Aspen RapidWeaver 8 Blog Style
CommerceBasix logo alt
  • 2020 | CommerceBasix Contact Us 0

Blog & Podcast

Ep 22: Understanding China's Threat to the United States

powered by Sounder

In 1989 the free world rejoiced as the Berlin Wall was torn down. Cheers went up again as the United States’ cold war adversary, the Soviet Union, collapsed in 1992. Some historians speculated that we had come to the end of history, that democracy and freedom, as articulated by America’s founders, would expand around the globe.

But it was not to be.

Starting with Deng Tse Peng’s pivot to state capitalism in 1979, the rush to outsource manufacturing to China in the 1990s, and China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001, the world has watched in amazement as China has risen economically to the point of eclipsing the United States as the world’s largest economy.

But this extraordinary economic achievement has not been accompanied by a hoped for pivot to greater freedom for the Chinese people or China’s trading partners. On the contrary, the ruling Chinese Communist Party has cemented its authoritarian control over the Chinese people, implemented frightening Orwellian high tech surveillance, and is expanding its authoritarian values and oppression through its trillion dollar Belt Road Initiative, which now reaches over 70 countries, includes two-thirds of the world’s population, and one third of its economic output.

My guest today is Col. Sean O’Brien, a professor and department head at the National Defense University and a career intelligence officer with the US Air Force. Col. O’Brien offers his personal assessment of the threats China’s poses the United States and its allies as well as his views of opportunities companies have to push back against this totalitarian threat.

Ep 21: Innovation Best Practices for the Military-Part Two

powered by Sounder

Innovation is the heartbeat of advancement in many areas of life, including commercial technology for defense. In this second episode of our discussion with Mike Courtney, a technologist and futurist, we discuss how innovation begins . . . and how it proceeds. Mike talks about “great leaps” as well as “incremental steps.” He explains why one approach may be more appropriate than the other.

To provide a context for this dynamic, we use the evolution of aerial bombardment to illustrate both incremental innovation and great leaps of innovation that have undergirded the changes in this method of war fighting.

We discuss what kind of perspective is needed to be an innovator and our examples include Leonardo DaVinci and Isaac Newton, two men whose backgrounds and range of expertise may surprise you.

Emails: and

Ep 20: Innovation Best Practices for the Military-Part One

powered by Sounder

In this first part of a two part series, I talk with noted technologist and futurist, Mike Courtney, about innovation. We discuss what it takes for individuals or organizations to succeed at innovating, things that stand in the way of best practices, and lessons that can be learned from past innovation failures and successes.

Because our audience is focused on military innovation and high technology, our discussion ranges widely: from the Maginot Line and Noorden bombsight, to the iPhone and ethical concerns about some classes of innovation.

As someone who guides organizations in the process of imagining and innovating their future, Mike offers concrete advice to both commercial companies and the military on how to innovate successfully as well as suggestions on pitfalls to avoid.


Ep 19: AgTech and Battlefield Situational Awareness

powered by Sounder

The Pentagon’s drive to engage the commercial sector in developing dual use technology involves more than a search for technical innovation; it requires finding those firms whose commercial business case overlaps with the Pentagon’s military use case.

This is important because sustaining a dual use solution requires that the commercial firm generate revenue and profit from the private sector and not just the government.

In this podcast, I discuss the application of agricultural technology (agtech), advanced, intelligent ground sensors, and commercial LEO satellite networks as being a potential solution for the Pentagon’s need for low cost, efficient, and accurate situational awareness in remote places around the globe.

My guest, Mr. Peter DeNagy, is a co-founder of IoT America, an agtech startup, and a subject matter expert on terrestrial and space-based communications.

March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
October 2019