In high school, my friends and I used to find amusement reading confession magazines -- stories like "I Married a Bigamist (and his other wife was my sister!)." Fun stuff, month after month, for us teenage girls. The ads in the back of the magazines were also pretty great. I remember one with real fondness, though I forget the actual product being sold. As I recall, the ad featured a drawing of a gimlet-eyed Rasputin character and, in bold type, these four words: COMMAND WITH YOUR MIND. Every time I came across that ad I thought, If only I could command with my mind. Wouldn't life open up in all sorts of strange and magical ways?
Yes, it would, and now, thanks to the small San Francisco company Emotiv, it actually could. In this month's cover story, Emotiv's co-founder Tan Le explains how she and her colleagues developed a technology that allows people to play a video game using only their thoughts and emotions. (Imagine your brain as a kind of joystick.) Our writer, David Freedman, tried it and found the experience thrilling. Le says Emotiv plans to launch the first mind-control video game sometime in 2009, but she doesn't plan to stop there. The company's ambition, Le says, is to create a "totally ubiquitous device, allowing you to interact in a seamless way with everything else in the world." If the brains behind Emotiv are successful, they could hit a billion-dollar jackpot, and we'll all be commanding with our minds.
December is the month Inc. chooses an Entrepreneur of the Year. There are no set criteria for this accolade. Generally, we look for someone who has done something extraordinary in the past year or who embodies -- to the nth degree -- the entrepreneurial qualities we all admire. We think you'll be impressed with this year's EOY, Alison Schuback. Like the best entrepreneurs, she is focused, tireless, hopeful, and positive, a force for good who wants to change the world around her. Editor-at-large Leigh Buchanan reports that Schuback is busy creating jobs, perfecting her product, figuring out marketing strategies, developing strategic partnerships. Perhaps you're thinking that doesn't sound much different from what you do day in, day out. But this remarkable woman does just a bit more.
It all goes back to the power of the mind. Alison Schuback and Tan Le should get to know each other. You'll see what I mean.
Thanks for your support this year, dear readers. I look forward to getting to know you even better in 2009. Let me know if there are things we can do better -- or just differently.