When the Big Bang happened 14 billion years ago, suddenly a whole new set of rules, a whole new set of dimensions—the groundwork for creation—burst into existence. And so it is with revolutionary technology. They enable outward expansion. They push aside boundaries by the very nature of what they allow us to do.
As an entrepreneur, you know the importance of learning from everything. This is a journey to the breakthrough of your next innovation. These revolutionary technologies are setting the stage for what’s next. Will you be the one to take the stage?
On one hand, there’s NFC. What is NFC? Near Field Communication, a means of paying for anything, virtually anywhere, with a mobile phone. This technology uses RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), which is one of the primary technologies for the Internet of Things.
NFC revolutionizes payment by making it contactless and dynamic. Apple Pay, for one, uses a process called tokenization. Tokenization obliterates your static credit card number by replacing it with a constantly changing token number, which makes fraud extremely hard and nearly impossible.
NFC allows merchants a lot of freedom to do business anywhere. It relies on the same banking system regular credit card transactions rely on. Digital currency, on the other hand, teaches us there’s an alternative to the centralized banking system.
Essentially, digital currencies such as Bitcoin are bits of code that stand for money, exchanged through a peer-to-peer network of “miners” who process the payments using Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC).
It eliminates fraud altogether, because transactions can’t be reversed. Buyers also remain anonymous. Essentially, this is crowdsourced security for payments, taking monetary power from the establishment and putting it in the hands of many.
Open Source Software
This is another move towards crowdsourced, peer-to-peer innovation. Open Source software, such as Drupal, is developed by a community of programmers who contribute code. The software industry has been growing exponentially since 2007 because of Open Source.
It’s constantly evolving as the community is evolving. This format allows innovation to accelerate at lightning speed, because it takes out the bureaucratic red tape involved in traditional product development, testing, and release.
What’s so revolutionary about Augmented Reality? It changes our view of the world, and its newest incarnation, Pokemon Go, has practically taken over the world. The game’s release saw Nintendo’s share price skyrocket, only to plummet when the gaming console company reminded us it doesn’t make Pokemon Go.
Pokemon Go is free. Its concept is the ultimate in innovation. It takes a technology that now seems commonplace—GPS—combines it with augmented reality, and blows it up with the ever-popular Pokemon. None of these things are original inventions, but the combination is pure gold. And, the fact that you have to catch Pokemon characters out in the real world makes people get up and move.
Electric Vehicles (EVs)
The EV is revolutionary because it threatens to unseat the fossil fuel industry. Its biggest proponent, Elon Musk, is an innovator who stands out in a crowded field, working simultaneously on a project called SpaceX and on Tesla’s EVs. His approach with these vehicles is to continue making them better and less expensive, in an effort to bring the revolution to the masses.
Tesla Motors gets its name from Nikola Tesla, who invented electric motor technology in the late 1800s. EVs are highly efficient, pull a ton of torque, and don’t pollute. What’s needed is an equally efficient and clean mode of creating electricity. Musk is now making batteries that can store solar energy to power homes and any kind of EV. Once EVs and clean electricity become widespread, the clean-tech revolution will be here.
So what, ultimately, can entrepreneurs learn from revolutionary technologies? That innovation can be crowd-sourced, that ideas come from combining and improving upon what’s already there, that the future is what you make it. This is a matter of vision, a matter of making things happen fast and making them accessible to as many people as possible. And, it doesn’t hurt if what you’re working on truly benefits people.
Bio: Daniel Matthew is a widely-published freelance writer who specializes in delivering insights for small business and entrepreneurs. You can find him on Twitter.