JimPinto.com - Connections for Growth & Success
No. 37 : March 18, 2001
Business, marketing & futures commentary.
New attitudes, no platitudes.
- Human Cloning - When will it happen?
- Cluetrain Comments
- Tech Review : Microfluidics
- Superthin Batteries
- Disposable Cellphones
- 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."
Human Cloning Foundation
"As for infertile couples, 'We are interested in giving people the gift of
- TIME Magazine February 19, 2001.
The benefits of Human Cloning
Ethical Aspects of Human Cloning
Many Oppose Human Cloning
Here are the first 6 of the 95 Cluetrain Manifesto theses :
- Markets are conversations.
- Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.
- Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.
- Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting
arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural,
- People recognize each other as such from the sound of this voice.
- 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
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.
Read the 95 theses and sign The ClueTrain Manifesto
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:
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
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
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
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.
MIT Tech Review story on Microfluidics
Mycometrix, the Caltech Microfluidics startup
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
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.
My introduction to The Cluetrain Manifesto raised a lot of e-discussion!
Perry Sink [email@example.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 Mag Epiphany in China - by Perry Sink
Alfonso Padilla from Mexico [firstname.lastname@example.org] 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 &
Doug Bailey [email@example.com] was not so positive about Cluetrain :
"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'."
"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 [firstname.lastname@example.org] 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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