Monday, August 21, 2006

New projects on the horizon

Well, so far I've released 4 job applications into the corporate ether....3 of which are directed at specific positions. One is a sort of web project manager position, one is more consultant-like and regards GIS planning, and one has to do with knowledge management and organizational development. I think I have a pretty good chance of an interview in all of them, especially the two latter. The first relies a lot on web development area I have tried to keep up with but that I am not very technically involved in. That might not be needed, difficult to say. It takes a good deal of mental exercise to throw away one's inhibition and boldly claim "I'm worth it..!" :)

Alongside all these applications (not boring yet, but close), my girlfriend, Thor, and I have been invited to be part of a real estate deal. Yes, an option to get out of this weary flat suddenly came along. One of my good mates has had a project concerning a huge house just outside Aarhus and now we are 3 couples trying to get a deal in order. The house is already divided into 3 seperate living quarters (thirds?) and the idea is to establish a fellowship that acts privately within the seperate apartments but shares and cooperates about most everything else. I have a good feeling about it. It's a monster house with a enormous basement that will be claimed and developed into a recreational theme park. That's what the guys want, anyway. Football tables, snooker, computer den...there is already a sauna. Unfortunately, the swimming pool has been covered and is now used for storage but we shan't despair. It's a great hideout if the in-laws decide to drop by.

Since I have nothing to do (!!!), I've been put in charge of contacting the credit providers that are going to lend us all the money to buy this mansion. It's a hell of a jungle when you're not used to it. Today I "woke up" at 3 p.m., realizing that I had sat the entire day and researched interest rates and mortgages on the web. The headache was building up. I hadn't even eaten anything, such was the combination of boyish excitement and frustrated anxiety. This stuff really ought to be part of basic public education - many words meant nothing to me and I was spinning around the same 3 sites trying to compare a gazillion different mortgage setups. Finally, I felt more or less ready and called the credit consultant in person. It helped a bit but there is still much I don't understand and have never been exposed to's interesting but energy consuming :)

I've been thinking about another idea for a consulting service that is not very common here in Denmark. Actually, it is probably not very common in Europe as a whole. It concerns the strategic and human resource-related application and use of new media. The applications of Web 2.0 and all the related social web services that are now being spewed out faster than one might say "relevance".
There is a research institute called The Gartner Group which has made an interesting assessment of 1900 different technologies and trends inside IT, around the globe. It's called the "Gartner 2006 Hype Cycles" and the one I was particularly interested in was the Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle. Everyone should read it, although it is a somewhat superficial introductory text, I think. However, I like the basic premise of a "hype cycle" that defines the way new stuff is being launched, bloated, and finally business-trimmed.

Anyway, my thought is to base a consulting service solely on the exploitment of these trends, in the right fashion, at the right time, for the right company. Three main areas might be sought out; customer-directed services and public sector systems, internal organization tools and services, visual feedback systems in development departments. The latter I have added myself, mainly because of my own background and knowledge of the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. The first area points at the usual e-shopping or mass-customization trends that are maturing in the States but have not yet really reached European consumers, and the second is targeting medium and large companies that have knowledge sharing difficulties regarding design-related or mechanical production.

I think there is real potential here and there will be a prime-mover advantage for at least one or two years to come. However, having experienced the way our first e-learning projects were actually ahead of their time in regards to business potential, I'm not sure Denmark is an easy place to start such an enterprise. The problem here is that you need big customers to get a firm foothold and Denmark does not have many big companies. Besides, those that exist may not want to go outside their regular consulting channels. Which leaves the option to offer these services as specialist consulting to other major consulting houses until the concept gains momentum and may carry its own. Alternatively, the first area bears another possibility in Denmark which is public sector self service systems. Denmark is ahead on this field and there might be opportunities in acquiring tasks for many Danish municipalities (these are being re-organized as I speak).

What do you think? :)

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