Sunday, August 28, 2016

On the Eve of the New Week: Brief Thoughts On @DailyOutsiders & the Week Ahead w/aPrimer on Believing in the Art of the possible....

It is the dawn of a new week as it was a rather busy weekend at @DailyOutsider.  as I worked on supporting the curation of the corners and finished off helping to edit and publish a number of updates in "A Window into ou World".   As I worked on assessing the "highlights" of the key Sunday Public Affairs Shows to get a sense of what the "pulse" of the establishment was, it was needless to say a disturbing one as I saw one candidate being called a pscycopat and another one calling another one a bigot--among other things.    Our team has decided to stop commenting on the US Elections as it finished a final snapshot with a window into the future.

The idea of "thinking beyond the now" is something that has fascinated me.   As I was "on the grid" over the W-End, I picked up these beautiful thoughts to underscoreo what has driven me as I sought to work on developing @DailyOutsider against some v ery big odds and working to soldier on--the one from Stephen King especially hit home along with the one from the great Olympian about being fearless.

Onward to the new week with all the possibilities!!!

Friday, August 26, 2016

On the Eve of the W-End.....

I picked up these two thoughts while making my daily rounds on the "Grid".   Both of them resonated as one should never give up, never give in and always have an open mind no matter what the challenges are!!! 

& "Expand One's Horizons".....

Onward to the W-End!! :) 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

While on the "Grid": Celebrating a Milestone :) :)

Nicely put as I saw this on while on Facebook making the "Virtual Rounds" as I also join in saluting Sir Tim Berners-Lee and all the other pioneers who made this platform, Twitter, The Daily Outsider and other platforms possible!!


Celebrating 25 Years of Connecting People

The web opened up to the world 25 years ago today! We thank Sir Tim Berners-Lee and other internet pioneers for making the world more open and connected.
Celebrating 25 Years of Connecting People
The web opened up to the world 25 years ago today! We thank Sir Tim Berners-Lee and other internet pioneers for making the world more open and connected.

Celebrating 25 Years of Connecting People
The web opened up to the world 25 years ago today! We thank Sir Tim Berners-Lee and other internet pioneers for making the world more open and connected.

Monday, August 22, 2016

As I Work Away: Notations From my "Walk-About" On the Grid On Refugees & Hope...

It has been an interesting day as it was a bit of a reflective day that saw #Outsiders release a poem from the Great Persian Poet Hafez--although I personally was busy on Twitter responding to a few interesting tidbits on the US Campaign Trail as yet again Clinton Emails and the Clinton Foundation dominated the headlines--and Mr. Trump calling for the Foundation to be shut down.     This is as Newsweek Magazine published quite a expose on Mr. Trump.

As I was On Facebook finishing off a "Virtual Walk-About", I had picked up this article by Roya Hakakian as I saw a reminder from a Facebook Friend that Ann Frank's US Visa Application was denied.    This article was quite telling:  

I also took comfort in this though as well:

Onward to the new week with all its' possibilities.   

Sunday, August 21, 2016

As a New Week Dawns.....


“Even after all this time,
the Sun never says to the Earth,
“You owe Me”.
Look what happens with a love like that.
It lights up the whole sky.”
~ Hafez

Onward to the New Week!!!

On the Eve of a New Week: A Blast From the Recent Past :)

August 12 was Laguna Niguel and Tustin Day at the 2016 OC Fair.  I had the pleasure to be there with the Scouts of Troop 772 and as the entire City Council of Laguna Niguel as the Fair Opened.   It was a wonderful day and Council Member Minagar captured this day so beautifully in this Facebook Post:

Being witness to such scenes continues to give me hope despite all that we have been witness to throughout our World.

Onward to the New Week with all its' possibilities 


Saturday, August 20, 2016

On This Working W-End: On #Syria, #Aleppo & Other Brief Thoughts

The Whole World was shocked by the image of #Omar this past week.    I was frankly sorry to be "back on the grid" as I saw that #Omar's older 10-year brother died as he was out playing with his Friends.    The Parademic who saved #Omar spoke--and his words are as eloquent as I can ever hope for as he is on the frontlines daily.    His First question was:  Where were his parents?

