Published: January 28, 2020

Happy Tomorrowing: Views from an innovator

Nick Smoot’s new column will feature creative ideas  that are happening around the world. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

Nick Smoot’s new column will feature creative ideas that are happening around the world. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

Editor’s note: This is a new monthly column from Nick Smoot, founder of The Innovation Collective in Coeur d’Alene.

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There is an old adage that tomorrow never comes… Well, tomorrow is here and it has passed many of us by.

Some of us pretend we don’t care. Maybe some of us have actually found a way to not care. Others of us live for tomorrow and obsess over every advancement in science and technology.

One thing we can’t deny: The speed at which “tomorrow” is arriving in our today is changing society and our globe forever.

Spaceships with reusable rockets, artificial brains being made in labs, designer genetics through a technology called CRISPR, cars driving themselves, and reality merging with “virtual reality.” If you still think we really haven’t advanced that much, take a second and realize most of us in the United States have all of recorded human knowledge in our pockets. Sure, we didn’t get flying cars (yet), but can you appreciate/fear the fact that the library of Alexandria and more is now yours to explore at any hour of the day or night?

Like it or not, the game is changing fast and it is impacting your life and the lives of those around you. This column, Happy Tomorrowing, is an effort to explore the magic that is happening around the world, the immediate impact it has, the potential impacts it could have, and how anyone just like you can navigate these innovations in ways that keep you safe, aware, and hopefully making money off of the ones that make sense.

Case in point… did you know that in Coeur d’Alene we have three robotics companies that have changed three industries forever? These are great examples of locals seeing trends, being confident in trying some new experiment, and turning it into a successful business. If you don’t know the three, Google the names Wilkinson Baking, Rohinni, and Continuous Composites... all robots… all riding the multi-billion dollar wave of change happening.

So, I hope you enjoy this effort to wake us all up and start a conversation we should be having with ourselves, our families, and neighbors about the innovations that have and will change our lives.

In the meantime, have a conversation with a friend or neighbor and ask, “What technology or innovation in the last five years excites you the most?”

For the next column, we will be exploring e-sports, the ethics of video games, what kind of companies could be built in the space, and most interestingly… how playing video games became a $1 billion industry.

Happy Tomorrowing,


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Nick Smoot is a tech investor, lover of hiking, and a believer in the underdog. As the CEO of Innovation Collective, he spends his days focused on the intersection of community and innovation.


Nick Smoot, tech investor and CEO of Innovation Collective.