My #2016 #Technology #Predictions

What is going to happen in the tech world in 2016?

This article is another version of the article I published in Linkedin about technology changes in 2016.  You can read that article (same pretty much, by clicking here on Linkedin if you want to follow me there.  The reason I repost my articles is Linkedin is not very diligent at getting my articles outside of Linkedin.

If you have read Innevitable Surprises by Peter Schwartz, you will understand why I think these things will happen. He has a theoretical way of predicting things and I just use his theories to come up with these “hair-brain” ideas.  Here are my tech predictions for 2016.

2016 Technology Predictions

1. Periscope Paid Services
I think that Periscope will figure out a way they can let users pay for services and let other users to make money from these services in both marketplaces and private sessions.  My prediction is that Periscope will become one of the faster growth revenue models in 2016.  I can only imagine what these services will be. But let’s just say video conferences, tours, etc. Somebody is going to make some money here, and as many who follow me know, I find Periscope very compelling!

2. The iBook
I have been waiting for Apple to introduce a version of the iPad that has two sides and closes up like a book.  It makes total sense because then you can close her up and not smash the screen.  Come on Apple, you have pretty much made every other kind of iPad thingy. Plus humans are used to reading books like books not like smartphones!

3.  The Drone Car
Why not? This was bound to happen!  We have seen so many of these drones moving packages and zipping around everywhere. I predict we will see a drone based vehicle for humans as a prototype in 2016.

4. Real Equity Tech Crowd Funding
This is the year you will be able to buy very early shares in the next Apple, Priceline or Twitter.  The government is passing Title 3 and Title 4 in 2016.  It is real and basically it will allow you to buy a couple hundred dollars worth of shares in early startups, long before Venture Capital comes into the picture!  And Venture Capital is not happy about the fact that you can get ahead of them.  It is a big time opportunity for the little investor out there!

5. Interactive Picture Frames
We have all seen those cheap digital picture frames you can buy at Wal-Mart.  I think that this year we will see cheap interactive digital picture frames.  So now you can not just watch pictures of your relatives, but it can ring and say hello!  This is good and cool, but kind of creepy.  This should be the year for that interactive video phone frame right on the wall!

6. Clouds In The Closet
I have come across this idea several times.  Right now we all work with cloud computing at some data center, some where out there.  I think a lot of companies will be bringing a new type of technology in-house for a lot of reasons.  It will however resemble and interact with the cloud.  This is really another Internet of Things concept, but the cloud comes home baby!

7. Mechanic In Your Car
The founder of Waze is working diligently on building an interactive marketplace where mechanics can access your cars remotely, bid on fixing your problem and monitor your car.  It’s a definite thing about to happen.  Market forces are working themselves out on this one, but they are focused and dis-inter-mediation is coming soon! (That’s an MBA term for removing the middle man).  Not sure who the middle man is in this case, but it is happening.

8. Big Guys Offer Beacon Services
I think Apple and Google are going to be crushing the beacon market with a variety of services that let anybody from retail to hospitals (who will pay) know when people arrive, where they go in the building and lots of other stats.  We see a ton of small companies trying to enter this market, but it really will take Apple and Google to do it to make it happen. Why is it going to happen big time?  Because it is the next evolution in Geospatial services!

9. Home Automation China Black Boxes
I predict a number of amazing products will come out of China that will assist in automating the home cheaply and efficiently, which can be purchased at Wal-Mart.  What will they be.  Well, how about a little black box that monitors your air quality.  How about one that is a connected smoke detector?  How about one to test your water?  How about one to monitor your kids?  How about one to monitor your plants.  Well, you get the picture.  Little black boxes for you and me to pop on the wifi to do little chores!

10. The End Of Cable As We Know It
I think 2016 will result in Internet based companies Netflix, Apple and Chrome (Google) and a few others offering a complete way out of Cable with all the “live” channels you want.  And take that Comcast!  I think that this is long overdue and there seems to have been a quiet period, but tech is growing exponentially.  Whatever the next evolution of this tech it will arrive and take the world by storm, because obviously what Comcast and AT&T offer right now is pretty much crap!

