I’m the biggest real estate mogul you’ve never heard of, and I like to keep it that way. I own over three thousand parcels in the greatest cities on earth: Beijing, Jakarta, Tokyo, New York, Rio, Paris, Mumbai, Cape Town, London, Istanbul, Karachi, Lima, Moscow, Cairo, Sydney, Mexico City, Berlin, Montreal, Madrid, Kinshasa, Rome.
I could go on, but you get the picture, or at least enough to stand back and marvel at the extent of my portfolio. At first glance. I certainly don’t want you taking a closer look, a deeper dive into my real estate holdings. Yes, I’ve purchased over three thousand global properties, but I’m not a billionaire, not even a millionaire. I’m a janitor. The sole custodian for the last seven years at an obscure tech research company that likely won’t stay unknown for much longer.
Gulliver’s Travels may sound like an odd name for a tech research start up, but just remember how deep tech nerdom runs. Gulliver’s Travels is not named after Lemuel Gulliver of Jonathon Swift’s satirical invention, but after Gulliver Foyle from Alfred Bester’s crafty sci fi novel. The upshot is that Gully Foyle can “jaunt” across vast distances. Humans have learned to teleport themselves to specific portal sites around earth. Gully (spoiler!) just happens to take it a step further in a most unexpected interstellar leap of faith.
Unbelievable, right? Just like a janitor who owns thousands of properties in the most expensive cities in the world. Maybe I’ll seem more plausible than Gully Foyle when I tell you that the total area of all 3,131 properties I own is 76,042 square feet. A little less than the size of an official soccer field.
That’s right. I basically own a soccer field split into tiny parcels littered throughout the most populous cities on earth. I’m a gutterspace tycoon. I find interstitial real estate: municipal plots squeezed between buildings, hemmed in by busy streets, dark alleys, graffitied walls, rusting fences, odd little footprints of city property most would consider too small and random to have any practical use, and I buy them on the cheap. To most investors, these patchwork parcels hold little promise of development, and so had minimal commercial value.
Had. Had. Had.
Not so now as Gulliver’s Travels is set to announce its breakthrough technology. I may just clean the labs, but I’ve kept my eyes, ears, and mind open the last seven years, and I know when something big–really big–is brewing. I quietly witnessed the company’s entire evolution: from atoms to elements to gasses to soil to minerals to amoeba to plants to insects to fish to birds to reptiles to mammals to us. Human teleportation. Beam me up, Scotty, for real.
The most revolutionary form of transportation ever. What will it mean? Well, if you consider other great advances in conveyance, each required a certain type of real estate to make it viable. Ships needed ports and docks, trains needed railways and stations, cars needed highways and parking lots, airplanes needed runways and terminals. Seemingly worthless land became suddenly prized.
Teleportals, too, will require real estate. But not a lot of it. Compact spaces, convenient interstices, throughout major cities where these first teleportation hubs will surely be located. A real estate gold rush for portal space is about to begin, and I feel it only fitting that a janitor like myself is ready to clean up.
Gutterspace is about to become my new goldmine, and I like to believe Gully Foyle would find that a most jaunty thought.
Interesting observation by the narrator! The future is based on the present, but it’s not always linear change.