Diary of a Madman, Page 42
11,300 people peering inside, you’re one of the chosen.
I. This Week’s Analyses
- Candor & Confidentiality [FEATURED]: it’s these two pieces that, when pulled together, create a third thing more powerful than its constituent pieces.
- Thinking Outside Your Own Bubble [fountainhead]: the key isn’t IQ, the key is perspective.
- The Phoenix of Sparkling Water [fountainhead]: previewing the next massive consumer wave, and maybe your next Base Code investment.
- Ultra-Low Cost Access to Space [fountainhead]: a few PDF reports outlining the strategies being employed to jumpstart the next space race for gold.
- All-In-One Sensors & Financial Neural Networks [fountainhead]: two new scientific papers published showing the current state of the art AI from a mathematic perspective, applied to trading and home IoT.
Talking to a friend:
“What’s a better way to say ‘data is the new oil’?”
“If you’re saving data and not reacting to it in real-time, you’re failing.”
II. Car Lease Takeovers vs Self-Driving Future
So the wife and I are moving back to New York City after a year in California. When we moved out here, we couldn’t rely on Uber or the on-demand ride-sharing economy to handle our everyday life. I think many in the tech community miss that very real aspect.
So, we leased ourselves a brand new convertible BMW (M235i, to be precise). I mean, how often in life do you get to own a convertible from a great German brand whilst living mere steps from the ocean. We took the plunge but still managed to do it frugally getting a 2015 showroom model that they were looking to move and got $10,000 off the sticker price. Bonus.
That means our monthly payment was $100 less than it would have otherwise been.
So, now that we’re moving back to NYC, we find ourselves on the other side of this equation. Needing to find someone to take over our lease. And so I found two websites, one is Lease Trader, the other Swap A Lease. Apparently the way this works, and BMW has one of the best in the nation, is that the prospective lessee goes through a simple online credit check, you get approval from BMW, and then the lease is transferred from one person to the other. The new person uses the car for the rest of the lease term (a few years) making the same low monthly payments.
So, as I live with the reality of “owning” a real car in the present day, but spend all my professional time thinking about and talking about self-driving, and the future of AI, I can’t help but think about the major disconnect the tech industry has from the lives of people today.
The truth is we are years away from our self-driving future. Nobody knows about to get past Level 3, and especially not get to Level 5, even if the party line is to show a well-manicured video on a perfect day with perfect white lines running the same perfect path. We all know that changing the location of the sensors on the front of the car even slightly, or having a foggy day, or going a different route will kill the capabilities of that self-driving car.
Unless the industry wakes up to adding a new approach to its arsenal of technologies, it’s going to languish in Level 3 territory for a long, long time.
In a world of innovators, be an inventor. In a world of platforms, be a critical component. In a world of X, be a Y.
III. Newsworthy News
- China: consumers spending 2x what they do in the US and UK. Retail is big there.
- Robotics: nice report with some interesting findings (+28% growth YoY in Q1, 250K robots working in North America now, etc).
- Industrial IoT: a few funded startups working in the space. And a great report from Woodside Capital.
- AI: a well-respected industry veteran pokes holes in Watson.
- Self-Driving: on average people are willing to pay $4500 more for a self-driving option on their car.
- Throwback: 1960s paper on Man-Computer Symbiosis.
- Video: Facebook is getting into Hollywood. About 6 months ago, we wrote about a “Movie in a Text Message”, it’s coming.
- Space: it’s everywhere.
- Synthetic Biology: you didn’t think we were the only ones, did you?
- Startup: raising $2M puts you in the top half of all funded startups over the last decade and a half. Doesn’t even account for the startups who weren’t able to raise anything.
- Jobs: look towards aerospace and defense as the future of tech, not CRM or social apps
- Retail: Abercrombie was trading at a 17-year low until news came out it was for sale. What a discount. Also, luxury goes internet and playgrounds, both for growth.
- International: attended a Bavarian AI conference in the Valley last week. Lots of good things happening in Germany, pay attention.
- Music: juicy fruit.
- Microbots: the self-organizing kind.
- Fractals: important for consciousness.
If you don’t fight with honor, winning becomes meaningless.
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