Global Productivity = Technology + IPR

About five hundred years ago, generations that lived apart did not experience any major change in their standard of livings. Global productivity was very low and man was generally poor. Yes, there were empires and kingdoms, but on average the world was on static economic expansion.

But with emergence of mass penetrated technology, things began to change. The industrial revolution was a quintessential moment in modern history. Technology brought productivity and man became richer. Standard of living on average improved. It remains till today that when technology penetrates en mass in any economy, national productivity improves, and living standards advance.

There is another caveat to this argument. Intellectual property right (IPR) is a cardinal part of this productivity. Without it, technology will not improve and innovation is stalled. The old world was an era of absence of IPR and that contributed to a no small measure to the lack of wealth creation. Sure, people invented things in arts, engineering, but there was no wealth created. Lack of IPR prevented meaningful market success in one major way. It prevented the pursuit of innovation since ideas could be stolen and commercialized with no penalty. The return to innovation was very low. That was why the world had many Inventors and few innovators.

Yes, we read about inventors that developed nearly all the engineering principles in use today. They had ideas, bright people and created prototypes. They were celebrated as icons and legends. But many died very poor. They could not transition from inventors to innovators, not because of market issues, but because lack of IPR made it difficult to attract funding since there was no guarantee to success. No funding, no mass commercialization and no human impact. In our contemporary time, the legendary venture capitalists will tell you that if you want to get them involved, you need to have a protected intellectual property.

Two things changed the world: technology and most importantly IPR. Between the two, IPR was more important. Why? Without it, we would still be celebrating inventors with no impact on human lifestyles (just note that I respect inventors; I am one myself since I have filed my own patents).

That brings me to the African challenge. In many parts of the continent, the IPR there is still like the one that existed 500 years ago. It does mean that Africa cannot prosper, if my logic is correct, until they get a practical and working IPR. It does not matter how much aids and loans they get from foreign agencies. Without IPR, nations cannot innovate and without innovation, any economy dies a natural slow death. IPR is the catalyst that drives national technology policy, making it implementable and sustainable. You cannot have a better technology policy than a strong IPR. With strong IPR, inventors could become innovators. Without it, everyone sits on his/her ideas and the nation suffers on productivity.

In essence, Global Productivity = Technology + IPR, and productivity translates into good standard of living. When nations cannot create technology, the LHS of the equation suffers. Also, if they have no IPR, that suffers more. See the reason why Africa is not making progress? It is an illusion when boys and girls in Accra, Lagos, and Nairobi use pirated foreign software, and think they are smart. They never know that it would have been better if their nations have laws to prevent such illegality. With such laws, they have an opportunity of not needing those foreign software by developing their own and selling them locally, profitably. In the absence of the IPR, they cannot do business because immediately they release software in the market; it appears in all shops illegally. After three months, they close their shops! It is a vicious cycle that makes innovation difficult in Africa since no guaranteed return exists. Why invest your hard earned money when there is no law to protect your creations? Why do research? You see why our businesses prefer to import and distribute than create things?

Last year in Lagos, I hosted a workshop for some technology entrepreneurs. Everyone wanted to know how to improve the business climate. I was not interested in the electricity problem. I told them that the biggest problem is lack of IPR in Nigeria. When boys hawk Microsoft Vista for N300 (about $2) openly and no one arrests them, no major creative business can incubate in that land. I told them that without a strong enforceable IPR law, someone will eat into their ideas and they may not succeed, especially if they plan to start making things. My advice to the group was to ask government to enforce existing laws and enact new ones where applicable. I told them it would be difficult for them to have international partners since no one can risk his/her IPR in Nigerian market. Sure, who cares what he says? Alas, one emailed me few days ago explaining how IPR issues prevented him from concluding a partnership with a Chinese firm.

Let me stop now. In conclusion, Africa must strengthen its IPR even as it pursues new technology policies.

Strategies For Business Success on the Global Market

Today’s internet marketers are living in dynamic and exciting time, where technology continues to change the landscape for doing business online. The challenge here for many marketers is to keep relevant with the changes and still maintain success. To this end we must look for the best strategies that will continue to move our online business forward now and beyond.

