset area; maybe another event offering haven. He strolled towards it but was stopped by a bald man in a blue blazer and red cravat, who said, “Have you booked?”

“Booked what?” said Bobby. “Isn’t this a free event?”

“Yes, it is. I meant have you booked your spot for Speed Networking?”

“Erm, no… I haven’t.”

“Well, I’m sorry, all the spots are taken. Business people’s time is precious; it must be used profitably. They booked their spots online. Since the economic downturn, these events are very popular.”

“I’m sorry, I’ve heard of Speed Dating but…”

“Speed Networking is a way to accelerate your business contacts; for business people to share their backgrounds and goals, and gain exposure to new markets and vendors. It’s a structured environment where pairs of people each speak for one minute, and then change partner.”

“Oh, so you meet here, and if you like each other, then you make a date – I mean a meeting.”

“Yes, but there’s an important difference between the two. Speed Daters try to narrow their choices; Speed Networkers wish to broaden their connections.”

More people approached. “Excuse me,” said the bald man and welcomed them in. The Speed Networkers began open mingling, and made small talk, while being served bright canapés, cheeses and wines. Were these the kind of people he wished to mix with, thought Danny. Such serious people.

He decided that you never know. Any one of them could give him a break. He may as well give it a go. “When is the next one?” he asked the bald man.

He said, “Actually we’ve had a no-show. The group is unbalanced now.  Do you want to join now?”

As the chairs were arranged in two circles of thirty chairs each, Danny wondered what he should talk about. The only ideas he had right now were for a “spice cream” van and an African sandwich shop. Who would be interested in those? But then he saw that a few people ahead there was a man with a beard and turban, and beyond him a woman in a bigger, multicoloured turban, and matching kaftan. Today may be his day.

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.