What I found amazing as I finished a weekend walkabout was the resilience of the people of Aleppo with the underground orphange in spite of all the horror we are witness to on an hourly basis:

Inside the Outstanding Guys orphanage in Aleppo

It has also been quite an interesting weekend on the US Campaign Trail as Donald Trump apparently softened his stance on Immigration in a meeting with Hispanic Leaders which prompted quite a Tweet from the Conservative Firebrand Mark Levin:

Onward to the W-End :) 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

On the Eve of The Week-End...A pleasure to share VansGuard - Syria - A ballad for peace by DeleVan DellErba performed wit...

A beautiful Tribute to the People of Syria

Please enjoy!!

Wishing all a great w-end :)

Working Away.........

It has been a whirlwind of a week in our World as I continued with support work for Daily Outsider and continued on-going daily curation work on the Web.    I reflectedt upon the state of the Campaign especially as we have been witness, yet again while on a visit to Friends on Facebook earlier in the Week: 

Mike Pouraryan ...As I run off 4 the night, I have just been reading another one of Doris Kearns Goodwin Masterpieces, "Bully Pulpit"...which is a bio of Presidents Taft and Teddy Roosevelt...compelling reading about men of such privilege who were driven to make a difference--There is one very interesting sentence I read attributed to Teddy Roosevelt that I wanted to share with all that he said was central to his success as President, " is a mighty good thing to know men, not from looking at them, but from having been one of them....When you have worked with them, when you have lived with them, you do not have to wonder how they feel, because feel it yourself...". If only Mr Trump understood the true significance of this statement despite what his Son said him to be a "Blue Collar Billionaire..whatever that means..."....I also would have urged him to watch an old 1944 Movie, Wilson (The Story of President Wilson..) which I watched tonight during some reflective time (some will say weird..but that's ok..)--there is a scene in it as the President is doing "KP" duty (that is working the Soup Kitchen as the kids are going to war--the soldiers are Irish, German, Italian..and of course one who was from Texas....Alexander Knox reminded him how the mosaic of America was ever so evident there as they alll from different creeds, nationalities and backgrounds went to War to defend the principles of Peace, Human Rights & Harmony. That's at the heart of the challenge we face as we are witness to the "noise" that at times is very dangerous and scary to be witness to--but I implore all to keep the faith as I wish all a fab & restful W-End.....

It was also very disturbing as I saw this from Pat Buchanan: 

Pat Buchanan: Politicial Commentator Says US Democracy Is 'Fraudulent' if Trump Does Not Win Election
"Why is it not Middle America issuing the demands, rather than the other way around?" Buchanan wrote Thursday for in a piece titled "Yes, The System Is Rigged" discussing Trump's campaign

Mr. Buchanan was the precursor to what Mr. Trump represents today which can only be addressed by what Andy Borowitz of the New York has advocated:

But, as I worked, away, the Tragedy of Syria was especially gruesome to read about this morning.  I first picked up this as I was working away: 


Of all the horror stories out of Syria, this one reported by CNN captured it all--A 5 year old Boy who survived the latest carnage by Assad Forces and its' allies (Russia & Iran) in Aleppo:

Will we have the courage to stop such scenes?    

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Working Away with Thoughts on #Muslims, #Service & #Happiness....

This, written by Robin Wright, is ever so crucial to embrace: 

It is so important to note that Muslims served under George Washington.    As such, Muslims have been part of America for over 200 years.     As I was working away on commitments at @DailyOutsider, I made it a point of tagging Donald Trump and the GOP.   To the GOP leadership's credit, they have been forceful in denouncing Mr. Trump's pronoucements and the admonition from George Schultz said it all: "God Help Us" on top of the letter signed by leading lights of the National Security Establishment Last Week.

As I reflected upon the past 24 hours, this "popped up" on my personal Facebook Wall that I took comfort in which is ever so critical to underscore--the need to remain hopeful is vital :  

Onward to the rest of the week!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

On This Working Week-End: Thoughts from the "Grid" On Smiiling, On Life and remaining hopeful :)


It has been quite a Saturday already as I have been engaged in an extended "Think Hour" visiting the Grid, helping to curate the latest for DailyOutsider  and continuing to reflect upon the extraordinary day of service I reflected upon yesterday here in my Virtual Corner.

