The United States of America just celebrated its 242nd birthday. That makes it less than 3 times as old as I am. I’ve never missed a day of work, never been out of a job for even one day, never been in a hospital overnight, and I have driven over a million miles with never an accident. I am the luckiest person that I know. Do things like this just happen, or do I have a Gift from God? Every day I thank Him for it.
I was born during the Great Depression, on the rented second floor of a house in Columbus, Ohio, because hospitals were too expensive.
At age ten, I got my first job. It was delivering a local community newspaper called “The Booster”. It was published on Fridays, and everyone in Clintonville, in the north end of Columbus, Ohio, got a free copy. I also delivered them on Saturdays, when a regular boy didn’t show up to do his route. In the Summer time I also worked Monday thru Friday at the Booster office, cleaning up the press room, washing the windows, sweeping the floors, cleaning the restrooms, whatever they had for me to do.
At age 11, I got a “Columbus Citizen” newspaper route, which was a 6 day afternoon newspaper, plus Sundays. I had 63 customers in the beginning, but I went to every house where they were not my customers, and asked them to become my customer. In less than a month I had over a hundred customers, and 4 years later when we moved from Columbus to Lancaster, I hadn’t lost a single customer. I opened a bank account and saved all my earnings.
When the Roy Rogers Rodeo came to the Red Bird Stadium in Columbus, I was selected to represent all the Columbus Citizen paper boys, and I went out on the field in front of all those people, and shook hands with my hero, Roy Rogers.
In the Summertime, I also worked at the Olympic swimming pool near my home. Working there gave me free admission when I wasn’t on duty. It was the neighborhood social center where all the popular girls hung out.
One of my paper-route customers in Columbus, introduced me to a self-made electronics genius, Mr. Warren Bauer. He had a Ham Radio station, W8IJV, in his cellar, which had an outside entrance. I rode my bike to his house many evenings, and learned by watching him. He arranged for me to be able to buy radio parts downtown, wholesale. I made my own radios, and carried one along on my bicycle so I could listen to the radio as I rode along.
My bedroom at home was the attic of our house, with a small window at each end. My antenna was just a long piece of copper wire I bought from a hardware store. It went from my window, to a telephone pole in the corner of my back yard. I made a short-wave radio so I could listen on short-wave, to radio stations all over the world.
Our next door neighbor, Mr. E.K. Augustus, had me run a wire from my window, over to his house, hooked to a buzzer, battery, and a telegraph key at each end. He taught me Morse Code. He also taught me how to drive his brand new DeSoto 3 speed stick shift car . Not bad for a 14 year old kid.
Over the years, I have taught many people how to send and receive Morse Code. I figured out an easy way for them to learn it. Using my technique, it only takes them 45 minutes to learn it. Last year I had a 24 year old girl from California who leased a car for her Summer working here in town. She said she wished she could learn Morse code. I loaned her a telegraph key to practice learning Morse Code. When she would came to make her monthly lease payment, we would communicate by Morse Code, instead of by conversation. I am still a Ham Radio Operator, licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, W2JSN.
One of my favorite people in the whole world was my Aunt Trudie. She had a beautiful 1940 Chevy Master Deluxe Club Coupe. At age 17, I bought it from her with $400 that I had earned and saved. It was an 11 year old car, and so beautiful. I bought war surplus seat belts that were made for fighter planes in WWII, and I installed them in my car, for safety. I was the only one in the world who had seat belts in my car in 1951. No one had ever seen a car with them. Years later, the U.S. government decided all cars should have seat belts. Now it’s against the law not to have them and use them. I saw the future way back then.
When our High School football team played “away” games, the parents of some good looking girls would not let their daughters ride in anyone’s car but mine, because I had the reputation of being the most careful driver in school. Even now, a million miles later, I have never had an accident.
I love to drive. After High School graduation, I drove that car to Nashville, Tennessee to visit a friend, and then on to Austin, Texas to visit a girl friend I had met when her parents visited my parents, in Ohio.
When I was a student at Ohio State, I drove that same car to Washington, DC, and drove right up to the front door of the White House, with my friend, Rich Gill, who had just enrolled at Ohio State and moved into the rooming house on 18th Avenue, where I had a room. He was President Eisenhower’s nephew. I missed meeting the President by just 5 minutes. He was going out the back door and we were coming in the front door.
