Taking It To The Air
Recently in the Espresso we spoke of vultures fitted with go-pro cameras to help identify where rubbish and debris was being deposited around particular cities. Although some thought it was a joke it’s said to be completely real.
Off the back of the vultures innovation we found Pigeon Air Patrol, a 3 day project developed by plume labs which fits pigeons with tiny air monitoring backpacks, collecting data to monitor the air in London. The ultra light backpacks are worn by 10 racing pigeons who are owned by professional pigeon breeders.
With each pigeon having its own backpack on, it becomes a mobile air monitoring device, busy collecting data on nitrogen dioxide, the ozone and many other harmful pollutants. If you use twitter, you can tweet your location to @pigeonair, and receive an instant response on air quality from one of the flock.
This is a fascinating innovation and shows a resource previously untapped that can add enormous value and in a lot of cases, solve a big problem. Let’s face it - a lot of big cities have an abundance of this available resource, in that not a day goes by where we don’t come across a pigeon.
Guns and Bubbles
Here’s just a fun design idea that we thought was novel. It’s called the Champagne Gun. Essentially it’s a supersoaker – with a twist - so rather than being filled with water, you use a magnum sized bottle of champagne as fuel. You load your bottle, give the thing a healthy shake and then enjoy a 45 second stream of champagne that travels up to 6 meters.
Now for those who are early adopters and who love the novelty of the champagne gun, it comes in different colours and would certainly be the life of your next pool party. The ideal present for the hipster who has everything.
Working through Depression and Life's Challenges Step by Step
Better known as the street rapper 21Hundred, Michael Casey is a young guy with a mission. Michael is currently walking from Brisbane to Cairns to bring awareness to the steps that can be taken to assist you working your way through depression and the challenges life can throw at us.
After losing his wife, his kids and his desire to get off the couch, Michael took the first steps to recover by doing just that… walking, and just taking step after step. The walk is to support one of our favourite charities R U OK?
We love this show as it just proves what steps can be taken by each of us to get our mojo working and take our lives back when facing hardships.
The Enthusiast of Innovation
Recently I was doing a keynote speech for a large organization. Prior to my introduction, the head of the business addressed the audience. His opening comments were “I come to you as an enthusiast of innovation”. What an amazing comment to come from a leader of an organisation – someone who wanted to create a culture around creativity, innovation and imagination. What more could you want from someone leading a business than to be a leader who was enthusiastic about innovation?
Many leaders or senior execs see Innovation as a tick the box mandatory statement - as corporate jargon - a 'something else required' on their to-do list, their culture, their induction process, their reporting requirements.
What made this time any different? This leader spoke with commitment and enthusiasm - he was excited about leading a business that was truly serious about innovation – and every person in the room could genuinely feel it.
Whenever you meet someone who makes creativity and innovation a priority in their life, they are an enthusiast. They enthusiastically look for the next great idea. They are enthusiastic in every conversation. Their enthusiasm spills over to their reading, listening to a podcast, absorbing a documentary or when walking the streets of a new city, they are enthusiastically taking in the sights, the smells, the sounds and the culture – all key elements to help with drawing out and unlocking the next great idea.
What a great notion to spread to any child to encourage them, empower them and involve them in becoming an enthusiast of innovation and creativity.
Current Trends: Ambient Wellness
The Espresso likes to keep you abreast of what’s trending around the world. There's a new trend that’s being spoken about in the world of wellness and health called Ambient Wellness.
Ambient wellness relates to the expectation that we, as consumers, are placing on leading brands to help improve our own wellness and vitality. An example of this is Starbucks who have now partnered with Philips to create special branches of Starbucks in the Netherlands and converted them into energy-up cafes. Philips have put their energy up lamps into the cafes for patrons to use while enjoying their brews. Now these lamps are supposedly meant to have, after 20 minutes exposure to them, a mood lifting, revitalising effect. Sounds inviting.
Another means of how ambient wellness is being put into place is with Qatar Airways who have just taken possession of the airbus carbon filter a350 which is fitted with devices to combat jetlag. The planes have a special air filtering system which keeps the air cleaner and special lighting that matches our natural circadian rhythm to ensure that when we leave the plane we will feel better than our current long haul drag. These planes have special LED lights that change their colour and temperature to mimic the transition of the sun and naturally enhance our circadian rhythms.
A final execution is provided Kit Kat who have done a billboard in Colombia, where if one leans against the billboard it gives you a free massage - giving you a chance to have a break; have a KitKat!
Brands are continually hunting for opportunities to include ambient wellness into their product and/or campaigns – if they make our vitality levels healthier and happier, perhaps it ain’t such a bad thing.
Message in a Bottle
The wine industry has been crying out for some real innovation for quite a while now, and we have found a new contributor to this space that is definitely signaling a new frontier - Kuvée. Kuvée has delivered a fresh new approach to the appreciation of wine allowing you to switch between your wine bottles without the worry that the bottle you’ve opened will go to waste if not drunk immediately.