It is always fun to make the rounds of the grid to reinforce and be reminded of empowering beliefs--a belief in the art of the possible no matter what the challenges are.   That's the key driving force we have to constantly remind ourselves about that will to succeed, to dream and to be aware of the simple admonition that , "...this too shall pass"!!!
Onward to the W-end.....

Friday, August 12, 2016

An Interesting Milestone To Reflect Upon....

An interesting development I just saw as I work away:

Working Away For the Night: On Doing One's Best & Other Thoughts....

It was quite a day.   I reflected upon it on my Facebook Wall earlier tonight:

As I reflected upon this day,  I ran across this that underscores what ultimately all is expected of us in the end--and what I saw today was just beyond the pale with the selflessness that was shown--Onward to the weekend with all its' possibilities:

Simply do your best, and you will avoid
self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.
- don Miguel Ruiz

Success comes from knowing that
you did your best to become the best
that you are capable of becoming.
- John Wooden

Give the world the best you have
and it may never be enough.
Give the world your best anyway.
- Kent Keith (frequently attributed to Mother Teresa)

Success has a simple formula: do your best, and people may like it.
- Sam Ewing

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

On the "Prowl" w/some Mid-Week "Thoughts 4 the Week" Remembering the Greatest.....

Some True "Foods 4 thought" From the Greatest...A poet, a fighter, a Champion and a Humanitarian who made such a profound difference.....


Monday, August 8, 2016

Some "Food 4 Thought" On #Government, #Change, #USElections & Other Thoughts

It has been an interesting day already and Monday is not even over.  The pundits have been hard at work analyzing it.     What is clear, though, is that there is a need to think about how to have a Government that is "Smart".    The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, talked about it during his campaign when he coined the phrase: "minimal government, maximum  governance".

As I was reflecting upon this question while assessing the campaign, I ran across this from Peter Diamandis that poses some rather novel and interesting ideas on the transformation of Government which should be debated.   It is a lot to contemplate--but a lot at the same time to reflect upon--It is ok as he notes, "....hat about experimenting with how we govern ourselves?"

As we enter election season, I'm struck by the question, can we run meaningful experiments with government: how we vote, create policy and legislation?
The U.S. method of governance was set up hundreds of years ago. Surely things have changed, and I would bet there's room for improvement.
Shouldn't we be experimenting?
This blog is an exploration of three opportunities that might offer the prospect of iteration around governance.

Option 1: Small, Isolated Geographic Regions

Despite the fact that "all land has been accounted for," I think there are a number of small communities, countries, city-states, and towns that should step up and test different governance models.
Their "smallness" is important – it gives these groups agility, tight feedback loops, and a chance to test ideas with relatively minimal resources (financial, human and otherwise).
On the country scale, we're already seeing countries like Finland (5.2 million people) and Switzerland (8 million people) experimenting with Universal Basic Income. While this isn't a "new political system," it's at least a new feature within one that (1) is tricky to test and (2) might have dramatic implications on other, larger systems.
In academia, groups like the Political Science Department at Stanford have formed research networks of social scientists applying experimental methods to the study of governance and politics in developing countries.
And even at the smallest scale, we're seeing communities like Burning Man (~70,000 people) experimenting with some radical governance ideas by gathering for a week in the middle of a desert. Attendees, known as "burners," agree to a set of 10 principles, such as: "radical" inclusion, self-reliance and self-expression, community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy and leaving no trace.
We need to encourage more communities to step up and try new governing models, and then share the results.
Interestingly, improvements in our transportation systems (autonomous driving, point-to-point aerial transport, Hyperloop) will stimulate growth of new cities in underdeveloped areas all over the world – perhaps many of these will try to reinvent their political systems from first principles.
We've also seen the emergence of Free-Trade Zones... This concept started as an experiment in Shannon, Ireland. It was an attempt by the Irish government to promote employment within a rural area and generate revenue for the Irish economy. It was hugely successful, and is still in operation today.
I imagine smaller nations, from Iceland and Cyprus to Tonga and Isle of Man, might take it upon themselves to experiment.
But where would they experiment? I'd LOVE to know yours. Where would you experiment? If you have ideas, tell me here…. I'll curate the best ideas and send them out. Here are a few of my ideas…
An all-digital, decentralized currency: There are many advantages to having a decentralized, digital currency like Bitcoin, built on the blockchain protocol. I've talked about this in great length, but to review, some of the advantages include: the transparency/accountability of transactions would deter corruption, there would be no fees associated with transferring money from country to country, there would be no large banks or centralized government agency as middle men in the transactions, and a much lower risk of capital being stolen (when managed properly).
A digital vote (true democracy): One person, one vote, on everything! If everyone could vote from his or her smartphones, we'd have record-shattering voter turnout. But what about votes on subjects that I'm not knowledgeable in? Sure, I could vote for the U.S. president, but what do I know about educational reform or tax laws? How might the average citizen vote on these matters? Well, that's where the next experiment comes in…
A new form of representative voting: Rather than assign my vote to a congressman or senator, what if I assign my vote on a specific topic to a colleague who I trust who knows the subject? So, for example, you might say, "If the vote has to do with space, assign my vote to Peter Diamandis. If the vote has to do with genetic issues, assign it to Craig Venter."

