“Amazing things happen at the intersection of imagination and technology.”
Those were the words long-time Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said at Adobe MAX—The Creativity Conference two years ago.
I couldn’t agree with him more. I’m constantly astounded by how technology turns innovative ideas into valuable, world-changing intellectual property.
This combination has become a cornerstone of what I look for as an investor. It’s the perfect recipe for outsized growth.
As an example, consider what a small company you’ve likely never heard of is doing to help one of the world’s greatest athletes step up his game…
Alan Marty founded Noah Basketball in pursuit of an audacious goal: finding the perfect basketball shot.
Because the arc of the ball is one of the most important elements of a successful shot, the company adopted the name of the biblical ark builder, Noah.
Marty’s idea started out as nothing but a rake and a ladder in a driveway – the setup he rigged to teach his daughter to play basketball. Since then, it has morphed into a data-analytics firm employing machine learning and artificial intelligence (“AI”). The firm’s top data analyst is none other than the little girl who helped her dad launch the business many years ago.
After studying 100 million shots, Noah Basketball concluded that the perfect shot requires three things:
- Strong muscle memory to consistently shoot the ball straight.
- The correct entry angle into the basket, or “hoop” (a 45 degree arc).
- The proper entry depth (two inches past the center of the hoop).
Armed with this insight, the company then created the Hoops app…
With your smartphone’s camera positioned along the side of the court, the app uses AI to measure thousands of data points in real time for every shot you take. Then it provides instant feedback on the shot’s entry angle and depth. This enables you to take the same shot over and over, building the muscle memory for the perfect shot.
According to Noah’s website, which is updated regularly, the company has tracked more than 330 million shots.
Many of those shots have been taken by one of the greatest athletes to have ever played the game, the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry. If you’ve never watched him play, I recommend you check him out. He regularly makes shots from distances that are unimaginable for us mere mortals.
Noah’s data wasn’t available when Curry joined the NBA in 2009. But now that it is, he has been using it to perfect his three-point shooting and get even better. That’s bad news for everyone else in the league…
A shot can …….