The next ones
If it were 1976 and you had just met Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs at a conference would you have known that they were "the ones?" You know, the ones who would go on to change the world?
If you met +Evan Williams
back in 2001, when he was broke and had laid off his staff, would you have known you were sitting next to one of the world's next billionaires? I had that opportunity and I can tell you I knew he was interesting, but I missed just how interesting he would be.
This week I had these folks on stage and at the end I said "it isn't every day I get to have the next ones on stage."
Who are they? The folks behind Meta. They make wearable glasses that augment your reality. https://www.spaceglasses.com/
Today? They look goofy, big, and it's hard to see the utility.
Go back to 1976. If Woz had just shown you the Apple I, wouldn't you have said the same thing? I probably would have.
What hit me about Meron Gerbitz, CEO, though? (he's the guy in the back of this photo wearing the Tesla jacket). He didn't tell me that Google Glass would fail. He said it was a nice starting point for the industry he, and many others, will play in for quite some time.
What else did he tell me? It's all happening a lot faster than he planned when he started down this course. He says sensors and compute packages are shrinking faster than he expected and that people will be "blown away" in the next year or two by what comes out.
This isn't the first time I've heard this shift, too. I remember showing my Google Glass to kids at a Mets game and one of them said "this is my future."
This is my future. Old people don't talk like that. No one my age has ever said "this is my future." Well, OK, there's +Francine Hardaway
but, let's be honest, she's an outlier (which is why I love her too, we both share the love of the future).
This team is the future. No, I can't guarantee they will build the next Apple or Google. No, I can't guarantee they will execute on their dreams (although it sure looks like they are at this point). I can't guarantee they will be the next billionaires, but I can guarantee they are playing a role in bringing the future to us.
What can I guarantee? Within a decade each one of these four will be doing something interesting in the tech industry.
Take a look. Maybe in a decade this little photo will be as quaint as that one of the folks who started Microsoft.