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Disruptive Technologies

Technologies that reshape the world and existence.

TAGS: WHERNTO: erudite  techniq  operate 

image of Disruptive Technologies

Last Updated: <2022-02-28 Mon>

Introduction

This is the disruptive technology (distec) collection that we have been investigating since the end of March 2021.

We came across distec after a presentation on Beyond Animal by James Arbib of Rethinkx and were very impressed not only by the concept, but also by what is inevitably on the way. One of the main benefits of distec is to annihilate existing industries that are detrimental to lifeforms and environment. Many of the presenters in the videos section talk not only about the technology, but also about the importance of the ethical result.

We have long maintained that the achievement of animal rights (which is the fundamental ethic that present day science can determine via sentience criteria), will occur as a result of two forces, legal and business. The latter is happening through distec.

This page will be updated as we study this venture and examine investment opportunities.

RethinkX

"RethinkX is an independent think tank that analyzes and forecasts the speed and scale of technology-driven disruption and its implications across society. We produce impartial, data-driven analyses that identify pivotal choices to be made by investors, business, policy and civic leaders."

their mission is to "facilitate a robust global conversation about the threats and opportunities of technology-driven disruptions, and highlight choices that could lead to a more equitable, healthy, resilient and stable society."

the site is primarily sectioned into

About

About rethinkx

an independent think tank that analyzes and forecasts the speed and scale of technology-driven disruption and its implications across society

Meet the team

  • Tony Seba, Founder is a world-renowned thought leader, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, educator and author
  • James Arbib, Founder is a London-based investor in technology
  • Uzair Niazi, Founding Director has over 20 years of high-tech industry experience leading product development teams across the globe
  • Adam Dorr, Research Fellow is an environmental social scientist and technology theorist
  • Bradd Libby, Research Fellow responsible for our complex systems analysis and modelling
  • Taylor Hinds, Research Associate provides support on various projects, with a special focus on disruption within the agriculture sector
  • Richard Anderson, Editorial Adviser a journalist and editor for more than 20 years

Getting it right

The Seba Technology Disruption Framework takes a systems approach to analyze the market forces triggered by technology convergence, business model innovation, product innovation, and exponential improvements in both cost and capabilities. It captures the complex processes that drive a pattern of rapid, non- linear change.

Blog

  • The Impact of Covid-19 on Food – Part 1: The Collapse of the Old
  • The Impact of Covid-19 on Food – Part 2: The Rise of the New
  • The power of disruption: Winners take it all
  • Precision fermentation is nothing new and it’s here to stay
  • Precision Fermentation: What exactly is it?
  • Precision Fermentation and the Disruption of the Palm Oil Industry
  • Take a Byte! Food-as-Software
  • Precision Regulation – Policy as a key shaper of the new food system
  • The Social License
  • Why would you build a million-mile car?
  • and more …

Reports

LCOE levelized cost of electricity

  • is a measure of the average net present cost of electricity generation for a plant over its lifetime
  • represents the average revenue per unit of electricity generated that would be required to recover the costs of building and operating a generating plant during an assumed financial life and duty cycle

LCOE is (sum of costs) / (sum of energy produced) calculated as follows:

\begin{equation} LCOE = \frac {\sum_{t=1}^{n} \frac{I_t+M_t+F_t}{(1+r)^t}} {\sum_{t=1}^{n} \frac{E_t}{(1+r)^t}} \end{equation}

$@I_t$@ investment expenditures in the year t
$@M_t$@ operations and maintenance expenditures in the year t
$@F_t$@ fuel expenditures in the year t
$@E_t$@ electrical energy generated in the year t
$@r$@ discount rate
$@n$@ expected lifetime of system or power station

The Great Stranding

How Inaccurate Mainstream LCOE Estimates are Creating a Trillion-Dollar Bubble in Conventional Energy Assets.

Executive Summary

A large and rapidly-expanding global financial bubble now exists around conventional coal, gas, nuclear, and hydro power energy assets. This bubble has in part been created by mainstream energy analyses that have, for the last decade, significantly underestimated the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from conventional power plants because they assume these plants will be able to successfully sell the same quantity of electricity each year from now through 2040 and beyond. This assumption has been false for at least ten years.

  • rates at which conventional power plants are utilized will continue to decrease
  • conventional energy asset valuations are heavily overstated
  • critical error: they assume high and constant capacity factor for 20y lifetime
  • sources that commit this error include …
  • capacity factor in conventional energy has been dropping since at least 2010
  • false assumptions have made conventional energy assets appear more attractive than they actually are
  • financial bubble is investment in an asset class above what the fundamental value can return
  • SWB will drive capacity factor of coal, gas, nuclear, and hydro power plants toward zero

Our analysis has a number of important implications for energy and finance, as well as for society and the environment at large.

Rethinking LCOE through lens of disruption

Underestimation of coal, gas, and nuclear power plant LCOE strongly biases cost comparisons with SWB and other technologies in favor of these incumbents … calculation of LCOE itself presumes that a power plant will obtain sufficient revenues and cashflows to cover costs

In competitive markets, neither the assumption that capacity factor will remain high and constant nor the assumption that electricity can be successfully sold at higher prices holds true.

  • coal

    • size of the coal fleet has shrunk dramatically over the last decade in both the United States (47% decline) and the United Kingdom (79% decline)
    • there’s not a single regulated coal power plant that is competitive in the U.S. today
    • historical data show high and constant capacity factor has been invalid for over a decade
    • coal index fell 99% since 2011 and was discontinued by S&P Global
    • coal cost/kwh forecast are unfeasible compared to SWB
    • corrected LCOE for coal power is far higher than reported
    • by 2030, the LCOE of a new coal power plant is nearly 9 times greater than the U.S. EIA Reference Case assumption
  • gas

    • U.S. EIA has assumed a constant capacity factor of 87% for the entire 20-year technical life of new gas power plants causing LCOE to be artificially lowered
    • corrected LCOE of new builds rises as average capacity factor continues to decline
  • nuclear

    • LCOE of nuclear is much higher than mainstream analysts claim, when costs such as decommissioning and full insurance costs are accounted
    • nuclear power plants entering service in 2020 have an LCOE of 22.5 cents per kilowatt-hour – 175% greater the U.S. EIA’s current estimate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour
  • hydro

    • analysts assume a constant capacity factor throughout the lifetime of any newly-built facility
    • corrected LCOE of a new hydro power plant is nearly 10 times greater than the U.S. EIA Reference Case assumption

all scenarios presented are for illustrative purposes, but more realistic outcomes is full disruption to collapse … so it's gonna be worse than it looks!