It can become overwhelming with the many software, social networks and advertising tools being pushed in front of us. The key here is to stay focus on your goals, continue to move forward with personal development and working with that winning strategy you know is working for you. Look for tools you feel is best to meet these goals. The changing dynamics of newer technology have opened up new and different ways to building success on the internet, so it is important that we be guided by our inner knowing as to what is best for us.

Here are some strategies that can and will develop you as successful internet marketers.
1. Exercise your Faith.
2. Believed in what you are doing and be determine to see it succeed.
3. Look for opportunities that aligned closely with your passion.
4. Embrace change with an open mind.
6. Never stop developing your capability.
7. Always challenge yourself to go further than others are willing to go.
8. Closed the doors to negativity.
9. Be creative
10. Always be vigilant of that opportunities that will meet the needs of people not only in your community but also globally.

Let the listed strategies define what we stand for as internet marketers and hopefully they will distinguish ourselves from other marketers who compete for the same market share. Continue to strive for that extraordinary internet marketer, changing the lives of others while earning that extra income.

Strategies For Reaching Global Markets – Licensing

In today’s increasingly competitive and continuously evolving global business environment, many businesses are searching for new ways to reach the global market. While large corporations have been competing globally and outsourcing to foreign economies for a period of time now, many small businesses are beginning to enter the global scene in an effort to remain competitive and fuel greater revenues. There are many different ways to access the global market through a number of different strategies, but this article will focus on product licensing, and how entrepreneurs can make use of licensing in order to become more efficient, keep overhead low, and still realize considerable profit margins.

The act of licensing is paying royalty fees to a foreign manufacturer in order to produce goods under a companies trademark. In essence, you are allowing a foreign company to produce your products. Generally, a company representative will meet with the foreign manufacturer in order to set up a licensing agreement. The benefits of licensing include decreased costs of production and the eliminated hassle of managing a local production facility. Often, a licensing agreement will still allow the company, or licensor, to oversee distribution, promotion, or consulting, and other aspects of the business.

Foreign licensing agreements have been very profitable for a number of today’s larger corporations, including Nike, Schweppes, and even Walt Disney. In China, many of Disney’s theme park operations are overseen and operated by a Tokyo company, and Disney simply collects management and consulting fees for the operations. While licensors often spend little money to enter into a licensing agreement, and still has the ability to generate revenues, there are still a number of disadvantages for the licensor.

Many times, licensors must enter into a licensing contract for an extensive period of time, sometimes twenty years or longer, and if the product experiences rapid growth during this period of time, the majority of the profits belong to the licensee. For this reason, a carefully crafted licensing agreement is often needed. Perhaps one of the biggest disadvantages of licensing for many companies, however, is based on the fact that through consulting, the company is actually selling its technology and expertise to the offshore licensee.

When a foreign company has the ability to learn the methods and practices of the licensor, there is often the threat that the licensee will break the contract or agreement and begin manufacturing the product on its own. Although the licensee is prohibited from using the trademark or company name of the product, many of these companies are often able to produce the same products under a different name. One of the clearest examples of this can be seen with the increase in knock off or OEM products being produced in China and then marketed back to the US and other countries. American companies have sought to minimize the damage of this within the US by attempting to restrict the sale of these kinds of goods in the US.

Global Market for Next Generation Sequencing – By Products and End Users

Next generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionized the field of Biotechnology and Medicine. Applications of NGS are not only in research but also in diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and forensic science. It is replacing all the traditional technologies such as Microarray and Sanger sequencing. The NGS market has a CAGR of 20% between 2014 and 2020 and is estimated to reach $20 billion in 2020. NGS technology has increased the precision of DNA sequencing also making it faster and cost effective. This reduction in cost has made the technology more accessible to the fields of research and healthcare.

The NGS technology not only relies on the advanced instruments but also Reagents and kits and services like the data interpretation and diagnosis. Thus, there is an increasing demand for the products and services associated with NGS contributing to the growth of the submarkets. NGS is widely used in diagnosis of bacterial and viral diseases. NGS has also become popular because of its use in genetic testing to diagnose and predict diseases such as cancer and inherited genetic diseases.

