Now that Planetary Resources has unveiled its plans to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new deposits of platinum and water, and to strip-mine them and shuttle them back to secure facilities back on our home planet, I think it’s time to take ask the question we’ve all been wondering:
Just what do Earth’s billionaires think they’re doing?
It’s no longer enough, if you’ve made a fortune in electronics or videogames, to buy yourself a $30 million ticket to ride on the Space Station, as Lord British and Anousheh Ansari have done. Now you’ve got to create your own space-exploration company.
Crazy, yes. But going into space has all the earmarks of a perfect second career for the modern billionaire. It’s amazingly cool and is guaranteed to provoke vast amounts of envy in the hearts of the other billionaires you run into at TED, Davos, and the Bohemian Grove. It’s the sort of hugely ambitious project that is worthy of a man (or woman) with an enormous ego. It costs a whole lot of money, so the barrier to entry is high (that keeps out the riffraff). And done right, it could be massively profitable, maybe even enough to create the world’s first trillionaire. So really, the wonder isn’t that billionaires are doing this, the wonder is that it’s taken them so long.
Full story: Dylan’s Desk: A spaceship is the perfect gift for the billionaire who has everything | VentureBeat.
I recently spent a day at an event sponsored by Monocle magazine and GE, focused on “tech craftsmanship.” It started with an interesting statement from Tim O’Reilly: If you want to see what the future holds, look at what really smart people are doing in their spare time.
For example, the PC revolution began with a bunch of smart nerds (and a few college dropouts) hanging out at the Homebrew Computer Club, showing off things they’d hacked together in their spare time.
Now the really smart people are probably building 3D printers from Makerbot kits, or else creating their own high-powered lasers or animatronic, flame-breathing dragons. Sure, these devices aren’t practical mass-market devices. But then, the Apple I computer that Steve Wozniak put together with a wooden case he built by hand in his shop wasn’t a mass-market device either, and look how far that idea got.
… About a hundred people gathered to hear a handful of experts talk about craftsmanship, apprenticeships, mass customization, and the art of making delightful products that “romance” the customer. The audience was heavily weighted towards designers, to judge from their eyewear alone (lots of glasses with chunky plastic or wood frames — but, alas, no actual monocles).
via Dylan’s Desk: When craftsmanship meets tech, magic happens | VentureBeat.
That’s the dominant note sounded by commenters at this week’s Mobile Summit, an invitation-only conclave of mobile-industry executives and investors sponsored by VentureBeat.
It’s polite frustration, to be sure. But again and again, I’ve heard on-stage speakers or members of the audience in various discussions allude to their difficulties working with carriers, with Apple, with Google, or with the vast profusion of platforms out there.
Read the full story: Dylan’s Desk: Frustration and fragmentation rule the mobile industry — for now | VentureBeat.