Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Updated data on shack fires

Real data analysed on the cause of shack fires

What really causes shack fires? Most people have a theory and many products have been developed to try and prevent them. However shack fires continue and when real data is looked at, in 2012, 337 days out of 365 days there was a shack fire incident. Lives are lost and millions of uninsured goods as well as ID books, marriage certificates and cash. So I asked the Cape Town Fire Department for real data on shack fires so I could possibly find a more innovative solution. The data was revealing! The worst day by far for a shack fire to occur was a Sunday. Close on the heels of a Sunday were Thursdays, Saturdays and Mondays. This was clue number one. The worst month was December. Close on the heels were November and February. This was clue number two. The most prevalent times of a shack fire was between 12.30am and 5am. This would average out at 2.30 am. This was clue number three. When I asked the fire department what they thought was the cause of most shack fires their immediate gut reaction without analyzing the data was excessive drinking. I completely concur based on the data. When people drink excessively more tend to on a Saturday, Sunday, Friday and Wednesday night leading into the early hours of the next morning. This data is aligned to alcohol sales in shibeens on these days. December is a time when less people are actually in the townships as many return to their traditional homes. However holiday time is drinking time. The timing of the events places the last piece in the puzzle.
The effects of excessive drinking mean that when people arrive home to their shack in the dark they need to provide some light. As there is no electricity a candle is lit. But when one is inebriated this is a recipe for disaster. Drunkenness also causes slower reaction times, so if a candle does fall over slow reaction times mean disaster.
People when drunk often fall asleep leaving candles on!
When drunken people are often hungry as well. Cooking when drunk will lead to mistakes no matter what type of stove or device you may use.
The data shows that the combination of being drunk and reckless and using mechanisms like candles (light) and stoves (hunger) seem to be the cause of most shack fire incidents.
As an innovator and an economist new solutions can be tested. Very cheap free torches should be mandatory at all shibeens when drinkers leave. The case for cheap torches is further highlighted by the fact that 67% of all deaths on our roads are pedestrians who are not visible and often drunk!
Bulky cheap meals should be provided to all patrons that include mostly starches and people should be encouraged to eat before they leave. This means they have no need to light a gas stove when coming home. The same meals could be provided throughout the day to other patrons for a fee.
Lastly chaperones, preferably young unemployed men should be trained to lead people home, make sure everything is OK and leave when the drunken man has fallen asleep.
These solutions will decrease shack fires; create job opportunities, as well as manufacturing and distribution capabilities.
Alcohol companies need to take some responsibility as they provide the product and although they use the argument that its up to the consumer to be responsible, it only takes one consumer to destroy the lives of thousands at a time. The reason alcohol companies have not been sued yet is because it is so hard to determine the cause of a shack fire, nigh impossible. However the alcohol companies should be supporting all types of innovation connected to shack fires as the data clearly shows that without alcohol the chances of shack fires would certainly drop. I hope that by analyzing the data and writing this article will give credence to the fire departments gut feeling that drunkenness does indeed cause most shack fires.

The Guardian UK more ideas

Ooooh some really cool ideas are starting to emerge. There was a picture of a few soldiers in the desert. Most people will look at the soldiers, the guns etc but i often look at what's actually there. Then i saw the shadows. I remember as a kid that i used to name my shadow. I think his name was rourke ( named after mickey rourke because he played charles bukowski in the movie see i have always loved bukowski!). I realised that a new trend could be started by naming your shadow, new shadow products could be developed. It sounds a little insane but then look at the smurfs or the teletubbies. Your own shadow characters becoming popular and sellable ( almost like designing your own T-shirt) and then an internet company sells them for a margin.
David Beckham about to train ( again) with another club to get fit. The world has seen so many fitness regimes in the past but could this actually work. The Man U fitness and eating regime and sometimes you could train with some of the clubs. You could have the fittest guys meeting famous soccer players. I think this could be a winner.
I loved the story about doing a basic general knowledge test in order to become a citizen. I would like to become a citizen of Bhutan so i do a short general knowledge test ( without the internet of course) and if i pass i could get in. The countries are fairly safe as most people dont know anything and the test could change daily. if you try for the test it could cost 1 pound and then you could apply for a real piece of paper. A great way to make money and a great way for people to get to know your country and a great sifting device for immigration.
In todays paper there is a story about arts funding decreases. Nothing new here but whats the solution? This is a perennial problem everywhere in the world. My solution is to set up an endowment fund exclusively to fundraise for arts projects and where really alternative models are used. The other option is to let the public own the arts companies and sell them shares!
And lastly hundreds of young people die in Brazilians fire. This is not uncommon in the world and mass amounts of people die all the time. I think a company that focuses on Death marches and Death memorials ( which one does every year!) has great potential. After all its the one thing we all know is death is inevitable.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Guardian UK version 2