While in High school I bought several cars that needed repairs, fixed them up, and sold them for a profit. I have always understood how mechanical things work, and I know how to fix them, for less than paying some to fix them.
When High School Graduation was coming up soon, I went to the service managers of the Chevy, Ford, and Buick dealerships and asked for a job. Each one gave me the same answer: “First, go to college and get the ‘book learning’ and then I’ll hire you”.
So one week after graduation from high school, I was a freshman at The Ohio State University. I took all the courses I could cram into each day, morning, noon, and night, and I also worked at a radio and television repair shop between classes. On weekends, I worked at the busiest gas station in Lancaster, my home town. In only three years I graduated from Ohio State, with my 4 year BSc college degree, in “Marketing”.
While at Ohio State, I prepared all my own meals in my room, to save money. I still spend less for food than anyone I know.
I have never missed a day of work, and I’ve never had to stay overnight in a hospital, and I’ve lived longer than any man in my family tree. At age 85, I still run my own business, 8AM to 5PM, 5 days a week, 45 hours a week. Working is fun.
One week after graduation from Ohio State I was the newest mechanic in training at Dinsmore Buick in Lancaster, Ohio, and I very soon learned why Buick customers are so loyal to Buick. Buicks were designed to be customer friendly and mechanic friendly. I can still keep a used Buick on the road cheaper than any other brand of car.
My boss, Alden Dinsmore, was an ex-Buick Factory Service Representative, and he encouraged me to enroll in a two and a half year program at General Motors Institute (GMI) which was located in Buick’s home town of Flint, Michigan. I spent a month at school and a month working for Dinsmore Buick, back and forth. Many of my fellow students quit because it was too hard for them.
While I was at GMI, three of my buddies who didn’t have a car, asked me to drive them to the employment office at the Buick factory, where they wanted to get hired by the Buick factory for more money, instead of working for their home-town dealer. When the man doing the interviewing was done with them, he asked me why I was there, and when I told him, he suggested that I be interviewed, too. He hired me immediately. When I told Mr. Dinsmore, he said “I knew that would happen.” Part of my working for the factory as a student, was in the Factory Service Department office, they wrote the Technical Service Bulletins, Parts Books, and Shop Manuals. I “proof read” what they were writing, to see if it would be clear to the dealership people who would be reading them.
Three years later, when I was on the road calling on Buick dealers, as their Buick Factory Service Representative, whenever I had a tough problem, I could call my friends in Flint, and they would give me the inside information I needed, and help me solve the problem. They made me look good with the dealership mechanics who I was helping.
In 1959, before there were copy machines, I bought an old printing press, set the type by hand, and printed up a “Service Bulletin Index” which made it easy for all the Buick mechanics in the country to find the factory service bulletin they needed when they had a problem. Buick gave my indexes to every Service Manager in the country at the next annual Buick New Model Convention in Flint. Buick started providing Service Bulletin Indexes from that day on, and they still give every Buick dealer Service Manager in the country a current service bulletin index, but I was the first to do it. I saw the future need.
In late February 1957, I was drafted into the Army a few days before my GMI Graduation Ceremony. They had to mail me my diploma.
When I was a student at GMI, I also worked in the huge Buick factory where they were building the cars. . They had Suggestion Boxes everywhere. I submitted a suggestion in every suggestion box. Later, while I was in Basic Training at Fort Benning Georgia, I kept getting $25 U.S. Savings Bonds in the mail from the Suggestion Boxes program. Every suggestion I made was accepted, and they sent me a $25 Savings Bond for each. My Army buddies were amazed.
After I completed my two years in the Army, Buick sent me to New York City, to be a Service Representative headquartered in the New York Zone Office. My new Boss, Mr. George Scarponi, asked me why I was hired in preference to some other guys who had been recently laid off. I told him that my friends in Flint had sent me the current Buick Shop Manuals, and I had read them from cover to cover while I was in the Army. He was impressed. My first job on the road was calling on 22 Buick dealerships in Upstate New York from Poughkeepsie to the Canadian border. After a year, they promoted me to Owner Relations Manager in New York City, and a year after that they promoted me to Buick Factory Service Representative for New York City. Mr. Scarponi taught me how to speak proper English, with no accent, so I didn’t sound like a kid from Ohio. Now, every day I talk by phone with people from all over the world, and they can’t tell where I’m from by the way I speak, but I can tell where they are from, by the way they speak. Pygmalion.
