Ham boning robot, Abundance Report

February 11, 2011 · Posted in abundance, innovation · Comment 

Meat cutting is a dangerous, physically stressful, and tedious job. Replacing human meat cutters with robots is all around better if the humans have an income.

The representative repeatedly says the robots can cut oddly shaped soft objects. He is making clear that cutting ham is not the only use. The robot can cut a wide variety of foods but also non-food. They’ve likely chosen ham boning as their first task because the size makes it easier than smaller or more delicate food like fish and improving ham processing is higher value than vegetables. Defining the goal properly and finding the best entry to the market is very important for innovation success.

The makers of the Hamdas robotic meat cutting machine, Mayekawa, also make many environmentally friendly energy saving innovations. They are looking at the full range of interconnected innovations. They are using what Predictive Innovation® calls a Future Map. Each of their innovations builds on part of the other thus making each one less expensive and less risky to develop and higher value.

Many of the comments to the video bring up the concern jobs being eliminated. How can human meat cutters have an income when the job of cutting meat is done by machines? The common answer of making or repairing robots is fatally flawed. Repairing robots will not require as many people as the jobs the robots replace. The best way for meat cutters to have an income when robots are doing the work is to own robots. This way the people are still meat cutters, they just aren’t doing the physical work.

Another alternative for displaced workers is to do something else that robots makes possible. This unfortunately will likely displace other workers. Automation replaces people in any task that is done more than once. The solution is to focus on things that can’t be replicated. Personal experiences are one thing that can’t be duplicated. Satisfying those desires will be large growth area over time. In the short term, anything that helps individuals and small groups own the machines that makes things will be a crucial part of making the transition from economics to abundance.

Abundance Report: Video Conference from the Jungle

February 15, 2010 · Posted in abundance · Comment 

Last weekend I experienced an amazing example of abundance. My friend in Thailand called me. She and her friends took a drive two hours out of Bangkok to a nature preserve. When she was there she used her GSM cell phone to connect her laptop to the Internet and show me live video of the waterfall she was visiting.

The examples and levels of abundance are staggering.

First consider who she is. She is a young missionary from the Philippines teaching English in Bangkok. Her monthly salary is 750 USD. She is the youngest of 6 children of a disabled fisherman. She sends money home to support her parents, helps her other siblings with loans plus tithes 10% to her church. That doesn’t leave a lot of disposable income. So keep that in mind.

This call was not for business, it was just for fun. This is one of the characteristics of Abundance. When things are so cheap you don’t pay attention to the price. Except for the GSM connection to the Internet, the call was free.

She has a laptop with a webcam. So do a billion other people. Just 15 years ago the idea of a laptop was an outrageous luxury item. Now a computer with more processing power than everything that ran WWII is casually taken to a park. And this laptop wasn’t provided by her work. It was a present.

Nearly everyone on the planet has access to the Internet. Most of it high speed and capable of video. Cafes, restaurants, and cheap hotels give access away for free. Some of the poorest people in the world have such cheap and easily available Internet service they can spend hours sending Nigerian SPAM email.

She had a GSM phone to access the Internet in the middle of the countryside. She wasn’t in a big city. She was out in the jungle looking at a waterfall. The GSM phone is three examples of abundance. She could afford to have the equipment. The service was there. It was cheap enough that she didn’t care about the cost. Just 20 years ago making any phone call between Thailand and the USA would require scheduling overseas operators to make connections and it would be so expensive only governments or large corporations would do it. Today a young lady on a day trip calls a friend half way around the world and thinks nothing of doing it.

She used Skype to do the video conference. The software and the service were totally free. Once she was online everything was free.

The fact we even met to become friends is another example of abundance. Global communication is free and easy. Two people out of 6.5 billion on the opposite sides of the world with no people in common were able to meet based on shared interests and values. It wasn’t long ago that was nearly impossible. Now today its common place.

Abundance is the design of the universe and we are seeing the accelerating effects every day.

What is Abundance?

January 22, 2007 · Posted in abundance, economics, innovation, strategy · 1 Comment 

Do you work, purchase, or consume anything? If so this new understanding of Abundance effects you.

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” The character Inigo Montoya from the movie “Princess Bride”

In 2000 I began a project to change the world. My partner in this project was The Shad0w, contributor to the BitTorrent protocol and creator of BitTornado program. Napster and other peer-to-peer file sharing systems were in full swing and BitTorrent was just starting to catch on. At that point we realized that it was impossible to stop people from copying information. Music, movies, books, or software programs are all just information. Any information can be digitized. Once digitized copies are basically free. But we also realized that if people weren’t paid to make new information the world would stagnate. The entire legal system of intellectual property was based on restricting copies and now that was impossible.

While Shadow worked on BitTorrent and other technologies I worked on business models for this new world we were entering. I began researching, doing experiments and reexamining everything I knew about information. The result of that were several profound discoveries. One of them was a completely different way of looking at economics.

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