Batch brew #22

Sci-fi books ideas, sources of advantage and idea graveyards

Hey, the End-Summer Capitalist is here! ☀️

Yeah, it’s the end of summer, 1st September. But it was a great one. So switching from icy Espresso Tonics back to our warm brewed classics!

What can you expect today? This is a longer one. Sci-fi books are source of inspiration, many existing technologies were though of in concepts in sci-fi books even century old. But there is a comprehensive list of these concepts and we are doing a deep dive into it! Food for thought.

Continuing with our twitter research about private market thoughts, idea traps for founders and nine sources of advantage.

7 minutes and 13 seconds this time.

Dept. of Tiny Thoughts

“We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful”

Warren Buffet

Most of fellow coffee readers here, including us, are in their 20ties and 30ties. Over the past 4 years we lived through interesting boom and bust cycles in the public markets, private markets and also crypto markets. Incredibly valuable experience for our future investments or just future judgements.

Everything works in cycles and we have lived through it in the past years. We can internalise this and use for our advantage. As the seasoned entrepreneurs and investors do.

Dept. of Insights - Sci-fi books Ideas

Hello, sci-fi book fans here!

Sci-fi is one of the most inspiring genre and you would be surprised how many of the existing technologies were mentioned as a concepts in books, which are even more then a century old. Electric or flying cars, reusable rockets, robotics, internet, all of those technologies were introduced in books years before they became a reality. Even blockchain was first introduced as a concept in book Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson in 2002, seven years before Bitcoin was created.

Two weeks ago, one of our favorite newsletters - Not Boring by Packy McCormick - came up with an interesting list. Sci-fi idea bank, tracking more than 3500 different tech concepts from sci-fi books, dervied from an list on

First some stats:

  • 3746 tech ideas in total mentioned in past sci-fi books

  • out of all, 32% were driven by software (bits) and 66% by atoms

  • out of the total, 966 (26%) ideas are existing today

Guess the sci-fi author who came up with the most ideas in his books overall? The legend Philip K. Dick with 241!

Overall, incredibly inspiring list but lets deep dive into it. Andrej grinded his second batch brew for this.

Some of the concepts from the list are fairly obsolete, for instance:

A system of sending mail quickly from town to town via steam-cannon-powered hollow spheres. (Jane Webb Loudon)

But which are the interesting concepts not yet realised? Lets abstract the technical or commercial viability of those. Here is our list in an chronological order:

  • Substance that creates more space when applied to walls, floors and ceilings (1925, Sigizmund Krzhizhanowsky)

  • A device that recorded and played back the thoughts of the user (1923, David H. Keller)

  • A robotic body with a support system for a connected organic brain (1929, Edmond Hamilton)

  • Space ships that use light pressure from a distant source for propulsion (1929, Edmond Hamilton)

  • A means to eliminate all of the noise made by machines in a city, leaving the voices of human beings (1930, A.M. McNeill)

  • A device that accelerates the process of evolution by millions of times (1931, Edmond Hamilton)

  • The idea that a person can learn explicit subject matter while sleeping (1932, Aldous Huxley)

  • A small device worn to filter industrial pollutants out of breathing air (1952, Frederik Pohl)

  • A device that composes words to music (1948, George Orwell)

  • An artwork created by three consecutive generations of artists, in exactly one century (1949, Jack Vance)

  • Similar to chlorophyll but synthetic and far more efficient (1961, Raymond Z. Gallun)

  • Tiny data storage crystals (1961, Stanislaw Lem)

  • Plastex, a combination of plaster and latex, it allows houses to change shape for you (1962, J.G. Ballard)

  • Psychotropic House. Buildings designed to sense, and mirror, the psychological state of their owners. (1962, J.G. Ballard)

  • Tiny robots travel the bloodstream, killing bacteria (1967, Philip E. High)

  • Genetically altered earthworm created just for mining (1968, Larry Niven)

  • Bio Fabric. Living cloth that constantly adapts itself to the personality and needs of its wearer (1970, J.G. Ballard)

  • A small piece of firmware inserted into the brain that provides data on a particular subject, or special features, for the user (1984, William Gibson)

  • A biography that includes actual life experience from the subject; a biographical download (1986, William Gibson)

  • A special floor for virtual reality environments that simulates any kind of surface (1994, David Brin)

  • Computer-controlled highway (2003, Paul Black)

These are the interesting ones after 2.5 hours of reading through all of them. Food for thought for sure!

Wanna have a look on all of them? Check here

Additionally, what is your favourite or most recent great sci-fi book you read?

A great one I recently read was the Three Body Problem by the Chinese writer Liu Cixin, great hard science fiction spanned across 3 books almost 1500 pages long. But great one, trust me.

Dept. of Twitter Thread Research (we can’t get our head around the generic “X”):

1/ Loving this one:

2/ First hint of hope on the horizon. A long read, but worth it!

/3 9 sources of Advantage. It’s not about luck.

Dept. of Visual Research:

An interesting catch by Codie Sanchez, notice how Private Business ownership increases with wealth bracket. The bottom 50% earn their wealth mainly through real estate.

News from our portfolios & where to shake hands:

  • Slavo is attending Hacker Camp in Czechia this weekend, come to say Hi!

  • See you all on the Startup Party organised by The Spot in Bratislava on the 13th of September.

  • In Prague beginning of September? Meet Andrej at the new tech meet up Tuesday 5.9.

Do you enjoy this type of content? Just this week blew through 1500 subscribers, but we want to grow further and the best way you can help us is to share The Caffeine Capitalist in your community using the button below:

Enjoy your coffee fresh, allocate capital, repeat! See you in 2 weeks 👋

The Caffeine Capitalist is a bimonthly newsletter written by Slavo Tuleya, Andrej Petrus & Martin Nemecek. It is written in partnership & in support from ZAKA.VC and Chop Chop Ventures.

What do you think of this issue? We are still collecting feedback on our new layout, suggestions welcome!

DISCLAIMER: None of this is financial advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. Please be careful and do your own researc