For me 2016 was an intense, interesting and truly enjoyable year in various ways. I had the luck to be invited to present about corporate venture capital, event technology and innovation in diverse conferences in USA, Europe, Asia and Latin America (23 trips, to 34 cities, in 10 countries…yes, I’m a fan of statistics) to speak about these topics with people that really are experimenting and innovating on many frontiers of different industries.
Technology, media and events are three great passions I have had for 30 years and I have been able to move between these three industries and witness the dramatic changes, from which I have learned (and also suffered) a lot. (Does anyone remember those paper magazines or the media industry in the pre-digital age?)
When I worked in Apple (maaaaaaany years ago) I remember that we believed that we and our industry (tech) were ‘different’ to the rest of the industries and businesses, and in some measures to everyone else too. We were a kind of ‘cult’ that thought that some things had to dramatically change.
Today ‘only’ 25 years later, technology is no longer technology. Technology is everything and in each one of the principal industries where business move. Technology is more user-friendly, fun, easier to use and less intimidating, and I think that’s something we have to thank Apple and many other companies for a lot, for making our lives ‘much easier.’
The phrase “software is eating the world” from Marc Andreessen already is more than five years old and it’s more relevant than ever.
The companies, executives and entrepreneurs that believe that their business is immune or isolated from technology, and how technology will promote innovation are definitely in a state of denial that will impact their companies or careers very soon. The low cost of assembling a digital company, the enormous adoption and scale of users that continues to grow and many opportunities to access capital have generated hundreds of startups, some of them led by brilliant entrepreneurs that really wish to change the world, and many of them continue to do it.
Like the majority of the entrepreneurs, generally I’m with the band of optimists. I think that, even if things are complicated or bad, it’s only a phase before they become better and the human tendency always leans towards solving problems and in this way find happiness for themselves and others. Without a doubt on a personal level, I consider myself to be a pragmatic person and I think that we have to try to educate out children in the truly important issues that are not being dealt with in the schools or universities, for example a world perspective that goes beyond academic education and searches for practical and executable solutions.
Through my involvement with startups I have had the luck to constantly be working with young people and I am always thinking about how we can help them to be more curious, to motivate them beyond the paycheck, bonus or stock options; how to live happier, less stressed and workaholic, giving importance to the issues that really matter; how to manage their time well, their priorities, how to learn to meditate and lower their velocity periodically, to have a nutritional routine for wellness, sports, that will let them be real human beings that truly contribute value to their communities and enjoy their lives. I won’t say that I’m the most educated in this area but at least I make a conscious effort to constantly improve and don’t see that the educational system in our country does so much to instill these issues in young people, to prepare them to enter the real world with some of these teachings well ingrained.
Ever since I sold my last company, in which I was the founder and CEO for twelve years, I have had a significant amount of time to reflect over these types of issues and how to align these priorities with the world of business and the generation of capital. In my next post I’ve prepared a summary of the top five reflections and insights that I’ve gathered for those that wish to know more about what we can expect to come from the intersection of live events and technology in the future.
For now, 2016 is departing and 2017 is about to arrive. I wish that you all will be able to fully enjoy the end of the year, and that in each one of your activities you can find the way to continue solving problems in this world and when we solve them, celebrate!, be happy and proud that ‘there is one problem less in the world’ while we continue to pass through the time that has been gifted to us to live on this planet. (If you were valiant enough to make it to this part of the blog) Happy New Year!