Ideas fresh off the wire

How the startup mindset will transform the 21st century

We walked down the stairs to San Francisco’s Say Space following the crowd of people eager to attend ReadWrite’s first event of the year. The stage was set, beers passed around, and encounters between new and old colleagues filled the night. A buzz could be heard in the air – was it disruption?

At this particular ReadWriteMix event, PayPal’s President, David Marcus, participated in a fireside chat with ReadWrite editor-in-chief, Owen Thomas, with the goal of decoding the future of money in our ever mobile-forward world. Discussing the evolution of the payment industry, David Marcus spoke of a surge of digital capabilities, predicting that four years from now in highly populated metro areas like San Francisco and New York City, you won’t have to carry a wallet because everything would be digital. The mobile revolution we are experiencing now allows for a new wave of currency, or money 3.0.

The very thought of technology allowing for physical money to be rendered useless is fascinating, but it begs an even grander question: If that is possible, then what else will be transformed by technology innovations? With talk of autonomous vehicles, smart homes, and the growth of the sharing economy, it looks like we are entering a new innovation cycle in what has been called the second machine age.

At Highwire, we believe that the startup mentality is what makes all these innovations possible.

Throughout our history we see innovation cycles brought about by small groups of people who dared to try something different. Henry Ford and the combustion vehicle, Bill Gates and the World Wide Web, Steve Jobs and the iPhone. All of these innovations were brought to life by the startup mentality that dares to build for the future instead of optimizing for the day to day.

Be it a startup or publicly traded company, the startup mentality is what will propel a company to success. The startup mentality has built innovative solutions to common problems. Feeling sick? Working from home has never been easier thanks to Blue Jeans Network. Going away for the weekend? Companies like Piper can let you monitor your home from your smartphone. Snapchat and Twilio are changing the way we communicate while digital healthcare startups like Fitbit and Blue Goji are changing the way we monitor and evaluate our health.

The startup mentality will usher in this second machine age by reimagining the world and putting a new spin on old notions of technology. That is what will transform the 21st century.

Stephanie Hernandez is an intern at Highwire PR in San Francisco