Category Archives: Inspirational

Are you doing what you love right now?

You do not need to be a millennial to ask yourself that question.
The digital revolution has brought an era where rules are changing and change is the rule.

Social Media gives a loud voice to independent artists, to social activists, to entrepreneurs. It is a Digital Renaissance.

Though it can be a long and tough way, it has never been easier to become an Indie artists or a social entrepreneur: musicians, authors, film-makers, graphic designers, app developers, DIY rocket scientists…

Millennials do not work just for money and status. They want to make a difference. They want to change the world for better.

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Abundance: Our way out of Crisis

It takes a good crisis to get us going. When we feel fear and we fear loss we are capable of quite extraordinary things.
                                             Paul Gilding, TED February 2012

This quote is the only point I like from Paul Gilding’s talk “The Earth is full”.  His other point in the talk is basically that “we can not have infinite growth in a finite planet.” It is a pessimistic view of our world through the lens of scarcity.

In contrast, I find the idea of Abundance fascinating. The talk of Peter Diamandis is an eye-opening cry of optimism. In this decade we will see the development of the technologies that promise a future of abundance like never before. In fact, it is hard to realize that we are already living that period despite the gloomy news in the media. See his TED talk here:

The technologies with exponential growth that will lead us to abundance are, as listed by Diamandis:

  1. Infinite Computing (Cloud)
  2. Sensors & Networks
  3. Robotics
  4. 3D Printing
  5. Synthetic Biology
  6. Digital Medicine
  7. Nanomaterials
  8. Artificial Intelligence

Those technologies, combined with Open Source and Do-It-Yourself movements are empowering small teams to achieve what a few decades ago only large organizations could. On top of that, techno-philantropist are taking the scene to fund projects that address big human challenges. The Rising Billion of People entering the global economy as they get access to Internet is another force. We should see it as both a potential market and a source of innovation itself, rather than a problem to compete for the “scarce” resources in our finite planet.

More than scarcity of resources, I see two main risks that could jeopardize this extraordinary decade: corruption and social injustice. These are the topics our politicians need to focus on.

  • Put innovation before the interests of lobbies to protect existing industries.
  • Promote social measures to to make sure we all participate of the riches of our era.

There is more detailed information and inspiration in the book written by Diamandis and Steven Kotler.  I find this an inspiring book for these times.

What matters for 2010

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If you are looking for inspiration for your New Year’s Resolutions, this is your book and it is free. Seth Godin has put together the eBook ‘What Matters Now’, with micro-essays from influential authors like Tom Peters, Chris Anderson, Tim O’Reilly, Guy Kawasaki, Joi Ito and many more.

Download it here or from Seth Godin’s post introducing the eBook.

Interview to Bill Gates

Charlie Rose interviews Bill Gates a few weeks ago in Seattle. They talk about the remarkable life of a man who changed the World by putting a computer on everyone’s desk. And about someone who we all expect will make an impact with the foundation he runs with his wife. You may like or dislike Microsoft, but Bill Gates is an admirable man.

Judo and O’Reilly on the Financial Crisis

Tim O’Reilly published yesterday a great post on the current financial crisis. His thoughts are inspiring and an excellent guide on where to focus in times of trouble.

Here is a summary of his main points, most of which are part of an email O’Reilly sent to his employees:

  • Need for robust strategies. Those are needed in good and bad times, but the strategy will be more robust if we prepare for the worst.
  • Rough times are often the best times for creativity, opportunity and change.
  • Great problems are also great opportunities for those who know how to solve them.

After recognizing he does not know how the crisis might affect his company, he advises his employees:

  • Work on stuff that matters. If the world go to hell what would you still work on?
  • Exert visionary leadership. In tough times people look for inspiration and vision.
  • Focus on the “must do” things and accelerate them

Read the entire post including some illustrative examples of how this worked in the past for O’Reilly.

Judo Principles to weather the storm

O’Reilly’s advice is a wise one to sail troubled waters. How about adding the five principles below?

  1. Carefully observe oneself and one’s situation, carefully observe others, and carefully observe one’s environment.
  2. Seize the initiative in whatever you undertake.
  3. Consider fully, act decisively.
  4. Know when to stop.
  5. Keep to the middle.

I find that Jigoro Kano‘s Five Principles of Judo are also a very valid framework to guide us in good and (specially) in rough times.

Google Inspires Engineers to Change the World

Google is re-investing the revenues they get from ads on projects to improve our world. Following google.org initiatives (RE<C, RechargeIT and others) Google is now calling for ideas from outside to make them happen in Project 10 to the 100.

Googlers are brilliant people and you can notice that from the great products they bring to market.
Still the major innovation of Google is their business model. Most of what google does is free for the user: Gmail, Docs, Picasa, Earth, Maps, etc. They are masters of the economics of free, and this is yet another great value for the user. At the end, Google is changing our world, and we do not need to pay for it.

Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture

This is the short version of Randy Pausch‘s Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams. You can see his original complete lecture at Carnegie Mellon here. It is 76 minutes long.

A moving speech about life. Thanks Randy.