I was raised a physics PhD, and we were told to read. Read everything. Read all the papers. Read all the existing research. The logic behind that was that if you know what experiments other people did, you wouldn’t have to spend money redoing expensive experiments with complicated equipment. This is of course completely valid and understandable.
However, in reality, what happens often, is that you get to think along the same lines of the experiments you read about. Your experiment becomes a copy of what they did, with at most a little tweak. This is also pretty valid, but not for all situations, and I found, certainly not for futuristic technology.
After Ph.D I went in a much more practical direction. I found that you can only really convince collaborators and investors about new technology, by actually making it, by showing that something actually works. A real demonstration of a technique or new technology in action. This was how I got by for the greater part of the 2000s. This is what Germans Media Technology stood for.
By the way, ‘Media Technology’ refers to cameras, videos, 3D animations, microphones, audio samples, etc. which was still an upcoming world of exploration in the early 2000s. ‘Media Technology’ today has changed into advertisement, cloud API calls and streaming services, so maybe I should change to ‘Robot Technology & Services’ instead…
In the 2010s I explored how artists were able to completely circumvent most of the checks/balances/realization protocols we were using in research and technology, and I wanted to understand how this works. Artists would effortlessly sketch situations very far into the future; obviously without any responsibility of actually getting there. While art is extremely potent in convincing people, it quickly breaks down at more realistic predictions.
I believe that the kind of forward and futuristic topics addressed with my company, require less reading and more fast/strong proof-of-concept demonstrations of new technology, and this is probably what I’ll keep on doing until forever.