The Next Big Thing: Big Missing Pieces

How can this change and, as a result, unlock one or two Big Things? To retread a famous two-part Buddhist joke, change is a mysterious thing. Telling people what they ought to do doesn’t always work. Still, two thoughts come to mind.

First, the tablet. We, Tech People have always known the tablet was the right thing to do, and we tried for thirty years without much success. Three years ago, Chef Jobs grabbed the ingredients that had been available to all and, this time, the tablet genre “took.”  Now, perhaps, the tablet will take its place as an ingredient in a yet grander scheme.

Second, go to an aquarium and watch a school of fish. They move in concert and suddenly turn for no apparent reason. Somewhere inside the school there must have been a “lead fish” that caused the change of direction. Perhaps the fish didn’t even realize he was The One destined to trigger the turn.

Who’s going to be our industry’s fish, big or small, that precipitates a cultural change unlocking the potential of existing technologies and gives rise to the next $100B opportunity?

We of course don’t know, but we do know that if the conditions are widely available enough, the chances of a fish being in a position to turn the school, are higher.

Android as a life management platform

The reason there is an aftermarket for Nexus hardware is that Google intended for Android to be open and generative from the start, pointedly saying that Nexus is ???unlocked and contract free.??? This is why, even though Google does lots of business with mobile phone company operators, it is those operators??? friend only to the degree it helps lead those operators past current customer-entrapment business models and into a future thick with positive economic externalities. Amidst those externalities, phone companies will still enjoy huge built-out infrastructure and other first-mover advantages. They will wake up and smell the infinity.

From Status to Contract

the movement of the progressive societies has hitherto been a movement from Status to Contract 

Maine’s optimism about the inevitable march of progress is unfashionably whiggish and, I think, overblown.  But his understanding that progress necessarily involves freeing individuals from their status stations — freeing persons from stations assigned by circumstances such as skin color, family name, genitalia, sexuality, nationality — and thereby allowing individuals to determine as best as each can his or her own course through his or her own voluntary choices — that is, through contract — is smack-on correct.

Always worth remembering.

The Weakest Link, Good Bye!

I hereby announce my resignation from the position of the guy who speaks out about this sort of stuff – incubators, business plan competitions, endless awards, and the whole reality TV approach to start-ups. Somebody else can comment on our emperors impressive new wardrobe from here on in.

When we work with founders we advise them to try and not get sucked into the noise and distractions that swirl around the start-up eco-system, and to just focus on building a great product and business. For whatever reason I haven’t followed that advice myself recently.

Maybe a MAdvTechEnt is the missing piece to your start-up jigsaw. Perhaps the safe environment of an incubator will help you get going. The Dragons Den could even be the ideal place for you to find an investor for your venture.

My mileage differs quite a lot. But, I’m not going to waste any more time or energy trying to convince you otherwise…

Good luck!

“Innovation! Happen here!” Yeah, right. Entrepreneur is in my mind being filed in the same romantic bag as Creator.

F2C2012: Eben Moglen keynote – "Innovation under Austerity"

The Information Society Directorate of the European Commission issued a report 18 months ago, in which they said that they could scan 1/6th of all the books in European libraries for the cost of 100 km of roadway. That meant, and it is still true, that for the cost of 600 km of road, in an economy that builds thousands of kilometers of roadway every year, every book in all European libraries could be available to the entire human race, it should be done. [shout of “Copyright” from audience] Remember that most of those books are in the public domain, before you shout copyright at me. Remember that the bulk of what constitutes human learning was not made recently, before you shout the copyright at me. We should move to a world in which all knowledge previously available before this lifetime is universally available. If we don’t, we will stunt the innovation which permits further growth. That’s a social requirement. The copyright bargain is not immutable. It is merely convenient. We do not have to commit suicide culturally or intellectually in order to maintain a bargain which does not even relevantly apply to almost all of important human knowledge in most fields. Plato is not owned by anybody.

So here we are, asking ourselves what the educational systems of the 21st century will be like, and how they will socially distribute knowledge across the human race. I have a question for you. How many of the Einsteins who ever lived were allowed to learn physics? A couple. How many of the Shakespeares who ever lived, lived and died without learning to read and write? Almost all of them. With 7 billion people in the world right now, 3 billion of them are children; how many Einsteins do you want to throw away today? The universalization of access to education, to knowledge, is the single-most important force available for increasing innovation and human welfare on the planet. Nobody should be afraid to advocate for it because somebody might shout “copyright”.

via www.softwarefreedom.org

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