As a founder of several companies, I’ve become acutely aware of my ‘idea horizon,’ meaning, the time between when I have an idea and when it becomes a market reality. With Ping, the original vision to build the VISA of identity was likely 12-14 years early. Ouch. Several venture funded companies could sequentially starve waiting for this event horizon to unfold. Fortunately, we were scrappy, the space was large, and we discovered how to feed and grow ourselves into a business while continuing towards our larger original vision.
In October of 2001 I was sitting on a boat in the Caribbean blogging for the first time and I recall one of my first posts was a realization that once networked, the original utility of any device diminishes. Accordingly, it would stand to reason then that if a device had no utility ‘off the network’, one should be able to control it remotely from anywhere should it become lost or stolen. Someone steals my car, it doesn’t run unless connected to the network, I simply locate it and shut it off. OnStar does this today. Someone steels my iPhone, I simply locate it, display a message, wipe it or shut it off remotely.
Low and behold, today I saw this idea in action in iTunes. There’s now a feature to locate your iPad/iPhone/iTouch wherever it may be when it connects to the Internet, turn it off, wipe its data, make it sound off or lock it remotely.
My Idea Horizon = Eight Years
As an entrepreneur, an 8 year idea horizon simply sucks.