Is fast change for something as lowly as a smoke detector worth 3.2 billion dollars US? Even if we throw in a very smart thermostat?
That remains to be seen.
Google spent a lot of money on Nest so there is fast change to come.
What is fascinating about the smoke alarm part of this story is how long it took for someone to turn a small appliance that is arguably one the most hated battery operated circles found in a modern home.
Many, many batteries have been pulled out after gut wrenching reactions to false alarms.
I can vouch for that. Despite the knowledge that a home without smoke detectors is an unsafe place (I had a girlfriend who had two of her houses burn down in childhood- she seemed to take pleasure in that piercing scream) all of ours are unhooked. They are (uh, were) hardwired and I swear they got into all the other systems in the house and just plain possessed it.
Every time we have a mechanical problem I blame it on the smoke alarms.
Imagine my glee when I saw the Nest alarm at our local Home Depot!
Get out (pun intended) an alarm that looks good? And one you can wave a hand under to stop the screaming? (yes I know you can do that with newspaper with the old one, but that is usually what has caused the alarm to go off in our house).
There is a very interesting change element to this.
The thing is expensive- $129 here in the US. Loading up the house could push you over a thousand bucks if you grab the thermostat too.
How much you wanna bet these things are all OVER the place in 5 years?
To see the two sides to this, those who would stick with those old hated alarms and those who will be sucked in by the siren song (ha, couldn’t resist) of this fancy newfangled alarm, go to, “Nest Gives the Lowly Smoke Detector a Brain — And a Voice”. I found it hard to pick a side.
I do need some new smoke alarms though…
Sometimes it takes forever for Fast Change. Finally someone has taken on the hated smoke alarm.
Today’s Fast Change falls into the, “this is totally practical” category.
So you have a hybrid or, better, a fully electric, car and you neglected to plug it in last night. In the future (as in now, of course the Google execs are already using their own version), not to worry, the MANHOLES will charge your car! So basically every time you sit at a stoplight or park your car in just the right place, you get some extra juice.
This is funny because a few months back I put my WII remote on the conductive charging pad and thought, “how cool would it be to do this with an electric car”. Footfall for electricity was my other thought that ended up happening.
I know where you are going with this manhole cover for power thing. That would be way too expensive. Just another thing to add to the price of my next car. Who is going to pay for the electricity? I can just imagine the jerk who won’t move on a green light.
All change starts with an idea. Defining the idea begins the change process. When one or two people beside the idea originator say, “that’s cool” or “that just might be possible” actual change has begun. Fast Change Around Us- Wireless Manhole Covers.
It had to happen.
Pizza cutting absolutely HAS to be accurate.
When I create a pizza from scratch (even the dough- impressed?) I want my slices to come to the guests in front of the TV Laser Perfect.
(Actually not, but I think I need this tool).
Finally we have the tool for that.
Sometimes change just does not come Fast Enough.
Behold the laser pizza cutter!!
I wonder if we could use this or at least something with laser on it for change?
- Cut through the pile of solutions to get to root causes.
- Aim the dot at that one stakeholder that is bound to hold this thing up and then cut a path to participation.
- Cut out all of the things that are historical and extraneous to the future (in perfect disposable slices).
- Cut off a big slice of executive pay- this disparity really has gotten extremely ridiculous.
- Cut out a slice of down time for everyone in perfectly spaced increments.
- Cut out all the overlapping technology.
- Cut out the middle people (I guess I should be careful with that- theoretically I am a form of a middle person).
- Cut out the whining, into little teeny slices that we could just fling into the wind.
The Laser Pizza Cutter! We SO needed this. Fast Change Around Us has come through again.
On my return from a speaking engagement recently my kids made a bee line to my brand new conference bag. (You know the one that goes straight to the goodwill pile). Kids KNOW there will be tchotchkes in there! My oldest found the conference pen that, “OMG has a stylus, that is SO cool!”.
She spent a day or two running around with that stylus pen texting all her friends.
It turns out the stylus has some history:
- Egyptians used reeds from the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for styli. In some ways clay tablets are not so different from screens.
- Up to the late Middle Ages you could use a stylus on a wax tablet.
- Styli are used for pottery, tracing designs on carbon paper and embossing.
- Remember those styli that gave us music?
And, of course, the kind we think of, computer styli.
