Business IQ

Tech investor Ashton Kutcher on innovation

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Ashton Kutcher is most famous for his acting and high-profile relationships, but he is also a savvy technology investor with shares in Uber, Spotify, Airbnb, and more. Here he tells what made him invest in these business success stories.

At the Tech My Way event hosted by IT company Lenovo in Sydney, Ashton Kutcher passed on pearls of wisdom on what he believes is the future of technology.

When we were in primary school, our teachers would tell us: “There’s no such thing as a dumb question.” But with the rise of the internet and the wealth of information we have at our fingertips, we have no excuse asking dumb questions, argues Ashton.

Rather than asking dumb questions, Ashton says that the cleverest minds should ask a single great question: “What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?”

Ashton Kutcher at the Tech My Way event held in Sydney

The best advice
 

  • Mila Kunis: “Don't let your ego get in the way of asking for help.”
  • Taylor Swift: “Keep your hopes high and your expectations low. You are not entitled to anything, but there is nothing that you can't earn, and most importantly, enthusiasm can protect you from absolutely anything.”
  • Bradley Cooper: “Be yourself”.
  • Chris Rock: “People that can't listen, can't lead. And one of the keys to success is the ability to listen to people that you know you are smarter than.”
  • Eric Schmidt: “Always return phone calls. Take the time. If you put good energy out, it comes back. Whenever it is possible, say yes. Life is who you travel with.”

In his presentation Ashton also weighed in on technology trends and their opportunities for entrepreneurship.

There's a robot that some friends of mine are working on that is learning how to learn.

- Ashton Kutcher, Tech Investor

Virtual reality and augmented reality

With virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets like the Samsung VR Gear headset, the Microsoft HoloLens and Google Cardboard soon we’ll all have superpowers said the Hollywood actor and producer.

“In a world of AR and VR, you can walk down the street and have monsters jump around corners. I can leave virtual notes for my wife on the refrigerator,” says Ashton.

“The entire world becomes the playground of our technology, and we can place things in space and recall them whenever we want.”

Ashton then expanded on the ability of wearables to identify users and give them permission to access bank accounts or collect personal packages.

Biotechnology

Another trend that is set to take off is biotechnology – the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make useful products.

“I saw this thing the other day where this guy had used the phosphorescence of jellyfish and implemented it into plants,” the tech investor explained.

“He made this phosphorescent plant and he was speculating that he could build phosphorescent trees instead of street lamps.”

Artificial intelligence

Ashton also highlighted artificial intelligence as an area that entrepreneurs and technology investors should pay close attention to.

“There's a robot that some friends of mine are working on that is learning how to learn,” he shares.

“Once it knows how to learn it could get smart real fast because we could just feed it the internet and it could make correlations between things that we could never fathom making correlations with.”

2015 #TECHmyway livestream live in Sydney Australia

Ashton Kutcher (Actor, Entrepreneur and Lenovo Product Engineer), Cameron Parker (Head of marketing and sales Black Milk Clothing) and Marita Cheng (Founder of Robogals) talk technology and entrepreneurship.

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