If you’re a regular reader of this blog you might have noticed I have a disproportionate number of posts about quantum stuff. Case in point my recent post of “Social Science is the study of entangled brains: Discuss”. Not to mention “High Frequency Trading Trashed by Quantum Computers?” And so on.
Yep, it’s very nerdy. But isn’t it a little bit or a little lot futuristic? Sort of stuff Arthur C. Clarke would write about? In the year 3003 AD perhaps?
Well I’ve got news for you. This stuff is just about here. The spooks are already onto it, starting with encryption and the like. They’re usually around 5 years ahead of the civilian take-up curve. So in about 1-2 years expect to see your competitors all bringing out quantum products. Google is already just about there having acquired the D-Wave so-called quantum computer (it isn’t quite there yet, but almost).
But guys, do you think they’re telling us everything? Nope. The spooks, military and private sector in several countries (Russia, China, Iran, Israel, even God forbid North Korea, and not so funnily, midgets like Estonia) are already doing it, probably using those developments even we American Superheroes don’t know about.
Its gonna start with encryption for military purposes, then missile targeting and interception, space defense and quickly migrate to investing, derivatives, counter-party valuation and risk as well as the garden-variety stuff like weather. Are you on the bus yet? If not, it might have already gone without you.
You think I’m joking? See this announced by Volkswagen just last week, that has implemented an important new product (traffic optimization, if you must know) using quantum computing. If VW is doing it with a public announcement, how many companies do you think have already entered the fray, without making any sort of release? No use alerting competitors yet right?
How many companies and executives do you notice now every day that are hyping their forays into things digital? Digital products, digital marketing, digital paradigms, digital qualifications and so on? It’s been like a seal of good housekeeping for everyone, to show that you are now up to the minute with the latest and greatest. It makes people feel good because digital is just so recent, right? If you’re digital you right up there with the innovators, ok!
Wrong. Digital is now boring, old and passé. Been there done that. Even 6 year-olds are writing smartphone apps. Your grandma knows more about Instagram than you do coz she’s got the time and you don’t. If you want to look hip, just get an iPhone with VR, then your home free. Not.
The digital revolution is over and we're on to new things, notably the quantum stuff. That’s where the interesting things are happening now. All the rest is an also-ran. If you want to move back into a hallowed state of relevance now you need to appreciate what the quantum paradigm can do for you and your customers.
I think there’s going to be a couple of flavors (at least!) of the coming breed of quantum products. The first will just be existing digital products that have been accelerated using quantum computers. Kind of like putting a jet engine on a horse-and-buggy. That’s going to be the easy way in.
The more advanced products are going to make full use of the totally different paradigm offered by quantum approaches. They will dream up new approaches that are integrally based on a quantum paradigm. How about quantum scheduling where you offer mutually exclusive schedules which actually help the others? But of course there’s going to be a new universe of products and solutions which we haven’t even begun to think about yet.
So everything is going to change. Again. Forget digital stuff. Think quantum. How so? Your problem. Hire a physics/math guy and give them their head. Don’t tell them what to do.
The next breed of unicorns (naturally they will be called “qunicorns”) will come from the quantum world. The bubble in Silicon Valley has burst again and needs the next Big Thing to restart the money-motors of innovation. That would be quantum.
The New Quantum Wave will be quantum markets with quantum products and apps, quantum investments and quantum stocks. How about a quantum smartphone? On your wrist? In your head!
Trust me, once the VCs get into it, this will be a new mega-wave for innovation and mega-IPOs. That’s where the billionaires and investors will be. There will be quant funds for quantum, hedge funds for qubits, ETFs for weirdness.
Quantum is going to emerge as the new way to restore Alpha, much beloved of investors, now demised, but the dreamers still long for its return. Quantum is that chance!
Quantum is going to set off the next wave of global innovation. Time to hop on the new (quantum self-driving?) bus!