May 23, 2023 · 10 min read ·
“The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed.” As a tech enthusiast, entrepreneur, and investor, I live this temporal disjuncture every day. I am privileged to see technologies when they are in their infancy. It allows me to be able to make accurate predictions of how the world is going to play out. In other words, I live in your future. While my predictions have mostly come true, I have been spectacularly wrong about the speed of technological adoption and disruption. I have repeatedly overestimated how quickly we adopt technology.
Timing matters tremendously. Companies like Pets.com, an online retailer of pet food and accessories, and Webvan, an online grocer, failed spectacularly during the dot com bubble. Ironically, 20 years later companies offering similar products like Chewy.com and Instacart are doing very well. The ideas were sound. However, the market was lacking a lot of the infrastructure, technologies, and demand to make them viable at the time. The same is true for many ideas that failed in the dot com bust but are now successful: video streaming, online gaming, local delivery, and countless others.