January 7, 2014
Sleeper Ideas for 2014 (and onward)

Eric Jackson wrote a piece for Forbes where he asked a bunch of people what their “sleeper ideas” for 2014 are.  I contributed the following (though, re-reading it now… i think this might not be realized in 2014, but they’re definitely trends to follow over the next 4-5 years).

1) Superpedestrian – Spark is an investor here so I’m biased, but I think this invention is going to lead to massive global change some day.  Imagine a world where you could live 10-15 miles outside of a city, and commute to work on a bike in 20 minutes without breaking a sweat (literally).  This ability will change how cities work, be disruptive to the auto industry, and affect optimal real estate locations.  #investor

2) Proliferation of computers on/near your body - If you think about how many computers are in your home over the past two decades, the number has exploded. In the 80s, you might have had a Mac or PC and a game console, and that’s it.  In the 90s, computers started getting embedded in phones, media players, TVs, alarm clocks, microwaves, etc… Nowadays, it’s an exception to see any device sold in the home that is not “smart” in some way.  I think computing around our bodies will go through the same transition.  In the beginning the only computer on your body was your cellphone.  Now people are starting to add fitness quantified self wristband computers.  Devices like Oculus and Myo will be two more human-attached computers (again, #investor disclosure). And in the next 5 years I think the number of computers on or near the body will rapidly proliferate.

3) Wireless Internet – It’s crazy that in this country we use our most valuable consumer-grade spectrum in order to broadcast over the air TV and Radio channels that could easily (and more efficiently) be delivered in IP packets over-the-top instead.  I think we’ll see startups/ideas like Aereo challenge our assumptions that TV and Radio need over the air access, and instead all that spectrum will be shifted over to delivering better wireless internet for all.

Other people wrote smarter stuff than me, so check out the whole piece too.

Andrew Parker is a General Partner at Spark Capital.  You can find this blog post, as well as additional content on his blog called The Gong Show.  You can also follow Andrew on Twitter (@andrewparker) by clicking here.