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This article was published on February 23, 2018

“Technology is at an inflection point right now,” according to Boris

“Technology is at an inflection point right now,” according to Boris
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Story by

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Founder & board member, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

We live in remarkable times. Never before in history have we had it so good, despite what you read in the news. We are healthier, richer, and safer than we’ve ever been. Still, we tend to focus on what’s right in front of us and ignore the past or immediate future.

Humans are very well equipped to deal with the now and not the future. A paper cut can ruin our day while we have already forgotten that broken toe from last year, and still merrily commit to a risky adventure where we might break a leg.

It is, therefore, no surprise that we are equally bad at predicting what’s next. Even though all the signs are there.

If you are reading this you might now realize I’m not talking to you specifically. You and I are in a business that is training itself to look ahead. But even in our business, we tend to overlook the obvious signs that things are about to change. We knew Blockchain and Bitcoin were going to change the world, but most of us didn’t buy Bitcoin at 20 cents.

We know self-driving cars are going to change the world, and pretty soon too, but we haven’t really considered how disruptive this is going to be to parking garages, trains, gas stations, or the design of cities. If you look out the window now there’s a good chance you’ll see a bunch of cars. Now, imagine your view without any cars at all, except for a few self-driving ones. Now, redesign your city without parking spaces and parked cars. That’s just one example of the changes we can now predict we will see in our lifetime.

For years we’ve talked about the revolution smartphones would bring, and lived through some of it. The same for artificial intelligence, home automation, and a bunch of other exciting developments. All these technologies have been maturing over the past decade. We’ve seen the early signs, we’ve played with the prototypes and early products, but I firmly believe we are now at an inflection point where all these technologies will really break through and start making dramatic changes.

A few months ago, I looked at the state of technology and it reminded me of the moment that Steve Jobs stood on stage and demoed the first Apple laptop with built-in Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi had been available for years. I had Wi-Fi in my laptop, but it was a Cisco card that required special drivers, was difficult to manage, and expensive. You needed to be a geek, and know how to hack your computer, to get it to work. The moment Apple introduced Wi-Fi I realized this was an inflection point; the technology would cease to be seen as ‘a technology’ and become commonplace. That would, in turn, have an effect on how people work and move around, and that would impact how we organize our offices.

We are at an inflection point now. All the signs are there, and it is incredibly exciting to imagine what is going to change next.

Every year people ask me why they should visit our conference in Amsterdam. This year my answer is ‘Inflection point’.

If you want to know what is going to happen next, what the signs are and what this will mean for your business, your environment, and for you personally, then you need to join me in Amsterdam and listen to the experts on stage, the 15.000 attendees, and the hundreds of companies who will attend.

The signs are there — you just have to read them.

What we’ve been talking about this week:

⏰ Jeff Bezos just installed a $42 million 10,000-year clock on his property. Because he can.

? 16-year-old Maxime Coutté was inspired by the VR anime series Sword Art Online but couldn’t afford an Oculus Rift. So he built his own. And your 16-year-old is still shoving rocks up his nose.

? Stanford made an AI gaydar and it’s bullshit.

? A shady cryptocurrency just partnered with Hollywood actor Steven Seagal for added shadiness. This should go well.

? Zuck’s at it again — Facebook is planning to thwart election ad fraud with postcards.

❤️ Happn wants to become the Pokemon Go of love.

Something funny I found:

I almost forgot…

We’re aiming to make TNW Conference 2018 accessible for startups of all stages… So we’ve decided to slash our prices. If you’re a startup, make sure to check it out.

Bye for now!

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