Having just watched Bob Cringely’s new NerdTV netcast interview with Max Levchin (co-founder PayPal) I’m once again struck by the number of bloody good ideas out there. Besides the fact that NerdTV itself is a good idea, I’m interested that Levchin is saying that the next big thing for new technology is to investigate new uses of, and prospects for, advertising. Now in spite of the fact that Levchin is just 30 years old and worth something like US$500 million, I feel no enormous jealousy towards him because he has just positively reinforced the most important project I have under my portfolio – the Beyond 0:30 Seconds initiative. As a Project Manager at ACID, I am focused on the options and possibilities for advertising arising from emergent and interactive content services. So effectively, at ACID we are doing precisely what Max Levchin considers the most important research for the future of technology engagement. It’s a rather exciting prospect.
But beyond the work I’m doing here at ACID, there are also a series of other bloody good idea out there at the moment. One of them is a replacement for the good old powerboard – the PowerSquid Outlet Multiplier. An incredibly simple idea, the PowerSquid solves the problem of bulky transformers that take up too much space on powerboards, by separating each individual power outlet, allowing for very differing plugs all to be available from the one socket multiplier.
To plug my own firm, there’s also the ‘television mouse‘ which is currently being developed to overtake the classic television remote. It may sound like something out of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, but there are a series of uses for this gesture oriented tool beyond just changing channels. As we are required as consumers of content to do more to engage with the content, the number of tasks a remote control has to fulfil is also growing. We therefore need to consider new ways of communicating change via the technologies… enter the TV mouse.
Finally there is the growing C2C production and marketing model which seems finally to be attracting the interest of venture capitalists under its new title, minipreneurisalism. The development of widgets for all sorts of functions has now become a major industry. And the identification of truly valuable widgets (usually those that continue to add value to a system through genuine learning and information aggregation facilitation) is in itself a licence to print money.
We’re now entering a period where bloody good ideas have a chance to compete on the main stage with major firms. The challenge is to get your product into a platform fast enough for you to benefit.