A visit to a museum tomorrow, that covers today…

The art of the possible, can you with what exists now, make something happen? It is the innovators dilemma truly. Can you build it? The marketing and sales dilemma happens after that (can you sell it?) and *is it something people need/want?). Bound around every leap forward is the two, three, four or more steps sideways and backwards. Things that missed.

Evolution, Revolution or scrap heap seems sometimes to be the three options. There is also just beyond evolutionary (market not quite ready) or evolutionary (not possible based on what is available today). So there are more than the three. When I was eight or so the Pet Rock craze happened. My father wouldn’t buy me one, instead he gave me a rock called Jim. I didn’t see the humor nor the message until I was older at the time I felt like throwing Jim. I didn’t then, but I understand now. Part of jumping the edges of innovation is a willingness to buy a rock, and pretend it is a pet. You will make mistakes on the cutting edge of dreams.

That is the joy of being a Kickstarter and Indiegogo fanatic. I know I’ve picked some duds. Projects that were more marketing than technology. PT Barnum standing in front of a tent hawking the amazing bearded lizard that smokes cigars and talks about Niche. A talking lizard sure, rare. One that openly talks about Niche, wow beyond amazing. The fact that you buy a conversation with one priceless! You get the idea. Something that is too good to be true.

As a technologist I try to apply that marketing lens to the projects I post. I have shared more than 100 projects on my blogs in the past five years. During that time 1 has been cancelled (it happened last week) and 99 are still either in flight or have landed. My 99% success rate measured only in the fact that only one of the projects has been cancelled to date. Cancelled projects that return all monies raised (as the one I just posted about) are ok. Ones that take the money and disappear, not so much. Or ones that realize the technology they are dreaming about is not possible now.

It is a mentality to be a crowd funding backer. Not to be angry and stomp your feet but to know the difference. The old Latin Phrase Caveat Emptor, let the buyer beware truly applies to crowdfunding. If it sounds too good to be true, check it. It probably is. 1st generation anything is potentially just a collector’s item (remember the first 3d pen?) or it is the precursor to a 2nd, 3rd and so on generation device.

Someday my collection of early IoT and crowd funded devices will look good in a museum. Collectible because people will want to remember how we used to create 3d objects. (you had a 3d pen? OMG ROFL oh yeah and the only reason for using OMG and ROFL is that in museums there are text speak translators, no one talks like that anymore anyway). The concept of the future is one that is shrouded as it should be in mystery. You cannot see past the silken veil that hides tomorrow. Someday historians looking back will laugh at the analysts calling this the information age. “You couldn’t even think commands for your wearable devices then. Information age, they were the dark ages of technology. They recharged their batteries! Can you believe that every night they plugged their devices in and then when they woke up they used BLUETHOOTH to connect them. So primitive. So not the information age).

Someday the world will maintain a Wi-Fi presence only for museums to display how pre-information age technology from 2020 worked. We don’t allow the non-integrated non-secure network to connect to the rest of the world. But it does connect between the two museums. So you can sort of understand the reality they lived with in 2020.

An 8-year-old kid, with his mother at that museum, tugging on her coat. “Look mom, I think that man over there has something wrong with him. HE IS TALKING TO his device.” “No Billy,” the mom answers “that is called a cellular phone. They used to carry those so that they could talk to each other. Before we had the embedded universal system.” The 8-year old’s eyes huge, his mouth open the sound “OOOO” escaping into the museum air.

The evolution and revolution pieces are growing around us. Technology is changing rapidly. Eventually we will reach the glorious information age. Where information moves easily and freely and the concept of security is ubiquitous.


Future information age dreamer