As humans, we sometimes have trouble visualizing that which is not yet in existence. Back at the dawn of personal computing, when some were predicting that most homes would eventually have a computer in them, a common question was, “Why would they?”
People just struggled to imagine all the uses that would emerge.
Later, after the wonders of cable television spread across the land, talk of a new kind of communication technology arose—sort of a two-way or interactive television. These earliest visions of the internet were also met with dismissal, as people wondered what good that would be.
The lesson in this history? It may be that we are only ever scratching the surface of the potential capabilities of emerging technologies. There are many things on the horizon: ubiquitous internet access across the globe from low Earth orbit satellites, 5G and 6G and ever-faster connectivity, cloud storage of software and data at ever-decreasing prices, the “internet of things,” virtual reality and augmented reality, electronics in more and more devices… and much more.
The possibilities thrill us.
In our research, we assume that it’s beyond our capacity to foresee all the applications on the way, but we also believe that perhaps their ramifications can be guessed at. For instance…
- More semiconductors will be needed for more devices.
- Screens will show up in many new places on many new things, we can reasonably suppose.
- We can readily imagine that mobile devices will handle increasing amounts of data and apps.
- Information storage and traffic on mobile could expand exponentially.
So instead of pretending we can predict that unimaginable future, we strive to understand the structure of related industries and how these relationships might develop. Then we determine which established companies may benefit, and we’ll try to identify emerging companies with key technologies.
Then, we sort this out into what is investable, and we manage portfolios in keeping with this background. We don’t predict the future; we imagine some probable possibilities.
Clients, if you have some insight that might help us, or want to talk about this, please email us or call.
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