A shortlist of things I read, saw and heard in these last days…
A shortlist of things I read, saw and heard in these last days…
AI is here to stay and improve over time
We used recently GPT2, an old version of an algorithm to automatically generate text with just a little bit of context.
Just have a look at the poems it wrote on behalf of Elon Musk using the peculiar style of Dr. Seuss!
Here’s a poem by Dr. Seuss about Elon Musk launching rockets with SpaceX, building electric cars at Tesla, selling flame throwers, dating Grimes, fighting the SEC, crushing short sellers, building brain chips to fight AI, and colonizing mars, and tweeting at all hours of day and night. Musk wants to make humans interplanetary to prevent extinction. The poem rhymes every other line with an ABAB structure. The rhyme structure is typical of Dr. Seuss nursery rhymes.
By Dr. Seuss
Once there was a man
who really was a Musk.
He liked to build robots
and rocket ships and such.
He said, “I’m building a car
that’s electric and cool.
I’ll bet it outsells those
Gasoline-burning clunkers soon!”
They sell cool cars
that are electric and clean.
And then he wanted to go
even farther, you see.
The first Tesla, Roadster,
Was just the start of a bigger dream.
He said, “I’m building a plane
that’s electric and green.
That’s not all!
That man is also a Musk.
He likes electric cars,
flamethrowers, tunnels, and such.
But then he thought, “If we make
a very small, small chip,
We’ll implant it in our heads,
And then connect our minds to the Internet!”
But then, in his haste,
he got into a fight.
He had some emails that he sent
that weren’t quite polite.
The SEC said, “Musk,
your tweets are a blight.
They really could cost you your job,
if you don’t stop
all this tweeting at night.”
He replied, “Well, I do tweet
and it’s really quite neat.
and I’ll tweet in a while
and send you some sweet treats.”
But the SEC said, “Nay,
You can’t tweet anymore.
We’ll see you in court,
and you’ll pay a fine,
for the tweets that you wrote.”
Then Musk cried, “Why?
The tweets I wrote are not mean,
I don’t use all-caps
and I’m sure that my tweets are clean.”
“But your tweets can move markets
and that’s why we’re sore.
You may be a genius
and a billionaire,
but that doesn’t give you the right to be a bore!”
Then Elon Musk said,
“You’re not much fun.
And I don’t want to sue.
But I’ll tell you what I’ll do.
I’ll send my Mars Rovers
to red planet you.”
But then he thought, “But I don’t
want to start a fight.
Instead, I’ll just stick to building my cars
and launching rockets at night.”
And that’s what he did.
And the SEC said, “Fine.”
And Elon Musk said, “OK.
And the market was
A bit worried that day.
But the price of Tesla
Went up that same old way.
So you see,
Musk is just fine,
If you can ignore all the hype.
But if you trade Tesla,
The tweets might give you a fright.
But Tesla’s still going up
With each tweet and each post.
The shorts are getting so mad
That they’re going to burst!
And now Musk is building a spaceship
that can take us to Mars.
And he’ll soon be launching
some satellites to the stars.
And then we’ll really be
Interplanetary for sure.
And Musk’s tweets will continue
In space and on Earth.
Hit me baby one more time!
I don’t know if you remember, but by this time, last year, we launched 20by20. A brilliant (we believe) initiative that gathered several players from the Portuguese entrepreneurial ecosystem to give their vision on what would be the trends for 2020. As you can expect, none of us predicted that the trend would be … well … hell.
Don’t get us wrong. Our guest writers were actually really good predicting the technological trends and the pandemic accelerated the adoption of some of the solutions we’ve all been preaching about for some time now. Let’s take a quick look to the macro topics highlighted last year:
· 5G – it seemed that the new generation of broadband cellular networks was getting in shape in the beginning of the year, but it seems like we will have to wait a bit more while companies and regulators find a deal. Meanwhile, several industries are already preparing their products with software that benefits from this technology (e.g. ultra connected cars), so, we think it’s safe to say that we’re not that far.
· Cybersecurity – definitely a trend, but not a winner. Companies had major difficulties protecting their assets with the transition to home offices. Many still had on-premises servers and had their workers accessing them via VPN. It’s crucial to prevent and people are more aware of that, which led to a hot November for this industry.
· Sustainability – a strong (but no one expected to be this stronger) winner. Airplanes grounded, cars in garages and people consumerism at its minimum level. No one expected this. The planet gained a few days, and so the future generations.
· The gig economy – well… not a good year for it. Let’s skip this.
· Technology at the service of the humans – ding ding ding. Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner! We never saw so many developers, founders, creatives joining forces to create technological solutions to respond to so many different challenges of the societ
So, let’s do it again! Now with a special guest.
As you see, we really liked this concept. So, this year we invited 21 people to set 21 trends for 2021 – introducing 21by21. Excited, yet? First of all, who are they? They are founders, investors, businessmen and women, from different sectors and with different backgrounds. A conclusion that we always find interesting is that, even though we all belong to the same industry, one way or another, all of us have a very personal perspective and that brings value to it.
So, without further ado, the bets for 2021 are on:
· Sustainability – elected by the second time in a row. No one expects consumer habits to go back to be the same, and people are more severe when choosing brands that show concerns with the environment and a transparent supply chain.
· Short video will dethrone YouTube – new generations don’t have the same attention span, they don’t need more than a few seconds of video to know the highlights. Let’s see if this is the year of short videos and how influencers and entertainment industries will adapt to that demanding new process.
· Brain food – mental health is now one of the biggest concerns of people and companies for 2021, and it is expected that more and more consumers will look for products that help them stay focused and fight anxiety, and that more companies will launch products with L-Theanine, caffeine and cannabinoids.