First the stylus was an actual writing implement, then drawing got added as a use, computers came along and it became a tapping device, then drawing got added, now you can tap and draw (and letter if you want) on the same device.
The fast change for the stylus used for a phone is kind of comical:
I remember my first Treo had an oh-so-cool slot on the side of the phone to store the stylus!
Then styli disappeared (when was the last time you saw someone use one?).
Phones had to have styli because they were so small, then screens got bigger so they were not needed. But the keys stayed about the same size (why is it that women seem to be texting more than men? Gender or finger size?). It takes forever to hunt and peck (an antiquated term for typing) with a stylus, but is much more accurate than the three-key-with-one-finger method.
First those styli were cool. Then they were not. Now they are, but only if you are 12. (and not likely for very long at that).
Fast Change Around Us- the stylus that appears, disappears and reappears.
When social media and advanced technology (going to space is high on the advanced list) come together we have Space Fast Change Around Us. Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut, has created a video series to help answer all those living in space questions. I am not one to go to videos (I would rather search text and picture based- videos seem too slow and are too time consuming). But…
This series makes me understand how people can get completely absorbed in videos and burn an incredible amount of time. We have permission for this series though because we are learning right?
We all need to know how to:
Brush our teeth in space
Sleep in space
Wash our hands in space
Cook spinach in space (to have Popeye energy for all those spacewalks)
Make a peanut butter & honey sandwich in space
Because I know you are curious: How to use the toilet in space
This is Fast Change Around Us: the ability to look at a long list of videos of people living in space. What’s next, virtually accompanying a group of astronauts on a Martian picnic?
My favorite company on the planet (just ahead of iRobot) announced its plans for a nationwide (US) network of charging stations that Tesla owners can use… FOR FREE! That is Fast Change we can all grab on to.
I love to use visuals with my change engagements, especially when the change has some element of building over time. Maybe multiple pilots spread throughout the world, or a picture of behaviors that build on each other- anything to show the picture of this change building momentum.
As a stakeholder (I am saving my pennies for a Tesla- and I don’t even like cars, I have the SUV) watching this map get filled in is going to be thrilling:
If I had that Tesla I could drive to Los Angeles for FREE!
Coming out of the grocery store the other day a Tesla pulled out of a parking spot and rolled by with that soon to be telltale sound of four tires rolling on the ground, and nothing more. I know there are other hybrids out there that are just as quiet, but somehow the Tesla is different. The Tesla is sleek, the Tesla is blazing fast and the Tesla is completely electric (not just electric when it decides to be).
As a side note: there is a movement to add sound to electric cars to make them safer for pedestrians. Please no! Can you imagine what it would be like if the majority of the cars out there were silent electric? Can’t we just teach behavior change to pedestrians as part of this engagement?
Drive from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles for free with a Tesla. I am off to surf and see how much “free” costs now.
“Things Come Apart” is work by Todd McLellan.
There are so many things about this art I like, because of the tie I see to my end state focus for change.
For this particular example (go to the link and see the others, fascinating) imagine a tool powerful enough to cut down large trees. Or start higher and imagine clearing an area within a grove of trees for some other purpose). What could that tool do? How would it benefit you or others? Would it provide function? Purpose? Be something you could show off to others? Function, Form and Emotion.
Now work backwards. You have the task of designing this tool down to the last part. You may also have the task of describing the environment it will be used in and why.
I can imagine you would think this has to have a blade (the bigger the tree the longer the blade- see in our first step we have already added flexibility. If you just started to design this tool without working backwards you might have to redesign many of the individual parts). It has to have a motor. It has to have some safety components (yikes- if it can cut a tree…well). Maybe it will need a splash of color for emotional appeal or attachment.
Your walk backwards might just create the parts and pieces we have in our picture.
In this case, if you are mechanically inclined or just imaginative, you can probably put the parts together in your mind. You can go from the whole (end state) of cutting down a tree or clearing a spot, to the gear in the bottom right corner that obviously turns something- likely the chain that makes this cutting all happen.
Maybe it is a change management thing, but I can look at all of Todd McClellan’s artwork and in my mind put together and take apart. Just like I do on client initiatives for tools, process and behaviors.
A couple of my engagements locally have allowed me to bike or jog to and from work.
Most of my clients have showers or gyms on site or close by so this is an easy way to squeeze in the workout that always gets missed.