Part of my job as Service Rep was to report any problems with the current new Buicks, to my boss. I knew he would forward my reports on the Michigan, so I always phoned my friends in Michigan, and gave them a “heads up” so they would know in advance what was coming, and not be caught off-guard. At one of the annual new model conventions in Michigan, attended by all the Buick Service Reps from all over the country, I was given special recognition because I had sent in more good product reports than all the rest of the guys in the country, put together.
The money I earned working in college, paid my expenses, so I had no student loans to pay back later. None for Ohio State, and none for GMI.
The present CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra, is also a graduate of GMI. She and President Trump are friends.
When I was a GMI student, the military draft was in full force. I knew I would soon be in the Army, so I doubled up on my classes, scheduling two classes at the same time. I’d attend one or the other. Then my classmates would tutor me, on what I had missed at the class I didn’t attend. As a result, I finished the 2 1/2 years of schooling in a year and a half. I think I was the only student to do that. They wouldn’t have let me do that, but I was an “all A’s” student, and the Dean was an ex-military man who understood.
It pays to get all A’s.
While I was a student at Ohio State, I figured out how to get all “A’s” and “ace” every test.
I taught my #1 son, Robert, how to do it.
When he was a Junior in High school, our Community College had a program for “all A’s” high school students, tuition-free. He went for it, and he graduated from our community college, a week BEFORE he graduated from high school. Then he enrolled at MIT and graduated with three degrees in 4 years, all A’s. Then he enrolled and graduated from the University of North Carolina medical school, and became an MD. All A’s. He got his Masters Degree from the University of Arizona for free, because he was on their teaching staff during his Residency. No student loans. Lots and lots of scholarships.
I loved being in the Army. They put me in a 3 months electronics school in Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey, and after 6 weeks they “graduated” me because I “aced” all the tests. I knew what the instructors were going to say before they said it.
Then they sent me to their electronics school at Redstone Arsenal, in Huntsville, Alabama, to learn how to repair the RADARs on our Guided Missiles aimed at Russia and Red China. After completing the course, the Army kept me at Redstone Arsenal as an instructor. All the NATO countries sent soldiers from West Germany, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, and Turkey. My job was to teach them what I had just learned.
When the Red Chinese were going to invade Formosa (Taiwan), the islands of Matsu and Quemoy were the “stepping stones” islands to Formosa. Our Army set up Missle sites on those islands, and the Red Chinese decided not to try their luck. Taiwan (Formosa) is still independent.
I saved up my military leave time so I could go to work in the New York City Zone of Buick, a month before I was discharged from the Army. So a month after getting hired, I drove my beautiful brand new 1959 Buick company car back to Alabama to get discharged from the Army. I had the nicest car on the base.
When I was Owner Relations Manager for Buick in New York City, I requested an extra phone be installed on a table behind me, so I could call the Service Manager of whatever dealership the customer was complaining about on my main phone line that came from the switchboard. I wired the phones so the dealership Service Manager could hear what they were saying about him on the other line. The Service Managers LOVED it, because it saved so much time. I was the only one who knew how to do that. I also recorded the calls, and played back the best ones at our monthly Service Manager dinner meetings, so they could see that they weren’t the only ones with a very tough job. They loved it.
I was always the first to get to the office in the morning, and the last to leave at night, and I read the customer complaint letters as I drove, and dictated the replys, as I drove my company car home after work, and as I drove back to work for an hour in the morning. So I was, in effect, working 11 hours a day. The Dictaphone machine that I used to dictate letters for the secretary to type to the customers, it had to be plugged into a wall outlet, but I re-wired mine so it would work in my car, as I drove along in traffic. Dictaphone didn’t offer that option, so mine was the only one.
As the Buick “Factory Man” for New York City, (Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, and Brooklyn) my job was to tell the dealership mechanics how to fix cars they couldn’t fix, how to solve problems with difficult customers, and how to do it all at minimum warranty expense to GM. When people would ask me how I knew how to do all those things, I would just “shrug”. What was obvious to me, was a puzzle to most mechanics. So I had to explain to them what to do.
The Buick Instructor at the GM Training Center in Tarrytown, NY had frequent health problems, so they would send me in there to be the Buick Instructor when he was off sick. I knew more about fixing the new Buicks than the older guys, who had been working on them for years.