Your Kuvée wine comes in these silver canisters. You then click your Kuvée wine into the Cuvée custom digital bottle. It has a bunch of information on the outside of the bottle and once it clicks inside you then pour it like a bottle of wine. If you decide you want to switch from a red to a white, you simply change the Kuvée bottle out of the canister and insert a new bottle. Whatever you’ve taken out will last up to 30 days!
Whilst the bottle is in the container you can order replacements, so you always have some available. The Kuvée bottle canister is wi-fi connected. The business has already partnered up with almost a dozen top wine brands who are presenting Kuvée products. To make this innovation work you do need to have the Kuvée smart bottle to start with and then you simply buy the inserts which clip into the bottom of the Kuvée bottle.
Have a Twig of Tea
What caught our eye was the amazing design and presentation of Twig Teas.
Twig Tea is not just cold tea, it’s cold brewed tea which apparently draws out a different flavour than the one you taste with a normal hot beverage. With cold brewing tea you have fewer bitter tastes and less caffeine, which can make the drink a little sweeter or smoother.
Twig uses no herbal or tea infusions, no sugar, and no teabags: just filtered water and loose-leaf tea. You can choose from a variety of options: Darjeeling from India, Keemun from China, Oolong from Taiwan or Bocha from Japan.
Sounds like a pretty cool idea, we love the packaging and this one wins on a number of fronts.
We are all living in the online world where every piece of our business is built on Intellectual Property (IP). With that comes the questions….what do you own, what can we own, and how do we do it? Alicia Beverley is an intellectual property strategist, an educator, entrepreneur and presenter, and has also written extensively about intellectual property. Alicia has held her own IP rights – patents, registered designs, trademarks and copyright. Alicia’s business KOMO™ makes IP training easily available to all business people at any level and in any industry. This is such an important show for every business leader to hear and share.
Eating It Up
It’s estimated that 311 million tonnes of plastics are produced annually worldwide and only 14% is able to be collected for recycling. It’s now believed that researchers have found a microorganism, a bacterium called Ideonella Sakaiensis which is able to completely digest the most commonly used PET plastic. Normally plastics would take 450 years to break down but this Ideonella Sakaiensus as discovered by scientists in Osaka Japan, could break down a small piece of PET plastic in just 6 weeks. A lot more work has to be done at this point but given there is a ray of hope that we may be able to eliminate some of these PET plastics from our environment, and in doing so, save the oceans and our land fill, this could be a major breakthrough.
Haiku to You
I still remember being at a conference sitting under a tree with the other attendees and being asked to write a Haiku. It was my first true attempt as an adult at writing poetry and to this day I still remember the emotion and surprise when I wrote a piece of poetry for myself. No-one else, just myself. What if you did that and in return a coffee shop gave you a free cup of coffee?
Over 1000 Meinl Coffee cafes around the world ran a promotion to celebrate Unesco World Poetry Day, by offering a free coffee if you wrote poetry. People would go into a Meinl Coffee brew house and write a piece of poetry on a small piece of paper that the staff would give you, and in return you got a brew.
When we take the time to create, think, write, ponder and put our thoughts and emotions into writing, it can be a powerful way of being present, living in the moment and unlocking cracking new ideas. So what are you waiting for? Grab a pencil, grab your journal, put pen to paper and even if no-one ever sees it, it’s good for the creative soul.
The Bike of the Future
E-bikes are not that new but we came across a pretty cool bike concept from ETT Industries, a UK based company that have developed two e-bikes - the Trayser and the Raker - which will allow you to 3D print your own replacement parts. The bikes are not cheap, coming in around U$2430 and U$3890 respectively, but their stats are impressive. The bikes are powered by 42 volt lithium ion battery which gives them solid speeds of 50-60 miles an hour.
However what's really unique about these bikes is that the creators give you STL files for certain replacement parts that you are able to 3D print yourself should you have the facilities. It’s not so much the idea for this bike that gets our creative mojo working, it's more the possibilities of how and where this could be rolled out for any number of different products.
Work With The System
When I deliver key note speeches on Leading Innovation and Creativity, I find that there is a perception in the audience that systems stifle creativity and innovation. Yet the successful and most creative businesses in the world have stringent systems, high standards and strict disciplines to ensure that things are done to spec, on time and to the appropriate standard - despite everything constantly being challenged to find a different or better way of doing it, to provide a better outcome for the customer or clients.
The Mojo Radio Show interviews people who have their mojo working both in and out of work. One of the questions I always ask our guests is, 'What are your rituals?' Rituals are the non-negotiables, the things that happen at some point in each day, without fail, that happen in a particular order to enhance the productivity or performance of your day. Rituals are systems.