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so sticking to this gives me some eco-bragging rights.
A possible new location for a client site sent me to Google. I figured it was too far away to run every day, but might be perfect for biking.
I chose bike as the mode of transit and Google gave me the coolest map I have seen in a long time:
Not only do I now know how to ride the 12.2 miles to the client site, but I have a map of EVERY bike trail in a 15 mile circle (or bigger with one click of that minus sign). This is totally cool fast change around us.
This search was meant to be a “road bike to work” query.
Now I see a Mountain Bike is in order!
All the green surrounding the bike trails is hills, grass, OPEN SPACE. Hills mean views. Strategic thinkers LOVE to be on top of hill- above it all!
Mapping all the bike trails in your neighborhood Fast Change Around Us is instantly usable, functional and by the looks of the map I got, even artistic.
Our house, which we bought 5 years into a remodel, is now 10+ years into that remodel.
As we contemplate and save for the next round of improvements the first version begins to fall apart. The latest is our blinds. We have those cool wood slats that can go up or down. Whether up or down depends on how much you want to hide or whether you want the sun to blaze in. Because of the placement of our home (north south) and lots of trees we can regulate temperature with the blinds and the windows.
One by one those “cool” blind cords have snapped, resulting in a heavy unusable pile of used-to-be-cool wooden slats. Cords on blinds are really a pain. What if someone invented a way to eliminate the cord?
So I got to thinking… (knowing in this Fast Change world this is probably already possible), “What if the blinds could just be on switches?”. Even better, “What if the blinds AND the windows were on switches”. Of course anything on a switch can now be completely automated with a computer. When did THAT fast change happen?
Sure enough you can have your blinds motorized.
Not cheap though.
Battery operated is your cheapest option (maybe, I would think the cost of batteries would add up. They, of course, say don’t use rechargeable ones). We have at least 30 windows in our house. The “simple” process of replacing the batteries once a year (the range is 9 months to 5 years, we have big windows, which means once a year would not work since some will last 9 months and some much longer) is not really fast change (incrementally fast maybe). Something about that process does not seem like Fast Change (I know goofy pun).
I used to love watching “Tim the tool man” on “Home Improvement” . If it can have a motor and a switch I want it.
… all hooked up to INSTEON switches so I can program a magical dance of opening and closing shades.
In the summer I open the windows wide at night. At the point where the temperature outside and inside equalizes I close all those windows. In the winter it is day open night close. We save a lot on our utility bill with this. We have had summers where we make it well into July before the air conditioner comes on. We have had winters where the heater stays dormant until Christmas.
I love thinking of fast change…
What if the windows automatically opened or closed with the same decision points I use? At the moment in time where the temperature equalized they would do their thing- automatically. I don’t have to tell you this is entirely possible now. A few INSTEON switches, some really expensive windows and a temperature sensor and you are good to go.
Think of how funny it will be the first couple of time the windows move. It will scare the you know what out of the family!
I looked up the cost. It is indeed scary.
I want everything around me to turn on, turn off, open and close automatically. Windows would be awesome. Fast Change has made this possible.
As an intermediate school kid I wrote a science fiction story about a world where humans were able to generate electricity through walking on special floors and exercise on machines that stored the power (treadmills, rowing machines etc.). A totally whimsical made up idea. Today I thought, “could this be possible”? Expecting some long physics explanations about how this is not possible (which I found) I got a gem, for different reasons than you may think.
The power of footfalls.
First, good for Elizabeth for taking a scientific shot at this. Second, (go to the link) why are people so cranky? Read the comments. Either a lot of snooty scientists or people who like to shoot down ideas. Scientists out there give us some examples of things that overturned the physics of their time…
I made the mistake of looking at the dates of the comments. 2008. So the idea died (right after that 7th grader wrote it down?).
Aha! Good for Google (and shame on you nasty comment people from the past). It actually happened. Fast Change Around Us footwork!
This could have been a Wednesday Wonderfully Disillusioned post heavy on the wonderful.
The second half of my mini 7th grade book was a world where people were hired to create energy for others. They were the modern Greek athletes toned and leaned to perfection. The more efficient their bodies were the more money they made and the more famous they got. Hey I was a 7th grade boy it was a fun end state!
Fast Change Around Us naysayers beware. You might just be proven wrong and petty in your stubbornness. Foot power is a good example.