Focus on Companies, Not Governments

Posted by on Dec 21, 2014 in Faith in the Future, Serious Money Talks | 0 comments

Focus on Companies, Not Governments

As the number and complexity of big problems seem to accumulate almost daily, in both the domestic and foreign policy areas, it seems reasonable to conclude that solutions will not be coming from our federal or state governments. I find that my confidence drains when I think about the government’s general lack of productivity and value. However, my confidence builds every time I learn about companies that are doing interesting, amazing, and innovative things.



Companies are our new solution providers.



We are living in a world of incredible abundance, and several companies are evidence of that abundance.  Please don’t consider these examples to be recommendations to buy or sell (in fact, many of the companies are not publicly traded). These examples are intended to inform you and increase your confidence that, in fact, progress and innovation are all around us.

Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI) is building the largest database of human genotypes, microbiomes, and phenotypes to tackle age-related biological decline. In other words, they intend to “make 100 years old the new 60.”

Suitable Technologies makes Beam, a telepresence robot that allows a person to have a physical presence in multiple locations. Beam, in essence, is a computer screen that can move around in a room, down a hallway, into an office or factory. Sitting at your computer, Beam offers you two-way video and two-way audio, so you can “be present” in remote locations.

Oculus Virtual Reality was recently purchased by Facebook for $2 billion. Eighteen months earlier, 20-year-old Palmer Luckey, the founder and creator of Oculus, had an idea about how to make video games better than they already were by using virtual reality headsets. These headsets have created breakthroughs in the science of making your brain think you are in a real alternate environment even though you know you are not.

Vicarious creates artificial intelligence software with a goal of having machines being able to interpret the contents of photographs and videos in a manner similar to human beings. Vicarious caught the eyes of major investors when it demonstrated a 90% success rate interpreting CAPTCHAs (those pesky squiggly words you type into a website to prove that you are human).

Titan Aerospace makes solar-powered drones, capable of becoming aerial satellites that are orbiting constantly without having to touch down for fuel. These drones, installed with cameras, can be used to image everything in real time at high resolution. They can also provide low-cost     communications by becoming, in essence, high-altitude cell towers. They can also beam the Internet to parts of the world that are currently dark.

StoreDot has invented a battery technology that can fully charge your cell phone in under one minute. Based out of Tel Aviv, the company derived this nanotechnology from research into Alzheimer’s disease. The product will be on the market soon, and we will likely see a huge impact on batteries, displays, image sensors, and mobile device memory.

Local Motors plans to 3-D print an entire automobile at an upcoming trade show in Chicago this September. The car will be made out of a material that is twice as strong as aluminum and have fewer than 20 parts.

WinSun Decoration Design Engineering is a Chinese company that recently built 10 full-sized houses in a single day. How did they do it? The houses were actually 3-D printed. Amazing!

These are just 8 examples of companies solving huge, perplexing problems using new advances in various technologies (3-D printing, sensors, artificial intelligence, robotics, infinite computing). Although the world is changing rapidly, causing uncertainty, stress, and new problems, I am buoyed by the knowledge that private companies are able to harness these technologies for our next generation of innovation and creativity.

I think it is a valuable perspective to maintain that, due to the new exponential technologies, our private companies are now our primary problem solvers.



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