It’s the 21st Century. Where is My Flying Car?

Got into a great discussion at lunch yesterday with a colleague on the state of affairs in innovation – most of it was the same kind of opining one normally hears about the future – one of the questions most asked is – whatever happened to the flying car?

Remember those old films and articles talking about the future and how awesome it was going to be – that everyone would be driving around in self-driving cars and we’d even have flying cars.

  1. In India, the Tata Nano, a car, sells for around $2500
  2. A while back, a San Francisco councilman, appalled at the lack of housing for the homeless, built a few rooms in his backyard and let them out to homeless people.
  3. Since housing is so expensive in Silicon Valley, an enterprising dude took a monster house in East San Jose and split it into a number of rooms and let each one out to a different renter.
  4. Just the other day, I tweeted about a startup called Tacocopter which wanted to deliver tacos via helicopter drones. A fantastic, truly innovative idea.

All of the above shot down by government regulation:

  1. We can’t have flying cars or taco copter due to FAA regulations
  2. We can’t have innovative housing due to zoning restrictions
  3. We can’t have self-driving cars due to highway regulations
  4. We can’t have small cars like the Tata Nano due to safety regulations

Here is the big problem with America: we have great, great ideas. Problem is, we can’t DO anything with those ideas, simply due to the excessive amount of government regulation. So what do we do? We can either:

  1. Reduce the amount of regulation here
  2. Go to some other country with less regulation and realize our vision

Can you guess which is easier?