“When someone is in love, they almost magically look better. I needed to be in love with myself to feel better. So much of what had happened had weighed on me until I collapsed. Now I needed to love myself. It became a mantra for me.” — Kamal Ravikant
Altucher, James. Choose Yourself
A wise friend of mine told me this yesterday:
You are moving, life is moving, the universe is moving. Who you are today is vastly different than who you were yesterday. Our problems come when we try to make today like yesterday and tomorrow like today.
That made me think of the concept of post-traumatic growth (read about it some time back in “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor). The fact that growth – and another concept he calls “falling upwards” – come from undesirable experiences.
“Don’t be afraid to enter a crowded market – just be better than everybody else.” — Bob Parsons, GoDaddy
I once met a man who emigrated to the US from Mexico with basically nothing, then eventually became a Porsche-driving millionaire. His industry? Shipping palettes.
His message was the same: in a crowded market, there’s always room for one more.
In the early part of the scientific revolution, Francis Bacon said:
Man cannot do what has never been done, except by means not yet tried.
My understanding is that there are two parts to this; the means and the ends. Succeeding means getting both parts right. The fact that a field is littered with failed attempts doesn’t mean that the aim is unobtainable, or not worth obtaining. Nor does it mean that unconventional thinking is the key to success. It can just as easily be the key to new varieties of failure.
What it does mean, I think, is that taking conventional approaches to unsolved problems is a sure way to fail before you’ve even begun.
17-year old Nick D’Aloisio’s news reading app Summly was acquired by Yahoo last month for $30 million. Matthew Bishop interviewed D’Aloisio at DLDMunich in January of 2012, a little over a year before the acquisition. When asked, “Why can’t Google, with their vast team of engineers, simply knock off what you’ve done and drive you out of business?” He replied:
There aren’t really any real competitors in the summarization space yet. They all keep getting bought out. I’m not worried about Google doing it themselves. For the money they could spend to buy us and implement us, it would be much more worthwhile than hiring 50 PhD guys. We’re already in the front so they would have to play catch up. So, what’s to say we don’t sell to their competitor and suddenly it gets implemented overnight into all these devices, Google’s lost out. I think they realize that if they want to get into the space, they may as well look for other services; either us or one they feel is most appropriate for their business needs.
Later, he added:
The bigger the corporation the less the innovation. It’s really true.
Despite the contradictions in his statements throughout the interview, it seems like D’Aloisio was hoping for a bidding war between Yahoo and Google for his company from the beginning.