Implications

analysis has a number of important implications for energy and finance, as well as for society and the environment at large:

  • Conventional energy assets are severely mispriced due to false assumptions, creating a bubble
  • Coal, gas, nuclear, and hydro power are no longer competitive, SWB will capture increasing share
  • Solar and wind power reached cost parity and became cheaper sooner than expected (1/20th)
  • SWB disruption will proceed faster than expected
  • Coal and gas power plants with integrated CCS are overvalued creating false narratives
  • Governments must protect people, not industries, from the financial risk
  • Carbon neutrality can be achieved more quickly and cheaply than generally expected

serious choices to make knowing the above implications.

Choices

leaders should choose to reject conventional dogma and instead demand that all energy assets – from plants and refineries to pipelines and ports – adopt a dynamic and transparent LCOE model that more realistically reflects current as well as likely future market conditions and risks based on the reality of the SWB disruption.

  • dynamic LCOE choices:

    • use a dynamic LCOE model in their cash flow calculations
    • assume new power plants begin operation with only the market capacity factor
    • power plant operational lifetimes should also reflect the disruption by SWB
    • accounting authorities should allow for faster depreciation schedules
  • market LCOE choices:

    • Demand analysts calculate LCOE on the basis of realistic assumptions for capacity factor
    • Demand that conventional energy promoters calculate LCOE by realistic assumptions
    • Review asset valuations of existing holdings of conventional energy assets realistically
    • Lend to conventional energy asset owners on the basis of realistic LCOE calculations
    • Valuation of supply chain assets should take into account a realistic demand model
    • Government regulators should not enlist ratepayers to subsidize
    • Utilities be obligated to use shareholder capital in any new conventional energy investment
  • savings LCOE choices:

    • Financial institutions should not use the public money to invest in conventional energy assets
    • Asset managers should not invest in conventional energy assets or their supply chains
    • Market openness/transparency/liquidity should be requisite conditions for pension investment
    • asset managers should not lend to conventional energy asset owners

not adopting the above choices could lead to disruption of societal existence as severe as the disruption awaiting conventional industries.

Death Spiral

The disruption of the electric power sector by solar, wind, and batteries (SWB) during the 2020s will unfold much more rapidly than mainstream forecasts.

SWB will enjoy a virtuous cycle of accelerating adoption while incumbent technologies enter a death spiral.

the virtuous cycle for SWB

  • falling costs, which increases demand
  • demand drives industry growth, attracts investment, increases government support, leading to an expansion of supply
  • supply expansion improves capabilities, lower costs further, increases acceptance and more demand

new technologies also bring social and environmental benefits over a conventional coal, gas, and nuclear technologies.

the vicious cycle for conventional

  • falling demand as they are progressively outcompeted by SWB
  • less demand means less revenue, profit, investment, government support, and therefore less supply
  • supply reduction result in rising costs and downward demand

The virtuous cycle enjoyed by SWB and the vicious cycle suffered by coal, gas, nuclear, and hydro power will feed into each other, because falling demand for the old and growing demand for the new serve to accelerate one another.

Rethinking Energy 2020-2030

100% Solar, Wind, and Batteries is Just the Beginning.

We are on the cusp of the fastest, deepest, most profound disruption of the energy sector in over a century. Like most disruptions, this one is being driven by the convergence of several key technologies whose costs and capabilities have been improving on consistent and predictable trajectories – namely, solar photovoltaic power, wind power, and lithium-ion battery energy storage. Our analysis shows that 100% clean electricity from the combination of solar, wind, and batteries (SWB) is both physically possible and economically affordable across the entire continental United States as well as the overwhelming majority of other populated regions of the world by 2030. Adoption of SWB is growing exponentially worldwide and disruption is now inevitable because by 2030 they will offer the cheapest electricity option for most regions. Coal, gas, and nuclear power assets will become stranded during the 2020s, and no new investment in these technologies is rational from this point forward.

Rethinking Food and Agriculture 2020-2030

The Second Domestication of Plants and Animals, the Disruption of the Cow, and the Collapse of Industrial Livestock Farming.

By 2030, the number of cows in the U.S. will have fallen by 50% and the cattle farming industry will be all but bankrupt. All other livestock industries will suffer a similar fate, while the knock-on effects for crop farmers and businesses throughout the value chain will be severe. Rethinking Food and Agriculture shows how the modern food disruption, made possible by rapid advances in precision biology and an entirely new model of production we call Food-as-Software, will have profound implications not just for the industrial agriculture industry, but for the wider economy, society, and the environment.

Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030

The Disruption of Transportation and the Collapse of the Internal-Combustion Vehicle and Oil Industries.

By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), 95 percent of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transport-as-a-service” (TaaS). Rethinking Transportation shows how TaaS disruption will have enormous implications across the transportation and oil industries, decimating entire portions of their value chains, causing oil demand and prices to plummet, and destroying trillions in investor value — but also creating trillions in new business opportunities, consumer surplus and GDP growth.

Rethinking Humanity

During the 2020s, key technologies will converge to completely disrupt the five foundational sectors that underpin the global economy, and with them every major industry in the world today.

In information, energy, food, transportation, and materials, costs will fall by a 10x or more, while production processes an order of magnitude more efficient will use 90% fewer natural resources with 10x-100x less waste. The knock-on effects for society will be as profound as the extraordinary possibilities that emerge. For the first time in history, we could overcome poverty easily. Access to all our basic needs could become a fundamental human right. But this is just one future outcome. The alternative could see our civilization collapse into a new dark age. Which path we take depends on the choices we make, starting today. The stakes could not be higher.