The dealers loved me, the Service Managers loved me, my superiors in Buick Motor Division loved me. The customers thought I was their best friend. And that hasn’t changed. We can still fix cars cheaper than anyone in the car business.
NY City people are usually hard to deal with. The secret is to NEVER take anything they say personally. I still have customers from New York City, who have bought homes here. Some come here for the Summer, some stay year-round, some just week-ends. They lease used cars from me while they are here. 5 dollars a day, dime a mile.
I had always wanted to be a Buick dealer, and on September 21, 1964, at age 30, they made me a Buick dealer, the youngest one in the U.S.A.
I immediately started leasing new and used cars to my customers. Nobody had ever heard of leasing cars, but to me it was a good idea. For 54 years now, I have leased cars to regular people, rich people, and poor people. Each customer is unique, and I have a lease and a car to suit the needs of each one. Most of our cars have been leased out again and again for many years. We do all the maintenance and repairs at no charge to the customer. If it weren’t for us, many of our customers would be “on foot”, with no car, relying on their friends to drive them around. We are the only place in America that does what we do.
I was the first dealer in the U.S. to lease cars to the public. Today, more than half of the new cars nationwide, are leased, not purchased. I saw the future, 54 years ago.
Three years before it happened, I knew that GM was going to go Bankrupt. It happened in June, 2008. I got GM to buy-back my franchises for $150,000, right before it happened. The dealers who didn’t see it coming got nothing.
I enjoy associating with very important people. They often have to make big decisions. I have found that if I make a casual suggestion to them at just the right moment, they will often take my ideas and incorporate them into being their ideas. Last week was the annual Golden Gathering at our local community college. I saw our U.S. Congressman and his wife, and spent time chatting with them. I also saw our State Senator, and spent time with her. They told me what they were thinking, and I told them which of their plans I thought were the best, and why.
Several months ago, I was talking with one of my customers, who works as a local prison as a corrections officer, about the problem of young prisoners being released, and soon getting in trouble and going back to prison again. It is frustrating for people like him. Every month when he comes in, we come up with new ideas.
I sent President Trump an E-mail, suggesting that he bring back the WPA, but make it for former convicts only, so they can become proud, hard-working, valuable citizens, and learn a trade, and never have go back to prison again. A week later, President Trump came out with a brand new government program, to do just that. His new program is just what I suggested. A week after that, support for his new program was announced by a several Congressmen. So in the future, a lot of parolees may not being going back to prison, and they will be becoming good citizens, and starting a new productive life. Our President has come up with several more programs to make former convicts into good citizens.
Many years ago I “knew” that all-electric cars would be the cars of the future, and in 1985, I heard that GM was going to build some all-electric zero-emission cars to try out the idea, so I asked for one. They trucked in one to me right away, all licensed and insured, to drive for a year and give them my suggestions. It was a cute little car. It was 2 passenger, the size of a golf cart, it had an electric motor and batteries. It had windshield wipers, stop lights, turn signals, headlights, tail lights, and back up lights, and it had a top speed of 35 MPH. Local people still remember that little car. I had the only one they would ever see. I saw the future of electric cars, 35 years ago.
Two years from now, every car company in the world will have all-electric cars on the road, and all of them will be equipped with accident-avoidance features. The feature will prevent the all-electric cars from having accidents. It is estimated that one million lives will be saved every year. And the cost of insuring them will be very low. China alone already plans to have hundreds of new car companies with all-electric cars to sell world-wide. And in Germany in 2020 only all-electric new cars will be allowed to be sold there. No diesels, no gasoline engines.
I don’t spend a cent on advertising. It’s all word-of-mouth.
Back when we had the franchises, we leased a used car to the local radio station manager. He played our Jingle on the radio thousands of times, as his way of paying for his lease car. Every kid who was in Hudson High from 1965 to 1995 can still sing our radio jingle. Everywhere I go, perfect strangers, when they realize who I am, sing my jingle out loud, “Drive in style behind the wheel, come say YES to a NOecker deal.” A month ago a girl in California sang my jungle to me over her mother’s cell phone.
When local people have a friend who needs a car, they send them to us. We always ask them why they came to us for a car, and they tell us. “My friend told me.”
One time my wife said: “Everything that happens to you becomes an event that you embrace and cherish and remember the best parts of.” I agreed. Then she observed: “I don’t think there is anyone else in the world like you.” I agreed with that, too. Then she said “If anything ever happens to you I think I will have to get a cat.” We’ve been married now for 61 years.
