People sniggered when Jonar Nader made his predictions over the past ten years. Here, he recalls old predictions that came true, despite no-one believing him at the time. Watch this video as Jonar talks about social and corporate issues that he foresaw. Further below is a transcript of the video.
Here is the transcript:
Jonar Nader: He said to me, ‘Do you think they will believe you?’ Because I’m about to tell you things that are disturbing and unbelivable. And he triggered a thought in my mind. So, at the very last – at 5AM yesterday morning, I got up early because I thought, ‘Oh, you’re not going to believe what I’m going to tell you,’ which is a plight of my life. So very quickly, I added this at 5AM yesterday morning just to share my track record with you.
You know how every male member sitting here delegate has a mobile phone? I could bet most of you do, 99% of you have mobile phone. Would you believe that this time next year, most of the male members would be wearing red lipstick and red nail polish?
Jonar Nader: Now, if I said that to you with all earnestness and I keep going for an hour like this, if I keep going for an hour like this, it’s going to get to the point of embarrassment where you wouldn’t give eye-contact with me. Now, I said that to you just to remind you of what it feels like to not believe somebody because they were the ridiculing sniggles that I received when I told people long before the Department of Justice had a case about Microsoft. I predicted some issues with Microsoft that it will have a downturn and they sniggered. Unbelievable it was, cookie they say. No wonder I’m still unemployed. Really, no one wants to know me.
Yet, only 18 months later, my cookie prediction came true and it was front page news that Microsoft lost $80 billion of it’s market capitalization. Cookie. I said the same of Intel. When Intel was riding the biggest rides ever. I published this and everything that I say and just said, it’s published. It’s on radio. We’ve got records and it’s in print and it’s in books. This disturbed the industry so much. I get letters threatening from all sorts of lawyers. My bosses overseas because I used to work at the likes of IBM, Compaq, and Acer, and my bosses overseas reprimanded me officially with a letter, my first ever letter which I now framed with pride but I cried about it back then. They said, ‘Don’t you dare open your mouth like that.’ I said, ‘Don’t you believe me?’ They said, ‘No. You are an embarrassment.’
And not 12 months later, the biggest NASDAQ drop ever, thanks to Intel, exactly what I predicted but they sniggered. A friend of mine owns several buildings. He and his family own many buildings in Sydney and elsewhere. They are mega, mega, mega rich. And he said to me, ‘You know a bit about telecommunications and technology, what do you think of Onetel?’ I said, ‘I wouldn’t touch them.’ He said, ‘Now, I know you’re really stupid.’ He said, ‘Packer is in on it. Murdoch is in on it. Look at the numbers. Look at this. Look at telecommunications. Look at that.’ I said, ‘I wouldn’t touch them.’ You know Onetel, went in a blaze of glory. And the phone rang one day. I just pick up the disc as been normal, ‘Jonar, good afternoon.’ He said, ‘You bastard!’ Who could that be? It could be anybody because they all hate me anyway.
Jonar Nader: He said, ‘How did you know?’ For another time, I’ll tell you how I knew it. I was up at Coolum or something like that talking to the Institute of Company Directors and I was speaking about what will make rich and poor. We’ve got access rich and access poor, money rich and money poor, technology rich and technology poor, military rich and military poor. And I was talking about the absolute importance of the infrastructure rich and infrastructure poor. Couldn’t say it two years later, the head of the Business Council was on Channel 7 and all over the news having made the announcement two years that we must invest in infrastructure. To you now, it means nothing. But at the time, they sniggered as they did when I was talking about portals and then two years later, Mr. Murdoch himself, Mr. Murdoch himself Senior, made the same comments I had made two years prior.
I was talking about nanomation. Nano, not micro but nano. 10 to the power of minus 9. I was merely trying to explain that it’s not that we need infomation but we need nanomation. Meaning, we need to act now at the speed of thought and Bill Gates two years later wrote a book called Business at the Speed of Thought.
I stood up at another major conference where there were 750 of the most senior directors and I was speaking about the skills that managers will need in the future. Now, in the past, you had to understand manufacture and you had to understand the in sales and you had to understand finance. And then no manager could be a CEO of a company if you didn’t understand marketing. At first, marketing was nothing. Then you had to know it at the board level. Then you had to know IT. You cannot be a CEO today and not appreciate the impact of technology on you, your society and your business and your manufacturing process and whatever. Then you had to understand globalization. I was simply talking on an on. I said, ‘What’s the next thing we will have to teach execs and every exec and every CEO must know.’ And I said, ‘Risk!’ And this was over ten years ago. Everything up on that screen was over ten years ago.
And only last week, I was at the Qantas Club. I don’t read otherwise. I never read anything. And there it was. Boss Magazine from AFR, a feature on the new, not CFO or CEO but Chief Risk Officer and large organisations now have entire websites dedicated to risk and they understand now just how big this thing is. But isn’t it interesting? Ten years. Super. I called AMP ten years ago and I said, ‘Get my money out and put it in a bank.’ Now, they’re advising everyone, ‘put money in banks.’ I was cookie. And I had arguments with people.
My publisher – I’ve had many publishers including HarperCollins, and Penguin, the world’s largest, part of the Paramount Pictures Group and the Tri-Star Pictures Group and Pearson Education, the largest in the world. We had tiffs and battles and legal issues costing untold money because they wouldn’t publish a book of mine because they said, ‘It is woolly. It is unintelligent. It is ridiculous. It is ludicrous, Jonar. We cannot publish a book like this.’ I said, ‘Fine. You call it cookie.’ Two years later, exactly as I had predicted, WorldCom happened and prior to that, Enron happened precisely as I predicted. But all this cookie and woolly, lawyer to lawyer they say. And the greatest compliment I was ever paid was by Paramount Pictures in the US when they took my screenplay. And the greatest compliment I think Hollywood could ever pay anybody is they actually said, not that my screenplay was badly written or whatever. They said, ‘It is not plausible.’ You can have Lord of the Rings …
Jonar Nader: … with trees that walk and talk but mine was not plausible. Wow! So, I sent my story off to people including the former Chief of Defense in this country called Admiral Chris Barrie, MI-5 people, MI-6, KGB, CIA, FBI including the head of the FBI who headed the September 11 response team. And all around the world, military from British Intelligence and they all said, ‘This is so amazingly disturbing. It is so plausible. It is so scary. Not any of us had ever imagined such a scenario.’ But people don’t listen.
I went to the US and all over the TV stations. They couldn’t believe what I was saying. They were mesmerized by my Australian accent and then they thought, ‘This guy is looney.’ And I put out the picture of the Twin Towers long before whoever blew them up. And there they were, the pictures of Twin Towers and I was saying, ‘Wall Street will have to blow up and the sooner it blows up, the better,’ because I knew this was coming. Normally, they only want you for two minutes on television and we went on and on. And they said, ‘Can you stay? We’ll record another three sessions and play them next week? This is unbelievable.’ And here we are.
Jonar Nader: I’ll just leave it at that. I prefaced all that, it pains me to stand here and boast, the point being that you’re not going to believe what I’m going to tell you.