Seba Technology Disruption Framework

RethinkX uses the Seba Technology Disruption Framework™ to help analyze and model the disruptions we study.

Developed by Tony Seba, this framework is the result of more than a dozen years of research and teaching on technology disruptions, business model innovation, finance and strategic marketing of high-tech products and innovations at Stanford Continuing Studies, and has been used to understand and anticipate disruptions in several industries.

notes:

  • illustrates the framework mechanism through diagrams
  • convergence of technologies -> exponential growth -> disruption

Resources

Guidance for Decision Makers and Investors

this is the action plan from rethink humanity

Policy Makers

  • a policy factsheet for autonomous, electric, on-demand vehicles
  • a policy primer for the coming transportation disruption

Businesses and Investors

  • factsheet on autonomous vehicles and end of individual car ownership
  • business and investor primer for coming transportation disruption

Videos

Various videos on youtube some of which relate to the reports.

Rethinking Energy 2020-2030: 100% Solar, Wind, and Batteries is Just the Beginning

The Great Stranding: How Inaccurate Mainstream LCOE Estimates are Creating a Trillion-Dollar Bubble

Rethinking Humanity: An extraordinary interview with American futurist Tony Seba of RethinkX

Spread The Sun A New Era: featuring Tony Seba RethinkX; Frédéric Storck CNR; Anis Jouni CEA-INES

The Great Collapse: Are YOU Prepared? Investing in Disruption Starts With Understanding It

Ark-Invest

Investment Solutions

area arkF arkG arkK arkQ arkW arkX TOTALS
3D Printing 1 1 1 3
Aerial Drones 1 1 2
Ag Bio 1 1
Artificial Intelligence 1 1 1 3
Autonomous Technology 1 1 2
Autonomous Vehicles 1 1 2
Biotech 1 1
Cloud Computing 1 1
DNA Sequencing 1 1 2
Digital Media 1 1
Digital Wallets 1 1
ECommerce 1 1
Enabling Technology 1 1
Fintech 1 1 2
Gene Editing 1 1
Gene Therapy 1 1
IoT 1 1
Lending 1 1
MaaS 1 1
Mobile Payments 1 1 2
Molecular Diagnostics 1 1
Orbital(sub) Aerospace 2 2
Reusable Rockets 1 1
Risk Transformation 1 1
Robotics 1 1 2
Targeted Therapeutics 1 1

By Product Type

Why Innovation

Invest In The Future Today

  • Innovation should displace industry incumbents, increase efficiencies, and gain majority market share.
  • Innovation Must Meet Three Criteria

    • Experience dramatic cost declines and unleash waves of incremental demand (wright's law: $Y = a X^b$)
    • Cut across sectors and geographies
    • Serve as a platform for additional innovations
  • Major Innovation Platforms

    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Energy Storage
    • Robotics
    • DNA Sequencing
    • Blockchain Technology

Take Advantage of Four Market Inefficiencies

The Market’s Short-Term Time Horizon
  • long flat adoption curves
  • performance declines before mass market acceptance
  • accelerated growth results in winner take all
The Silo-ization of Wall Street
  • cross-sector disruptive innovation themes to capitalize on the convergence of research
The Passive Public Markets
  • innovative public companies with forward looking growth are most inefficiently priced part of market
The Closed-Off Research and Investment Mentality
  • an Open Research Ecosystem that combines top-down and bottom-up research
thematic investment process
  • top-down bottom-up

    1. insights between the portfolio manager, director of research, analysts, external sources
    2. analysts are organized by cross-sector innovation themes
    3. identify entry points for tech-enabled disruption
    4. creates investment briefs and valuation models
    5. proprietary scoring system to evaluate stocks
    6. company scores are discussed weekly
  • scoring metrics

    1. company people culture
    2. execution
    3. moat
    4. product leadership
    5. valuation
    6. thesis risk

Make The World A Better Place

  • sustainable investing
  • sdg
  • how?

    1. Next Generation Internet
    2. DNA Sequencing
    3. Fintech
    4. Robotics & Autonomous Technology

About ARK

The ARK Difference

  • invest at the pace of innovation

    1. Sole Focus on Disruptive Innovation
    2. Experienced Investment Leadership
    3. Thematic Analysts Organized by Innovation
    4. Transparent and Open Research Ecosystem
    5. Long-Term Investment Time Horizon

Investment Process

  1. top-down

    1. Ideation examines from the top-down how the world is changing and where it is headed
    2. Sizing The Opportunity models cost-curves and calculates elasticity of demand to identify entry points
  2. bottom-up

    1. Stock Selection And Valuation valuation and revenue model for each company in the portfolio over the next five years
    2. Portfolio And Risk Management monitors the underlying investment thesis of every company weekly
  3. open research ecosystem collaborate within particular themes, as well as across themes
  4. incorporates Sustainability Intrinsically investment philosophy and process inherently considers ESG principles that align with SDG

Our Team

Work at ARK

Press & Media

Board of Directors

Corporate Responsibility

ARK believes that innovation is key to growth and will make the world a better place. We seek to invest in companies aligned with this belief, but also to operate our own company in a way that enhances society. To succeed in this mission, ARK implements responsible corporate governance, fosters a diverse and inclusive workforce, and gives back to organizations that we believe are promoting good health and well-being, quality education, and gender equality.

