Macro Pessimism, Micro Optimism

Everyday the news bombards us with negative macro headlines.  Troubles in Europe, war in Syria, asset bubbles, and politicians acting idiotically are the norm – which makes it hard to not be depressed about the future.

But on the micro level, the level of the entrepreneur and the individual, I don’t see how one can be anything but massively optimistic about the future.

I was having coffee this morning (ok so my view maybe a little influenced by having coffee overlooking the ocean but not my point) and flipping through the new Entrepreneur magazine.  They have an article titled 100 Brilliant Companies, and there are so many people pursuing world changing ideas it is impossible to not be excited about the future.  (And this new product would have helped my crap coffee from going cold in 2 minutes.)

Anyways, below are a few great ideas.  Some are not life or world changing but simply lifestyle improvements (much like this earlier post we did on similar companies.)  Mainly I’m just happy my iPhone will be protected from snow and getting dropped in the toilet.


Liquipel: Ship your phone to the HQ in Santa Ana, Calif., and they’ll give it a virtually undetectable water-safe coating–without hindering performance.

Kaggle: Bringing crowd-sourcing to heavy data, this website allows scientists to compete to produce the best solutions to presented problems. Corporate sponsors pay prize money in exchange for the intellectual property.

Ringadoc: Connects patients to licensed physicians 24/7, via phone or videoconference (on average, within five minutes) for medical advice, diagnoses and prescriptions.

Society6: A marketplace where indie artists sell their work as prints, iPhone cases and T-shirts–without giving up control to the rights.

GTX Corp: Developed a shoe with a miniature GPS tracking device embedded in the heel for wandering Alzheimer’s patients.

Miso Media: The company’s Plectrum app uses note-recognition software to teach iPhone and iPad users how to play the guitar, ukulele, bass, banjo or mandolin. Jam on a real instrument or tap the screen of an iOS device.

Senseg: Patented haptic technology creates “feel screens” that enable users to feel textures, contours and edges on their touchscreen devices.

Bikn: To ensure that nothing goes missing (phone, keys, dog), Treehouse Labs’ system uses an app, smart case and tags to stick on your stuff.

FastCustomer: Spares iPhone and Android users the aggravation of waiting on hold. Register your phone number, then get a call back from any of 3,000 companies.

Burn Note: E-mailing sensitive information such as social security numbers, PINs and passwords via Burn Note ensures there’s no electronic trace left anywhere on the internet.

PrintEcoA plug-in that automatically optimizes documents for printing in order to save paper.

Nimble: Pulls together Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, e-mail, contacts and calendars onto one screen with a brilliantly simple CRM.

Blu Homes: These green, modular homes are economical to ship and quick to set up. A 3-D configurator lets customers design their dream homes online.

Adafruit Industries: Founded by an MIT engineer, this e-tailer sells cool DIY electronics kits–instrumental in fostering the burgeoning “maker movement.”