Fun playing with Drones while Elon announces a new freaking-fast roadster

Tonight I attended the Flying Robot Film Festival where we saw a ton of short movies all done, at least in part, with drones. More info on this film festival, which will be held in several cities, is here:

At the afterparty I shot this video.

While I was doing that Elon Musk was announcing a new truck and a new Roadster that goes 0-60 in under two seconds. I had the first ride in the first Roadster (he gave me a ride before he gave his best friend, Jason Calacanis, a ride) and back then he bragged that it could do 0-60 in only about four seconds. I still remember how much it felt like a rocket ship back then. This one must feel totally unreal.

The Verge has video of that up here:


Startups to pay attention to

This list of 29 start-ups that prove Silicon Valley innovation isn’t dead  on CNBC caught my eye in Nuzzel, which is my favorite tool for keeping track of what people are talking about in the social web.

But this is the kind of startup list I used to do in the old days and it caught my eye because all the companies use technology to bring something new to the table.

As I work on my marketing book I am looking even deeper because I don’t believe anymore that technology is enough in this very noisy age of social media. To compete with Trump’s tweets you have to have the story and marketing smarts to punch through.

Last night I hung out with some of tech’s most connected people (more on that later today) and they agree. It is a more difficult time now to get people to care about new companies, products, and ideas.

Will these be it? It is the best list of companies that will improve our lives I have seen lately.

Autodesk goes augmented, er, automated

You might not know Autodesk well, but nearly everything in your world, from movies to cars to skyscrapers to even the shoes you wear have been designed in Autodesk’s software.

Right now I’m on Twitter’s Periscope watching Autodesk’s CEO speaking at its big conference live right now. (Separate stream on Facebook is here).

And already he is talking about automation and augmented reality.

I’ve been talking a lot with employees and execs at Autodesk (recently gave a presentation on same to its executives) and it is working with all the augmented reality glasses manufacturers, from Microsoft HoloLens to Magic Leap. So watching what it’s doing is very interesting, even if most of its customers won’t be using it in augmented reality for years.

Watching live there were few announcements about augmented reality, rather it focused on automation as a trend in building new things. Even announced a fund aimed at helping retrain workers as more jobs become automated. Hint: how will that be done? Augmented reality.

Its customers showed how it was using AI and robots to augment jobs, er, automate them. Interesting that most of the things I’ve been talking to execs about weren’t shown. It’s almost as if Autodesk realizes that augmented reality’s year isn’t coming in 2018, so it didn’t need to force new AR functions out right now. Smart move, I think, because I’m seeing the same.