Late last month I was asked by the fine folks at Roseville Chamber of Commerce to speak at their annual capstone event, Roseville 2018. They requested that I speak on the topic, “Technology and your Business.”

What an interesting topic, I thought to myself.

So I proceeded to let my mind wander…

How can I come up with a talk on such a subject without sounding like a pompous POS?  My tactics:

  1. Review my favorite technologists’ thoughts
  2. Steal all of their ideas
  3. String them into a narrative
  4. Share some practical takeaways

Below are the talking points that came up:

Robots are taking over and we are all doomed

"That darling, is the sound of fools fiddling while the whole species starts to burn - and the funniest part? They lit the match..."

Note to self: The Westworld reference did not connect with the crowd at Roseville 2018.

Just kidding (sorta, I hope)

We need to define “Technology”

What is technology? Before reading “What Technology Wants,” by Kevin Kelly I probably would have answered: smartphones AI, Blockchain, synthetic biology, or something along those lines.  After reading that book, my view on the matter has broadened.

Do you consider language technology?

Wikipedia says that,

“Technology is the making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve a pre-existing solution to a problem, achieve a goal or perform a specific function.”

I think it's pretty easy to justify that language fits within that definition.

It has provided us a platform for several subsequential breakthroughs that led us to where we are today, back from the days of pre-language homo sapiens.

To think about where things are going we need to look to the past

Again, stolen from Kevin Kelly, below is a timeline of key technological breakthroughs.  These breakthroughs are all revolutionary and provided new resources and momentum which have enabled subsequential breakthroughs.

We are one with the technology

Today, language is synonymous with humanism.  We’ve taken it in and merged with it, along with several of the past technological breakthroughs.  

We have been co-evolving with technology since the beginning.

Example: We are literally putting electrodes into our brains

It’s a mind-boggling concept, and even more mind boggling when you dig in and realize that it’s actually here: Elon Musk’s new company will puts electrodes into your brain so you can communicate with computers and via your mind. Learn more about Elon Musk’s Neurolink here: https://waitbutwhy.com/2017/04/neuralink.html

"The thing that people, I think, don't appreciate right now is that they are already a cyborg." - Elon Musk

There are inevitable forces of technology

Stolen from Kevin Kelly again.  Below are inevitable forces of technology that are happening today, and mostly at their infancy.

Take a moment to meditate on them. Can you imagine where these forces are taking us.

Part two: Your Business

There has never been a better time to start and run a business than now

You have more access to knowledge, tools, resources than any entrepreneur in the past.  

Seriously, check out this awesome list of startup tools, put together by Steve Blank: https://steveblank.com/tools-and-blogs-for-entrepreneurs/

Most importantly, we have developed refined methodology how to start a business.  Think of it like the scientific method meets innovation.

The scientific method of entrepreneurs

A life altering experience for me was when I met Mark Randall, Chief Innovation Officer at Adobe, while enrolled in the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy, back in 2011.  Mark introduced me to Lean Startup and Design thinking methodology. He shared stories of how he's used these frameworks to launch and grow multiple businesses. Probably more importantly, how he's used this framework to properly kill several bad business ideas before they sucked too much time and money.

Through design thinking, you learn how to come up with ideas, test them, validate, them, and leverage that data to launch products that you already know people want.

Think of the scientific method, but for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Key design thinking resources:

  • Kickbox
  • Stanford Design School
  • Ideo

Hacker Lab is a playground to experiment and launch your business

In the next part of the talk I shared a bit Hacker Lab works, the resources we provide (coworking, makerspace, training and education) and the types of success stories we’ve witnessed (Waitr gets acquired for 300M).  Hacker Lab is a magical place where anyone can bust through the status quo and create something new.  Whether its a personal hobby project or a new device that helps millions, success comes in many shapes and forms.  To us its all about creating lightbulb moments and providing a pathway for continual growth.  Stop by any time and take a tour!

3 Kommentare

  • Ray Atnip

    Most of the traditional barriers have been removed from starting a business. It is still a challenge to find your market and build it, but, computers are the ultimate power tool nowadays, and people of all ages and abilities can accomplish things they put their minds to. Being part of the Maker movement, and immersing yourself in what you want to do in the Maker Universe will provide you with all the tools and people you need to be successful. If you are serious in your endeavors, anything can become reality.

  • Eric Ullrich

    Well said Ray. You inspired me to update my final paragraph. Cheers!

  • Patrick F Donohue

    The rate of technological change is geometric in its progression and we are currently at the knee of the power curve. https://youtu.be/Adb0P6qwsuA The following presentation is by a VC by the name of David Rose. It takes place as part of a seminar for economists at Columbia University regarding, employment, jobs and the future.. David's presentation is quite lively and somewhat disturbing. The information presented is currently relevant. It is the future of our children. https://youtu.be/xUCixKr-PZo?t=1h18m1s People need to realize that, right now and forever into the future one must make the change, learn to surf it or become chum in its waters .