Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Seeing the Future and 3D Search

I love being in on the start of big things. I like to try to see what our lives will be like in the future.

Part of what I have loved about my long association with RIM is they changed the world and created the future. When they first introduced the Blackberry, the concept of email to your device was unheard of. Now it is so common that people do not even think about it.

This love of "the future" is likely what drew me to the technology world. Most innovations that really change the world are technological.

One question I ask myself is "will we just accept it as normal 5 or 10 years from now?". If the answer is "of course", then the technology likely will be a winner. Or ask "will people still use X in 5 years?". If the answer is "of course not", then the future is clearer.

Examples of this - "Will people want to watch color TV?" Of course. "Will people still watch Black and white?" of course not. "Will people want portable phones (cell phones)" of course. "Will people want to use plug in phones" not likely unless there is a cost difference.

The company that is taking all my time right now is Three2N - a company that does 3D as data (so not simulation or fake 3D). 3D unlocks massive value. EG take a photo of a room or house - convert to 3D and figure out how much paint you need to buy.

3D also unlocks the value of search by picture or video much more accurate than 2D. So the question is "Will people want 3D?" Of course. "Will people still want to do 2D?" Not if 3D is the same cost. "EG - Will people want to be able to take a photo of a chair and be able to find it online" - "Of course".

Another company I invested in is MyReceipts. Simple concept - you do not get a paper receipt you need to file, you get it all in your online account. This allows much for flexibility. Ask the questions - it is the future. Good blog post describing this here.

I love being able to say "I was there when..."

Now just because someone might know the future does not mean that they make money on it. Much of it is timing. Much of it is figuring out who will profit. For example, personal computers were going to be big but where are Kaypro, Intertec, North Star etc. The timing and who controls the profit issue would be a good topic for another post.

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