What are the ultra tipping points in technology that will lead to radical changes?
This edition is a short one. Some quick links before jumping in:
The Generalist has an amazing breakdown of DAOs. It came out the same time as my last roundup but I otherwise would have pointed to it as the best reference.
🎙 Roelof Botha - Sequoia’s Crucible Moment on Invest Like the Best. I’ve always wondered why successful VC firms didn’t try a fund structure for better management of in/outflows. Now we finally get to see it play out, and at Sequoia nonetheless. (SN: I’ve been in a Sequoia pitch and it was definitely something that, both good and bad, I’ll never forget. In other words — a great learning experience!)
🎙 Complexity Investing & Semiconductors with NZS Capital, on Acquired. I love the guys at NZS and how they think about investing.
When is the Revolution in Architecture Coming? A great essay with photos of beautiful (and not so much) buildings to go along. Seriously though — where did all the jaw-dropping architecture go and how do we get more of it?
Sc3nius by Packy McCormick. An essay on “scenius”: what they are, what causes them, and why the current web3 scenius may be the biggest one of all. Packy weaves together many similar thoughts I’ve had bouncing around my head these past months.
Dune, the new movie, was amazing. Watch it if you can. Here’s a great breakdown of a pivotal scene by the director Denis Villeneuve (h/t Liberty).
The “Singularity” in artificial intelligence is the future moment when generalized AI becomes smarter than humans. In theory this starts a feedback loop of runaway intelligence that radically changes our world in ways that are hard to predict.
Similar points exist in other industries as well. These are ultra tipping points that would lead to drastic changes in the industry and our world — changes so great we could only make very rough guesses as to what they’d be.
What are some potential examples?
Highly reliable level 5 autonomous cars.
Rockets able to sustainably send a kilogram to orbit for under $100.
Abundant renewable energy under $20 per MWh.
Near perfect protein folding algorithm available via API call.
Low-cost ability to manufacture any protein at scale.
Battery cost below $100 per kWh at scale.
Battery energy density over 500 Watt-hours per kilogram.
Plant- or cell-based meat cheaper than animal meat with ~same nutritional profile.
Affordable VR/AR glasses with variable depth of focus and up to 60 pixels per degree of resolution (~matching the human eye).
A definitive method for stopping cellular senescence without noticeable side effects.
Cost of aerospace-grade carbon fiber comparable to aluminum. (Currently ~10x more.)
Cost of carbon nanotubes comparable to current carbon fiber. (Currently 5-10x more.)
Some of these tipping points look like they’re in our near future, and there’s no reason to believe any of them aren’t possible. A few of them would likely make others on the list easier. Every one of them has downsides but the upsides are massive. How exciting!
What else can be added to the above list that I forgot?
(Tipping points in brain-machine interfaces, construction and building, healthcare, etc.)
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