This is the second version of me reading the Guardian UK and finding some innovative new business and social enterprise ideas. It was interesting to read about a cyclist being knocked over and killed. In South Africa we had a very famous olympic cyclist killed last month. All over the world there are probably thousands of cyclists who get knocked over. So are there alternative and innovative solutions to this international problem? When i look at stories this is the type of problem i am looking for as it is a global problem. Why don't bicycles have bumpers like cars do? and what would they look like? The objective would be to save the life of a cyclist! What about changing the bumper of the car significantly.? Softer? what about a bumper all around the car? Doesn't this make logical sense and would save the driver huge costs if he hit anything?
There is a great article about "voices being heard" and i thought about speakers corner in hyde park. Why dont we have podiums dotted all over the world on street corners and allow people to have their say. Freedom of speech is our greatest asset and the UK could lead the world by placing the podiums everywhere!
The best story in the paper is the UK government wanting to place negative ads about Britain to keep immigrants away. This in itself is a genius idea and i would love to see this campaign. Its so alternative, fun, and what would they say? The English eat too many baked beans? Then again I am totally into making my own brand of artisan baked beans in competition to the standard tin variety.
There is a great story on daily auctions and of course we see many stories on sales! However is their a cell phone application that alerts the average joe to a sale at the local fish and chips shop? I dont think so. All small businesses to promote sales through a tech app and thus compete with the big boys. This is a killer idea and is needed in the UK as smaller businesses struggle in the financial downturn. However this is the best time to innovate.
In the UK and Europe there are always stories about soccer hooliganism. Like strikers someone should design product that is fun and harmless for soccer players to vent their frustrations. Like the UDAREF card! a red and yellow card made for fans to flash during the game to show how they feel about a tackle.
lastly i saw a story about re-enacting war stuff. Now god knows why people would want to do this but it has become big business. So I was thinking why cant you re-enact anything, for fun that is. The Tianmen square protests or the Arab Spring? Anti-apartheid marches? Anti-war marches against vietnam? You could never be there but this will be your chance to experience it first hand and up close. Except this time you wont die and you can all have a drink at the pub later after having paid a few hundred for the privilege.

Friday, January 25, 2013

First Stab at new innovations from the guardian UK

While looking at sports ideas and the Guardian does alot of sports i came across an idea which transforms all commonly played sports into a quick fire sport such as T20 cricket or sevens rugby. Many sports are evolving to be very quick versions of long games. For example a one set tennis tournament OR a 3 hole golf tournament OR a 7 a side soccer series on a full field..15 minute games. By changing format of the traditional games it brings in both younger viewers and women. This could be translated into any sport over 90 minutes long!
Another idea is seeing how many pictures and stories there are about strikes and strikes. I have always maintained that strikers need more creative ways to vent their anger. should be manufacturing and selling products for strikers such as plastic bricks and help strikers develop alternative methods. This is a mine of new creative ideas.
I saw a picture of a feather pen. It reminded me of a great business idea. The simple love letter. A business that helps men and women/boys and girls to write that beautifull love letter ( for a fee of course) to the one they love.
The spare bedroom tax in the UK is a great opportunity for creative renovators!
When politicians say its difficult or its BAD!, then the newspaper should turn everything that every politicians says about negative sentiments into a postive statement. So when a politician says This is a difficult time the newspaper should add in brackets this is a great and opportunistic time. It works!
The story about patient care and the dummy taped to a babies mouth made me think??? Is this really a nurses job? Why not start a private company that fluffs the pillows, tucks you in at night, brings you a glass of orange juice and sings to the baby to put them to sleep. Charge a fee for the service, and let nurses do what they should be doing.....nursing and medical care!\
There will be more later.....

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A new challenge for 2013: Newspapers from around the world challenge

Every year I challenge myself more and more in the field of innovation. In 2013 I will take on a new challenge. Every month I will read a new newspaper from around the world. I will then formulate new ideas from each newspaper and send them to the various newspapers in the hope they will publish these ideas. I will try and get newspapers from every continent and develop as many innovative: ideas possible. You can all help me by sending me newspapers from any country or continent you want to challenge me on, as long as they are in English.

My first newspaper will be The Guardian (UK).

By the end of january I will post innovative business and social ideas from this newspaper and hopefully you will all enjoy this new challenge for 2013.
Of course you could join me in the challenge by reading the same newspapers and sending me your creative business or social change ideas.

Let the journey for 2013 begin.