We asked for flying cars and all we got was the entire planet communicating instantly via pocket supercomputers

Benedict Evans has a new presentation about the explosive growth of internet-connected smartphones.

By 2020, 80% of adults on earth will have a smartphone:

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And each of those phones is equivalent to what we used to call a supercomputer:

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As Fraiser Speirs tweeted, we asked for flying cars and all we got was the entire planet communicating instantly via pocket supercomputers.

“The great ideas have come from people who weren’t paid to have great ideas”

It is only afterward that a new idea seems reasonable. To begin with, it usually seems unreasonable. It seems the height of unreason to suppose the earth was round instead of flat, or that it moved instead of the sun, or that objects required a force to stop them when in motion, instead of a force to keep them moving, and so on.

A person willing to fly in the face of reason, authority, and common sense must be a person of considerable self-assurance. Since he occurs only rarely, he must seem eccentric (in at least that respect) to the rest of us. A person eccentric in one respect is often eccentric in others.

The presence of others can only inhibit [the creative] process, since creation is embarrassing. For every new good idea you have, there are a hundred, ten thousand foolish ones, which you naturally do not care to display.

Probably more inhibiting than anything else is a feeling of responsibility. The great ideas of the ages have come from people who weren’t paid to have great ideas, but were paid to be teachers or patent clerks or petty officials, or were not paid at all.

From Isaac Asimov’s “How do people get new ideas?”

 

“A lot of the best tech startups are ideas that have been around for years”

A lot of the best tech startups are ideas that have been around for years but the time is finally right. *

Some people get jaded. “We tried X years ago” and summarily dismiss. But then eventually the time is right and it works. *

Examples include touch computing, virtual reality, and many areas of artificial intelligence. *

Or as pmarca says:

In tech, “I tried that 20 years ago and it didn’t work” is a positive predictor, not a negative predictor

“A standard protocol for machines to negotiate bitcoin payments for resources”

Great idea from Brian Armstrong of Coinbase:

1/ Seems like there should be a standard protocol for machines to negotiate bitcoin payments for resources.

2/ Examples could be getting access to wifi hot spots, your car finding charging stations, mesh networks (net taker/giver).

3/ Devices could be like vending machines, you drop them out somewhere, and they generate rent for providing resources to passing machines.

4/ Sample protocol (a) i need X, anyone have it? (b) I have X for sale at Y (c) I accept, payment embedded (d) I reject, stop pinging me

We are dying to fund people working on ideas like this, or like these or these.

“You actually have to remind yourself not to believe”

[Virtual Reality] is the last medium. We’re at the very beginning of it, but version 147 is The Matrix or Total Recall. Our brain is no longer translating an approximation of the story. You read a book; your brain reads letters printed in ink on paper and transforms that into a world. You watch a movie; you’re seeing imagery inside of a rectangle while you’re sitting inside a room, and your brain translates that into a world. And you connect to this even though you know it’s not real, but because you’re in the habit of suspending disbelief.

With virtual reality, you’re essentially hacking the visual-audio system of your brain and feeding it a set of stimuli that’s close enough to the stimuli it expects that it sees it as truth. Instead of suspending your disbelief, you actually have to remind yourself not to believe.

-Chris Milk, from The Last Medium (the whole article is excellent)