Digital Art Marketplaces

Every day, millions of artists enter their studio and instead of picking up a brush, a pencil, or a can of spray paint, they power on their computers, tablets, and cameras. They are digital-native artists who, at the end of their creative process, have created a digital file. Does that digital file have value?

Sentimental value? Yes. Visual value? Yes. Monetary value? No. Digital files can’t retain monetary value. That is, until the year 2008 when the blockchain was created. The blockchain presented an opportunity whereby digital files (such as a digital artwork) could have a cryptographic signature that made it a unique asset. An asset that couldn’t be copied and pasted, for then the cryptographic signature, and its authentic identity, would be lost.

Robot Nurses & Drone Window Washers

Anyone looking for future job security should go into nursing. The overall aging population is precipitating a massive need for nurses. A need so large that we may not be able to fill it with humans alone.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2016-2026, Registered Nursing (RN) is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2026. The RN workforce is expected to grow from 2.9 million in 2016 to 3.4 million in 2026, an increase of 438,100 or 15%.

Digital Health Guardian

How come YouTube can reliably recommend videos they know I’ll consume, but there isn’t a food search engine that’ll recommend healthy meals they know I’ll consume? How come Uber can always find the optimal route to my destination, but I’m completely unaware of an optimal route for my health?

In an age when algorithms understand us and personalize things for us at such an incredible ability, it is a shock that we don’t have this same level of personalization for our health.

Posture Mode

This behavior just isn’t sustainable. The entire world will be ruined if we keep this up. A decade from now, we’re all going to regret our actions. We’ll wish we’d done things differently. We’ll wish we hadn’t had such poor posture when using our phones and computers.

If you don’t think that this is a serious issue facing the world, then clearly you’re looking down at your phone too much to see everyone else with the same bent neck as you.

Computational Drug Design

The World Health Organization called it the world’s first “infodemic”. Social media has made it simple to spread fiction about the Coronavirus (or COVID-19). And when you stir up all the mud from the bottom of a pond, it’s difficult to get clean water. Especially in places where the spread of the virus is serious, people are having trouble determining what information to trust. This has led to panic where it’s unneeded and apathy where people should really care.

This is what happens when algorithms curate our news feeds, allowing anyone with an Internet connection to be heard.

Memojis in the Year 2030

When Kim Kardashian released her Kimoji app in 2015 and went on to sell the $1.99 app more than 9,000 times a second for the entire first day – earning “a million a minute” – we should’ve known that Bitmojis were just getting started. Since that day, Snapchat bought Bitmoji, Apple released their own competitor called Memoji, and we began actually seeing these cartoon, self-replicas used for more commercial purposes.

Bitmojis are now being used to make it easier to find your friends’ locations. A couple of entrepreneurs created the Bitmoji Bible. Brands such as Cheetos, Gucci, and New Balance are seeing the advertising opportunity in creating funny and relevant emoticon packages.

Selling Shares of Your Future Earning Potential

Would you buy stock in your favorite athlete if there was a chance at earning a great return? Would you buy stock in the future earnings of a friend that is on a meteoric rise? These sound like theoretical “bar talk” questions, but they‘re actually serious. One athlete is exploring a way to sell shares of his contract and if it goes smoothly, then others will likely follow suit.

Spencer Dinwiddie – the indisputable leader of the Brooklyn Nets while Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are struggling with injuries – is in the process of offering shares of his contract as an investment opportunity.

Internet Driver’s License

When I thought up the phrase, “A Driver’s License for Surfing the Internet” I didn’t expect anyone to have thought about it before. So I was surprised to find that a think tank had already dreamed of this dream 19 years ago. And that 10 years ago, the US Government put a pilot program in place to deploy the idea.

Obviously, neither of their ideas went very far. But they were misguided. The think tank wanted 11-year-olds to pass an Internet program before they could freely browse the web. And the Government wanted a universal identification system for all online users.

Audio Augmentation

What if in the next 5 years wireless, connected headphones had the same degree of impact on our lives as the smartphone? How would connected headphones, like the AirPods, change our lives? What does life look like when half the world walks around with headphones all day?

Most people would say that’s a very isolating world with even lesser human connection than we have today. But to the contrary, I believe that headphones can actually restore a bit of what we had before cell phones and smartphones stole our attention.

Samsung's Digital Human

Two things happen when an emerging technology is adopted by a major tech company. One, the market (and all of those grassroots startups) are validated. Two, the pressure to perform and swallow up users heightens. The emerging Digital Human space has just entered this moment.

