Digital Threshold Live: Data and Simulation Are Rebuilding the World

Bilal Zuberi, Partner at Lux Capital, has heard a lot of ideas. What separates him from most is how quickly he’s able to separate the truly great and innovative ideas from those trailing a step behind the true leaders.

Zuberi said people are always asking him what’s next, and the answer is that, while he’s 100% sure Lux will be making more investments in exciting companies, he’s 0% sure what they’ll be.

What he can tell us right now is data and simulation are critical pieces to any new technology.

“There was a famous blog post written by Marc Andreessen a few years ago that was called ‘Software is Eating the World’,” Zuberi said. “The idea was that everything that used to be done in hardware is now being done in software, and software is eating up the world. I would say, if software is eating the world, data and simulation is helping rebuild it.”

Yet, while data and simulation are useful tools for many types of companies, Zuberi said none of it matters if what comes out of the process isn’t able to be analyzed in an intelligent manner.

“Typically, you would get a bunch of people, maybe a round table, together, and all the experts will get together. A panel will sit maybe for a month, they will have a whole bunch of meetings, and they will review all the technologies and review all the presentations made by experts,” he said. “And you’ll come up with sort of a best guess plan. I think we may end up with drones attacking us with bombs, but what’s the likelihood of that? I don’t know. OK, let’s not worry about that. Let’s worry about somebody walking in with guns. So, let’s have gun threshold security systems. That’s how decisions get made today. There’s got to be a better way.”

That includes utilizing simulation systems to plot out possibilities and also to use automation to analyze the enormous amounts of data coming in. In the case of Evolv, Zuberi said it’s possible to envision a world in which a security system remembers the user, letting people that regularly trip a traditional metal detector like an implant become known by the technology and able to pass on through.

It’s just one idea of many that can make a more connected, yet safer, world.

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