ARK Swag Store

FAQ

  • Active Research Management
  • ARK researches across sectors, industries, and markets to gain a deeper understanding of the convergence and market potential of disruptive innovations.
  • ARK’s Open Research Ecosystem seeks to capitalize on rapid change through an open approach and the convergence of insights.
  • ARK actively engages with Theme Developers as part of our research ecosystem.
  • Thematic investing seeks to capitalize on long-term trends that cut across economic sectors and geographic boundaries.
  • While benchmarks reflect past successes, thematic investing seeks to capture future growth allowing investors to earn a market premium.
  • We research and invest in a wide range of companies, from mega caps to micro caps that we believe are going to contribute to and benefit from the rapidly changing market landscape.
  • ARK’s cross-sector portfolios aim to uncover disruptive innovation that impacts multiple industries.
  • As a result of extensive and iterative research steps, ARK anticipates and quantifies multi-year value-chain transformations and market opportunities.
  • ARK will sell a company if it believes that a disruptor has become disrupted itself, or that it is no longer on the leading edge of fast-moving industries or innovation.
  • In fast-moving themes, like those of our strategies, volatility is the foundation of opportunity and potentially higher returns.
  • ARK believes the companies it invests in will be prominent in such indices over a full market cycle
  • recognize the misunderstood nature of many companies’ fundamentals and look to identify companies that are leaders rather than the largest market capitalization company in a passive index
  • If a stock’s share price has fallen in the market due to short-term controversy, ARK tends to increase its position (providing the thesis is unchanged). If a stock is overhyped, ARK will trim the position to take profits.
  • ARK suggests a long-term investment horizon of a full investment cycle, or 7+ years.
  • artificial intelligence, DNA sequencing, robotics, energy storage, and blockchain technology are the innovation platforms leading the global economy into what could be the most transformative period in history

Research Center

Videos

Big Ideas 2022: Summit

Big Ideas 2021: Cathie Wood and Brett Winton

Ark Invest Big Ideas 2021: Cathie Wood Explains (Full Interview)

ARK: The five platforms of disruptive innovation (an excellent Cathie Wood interview)

Ticker Symbol: YOU

An exceptionally good channel by applied math grad Alex! He follows and explains the Ark-Invest moves which can help in making trading decisions.

Nanalyze

A website with articles on a wide range of disruptive technology topics and a focus on investing.

Some articles of administrative interest:

Below are specific areas of investment (found in the disruptive technologies dropdown menu) that are of interest to us:

3D Printing

What is 3D Printing?

  • the construction of three-dimensional objects from Computer-Aided Design (CAD) models or other digital 3D design models
3D Printing Materials and Technology
  • plastics, metals, ceramics, concrete, paper, and even certain kinds of foodstuffs
  • stereolithography (SLA), Material jetting, powder bed fusion
3D Printing Metals
  • many ways to go about 3D printing metal (eg joule printing)

The Industrial 3D Printer

  • focus areas have emerged in various industries

Healthcare

3D Printing and Dentistry
  • straighten teeth at home
3D Printing Medical Devices
  • instrumentation, implants, prostheses, drug delivery
3D Bioprinting
  • print organs on demand

Manufacturing

  • largely found its place in prototyping for aerospace, shoes, eyeware, alternative proteins
On-Demand Manufacturing
  • additive and subtractive for custom parts
3D Printing and Distributed Manufacturing
  • printers are connected into a giant network

Buyer Beware

  • ignore the glossy investor decks and dig into the SEC filings to find all the broken promises made over the years
  • When 3D printing hit peak popularity in the investment community, the over-the-counter roaches started coming out of the woodwork
3D Printing Penny Stocks
  • everyone should know to stay far clear of all over-the-counter (OTC) stocks and penny stocks
3D Printing Stocks That Need Revenues
  • Perhaps some of the most blatant incompetency was seen on crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter. While companies like Formlabs ran successful crowdfunding campaigns to pre-sell their printers, most projects over-promised and under-delivered.

3D Printing Startups

  • Venture capitalists have been pouring money into 3D printing startups
Three 3D Printing Unicorns
  • the most exciting are the mythical unicorns
  • value based on a variety of factors, rarity being one

3D Printing Stocks and ETFs

  • there is no designated industry classification for 3D printing stocks
  • investigate each company that claims to be involved in 3D printing to make sure they’re not a 3D printing pretender
  • If you invested in 3D printing stocks at peak hype, you would have lost a lot of money

Artificial Intelligence

  • artificial intelligence is an emerging technology with the potential to transform every company in every industry in just about every way you can imagine

What is Artificial Intelligence?

AI Chips
  • specialized chips uses to train machine algorithms (training chips) and then the chips they run on in production (inference chips)
  • industry is now moving towards chips that are highly customized with software that’s been optimized for specific tasks
Not Everything is Artificial Intelligence
  • these stocks have come down to earth making everyone realize not everything is artificial intelligence
  • even if you are using artificial intelligence, your company can still underperform the stock market
Artificial Intelligence and Transparency
  • they’ve now decided that artificial intelligence tells the truth too much, and should be silenced
  • kowtow to their demands under the guise of representing some class of people
  • Always look at what’s motivating people who call for AI transparency

How Does Artificial Intelligence Use Big Data?

  • What proprietary data sets are you using to train your algorithms with such that you’ll be able to realize a competitive advantage?
Big Data vs. Data Warehouses
  • big data lets us find “the unknown unknowns” things we didn’t even think of to start measuring
Unstructured Data and Data Privacy
  • Everything that gets publicly posted on the Internet, anywhere, is unstructured data that’s probably being used right now by AI algorithms to glean some insights from.

Examples of Artificial Intelligence Use Cases

  • over 3,500 startups using artificial intelligence to do just about anything you can think of
  • Many artificial intelligence startups are seeing success by targeting large industry verticals
AI in Sales and Marketing
  • you’re selling online or from a brick-and-mortar outlet, there are many ways AI can help
AI in Human Resources
  • not big fans of human resources (HR) because they largely get in the way while trying to create more work for everyone
AI for Recruiting
  • we speculated that competent tech startups will start to deliver effective AI solutions, and all these “boutique” recruitment firms (where the only qualification to start one is that you can fog a mirror) will start to lose out on all those exorbitant recruiting fees they were raking in to find tech people
  • Any business that proposes we change this model and start rewarding people based on anything but competence needs to be condemned from the highest pulpit
AI for Cybersecurity
  • cybersecurity is a high-growth sector which investors are pouring money into. That’s because hackers – 90% of whom are financially motivated – are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their attacks.
  • AI is being used in many creative ways to thwart cybercrime. Speaking of creativity, AI can do that too.
AI Algorithms Get Artistic
  • also being used for more creative applications
AI for Everything
  • decided to deep dive into a few domains where artificial intelligence is excelling right now at solving big problems

Natural Language Processing and Speech Recognition

  • methods which AI algorithms use to understand human speech in written, verbal, and non-verbal forms
  • natural language processing includes everything from algorithms that write news articles to interpreting sign language for the deaf using computer vision
  • Investing in Natural Language Processing

Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare

Artificial Intelligence for Computer Vision

Global Artificial Intelligence

Will AI Replace My Job?

