some notes from Matt Webb and a series of thought experiments around orthogonal technologies…

What we need are visions of the future of technology that are values-driven, but “we don’t need just design fictions. We need business model fictions, engineering feasibility study fictions, interop protocol specification fictions, investment return fictions.” This post is a first stab at defining a lab to invent and publish these worked examples. Do I believe this lab will happen? Well obviously it’s something I would love to do but, no, not necessarily. In the spirit of Gedankenexperiment, the exercise itself is informative. I’m not wedded to the name “Orthogonal Technology Lab” but I’ve chosen it as a placeholder from my post about orthogonal innovation, “a series of quite ordinary steps but simply in a different direction” - which can lead to a place very, very different from contemporary tech.

…the goal of my imaginary lab is to

  • shift the discourse of what technology is capable of, e.g. finding business models for smart gadgets that don’t rely on collecting data or subscriptions; discovering new routes to interoperability for social platforms
  • don’t invent technology. Re-exploring old tech, and take a systems-thinking approach – create product prototypes, but also protocol drafts, Excel fictions, and so on
  • be independent and public yet commercial. The research programs should be visible and self-determined, but corporate involvement is important not just for $$$ but for amplification and access to ideas.

As outputs to this process, new technology and new ventures may be inspired, and that’s the desire but not the purpose.

  • orthogonal_technology_lab.txt
  • Last modified: 2021-03-16 09:41
  • by nik