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OATV – O’Reilly AlphaTech looking for the next alpha geek company

Excellent post by Bryce from OATV. OATV is O’Reilly’s VC firm, they’ve invested in DIY & open source hardware companies like the Chumby and Instructables. Some makers, hackers and biz owners ask us about funding, we usually suggest they talk to OATV (assuming there’s a match)…

When Tim, Mark and I were laying out our plans for OATV we began with a foundational belief- the technology that ends up being the most disruptive will come from hobbyists, hackers and alpha geeks. This belief stems from nearly 30 years of Tim watching and participating in multiple waves of massive technology transformation- from the early days of open source and the advent of the web to location aware technologies and the DIY movement. Each began with hackers having fun…

So how do we turn what we’re seeing from the alpha geek community into actionable investment themes? We look at what these hackers do in their spare time then try to find possible connections between them and any underlying trends they’re trying to expose. For instance, what do these Kinect hacks have in common with something like Google’s self driving car? They could be pointing to a trend among alpha geeks of exploring machine vision. If so, we ought to look at what immediate investment opportunities may be available directly in the field; but also, what pieces of infrastructure need to be in place for this trend to be fully realized at scale.

Its signal like this we watch at OATV when formulating our own investment themes. And, its this type of signal that aspiring entrepreneurs should look to when synthesizing what the future is going to look like for their next venture.

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