  • probably
Robotic Process Automation or RPA
  • robotic process automation (RPA) is when we teach machine learning algorithms how to do white-collar jobs that have a certain element of predictability to them

Investing in AI Stocks

  • The best question to ask a company that claims they’re “doing AI” is what proprietary datasets do they have to train their algorithms that nobody else has?
  • How to Invest in AI Stocks in 2021

Augmented and Virtual Reality

  • the promise of merging the digital with the real world in different aspects of our lives is a long way off from materializing
  • relative immaturity of the market means there are fewer opportunities for the retail investor

What is the Difference Between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality?

  • Virtual reality is a completely digital environment that you are immersed in.
  • Augmented reality is where your view of reality is “augmented” with digital additions.
  • In mixed reality, digital objects appear within the natural world.

AR/VR Hardware

  • VR has labored to find a widespread consumer audience willing to invest in what is still a somewhat awkward technology with limited content
  • The smart money is generally headed into business solutions.
AR/VR Headsets
  • There are a few recognizable names among the many augmented and mixed reality headset manufacturers.
AR/VR Headset Suppliers
  • Not every player in the AR/VR headset space is a finished goods manufacturer.
AR/VR Hardware Accessories
  • There are plenty of startups developing technology to help VR users feel with all five senses

VR Content

  • Content may be king, but virtual reality content hasn’t really risen far from jester status yet.
  • many item available though questionable at this stage

AR/VR for Enterprise Applications

  • while we’re waiting for AR/VR to catch on with consumers, the business world is quietly embracing the technology as a collaboration tool, especially with the ability to view and even manipulate data in three dimensions
Virtual Collaboration
  • There’s nothing virtual about the payoff: Augmented reality businesses claim they can cut tasks like troubleshooting by more than half, often eliminating the cost of sending a technician on a site visit
Construction
  • There are some pretty obvious VR applications across architecture, construction, and engineering. What better way to show someone how a space will look without the space actually being built?
  • VR companies also hope to change the construction industry by offering skills training for construction workers
Healthcare
  • The connection between AR/VR and healthcare may seem less obvious, but the business cases are at least as good as the ones we just discussed.
  • the use cases for AR in healthcare are pretty robust
  • wearables with some AR/VR-type tech are helping the blind to see using various vision-enhancement devices. In fact, technology for the blind could be worth billions, as the big R&D brains out there figure out ways to help the sightless see again
Retail
  • For some, technology is only really valuable if it can help you sell stuff that people probably don’t need

Investing in AR/VR Stocks

  • Which, if any, of these companies should you target in your portfolio? Frankly, it’s a crapshoot, with the odds definitely in favor of the house.

Computing

  • When we talk about computing as an investment thesis, we need to think well beyond buying the picks and shovels.
  • a few examples of startups that are doing some very innovative things in the world of computing
  • there are lots of disruptive applications for computing that are left to be realized by ambitious entrepreneurs who are backed by visionary investors

Investing in Quantum Computing

What is Quantum Computing?
What Can We do With Quantum Computing?
Quantum Computing Companies
  • Unfortunately for retail investors, largely all of the investing activities taking place for quantum computing are in privately held companies
  • For retail investors, there’s one pure-play quantum computing stock worth taking a look at

Investing in 5G

What is 5G and Why is it Such a Big Deal?
  • will enable autonomous cars to operate, connect trillions of devices and eventually turn your own handheld computer into a supercomputer, because all of the heavy processing can be done remotely
  • everything on the planet will soon be connected to the cloud and the applications are limitless
5G Stocks

Investing in Cybersecurity

  • An entire industry has formed around those who want to do malicious things to earn a living
  • there are also many cybersecurity stocks for retail investors including ETFs
Authentication and Biometrics
  • When it comes to authentication, there are many different methods that are appropriate for a variety of use cases.

Investing in Blockchain Technology

What is The Blockchain?
  • blockchain is a ledger that records ownership and changes over time
Cryptocurrencies
  • blockchain technology can be used to create currencies
Examples of Blockchain Use Cases
  • The blockchain world is long on ideas and short on traction
  • blockchain is the perfect solution for cross-border payments, and financial services applications in general
  • enabling the world’s supply chains with blockchain to rid them of inefficiencies
Some Blockchain ETFs
  • That’s because blockchain is far too new a technology for there to be many pure-play stocks for retail investors

Advances in Software Development

  • The companies that build the best software and wield the best datasets will have a sustainable competitive advantage which adds value over time
  • low-code or even no-code technologies that can turn just about anyone into a citizen developer
  • Eventually, we’ll build software so well that we won’t need customer support.

Investing in Disruptive Computing Stocks

  • The most exciting computing themes like quantum computing aren’t really investable yet for retail investors.
  • Various computing platforms will continue to service various use cases.

Fintech

  • Top fintech companies are enjoying success because they are solving pain points found in the traditional bank, a place where financial technology isn’t seen as a competitive differentiator.
  • Free trading seems to be the norm now, and they even have free trading for algo traders.
  • Some areas of fintech are more mature than others
  • motif, alpaca and others are interesting brokerages

Investing With Alternative Data

  • alternative data is often used by traders to generate alpha
  • For retail investors, there are ways to invest with fintechs that use alternative data to generate insights and increase returns across various alternative asset classes.