That is my prediction for 2016.  Let’s see if any of these hair-brained ideas happen!  If you want to challenge me or add any more then please add more on my original Linkedin article by clicking here. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/tech-predictions-2016-tech2016-dan-gudema?trk=hp-feed-article-title-like

Let’s come back to this article next year and compare notes, and see how many I have hit the nail on the head with!

By the way, how do I come up with these ideas.

Well, I run a tech startup pitch event in Boca Raton and work as a startup consultant, build brochure and eCommerce websites and have written a couple books about the Internet, tech and startups.

The company I run is called StartupPOP @ http://startupPOP.com.  StartupPOP is running a tech startup pitch event monthly in South Florida!  However, we are expanding nationally!

We are looking for local event planners to run our startup pitch events in other US cities.

 

Are you looking for a way to expand your networking and succeed with YOUR OWN event locally and still want to be part of a national organization?

If you think you have the capability to run a startup pitch event locally in your city or town and are interested in working with our national organization to learn how to do the event correctly, drive traffic, monetize the event and succeed at it then please sign up here on StartupPOP.com and we can start to have a conversation.  You don’t have to leave the day job.  You don’t have to be a startup expert, though we do prefer you have some inclination towards startups (like you like them at least!).  You need to be able to use a web interface, speak in front of small crowds, have some organization abilities and be somewhat optimistic!  If you are a consultant and already looking for clients, then this is perfect for you!  If you are already running a Meetup Networking group related to Startups, you can also join us and co-run your event with our pitch event! There could be even some money made from each event.  Let me know if you are interested in this part-time job!

Thank,

Dan Gudema
dan@startuppop.com

How I Overcame My Fear Of #Selling

How I Overcame My Fear Of #Selling

I used to think that selling was a skill you were born with.

In fact, I always attributed my lack of ability to convert a prospect into a sale to my genetic, passive nature and my tech brain.

I was wrong!

Over the past 25 years I spent much of my time in management and technology related roles solving problems.  Developing the ability to solve problems is counter-intuitive to developing selling skills.

If you are an engineer, manager, director or VP (especially in IT) you don’t have to sell much of anything to anybody.  What you do in most of these roles is technically solve issues, which does not require selling.

My first experience and failure in sales was back in 1997 when I joined a consulting tech startup company in Fort Lauderdale, FL.  (Shout out to Solayre Media if you are still out there)  We were selling MapInfo solutions to a variety of South Florida corporations. I went into the role for a few months and basically never closed a sale.

I blamed myself for just not being a good salesmen.  In my defense we had a crappy product and a competitor called MapQuest crushed our market.  Let’s just say I never asked for a sale. I left with a bad taste in my mouth and a lesson.

I decided that sales was not for me.  I was destined to not be in sales, and I felt that sales was somewhat demoralizing.  That’s because it requires thick skin and often lots of attempts before you succeed.

I generally felt that sales sucked!

From that point forward I went into more technical, management and marketing roles, where I felt it would be a better fit for my personality.

But always lurking in the back of my mind has been the fact that I really do want to sell.  Though I knew I was a failure at it!

10 years later I developed a sophisticated software solution that powered several national event companies.  That solution is called Take It National. I wanted additional customers so I started to make sales calls and I set up a few sales meetings.

My wife came along with me on one of those Take It National sales meetings.  I thought I did well.  She is an expert at selling.  She said nothing during the meeting. Afterwards she looked at me and said “That was the worst sales call I have ever been on”.  She pointed out that I never got the contract out of my briefcase and I never asked for the sale!  I talked about everything but the sale.

Too much product talk is apparently a distraction when closing the sale I learned.

This lead me deeper into my fear of sales.  I never closed a deal for Take It National other than the basic clients it was built for, which is Pre-Dating Speed Dating.

It was not that my software package was flawed.  In fact it is quite a killer solution. It was not that it was hard to implement or difficult to understand.  It was and still is quite a good Saas application.

My wife pointed out you always have to ask for the sale and have a contract ready to be signed at the meeting or on the phone!

My wife was brutally honest, pointing out every mistake I made. I fell even deeper into my fear of sales.

Over the next year or two I ended up in a new business development role. This was going deeper into sales not away from it!  That means I went on sales calls, many sales calls selling high end web development.

