JimPinto.com - Connections for Growth & Success™
No. 37 : March 18, 2001

Business, marketing & futures commentary.
New attitudes, no platitudes.
Stay e-tuned....

  • Human Cloning - When will it happen?
  • Cluetrain Comments
  • Tech Review : Microfluidics
  • Superthin Batteries
  • Disposable Cellphones
  • eFeedback
    • Cluetrain Manifesto Pros and Cons
    • Automation-decline - too much stuff
    • Mergers & acquisitions - the people-cost

Human cloning - when?

The recent news that human cloning has been made legal in Italy is just a precursor of what will happen throughout the world within the next few years. Many are fearful and horrified at the thought that human cloning will even be attempted. But, others point out the significant benefits that will result.

We must recognize that whatever is possible will inevitably happen. It is clear that our social, legal, ethical, moral, theological and spiritual principles will need to be re-evaluated in the light of several biotechnology advances that will take place in the next decades. One can simply hide and avoid, or look at the possibilities with an open-minded, healthy attitude to face reality and progress.

    "Researchers hope that one day, the ability to clone adult human cells will make it possible to 'grow' new hearts and livers and nerve cells."

    "As for infertile couples, 'We are interested in giving people the gift of life'."

      - TIME Magazine February 19, 2001.

Click Human Cloning Foundation

Click The benefits of Human Cloning

Click Ethical Aspects of Human Cloning

Click Many Oppose Human Cloning

Cluetrain Comments

Here are the first 6 of the 95 Cluetrain Manifesto theses :
  1. Markets are conversations.
  2. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.
  3. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.
  4. Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived.
  5. People recognize each other as such from the sound of this voice.
  6. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.

The essence of Cluetrain is that person-to-person Internet communication is causing a revolutionary change in the marketplace. The old corporate hierarchy - which puts out the "official version" and the "authorized press release" is being completely subverted by the truth that comes from the ranks.

Frankly, my JimPinto.com eNews is generating an amazing view (for me) of the "real-inside-story". The truth comes from real people in the bowels of these companies, from sales, marketing, accounting, customer-service, manufacturing. They voice their fears and resentment to the outside, simply because no one else in their own hierarchy seems to be listening. They e-mail me at JimPinto.com, telling about Veeps who boondoggle off to Europe at company expense "with a girl-friend"; and the high salaries of the boss who "does nothing but kiss ass"; and "robbing tomorrows profits to make today's balance sheet - and their bonus - look good"; and the department-head who "just got a big pay increase after laying off half the department", etc. etc.

Now, some of these inputs are clearly biased and some may even be mis-informed; but with multiple data-points, the truth becomes evident and results speak for themselves.

I'm not sure what JimPinto.com can do with all this uncomfortable "truth". Perhaps we should publish a new eTruth newsletter....

My friends, let me assure you that everyone who is anyone is indeed already listening. Companies and people who are milking the old hierarchy will soon be discarded as dinosaurs in the new economy.

Click Read the 95 theses and sign The ClueTrain Manifesto

Buy the Cluetrain book Go buy the bookThe Cluetrain Manifesto

Tech Review: Microfluidics

The Jan/Feb 2001 MIT Review Technology Trends listed their selection of the 10 most important technology trends:

Click MIT Tech Review 10

Microfluidics is a promising new branch of biotechnology that many industry observers predict will do for biotech what the transistor did for electronics. Controlling fluids at the microscale allows automating key experiments for genomics and pharmaceutical development, performing instant diagnostic tests, building implantable drug-delivery devices - on mass-produced chips.

Just recently a team at CalTech unveiled a set of microfabricated valves and pumps - a critical first step in developing technology general enough to work for any microfluidics application, to make microfluidic devices cheaper. The products are cast out of soft silicone rubber in reusable molds, using "soft lithography" - which has the potential to allow mass-produced, disposable microfluidic chips that make possible everything from drug discovery on a massive scale to at-home tests for common infections.

A recent VC-based startup called Mycometrix is commercializing the tools developed by the researchers at Caltech. This microfluidics technology is proving to be overwhelmingly advantageous over macroscopic equivalents and is yielding functionality unavailable until now. These capabilities are the result of breakthroughs in active fluidic devices, surface chemistry, material science, and optical instrumentation. Mycometrix's biochips provide order of magnitude sensitivity increases and unparalleled flexibility by actively manipulating very small volumes (femtoliters) of fluid.

