Where Things are Headed

I love technology, technology evolution and being right in the middle of it or even farther out into the conceptual vapor. I ordinarily focus on Agile perspectives, though recognize it is not end-game; it is simply a transport mechanism to the real fun -- technology evolution that has value. Move working, useful, tangible, tested, customer driven/defined/validated solutions to market more quickly with minimized waste, cost of acquisition and ownership all in a pleasant return on investment window. In other words, bring value more frequently. Significant hurdles exist in doing so, hence constantly evolving ideas of how to do it better which is as it should be -- constant evolution (smaller, faster, better, etc.). But what about the 'what' of what we're evolving? While some of us spend time evolving the mechanism to evolve, what about those things requiring us to transcend the mechanism to actually evolve something useful? How about the forest instead of the tree?

How about HUD in our vehicles? Our sunglasses? How about making my cell phone something I put in a pocket and forget while everything I do goes 3D holo from a piece of wrist hardware or via my sunglasses? Why do I need a cell phone? Why do I need a hardened touch screen at all, let alone some of the tech out there making me use hard-coded/assignable physical buttons to navigate an idea? As the mouse dies, so should the need for physically manipulatable objects?

And what of the touch screens, touch tables and touch walls nowadays? On the right track, yes? Why do I, again, need a hardened screen? Why not holographic projection? Why not HUD?

What about two people meeting at a coffee shop. One dude places an object in the center of the table which projects a 3D image betwixt them. The other, starts manipulating the displayed elements along the way. Why not?

Why do people keep writing applications that make me come to them? PAAS is only kindergarten compared to where we need to be. Give me a platform or some ubiquitous framework, open and exposed, and get out of my way. Why should I SAAS when I can PAAS? And why in the world do you create a platform using a customized, proprietary language and hardware stack? You are conflicted, yes? Instead of holding out OSS PAAS in the left hand while asking for my credit card in the other, how about legitimately trying to evolve? But then again, I'm a confused man. Why else would I be have four laptops running various flavors of Linux or Windows while coveting a Mac?

And seriously, the cloud? Come on. Marketing machines take it away. It's an uprev from existing sub-contracted data center paradigms, not the disruptor some would have us believe with load-balanced, elastic farms. Back to the proprietary software and hardware stack conversation. Sure, this financial model may (and may not) help the start-up; but how many start-up entrepreneurs are focusing on elasticity without already understanding how to accomplish it themselves? I know a dude with a firkin cloud in his basement, perhaps he should market? Business heads and general citizens will learn and utilize the 'new stuff' through time as is normal; but for the techies in the space, it is interesting to see blinky lights, but not new. Because it is my blog and therefore my opinion, SUN is the company getting it right -- open frameworks invite innovation without bounds. When you tell me to innovate, then tell me I can only wear a 7mm wetsuit while diving Artic waters where I should have had the option of a drysuit and argon, I'm limited before I start. Give me options "I" choose, not the ones you choose for me. Of course that kind of logic disrupts the economic models of zombie capitalists on Wall Street and MBAs who believe they are actually in charge of innovation, so back to the confused man logic again.

We have many ordinary problems to solve such as ensuring our amazing skynet of the future doesn't somehow also fry us into caskets and how to protect privacy while increasing ubiquity. That's all normal business as usual evolution and will get solved when it gets solved. Where's the disruptive innovation? What we do today is fine, but seriously ... where's the crazy? Why isn't this window I look through at a coffee shop also a touch screen to the net thereby minimizing the need for me to bring my laptop along? Why doesn't the table have a 3D holo projector in the middle of it?

What about hive/swarm nanobots used to address, with targeted programmed precision, cancer from inside my body>? How about self-healing car-body paint? HVAC duct cleaning from inside the ducts so we have a higher probability of breathing clean air? Hello? Borg? We already manipulate nervous systems of insects, have implant technology into organics, and have the ability to perform surgery remotely. Flying cars, space planes and maglevs are wonderful evolutions. We need to be doing more innovative evolution more frequently, not just discussing 'how' to perform it. We not only need to be purposefully evolving right now, but teaching our kids to evolve for jobs that don't yet exist, with skills we don't even know they need other than positive attitude, aptitude and a solid moral compass.

All this while I sit in a coffee shop on a shoddy (read:top-of-the-line), dying laptop battery, nowhere near a wireless electrical outlet, looking out a simple pane of glass, using non-recyclable (read:heading to the garbage dump and your kids' drinking water) drinking/eating materials handed to me. Meanwhile Japan releases a $200k robotic girlfriend, China motions to change the IMF baseline currency from the US dollar to the Chinese Yuan, India continues to absorb high-tech jobs, and US schools fall behind in current and future relevancy.

It is past time to stop using the bell-curve as a valid reason for mediocrity, stop exhibiting protectionist behaviors around obsolete business and education constructs in order to preserve memories and comfort bubbles. Protecting one's way of life does not have to mean exclusionism. It is time to focus on guaranteeing opportunity through options and start overhauling frameworks that are not only non-Agile/Lean, but start fostering innovation through freedoms. We don't even need to call it "Agile/Lean"...let's call it the era of "eliminating defunct stupidity" or something even more clever. How about embracing fear of change, the fear of losing yesterday and the fear of losing control and using it to aggressively foster innovation?

Where things are headed is intended to be an advancement upon where they are today, and for sure yesterday. Tomorrow's innovations do not make yesterday irrelevant and by definition, 'you' irrelevant. Tomorrow's innovations foster relevancy and usefulness today and provide a launchpad for tomorrow. It's just a matter of who wants it most.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Matt,

    I finally got around to read your thoughtful blog. I definitely share many of your sentiments.

    I also would like to share a few of my thoughts too:

    o It takes capital, time, effort to realize a dream. Regrettably, there are few doers than dreamers. We need more doers. I attempt to be one.
    o Resource allocation issues. There are finite number of people who have the desire and abilities to innovate. To mobilize such people most effectively, we need a political, social-economic environment that's more free market oriented. This is not what we have today. So, in that regard as citizens who are concerned about this country and the world's future, we need to be active in improving that part too.

    I see your blog as a "call to action". That's done, we need to get to work too. This is one of the main reason why other than active on twitter exchanging ideas with people, I am also busy building actual services and products at the same time.

    Please stay in touch. Please DM me whenever you have other blogs published. Love to have a chance to read about them too.

    Thanks and Best Regards,