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‘Snowmageddon’ as a Business Opportunity

By Nazareth Black - Zacua


By Nazareth Black | Black - Wed, 02/08/2023 - 15:00

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In December, I decided to spend the holidays with my family in the city of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. I make the complete reference to the place, including the country, because I know that I have readers from other parts of the world who could not identify the first one, the city of Monterrey.

I have been spending more time in Mexico City  for a few years and one of the advantages of this city is the stability of the climate. As a result, years ago, I did not worry about checking the temperature for  the day. With that forgotten habit, I was ready and happy for Monterrey when I was warned that there was a cold wave coming  and that the temperature would drop to 0 degrees Celsius.

In Monterrey, the particularity of its climate indicates that a temperature  of 0 degrees is much more aggressive than in other cities, and it is something to pay attention to. For this reason, we got down to work. We called our mothers to ask if they were prepared. We were told that there were no heaters because they weren’t necessary anymore. We sent someone from Monterrey on  a parade of stores but there were no more devices to buy, so we tried to buy them in Mexico City,  without success. The idea was to take them by car. I repeat, we failed.

Another objective was to find thermal clothing of sustainable origin. As you know, part of my job is to promote change toward a culture of sustainable mobility. This implies that I have diversified my interests in this sense and try to be as ecological as possible in my life in general. As a result, I decided to acquire thermal clothing of sustainable origin, but I had  no success there either.

I arrived in Monterrey, where the cold was more aggressive than expected; however, it turns out that it was nothing compared to the concept of "Snowmageddon" that announced the worst cold wave in 40 years.

What is Snowmaggedon?

According to Wikipedia, “Snowmaggedon, Snowpocalypse, and Snowzilla” are blends of the word “snow” with “armageddon”, “apocalypse” and “Godzilla,” which began to be used in 2009 to characterize the sensationalist news reaction to a period of aggressive snowfall. In the UK, in 2022, they  used the terms again to describe what is considered the worst winter storm since 1977 in the US-Canada border region.

Photographs attested to the astonishing event, news announced temperatures below -50 degrees Celsius, and blackouts that left millions of people without electricity did not allow me to continue thinking about the -4 degree cold that I was experiencing in Monterrey, which was not affected by this cold wave.

How Can Snowmageddon Be Turned Into a Business Opportunity?

Something that characterizes me is that I am always thinking about how to generate new business, so reflecting on the cold and the experience in those days, I remembered that there are plenty of statistics that indicate that the way we heat ourselves and our homes are on the verge  of obsolescence and it is urgently necessary to come up with innovative solutions.

Reflections and Ideas

Today, we heat our spaces with devices and solutions that use electricity, coal, gas, and wood. All this is too expensive in every way, from the cost involved in the use of dirty energy and deforestation to the danger it implies for our health and the possibility of premature death.

It is illogical to have millions of deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning, which is called the silent killer.

Carbon monoxide is a byproduct that results from the incomplete combustion of products, such as gasoline, coal, kerosene, LP gas, natural gas, oil, firewood, naphtha, plastics, and other fuels. Any appliance that is used to burn some fuel can produce it if the supply of sufficient oxygen to the burner is not ensured. Thus, devices such as stoves, portable lamps, ovens that burn gas or kerosene, fireplaces and wood ovens, braziers and even any vehicle with the engine running become dangerous.

We can confirm three things: The way we heat our spaces is too dangerous, cold waves are increasingly frequent and aggressive, and we are in the age of technology.

Uniting the three previous premises and trying to provide some ideas in response to my previous question, how can Snowmageddon become a business opportunity, here are some ideas:

We need to improve the technology that provides solutions for thermal construction and thermal ecological clothing, to have an appliance that heats and without using firewood, coal, gas, or electricity. I imagine something the size of a blender powered by renewable energy and its capacity to produce heat, store it, and radiate it is such that we can heat spaces without the need to depend on the electrical network at all.

Pipes that support the cold.

A tea or coffee with nanotechnology that keeps you warm for longer.

It sounds like fantasy and hallucination, but doesn't everything start like that? A big business doesn't start without the fanciful idea of ​​a dreamer.

For example, I want to imagine how ridiculous the now-famous physicist Richard Feynman must have sounded when he shared his idea to create nanobots.

You will know that the first mention of nanotechnology arose conceptually in 1959, during a conference where Dr. Feynman publicly considered the possibility of directly manipulating atoms and molecules, and it was not until the 1970s that Dr. Norio Taniguchi used the term  for the first time to describe his research.

Today, we simply could not conceive of our life without nanotechnology.

Perhaps it is time to innovate in thinking, and design new solutions from  dreams to keep us warm during what is expected to continue happening: snowmageddon.

As for me, it has been three weeks since my trip, and I'm still sick with a respiratory virus. So, this is an additional business opportunity: effective prevention solutions to avoid getting sick instead of treating symptoms when they emerge.

Here are the  keywords to consider if you want to innovate: ecological, sustainable, and fair trade.

Photo by:   Nazareth Black

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