Build from the ground up— The Tech Marathon of the 20s
What this decade has shown in technology and innovation and will come in the near future.
Losing Trust (2010–2020)
The last decade can be simply described by losing trust in most of our established institutions: Our democracy, our economy, and even technology. Many have cried out about the ineffectiveness of our systems.
The last decade has seen some breathtaking development in technology, mostly enabled through the iPhone and its mobile ecosystem. Many modern conversations end with the phrase: “There is an app for that!”.
The decade was described by the growth of the FAANG-stocks: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google. These companies have had the largest impact on the consumer.
About Hacks & Disruption
Since the crisis of 2008, many more established industries started to be disrupted: investing (incumbent: Robinhood), ride-hailing (incumbent: Uber), and travel (incumbent: Airbnb). It started a startup mania of claiming to be the next “uber of something”…
Tech started its first hacks in a few industries. But those attacks were mostly in the front-end giving the customer just a better mobile user experience. It just touched the first surface. But real diruption started with building great experiences that are based on real infrastructure like “Amazon’s prime one delivery experience”.
With all that companies can be promise of the next wave of artificial intelligence. Everybody wanted to solve the holy grail of artificial intelligence: the self-driving car. It is still to be seen when a real-production car will be turned into a robotaxi.
There has not been a real breakthrough. According to Peter Thiel, we have failed massively: “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters” (Peter Thiel).
Kids of the 60s
It may sound odd but we are all the children of the late 60s. It’s the foundation of our current technology. Everything is possible because of Intel’s CPU and the United States ARPANET (former Internet). Moreover, Yuri reached space for the first time and Neil landed on the moon. We have come to a point where we are trapped by our own technologies. The binary world view.
Building from Scratch
It’s time to break everything up and to start to build up everything from scratch. It’s not sufficient just to offer just a shiny website. If you really care about your customers, you have to build everything from backend to frontend from hardware to software.
“People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.”— Alan Kay
It’s no surprise that Elon Musk had to build his own rockets from scratch. Also for Tesla, he had to develop its own proprietary AI-chip.
Right now, many have doubts about artificial intelligence as there has been lately a real hype around it and not enough results. Everybody claimed to be doing AI. Doing artificial intelligence today is like teenager-sex. Everybody talks about it. But no one is really doing it!
Build Bits-to-atom companies
This decade will see the emergence of more bits-to-atoms companies. They are leading the pack when it comes to innovation and value creation. There have been few companies that have been tremendously successful in the past decade:
Amazon — has built ginormous warehouses and facility centers to offer prime delivery
Tesla—receives rare metals and build a whole EV to offer a computer on wheels
SpaceX — builds reusable rockets
Apple — is able to create amazing consumer products powered by software+hardware
These companies have a sustainable competitive advantage. Because they are building capital-intensive and non-obvious things. It requires massive amounts of patience and dedication to bring those products to life.
They will further expand their dominance.
Caring about innovation
If you really care about innovation, you have to break what’s working. Do the non-obvious. Be patient and resilient.
Tech has never been a short sprint but a real marathon. Keep running!