There is an approach to the future of IT that is being guided by the Mega Corporations, there is however another option that is every day becoming more accessible, what the future becomes is actually a choice. Depending on who you listen to.

Visions of the future.

davinci-iphoneAt the age of 14 I drew a picture on a piece of paper. It was the shape of a pocket calculator and it had a single circular button at it’s base. I saw it as a more efficient way of inputting information into the device, It may seem a little odd, having less buttons as a more efficient method for inputting information into a device, but to me it made perfect sense.

The image was that of an iPhone and the year was 1981.

An idea is a spark of insight that in an of itself means very little without the ability to communicate it. Vision’s of the future or the ability to be unconstrained by the boundaries of current thinking has it’s advantages, however whether it has helped my career is a matter of debate.

Seeing how things should or will be is of little consequence, unless one communicates these fore sights to the right people. I have decided to present what is ‘do able’ as a sequence of ideas that executed in sequence will present a number of spin-off developments that each and of their own right are wealth making visionary projects. Projects that I am going to make happen myself, and if necessary completely under my own steam.

I remember in 1987 when I was 20, I was in my heyday as a video games programmer, I just had just finished writing Mega Apocalypse a shoot-em-up game for the Commodore 64. I was sitting in the kitchen making notes on my plans to somehow mount a C64 into the boot of a car and have it stored with street map information and have it help me navigate.

The trouble with coming up with an ideal like Google Maps or the ability to have an in-car navigation system is that this idea was just a little too early for it’s time. Trying to communicate this idea to other people, though many thought it was a good idea, the necessary means to implement it were just too demanding. Way’s to implement ideas this big involved talking to companies with the financial muscle and vision to be able to do so. The trouble inevitably is, anyone who deals with massive corporations there is only one outcome. You’ll get screwed (that’s a technical term for being charmed, wined, dined and then fu***d up the a*** and then worked like a slave to the point of physical and mental exhaustion whilst being promised the Earth).

Mega corporations are not there to be your friend, anyone who has worked with producers and directors from multi-billion dollar corporations will understand what I mean. Similar to the sycophantic film industry, the video game industry is more insipid and far more ruthless. Try this for an example so you can see what I mean.

1. Name a book author – anyone.

2. Name a pop star.

3. Name any film actor.

4. Name ANY video games programmer (apart from me).

I bet that from step 1 to 3 you had absolutely no problem at all, in fact I think you could probably list of 10 at least, maybe even 100 or possibly some of you could even name 1000 if pushed.

Step 4, I recon you suddenly stopped and realised that even with all the video games you’ve either heard of or played for days on end – you can’t name a single programmer, not a single graphic artist and shockingly by today’s standard you can’t name a single video games musician.

That, ladies and gentlemen is the shocking truth. The video games industry is as corrupt and polluted as the bowels of Hell itself. ‘Criminals in suits’ is what I call them and after 16 years of writing games and having 6 #1 best sellers and winning awards, working for some of the biggest companies in the World I quit. Finally I had had enough of getting rolled over. I stopped writing games and became a barman.

The point I’m making here is that I don’t trust mega corporations to do anything other that serve themselves – make no mistake. There is a way to succeed – even in the current financial climate. Remember Google came from nowhere. Apple started in a garage and if you look at some of the most creative minds of our time – none of them – and I mean none, are corporate employees.

There are those who have managed to climb the corporate ladder and they have managed to make a lot of money doing what they do, but money in and of itself does nothing. It does not create, it does not think, but it definitely has a place and that place is the oil that lubricates the machine – the machine of human ingenuity. It is a necessary component. Although it is not absolutely necessary, it can expediate and prolong.

the-future-by-simon-nicol

Corporate investment.

Taking these concerns into account, I have put together a sequence of projects, that when played out correctly will I intend to lead me on a path of creative fulfillment and financial liquidity (abundance).

In development is a business plan spanning many years. The plan encompasses many projects and many, many spin off’s each in their own right able to make a small fortune (actually a large fortune, but the words ‘small fortune’ is at least an established term). I have tailored it from the ground up, it is as detailed as I have deemed necessary without becoming tiresome.

Should you continue to wish to read this document, be prepared for it to be quite blunt. I have not written this as just any document, I have no shareholders concerns to worry about, nor do I have any bank manager to answer to. I am not in need of any finance and can quite happily proceed on this coarse without any financial backing whatsoever.

I have only made this effort of detailing my work schedule so that should an investor or future business partner wish to understand me a little better they will have a clearer picture of my vision. After all a vision is only a vision, it is only in crystalising that vision that it can become a reality to be able to reach out and literally touch it, taste it and smell it.

The pages for the business plan are currently locked-out from public visibility, should you wish to find out more when I’m ready for public scrutiny or private investment I will open the pages up.

Please use my contact form at the top of this page to introduce yourself as I look forward to making your acquaintance. Please bare in mind that investment is not just about the money, it’s about the person behind it. Interested parties will have a vibrant personality a passion for creativity and a drive. Greedy people need not enquire, neither should the majority of UK businessmen (who are only interested in investing £5 and expecting to reap £1.2 billion within a matter of minutes). Some Americans are welcome, Europeans to, though I feel the people I have the most respect for in the business world are the Japanese.

Market creation.

I was in a business meeting several years ago with Nintendo of America. After several hours of delivering what I thought was an exciting and creative masterpiese. I was told in a rather disinterested and glib fashion that should Nintendo be interested in anything I had to offer once I had created, developed, produced and marketed my product – they would simply buy my company.

Just like that. They had absolutely no interest in creating or developing anything wonderful, they were simply there for the money. If they were interested they would simply buy it, if not they wouldn’t. This was the first time I had been in a meeting in the video games industry where I had met someone who had absolutely no interest whatsoever in the product they were selling they were simply facts and figures. This man could have been selling cheese graters for all he cared it was just simply about money.

“Simon,” he said “the video games industry makes more money than the entire music industry and Hollywood combined.”

You know what? I believe it. What I don’t like is that the majority of directors in the industry have no more vision than a worm at the bottom of a tequila bottle. Whilst on the subject of the visionless and by visionless I mean the men who will stand there in a board meeting and suggest creating a new film such as Die Hard 57, or possibly Dracula 8,347. These are the men who originally invented the queue. Men who couldn’t step out of line or create something original if you hit them over the head with a hose pipe.

On a very positive note all that is about to change. Richard Branson managed to start off his business with a record shop. Today every person in the world with an Interenet connection has a better distribution chanel than Sir Richard ever had.

Don’t tow the corporate line. Work with them, but at a distance. Lead the way do not follow.

I was working for a company in London, relatively small compared to the corporations I had freelanced for previously, and one morning I took a proposal for a video game design I had been working on with the other programmers and artists to one of the directors.

The title of the game was ‘Small World’. It was an isometeric platform game that involved caring for a character in the game and help then live out their daily lives. The closest similarity to this idea was a game on the C64 called ‘Little Computer People’ by Activision. The methodology of the game was clearly explained and some rough sketches had been drawn up.

The response I received was not really very surprising. “I can’t really see that it would be much good, it’s not along the lines of what we have in mind.”

There is a game – almost identical to this. In fact (and I know it couldn’t possibly be, because multi billion dollar corporations are utterly honest and would never, ever think os pinching someone elses idea). This game has gone on to become the biggest seller in video game history…

It’s called The Sims.

I have absolutely no problem with creating a new market whatsoever. In fact a brand new market means the inventor had an initial monopoly because either no one else has thought of the idea yet, or they have, but are unable to deliver a world class product.

“This article is currently under development.”

Simon

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