The competition in this burgeoning arena will be intense. Several startups and even electronics giants like Hewlett-Packard and Motorola are getting in on the game.

Click MIT Tech Review story on Microfluidics

Click Mycometrix, the Caltech Microfluidics startup

Superthin batteries

Powerpaper is a new battery technology that can produce ultra-thin and flexible batteries in almost any shape and size. These batteries are inexpensive and simple to produce, through the use of a printing process, and are claimed to be completely safe, non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

Click Powerpaper Technology

Disposable cellphone

This type of superthin technology is now giving birth to a number of new products that are pushing the envelope of "disposable" high-tech products : Phone-card Cellphones, paper-thin laptops, etc.

Diceland is making a disposable outgoing-only cell phone made of paper that they plan to sell for $10, later this year. It's claimed to be about the size of a triple-thick credit card, is made from recycled paper, and will sell at supermarket checkout counters and the like with 60-minutes of prepaid calling time. When you use up the time, you can toss the phone, or add time through your credit card.

Click Diceland DTC-products

Click Disposable Cellphone


My introduction to The Cluetrain Manifesto raised a lot of e-discussion! Perry Sink [perrys@synergetic.com] of Synergetic Micro Systems e-wrote :
    "After reading your newsletter, I sent a memo to all our sales and marketing people with a copy of your comments. There's a piece about the Cluetrain Manifesto I also included in a recent editorial in Manufacturing Automation:

Click Automation Mag Epiphany in China - by Perry Sink

Alfonso Padilla from Mexico [padilla1@data.net.mx] wrote about my previous comments on Rockwell Automation, and brought up Cluetrain in that context :

    "Considering Rockwell is under fire, it seems that the Cluetrain Manifesto needs to be thoroughly distributed all along the Rockwell's intranet, as well as some printed copies posted on their news boards, in their corridors and near their office water-coolers. As a user I have had to suffer from their stiffness and lack of flexibility. They haven't yet heard the time bomb ticking. There are more than a dozen theses where they fit and perhaps inspired the Cluetrain authors."

Alfonso Padilla continues, with comments on the people-costs of mergers & acquisitions :

    "The merger or acquisition of a once successful corporation is doubtlessly a defeat and somehow smells of death. However, depending on their assets, some corporations are like cats, and get a second, a third chance, but there is limit. I don't remember any case of a merged or acquired business that survived too many transitions, except in the mind (and perhaps in the heart) of those loyal workers who have spent a lifetime there and suddenly aren't moved when the company 'evolves'."

Doug Bailey [jdbailey@flash.net] was not so positive about Cluetrain :

    "I just read Chapter 1 - what a load of hedonistic drivel! His world vision reminds me of a group of spoiled children clamoring for attention..."look at me, look at me...see how smart I am...watch me, watch me...see me run...look at me - I can balance on one foot!" Chapter 1 is full of clichés, oversimplifications, misinformation and emotional rhetoric. It is easy to be a "RageBoy" and to rail against everything when the interface is anonymous - just like the freeway drivers today - because they are "incident anonymous" they can and do behave atrociously - no civilizing filters are necessary. I fear that Christopher Locke has been seduced by the Us/Them Siren and listens only to the angry voices which are crying for attention - not reform. He needs to have more human interface and less electronic anonymity."

David Leske [davidl@foxboro.com.au] from Australia brought up a couple of my recent article - Automation in Decline and Inflection Point and referred to recent articles which comment on there being "too much stuff".

Here are some quotes :

    "Questions are being asked in developed economies that would have previously been unimaginable. Are efficient management methods resulting in the production of too much stuff? Is there a limit to which markets can be saturated with industrial products?"

    "We are awash with industrial products, a big factor behind the low levels of inflation in the 1990s, as intense supply pressure depressed prices."

    "One aspect of the "excess stuff" phenomenon is the rising number of transactions. ... The increased emphasis on exchanges is fundamentally changing the industrial landscape. For one thing, there is a tendency to focus on the moment of exchange and not the system as a whole."

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