Tag: tech

How to see tech trends before everyone else

“Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.” -Mary Schmich

To understand the future (in any subject) and keep up with latest in emerging technology, there is a broad strategy that is immensely beneficial:

Follow “Who” is building and funding emerging tech.

Follow and learn from where smart people in are investing their time, effort, energy, money, and other resources to have an impact on these technologies becoming real.

Why? Because those most knowledgeable people in a field often have early access to data and information to use in their endeavors. Keeping track of what smart people are doing allows you to benefit from their information access.

Although information feels more accessible than ever, top researchers know about ground-breaking studies before everyone else. Breakthrough research papers are often not widely discussed and are missed by the headlines. Data also can take time before being published.

Venture Capitalists fund companies that no one has heard of; they have perspectives and hypothesis that most of us have not considered. They seek the wisdom of experts, and use that to make investment decisions.

I’m not an expert but I try to really know what the experts think and keep up to date as the experts change their mind. – Tim Urban, talking about AI.

Identify “What” is new and obscure.

Mark Andreesen calls it the ‘What do the nerds do on nights and weekends?’ test.

Said in a similar way: “what the smartest people in the world do on the weekends is what everyone else will do during the week in 10 years.”

What are the nerds talking about and working on that the greater population of people is not even aware of? Video games is a great example. Most people never would have thought that being a professional gamer was a viable way to and earn money by livestreaming on platforms like Twitch. In fact, many people in 2021 probably still don’t even realize this.

Identifying influential and intelligent people who’s ideas are worth spreading is somewhat subjective. There isn’t a sure way to find the brilliant minds of a given area, but a few things to look for include:

  • Track record of success.
    • Which people have founded of been an early employee at successful companies? Which angel investors have had successful exits with their portfolio companies?
  • Network of other influential people in their circle.
  • Contrarian, not dedicated to mainstream ideas and conventional wisdom.

Go against consensus:

“What you listen to and who you listen to is what you become.” – Gary Vee, recent post on LinkedIn.

In his book Zero to One as well as his talks on YouTube, Peter Thiel shares his favorite interview question: “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”.

This is not an easy question to answer.

To invest successfully, being able to think from contrarian viewpoints is extremely important.

Holding a hypothesis about a business or about the world that is against the consensus of the general population creates the risk of being wrong. However, by applying the scientific method, a founder can test whether or not this hypothesis is indeed true.

Holding contrarian viewpoints means betting on something that is underrated and undervalued. It means people must disagree with you today, and agree with you in the future.

Although tough to stomach, having people disagree with your hypothesis in the present is a pre-requisite to successful investment thesis.

When done well, spending time and energy on contrarian ideas resembles the “buy low, sell high” approach in investing. When most people regard something as worthless or irrelevant, it is affordable and easy to access. The thing is, most people don’t care about being involved with something that isn’t worth anything today.

A recent example is cryptocurrency. In 2009 or 2010, conversations about cryptocurrency were probably generally ignored. People working on crypto had a unique hypothesis about the future of this technology, and spent time building projects. Vitalik Buterin was building the Ethereum blockchain before most of the world even knew what cryptocurrency was. At the time, cryptocurrency was highly undervalued. Because Vitalik believed there was value in working on building projects in this arena, he spent massive time and energy creating a platform and accumulating skills and experience. Now that the rest of the population is realizing the value of cryptocurrency, Vitalik’s project Ethereum has grown exponentially in value.

This type of growth would not have been possible if Vitalik did not initially pursue and idea that most people would have considered worthless.

Often, the smartest people in the world know things that you don’t. They sit on the boards of highly technical and innovative companies. Their circles include influential people in business internationally.

How and Where to find new ideas?

Its easier said than done, and there really isn’t a single way to discover emerging trends.

Start with thinking about commonly held beliefs and accepted truths, then flipping them around to find areas where the majority may be wrong.

