Inventions of the Future, from Amateurs?

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The most influential futurists are converging to create a university for students of the future. These professionals and academics are presenting free videos on what they think will happen in the next 20 years. After watching a few, some of them are very technical and some of them make dire predictions. I enjoy them because it inspires me to do something more with my life.

After watching Bob Metcalfe for an hour and fourteen minutes, I have realized that any invention is possible. Inventions today are unknown and many people are put off because of the way education has the “in the box thinking”. You apparently need a university education shelling out thousands of dollars yourselves to invent something.  I don’t believe that is so. Also, many monopolies and large corporations have gained their status from the status quo. Anything that disrupts it, then they will be cut out of their existence (newspapers).

Everyday people are put off by inventing items or products. People do not have the patience or idea how to get started. Think of all the new high tech items in the world we have. We are operating 100x faster than people did in the beginning of the 20th century. We have the car that brings us to places much faster than its predecessors. We have the internet where we can surf and go on social networking sites to easily connect our friends. We have the television and the radio where we can watch when we are not on the internet. We have mobile phones and mp3 players where we can shut the world off around us. All this technology is inhibiting us from the thinking and the trial and error that inventing brings. It just feels too long to do it on your own. If there was a way to find partners around the world to work on specific scientific or technology project that you are interested in without any experience or university credentials….then, that would be a great crowdsourcing business.

Below was a very fun video to watch about energy of the future and I encourage everyone to watch it. It provokes you to think about a new way for energy. And a bonus: it is much better for you than the usual reality TV show.



Discussion of “Best Innovation of 2009”

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The year is almost to a close, and Popular Science has informed readers what they think are the best innovations of 2009. After looking at some of the items I am quite disappointed at such items as Windows 7 and Macbook’s. Maybe because I like to read about future innovations. However I have found one good innovation that I really like: Wolfram Alpha. Further delving into the search engine, type in a known noun and see what comes up. An informative display of graphs, analysis, and statistics come up with the results. Very useful for school projects and research. I did a search for Facebook and Twitter. The results show that Facebook has 400 million daily visitors while Twitter has 60+ million daily visitors. Facebook clearly dominates the social media realm right now.

In the future, if a better social media service comes around and Facebook does not do anything to innovate, then Facebook could fail. Then there is a question of if Facebook is too big to control. With millions of people registered, there will be both criticizers and sympathizers of these new innovations. This is the problem of large organizations. Facebook is so huge right now and its only 4-5 years old. Also in the future, organizations that become huge will be very lost when it comes to innovation. There will always be a start-up to do things cheaper, faster, and better. I think this is a bright future because we will no longer have stagnet organizations, organizations will constantly change for the better. News events are even happening at lightning speed. Sometimes they are too fast for even Wall Street to keep up. Smaller organizations benefit from this possibility of new innovation. This is the opportunity for students, the unemployed, and ambitious individuals to think of new ideas, work together and come up with a new organization that will become successful.

Primarily, individuals should not be focused in one industry or one company and need to be adaptable in this environment. Or they will lose out on new and exciting opportunities that they really love. Individuals and countries need to be flexible in retraining and retooling for the future. Innovations are occurring faster and faster and it is very hard to keep up. Although Popular Science’s innovations of 2009 were not that good, the next few years will be very exciting in the world of innovation.

In the next post, I will be sharing my thoughts on the Industrial age coming to a close and what you need to be doing today!

Analysis: Facebook Adds One-Half Million New Users Everyday

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Mashable broke the news that there are now 400,000 – 500,000 new users registering for Facebook everyday. This number is absolutely astounding. Facebook could possibly grow even further with its expansion to most countries in the world. Facebook is no longer just for college students – as it was in 2005 when I joined.

We are now seeing businesses make “pages” which keeps adding to the network. Facebook is taking over the web – messages are being sent through Facebook rather than through email or instant messaging.

Personally it is very convenient to see someones profile and understand what is new in their lives. Also, without Facebook I would be lost, I would have no idea what some mere acquaintances are doing with their lives.

Without Facebook,  if you lost contact with someone you may have a hard time reconnecting. Facebook does reconnecting and makes users closer to each other. And if you are in the networking mood, Facebook makes it even easier. Facebook adds value for all the users – it is like the internet

Link: WOW: Facebook Adding Half a Million New Users Every Day.