12 years ago someone stopped out in front of the dealership, and tossed a little cat out of their car and drove off. The cat “adopted” us, and she thought she was our little girl and we were her Mom and Dad. She was the best cat we ever had. A gift from God. So feminine, so loving. On November 1, 2018, at 6:45 AM, she was frightened by a very loud truck, roaring down our street, and she panicked and got hit by it, and was killed. When we came home from our morning coffee, we saw her body in the street. I stopped and picked her up. She was still warm. I carried her body home, and put her on a bench by our back door positioned to look like she was asleep. We miss her every minute. She will always be a part of our family. She was such an important part of our lives. I still expect to see her suddenly appear like she did for 12 years. A month ago we adopted a 12 year old cat from the local Animal Center, where she had been living with 50 other cats for 5 long months. We were the only visitors who wanted her. She thinks we are her wonderful Mom and Dad.
At another time, my wife said: “You tell me about something that is happening, and a long time later, what you told me comes up on the TV or on the radio as a big hot news item. It’s like everything that happens, you saw it coming. Coming events are obvious to me.
I think every person has some sort of a “Gift from God”, that is unique to just them. I think if the church Pastors explained this to people every Sunday, and helped them discover their own “Gifts from God” the churches would be overflowing with people every Sunday, wanting to learn more. Everyone wants think that God loves them.
I have suggested to our Pastor that he end each service with “Remember, no one is perfect, but I like you just the way you are.”
During the Viet-Nam War, my wife and I adopted three half-American Viet-Nam war children, ages 7, 4, and 3. Counting our four natural kids, that made nine of us around the dinner table every night. I gave each their own Bible, and after desert, we took turns reading a verse or two, and we discussed what they had just read. I know of no other family that has read every single word of the Bible, together. All our kids, adopted and natural, are all grown up, and they have done well, and they still e-mail me frequently. Each is different, and each have their own unique “Gifts from God”.
Beginning in 2004, something was happening that wasn’t good. The world’s supply of petroleum was being very restricted, and no one was doing anything about it. I told my friend, Bob Lutz, the top “car guy” at GM, that GM needed to start putting smaller, economy engines in every car, right away, so GM would meet the high gas mileage requirements that I could see would soon be mandated by the government.
The GM Board of Directors chose to ignore what was obvious to me, and did nothing. When the government, as I expected, mandated that the “corporate average fuel economy of each American car company had to improve immediately, GM had to stop producing their profitable full size cars, because they used too much gas to meet the new government standards. GM lost billions of dollars. The power trains I had suggested would have increased the “Corporate Average Fuel Mileage” and GM could have been the only American company to continue to build and sell the larger, high-profit cars. I saw the future, the Board of directors didn’t.
Later, I suggested that Cadillac should have an optional Buick power train, which would not only increase their gas mileage, but would make them much easier and less expensive to work on. The big Buicks were already being built in the oldest Cadillac Plant, in Hamtramic-Detroit, Michigan, so it would have been so easy to do. But the Cadillac Factory Sales Department people insisted that Cadillacs should all have V8 engines. Today Cadillacs have 4 cylinder engines.
Buicks are intentionally designed to be easy to repair and inexpensive to own and maintain. Over the years, the Buick Division of GM has always made more money for GM than their other brands.
“If I was king” every GM car would still be made, and the Buick factory Sales and Service Department people would build, service, and sell them, and GM would have never had to go bankrupt. And GM would still be the biggest and best.
Even today, the Cadillac Factory Sales Department is still floundering. The Cadillac brand would be much better off if it was handed over to Buick to design, sell and service. Every couple of years Cadillac has to hire another “genius” to run Cadillac, and after a year or two, they get rid of him and try another one.
On 2-22-08 GM paid us to turn in our franchises. And we are no longer a Buick and Pontiac dealer, but I am still on the best of terms with the Buick factory organization. The best Buick dealers, and engineers from every Buick plant, and I participate in Buick’s weekly Reliability and Quality Control Conference Call. I named it that, and I created a web site, www.BuickDotCom.com. The JD Power Company declared Buick to be #1 in Customer Satisfaction, #1 in Reliability, and #1 in Customer Satisfaction with their dealership Service. Our Conference Call works.
When a current problem is being discussed on our Conference Call, I listen, and if no one comes up with a good solution, that’s when I make a suggestion. I’ve been on the Conference Call for over 20 years, and I still have “cheap” solutions to every problem.
