Wednesday, 18 March 2009


Just how big is the problem we face?

Arguably it’s a presentation issue. If only we could find a simple way of showing how big this issue was then we could do something about it.

Too many noughts may have dulled the brain so try this.

What does one TRILLION dollars look like? All this talk about "stimulus packages" and "bailouts"...A billion dollars...A hundred billion dollars...Eight hundred billion dollars...One TRILLION dollars...What does that look like?

I mean, these various numbers are tossed around like so many doggie treats, so I thought I'd take Google Sketchup out for a test drive and try to get a sense of what exactly a trillion dollars looks like. We'll start with a $100 dollar bill.

Currently the largest U.S. denomination in general circulation. Most everyone has seen them, slighty fewer have owned them. Guaranteed to make friends wherever they go. A packet of one hundred $100 bills is less than 1/2" thick and contains $10,000. Fits in your pocket easily and is more than enough for week or two of shamefully decadent fun.

Believe it or not, this next little pile is $1 million dollars (100 packets of $10,000). You could stuff that into a grocery bag and walk around with it.

While a measly $1 million looked a little unimpressive, $100 million is a little more respectable. It fits neatly on a standard pallet...

And $1 BILLION dollars... now we're really getting somewhere...

Next we'll look at ONE TRILLION dollars. This is that number we've been hearing so much about.

What is a trillion dollars? Well, it's a million million. It's a thousand billion. It's a one followed by 12 zeros. You ready for this? It's pretty surprising. Go ahead...Scroll down...Ladies and gentlemen... I give you $1 trillion dollars... (And notice those pallets are double stacked.) So the next time you hear someone toss around the phrase "trillion dollars"... that's what they're talking about.

Monday, 16 March 2009


The late Dame Anita Roddick said “trying to use research to manage your business is a bit like driving using the rear view mirror”.

In the current world situation many people are reflecting on the sheer impossibility of forecasting. Anatole Kaletsky thinks we live in a world without radar. So good luck Chancellor.

At the end of March the RSA have a table of experts debating the following at the Encyclopaedia Britannica/RSA debate on “The Economic Crisis and the Age of Uncertainty” in which panel members will discuss the crisis if confidence in our previously trusted sources of knowledge.

So the left brain has let us down and it’s over to the intuitive entrepreneurs who have dreams, visions and insights.

These are people who do not use research in the conventional sense.

Look at the link below and you’ll see why.

Produced by an innovation company in the States it deals a mortal blow to old fashioned market research.

And about time too.