Consider the beautiful works of art by Leonardo Da Vinci and Picasso. It seems to me like great design almost always has to be individualistic – The Mona Lisa probably couldn’t have been produced by more than a single person.
Great feats of engineering on the other hand, are more often than not team efforts. Take for example Google and Microsoft, 2 of the most successful and influential technological startups of our time. Without the legions of engineers working hard to help build up the 2 companies into the force they now are (not to mention making Larry Page, Sergei Brin and Bill Gates extremely rich in the process :p) , they could not have been produced. In the process of doing so, the co-founders and early-stage employees get rich too – just consider how many multi-millionaires and billionaires Microsoft and Google has spawned. Some of these employees then go on to start their own companies that sometime become competitors to the original parent companies.
Conclusion : If your dream is to change the world for the better in a huge way, start a technological startup. If your goal is to become extremely rich, join a technological startup.
The human body is weak and susceptible to injury and illness . Here are some statistics : Each year, 7 million people die from heart attacks, 7.9 million people die from cancer, 6.15 million people die from stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases and 3.28 million people die from chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. One has to wonder if there might come a day when engineers and scientists can go into the human body and tweak our DNA structure so that human beings become effectively immune to regular diseases like cancer and heart attack. Targeting some of these diseases would be a good starting point for a medical startup. A recent article by Phil Venter mentions a ‘smart bomb’ which simultaneously attacks cancers and boosts the immune system. These are apparently tiny hollow spheres that become trapped in leaky tumor blood vessels, where they release an anti-cancer drug, a form of protein which rallies the body’s own defenses. This is a remedy for diseases that already exist in the human body. Is there anyone out there with big ideas about preventive cures for diseases like cancer and stroke? I am keen to hear from you, let me know your thoughts.
Better Education Software
Many public school teachers, especially in secondary schools are not particularly good at inspiring students. Ambitious kids interested in science, technology and engineering probably feel bored when trapped in the school system. I recall having a fellow student in secondary school who was a genius in mathematics, having won gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiads, sleeping through all his math classes because he knew so much more than the teacher. In this case, the teacher wasn’t incompetent – the student was simply too smart. Perhaps a possible solution would be education software or forums for students from all over the world to exchange ideas and work on hard mathematical / engineering problems with each other online. There seems to be one for very high level science and mathematics already in existence : http://www.arxiv.org
Gmail seems to have become painfully slow at times – is it possible to make a faster version ?
3D Holographic Computers And Laptops
Currently, PC’s and laptops are bulky things that are cumbersome to lug around. Besides this, you have to keep an eye on them or they might get stolen when you bring them around with you. In the movie Marvel Avengers, Iron Man Tony Stark possessed a computer system where he flicked his fingers over a small device and a gorgeous 3 dimensional holographic computer screen popped up in front of his eyes which he manipulated to access his coordinates and computer systems. Will there come the day when something like this becomes widespread? – It seems to me quite possible – 3d technology is already being developed in some scientific labs, the only problem now is how to mass produce it and make it cheap enough for the average consumer. A system like this would make current technology look ancient and quaint while vastly improving the working lives of millions of people worldwide. Imagine going out with a group of friends to the local Starbucks and programming by waving your fingers at beautiful 3 dimensional holographic images of computer screens while sipping your cold latte.
This idea came via an email correspondence with the Director of SkepticMagazine, Dr Michael Shermer. He believes that what could possibly happen in say, 50 year’s time , is that wireless technology becomes so widespread that anybody from any part of the world, could access the Internet with a laptop free of charge , creating a truly wireless world where Wifi hotspots cover the entire globe.