Sign Of The Times (SOTT)

sign of the times - an old discarded computer shows that they are now so commonplace that we have owned a number of them in s short time

There are moments in life when you notice something that stands out as a sign of the times. It can be an image, a statement or, as is often the case for me, something you notice in passing. Whatever it is it crystalises a moment in time in your mind forever. Know what I mean? 

My most recent sign of the times moment was my first sight of a disgarded face mask in the street. It was a once pale green affair now much stained and dishevelled by days or weeks of weather and human traffic. I’ve seen a few since but the first time really captured 2020 more than a million words ever could. How could such an alien device become so commonplace as to become disposable in such a short space of time? We all know the answer now but a year ago only surgeons, London cyclists and people in distant mega cities wore face masks. 

In the mid nineties as I drove to work one morning another “SOTT” image became fixed in my mind. There at the side of the road sat on an old sofa, awaiting collection by Glasgow City Council’s refuse dept, was a computer monitor. By today’s standards it was a laughably dated grey plastic thing the size of an old TV. But back then it was exactly the same as the ones in my house and at work. What struck me about it was that it was evidence that people were already wearing their first computers out. Only a few years before almost no-one had one. 

Turning A Sign Of The Times To Your Advantage

I remember reading somewhere that the first computer took 90 years to build. It filled a large room and couldn’t really do much more than count quickly. 10 years after we all had them we were throwing our first or second, infinitely more powerful personal computers in the trash. Now we carry tiny versions that are many times faster and more powerful that what NASA used to put men on the moon. Science fiction writers used to predict that in the year 2000 we would all have personal robots to take care of our every need. What we got were laptops, smartphones and tablets.

The next sign of the times moment will depend a lot on what our “new normal” finally becomes. Will it be the sight of elderly parents on a Zoom call? Drive in vaccination centres? Whatever it is one thing we can be sure of is the unstoppable march or technology and its impact on our lives. 

Since I saw that sad, discarded cathode ray monitor things have moved fast. Those became flat screen LCD jobs. The computers got faster and faster and began to digitize everything from photos to music. Our smartphones and tablets filled up with apps that could do almost anything for us. Once huge corporations and high street giants were erased by the Internet overnight. They say now that if you are thinking of starting a business it better work on a smartphone.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore The Signs

a backboard with the word opportunity chalked on it. Showing how all crises also offer opportunities.

By 2020 many of us were already leveraging all this good stuff and working online from home. When Covid came along we weren’t affected much – at least financially. But for those that didn’t see the signs and haven’t taken action it’s been disastrous.  

Previous recessions have shown how vulnerable the traditional economy has become. It can be undermined by unethical banking, exponential growth in technology, wars and pandemics. But during all of these things giant internet industries have been gone from ideas to world domination. Google, Facebook and Amazon all started in recessions. 

The Internet has allowed them to become unimaginably wealthy in ways that would not have been possible without it. Google and Facebbok are the world’s biggest advertising platforms yet publish nothing. Facebook is the worlds biggest content portal yet produces none of its own. Amazon’s CEO is set to become the world’s first Trillionaire. 

It’s There If You Want It…

And all of this wealth is shared with anyone who wants it. Google and Facebook allow you to advertsie to ther massive audience and provide you with incredible tools to help. Amazon allows you to set up an FBA (fullfillment by Amazon) Ecommerce business. You supply the products they provide the warehouseing, delivery and customer service. You also benefit from their amazing reputation, vast global market and review platform.

History is littered with examples of how crises create opportunities. The link under this post will take you to a page where you can register for a free “crisis” webinar. Hosted by 8 figure business owner Stuart Ross, it will open your eyes to the online opportunity created by the current Corona virus crisis.  

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