Living in The Future…Anyone Can do it.

I had a few dinners in San Diego this week with my pal JP who was visiting from London. JP lives years in the future because of his career, his network and his passions.

I was telling him a story about an experience I had late one night in Chicago where I used ‘Hotels Tonight’ and ‘Uber’ and he mentioned how I was living in the future.

I have never thought of myself as ‘living in the future’ because I can’t program, I live on an island, and have little interest in computers and computing. JP assured me I was living in the future.

JP reminded me of this great quote he shares all the time (it’s from a famous ‘futurist’ friend of his):

His dinner inspired me to change up a talk I was giving yesterday in San Francisco at an Investing/Trading/Options Conference (TradeMonsters). The two slides that resonated most were these:

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This kid would really be living in the future if he was smoking an electronic cigarette and was wearing a Fitbit. (note to self – an easy laugh). Also, I worry about chronic hot balls for this child (note to self – bigger laugh).

By watching our kids, we can live in the future. Basically, watching Rachel and Max use Snapchat the last six months confirmed my belief that Facebook should/worries/needs to buy them. The game is on with very high stakes I am sure. Main Street is thinking about the silliness of it all (lack of profits), but the big Social Web companies are thinking about ‘attention’ and engagement.

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In the second slide I talked about the ‘peleton’. Most of the Tour De France is about staying with the peleton. It is the time trials and climbs and the breakaways that decide the race. In the real world today, most of the world flies commercial (the peleton), but by adding Uber and Hotels to the mix, two apps available to anyone, I can live in the future, and save time which is money to me.

I live in the future by reading JP, Fred Wilson, Brad Feld and others who make their living off the future. We can all draft behind them.

In the financial world it used to be about reading the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, and having a Bloomberg and/or Reuters Terminal.

The streams are quickly changing that. If you live in the streams and have been curating and filtering, you are away ahead of the old guard. The old guard is sending ‘walled’ links into the social web. Not only do they ignore the streams, they pollute them. A friend chimed in on the stream yesterday with:

‘But the rich and the powerful read these papers and use these machines!’

My response:

Trading/Investing may not even be about living in the future that matters anymore if your competition keeps living in the past.


  1. pointsnfigures says:

    traders have to change. no longer can they beat the computers. have to trade with a longer time horizon.

    • the computers control a major layer of the system. Suprisingly only two people asked me about HFT so it was a smart group indeed. HFT is here to say, Pico, nano, super pico, but the humans have all the context for now.

      • thorgood says:

        what makes me inconsistent about this stuff is that when you focus on the future -it is are constantly chasing guessing overthinking where it’s going…it’s like being on a running machine that never stops, and the minute you jump on, you’re toast. That’s why I love the is finite, locked down, nobody can mess with it or play guessing games. Besides, that’s where the absolute best art, music, furniture, architecture, and movies resides.nostalgia rocks! why the hell do I want a big brother inspired wrist watch? how do I know someone isn’t recording my pulse off that chip? The last thing we need is for the government to go snooping around our body parts! I really don’t want my car to talk to me or a refrigerator that bites back if I eat an extra cookie! the future? you can have it..of course if you are gaming it to make big coin, well then that’s a different story. knock yourself out .
        me? I am going to sit back with a sidecar and watch cary grant and constance bennet wrap a 1935 Bentley around a tree..(Topper!) cheers!

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