Investing in Alternative Asset Classes

  • things to invest in that may have been historically off-limits unless you were an ultra-high-net-worth individual

The Many Types of Fintech

Legaltech
  • that search is to find the gems that can be used to sway a decision one way or another
  • startups are finding that technology such as machine learning can come in handy for lawyers
Regtech
  • RegTech is helping financial institutions make a healthier lunch
  • Another area of regtech seeing lots of interest from investors is digital identity verification.
Insurtech
  • accurately predict outcomes in order to make insurance policies profitable

The Biggest Fintech Company in the World

  • Ant Financial which has taken in $22 billion in funding and is now worth – at least the last time we checked – more than Goldman Sachs and Barclays combined, with a valuation of $150 billion

Fintech Investing and Stocks for Retail Investors

  • opportunities for retail investors aren’t so much in buying “fintech stocks” per se, but rather using the various fintech platforms to open up new avenues for investing in alternative asset classes, saving money using free personal finance apps
Venture Capital and Fintech
  • some people have raised questions around how venture capital itself can be transformed
  • For retail investors, you can buy shares of the world’s biggest startups on secondary markets
  • For non accredited investors, there are some publicly traded venture capital firms.
Penny Stocks Suck
  • There is one sure way to lose money investing in stocks, and that is by dabbling in penny stocks or what they call over-the-counter stocks.

Green Technology

What Are Green Technologies

  • The term “green technology” simply refers to ways in which we can use technology to make the world a better place.
  • It’s a global problem, and every country needs to address it differently.
  • Regardless of where you sit on climate change, we’re all better served if we clean up the planet.
  • The problems we need to solve with green technology also provide an opportunity for investors to make profits.

Renewable Energy Stocks and Companies

  • It’s not all about solar and wind power. Rain, tides, waves, geothermal heat, and biofuels, are all considered sustainable energy sources.

Water Technology and Desalination

  • Less than 1% of the earth’s water is freshwater, and even this amount is unevenly distributed across the planet.
  • one in ten people globally lack ready access to clean water
  • Urbanization also plays a big role in water scarcity with many large cities facing water stress.

Agtech Companies and Stocks

  • Most of us rely on a small percentage of the population who grow food for all the rest of us.
  • Since land is scarce, we’re having to come up with more creative ways to increase yields on the same footprint.
Agtech in New Zealand
  • gross stuff on herd management completely missing the point of where things are going
Indoor Farming
  • Attractive business models will provide vegetables at scale with price points at or under regular vegetable prices.
  • From what we’ve seen so far, container farming is not economically viable.
Agtech Stocks
  • We have only come across a few names that would be considered pure-plays on the agtech theme.

Food Technology Companies and Stocks

  • Food technology is when we start to play with producing food in ways we hadn’t thought of
  • most of the buzz in food tech is mainly around the whole fake meat boom
Lab-Grown Meat
  • fake food which simply refers to the many types of foods that are now being produced which are supposed to resemble the organically produced thing

Investing in Electric Vehicles and EV Charging

  • Improved battery efficiencies, faster charging times, and an ever-expanding network of charging stations make electric cars appealing to a broader set of potential buyers. guide

Investing in Batteries and Grid Storage

The Growth of Lithium-Ion Batteries
  • As battery technology improves, expect more things to be electrified.
  • Another type of battery being developed by a number of companies is the solid-state battery which uses both solid electrodes and solid electrolytes, instead of the liquid or polymer electrolytes found in lithium-ion or lithium polymer batteries.
  • Investors remain interested in lithium as an investment thesis
Grid Storage
  • Grid-scale energy storage is about using batteries to store energy instead. We can’t just go around building reservoirs when we need them.
  • A flow battery is a type of rechargeable battery in which large tanks of chemicals are used to create chemical energy which is then converted to electricity.
  • the humble lead-acid battery that’s found in most motor vehicles is also being looked at for a renovation

Waste Management Stocks and Companies

  • It’s not just about recycling more plastic, it’s about improving the recycling process itself.
  • Industrial waste management is not just about plastics. Municipal solid waste (MSW) needs to get sorted first so that garbage plants can get to the recyclable part.

Investing in LED Technologies

  • LEDs can last up to 25 times longer than an ordinary incandescent bulb, and use 75% percent less energy to produce the same amount of light.
  • There’s still plenty of innovation still to be found from exciting startups

Penny Stocks, Stock Promoters, and Shills

  • When you see a stock soaring for no reason, go to the investment message boards like InvestorsHub and see if it’s being pumped by shills.
  • Whatever you do, don’t invest in any stock that doesn’t trade on a major exchange. That’s rule one.

Does Sustainable Investing Outperform?

  • Green-tech investing goes by a number of names such as sustainable investing, socially responsible investing (SRI), impact investing, environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing
  • Just make sure that your money is being put into companies that everyone agrees are sustainable, and make sure you understand what they consider sustainable to be.

Internet of Things

  • IoT which describes a world where everything is connected. That connectivity isn’t just everything talking to the cloud, it’s about machines talking to machines or (M2M).
  • We’d like to start with talking about industrial applications for IoT and the concept of a “digital twin.”

IoT Sensors and Digital Twins

a digital twin is when you create a digital representation of something like a machine on a factory floor or even the entire factory

The Emergence of Smart Cities

The smart city of tomorrow is one where IoT sensors and big data enable us to create better places for people to live

Smart Homes

A smart home is one that minimizes energy use and utility costs while providing a safe and secure location with all the conveniences you’d expect.

IoT Across Multiple Industries

  • new IoT-enabled medical devices that collect loads of data for AI algorithms to analyze
  • multiple startups pursue “Uber for trucking” business models
  • In the automotive industry, connected cars now talk to the cloud, and even each other
  • Using IoT sensor technology, we’re able to increase yields in agriculture and aquaculture.
  • IoT use cases abound in areas such as shoplifting prevention or “free wifi hotspot marketing.”

Investing in IoT Stocks

  • Given how thought leaders are predicting that IoT will transform nearly everything around us, you’re probably wanting to “invest in some IoT stocks.”
  • There is at least one ETF covering the IoT theme – The Global X Internet of Things ETF (SNSR)
  • investing in smart homes, you might consider Alarm.com (ALRM)
  • A few members of the ETF have exposure to IoT along with a number of other disruptive technologies.

