These days when it seems like humanity isn’t up to dealing with the problems of police shootings, politics, terrorism and numerous other challenges, remembering the big challenges we have overcome can be useful. The Abundance book has plenty of examples of the progress being made to raise the quality of life for more and more people, but that takesa good bit of time and thought and just doesn’t feel big enough. There’s a quick and easy way to be reminded of how people of all races, genders, political parties and countries can work together to tackle enormous problems successfully – look up in the sky. Tonight(7/7/2016) and for the next few nights, one can see Jupiter near the moon in the western sky where the sun has just set.
3 days ago, a basketball court sized spacecraft completed a 5 year journey and successfully entered orbit around Jupiter. This has been described as “the hardest thing NASA has done” – comparable to hitting a golf ball in New York into a hole in Los Angeles! Jupiter is 540 million miles away and as wide as 11 Earths! One could fit all of the planets in our solar system inside Jupiter.
Another benefit of looking up and seeing a place humans have sent equipment to is that it reminds us there is an abundance of material resource available to us. It’s awesome and anyone can choose to go outside, look up and be inspired.
It was good to see conservatives and liberals agreeing on Morning Joe and elsewhere that decades of systemic economic failure are creating a permanent underclass in Baltimore and throughout America. At the same time there’s a need to recognize that people have been not only saying this for some time, but also acting to prevent the present crisis. One participant in CNN’s Black In America Part 4 Silicon Valley documentary in 2011 noted:
As I said in the documentary, not fixing this problem ultimately leads to a permanent underclass. And if you think Occupy Wall Street is a troubling signal regarding dissatisfaction around wealth distribution, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I fear the growing wealth disparity, particularly along racial and ethnic lines, will be catalyst for significant civil unrest.
Commenting in 1982 on the 1965 Watts riots, the late community pioneer and founder of the Watts Labor Community Action Committee Ted Watkins said:
If we continue in the direction that we are heading in cutting out all of the support a community like this is getting. Not only Watts but New York, Washington D.C. and Detroit MI, possibly, people will be at war.
A Practical Man
Perhaps what’s needed most is a sense of urgency and the will to move beyond relying primarily on protests and government programs. We don’t have all of the science, technology, engineering and math resources we need but we have enough to start making an impact right now today. We can’t “buy black” if there’s no black company making the product, but we can choose how we spend our money so that we can invest in ourselves, our past and present knowledge of how to make products.
Martin Luther King Jr. and Nichelle Nichols had a very fortuitous encounter at an NAACP fund raising event in Beverly Hills after the first year of the Star Trek television show which changed not only her life but countless others. MLK was a very expansive thinker, well aware of the benefits of space exploration even at a time when African-Americans made up only a percent or two of U.S. engineering workforce. Earlier that week Nichelle had decided to leave the show and return to her roots in musical theatre. When she mentioned that to Dr. King, she says he insisted that she stay, that her role was of historical importance(see other accounts by Wall Street Journal and CNN). He convinced her to stay and millions of people of all ethnicities were exposed to the notion that a woman of color could be fourth in command of an intergalactic starship. He understood that it was more than a television show. I suppose we can speculate how clearly he envisioned from the mountain top that Nichelle would inspire people like former astronauts Mae Jemison and Charles Bolden, that Dr. Jemison would bring Star Trek into space:
A quarter of a century after Lt. Uhura boldly went where no African American had gone before, her protegee returned the favor. Before blasting into orbit aboard the Endeavour in 1992, Jemison, the first woman of color in space, called actress Nichelle Nichols to thank her for the inspiration. And then she made a promise: Despite NASA’s rigid protocol, Jemison would begin each shift with a salute that only a Trekkie could appreciate. “Hailing frequencies open,
and appear in an episode of the Star Trek The Next Generation tv show,
that Charles Bolden would become the director of NASA. However, one thing we know for certain is that for just about two more years, the Director of NASA and his boss are African-American. During this time every historic accomplishment at NASA happens under
their our watch. During Black History Month this year, I’ll be tracking those historical events along with other aspects of African-American historical endeavors in both physical and virtual space.
From Howard University alum Reggie Middleton’s UltraCoin to Bill Gates big bet on Nigeria and India, innovations in blockchain technologies are transforming the planet. This is much bigger than the price of Bitcoin today. It’s a hot topic worth following in 2015
It is impossible to absolutely seal every border and as long as there’s a growing number of ebola infected people the virus will spread. Stopping the outbreak where it is and improving healthcare infrastructure everywhere else is the answer.
Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are already economically isolated because this epidemic has spread far wider and lasted much longer than any other Ebola outbreak in history. What those countries need most now is assistance from the world.
More flight restrictions will only make it more difficult for life-saving aid and medical professionals to reach West Africa. The restrictions already in place have proved so problematic that U.S. military forces are building an “air bridge” to get health workers and medical supplies to affected areas.
“Any discontinuation of transport will affect humanitarian aid, doctors, nurses and human resources entering the country, the transfer of biological sampling and equipment for hospitals,” Daniel Menucci, a representative for the World Health Organization Travel and Transport Task Force, said in August. “All of this needs international transporting, international airlines. This will create more problems in helping the countries most affected.”
Videos posted 4pm every Tues & Thurs here …
… selective loosely transcribed points with my notes emphasized …
- first time on the record
- 720 companies funded
- every speaker has been involved in creating a $1B+ company – not theory
- ALL advice geared toward businesses seeking hypergrowth and building a large company
- startups different from
- 4 key areas you need to excel
- luck is a random number between 1 and 10000
- even playing field – young and old alike
- weaknesses can be strength
- why – easier ways to get rich
- compelled by a problem – passion first, startup second
- great ideas matter – too much emphasis on pivoting today
- altman is a recent convert
- if it works it will be a 10 year effort LONG TERM PLANNING MATTERS
- plans are worthless – the exercise of planning is valuable
- someday you need to build a business that’s difficult to replicate – this is an important part of a good idea
- important for hypergrowth but is that what your village needs
- you have to believe in the mission
- it’s easier to start a hard startup than to start an easy one
- be mission driven
- best ideas often look terrible at the beginning
- you want an idea that turns into a monopoly but you can’t get a monopoly in a big market right away – need to get a monopoly in a small market and expand
- fine line between right and crazy – early on most people will think it’s a bad idea
- seeming like a bad idea shields from theft
- have to think about the growth rate of the market not just the company
- why now
- don’t clone existing ideas
- quoting 50 Cent
- student oriented
- product s/b the focus
- build something a small number of people love – having lots of people like it won’t get you far and if a lot of people love it now Google or another big entity else will do it … hmmm maybe not, maybe they have blinders or conflicts with existing revenue streams
- early growth by word of mouth is really important
- most startups don’t fail from competition
- start with a small subset of the problem – even if you see a bigger set of problems to solve
- don’t needs lots of early users, but ones that provide regular feedback
- Dustin Moskovitz on why
- realize it will be stressful – very stressful
- financial rewards for employee #100 slide
- if you really, really have a very big idea and are really, really prepared you shouldn’t be in this class – just go do it!
- don’t need to start a company to have a big impact on the world
- passion vs aptitude
Albert Einstein teaching a physics class at Lincoln University (HBCU in Pennsylvania) in 1946. The Nobel prize winning scientist said: “The separation of the races is not a disease of colored people. It is a disease of white people. I do not intend to be quiet about it.”
Here’s a site for the book written in 2006.