Amidst the numerous bankruptcies and foreclosures of some the largest brands and retailers, with tens of thousands of smaller family businesses closing their doors, we are witnessing the collapse of the enitre consumer retail sector.

The consumer retail sector — shopping malls, food & beverage, entertainment, hospitality and live events, bars & clubs and restaurants has never faced a crisis like this one. Not even the 2008 financial crisis comes close. A sector that is traditionally seen as the barometer of the economy against which governments determine inflation and the health of a nation.

There is little doubt Covid19 has had a profound impact on consumer behaviours, as the world prepares for new measures as countries periodically ‘lockdown’, events conspire that compound issues for retailers delivering devastating consequences for local economies. Some place hope on a vaccine, that it will somehow return society to some normality, while others fear a two tier society will emerge. Either way the sector has to find a way to respond or all of use will be worse off, have fewer places to go and if like me you like going to resteraunts — there wont be many left. …

The People require answers, committment and truth…

A post Covid19 world is likely to be different is many ways as our behaviours and activities have adjusted to what many consider will be a new norm. Where social distancing, a focus on hygiene, avoiding crowds and confined spaces where many people gather, will continue.

The public have many questions and concerns not just about the handling of the crisis and why the UK has ended up one of the worst hit countries. The primarily question on everyones mind.

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We the People…

What comes next?

How do we start to lift the ‘lock down’ ?

And what does a new normal look like?

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Many founders are looking to raise capital as we head into the eye of the storm that is Covid19. A crisis of epic proportions, far different to 2008 crisis and others that went before. And for many founders and CEOs this may be the first time they have experienced something like this. Forced to work from home, make harder decisions, revisit business plans and models.

remeber every crisis spawns new opportunities and markets. The birth of Fintech and Bitcoin came about in 2009 as banks were constrained, weren’t lending and public behaviours were nervous.

So what about this crisis. What industries will be disrupted, what new tech will emerge, what new markets will open as a consequence of others declining? …

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Everyone thinks they have a story inside them, and they probably do, but the process to get the story told is complex, the journey is long and the industry almost impossible to penetrate.

ONE: How to get you story down on paper…

I had never written a script for a TV Series/Film before, but I had done quite a lot of writing articles and papers. There are many people that write books about writing, and many You Tube videos and master classes. Some useful, others not.

What are you writing? A book/novel. a TV show or Film. Each has there own complexities and challenges. The issues is you have a lot of writing ahead of you, or I should say re-writes. Some people work on this basis and crunch out a basic plot, with basic characters. Others relate to personal experiences and base their writings on something that happened. Others just start writing, but a structure is useful but not necessarily a start, middle and end. …

January 2020

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I guess often the ‘making of’ the film is as interesting as the story itself. Often many films and TV shows almost never got made as the founders, artists, directors and studios just fall out, don’t see eye to eye, or get along… So it’s no surprise here. However, in the case of 21Million the bust up was not due to creative differences, it was due to something far darker.

The Project.

The objective of the 21Million Project was to raise capital from the cryptocurrency market to make a pilot episode (sampler) for a film or TV show. The project tried to break the mould in Film and Entertainment where creators, writers and film-makers found it increasingly difficult to break through and get their chance. …

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Picture IBM stack.

Truth out…

I have been and around Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Information Sciences for a number of years now. I also have a computer science background which is only marginally helpful. This is because we are breaking new ground.

Here are my five things you should know about Qantum:

ONE: What are they really? Quantum Computers that is, as they are unlike anything we have seen before. They are different to Classical Computers in so many ways. They are an entirely new species of technology. So you might be asking, why all the fuss?

A simple answer is they offer ‘brute force’ computing that offers humanity for the first time the capability to processing complex things that cannot be contemplated on Classical Computers. So called ‘hard problems’. But they cannot do everything and there are many things they would be no good at doing. And yes they need Classical Computers alongside them. Their role to help break the problems down into management steps. Such as Integer Factorization - working backwards on large numbers using Shor’s Law to find the divisible integers. The achillies heel of all encryption of course. …

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The 5 essential things you should be doing right now…

ONE: It is worth remembering the recovery is only weeks away. Get ready and start planning for the recovery now — whilst markets are in turmoil and dropping, and yes everything seems desperate and hopeless. However, historically things get back to normally very quickly, as these virus’s tend to disappear as fast as they appear. In many ways see this as another ‘shake out’ the weaker businesses less able to ride the storm, but also think of it another way, consumer demand is simply delayed. Although there will be some adjustment of behaviours, society has short memories.

It’s not armageddon as reported by media that run out of positive things to talk about. They are always first to talk up a problem into a disaster, and sensationalise everything. My guidance stop watching it. Focus on the recovery effort and staying healthy. …

Brands and manufacturers are fighting back…

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The past two decades the Platform Business Model has had a good run.

Interesting to think over the past few decades everyone at one time or another was trying to move to a ‘platform based model’ in response to competitive threats and changing market conditions… But actually they weren’t. Platforms were the way to disrupt markets from outside and not from within.

A question — are platforms just a fad? Do they really deliver value or are they a bit like Digital Transformation the promise sounds good but the reality is nothing really changes. Yes it sounds good, reads well in the Annual Report and CEOs statement. A Digital Transformation to what exactly? It’s a bit like the ‘emperors new clothes’, will anyone come clean and admit they don’t work. …

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As someone that learned Computer Science in the 1970’s at a time of the mainframe and machine code, of 8 bit processing and partitioning CPUs, I have seen many tech waves come and go… PCs, Internet, Distributed, Handheld, Smart Phones, Blockchain, IoT and others…

How things change. Today we have entered the new Quantum Computer realm, but in reality its not that new. It is a technology built upon the laws of nature, of the universe, or so Quantum Mechanics now defines things, moving away from classical laws that have been found to be wrong.

So here is the problem. If you think you understand Quantum Computing, part of Quantum Information Sciences, you have confirmed you probably don’t. Many of the world’s leading physicists freely admit they are still coming to terms with its potential, and do not fully understand what is going on. But most universally all agree it is both a revelation and danger to humanity (for good and for bad) at the same time, and advancement so profound is itself in superposition. …

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Only now are we seeing the full extent of the outcome. In 2013 when the Snowden papers were leaked, it was the day the world of spying and espionage changed for ever. It was a trigger for a shift in the status quo, in power, in advantage. Despite Wikileaks continued efforts to reveal the activities of Deep State, it wasn’t until the Snowden papers hit did it reveal the sheer magnitude of global surveillance programs on different country populations.

But of course the biggest attention was paid to states perceived as the biggest threat to the west that include N. Korea, Iran and China were a significant focus. Whilst Iran and North Korea intensified ‘sabre rattling’ positions, posting and swapping threats with the west, China decided to quietly become a technology Superpower. Silently and without fuss, China decided to close the door on anyone wanting to listening in. It was a move that certainly took the US somewhat off guard, although predictable given the economic success built on maturing the art of copying. …


Nick Ayton

Nick Ayton is a Deep Tech advisory to Boardrooms & Investors, Quantum Computing, AI, Blockchain specialist. Futurist speaker. Film Maker

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