Companies of the Future at TechCrunch Disrupt 2013
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]his year I had the privilege of attending TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco and was on the look out for disruptive, mind boggling and 10^9 companies, companies that can teach us lessons for building a business in the 21st century and companies that are growing exponentially and advancing us in the right direction.
Meet Flitto, I was fortunate to meet and interview the founder of Flitto a tiny Korean startup that in 7 months grew to 2 million users and yet none of us have heard about it. They are a company that’s bringing science fiction to reality. While most AI language translation companies struggle in translating native content, with tons of innuendos, puns, metaphors and slang, Flitto is able to use crowd sourced knowledge and allow anyone with a smartphone to take a picture of text and have it translated in their native language as if by magic. in fact their own website says, “flitto is an innovative crowdsourcing translation platform that allows users to read any content in their native language.”
So how does a tiny Korean startup go from zero to two million users in 7 months? Simple. It is so useful for people. Psy, yes the Gangnam style guy, loved it so much he promoted it and they literally blew up. And people retweeting and sharing translated content allowed people all around the world to find out about Flitto and grow their user base exponentially.
The next exponential company at TechCrunch Disrupt that’s totally doing something new and bold and disrupting human machine interfaces was a company called the The Eye Tribe, and what they have is revolutionary.
I met the Founder and CEO Sune Alstrup Johansen, who looks a like a younger Liam Neeson. That’s about all they have in common though, as this man and his team have developed a tiny device that makes large displays and tablets have eye tracking which enable eye controlled user interfaces that actually work. Having seen this technology before I assumed I’d see nothing new or useful and asked to try it. After the 20 seconds of calibrating to my eyes, I was blown away how beautifully accurate it was and how smoothly it worked. I was scrolling through pages just with my eyes like magic. It’s the closest I’ve experienced to mind reading, a must have feature I’d say.
The next company I met was GoLauncher. GoLauncher was founded by Deng Yuqiang and Zhang Xiangdong who are now CEO and President in the company, respectively. Deng and Zhang have been featured in Forbes China as pioneers in China’s mobile internet. What’s amazing about GoLauncher is not the technology itself, but that it is has one of the largest user bases globally but not too many people know about them. GoLauncher provides a lesson on building a platform for any entrepreneurs looking to build their own exponential company.
According to their latest press release GO Launcher EX is the flagship product released by GO Launcher in 2010. It has been installed and activated on more than [highlight]210 million[/highlight] Android smartphones worldwide to date, half through Google Play and half through third-party distribution channels more popular in China.
With an interface and user experience that rivals the Apple iPhone, GO Launcher EX gives mobile phone users the ability to customize their home screen with more than 10,000 themes and manage their phone efficiently without compromising navigation speed. Users of GO Launcher EX can find themes that provide the functionality, enhanced performance and extensive personalization that they require, including matching their mood, culture and imagination. GO Launcher EX is rated 4.5 out of 5 with 1.47 million reviews on Google Play.
The next big trend is wearable computing. About 10-15 people I saw at TechCrunch had the Google Glass and I met the founder of Pebble, the company that makes an innovative smart watch. I think that wearable computing has finally gone mainstream. In the next few years we will finally see smart watches done correctly and the Google Glass will also exponentially improve, giving us augmented reality with artificial intelligence from the cloud. Already we are seeing some amazing apps.
One company demonstrating an AR application was called Fitting Reality. Fitting Reality is using Google Glass in Russia to allow consumers to shop for dresses, look at a dress and automatically scan the tags to see how you would look wearing that dress with the Google Glass. The existing demo was quite rudimentary but I foresee this sort of technology will only get better with time.
Overall, I met 7 billionaires, countless millionaires and couldn’t help but thinking, only a few of companies out of maybe 150 were working on producing any sort of really groundbreaking exponential change, despite access to all of this capital.
More companies should capitalize on exponential trends and focus on building 10^9 companies, companies like smartphone physicals, AI in everything, robotics, driverless car improvements, and most importantly companies that will help speed up The Singularity and bring transhumanism to the public. Thus, my open call to the billionaires and millionaires: you’re already rich, you’ve made it, now focus on investing into projects that will bring you long term wealth and improve the human condition.
Nitish Kannan is somewhat of a polymath. He has a degree in biomedical sciences from USF in Tampa Florida and is the founder/CEO of www.circlepluspay.com and also a real estate agent in California. Nitish is a self declared transhumanist from the age of 12, where he heard about the technological singularity and the ideas of Dr. Michio Kaku and Ray Kurzweil and wherein he made it his premise in life to upload his consciousness into a robotic avatar and live forever. Obsessed with mind uploading and transhumanism, Nitish is an avid SciFi geek, and voraciously reads and studies technology trends. He is interested in all new disruptive technologies that will propel society to a post-biological civilization. Find him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nitishkannan