· Hybrid work – All of us have already experienced the benefits (and challenges) of home office, but organizations are facing some additional adversities in transmitting their culture to their workers, so hybrid methodologies are being highly praised by leaders across industries.
· Data – 2020 locked us down, so all we had was the internet. Companies collected years-worth of online growth and client & sales data, and they can now use them wisely (if they know how to…).
· VC investors are hopeful – startups will have a major role in the recovery of economies worldwide and our part as investors is to boost them up. Governmental entities may also find in these private, agile companies a faster way to innovate and solve society’s new challenges.
Last but not the least, we invited a very special guest to participate: AI. GPT-2 wrote a very clear text of what it expects to be the trends for 2021. Curious? We were too.
Read more! and the past editions are also cool!
Thanks to all the participants of this initiative. It couldn’t have been possible without you. Let’s hope we don’t mess up next year too!
Thank you to those who followed our endless thoughts throughout the year. If you want to catch up, you can see what we’ve been talking about here…
April – The unexpected new world
May – The winner takes it all
June – I want damage modeling
August – The bright new days
September – We’re chained
October – The perfect storm
November – Everybody be cool, this is a robbery!
A great initiative powered by Bright Pixel!
My two cents… Read the rest at https://21by21.brpx.com/
Nobody could phantom that 2020 would end to be one of the weirdest years of our lifetime… so far.
So, it is really hard to accept the challenge to think and write about what 2021 has in store for us.
What I write below is based on three underlying premises:
First, that the future is mostly already here.
Second, that we can all desire that next year will be hopefully a return to “normalcy”… but it’s highly likely it won’t. The world will not be the same no more.
Third, we are all suffering and just grasping from the fact that the pace of change has dramatically increased and changed gears… right in front of us. We need to hold on… for the ride.
In 2020, we had to change how we live and all thought it would be just temporary… but, next year will we have still to adapt.
In several ways, I think we fast forwarded several trends that were already creeping around us.
In 2021, we will undoubtedly have to tackle several challenges ahead of us… and there is one thing I take for granted: our lives, for the better and for the worst, will become even more digital.
Namely, due to rising environmental concerns, health related issues, generational shifts and out of sheer and practical necessity… companies and people will do a lot more things in a digital realm.
Work, play, buy, sell, watch, share, collaborate, monitor and control – everything, increasingly online.
Finally, due to my role as an early stage investor, I have to try to have a stance on what might or not be a trend going forward.
For what it’s worth, here go my two cents about several key trends I believe will be picking up even more pace in the near future:
In the B2C world: digital entertainment is on the rise; online gaming and esports are becoming massive; we cannot keep up with pace of the vast array of sharing platforms that cater several niche interests; the way we buy everything is changing, and therefore, e-commerce is in constant flux; sustainability and environmentally driven decisions will impact more and more our daily actions – what we eat, wear, live and how we travel or commute; finally, above all, I feel that people are also a lot more focused on their physical and mental health and overall well-being…
(and all of this will be more and more mobile centric… simply because the zombie-like-neck-down human condition is here to stay, with everybody looking at a glowing device firmly held by one of our hands, whilst we walk pass everything around us…)
In the B2B world: “remotely-more, physically-less” working environments are here to stay; therefore, distributed cloud solutions to flexibly manage everything work process we have in our companies are on the rise; collaborative tools we be in also dire need; so will be cyber security products and services to protect ourselves and our assets from increased vulnerabilities and risks that we will all face; technology to handle contactless or unattended human interactions in customer facing services will be sought for in higher demand; hyper automation and extracting intelligence and decision making from the ever-increasing volume of accessible data is for sure an unstoppable trend.
Trends apart, on a ending positive note, 2021 will simply be what we will individually and collectively make of it!
“Every moment has to be complete in and of itself” (from Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness)
This graph says it all…
Snowflakes in the sky
Snowflakes in the public eye
Valuations of the roof
Warren Buffet entering in the tech loop
Interesting stories of people becoming billionaires
He launched recently Tech Deciphered Show – a great podcast about tech and VC (unbiased opinion… really! I listen to a bunch of podcasts and this one competes neck to neck with the best of them!) – with Bertrand Schmitt, an entrepreneur with a great story and track record, that I had the pleasure to also e-meet recently.
I’ve listened to most of the episodes they’ve done so far.
I truly recommend to any entrepreneur or investor that should listen carefully to the two episodes that analyses the impact of covid19 in the world.
The full transcript is also here and is a good reading alternative:
One of the best articles I’ve read in a long while…
Great concept that makes us all think that we should be looking at our reality in a different manner!
“I don’t care, I don’t care, so call me crazy. We can live in a world that we design.” — from the Greatest Showman
Marc Andreessen’s call to arms — It’s Time to Build is a powerful manifesto for a more ambitious future. If you haven’t read it already, you should.
Marc closes his post by asking what ideas people have for building breakthroughs. I can’t think of a better voice to pose this question since he catapulted us into the Internet age two and a half decades ago when he built the first web browser and server.
But we also need tools for how to do this.
I would like to share the best method I have found: Backcasting.
The future is not like the weather. It doesn’t just happen. People make the future. It’s not a destiny or hope; it’s a decision.
Steve Jobs didn’t “discover” a market need for smartphones or tablets: He designed the category and taught us how to think about it.
Elon Musk did the same with electric cars and commercial space travel.
So, how do legendary people make the future? How can you be a legendary builder of a breakthrough idea? That’s where Backcasting comes in.
READ HERE THE REST OF MIKE MAPLES JR.‘s ARTICLE