/// Why We Must Think Bigger

February 22, 2013  |  All Things Digital


One day, about six billion years from now, the sun will burn out. This cataclysmic inevitability was brought to my attention over the holidays by my 6-year-old son. Far off though it may be, he believes our solar system’s imminent demise is cause for alarm sooner rather than later. (For him, that means sooner than getting a flu shot — but later than downloading the most recent service pack for Minecraft.) Of course, I recognize my 6-year-old is thinking too far ahead. Too big. But he did get me wondering, are the rest of us thinking big enough? Especially those of us who develop — and invest in — new innovations. If not for being stuck on an antiquated United Airlines plane unequipped with Wi-Fi (is there any other type?), I may not have found the time to commit this thought to paper — I would likely have been overwhelmed by the next flurry of emails or meeting requests. It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. In fact, as I survey the current startup landscape and consider the kinds of companies attracting VC dollars, it seems like the investing community isn’t thinking of the big picture at all. Today, investors are less interested in transformative companies and more interested in trendy ones. Funding is flowing — and flowing fast — toward “quick-response startups.” These companies, more often than not, are launched during all-night hack-a-thons. They’re the wired brainchildren of eager coding buddies and Costco-like volumes of Red Bull.

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Why We Must Think Bigger


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