Max Levchin, one of the founders of PayPal and Slide, is back in the game. He has started a new hybrid R&D Lab/Incubator and he is focusing on the Internet of Things. Recently he gave an inspiring keynote at the DLD in Munich. In this post I want to highlight some the things he said. They made me think.
“Many of today’s big data companies are trying to tackle problems that just aren’t nearly big enough. Most are focused on marginally improving existing, digital businesses, but I believe the next big wave of opportunities exists in centralized processing of data gathered from primarily analog systems.
A key revolutionary insight here is not that the market-based distribution of resources is a great idea — it is the digitalization of analog data, and its management in a centralized queue to create amazing new efficiencies.
I believe that in the next decades we will see huge number of inherently analog processes captured digitally. Opportunities to build businesses that process this data and improve lives will abound.”
The complete talk of Levchin can be read at his website.
Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows, made the following remark about Levchin’s keynote:
“Levchin refers to “humans” as “analog resources,” a category we share with “cars, houses, etc.” The tragedy of analog resources is that they’re horribly underutilized. They spend a great deal of their time in idleness. Look out into the analog world, and you see a wasteland of inefficiency. But computers can fix that. If we can place sensors and otherdata-monitoring devices on all analog resources, including ourselves, then we can begin to track them, analyze them, and “rationalize their use.”
This stuff makes you think!