IoT – The Threats

  • IoT is still having some growing pains as we wait for 5G to give us more bandwidth.
  • some understandable privacy concerns around IoT technology that haven’t gone unnoticed

Life Sciences

  • especially since this effort would end research using animals
  • a broad topic that encompasses around 30 different branches of study
  • Oftentimes we’ll find groups of startups trying to solve similar problems
  • Many of the problems being worked on involve cures that haven’t been developed yet, something we looked at in our “when will there be a cure” series.
  • we’ve tried to narrow it all down to six areas of focus

Genomics

  • Using genetic sequencing machines, scientists are not only able to read the recipes of life, they’re also able to edit them
  • Huge databases of DNA data are now being mined for insights, and scientists are even able to reconstruct composite images of criminals from crime scenes using DNA, something referred to as DNA phenotyping.
  • In the future, we’ll have a world where everyone is given personalized medicine tailored to their unique genetic makeup.
Investing in Genomics Stocks
  • Illumina, a company that all but dominates the market for machines that perform gene sequencing
  • Not all genomics stocks are leaders. There are plenty of laggards
  • ARK Invest likes BNGO and that’s sent the stock soaring to the moon

Human Longevity

  • extending the human lifespan by rolling back the effects of aging
  • Venture capitalists are pouring money into dozens of startups tackling the aging problem in areas like regenerative medicine or young blood transfusions.

Medical Devices and Imaging

  • in the medical industry where connected medical devices allow doctors to monitor patients’ vital signs from afar
Medical Imaging
  • some of the biggest advancements are being made in medical imaging where deep learning algorithms are used to interpret medical imagery
Telehealth
  • The increasing sophistication of medical devices and medical imaging algorithms mean that doctors are more easily able to treat patients from afar.
Big Data in Healthcare
  • Many data analytics businesses are emerging which use this data for predictive analytics or to identify inefficiencies in processes.

Brain-Computer Interfaces

  • A brain-computer interface might be the Holy Grail for human advancement.

The Drug Discovery Process

  • Plenty of companies are working on removing all the inefficiencies from the process.

Medical Testing

  • advancements in medical testing could prove to save lives and money
Cancer Genomics Testing
  • It isn’t just about early detection, it’s also about finding the most effective cancer treatment and monitoring its progress.
  • There are also companies developing cancer therapies that are fine-tuned to certain genomic profiles like personalized chemotherapy.
Genetics Testing
  • There are now genetic tests for nearly everything, including genetics tests for pets.
  • The evolution of genetics testing is now leading to new business models that try to adapt to the environment.

Other Life Sciences Themes

The Diabetes Opportunity
  • fat asses abound because people drive up to windows to consume two days of calories in one seating – which they then wash down with a diet soda.
  • The hard truth is that obesity is unhealthy and a contributing factor to a huge global problem – diabetes.
Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT)
  • It’s a test that makes sure your little bundle of joy doesn’t pop out with two heads, or be afflicted by any malady that would interfere with the perfect life you’ve planned for it.
Stem Cells
  • These are useful for applications like regenerating body parts or figuring out what makes cancer cells replicate.

Things We Don’t Understand Very Well

  • It’s very difficult to understand some of these businesses without having a medical background, and if you need eight years of training to understand what a company does, it’s probably too complex for retail investors.
RNAi Therapeutics
  • Instead of spending hours trying to understand how microRNA relates to RNAi, we’re staying away from drug development companies entirely.

Interesting Life Sciences Stocks

  • Given the breadth of technologies to be found under life sciences, we often take fleeting looks at companies that are doing cool things without necessarily doing any deep-dives or follow-ups.

Penny Stocks and OTC Stocks

  • Investing in any of these companies would have proved to be a total disaster. Of course, there are always some exceptions, but why try to walk through landmines to find them?

Conclusion

  • Because life sciences is such a broad category, you’ll find it peppered throughout all the twelve categories of disruptive technologies

Nanotechnology

What is Nanotechnology?

  • the study of anything that measures less than 100 nanometers

How Nanotechnology Has Evolved

Nanotechnology Penny Stocks
  • In reading about companies that have failed, we can better understand how to find those that will succeed.
  • We also found that the same companies that were promising us nanomaterial breakthroughs in 2004 were still making those same promises nine years later.
What Happened to Nanomaterials?
  • we just can’t take companies seriously that continue to promise revenues and never deliver on them
  • People quickly forgot about how the carbon nanotube was expected to change the world when it was replaced by another promising nanostructure called graphene.
  • Graphene is a sheet of atoms that you can pick up.
  • Researchers keep talking about all the great things they can do with quantum dots but commercialized applications seem far and few between.
  • There is no shortage of interesting nanomaterials out there
  • There are also applications for nano that can help heal the planet.
  • There are a lot of exciting things happening in the world of nanotechnology, so let’s see how retail investors might be able to get some exposure to nano stocks.

Investing in Nanotechnology Stocks

Nanotechnology ETFs
  • there are no nanotechnology ETFs right now
Nanotechnology Companies That Stagnated
  • We’ve talked about how prolific nano penny stocks were, but we haven’t talked about more legitimate companies with revenues that haven’t been able to quite take off yet.
  • break down the nanotechnology opportunity into three major themes: nanomaterials including graphene, nano-drug delivery, and synthetic biology including gene editing
Investing in Nanomaterials and Graphene
  • What investors need to remember is that companies which use nanomaterials for a competitive advantage won’t necessarily be telling the world about it.
Investing in Synthetic Biology and Gene Editing
  • the single most exciting disruptive technology there is, that would have to be synthetic biology
  • Many futurist-minded people are thinking that soon we’ll just grow everything we need using tools like gene editing.

Investing in Nanomedicine

  • applications for nanotechnology in the healthcare sector are many
Investing in Nano Drug Delivery
  • many drug companies actively use nanoparticles to deliver drugs more efficiently

Space

  • Will NewSpace, the term that describes the new era of commercial-driven space exploration, supernova into a trillion-dollar business?
  • Risk-averse investors will want to hold onto their money when it comes to the high-risk business of operating in space.