At CES 2020, Samsung unveiled a lofty vision for a project called Neon “Neons are” — realistic human avatars that are computationally generated and can interact with you in real-time.

The Next 20 Years of Digital Finances

The key to building wealth is putting your dollar to work while you sleep. We achieve this by purchasing land, developing that land, and watching the value of that land rise. We achieve this by purchasing shares in a company and getting a small taste of the profits they earn. The routes to wealth are through investments.

Surprisingly, though, not many people can afford to purchase a multi-million-dollar apartment complex… let alone purchasing the roof over their head. Even further down the line, many aren’t able to gather enough money each month to invest in one share of a company.

Digital Apprenticeships

For a long time, the only way to get a job was through apprenticeship. To work in someone else’s shadow was a real honor. And it was the swiftest way to learn a trade, eventually getting a stamp of approval from a known master. Today, many of us vastly overlook the opportunity to be Digital Apprentices. To be an Apprentice of the Internet is the most accessible form of apprenticeship to ever exist.

What does it mean to be a Digital Apprentice?

eSports Stadium Franchises

Nostalgia is one heck of a selling-point. Everyone reaches a certain age (and buying power) where the “old times” just sound like a nice escape from the current times. In large doses, it can become a real poison against progress. But in small doses, it can actually be quite pleasant and even work to counteract depression.

This is partly the reason why I think the upcoming line of Atari-branded hotels will be successful.

Emotion Recognition Technology

There’s power in knowing what emotions people are feeling at any given time of day. Mordor Intelligence estimates that power at $92 billion over the next four years. Emotion Recognition Technology is the offspring of facial recognition and its applicability has already become quite widespread.

Despite half the scientific community disputing the abilities of Emotion Recognition, companies in this field are already beginning to dominate major contracts in advertising, automotive, and entertainment.

Digital Third Spaces

When I’m old, retired, and telling my grandkids what it was like to live in the early part of the 21st century, I’m going to describe it as this: “We all willingly deprived ourselves of healthy social interaction when we agreed to be digital citizens.”

Now, I hope that by the time I get to say that it actually has some Wow! factor to it, in the same way that kids might now be shocked we used to be able to smoke on airplanes. In other words, I hope that we will have figured out how to create healthy digital communities at scale by the time I’m old and decrepit. Because we can’t continue to live like this.

AI Against Pandemics

Globalization has its perks. Hop on a plane and go nearly anywhere in the world at any time. Sell your products and services to the 4.5 billion digital citizens, instead of the few thousand or million in your area. But one thing that globalization doesn’t help is the spread of infections and disease.

At any given time, our planes are transporting more than 1.2 million people and likely 10 times more cargo, products, and produce. That’s why in the case of the coronavirus officials were quick to quarantine a zone that encompasses 8 cities and 35 million people.

Google Earth Tours

Google has mapped 98% of the inhabited world. If people live there, then Google has probably grabbed a satellite or street view image of that place. The immense value of mapping the globe goes beyond navigation, though. Interactive digital maps of the Earth will have a great impact on tourism, education, entertainment, and more.

Now that Google Earth unveiled new tools for anyone to create tours, presentations, games, etc, we should see the 36 million square miles of free Maps go to good use.

Why I’ll Be Visiting Japan Once a Year for the Rest of My Life

For the first two decades of my life, Japan was nothing more than the place where all of my favorite childhood anime shows came from. It was like Hollywood to a rural American. Fascinating, but mostly a fairytale.

And then I visited Japan last year and I vowed to visit Japan at a minimum of once every year for the rest of my life. It sounds cliché, but I really did feel at home.

While I was out there this previous trip, I had the pleasure of meeting Ranzo – creator of the Black Experience Japan, a YouTube series describing just that.

We sat down for a conversation on everything from why Japan inspires me to how Fortnite could create a currency that is traded on the NYSE. Personally, I think it’s one of the best interviews I’ve ever given. Check it out for yourself below:

Social Review Networks

In ten years, having digitally reviewed 10,000 places will be far more valuable on a social level than having 10,000 followers. Reviews are the building blocks of trust on the Internet. And they’ve yet to be realized to their full potential in terms of social utility.

Imagine for a moment that you’re out to eat with a handful of friends when someone brings up the new restaurant that just opened. You haven’t been yet, so you want to determine whether or not it’s worth going. Do you ask everyone to give it 1 to 5 stars and take the average? Or do you listen to everyone’s opinion and take the word of the person you trust the most?