Humanity has always been fascinated by what is on the other side. People avoid and yet cannot help and try to see what's behind the curtain. We all seem to fetch this type of experience. And we are all mesmerized by the fear of the unknown.
There are three reasons why I think you may benefit from it by making up a horror movie.
But first just try to answer this question:
Why are we so fascinated by horror films? Is that the animal instinct that proves to us that we should apply a sudden reaction, to fight or flight what make us be so attracted to this kind of entertaining? This could well be some sort of training of our instincts that keep us alive... Or at least a kind of release from tension as soon as we go through the suspense and action. What if you could make things less scary and yet that would be with a lot of fun.
Why are we so fascinated by horror films?Horror movies lure us to the unknown – to understand it and make it less scary. They make us touch our fears, put them in sync with our instincts, playing with our imagination, our belief systems, how we deal with our survival kits. They are a safe place to explore and go for a good ride, just of fun. And just by getting to redirect our fears we can actually understand the mechanism that leads us to some behaviors.
“Where there is no imagination – there is no horror” –Arthur Conan Doyle So here are the three reasons why you should make up a horror film:
Like a labyrinth your brain will have to solve the puzzle. You will be lost because you were certain that something should occur as usual, but with a bit of a distortion from what it was known before, something that was taken for granted can make it more entertaining when you add a bit of a surprise on that.
Making a Movie Less Scary... Would That Make It Less Entertaining?
Take for example the movie An American werewolf in London. I'll make it less scary. The synopsis will be then:
You are the only one who wore wool in the cold winter. All the others were latex but you are a teenager in a foreign land. And you have to investigate why this is happening.
Up late you find out that some weird creatures had taken over the country and they had killed all the lambs. Was it chupa-cabra? Alien forces? A plague. The farmers could not fabricate more material to manufacture wool. The American teem now has to work with the scientists who killed the pests only to find out that it was one of the scientists, his best partner who have created a virus that killed the animals.
Take another example. The movie "The Blair's Witch Project" taken in a much lighter way, literally speaking.
We can make even a movie younger, for example the movie 50 shades darker can become 50 shades lighter and so on. Make it scary, edgy and spicy. But don't forget: first it comes light, then camera and just after that action!
Lighten up things a bit can only add to the fun of it. So now get up and play and make up something of what's terrifying to train your brain and get solutions from the scariest threats.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Ana Claudia Antunes
In the US, Halloween is coming soon, the scariest time of year for some, and the most fun time of year for others. But no matter what time of year it is, going in for a job interview can be really scary.
What should you say? What should you not say? What should you do and not do? To get these answers, I chatted with leaders from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. I asked them what the scariest mistakes they've seen made at job interviews are, and this is what they shared:
1. Lying About Past Job and Educational Experience
Seeing someone make up where they worked and went to school is horrifying to me because those things can be so instantly proved right or wrong with just a background check. Yet, the person lied anyways. It was just a huge mistake. I wish they would have been honest and just admitted that they did not have such a prestigious background.
- Angela Ruth, Co-Founder and Marketing Director, Due
2. Being Late, Not Showing Up, or Not Showing Interest
The most horrific mistake someone can make throughout the interview process is wasting the interviewer's time. Obviously, being late or not showing up are huge mistakes and will likely ensure you will not be offered a job. Likewise, if we talk for 20 minutes and you aren't showing general interest in the company, I'm going to want to cut my losses and work on something more productive.
- Tyler Hanway, CTO, Consumer Brands, LLC
3. Forgetting What Position You Applied For
I called a candidate once about 20 minutes after he had submitted his online application to us. After speaking to him for about 15 minutes he asked, "What company and position is this for again?" He then continued, and decided to add few swear words in there for added impressions.
- Magnus Simonarson, President, Consultwebs
4. Dressing Too Casually
Often times, when interviewing a potential candidate, I find it is important to look at the small things. Dress code is very important for a couple reasons: I like people who are dressed for success as well as people who look/feel confident about themselves. I once had an interviewee who showed up on a bicycle wearing flip flops, old shorts, and a cutoff tee shirt. Just so happens he was NOT hired.
- Tommy Mello, Owner, A1 Garage Door Service
5. Bad-Mouthing a Previous Employer
A candidate who bad-mouths their previous employer shows a decided lack of respect that you don't want in your own business. Whether their position is justified or not, you don't want someone who is willing to spread negative news about your business. If someone is willing to tell all about their past employer, that's a red flag to avoid them.
- Nicole Munoz, Founder, CEO, Start Ranking Now
6. Not Knowing Anything About the Company You're Interviewing For
I couldn't believe anyone wouldn't do their research on the company that they are interviewing for, but I had that happen with a candidate I interviewed. They didn't know much about what we did, which made me wonder why they even wanted to work here.
- Murray Newlands, President, Due.com
7. Pronouncing a Company Name Incorrectly
It really pays to do your homework when you are going in for an interview. One immediate red flag for me is if they pronounce the company name incorrectly. After a slip-up like that, the interview is doomed to fail.
