Thanks Donald Trump

Two positive, fundamental principles which Donald Trump has reminded America:

#1 Anyone can be President
  It does not matter how intelligent you are, how kind you are or how much work you put in. 

Whether or not you have good ideas, or whether you actually have any ideas. 

It does not matter how you treat people, how much respect you show them or whether you give to others.

It doesn’t matter if you bully the less-fortunate or “grab em by the p*ssy”.

You can swindle, take shortcuts and just make it up as you go along.

You don’t really need to know anything about anything.

And you most certainly don’t need data, polls, advertisements, consultants, think tanks, endorsements, “listening tours” or even a political party.

A few tweets and some random, mostly incoherent words could get you elected.

It’s a beautiful system where literally anyone born in the U.S. and is 35 years old can be elected to the highest office in the land.

#2 The American people are the government  I am always taken aback when people use the word “they” when speaking about the government.

“They don’t know what they are doing.” “They taxing me to high heaven.”  “They are trying to take my gun away.”

What people are really saying is “We hold no power”.

But by getting elected against all odds, Donald Trump has once again proved that the American people own the government.

We control the power. We can dole it out any which way we choose.

“of the people, for the people, by the people”

Donald Trump has proven these words still ring true.

I Heart Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the best software innovation built upon the Internet.

It is an instant, anonymous, cost-free, border-less, traceable, un-hackable way to exchange value.

As technology and its adoption continue to march forward, it is hard to envision a future in which Bitcoin becomes less relevant.

There are really only two possibilities:

Possibility A  The number of transactions and “wallets” continue to explode and at some tipping point, Bitcoin goes “mainstream”. It becomes a staple in our lives, whether we realize it or not. Combine all those transactions with a limited number of Bitcoin and you have something quite valuable.

Possibility B  Bitcoin will be worth $0.

Bitcoin is obviously very volatile and not for the faint of heart.

But not having a few in your portfolio is investing malpractice.

Mo Guns, Mo Safety

“Guns make us safer. The more guns, the safer we are. We must have them in our grade schools, on college campuses, in restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores, national parks and bars.” – NRA (aka. Republicans)

I always find it quite amusing, in the most hypocritical, heartbreaking way, that whenever the Republicans (aka. NRA) host a major gathering, firearms are banned.

Be it at their national convention or the upcoming Inauguration in DC, the Republicans deem it unwise to allow people to exercise their 2nd Amendment right.

“But…but, who’s going to stop the bad guy with a gun??”

They seem to be saying that having these devices around, whose sole purpose is to extinguish life, might not be the best idea when groups of people are congregating.

Sorry though folks, that’s only when it’s their safety that may be threatened. You and your family must respect some lame-o’s right to carry his pistol into Fresh Foods while you grab some juice.

If the open or concealed carrying of arms made people safer, they would be welcomed with open arms at the Inauguration. Thus, clearly making it the safest place on Earth.

Mommy and Daddy v1.0

Electronics. Oy.

The generation being brought up right now will never know a world in which the iPhone didn’t exist.

Where the word “app” meant a small bite before the main meal.

Where playing a game required a tv-wired console with controllers.

Where billions of videos were not a tap away.

And where all of this was not available every second. Every. Where.

This is the first time in human history where parents must parent screen-time, all the time. Every. Where.

Growing up my default was playing outside. Any chance I had I would head outside, shoot hoops, ride my bike or just stand on the front lawn and juggle my soccer ball.

Today, the default for most children is a screen.

I am a Technologist. Someone who is awed by our current assortment of devices and software. Someone who can’t wait to see whats next.

I love technology, but I sure am struggling to parent it.

It’s not that I believe using these devices is going to “rot her brain”. There is no question that becoming comfortable with computers, being able to leverage them as tools, is a must for my daughter to prosper in the future.

The issue is that they are all-captivating. All engrossing.

When she’s watching the iPad, the world around her, which is far more entertaining and exponentially more beautiful, simple fades away. I guess I am scared she may not come my  same conclusion.

Generation Screen is upon us. And we current parents are gamely attempting to discover the appropriate balance in this new age of ubiquitous 1s and 0s.

Echo Dots for Everybody

Amazon has hit on something huge with the Echo. Something that is here to stay.

They are sold out through Christmas.

Google has jumped feet first into the market.

And the best leading indicator of them all, the Development community is on board. There are more than 3,000 “skills” currently available and growing rapidly.

The newest and smallest iteration is called Echo Dot. It currently sells for $39.99.

I believe it would be worth it if Amazon just gave them away for free.

Outside of the marketing burst it would garner, Amazon would then have a microphone, speaker and network appliance inside of everyones home.

Always listening.

Always interacting.

Always collecting data.

Always learning, becoming more helpful.

And of course, placing the entire World of Amazon just a shout away.

The battle for this space is the battle to control the home, and although they may not know it today, customers are choosing their ecosystems for life.

1 + 1 + Everyone

A mobile app I would love to build.

Live video conversations hosted by verified thought leaders. Everyone can watch, but more importantly, everyone can participate.

Say Snoop Dogg is hanging on his tour bus. He can fire up 1 + 1 + Everyone, “Go Live”, and begin a session.

He can then commence a chat with someone from the audience.

Everyone can watch their conversation.

audience-1
Audience member view.

Snoop is in complete control. He can cut it off whenever he wants or move onto the next person.

Who gets chosen next? It could be first in-first on, but it could also be a business model.

Thats it.

A new way to learn. A new way to entertain. A powerful way for software to shrink the world.

More or Less: Donald Trump

It is always frustrating thinking about the future.

 

Whether in business, politics or just life, planning out a couple of years seems like a futile guessing game. But I would argue that we can foresee much more than we believe.

 

We definitively know the answers to a lot of seemingly simple questions about the future that when answered should guide the decisions we make today.

 

I call these thought experiments “more or less”.

 

With that…

 

In the next 2-3 years under a Trump administration…

 

Will America rely on diplomacy more or less?

Will America have more or less democratic allies?

Will America be more or less likely to respond forcefully to perceived slights?

Will the Pentagon have more or less sway over foreign policy?

Are wars now more or less likely?

Is a compulsory draft now more or less likely?

Is a nuclear confrontation now more or less likely?

 

Will the rich become more or less rich?

Will we have more or less income inequality?

Will regulators have more or less power?

Will corporations be more or less reckless?

Is an economic catastrophe now more or less likely? 

 

Will our environment get more or less attention?

Will renewable energy get more or less attention?

Will fossil fuels get more or less attention?

Are environmental disasters now more or less likely?

 

Will guns be more or less accessible?

Will guns be allowed into more or less places?

Will there be more or less gun violence?

With America now have more or less gun deaths?

 

Will more or less Americans have access to quality affordable healthcare?

Will mental health get more or less attention?

Will opioid abuse become more or less prevalent?

Will there be more or less suicides?

 

Will science be valued more or less?

Will technological advancement be valued more or less?

 

Will the 4th estate be more or less of a check on government overreach?

 

Will more or less Americans have access to an affordable college degree?

 

Will Americans in the minority be treated more or less fairly by our criminal justice system?

Will community policing be adopted by more or less Police departments?

Will there be more or less violent encounters?

Will there be more or less dead Police officers?

Will there be more or less dead suspects?

 

Will the NSA intrude more or less into our lives?

Will that information be used more or less responsibly?

 

Will women have more or less control over their bodies?

Will the government have more or less control over women’s bodies?

 

Will intellect be valued more or less?

Will honesty be value more or less?

Will truth be valued more or less?

Will respect be valued more or less?