When I worked as a student in the huge Buick plant in Flint, Michigan, the slogan was: “Tell us how to do something just as good for less money. Tell us how to do something better for the same money. But don’t tell us how to do something better for more money.”
When GM went bankrupt in June 2008, we made our dealership recession proof, by increasing our leasing of used cars to local people who need “wheels”, and many don’t have a lot of money to spend. We are the only way some of our customers can have a car in their driveway, instead of being “on foot”. Each one of our customers is unique, and we are the only place in the world that does what we do. We lease them a car, and we maintain and service it at no extra charge for as long as they have it. They can change their mind, give the car back, switch to a different car, what ever works for them. No penalties, no limits.
Our website is www.Noecker66.com
My philosophy: Never Retire. It’s not good for you. After 3 years you’ll wish you hadn’t retired, if you are still alive. Every year old people are living longer than the year before. And every weekend I look forward to Monday morning. I open the place up at 8AM, work all day, and close it at 5PM. We take weekends and holidays off. Evenings and weekends are “date time” for my wife and me. I’m still an ASE Certified mechanic, and I’m still licensed to do New York State Inspections. My mechanics are REAL mechanics. We know how to fix things better and cheaper than anyone, anywhere.
Our church here in Hudson has a wonderful Pastor. I told him that I think the wedding vows should include the promise to “Love, honor, obey, and never criticize your mate.”
I got a letter signed by Pres. Trump, thanking me for my WPA suggestion, and some other big political people are supporting the program.
This is the story of my life. When someone asks me how I knew about something a long time before it happened, I just shrug and say I just knew.
I can give example after example. When I was the Buick Service Rep for NY City, dealership Service Managers would have a problem they couldn’t solve, and we would talk about it in person or on the phone, and I’d tell them what to do next to fix the car they were working on.
Back in 1963 I wanted to leave Buick and go with GM Overseas. They gave me the truck Service Manuals, to read and get ready. But when they checked with Buick, my boss told them they couldn’t have me “Because he’s my best product man, and you can’t have him.” I was the youngest Service Rep in the NY Zone, and had the least experience, but so many times, I solved problems no one else could.
As you probably realize by now, I have a history of being very lucky, and I like to use that when I’m talking with school kids. When they are doing things that will get them in trouble, I tell them that what they are doing will make them have really bad luck. They have never been told anything like that before, and it gets their attention. I tell them that if it weren’t for bad luck they wouldn’t have any luck at all. Then I tell them all the things they can do to get lucky. Later when I see them, they want to tell me all the good things that have happened to them.
At the end of this year, I’ll be 31,000 days old. 31,000 days. Wouldn’t you think I would be a lot smarter with all those days to learn more??
If I still lived in Columbus, Ohio, I’d volunteer to teach a course at Ohio State, called: “Life In The Cheap Lane – 101”. I would teach them how to get all A’s and how to graduate with no student loans. How to make every moment count, and how to prepare for and respond to every event that might happen to them for the rest of their lives. Some kids get bored, and don’t benefit from going to college, anywhere near as much as “Life in the cheap lane” kids would. I can guarantee no one would fall asleep in my classes, and when the bell rings, half of them would come up to me and want to tell me something more. I would try to keep in touch with each of them after graduation, and follow their successful lives. They would always know that I was on their side, and I’ll bet not one of them would ever get in trouble with the law.
LifeInTheCheapLane. It’s fun, and it’s wonderful.
I am John Noecker .
We are on Route 66 in Hudson, New York. E-mail is Noecker66@yahoo.com, and our phone # is (518) 828-7628, Monday thru Friday, 8AM to 5PM.
If you are ever over this way, stop in. I’d love to meet you.
What’s Coming in the near future – – – –
In a speech by the Managing Director of Daimler Benz (Mercedes), a brilliant man, he predicted the future:
The future competitors of the German car companys are no longer other car companies but they are Tesla , Google, Apple, and Amazon.
New software will start to disrupt traditional industries in the next five years.
Uber is just a software tool, and they don’t own any cars, but they are now the largest taxi company in the world
Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, but they don’t own any properties.
Artificial Intelligence Computers will become exponentially better in understanding the world. Already a computer has beat the best “Go” player in the world.