The good news is I relied on my team members to be the closer.  I just brought in the leads and handed them off.  I became an amazing lead gen guy.

Meanwhile I was going deeper into the path of sales with my career, even though I felt I sucked at it.  The team did close a few projects I brought it, here and there.  It was not my sale though.  I still feared the sales process.

We attempted to raise capital for a startup at the same time.  As part of the startup process I went around and gave pitches.  Once again we did not raise the capital we required.  I was feeling like my ability to sell was pretty flawed!

Finally, when we founded StartupPOP, our startup marketing agency, which does business plans and small eCommerce and brochure websites for small to medium sized companies,  I faced a major dilemma.  I had to sell or I would be out of business!  To be in a “consulting” business you have to get contracts signed and checks in the door!

I was a 49 year old sales rookie trying out for the major leagues!

I had never really understood that selling is a critical part of our working lives.

We can’t hide from sales.

We have to sell our products and services.

We have to sell our ideas.

We have to sell ourselves as employees.

We have to sell investors when raising capital.

We have to sell people all around us the idea that we are better and deserve more because…we really deserve more.  If you just asked for it!

Working a job at a big corporation temporarily shields those of us who don’t want to face up to the fact that we will need to sell ourselves.  (If you read my other posts, I get into how I have never got a job from a job interview.  Let’s chalk that up to my inability to sell myself).

So faced with not being able to pay the bills, needing to make my startup agency work financially, I have had to buy into the concept I can sell.  Yes I can!  In fact, I have.  Ok, I have closed a dozen jobs or so.  Not that much actually.  But it is something for me personally that is a major breakthrough!

What I have found is that anybody can sell.  You just have to ask for the sale! And I have discovered that it really is a numbers game.  Sometimes you have to fail 9 times to succeed 1 time or fail 99 times to succeed 1 time. There is a formula to selling and volume can change your success.

Never Sell With Your Own Wallet!

My favorite quote from my wife is “never sell with your own wallet”.  It means you can not take the customer’s perspective.  If you do, you end up either convincing them not to buy or end up with a lower sales price.

Why should you never sell with yourself as the buyer?

Because if you put yourself in the shoes of the customer, you probably don’t want to buy what you are selling!  But this does not matter!  You can’t think like that! You are not the customer!  You need to close the deal!

So, faced with all of this, when I got the first contract for StartupPOP in front of a client to sign, the client did not know I was a rookie.  In fact he thought I have been doing this all my life.  I found out that selling is a facade.  You just need to appear to be the sales expert.  Beside, what does that require other than the ability to ask for it!

If you feel like I did that you suck at selling, you are probably right!  But, that does not mean you will suck at it in the future.  You can easily overcome some of the issues I did by simply following step by step the process of asking for a sale. And you will be surprised like I was, that people will sign your contract and let you close them eventually…

So it is true.  Always be closing.

Always be prepared to close and take a check, a credit card or Paypal payment. Don’t go to a sales meeting without a contract ready to be signed and the ability to be paid!  Ask for the sale.  There often is no second chance. You can always give the money back if you don’t produce.  But you will never succeed if you don’t ask.

You may think poorly of me, that it took me a lifetime to figure out how to simply ask for a sale, but I know many people who have yet to sell anybody anything in their careers.

We are entering a new world order where many of us will not work at large corporations ever again.  Most tech workers in the future will be independent consultants, free-lancers, oDeskers and Thumbtacks!  We need to get ourselves ready for this world and selling is the critical ingredient required to succeed!

To hire StartupPOP to develop your business plan or small eCommerce or brochure website please email me at dan@startuppop.com.

By the way, just want to mention that we are running a startup pitch event in Boca Raton, Florida on Dec 8 where 10 startup companies get up and pitch their startup. Here is the info: http://www.meetup.com/Boca-Raton-Tech-Start-ups-Meetup/events/226038039/

Have a great day and start preparing to sell in your near future!

[This post was originally posted in Linkedin as https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-i-overcame-my-fear-selling-dan-gudema?trk=mp-author-card, but as far as I can see Linkedin does not let Linkedin Posts get indexed by Google, so repost them here.]

Dan Gudema
dan@startuppop.com