Follow people on Twitter. Being able to read the real-time thoughts of someone that has figured out how to start and launch successful tech companies might give you ideas about how you can do the same. Paul Graham, who has written timeless essays that dispense wisdom for technology founders, Tweets quite often. His essays on business, software, and startups are second to none.

Read subreddits. Despite the large amount of trolls, misinformation, and time-wasting content on this website, Reddit is a great way to obtain a general understanding of a topic by reading forum-based threads with what everyone is saying about a topic. Find the small communities with a dedicated following, and become a contributor.

Listen to interviews and podcast appearances with noteworthy people.

Set specific Google Alerts. For example, setting a Google Alert for Gwynn Shotwell, COO of SpaceX, might help you stay up to date with the excitement in the space travel industry such as rapid point-to-point rocket travel. Some of the greatest business minds don’t have a huge online presence. Setting a Google Alert for the words “Warren Buffett” will help you stay ahead of any big moves that Berkshire Hathaway has made, for example.

Following the Future of Tech letter can help you identify macro trends and insights on crypto, biotech, space travel, technology, and the future.

Exploding Topics may help you keep track of where there is greater interest in specific Google searches.

Every piece of knowledge acquired is just one data point – not everything should be acted upon. Accumulation of knowledge and insights comes with slow and gradual realization of how much you don’t know. I will leave you with this: As Socrates said, “I know that I know nothing”.

Reach out to me on Twitter @espressoinsight and let me know your thoughts.

CONWAY GAME OF LIFE cellular automata

game of life cellular automata rules

1. Each square is a cell.

2. Cells Have two possible states: either on or off, Alive or Dead

3. Cells fluctuate between alive and dead based on their interaction with the 8 neighboring cells.

4. Cells are born if there are exactly 3 live neighboring cells.

5. Cells die if they have fewer than 2 live neighbors or more than 3 live neighbors.

6. Cells survive if they have exactly 2 or 3 live neighbors.

To try the game of life for yourself:

best simulation: https://copy.sh/life/

Other game of life simulations:
https://www.dcode.fr/game-of-life

Those small but intricate moving squares is a programmatic simulation known as cellular automata. This is called the Game of Life.


The game of life is a computer simulation created by this guy John Conway. There are infinitely many combinations for how the game grows and progresses – in fact, its not really a game at all. It’s technically a zero player game, which means that the game’s evolution is determined by its initial state with no further input.

Fungi Game of life

**So I’m throwing out the challenge as mentioned in the YouTube video.. I can’t figure out how to make the game exhibit the fungi behavior again. I’m sure someone out there will be able to identify the correct settings. (Pls let me know)

Although the game maintains such simple rules, unimaginable levels of complexity can result.

Gliders are a crazy phenomena in the game. They move forever – infinitely in one direction.

These tiny blocks move in unpredictable patterns that can only be understood by letting the simulation play out. But every process in the simulation follows the rules of the system.


This is quite similar to the laws of physics that govern the way particles interact at an atomic level within our universe.

Could it be that these incredibly simple rules seem almost analogous to the rules governing how protons, neutrons, and electrons interact in our own universe?

Much like in the game, how small building blocks create larger multi-functioning entities that can achieve different weird tasks, our universe has atoms which create molecules which combine to form life as we know it.

How will 5G impact Gaming?

Now more than a buzzword, 5G will revolutionize mobile networks. This article covers 5G, discussing how it may impact gaming.

  • What is 5G?
  • How will it make gaming better?
  • What will this make possible?
  • How will 5G impact data plans?
  • When will it be here?

What is 5G?

Not to be confused with 5Ghz wifi, 5G cellular networks will open up entirely new possibilities that weren’t feasible on slower networks.

5G is the next step up in cellular network technology (there was 3G, then 4G LTE, and now 5G). 5G mobile internet is rumored to be 10 times faster than LTE, 5G increases wireless broadband speeds for smartphones and other devices, thus improving data transfer on cellular and mobile networks.

Although dramatically impactful in many disciplines (medicine: surgery performed remotely, automobiles: self driving cars, IOT: smart cities), 5G will also enable and improve many aspects of gaming.