Never think that because something is systemised that it has to lack innovation or creativity. No system stops you from thinking differently. No system stops you from creating. Quite often systems give you the discipline that allows you the freedom to create. Discipline equals freedom. Create your own systems in your day that allow you the discipline to free up time to spend more time creating, innovating and thinking about what’s next and what you could do differently.
Nutritionists, wellness experts or biohackers will often say that the scales are not always the best way to tell if you are making progress towards your weightless and fitness goals. Possibly a better way to tell if you're on the right track is how you feel, how your clothes fit, and how you look in the mirror. Taking advantage of the current selfie craze is a new app called Progress.
Progress lets you track your weight loss or fitness progress by taking daily selfies that are perfectly aligned. The idea is that the app creates a faint outline of your selfie from the mirror and allows you to line yourself up exactly the next time. After 15 days the app shows you a time lapse video of the changes to your body shape. Pretty cool idea that also syncs to the Apple health kit.
When we came across the Harrison Oven we fell in love for a number of reasons. The first, they created their own category. Harrison is the Artisan. Straight up you know it’s going to be different. Secondly, values. The business is built on strong artisan values. And the third is their sole focus being on the individual production of the most beautiful, high-performance, solid-fuel ovens in the world.
Harrison Ovens are not electric. You have to use coal or natural resources like timber to fuel them. The design (which we love) is completely in line with the minimalist views and trends that are happening around the world. As they say, it’s not an oven, it's a stunning piece of furniture. The final line of their website content says it all - This amazing oven delivers not only sublime food but an amazing sense of theatre to any social gathering or boutique restaurant.
What a wonderful example of separating yourself from the pack and creating a strong category based on true values and a story.
There’s a new retail brand in the UK which opened recently called VitaMojo. Essentially it’s a sub-restaurant built around the idea of personalising your intake of nutrients. Using instore iPads you choose the ingredients you’d like in your salad and then using sliding bars you can specify how many grams of each ingredient you want. At the same time dynamic charts automatically show you how much protein, fat or carbohydrates is in your meal.
It’s probably the first example we’ve seen of a cafe or restaurant allowing you to specifically choose how much of what you want in your meal, based not only on quantity but also on nutritional value.
Ryan Waight is a successful leadership coach and speaker specialising in creating positive change within organisations, teams and individuals. Only a young guy, Ryan delivers leadership programs in the business, sport and education sectors. His drive comes from the desire to bridge the gap between potential and performance. His ability to engage people on a relevant, yet emotional level is a hallmark of his commitment towards his own professional development. Ryan is the author of Leadership Within: 20 Ways to Unlock the Leader in You. In this show we delve into personal and team leadership and discuss how leadership has changed over the years to accomodate the newer generations.
Drone to Tower
The Espresso loves a good drone! We’ve been reporting on the progress of drones for some time now, but now we’ve discovered the droneport. Being built by The Aerodrome, it's going to be a 50 acre drone airport in Boulder City, Nevada.
When you think of the amount of resources that people like Amazon are putting into deliveries via the drone, it makes perfect sense they’ll need somewhere to land, be serviced and housed. It’s more likely to be a commercial and private business location than anything else. Drones are becoming more and more popular and The Espresso will be following the journey of the drone as it takes delivery, transportation, visuals and photography to new heights.
The Tour de Cure 10 Years On
What began as an idea written on a napkin at a coffee shop has become bigger than I could have ever imagined. This year marks 10 years since our inaugural Tour de Cure ride from Brisbane to Sydney, and we have gone from 23 riders on that initial ride to this year having 120 riders, 40 stage riders and 40 support crew!
Most importantly though, on that very first ride we raised just over $300,000 and since then, that figure has significantly grown to a point where last year we raised $2.3 million! This year however we have set the bar even higher - we would like to raise in excess of $4 million to go towards the research, support and prevention of cancer in men, women and children - but we need your help.
You may remember last year I put together a Pledge Page where the money you donated translated into Pledge Rewards. Well, it was actually such a popular idea, I'm doing it again this year!
CLICK HERE to view the Pledge Rewards and make a donation. Even if you aren't able to donate this year, words of support are always appreciated!
We’ve seen a lot of innovation in the coffee category. Capsules, pop-ups, mobile and the like have all been talked about in the espresso for many years now. Let's face it, the team at The Espresso love our coffee and now we’ve discovered Doers.Coffee. It's the world’s first 100% bespoke digital roastery. Here’s how it works. Using the Doers.Coffee app, you choose the beans you want and their country of origin and whether you want a single origin or a blend. You then choose the percentage ratios of beans - Somatran, Colombinan, Ethiopian, Kenyan - whatever your palette preference. You then decide whether you want a light, medium or dark roast.
