The best disruptors are focused on customers, not products; they use technology rather than fear it; they create new opportunities often where regulations don't exist and they are backed by those with deep pockets and an appetite for risk. Colin Cullis presents stories of Business Unusual - those people and companies driving the next industrial revolution.
Episodes in this series - Page 2
Customer satisfaction - do more, ask less04 August 2021 | 11 Minute Listen
Customer satisfaction is a relatively new concept, customer dissatisfaction is ancient. We can trace the history of poor service to a person called Nanni. The shipment of copper ore that was ordered did not arrive on time and was of poor quality. What makes this report remarkable is that it was sent by the unhappy merchant over 3500 years ago. The clay tablet is held by the British Museum and because we are living in the digital age you can see it for yourself by clicking the link. Audio credit: TEDx Talks Photo by chaitanya pillala on Unsplash
The future for mRNA vaccines28 July 2021 | 14 Minute Listen
Let me tell you about the long and incredible series of developments that allowed a vaccine to be made available so quickly to deal with Covid-19. DNA is a library of everything your body might need to reproduce, build and look after you. It is a recipe book of sorts. RNA is a copy of a piece of it, a single recipe to make very important substances - proteins. For dealing with diabetes we need to add the protein insulin to allow us to function. If we could give you RNA we could create it for a short while, if we can fix the part of the DNA that no longer has the recipe we can fix the problem. Fixing DNA is gene therapy. Lots of diseases relate to issues with DNA. It is a very promising field but only a small group of approved therapies have been devised. For other uses, RNA can be used to produce antigens, proteins used by viruses that trigger the immune system. Once you know what the antigen protein is, you can look for the RNA code that creates it. Audio credit: TEDxBeaconStreet
Private space - not the final frontier, just the next one21 July 2021 | 12 Minute Listen
Star Trek made the line that space was the final frontier famous. It is true. Everything humanity has ever done is contained on a tiny speck floating in space. Carl Sagan called it the pale blue dot based on the image from the Voyager 1 spacecraft that was taken in 1990 when the craft had traveled about 6 billion kilometers from Earth, the picture of the galaxy included Earth which was no more than a speck on the image. Less than an hour later Voyager would shut down its camera never to take another image. It took all of human history to get us to having the first person breach the bounds of gravity and orbit the Earth just once in 1961. Yuri Gagarin represented the first living thing that had taken billions of years of evolution to determine how to rise high enough above the Earth to remain there. Image & audio credit: NASA & Blue Origin Colin Cullis presents a weekly insert on the Money Show with Bruce Whitfield about the innovations and disruptions that are impacting on business and you.
The most successful YouTuber for the last four years is only 10 years old14 July 2021 | 12 Minute Listen
When Business Unusual first covered the story in 2018, unboxing videos were on the rise as creators and brands recognised the power of having their products demonstrated as videos to assist those thinking of buying their products to get a better sense of what they would be getting and tap into the excitement of opening something new. In the three years since, his parents have switched to working on the channel full time. They have signed up for multiple merchandise deals with major retails chains and their 5-year-old twins now feature in the videos too. Colin Cullis presents a weekly insert on the Money Show with Bruce Whitfield about the innovations and disruptions that are impacting on business and you. © Pocket.watch Ryan Kaji
China's expansion may come at a cost, will the world be willing to pay?07 July 2021 | 11 Minute Listen
The Chinese Communist Party celebrated their 100 year anniversary on 1 July, as a political party they have ruled the country continuously for 72 years, longer than the USSR which broke up and every other nation with the exception of North Korea. In that time it has endured terrible hardships of poverty and little economic opportunity, a good chunk of it by its own doing. But it has risen to become the second largest economy and if measured by how many people were lifted out of poverty the most successful government in history. It has worked to rightfully reunify with Hong Kong and continues to work towards reunification with Taiwan. You would be forgiven for thinking it would be good for those regions to be returning to such a successful country. China would describe the story that way, but some may see it as China calling a deer a horse.
The POPI Act and how it will make you a little safer online from 1 July 202130 June 2021 | 11 Minute Listen
Not everything will be ready, and many businesses will still have a lot to do to make sure they comply, but it is a big win for consumers and even a positive for businesses that can more easily do business with other countries that have also introduced similar laws. Photo by Marija Zaric on Unsplash
What happened to the 4 day week?23 June 2021 | 13 Minute Listen
It looks like only some will get to enjoy it. Even if you enjoy your work, there are few who don’t appreciate the time away from work to enjoy the fruits of your labour with family and friends. This is what weekends are for, it is as timeless as the commandment to rest on the Sabbath, so a hat tip to the faithful for getting us our first day off. The second day required a few thousand more years. Farmers worked during the day, the “early to bed early to rise” wisdom comes from the farm, no holidays until the crops are harvested, then the mother of all feasts and a few days to recover before starting all over again. The weekend is such a new concept actually that even the French, who typically will not use English words accept ‘le weekend’ even if the official term is French for ‘the end of the week’. It was fed up factory workers in the UK that convinced owners to give them a Saturday afternoon off probably because productivity dropped anyway and not paying someone when they were not working too hard actually made business sense, even if it was the exploitative kind. Still it was 1879 with the 1st Industrial Revolution in full swing that the word first appeared in print. 142 years later and we are starting to talk about making the weekend almost as long as the week. Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash Audio credit: Andrew Barnes TEDx Talks
Losing your smell is a common part of getting Covid-19, but smell might also help us fight it09 June 2021 | 12 Minute Listen
Dogs, bees and AI may help us find more infections faster than current testing. There is good reason to believe that a sensor that can work almost instantly, cost very little, does not need lab conditions and can be used repeatedly may be right under our noses. We can smell and recognise over 10 000 unique smells, not that you have made a list. Yet we take it for granted even as it quickly and effectively allows us to find or avoid so many issues. An even more effective solution can be found in the snouts and noses of fellow organisms that are far more sensitive. Dogs are way better than us, they take only a little training to associate a smell with a reward and are about 70% accurate Audio credit: Vox Unexplainable Image Credit: © vladimirfloyd/123rf.com
Go big or go home - skyscrapers post Covid02 June 2021 | 8 Minute Listen
The boom in construction is unprecedented. Humans have built so much that the mass of our built environment probably weighs more than all the living things on the planet. From Forests to livestock and even us, the buildings we have created are now more massive. Life on Earth has been building for billions of years, humans far less so, in a book by David Farrier about how cities will fossilise he notes that just 300 years ago just one location on Earth was home to more than a million people. Edo in Japan, now there are over 500 cities greater than a million with Tokyo now at an incredible 37 million. It is hard to get your head around a city that is two thirds the size of South Africa by population. Johannesburg takes up about 1600 sq km, Tokyo is 2200 sq km but is home to 35 million more people than Joburg. While Japan remains one of the most built up nations on the planet, the progression is that all countries at some point head down the path to urbanise, densify and increase their big infrastructure projects. Since World War II according to Farrier, we have cast enough concrete to pave the entire planet, land and sea. Photo by Edward He on Unsplash