At the beginning of last year I wrote “Trends from 2017, Predictions for 2018” This year I wanted to focus on spaces and problems I’m thinking about. If you have a company addressing any of these topics or are an investor looking at these spaces please be in touch. Of course, all comments and thoughts are welcome.

Tech is global — this was and continues to be true. Tech has become so significant that it now blends with national interests to such an extent that even autocrats are wary of tech companies. I’d heard a rumor that Jack Ma was…

One of the things I’ve observed over the years is that there are two types of understanding: One is the conventional way you think of it — Arrival. Arrival is when you gain a permanent insight into something. It’s often an ‘Ahh Ha’ moment where you feel like you just get it. For example understanding a math problem or how to ride a bicycle. When I was younger I felt this was the main category of learning. Arrival is an answer you can recall easily.

But the other type of understanding, Practice, is continuous. You may have an epiphany that…

Inspired by Fred Wilson’s What Happened in 2017 and What Is Going to Happen in 2018, I’ve tried my own version connecting trends, opportunities and venture capital with specific learnings and examples from my portfolio. I hope a quick read is at least slightly helpful to founders and investors over the holiday.

Tech is Global:

2017 is the year where technology players are global. Several of my portfolio companies were acquired this year — Faraday Bikes was acquired by Pon Holdings, Flipagram by Toutiao, DogVacay by Rover, and Upverter by Altium. Three of the four acquirers were overseas companies. Pon…

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I throw in the trash these days. The average American produces just under one ton of trash per year (this doesn’t include carbon dioxide which averages about 20 tons per year in the US). Plastic is especially painful to me as I know it can last upwards of 1,000 years and it doesn’t biodegrade. Instead of degrading, plastic breaks into tiny pieces that can get into the food system of animals and humans. The biggest issue with our waste stream is plastic that finds its way into oceans, rivers and lakes globally. Developing…

I originally wrote this post in January 2015. I will try to update it for August 2016. Things are heading in the right direction.

Jan 6, 2015

As we begin the new year and the United States Congress comes back in session one of the stated top goals for Republicans is to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline is intended to deliver oil from Canada’s tar sands in Alberta to refineries in the United Sates, but with oil trading at record low prices, it’s a very odd priority. …

The Current State of Things: A lot has been made of artificial intelligence (AI) recently. After decades of disappointment, increased computing power and masses of usable data are changing things. Google just announced that an AI beat a human grandmaster at the game of Go partially using a technique dubbed “deep learning”. However, in the real world outside of the laboratory, I still find computers frustrating when it comes to being smart and there are some near term opportunities that are low hanging fruit. An example in the current state of things: I type Zenefits in an email to a…

3 Views of the Future

This is my review of two very smart books — Abundance by Peter Diamandis and The Circle by Dave Eggers as well as one incredibly well done indie film, Her directed by Spike Jonze. I had meant to write this review closer to the release of these two books and film, but I think they are just as relevant today. In The Circle, Dave Eggers presents a company loosely modeled after Google called The Circle. It focuses on a young employee, Mae, who joins the company and becomes heavily indoctrinated in the company culture and…

I’ve been spending a couple months per year in Japan recently. Japan is a striking country in a lot of ways. People often remark that it feels like the most “alien” country you can visit — the writing is entirely different, the language isn’t spoken anywhere else in the world, the clothes, the look, and the feel can be totally foreign. But the cleanliness, order, modernity, taxis, trains, food and politeness can lure you in quite quickly. And if you travel to the coutryside or places like Kyoto you can feel the ancient history too. …

Thomas McInerney

Angel Investor. Advisor. Environmentalist. Foodie.

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