Option 2: Colonies on Mars and in Space

Speaking of underdeveloped, unclaimed areas, let's not forget about space…
In the long term, what kind of governance will we have on Mars, the Moon, or perhaps in a free-floating O'Neil Colony?
Humans will become multiplanetary in our lifetime. Entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Paul Allen (and yours truly) are working diligently to make this a reality.
Google Lunar XPRIZE teams are planning to execute the first private robotic landings on the Moon by the end of 2017.
SpaceX is aiming for a manned mission to Mars as soon as 2024.
This will be an incredible opportunity to explore entirely new ways of building communities, literally from the ground up.
Surely we can do better with these new societal developments than we have on terra firma.

Option 3: Virtual Worlds

In my opinion, perhaps the most exciting opportunity for experimentation lies in the governance of virtual worlds.
As VR technology exponentially improves, I believe that we are going to be spending a lot of time in virtual reality over the next two decades.
As such, each of us may end up having "multiple citizenships" in the future.
You'll have a citizenship in the country where you were born, defined by your geo-location at your moment of birth.
But, more importantly, we'll also have a citizenship by 'choice' in the virtual world(s) where you the spend most time socializing, playing and working.
You can join communities of like-minded individuals; based on your interests and values, rather than your geographic location at birth.
There might be a part of a virtual world for people who love space. Or those interested in exponential technologies and solving grand challenges (like what we are creating at Singularity University). Or for artists and musicians. Or for Athletes. Magicians.
Only your imagination will be the limiting factor.
These worlds, digitally inhabited by human avatars, will become places for rapid experiments with governance systems and political processes like those mentioned above.
But in the meantime…

Why is CHANGE in GOVERNANCE so hard in the real world?

Why is it so difficult to try new things with our existing governance systems?
Well… largely for three reasons:
First, those who rule, make the rules. Special interest groups and incumbents write the rules that benefit them the most. Laws were created to support the current establishments, not to support possible future interests.
Second, most of today's legal systems were designed hundreds of years ago, before things like information technology, the Internet, mobile phones and computers even existed.
Third, one of the major reasons for government is STABILITY. Most people hate change, and like waking up in the morning knowing that much hasn't changed. That the rules of the game are still in play. But while governments are linear in nature, technology is exponential and requires agility.
Beyond this, self-interested parties, corruption, disagreement on ideology and cultural values create extraordinary gridlocks, preventing change.
The reality is that governments don't change gracefully -- they change disruptively.
My hope is that these new outlets (small communities, space, VR) will allow us to experiment and iterate, rather than radicalize and disrupt.
Hopefully we will find ways to better organize ourselves and work together.

Our future requires agility. A lot is about to change.

As I was thinking about what he's advocating, I saw this--Why not I w

Image result for Famous Quotes

Onward to the new week :) 

Friday, August 5, 2016

Working Away w/Thoughts on @DailyOutsider, #Startups & #Courage

It has been an interesting week,  to say the least.    After doing some work in support of @DailyOutsider (including some of the Social Curation along with a new Newsbyte), I wanted to reflect upon this guidance on Start-ups.  In some ways, what #outsiders has been about is to whether it can live up to the key lessons outlined in Bill Gross' Admonition.  It is also a good primer for all to think about and reflect upon.    It was quite timely as #Outsiders continues onward--one thing that #outsiders is not short of is "passion".

