I admit it, I am a sports nut fan. I tend to find sports analogies to exemplify points I am making about business and/or life.
As per usual, I flipped the radio to 540AM ESPN to listen to one of my favorite dudes, Colin Cowherd. (If you don’t listen – Shame. On. You. He’s the best! ) Colin made a fabulous point today that reinforces a value that I believe to be vital to success in business and life – if you don’t embrace new technology in life, you might as well run for the hills!!
“You will get left in the dust,” Cowherd states. Now don’t get me wrong – that’s perfectly fine if you don’t mind living “in the hills” and never making an appearance “in the city”. Problem is, to be successful in life, there are times when one must “make trips to the city.” (For those who don’t get the reference…only a select set of people are anti-establishment, non-conformist, let’s-not-ever-show-face kind of people). Bottom line: For the majority of us, we have to venture out into the public arena to maximize our success and value.
He makes this point in reference to Major League Baseball’s need for adopting instant replay. They are the only major professional sport that hasn’t embraced the quality replay technology that most major pro sports have (except for close home runs). Once again last night, it became abundantly clear (when the umpires blew a close-call at 2nd base that ultimately led to SF’s only run of the game against the ATL Braves) that the sport is falling behind and suffering due to the purists that believe embracing the technology will somehow ruin the game. Sorry, but all it has done for the sports that HAVE adopted the technology is ensure the calls are RIGHT. “What’s wrong with that”, you ask? Absolutely. Nothing. Cowherd is 100% on point with his sentiment.
We can apply his point to most platforms of life, but let’s specifically talk about agriculture – afterall, the name of the Blog is The Future of Agriculture…
In the previous post, I wrote about the grave problem our world faces with population increase and lack of agricultural production space. We have a serious lack of “whole” foods and quality produce around the world.
John Pade and Colin Cowherd must know each other share similar views, as John made this exact point during the Controlled Environment Agriculture and Aquaponics workshop I recently attended. John’s claim was, “The biggest mistake people make when they finally open their doors for business?!? THE LEARNING STOPS!” I would be willing to bet $5 a lot of money that if polled, the top CEOs around the globe have at least one unifying characteristic – they continued to learn and apply new principles and technologies to their business in order to stay relevant and on top of the competition. Some of you are probably thinking to yourselves, “But David, that’s so obvious!” Well, tell that to all of the people and businesses that fail to heed such advice. Furthermore, tell that to Major League Baseball!!
As it relates to The Future of Agriculture, Greens & Gills epitomizes the culmination of new technology in agriculture. Specifically, aquaponics is the next step in the natural evolution of growing technologies. You may be wondering what the difference between hydroponics and aquaponics is? It’s actually quite simple. In hydroponics, growers must add mined, manufactured inorganic fertilizers into their water source to add all of the essential macro and micro nutrients that the plants need to sustain proper vegetative growth and flower set (for fruiting varieties). These inorganic fertilizers are becoming more scarce, and are rather expensive. Furthermore, they are not organic.
In aquaponics, we mirror hydroponic farms in most aspects of our business, apart from one fundamental (and large) difference – in aquaponics, we use the organic fish waste as the fertilizer for our plants. This solves our problem of using manufactured fertilizers, and most importantly, creates two byproducts. Greens & Gills! An aquaponic farm has almost identical start-up costs and operating costs compared to a hydroponic farm, but revenues and profit margins are higher in aquaponics due to the sale of produce AND fish (instead of just produce in hydroponics).
The best businesses find ways to continually maximize their annual ROI, and one of the fundamental means for doing so is by striving and continuing to learn each and every day and by adopting new technologies. A simple technological upgrade from one year to the next could mean the difference in a 35% return for the year versus a 40% return – all due to a simple technological upgrade.
For MLB’s sake, I hope they catch up with the other pro sports. For agriculture’s sake, I plan to embrace technology and help lead us into the future…