One of my favorite posts in the past month came from Chris Dixon. It is short and sweet, just the way I like a blog post. In the post Chris lays out three constituencies to the startup economy; business people, engineers, and hobbyists. And he makes the point that hobbyists are a great lens through which to see the future.
I love Paul Bucheit's edict to "live in the future". I totally agree that is the best way to find the things that will turn out to be the next big thing. Being a hobbyist is a great way to live in the future. And so I try to play around with all of this stuff in order to wrap my mind around it. You should too.
Chris lays out some things that hobbyists are playing around with a lot these days:
Today, the tech hobbies with momentum include: math-based currencies like Bitcoin, new software development tools like NoSQL databases, the internet of things, 3D printing, touch-free human/computer interfaces, and “artisanal” hardware like the kind you find on Kickstarter.
I am very pleased to say that we have investments in most of those hobbies and are working to make more.
But I also think that they may be the hobbies of the moment or even possibly the hobbies of the past few years. What are the hobbies that we should take on next? That is what I woke up thinking about this morning.