One of my first assignments in the Army was in Germany.
I really had no clue what I was about to experience. This was before cell phones, the internet and home computers. We didn’t even have cable TVs. My introduction to the culture and expectations came from library research and a mandatory Army class. I learned over the assignment that Europe was amazing and was able to visit so many great places and see so much history. I just didn’t have the foresight going into it. I bought my first computer in Germany, the Commodore 64, which I later upgraded to the Commodore 128. 128 megabytes, who needed that much space? Still no internet, so it was basically a gaming computer for one player.
Fast forward to my first deployment to the middle east after 911. Most people had cell phones, but they were truly just phones. I was in Kuwait when I saw my first cell phone with a camera on it. I thought it was a stupid idea and people didn’t need cameras on a phone. I guess I never did have much foresight. I never imagined that phones would become minicomputers. My cell phone is a thousand times more capable than that first Commodore 64.
When I was in Germany, our mission was to protect the border between the East and the West. The Soviet Union was the enemy. A lot of what finally broke the Soviet Union was cable TV. The citizens could only be lied to so much when technology started feeding them more and more information. This was really the start of our world shrinking and this global economy that we live in now. Advancements in technology, travel, and most importantly, communications have given us access to market the world.
We can literally speak into our phones with any question and get an immediate answer. Once a seemingly large world, now everyone is our neighbor. My kids would play video games in their rooms after homework. I could hear them talking to other players from all over the world. We have the same global reach in business. We all complain about our phones “listening” to us. If I speak to my wife about our daughter’s upcoming wedding, I get advertisements about weddings. If my wife searches for BBQ grills online, I get Facebook advertisements for grills. We can also take advantage of the same technology as small businesses.
The world wants to come to Florida. It is a great place to work, retire, vacation and make investments. We can directly market our Florida services to anyone in the world affordably. My business has Google ads that only run on devices that have researched specific keywords. I have commercials that run on TVs in homes that have only talked about our research of certain keywords. This allows me to target the world at little cost. I now have clients investing in Florida from Europe, the Middle East, South America and Canada. Technology makes the global market work smoothly and efficiently. A global market gives us all more customers and provides great opportunities. I really hope you all have taken advantage of the shrinking world and embrace the changes that are coming down the road.