One word of caution though: Facebook cannot do the social networking for the user. The user has the option of connecting or not connecting. Plus, it is up to the users if they would like to expand their relationships back into real life or not.

In the future most people will be on Facebook or a new social networking site. This change from young people to the mainstream has been going since the last year. Facebook  makes the world much more rich in the way we connect.



Electronic Calendars

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I am calling it right now. Within ten years paper calendars may be obsolete. It will happen because of the explosive growth of electronic calendars and cell phones.  These devices or webware can hold anything. All the user has to do is remember to use it.

Gmail GCalendar allows users to send SMS reminders to their cell phones! Average everyday people will never forget anything anymore. These added functionalities are much better than paper calendars, which do not allow any reminders. Birthdays will never be forgotten, life will be so much easier without worrying when each birthday is.

Then we can get to more important stuff in our lives.

Schools may be Crushing Innovation

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It is possible that our school system including secondary education and post-secondary education are crushing innovation for students today. I  see this everyday as more students are pushed towards majors that promise high returns on their investment. The push came from websites, teachers, friends, parents, and other sources saying that there will be ample jobs in this industry or that. After a few years of the “push”, waves of graduates finish school  and then the job market is in oversupply. Thus, most graduates would not get a professional job in their respectable career path. Some kids were steered into the business school because of fears of outsourcing in engineering or science.

Some brave ones went into engineering and eventually went into the business school as a backup. Some students went to school with the promise of a job based on their “push” source saying that there were ample jobs in the industry while very few are getting them.

I came across this viral video of speech at TED and found it amazing. I will share it with you below.

Students today should not be forced into a major because of their parents or blogs on the internet promising jobs. The field may promise a job now, but will it when the student graduates? Change is happening so rapidly in the marketplace that what students learn today will be lost in today’s economy. Business school does not teach students how to create a business from scratch. Business school teaches students how to become follow-the-book employees thus harming innovation.

In the near future there will be a different way for young people to learn – be it through school or another source, things need to change according to the marketplace rather than stay stuck with the ideas of the industrial society.



Why I Never Buy the Newest Consumer Gadgets

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Although I love to look at them in person, on a blog, or on T.v., these gadgets are never on my priority list.

This is because consumer fads go in and out with the times. Throughout my early years, I have bought into fads as they come. In the last 4-5 years in college I have not bought into these major products.

Consumer electronics have very smart marketers and they give reasons why you “need” this item or that item. Some of these products you may buy because your friend has them or you saw them on the internet. But – one has to realize how they are going to use the item.  Instead of buying on impulse, what will they do with the item? Before one buys – they need to think – do I really need this item or that item? Can I get by with the older version until a newer edition comes out?

Items such as the iPhone was $500 when it came out in 2007. At the time I thought this was ridiculous amount to spend. I did not believe that Americans will spend 500 on this. Yep, they did – especially college students who were in debt and do not have a real job – or a shopaholic who thought this was the best thing since sliced bread.

One cannot go out buying all these items because they are new and exciting – there will something better down the road. If you bought iPhone at the height of the market when it came out you are down 500. Some people in the world do make that much in a year.

Recently I saw the same hype around Windows 7. At the worst recession in recent history, there are loads of people buying such items as windows 7 when they have a good version on their computer – XP or Vista. And with this, they might not even have a job or need to pay urgent bills.  These people could use the 500 dollars that they spent on their iPhone on different products – such as going back to community college to help their job prospects!

A new and exciting product may give someone a rush while buying, but it will hurt later when they find out there is a better version a few months away.

The product life cycle for consumer electronics is about 6 months to a year. Maybe you should wait until you really want the item.

In an Odd Twist, the Dow (DJI) Falls Last Friday

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In an odd twist of fate, the Dow fell last Friday after investors tried to get out of the market. It is very interesting that the talking heads on T.V. are talking about the two problems of GDP and unemployment. Some even say this is a one day phenomena.

Question for everyone: How can an economy survive if the whole economy is made up of 70% consumers while unemployment is at record highs? Something has to give. I will say no more on this subject.

Look at the Dow in Google Finance =)