Breakfast with our guest investor Kelly Hoey
Posted at 20:31h, 14 Apr 2015 in List Archive by Bonnie Halper No Comments 135 Likes Share

Good morning, All,

Our next Breakfast with an Investor is this Thursday, April 16th, with our guest investor Kelly Hoey. Speaker, strategist and investor, Kelly Hoey is known for her leadership in building valuable professional networks, understanding the dynamics of engaged communities and the “how” of raising visibility, online and off. She is also recognized for her “boots on the ground” leadership in the startup community by her investments in and promotion of women in tech. More on her below, and register here.

Admittedly, we’ve been a bit prickly lately, and for a reason: we miss the wow factor that we used to find in tech. Again and again. When processing speeds increased. When new programs were developed that kicked up the cool factor, like javascript. Yup, javascript. The web was pretty flat before that. The MacBook Air and sorry, IBM, but the ThinkPad was portable enough, but one needed to engage the services of a Sherpa in order to carry for an extended amount of time.

We came across this article – The Case For and Against Millennials as the Greatest Entrepreneurial Generation – and it kind of defined what has made us so prickly of late – so-called net neutrality and Big Brother aside, of course – and herein lies the rub: where’s the innovation? You do see it in fits and starts, and in biotech and medtech, where we’re seeing organs being printed in 3D and bionics limbs coming into their own.

With all due respect, the greatest entrepreneurial generation we’ve seen in a while were when Microsoft and Apple were developing personal computers and software programs at around the same time, pushing to make them faster, better. They changed the game. They invented the game: personal computers on every desk in every office and in every home in America. Unheard of. You want to talk Social Good? They went far to level the playing field – and build viable companies, or at least, that’s the way it looked the last time we checked Apple’s stock price.

The Oracles and HPs and Intels not only pushed the envelope: they helped to convert fertile orchards into an ecosystem ripe for an entirely new industry: technology.

On balance, is the current crop of entrepreneurs pushing the envelope, or merely engaging in what we’ll call the tech version of running in place, and considering the wild valuations we’re seeing out west, only because we’re just too polite to call a tech circle jerk? Or worse.

We live on the UWS, and whenever new Apple product hits the Apple store, there are lines around the corner on Broadway to get a first look. Not so for the Apple Watch. The press tried. There were no less than three Apple Watch stories on TechCrunch on Saturday. (We do know that the actual watch will not be available until later this month, and that that they sold out, although Apple did not release the number of watches available -and can always count on its fanboy base.) Still, it’s nothing like when the iPhone was released. That was a show stopper. The Watch is a conversation starter.

What we’re calling disruption these days is more akin to disintermediation. We’re more interested in what Elon Musk will be saying, come April 30th and if his soon-to-be-released battery is capable of doing what it’s promised to do – efficiently store the quantities of electric power needed to run a modern home – he will have just disrupted electricity. That’s a true game changer. That’s thinking different. And that’s the real power of tech. Onward and forward.