A large investment is being made in the field of medical research by not only governments but also a number of pharmaceutical companies. Since NGS is one of the important technologies used in most fields of medical and drug research, there is an increasing demand for this technology in research institutes and R & D laboratories of Pharmaceutical companies. There is an increasing incidence of diseases like cancer, which requires fast and correct diagnosis for prevention and treatment. In recent years, a global outbreak of bacterial and viral epidemics in is increasing the demand for advanced technologies like NGS in the healthcare setup. These factors are the drivers for the NGS market. The only constraint of this technology is the requirement of skilled professionals to handle the equipment and analyze the data generated. There is also a need for data management services to handle the enormous volumes of data generated.

North America holds the largest share of the NGS market because of countries such as USA and Canada which have large healthcare setups and advanced technology. This is closely followed by Europe where countries such as UK, Sweden and Germany also have a big demand for NGS. The fastest growing market is Asia, as countries such as China, India and Japan are making large investments in healthcare and medical research. There is an also increased incidence of epidemic outbreaks in these countries contributing to the growing NGS market.

The key players in the market are Roche Holding Ag, Agilent Technologies, BGI (Beijing Genomic Institute), Qiagen, Illumina Inc., Thermo Fischer Scientific and Pacific Biosciences.

The New Global Marketplace Requires the Versatility of a Swiss Army Knife

On our last trip to Zurich, Switzerland, my son wanted my husband and me to bring him back an authentic Swiss Army knife. Steve and I shopped until we found the ultimate knife as pictured above and brought it home to Mark.

It was well made, had solid craftsmanship, and was true to its core selling point: it was knife! But it was not just a knife – it was anything from a cork screw to a fingernail file. If you ever owned or examined one of these knives, you may have marveled at its versatility as I did. When I held the knife in my hand and personally opened each implement, I realized the knife was scary!

Thomas Friedman, author of the popular book, The World is Flat, says that 21st Century employees need to be as versatile as a Swiss Army knife – the worldwide icon for function, durability, and ingenuity. Freidman recommends that individuals be well founded in their core identity and well rounded in their ability to respond to many different types of job requirements.

From my experience, individuals tend to be a jack-of-all-trades and master of none or an absolute powerhouse with tunnel vision. Which one rings true to your personality?

The mantra for the past several years has been ‘do more with less’ so it should come as no surprise that the global marketplace demands us to be true to our core characteristics as the powerhouse of performance yet destroy tunnel vision and master more skills – or resemble a Swiss Army knife.

In a Swiss Army knife, the tunnel vision or core tools are a large blade and a small blade. Then you start with options and can chose paraphernalia from can openers and tweezers to toothpicks and a Phillips screwdriver. Don’t forget the pliers with a wire cutter and wire crimper.

Think about your core strengths. Are they in sales and marketing, technology, business management, human resources, research and design, etc.?

Now from the wish list below, put a check by the characteristics that if developed, would make you more functional and add value to your resume. Even a jack-of-all-trades should find something on this list he/she could improve.

Start each sentence with “I am”:

__ Committed to providing total quality work
__ Punctual, trustworthy and dependable
__ Competent at managing responsibilities in a high-pressure environment
__ Cooperative with a wide range of personalities
__ Accomplished at gaining trust and winning a customer’s confidence
__ A good communicator in both verbal and written communication skills
__ Effective in completing assignments despite changing priorities
__ Good at identifying, analyzing, and solving problems
__ A team player and consistently contribute to team production
__ Resourceful in solving problems and maximizing resources
__ Enthusiastic and optimistic
__ Skilled in handling the public with diplomacy and professionalism
__ Good at adapting to new equipment and technology
__ Capable of organizing workflow, ideas, materials, people
__ Skilled at working with people with diverse backgrounds
__ Excellent as a leader

This list is to get you started thinking about the different skill sets you could develop that would make you more valuable to your organization, as valuable as a Swiss Army knife is to the outdoorsman. When you develop skills in addition to your core strengths, you will find the versatility puts you in a unique echelon of achievers.