Let’s restart the century 

It's a new year, new decade and the UK is stumbling out of recession.

It’s looking good out there: M&A is back in force with Kraft/Cadbury, electronics companies report a brisk trade at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, and at Moixa we’ve had a great start to business so far in January and closed a funding round into our home energy company. The cold grey snow has gone and today Apple launches a new colour tablet revolution.

About time. For many the last decade was pretty much a write-off. The dotcom and financial market collapses. Serial corruption in finance and politics. Ongoing terror and wars on terror. Swine flu panics. Lots of depressing films like 2012, 28 Days Later, The Road, The Day After Tomorrow. Politics achieving nothing – culminating in the disaster for climate that was the Copenhagen Summit.

Many companies faced pressures to run in ‘safe mode’ or delay innovation with hunts for the Macavity-style mystery R&D grants. Many didn’t make it through the storm, or ended up selling out assets, academia and IP on the cheap to nimbler, better-funded US rivals – or giving it away to China, which now leads the world in scientific research according to yesterday’s Financial Times. Meanwhile, the UK argued about duck-houses.

For me, it was a good decade – launched new companies, licensed new technology, got married, but it’s now time to restart the millennium. Call it 2.0, start afresh. Let’s just forget this ‘Noughties’ and make a clean break – focusing on what we know works – enterprise, science and technology. Think iPod, Mobile phone, Google, Twitter. These are the things that have changed the world and delivered in the last ten years.

This century has yet to unfold – the technology in development will transform everything we know and use. Virtualisation has revolutionised music via the iPod – cleaning up an entire ‘oil based’ DVD/CD/mechanical music industry. Science will solve the problems of climate change where politics has failed. Technology will enable the energy crisis to be solved, from efficient control of resources (farmers only watering when the forecast is for dry weather), through to Moixa’s smart energy systems running all DC devices in homes off-grid or off-peak.

Avatar just took nearly $2 billion in the box-office, demonstrating that we have entered a world of global synchronous consumerism, where products, services and media can be sold and seen by billions of people. Not just the Susan Boyle moments or our ‘USBCELL Bunnies’ video to help the UK with its obligations (enshrined in law from next month) to recycle 10 per cent of all disposable batteries. We’re moving away from the ‘enlightened Dark Age’ of the last decade, when we knew everything was going wrong but felt powerless to act.

Gloom is gone, bring on colour. Even the doomsday clock has gone back a few minutes.

Simon Daniel

Yessenia Hermann

Simon Daniel is the inventor of the USB battery and folding keyboard. He was also CEO of Moixa, the renewable energy group.

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