February 1, 2014

My Investment Thesis

I don’t manage an investment fund. But i I did, here’s a list of areas I’d look to actively invest in:

Location Gaming

Guys - seriously. We’re carrying around a GPS-enabled super-computer and all we’re doing is playing Candy Crush? WTF.

The real world has always been the ultimate playground. Why can’t we get digital out of the way a little and get out and about while we’re playing games? It’s staggering that Ingress appears to be an amazing success and that they’re the only ones doing anything in this space (ok, maybe you could count Foursquare too although they’re backing away from points as a driver by the looks of things). I’d fund that.

Multiplayer Mobile Gaming

Guys - seriously. We’re carrying around a bluetooth-low-energy-enabled super computer and all we’re doing is playing Candy Crush? WTF.

Multiplayer games are big business. Like bigger-than-the-movie-industry big business. So why are we stuck playing single player games on our phones? Is it because gaming on your phone is idle-time? Is it because latency across bluetooth/wifi is too slow? Or is because no one has invented the killer game yet? C’mon guys. Let’s do this.

2.21 Billion Heartbeats

Apparently we have about 2.21 Billion heartbeats in a lifetime. I find it almost inconceivable that about 60% of those (1.326 billion for those keeping track) won’t be logged, tracked, uploaded to the cloud and analysed by computers. I don’t yet know if the data will be collected via subdermal, ingestible, wearable or remote sensor. Are we ready for this world? Probably not. Is it inevitable? Of course.

So, basically we’re in the early days of wearable technology and I’d invest in almost any company in this space (btw I’ve patented this technique of investing as The Scattershot Approach tm)

Computing for Emotional Intelligence

“Good morning computer” you say before leaning down to brush your teeth.

“Good morning Tom - you look 70% stressed today and 45% unhappy. I recommend you get to bed early tonight and avoid big decisions today” your computer says back to you.

This future really isn’t too far away - aggregating sensory data (from wearable tech see above) with semantic data (i.e. analyzing tweets, emails etc) to analyze your mood and helpfully parse that into recommendations and behavior change just seems so… OBVIOUS to me. Clearly we’re missing some of the pieces on the tech side but not for long….

(By the way - there’s a corollary here that we might end up using brainwave patterns and data too but I think that tech might still be too far off and I think we can aggregate enough information from other sources to be useful but I could be wrong here.)

App Coding

Any technology that helps people make things is a GOOD THING in my books. And making websites and especially mobile apps is too damn hard today. I’ve always had a soft spot for Appengine since I learned to code there and found it far more intuitive and easy to get started than AWS but where’s the equivalent for Android or iOS? If we make it easier to make apps I guarantee you we’ll find awesome new apps being built.

Shout out to Protocoder and Phonegap for taking baby steps in this direction.

Home OS

Yeah, yeah I know. That’s obvious right? Everyone wants the connected fridge and they want it yesterday. My eyes were opened when I got a Chromecast though - it dramatically changed the way that I use my home. So I’m going to use the patent-pending The Scattershot Approach tm (as outlined above) to invest in any kind of home technology that’s actually useful.

Shout out to Electric Objects for a valiant attempt to Put the Internet On Your Wall

Well anyway. That’s my $0.02 for some ideas on the future of tech. What would you invest in? What excites you about the future?

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This post was written by Tom Critchlow - blogger and independent consultant. Subscribe to join my occassional newsletter: