And we’ll soon be making devices at the atomic level. So everything gets much smaller. As they get smaller, they get better, cheaper, and they get faster, to the point where we demonetize. Remarkable products become virtually free.
So nanotechnology is crucial, and it’s the development of material science. Nanotechnology allows us to invent materials that didn’t exist before. Graphene—which I have a huge section on in the book—is a great example of this.
The other one is sensor technology. Most folks are unfamiliar with this, and I didn’t really get into it in the book and calling it this, but what it’s all about, is that a computer is just a box—whether it sits in a room, on a desk or in the palm of your hand.
If that computer lacks awareness of its environment, it’s unable to accomplish much. So we create interfaces with computers. That’s what your computer is; it’s how you talk to the computer. And that’s what the monitor is. That’s how the computer talks back to you.
Now we have Alexa and Siri that do it audibly—but the key is that interface between the computer and its environment. That’s what a robot is, at the end of the day. We have to enable computers to see, hear, touch and smell.
Without sensors, the Google car would not exist. The car has to be aware of its surroundings. So, development of sensor technology—which allows computers to perceive the external world—is vital. That’s why my personal investment interests are in those two paths—nanotech and sensor technology.
ETF.com: My key takeaway is, for people to survive financially in the future world you're depicting in your book, “be nimble and save.”
Edelman: Yes. I would define nimble as both agility and willingness. We find that a major impediment is lack of willingness to adapt. The chapter “The Dark Side,” which ended with “The Darkest Side of All,” talking about Luddites, is the biggest—people are their own worst enemy. Their resistance to change, their denial of the disruption that’s coming, will be the biggest impediment to their success.