Investing in Global Internet

  • SpaceX appears poised to run away with the global internet race, as it sends thousands of satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO), as part of the Starlink constellation to provide billions of people with connectivity and cute cat videos
  • the smart money is that the impact of cheap satellites and launch platforms will give massive undertakings like the SpaceX Starlink constellation the edge

Investing in Satellite Companies

  • still pretty hard to get exposure to the “space theme” without ending up with a portfolio filled with either big tech stocks like Amazon or Google or a bunch of companies that make rockets aimed in the wrong direction
  • As much as 75% of the NewSpace industry is dominated by the satellite sector, which includes everything from manufacturing spacecraft to providing communications services.

Investing in Geospatial Intelligence from Satellites

  • sector of the satellite industry where we’re seeing both tremendous growth and potential is in geospatial intelligence
  • there are a few geospatial intelligence stocks out there
  • One of the biggest risks to the satellite industry is the satellite industry … New technologies for space debris removal will become extremely important

Rocket Companies Launch a New Space Race

  • we would expect a high rate of failure in this sector, as there’s still not enough business to justify the numerous rocket startups that have emerged
  • China is becoming a serious contender in space with new startups building rockets and satellites

Mining the Moon for Money

  • The moon is home to various precious metals and rare minerals that are integral to our technologies.

Investing in Space Tourism

  • Since then, there have been very few opportunities for the common man or woman to enjoy a romp in zero gravity
  • ISS has been floated as a possible tourist destination once the scientific mission there ends
  • there’s not much gold to mine in space just yet

Robotics

  • The first time the word “robot” was used was when Karel Capek introduced it in his 1920 hit play RUR

Why Is Robotics Important?

  • Robotics is becoming increasingly important because the companies using them are gaining a competitive advantage.

Where is Robotic Technology Today?

  • Robotics applications are growing in popularity because of technologies like machine learning that help the robots work more like humans, perhaps handling unexpected exceptions without just ceasing to operate.

Drone Stocks and Companies

  • Drones are usually categorized into military, commercial, and consumer segments which neatly cover most of the current use cases.
Drone Delivery
  • The jury is still out on what type of drone delivery model will be adopted at scale, if any. For retail investors, we haven’t seen any pure-play opportunities to invest in drone delivery.
Industrial Drones
  • industrial drones are another use case under the “commercial” category

    • industrial inspection
    • aerial information
    • reconnaissance, search and rescue
    • warehouse management
Military and Security Drones
  • The military use of drones is growing at an unprecedented rate in the U.S.
  • The other opportunity is security drones for civilian use cases such as replacing rent-a-cops.
  • round-the-clock surveillance means that battery swapping needs to take place
Consumer Drones and Other Types of Drones
  • Crowdfunding seems to be the funding method of choice for manufacturers of small, low-cost UAVs.
Where Are the Drone Stocks?
  • Pure-play drone stocks are hard to come by.
  • Plenty of drone startups failed too.
  • The drone market remains in private hands for now

Investing in Autonomous Vehicles

Levels of Autonomy
  • Autonomous vehicles (or driverless cars) are an overlap of a number of disruptive technologies.
  • 5 levels
What do Autonomous Vehicles Need to Work?
  • autonomous cars need uniquely tailored perception systems LiDAR
  • High-definition maps, that are precise to a centimeter, are required to navigate any environment safely.
  • vehicle’s artificial intelligence algorithms need to react correctly to any situation
Autonomous Trucking
  • the industry created its own little startup ecosystem with companies developing applications for fuel efficiency, fleet management, and kits that can upgrade any truck to a self-driving vehicle
Autonomous Vehicles That Aren’t Cars
  • Autonomous boats promise to navigate more economically and efficiently than humans do now.
  • large corporations like IBM are working on autonomous shipping
  • autonomous heavy construction equipment with conversion kits for excavators, bulldozers, and skid steers
  • Autonomous planes are also in the making
  • Autonomous robots, tractors, trains, and of course, the Hyperloop are the icing on the cake of autonomous technologies.

Investing in Industrial Robotics

  • industrial robotics is currently the largest application area for robots by far
  • industrial robot prices are declining and will continue to do so, which will result in industrial robot sales quadrupling during the next five years as more companies move to adopt them
Robots for Factory Automation
  • While there are many startups working on robotics for factory automation, there also happen to be many listed companies doing the same which is great for retail investors who want exposure to this theme.
  • China is becoming a large consumer of robotics
Robots for Warehouse Automation
  • Warehouse robots range from plug-and-play systems and forklifts working alongside humans to infrastructure systems that can fully automate warehouses – what they’re calling “lights out operations.”
  • Today’s warehouse robots are capable of full autonomy either alone or side-by-side with humans, thanks to AI algorithms.
Companies Developing Machine Vision and Industrial Cameras
  • The eyes are provided by machine vision systems, the mouth by natural language processing, and the body by robotics.
Robots Replacing Humans Doing the Worst Jobs
  • Industrial inspection tasks, maintenance, and high-rise window cleaning are all examples of relatively dangerous and time-consuming jobs.

Robots in Healthcare

  • Robots are helping in elderly care and the daily operations of smart hospitals. Robotics technology is being used to create bionic limbs and help dental surgeons perform implants.
  • the area where healthcare robots really shine is robotic surgery
Robotic Surgery Stocks and Companies
  • at least eight different types of surgeries that are now being performed or partially performed by robots

Robots for Consumers

  • first large-scale implementation of consumer robotics was iRobot’s robotic vacuums
  • all these types of robots will be made in China

Robotics ETFs

  • The problem is that most of these robotics ETFs can’t agree on which companies to include.
  • it makes us wonder how the ESG types plan to address robotics as an investment thesis

Other resources

Singularity University

Exponential Business Models | Amin Toufani: Exponential times require exponential business models.
Exonomics | Amin Toufani: transform industries and global challenges through exponential technologies
Exponential Energy | Ramez Naam: overview of the key natural resource and environmental challenges
Investing in disruptive innovation | Cathie Woods: Investing in disruptive innovation

Useful sites

Videos

Coming Soon: A Post-Cow World-Precision Fermentation
Commercial fermentation: Opportunities and bottlenecks