It is a lesson to be learnt by all no doubt-and I for one want to send a special shoutout to +Peter Diamandis for this and all that he has done to transform the conversation about our World and our Future: 

This week, I had a chance to sit down with my brilliant friend Bill Gross, the CEO and Founder of Idealab.
Bill is a startup guru… to say the least.
Over the last 25 years, within Idealab, Bill has come up with over 1,000 startup ideas and started 150 companies.
This blog is about some of the key lessons Bill has learned about entrepreneurship, turning ideas into companies, investing, and helping them succeed.

What is Idealab?

Idealab is the longest running technology incubator around today.
Founded by Bill Gross in 1996, Idealab has built an incredible ecosystem optimized to ideate, start, build, and grow great technology startups.
So far, their track record is unparalleled. Of the 150 companies they launched, 45 have now gone public or had M&A activities, and 45 are still active now. And, importantly, they've had 60 failures.
If you're familiar with the technology startup world, you know that typically less than 1 in 10 startups succeed.
Bill and I sat down to talk about the lessons he's learned over the years in my Abundance 360 webinar this week, and here are my top learnings…

9 Key Lessons from 150 Startups

As both entrepreneurs and investors, take these lessons to heart. They are based on a lot of experience.

1. It's easier when YOU are the customer.

When your startup company idea solves a problem that YOU have (and fundamentally understand), and you are the customer, it's going to be easier to reach "product-market fit."
YOU can be a good judge of whether you are meeting the need. Not someone else…
You can ask yourself: Am I winning at the goal that I have? Does this feel right? Would I use this thing?
If you aren't the customer, the alternative is having to constantly ask your prospective customers for feedback – not an easy thing to do accurately.

2. If you have an idea, test it!

If you think you have a good idea, the first thing you should do is: test it!
At Idealab, the philosophy is: How do we test an idea as quickly, and as cheaply, as possible to see if people want it? In Eric Ries' excellent book, Lean Startup, it's called putting out a "minimally viable product," or MVP.
Here's the story behind one of Bill's 'minimally minimal' product tests…
Bill was in the process of buying a car. He thought that the old-school way of dealing with dealerships and retail firms was painfully slow and inefficient.
His idea: people might actually buy a car online. (A revolutionary idea back in 1998.)
So he tested it, bringing in entrepreneur Scott Painter to lead the test period and, in success, to be the CEO of the resulting startup.
Within 30 days, they'd launched a simple website that allowed users to configure and buy a car with a $1,000 deposit. What buyers didn't know is that they weren't actually buying a real car. Idealab had not developed the relationships with the car manufacturers needed to implement.
The website was just a front to test a simple question: "Would a prospective customer actually put their credit card into a web form to buy something as expensive as a car?"
The first night, their site sold four cars. The test had worked and the test site was shut down.
That concept became Cars Direct, which, in 2004, expanded into other markets and subsequently changed its name to Internet Brands. In June 2014, the company announced that it had been acquired by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) for $1.1 billion.

3. Create a culture that rewards killing ideas.

As I've discussed with regard to Google's moonshot factory 'X', Idealab also believes in killing ideas quickly.
Bill explains, "We kill a lot of ideas. There is no risk to our people; nobody gets fired. In fact, people get praised when we kill something. We save a lot of money when we kill a bad idea."
It is so critically important that this notion is ingrained into your culture – otherwise, it will never work. Reward your people for finding ways ideas won't work before you invest heavily in them.

4. Equity unlocks human potential.

Equity is an extraordinarily powerful incentive – Bill believes everyone should have it.
All of the employees at Idealab have equity in the company, from the CEO to the receptionist.
Bill describes it as follows: "Equity unlocks human potential. It's not only about the money, it's about the feeling of ownership you have in a venture. When you have just a 1% stake in something, it changes the way you think about things. It incentivizes people to use their brainpower, to feel ownership in that thing's success."
I call this capturing "shower time mindshare." When people feel like they have ownership in an idea, they can't stop thinking about it. The more ideas your stakeholders contribute, the better off your chances are at succeeding.

