"Do you want me to add a virtual bee to your business card for your bee thing?"
"You mean beBee?"
At this point I couldn't help think that as an advocate for the new social media platform beBee I was at least building some sort of familiarity; although "bee thing" wasn't exactly what I was shooting for. I had seen what Olga had done with her own business card so I was excited to see what she could do with mine — I enthusiastically said yes.
Olga is a very talented sculptor and artist, and lately she has redirected her talents into the area of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, has invested in the equipment, and is out front advocating for the future and potential of VR and AR. In my view, as she repositions her skill, she has caught the wave of virtual augmentation (and virtual reality) and is becoming a domain expert when it comes to leveraging visual art — in less than a year she has built a LinkedIn following of 3,162 followers, and her recent post illustrating her virtual card had 15,479 clicks, 337 likes and 48 comments.
Sure the bee augmentation has been a fun activity for me but what really resonates is how someone is repositioning their skill sets for new opportunities, and particularly those opportunities that reflect the coming "step change" shifts in the market. There's virtual and augmented reality, artificial Intelligence, robotics, shifts in consumerism, decentralization through blockchain, advances in healthcare, the redefinition of what it is to be human, et certera, et cetera — all part of a revolution that may be unlike anything we've see before. I have said I'm a lousy futurist and stand by that, but what I do know is that we all have skills that have value, and more than ever it will be important to understand these skills, and how they can be leveraged.
- Understand what you are good at and build on it.
- Pay attention to what is happening outside your comfort zone and don't simply dismiss it.
- Appreciate that you don't need to be involved in everything, just something.
- Don't believe you are insulated from everything that is happening.
- And if you don't see it — search out someone who can help you.
As I said, my augmented business card was fun and I can easily see the utility (particularly in education, merchandising and entertainment), but that's Olga's thing. As for me, I still see great value in my sales and marketing skills, and how to leverage them in various "go to market" activities (particularly in the areas of social media and leveraging blockchain). It will be interesting where it all takes me.
Olga and I are not the only ones doing this sort of thing because as we know, the market will do what the market does, doesn't really care much about us, and it's up to us to keep up (if we want to stay relevant).
And there are still lots of people who want to "stay relevant".
PS — at the very least I was also able to work the humble honey bee into my blog... which as many of you may know is in decline (and a crucial part of our ecosystem). With everything going on let's not forget our environment — and although I know there is still some debate over the causes, I think we can all agree we have way too much single use plastic littering up the place.
PPS — Olga Nabatova