The power is completely in your hands. You can even control the time and heat of the roasting process should you desire. It's your roast, your way, every time. Essentially they will roast the brew the way you want it, and get it to you pronto. You can even decide if you want the beans as whole beans, ground or in a Nespresso compatible capsule. We love the idea of Doers.Coffee and if you’re into the concept check it out now on Kickstarter.
Take a Forest Bath
There is a new trend afoot called Forest Bathing (shinrin-yoku) It involves no water, no showers, no bathing and no time in the spa. Instead Forest Bathing is a traditional Japanese ritual that takes you on a short sensory stroll through a beautiful forest. The mind focuses on the sights, smells and sounds and apparently the benefits are plentiful as it produces hormones that help control obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and more.
What's most striking about Forest Bathing is the health benefits of simply breathing in the essential oils produced by the trees. Known as phytocides, Forest Bathers can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, anger and restlessness. However it’s cautioned that although the practice is fairly simple, you need to put away your phone and simply live in the space of the trees. It's the trees, flowers, moss, birds and fish that create the beautiful sounds and smells of wildlife, the earth and the vegetation around you. Interesting concept if one can distract themselves long enough to get out into the forest.
It's the cafe with no staff. Last week in Sydney and this week in Melbourne, PrimaDonna Elite is running a barista-less pop up showcasing their all-in-one machine which promises barista quality coffee without the need for staff or for us to even have to walk into a cafe! All the settings are on a screen and your brew is served from the DeLonghi machine as you like.
It's a clever concept to promote their new coffee machine and it's getting plenty of chat, however given it retails at well over $3000 it's only for those who have the cash to fork out. Of course the machine also hooks up to the accompanying app which means you can order your coffee to your own specs without even having to touch the machine.
Michael Kasprowicz is a former Australian Test Cricketer. Kasprowicz was one of the top performing fast bowlers in Australian cricket for almost two decades - being the second highest wicket taker ever in domestic cricket history. He was known for his swing bowling and relentless and hard-working approach, and was particularly well regarded for his contributions in 2004 to Australia's success in the Indian subcontinent, where they had struggled to win. He was called the "Subcontinent Specialist” for his unique ability to generate considerable amounts of pace from subdued tracks and in the process picking up regular wickets.
An MBA graduate, Kaspa, as he is commonly known, is a very smart strategist in how he approached his career, his sport and how he separated himself in the game of cricket, life and business. He has always positioned himself to stand out, even when the chips were down. This show will surprise you, and add enormous value for you as you seek to be chosen in the business environment.
Name Your Price
It must be frustrating for accommodation houses or hotels when their rooms lay empty. So in this world of maximising your resources, Polish start up FindBed reverses the booking process and let's you name your price.
You essentially go on to the site, name the price you’re prepared to pay and the area that you're looking at and a notification is sent to all the hotels in that area. The hotel manager has 3 hours to decide whether to accept or decline your offer. You are then sent a list of the places that will accept a room at your price and you choose which one you'd like. It's a win-win because the hotel gets to fill an empty room and you get a room for the price you are prepared to pay.
We’re going to see more and more of this type of negoation happening as hotels, businesses and service organisations look to maximise their resources rather than have them lay dormant and unproductive.
When you look someone in the eye and say it's non- negotiable, I take that to mean it's going to happen, it's a done deal, and you're going to do it. So tomorrow when you're planning your day, what are you going to include as your non-negotiables?
Will you exercise? Eat the right real food? Have shorter meetings? Get your reading done? Write something in your journal? Spend an hour uninterrupted int the world of your children? Or have an honest face to face conversation with your loved one, exploring what happened in their day? When you make something non-negotiable, you will make it happen because there's simply no other option.
The unfortunate thing is that when most people are looking at the most important parts of their lives, their language is, 'I'll try' or 'I should' or 'I hope to'. But when I work with people and ask, 'Is this really going to happen?', 'What are the non-negotiables for tomorrow?', the power comes back through their voice, their comments and their actions, and it shows me that nothing will stand in their way.
Juicero is Up and Running
Many months ago The Espresso reported on a start up called Juicero that was being funded by some of the biggest names in the Silicon Valley. Juicero is essentially a cold-press juicer that lets you produce a quality nutrient rich juice from a countertop machine similar to a Nespresso.
The proprietary Juicero packs are filled with fruit and veggies chopped specifially to ensure that they give you all the goodness as if you were getting it from a farm. The packs are stamped with QR codes, which the machine scans and uses to determine if the fruits and vegetables are fresh enough for it to press into an eight-ounce cup of juice for you. If it’s not, the pack is discarded. It’s a Wi-Fi connected device, which means if the Internet’s out, there'll be no juice for you.
Now, we at The Espresso office haven't tried it yet but we love the concept. It solves a problem for all of us and if it's anything like its sister machine, Nespresso, then this is going to be a winner. The sell for their product is a 'farm to glass' philosophy. There’s so much to like about this concept that if it delivers it will be gold.