It is getting quite exciting now to see that five whole years have passed since I started Feeding Edge Ltd. Soon I will have to say Feeding Edge Est. 2009 in everything. I was looking at what the anniversary gift is for five years and it appears to be wooden things. That was quite funny as really it was the whole Second Life experience that precipitated the formation of this company and stepping out of corporate life. The social implications of being able to communicate and share and work globally clashed with more rigid old fashioned corporate structures. Some were less able to see the benefit of this evolution than others. I experienced some very strange a actions by people worried about their power base across the company. I am constantly amazed by how many of the core of the movement we had back then left the old company in various ways too. The first thing you create in Second Life, BTW, is usually is wooden box. So in a way I pre-empted this 5th anniversary celebration some time ago!
Predicting the future is of course very tricky. The past 5 years have been so diverse and interesting that I can only hope the next 5 are anywhere near that. I also wouldn’t change what happened in the lead up to Feeding Edge. 2006-2009 will remain an amazingly vibrant and overall positive experience.
We just got back from a very exciting snowboarding and skiing holiday as a family. The first time the predlets have experienced that much snow and height. I sing the praises of virtual, of game experiences etc but not at the expense of physical experiences too. It is hard not to come away with a positive outlook on the future when you spend the week in places like this.
The thrill of learning or mastering a new skill, of seeing things in a different way, a mix of adrenalin and gravity all add to the mix. Next time we go I may have to take more hi tech things with me like GPS goggles. Just need the phone companies to stop charging mad rates for data ! 15Mb for £1.99, I turned that on my iPhone for about 2 minutes and it was used up!
I have of course not been just doing one job or thing all these years. Just to reflect (for my own sense of worth and 5 yearly appraisal….)
32+ speaking engagements
39 TV show recordings of Cool Stuff Collective
9 game reviews on Gamepeople
10 articles in Flush magazine
1 academic paper Virtual worlds, augmented reality, blended reality.
Helped form and chair the BCS animation and games development group.
Became a STEMnet ambassador and helped my fellow ambassadors.
Plus a lot of unity3d and second life work including the ongoing virtual hospital to keep my coding eye in.
My office has moved too as has the family home. Change being the only constant in this industry. Something that we all have to roll with.
As a family we have also taken up Choi Kwang Do, now well over 2 years into that journey. I am learning how to be a coach and instructor and hopefully applying some of the peaceful attitudes we live in the art to work and life.
Looking back 5 years the massive explosion in accessible technology has been the most exciting thing. Many of the things that I have been an early adopter of are now part of everyday life for many people. Sharing experiences online being the greatest change I have witnessed. We still have a way to go to help people evolve and learn how to share, or not. Of course I hope that the next wave will help people explore richer environments on top of the text and photos/videos that exist now.
I am also very happy that nearly everyone who connects online is becoming a gamer. Whilst many attitudes to games are still rooted in 3d shooters, we now have the social gamers who see different styles of games and engage. They are not all the best games in the world, we do of course have the downside of being rinsed for money in pay to play. However again the etiquette and acceptable side of the business will settle.
It is not all good news put there though. We still have vast inequality in the world. Huge poverty problems even in so called developed countries. The richest are still gathering more and more of the planets resources and wealth. In part that is driven by technology. The ability for digitally transfer assets, trade and make deals. Many hidden away in systems we have no access too. We have the spying scandals, mass surveillance of the public, because it is so easy to do as we are so connected.
Amongst all this though I am optimistic we will achieve some equality through the sheer abundance of technology and it blending with the human spirit. As we have seen with open source movements people can work together on things that they care about regardless of location on the planet. If that is the case then just as the bad guys, criminals and corrupt can leverage it, so can the forces of good.
Knowing what is out there, what is interesting to experience to use and sharing it with people who may find an even more positive use for it is my mission. Taking a bite out of technology so you don’t have to is the company tag line. Looking, feeling, sharing and understanding the implications and the possibilities is my job. I don’t see any sign of running out of any of these things just yet!
I also hope that the predlets continue to be as inspired and amazed by it all too. They have an exciting future ahead of them
The biggest thanks for the support over the past 5 years goes to my wife. She to changed jobs from our old firm too, a few years after me. The move was to a much more rewarding yet much more responsible and higher level position. She commutes everyday to London and is the financial stability the family needs amongst the constant churn of my small company life.
So, future, I see you hiding there. Let’s get on with it shall we?