How will 5G impact gaming?

5G will make gaming – specifically mobile gaming – better. This will include:

1. Immediate responsiveness:

This means lower latency. Latency is the time it takes to transmit data from your device to the network and back again. This increases the speed with which a command is registered on your screen. For gaming, a lower latency means that gamers will more quickly be able to make decisions.

2. Better mobile graphics:

The ability to transmit and receive larger amounts of data will allow mobile frame rate to increase (as of January 2020, Fortnite on console can handle up to 60 FPS whereas Fortnite on PC and iPad up to 120 FPS, for example). With a higher frame rate, graphics will be more crisp and player movements will be sharper and easier to calculate.

3. Faster downloads:

5G will notably increase the download speed for games and other apps to your phone. Today, downloading mobile games (many of which are well over 1GB) requires gamers to connect to wifi and plug in their phone to prevent battery drainage. 5G will allow games of this size to be downloaded no problem. Data plans will likely be larger, so people will be more apt to download these games on the go. This will lower the barrier to entry to play all types of video games, increasing its popularity broadly, from mobile and casual gaming to esports as well.

4. Better reliability

Because 5G will provide extremely stable connections, gamers will not experience game and internet connections to drop off or remain unsteady. As more people have stable and reliable internet connections, mass multiplayer online mobile games will continue to grow, expanding the social aspects of many games such as Fortnite, while providing space for the birth of mobile-first multiplayer online games.

5. The end of lagging?

Lagging gets worse when a game’s network reaches peak player volume. Since 5G can handle a higher network throughput than 4G, game servers will manage peak hour data usage more efficiently. Since 5G will reportedly make games 1000 times faster, gamers can expect little to no lagging and more consistent high quality gameplay.

However, game companies will inevitably develop more complex and graphic intensive games. Especially with the continued growth of virtual reality gaming, the processing power required to run video games can be expected to increase.

While 5G will allow game developers to to do more with future video games, we can expect game developers to to continue to push the envelope of technology, eventually reaching the limits of 5G.

What will 5G make possible?

1. Cloud Gaming

Cloud gaming should allow you to play high end, graphics intensive online multiplayer games on your mobile device with low (if any) latency and extremely high quality, resolution, and response time.

You won’t be able to tell that you’re not playing on a mobile device. Look for the following cloud gaming systems to exist soon:

  • Playstation Now
  • Google Stadia
  • Microsoft Xcloud

2. VR Streaming

Virtual reality entertainment has higher bandwidth requirements for a couple reasons:

  1. two images need to be streamed for VR, one to the left eye and one to the right eye.
  2. both of these need to be high-resolution to deliver high-quality experiences.
  3. low frame rate is one of the chief reasons that some VR players get headaches or have poor quality experiences in VR gaming.

The ability for 5G to handle the higher data receipt and transmission will make VR streaming of movies and games much smoother.

3. Future of mobile devices

5G will enable a new breed of handheld gaming consoles – 5G shells that transmit and receive high quality graphics via cloud computing. With the power of 5G, processing power local to device is not practical.

In the future, the purposes served by multiple devices (X-Box, PC, mobile, etc.) may combine into one one device optimized for transmitting and receiving data via the cloud.

With this data being processed non-locally, there is no need to purchase physical copies of games and other software, since they can be easily procured via the internet.

How will 5G affect data plans?

For consumers, it is hard to know if 5G will mean higher prices or not. Given that 5G is an enabler of extremely high download capacity, unlimited data plans will likely be required to take advantage of 5G.

The good news is that some companies such as TMobile have pledged to keep prices the same as 4g.

Data caps may still be a factor as they are today, but ultimately 5G will make the ability to transmit and receive data more abundant.

When will 5G be here?

5G is already here, its just not widely distributed yet. Some cellular plans such as T-Mobile and AT&T already have 5G out. We recommend contacting your provider directly to inquire more about 5G and what it would take to get access.

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