In the U.S., many young lawyers can’t find jobs, because of IBM-Watson. You can get legal advice on the internet within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared to 70% accuracy when done by humans. He predicted there will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future. Only specialists will survive.
IBM-Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, four times more accurately than human nurses. Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans can. By 2030, computers will become more intelligent in many ways than humans.
(I don’t agree with the following. I think we will always need a driver, but the all-electric car will help the driver avoid accidents) Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self driving cars will appear. By 2020, the complete auto industry will be really changed. You won’t need to own a car anymore. You will call a car with your cell phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination. You will not need to park it. You will only pay for the driven distance and you can be productive, doing other things in transit. Our kids will not need to get a driver’s license and will never need to own a car.
(I don’t agree with this. People love their cars.) It will change cities, because we will need 90% fewer cars in cities. Former parking spaces will be used for other purposes.
(I do agree there will be far fewer accidents) Presently, over a million people die each year in auto accidents worldwide. We now average one accident per 60,000 miles. With autonomous driving that will drop to one accident in six million miles, saving over a million lives per year. (Too optimistic. Half as many deaths maybe.)
Present car companies (ARE) changing immediately. They have always done things little by little, building a little better car each year. High tech companies, (Tesla, Apple, Amazon, Google) will soon be making major changes each year. They will build an all-new “computer on wheels” each year.
Ford, GM, and Chrysler recently announced they are cancelling most future models. I think they finally realize that their most important new cars in two years will be the all-electric ones.
The engineers at Volkswagen and Audi are terrified of Tesla.
Insurance will become a hundred times cheaper, because without accidents, the need for insurance will shrink.
Real estate will change, because people will be able to afford to commute to work from a greater distance, and they’ll be able to do productive work en-route.
Electric cars will become common by 2020. Cities will be less noisy because electric cars are quiet. Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean. Solar produced electricity is increasing everywhere. Last year, more solar energy was installed worldwide than fossil fuel, to produce electricity. Technology is taking over.
With cheap electricity comes cheap and abundant water Desalination of salt water now only needs 2kwh per cubic meter (@ 0.25 cents). We don’t have scarce water in most places, we only have scarce drinking water. Everyone everywhere will have as much clean water as he or she wants, for very little cost.
Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it. It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medical analysis, nearly for free. There will be less need for medical establishments.
3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within just 10 years. At the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies have already started 3D printing of shoes.
Some spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The orbiting space station now has a printer that eliminates the need for many of spare parts they used to have on hand in the past.
Soon, smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You will then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home.
In China, they have already 3D printed and built a complete 6-story office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.
Business opportunities: If you think of a good niche to get into for your future, ask yourself: “in the future, will we still have that nitch?” If the answer is yes, go for it. Then make it happen.
Everything in the future has to operate with your phone. Things designed for the 20th century may be obsolete in the 21st century.
Work: 75% of present jobs will change in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but they will be different. You have to be willing to learn a new job. STEM.
Agriculture: There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in 3rd world countries will become managers of their field instead of working all day in their fields.
Aeroponics will need much less water. The first Petri dish-produced-veal, is now available and will be cheaper than cow-produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30% of all agricultural land is used to feed cows. There are several startup companies who will be producing high proteen “fake meat” with more protien than real meat. It will be labelled as “alternative protein”.
There is an app called “moodies” which can tell in which mood you’re in. By 2020 there will be apps that can tell by your facial expressions, if you are lying. Imagine a political debate where it’s being displayed when they’re telling the truth and when they’re not.
Bitcoin could become the default reserve currency of the world. But maybe not.
Longevity: Right now, the average person’s life span is increasing by 3 months every year. Four years ago, the life span was 78 years, now it’s 79 years. By 2036, the average life span will be 84 years. Jobs related to caring for the elderly are increasing dramatically.
Education: The cheapest smart phones are already only $10 in Africa and Asia. By 2020, 70% of all humans in the world will own a smart phone. Everyone will have access to a world-class education. Every child will be able to use Khan Academy over the internet for everything the child needs to learn in school. There have already been releases of software in Indonesia and soon there will be releases in Arabic, Suaheli and Chinese. The English app will be for free, so that children in Africa and everywhere else can become fluent in American English, the universal language of the world.
This completed his speech. (With my comments added).
(I think the new cars will help the driver avoid accidents, but the car can never predict everything, especially weather-caused hazards. And there will still be millions of old cars without the accident avoidance features.)