5. TIMING is the most important factor in startup success.

This is probably one of the most important lessons from Bill's learnings.
In fact, I wrote a whole blog on it here.
To summarize: Bill investigated how five key factors affected the success of the 125 companies in his portfolio at Idealab and 125 companies outside of his portfolio.
The factors he considered were:
  1. Quality of the Idea: How new is It? Is there a unique truth in the idea? Are there competitive moats you can build around it?
  2. The Team & Execution: How efficient is the team? How effective is it? How adaptable?
  3. The Business Model: Do you have a clear path to revenues?
  4. Financing: Can companies that raise more money than others out succeed where the others would fail?
  5. Timing: Are you too early? Just early? Too late? Right on time? Did that matter a lot?
Of these 250 companies, Bill picked 10 in each category: five companies that turned into billion-dollar companies, and five that everyone thought would be billion-dollar companies but failed.
The question: Which of the five variables accounted more for successes?
What was the MOST Important Factor? TIMING.
Timing accounted for 42 percent of the successes relative to failures.
Team and Execution came next.
You need to ask yourself: Is the world really ready for my product right now?
Bill explains, "You really need to look at the signals and be honest about what they are telling you. Go out to market – test if people want your product. If there aren't enough people, hoard money and conserve momentum."
Sometimes if you are a few years too early, you can hunker down and wait until the market is ready…

6. Startups don't have to be in Silicon Valley – you can scale from almost anywhere these days.

Bill explains, "I really believe startups can scale everywhere. Talent is everywhere. Money is now everywhere. In Silicon Valley, talent is everywhere, but it's moving from company to company. Other places are actually much more stable to start a company."
Exponential technologies have democratized access to many of the resources you need to build a company. Great founders can build great technology companies all over the world.

7. Adaptability and flexibility are the most important characteristics of a good CEO.

When Idealab decides to pursue a new business, their greatest challenge is finding a CEO. So, as you can imagine, they have a lot of experience searching for and evaluating CEOs.
So what does Bill look for in his top candidates? Adaptability and flexibility.
He goes on, "Of course you need integrity, hard work, and smarts. But it is very much the case that the business that you start is going to be different than the one you build. If you are so obstinate and not flexible to what the customers are saying, you're not going to succeed."
Mike Tyson has a great quote in this regard: "Everybody has a plan until you get punched in the face."

8. Trial Periods are great ways to test "Talent Fit."

When hiring people, interviews are tough ways to evaluate a person's skills, mindset and cultural fit.
Working on a project together is a much better indicator.
At Idealab, Bill says, "We really try to work with people. Sign someone up for 30 to 90 days, work on the project together, then see if there's a there there."

9. Passion should be the reason you do a startup.

It's cliché now, but it's just the truth – you have to be driven by passion or you won't be able to handle the complexities and hard times you'll face in building your company.
Bill agrees: "Personal passion should be the dwarfing factor in choosing a startup to do of your own. Every startup I've done has had heartache. You have to be so in love with the idea, with the solution, that you can tolerate almost anything to make it happen. I have no idea how you could pick a business based on analysis and not on heart."

As I also reflected upon this interesting week, I ran across this during my walkabout on Twitter which struck me big time:

Lessons to be learnt no doubt--as I wish all a great W-End.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Working Away: On A Challenging Week w/Thoughts On @DailyOutsider & #Iran

As I did some work supporting @DailyOutsider, I wanted to take comfort in some Thoughts I had in my digital archives to hopefully bring a bit of joy to all despite the profound challenges before us this week.   I was especially mad when I listened to the most recent broadcast of the Farsi Service of the Voice of America on the extent of the corruption in Iran including Iran being one of the top countries in the World for money laundering.   (The Broadcast is in Farsi)

Onward to the weekend

Monday, August 1, 2016

On the Occasion of my 230th Post: A "Thought For the Week" On #Success

It is a bit of a milestone!!  My 230th Post here in my "virtual space"

I received this from one of my Walden Professors which I hope all enjoy as I wish all a fabulous Week!!