I was listening to a pod cast on my way to work this morning that was about Alan Turing. Turing wasn’t the inventor of the computer, but one could pretty he easily argue he was the conceptualizer (I don’t care what WordPress’ judgmental little red line says, I’m using it). He sat in a field one day and thought, “using binary and a tape of infinite length you could have a machine perform math.” Later he’s known for his thoughts around AI, but let’s stop and think about that for a second. This was the 30s, machines had never done math. Not only did he think of a way for machines to do math (impractical as it was), he came up with an idea to put functionality where it had never been before.
I don’t think I have the mind to come up with a Turing like thought, but one of the reasons I hang out around so many startups is that you get to see those kinds of thoughts. Most aren’t as profound as Turing’s but they’re in the same vein (that of assigning functionality where it had never been before). Think of Zuckerberg saying, “a yearbook on the internet would get way more use then a paper one”. I hope one day I get the thrill of investing in or working with one of these ideas first hand, it’s the thrill that keeps you in the game.