Swag was being given out a couple days ago here at Expedia and I wasn’t able to make it to the meeting. My awesome team was heads-up though and made sure to get me a shirt. As a 5″10″ 160 lb obstacle course athlete it must have been interesting to figure out which size to get me… small or medium. Fortunately for me they were right to get me a small. It fits great and I’m wearing it today – #LifeAtExpedia.
Everything seems to be getting bigger and by bigger I mean that I need smaller things now. I used to wear medium shirts (I was the same height + lighter weight). I used to order desktop PCs. I used to drive a bigger “small” car. I used to take on bigger “small” code releases. I used to invest in bigger companies.
Clearly each of these things have different dynamics at play…
- The shirts because here in the United States the distribution of our physical size has shifted
- The desktop PC because of Moore’s Law
- The car because of fuel economy policy and the economics of gasoline
- Software releases because of agile and test and learn
- As smaller companies get access to eager accredited investors investment opportunities really open up
But, do you see the common thread here? Small is The New Medium.
T-Shirts, Computers, Cars, and Software Releases have all gotten “smaller” in the last 20 years ~Jeffrey Kelly
This has me thinking about what it means for me, where I need to get “smaller”, and where the world around me hasn’t yet adjusted to “smaller”.
I realized it is literally all around me, everywhere.
- The cloud represents a smaller unit than having to get colo’d servers.
- Social media makes the world “smaller” by making it easier to communicate and stay up to date
- Uber and Lyft have made transportation burdens “smaller”
- Spaceflight is now “smaller” with Space X, Blue Origin, and all the other start-ups in this space (pun intended), though there is still a lot of room for “smaller” in the coming decades
So, what are some areas that haven’t made it to small yet? Well, here are some thoughts:
- Solar panels on the roofs of the world will replace the big consolidated utilities. I see this in two stages: 1) generation widespread on roofs with central storage, then 2) localized but shared storage as well
- RIP Cable & Broadcast TV which will eventually replaced by internet distribution in all urban areas, the suburbs. I expect broadcast will have a place where there is little human density since it is an efficient, though low bandwidth distribution mechanism… satellite may take that role though
- Travel has become much “smaller” as the airline network expands however we’re still flying on Airline terms rather than from local airport to local airport… more and more of that to come but the large and powerful airlines will resist it until the mosquito fleet builds enough speed (reference uber, lyft, and taxi companies)
- Manufacturing is clearly still in the “x-large” stage but the next major technology revolution in the world is the 3D printer. When we can manufacture most things in our homes or offices at the point of use, the game will be changed. Just think of the mobile truck services with “big” 3D printers for parts larger than come from the household unit… maybe a business to get in to… it will certainly revolutionize heavy equipment maintenance…
The roof based solar power utility and in-home 3D printing are the next fundamental technology revolution, they represent the “Smaller” to come ~ Jeffrey Kelly
All right… in 10 years we can look at how far we’ve come, what I was wrong about, and what I missed. Until the, what do you see? Let’s make a time capsule with your comments below.