How quickly has the last decade passed? I remember being in Val d’Isere on New Year’s Eve in December, 1999 – my son Cameron was just a few weeks old, we were all ‘worrying’ about the Millennium bug, and already deriding the Millennium dome. King of Shaves had just 8 products, and was yet to go on sale in the USA, let alone Japan, South Africa and Brazil. And any thought of launching a King of Shaves razor, with Gillette’s Mach3 starting to dominate ‘shaving hardware’ were still four years away. Even Google was only just starting to get going!
This has been a decade in which so much has happened. 9/11, the advent of ‘reality TV’, the democratisation and global spread of the broadband internet (remember dial-up anyone?). Michael Jackson died, global warming has become a daily topic of conversation, everyone is looking to have the ‘X’ factor, in 2004 over 200,000 were killed by the Tsunami, we have a black US president and the economy, which was in strong growth, nearly fell over on a global basis. It’s certainly been a decade of change.
Where 2000-2009 were described as the ‘noughties’, 2010-2019 are being mooted as the ‘one-der’ years. I’m pretty sure ‘the only way is up’, with the continuing superfast development of the web, the increasing importance of social networking, for consumers as well as businesses, the advent of ‘digital dialogue’ rather than ‘brand broadcast’ and now with twitter along with Google & Bing allowing information/knowledge to be posted and search indexed in real time, things will no doubt happen even faster. So, what big trends might evolve? What industries will flourish, and what will simply cease to exist.
Certainly, where knowledge is confirmed, the rumoured launch of the Apple Tablet (iSlate?) will undoubtedly turn reading about knowledge on its head. Amazon launched the Kindle, which has helped to accelerate the eBook, but undoubtedly by the end of 2019, we’ll all have hundreds, maybe thousands, of our favourite books stored on our iSlate, served up by iRead, the competitor to Amazon which will surely be launched by Apple.
We’ll also start to witness the advent of the Endustrial (rather than Industrial) revolution; a global infstracture of Environmentally relevant & renewable energy projects, encompassing power generation which eschew the use of oil and coal, and set the scene for how countries will get their power in the future. This is an incredibly exciting area, requring billions of pounds of manufacturing investment, and will almost certainly be ‘built locally to satisfy local needs’. I for one am looking forward to seeing a huge array of tidal power devices and wind turbines sited off the coast near Sizewell B, feeding into the National Grid, with them being serviced by a newly rejuvenated Lowestoft, ideally sited to carry out the maintenance of these NewGen products, revitalising the town.
Where shaving hardware is concerned, we could be looking at billion bladed razors – ones that embrace Nanotechnology, which might even self sharpen, as well as the advent of the first ceramic bladed razors, which last forever. Or, maybe, stuff that is even more futuristic… King of Shaves has always pioneered and championed innovation, and this is extremely exciting for us – we have ‘new’ coming in early 2010, and lots of plans to continue growing and developing our brand – bringing the King of Shaves to men and women on an increasingly global basis, through an increasing variety of distribution channels.
|So, as I sign off from 2009, I personally have great expectations for next year, and the ensuing decade. It should be a time of growth, consumer collaboration and great innovation – one I’m excited to be involved in, and play my part as a UK manufacturer in too.
But for now, I’m looking forward to a glass of champagne at midnight tonight, and watching the final episode of Doctor Who with David Tennant tomorrow.