Vintage Future VIII

42 years ago this past Friday, Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first ever cell phone call to Joel Engel of Bell Labs. Cooper was calling Engel to troll him about the fact that Motorola invented the thing first, although it was another 10 years before the company released the DynaTAC 8000X. So yeah…even the very first guy talking loudly on his cell was kind of a jerk about it. … Continue reading

Vintage Future VII

Our Vintage Future series takes a tongue-in-cheek look back at the failed predictions of past generations of investors and futurists, and the sometimes tortuous routes to success of unlikely ideas. In our line of work it’s good to guard against the hubris inherent in projecting conventional wisdom too far out into the future, and to remind ourselves that today’s trend can be tomorrow’s punchline – and vice versa. Our VIIth installment … Continue reading

Vintage Future VI

Here is the long-overdue “VIth” installment of our Vintage Future series, in which we take a tongue-in-cheek look back at the predictions of past generations of investors and futurists. In our line of work it’s good to guard against the hubris inherent in projecting conventional wisdom too far out into the future, and to remind ourselves that today’s trend can be tomorrow’s punchline. Courtesy of “The Forgotten Firsts: 10 Vintage … Continue reading

Vintage Future V – special ’80s edition

This is the ‘Vth’ installment in our Vintage Future series (see I, II, III and IV) in which we take a tongue-in-cheek look at predictions from the past to remind ourselves that today’s trend can be tomorrow’s punchline. This vintage is more recent – the 1980’s – which makes it a little more real, and painful, and strangely entertaining. Predicting technology trends is not for the weak at heart – … Continue reading

Vintage Future IV

Here is the latest installment in our Vintage Future series (see I, II, and III) in which we take a tongue-in-cheek look at predictions from the past to remind ourselves that today’s trend can be tomorrow’s punchline. This time, crazy patents from LIFE:  eyewear for chickens, animatronic rickshaws, moneyballs, dog power, and more.  Think: someone went through the effort and expense to protect this IP. What has been will be … Continue reading

Vintage Future III: Far out, man.

From time to time we’ve written of the difficulties and risks associated with very early stage investing, sometimes with a tongue-in-cheek look back at the predictions of past generations of investors and futurists.  A “IIIrd” installment like this may mark the beginning of a tradition – but in our line of work it’s good to guard against the hubris inherent in projecting conventional wisdom too far out into the future. … Continue reading

Vintage Future II

Kiplinger predicts Nine Technologies That Will Change Your Future, including personal bar codes and folding (!) cars. We’ve written before that predicting technology trends is not for the weak at heart – and that’s before one tries to protect the IP and find a way to profit from it.  There are reasons we affectionately call the really early stage of investing adventure capital. Since posting Vintage Future I we’ve encountered a few additional items worth passing along: Innovative … Continue reading

Vintage Future

Predicting technological trends – let alone profit-making opportunities within those trends – is not for the weak at heart.  Here are a few brave & bold predictions from the past: Even if you predict the trend, and the profitable opportunity within the trend, correctly – there’s still the matter of protecting the IP. BPV sees its capital as a “growth accelerator” for established, rapidly growing businesses with strong management teams.  … Continue reading

89 years worth of “the greatest thing since sliced bread”

On this day in 1928, the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, MO, sold mechanically sliced bread for the first time in the history of the universe.  This gives us a great opportunity, on a Friday, to re-post a Greatest Hit from our Vintage Future Series – originally published on November 13, 2014: Our Vintage Future series takes a tongue-in-cheek look back at the failed predictions of past generations of investors and futurists, and the … Continue reading

When You Change the World and No One Notices

We’ve written that it’s a long and difficult journey from idea to successful business, and entrepreneurs need partners who intuitively understand the right kind of support to offer over the long term during which failure can be counted on to make at least a cameo appearance.  In other words, the road to both successful and failed business models can be paved with “innovation.” That road can also be long and involve a great deal … Continue reading

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