14th June 2016 Ravi Ruparel

A Mixed Reality World: Now what?

I was recently accused of being somewhere I was not. It took me about 60 seconds to prove where I was because my mobile had logged every move I had made and I could show this in a couple of taps and swipes. Sweet, I wasn’t there. Told you so and more importantly, Google said so.

We live in a mixed reality world. We walk a digital map, our social connectivity, digital presence, mobile devices, messaging and communication is entirely fused with our real life, whether you like it or not. My mum and my son are digital first, my last 10 years are available to browse. My friends prefer to type than to talk. Everyday the connection between these worlds of social, data, device and location are tied together a little more as algorithms and code connect things and learn. I see this code as the rainbow that is making this moment full of opportunity.

Now what?

I think they call it creep. It’s a little bit like the story of aging and your belly. One day you sort of wake up and realize your trousers don’t fit, it just crept up on you. So here it is, its creep time.

No amount of spreadsheets or powerpoint, research groups or trend reports will prepare you to understand this reality. Everything is mixed up. Now is the time where what seemed like impossible things can be achieved if you just imagine a little bit more. Because everything is really, really, digitally mixed up.

I get the following important things, context I guess:

  • Computer chips are now awesomely powerful, so much is possible
  • We all know what a good experience should be like, we feel it instinctively and don’t need to spend lots figuring out basic things
  • We get that we need to be agile and reuse stuff, brilliant doesn’t need to be expensive
  • We can and should take advantage of economic arbitrage, incentivize everything and be happy. Happy is good.
  • We know that you can augment, live in a virtual world, harness API’s and that machines can learn and be intelligent.
  • We understand our wants, desires and needs and have read Maslow. We all want to live our best, not be the best.
  • We know the world is in a weird place, living is expensive and there is no real security so you have to put yourself first.

So seriously, now what?

Well I think that the opportunity to realize good ideas has never been better. At work we are building innovative things faster and cheaper than ever before and we know it’s now becoming dare I say it affordable to risk. It’s also a heap of fun.
The world has also just been mixed and offers you a pinball machine like life that is full of opportunity to connect devices, locations, data, the internet, life and your needs and wants in multiple ways. To create hobbies, businesses, art, new marketing, new ways and different and better life.

So I think now it the time to make sure you take creativity, storytelling and ideas a little more seriously and make something happen. Over invest in these skills, learn and build a toolkit and network to help you. It’s like someone telling you 20 years ago that you should invest in property or buy shares in Facebook. Both these worlds, the real and digital, have grown in value and now it’s the time to harness them both and create.

Why? Because so much is possible at speed and low cost. So many things we could do with simply don’t exist, yet but could, really soon. The person to make them gets rewarded in both money and other satisfaction. So what you should do now is to take that idea, try make it for as little time and money as humanly possible and change the world a little using a bit of the real and digital world. Use that world to work together, crowdsource funds, test, design and promote on a performance basis. Reduce risk everywhere and write a story or two.

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I am the CEO of pl-atform. Pl-atform, a creative agency focused on both real and digital world brand creativity. In its first two years of life it has delivered over 30 original projects in 15 countries that have led to over 100m engagements. Clients include global brands, agencies and start ups. www.pl-atform.com

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