I agree with Michael (hence the post in the first place), but that may just be my age talking. Longevity was instilled as a core value when I was young (something that lasts long = good; something that doesn’t = bad), but to my teenage sons, change and being able to adapt to it seems way more fundamentally important. It's a generational thing, I guess.
Alas Michael, don’t despair. I believe that the passing of this core value will be counter-balanced by the resurrection of one seemingly tossed upon the scrap heap (three cheers for the new economy where nothing is ever truly thrown away, but “recycled”). Hence yet another one of my theories (and you knew that I was due):
Intimacy is the next Google
Sounds wacky, but here’s what I mean: Anything you want to know, you can get in an instant. Virtually any major event—sports, entertainment, news—can be brought to your living room instantaneously, and presented on giant screens in HD with Dolby 5.1 surround sound. Personal digital networks span the globe. And if we’re not satisfied with our own lives, there are numerous outlets for Second Lifes. The world is at your fingertips…but there are fewer and fewer real touchpoints.
That’s why I believe—never mind believe, why I’ll bet the farm—that intimacy will not only be cherished, but traded like a valuable currency.
In the near future, I foresee people paying for intelligent conversation like they pay for sex today. Universities will become like rock concerts, with the brightest profs commanding superstar salaries.
And speaking of rock concerts, while U2 blasts out of your home entertainment system, you’ll be paying thousands of dollars for intimate audiences with society’s smartest and most intriguing in cozy surroundings. (The next logical step to events like Salim Khoja’s Power Within conferences, which consistently sell out and attract thousands to mega convention centers.)
You may say I’m a dreamer...but I actually tested this one out. Last November, to celebrate our wedding anniversary, my wife and I invited 45 friends to our house and treated them—and I do mean “treat” in the most majestic of ways—to an acoustic living-room concert by one of my all-time favorite bands, England’s The Strawbs. Three musicians in front of the fireplace playing, and the rest of us totally absorbed on couches, cushions, standing in the hallway...as one. To this day, I STILL get glowing comments from those who were there about the magic spirit of that evening, and wide-eyed inquiries from those who had heard about it from others.
So, if you’re a Silicon Valley VC
looking for the next big opportunity to bring to scale, look for scaling it the
other way. I guess Seth Godin said it
best with the title of his last book: Small Is The New Big.
Well, it WILL be. Mark my words.