Thursday, October 6, 2011

What is the best way to increase your connection to the world?

Motorcycles? : )

In general, riding a motorcycle requires incredible concentration. When at the track, that concentration requirement becomes laser focused. Eliminating all the typical distraction that one finds on the street – cars, pavement, animals, people, etc. – allows for the perfect concentration on the task at hand.

The goal at the track is perfect execution in a repeatable way. Because of the speeds and the narrow tolerance allowed for every action (throttle, brakes, body position, lean angle, etc.) the mind becomes a narrow tunnel focused on the now.

When all the skills required to succeed at the track become second nature (after a lot of practice) – magic happens! You enter a meditative-like state that has an amazing effect on the mind and body. The world slows down, your heart rate slows down, peace surrounds you, the awareness of everything heightens, and you become one with the world. At that moment, there are no risks, nothing to worry about, nothing to solve, nothing to plan for, no to-do lists, no responsibilities, no concerns – just clarity and joy.

Does this state ever get interrupted by a potential disaster at 140 mph? Sometimes : ) However, without the potential for it, how could you get your mind into the tunnel of now?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Why is this "financial crisis" taking so long to clear?

Bankruptcy.

In the past, financial crises seem to come and go relatively quickly. The business cycle was somewhat predictable and understood.

Today, nobody wants to feel the pain. We have regulators and stakeholders at all levels claiming that the end is near unless we bail out "too big to fail" entities.

What is wrong with letting countries like Greece or Ireland or Iceland default? We used to let that happen all the time (e.g., Mexico, Russia, Argentina, Brazil). Lenders to those countries took their loses and moved on ... and eventually they all recovered in a relatively short period.

What about letting banks like Goldman or Citibank go bankrupt or letting people that took crazy loans lose their properties?

What happened with the good old - you messed up, you go bankrupt, and everybody moves on and rebuilds. When did we decide that nobody is responsible for their financial decisions anymore?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What is the key to finding a job or an internship these days?

Focus on revenue.

Revenue is the life of a business. Without it nothing else happens. The easiest hiring decisions for a business are those that directly and positively impact revenue.

Help potential employers connect the dots ... help them see how the "investment" (i.e., expense) associated with bringing you on board will positively impact revenue ... better yet, profitable revenue.

Your resume and all your interaction with potential employers should make clear that you understand this premise and that you understand the role you can play in helping.

How many employers would turn down a clearly articulated win-win proposal like this one? Making this connection will open doors, lots of doors. Happy hunting : )

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What will the biggest change be in the next 20 years?

Level setting.

As technology continues to develop and enable the almost frictionless move of information and capital, development and investment will continue its relentless pursuit of the "low points" (i.e., less developed areas where opportunities are better).

Like water in an uneven terrain - development will continue to gravitate to the valleys. Eventually, these "low points" will be "filled" and the world will see a more even landscape.

For those entering the workforce in the "high points" today (i.e., developed countries), education, hard work, and the ability to go with the "flow" and be flexible will be key.

In 100+ years, will a world with a more evenly distributed standard of living be finally a reality?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Is greater information transparency (e.g., Wikileaks, etc.) a good trend for the future?

Yes.

Imagine a world where governments operate in a fully transparent manner. A world where those that govern have no where to hide. What they do and how they do it is known.

What would the world be if dictators, strongmen, powerful corporations, corrupt governments, authoritarian regimes, despots, and religious fanatics could no longer control, manipulate, and alter the flow and/or content of information to their intended victims. The governed and the governing, the strong and the weak, suddenly, on a more equal footing.

Wikileaks, and those like it, are having a fundamental impact in the relationship between those in power and the general public. When information is immediately available, and verifiable, all that remains for those in power is transparency, truth, and ... the need to exhibit true leadership.

What about a “good” government? Do they have a legitimate need for some level of secrecy? Are governments and/or powerful entities inherently something we should always be worried about? Something we should constantly monitor? Something we should be able to change and correct on a timely basis? The founding fathers of the US thought so -- separation of powers, democracy, “for the people”, the right to bear arms, etc. All principles defined to ensure that our government remains accountable to the people. The new information transparency only becomes one more tool in this arsenal.

There will always be a need for some things to remain confidential. However, the bar will have to be high, the case for secrecy very strong, and the process for moving the bar carefully managed.

Imagine a world where governments, corporations, religious leaders, and those in power are closely monitored and held accountable. A world focused on “good” things and not on how best to get away with “bad” things.

Maybe this is the beginning of a world less focused on the few and more focused on the many : )

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What is the biggest impact of all this technology-driven social networking?

Depth.

Technology these days is amazing. We can instantly communicate with anybody in the world at the touch of a button (e.g., email, texting, IM, video chat, call, etc.) And, social networking sites let us maintain contact with an ever increasing number of people.

However, have you ever noticed when you are in a public place how many people are totally engrossed on their handheld devices -- reading, typing, talking -- disconnected from the real-world? What happens when you take it to an extreme, unplug from the real-world and connect to a virtual one being fed to you electronically?

On the good side, it seems like we are having more interactions with more people than ever before. On the bad side, these interactions seem to be increasingly reactive, quick, short, and devoid of real human contact and depth.

What happened to slowing the world down to have a nice meaningful conversation with a real person? What about being able to laugh and touch and play with somebody. What about a meaningful exchange with a far away friend or loved one through a good old letter?

Is it better to have quick shallow interactions with a lot of people or a few slow deep ones. Are we losing depth while we expand breadth?

Could we have both? I think so but we need to fight the pull of one to give the other a chance. When in doubt, chose depth and disconnect for a while.