- Yaniv Masjedi, CMO - VP, Marketing, Nextiva
8. Acting Too Confident
In technical fields, certain personality types get it into their head they are superstars. I've seen interviews degenerate into heated arguments because the interviewee forcefully disagreed with the interviewer about a trivial technical issue. I want confident employees, but an arrogantly combative personality won't get you hired, even if you are almost as knowledgeable as you think you are.
- Justin Blanchard, CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER / CO-OWNER, ServerMania Inc.
9. Overstating Your Abilities
We had one person who came in to interview for an accounting job and I asked them on a scale of 1-10 how proficient they were at financial accounting. They told me they were a 10. I then asked them a hard accounting question and they answered with “I don’t know.” Don’t overstate your abilities if you’re applying for a technical or skill-oriented job.
- Ross Resnick, CEO, Roaming Hunger
10. Disclosing Too Much Information
I am often working beside my employees when we need to get something out quickly or we are in a bind. I had a candidate walk in the door one day while I was working in shipping and I was just casually talking to her while I finished up. She admitted several things during that conversation that disqualified her from working for my company. She was surprised when I introduced myself afterwards.
- Alisha Navarro, President, 2 Hounds Design
11. Referencing the Wrong Company
I was interviewing someone for a position and they said, "I'm so excited to start working for [the wrong company name!]." No matter how good the interview was, I immediately decided they would not be working for me.
- Jayna Cooke, CEO, EVENTup
12. Leaving Without a Word
A candidate from out of town was acing his interviews. He flew in, impressed everyone with his 30-60-90 and delighted in one-on-ones. But before his final interview, he literally vanished. Eventually, he responded from the airport. He didn't want to miss his flight so he just got up and left. He had plenty of time before takeoff, and it was a good thing -- he needed it to search for another position.
- AJ Brustein, Co-founder, CEO, Wonolo
Now it's your turn. What's the scariest mistake you've made in a job interview, or seen someone make? Please share in the Comments section below, so that we can keep as many job interviewers as prepared and safe as possible, through Halloween and beyond!
Dave Kerpen is the founder and CEO of Likeable Local and the NY Times bestselling author of The Art of People. Looking to save time and automate social media for your business? Learn more about Likeable Local here.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Dave Kerpen
I’ve just returned from the 2016 Coach K Leadership Summit at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business where I had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with remarkable professionals from a variety of fields including the military, academia, sports, corporate America and more. The purpose of the event, convened by the Fuqua/Coach K Leadership & Ethics Center (COLE), was to gather thought leaders from different industries and sectors in order to “share, learn and connect on pressing issues of the day.” The summit served as a great example that when you bring together individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences, you have more dynamic and thought-provoking conversations and, as a result, you generate more innovative and transformational ideas.
I left the summit with a notebook full of inspiring quotes, fascinating stories and important lessons, and I'd be remiss not to share the advice and messages that resonated most with me. I hope these insights will resonate with you as well.
To listen to more perspectives from participants of the 2016 Coach K Leadership Summit, please see this video stream.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Edith Cooper
Last weekend I attended my 20-year reunion for the Stanford Graduate School of Business. It was a tremendous experience, in part because I was honored to give a 15-minute TED-style talk to my classmates, entitled "Live AS IF You Had Cancer."
At the reunion, I noticed a few major themes:
1). As the Class of 1996 gets older and enters "middle age", the conversations at the reunions tend to focus a lot less on career, status and money, and a lot more on family, friends and health.
One classmate was infected with a flesh-eating virus, due to oral surgery, which almost killed him. Another was in completely great health -- and nonetheless had a severe stroke which paralyzed half of his body for a year. And a third has had seven surgeries and 39 rounds of chemotherapy to fight colon cancer.
Several (including me) have gone through tough divorces -- or they're in the middle of separating right now. Some had the courage to say they faced severe depression. Some realized that they were queer, and decided to leave their straight marriages.
2).People have gotten nicer. Or maybe I'm just less judgmental.
At the reunion I had lots of wonderful, kind conversations with people whom I hardly knew before. It felt very comforting to be able to make completely new friends with people whom I've known for 22 years, yet never really took the time to truly connect with.
Then there were the people whom I used to think fairly negatively about. In contrast to prior reunions, I did not try to avoid them. And in many cases, I had delightful, sincere conversations with them about personal issues. I can try to tell myself that these other people have changed for the better. But much more likely, I'm more self-loving and self-forgiving than before, which makes it a lot easier for me to accept and honor others. "The world" -- it seems -- is really just a mirror of who you are right now.
3). Careers are unpredictable.
I met up with people who have always been very low-key, but they've quietly been able to start multiple companies which have been very successfully acquired. I recall the people who were flying high in their careers 10 years ago, but were wiped out in the Great Recession. Some who used to be quite arrogant have been humbled. (I like them a lot more this way!)
Several classmates have completely shifted their careers.
One went on to get a degree in psychiatry and now helps people in prisons in Massachusetts. One helped repeal the U.S. military's "Don't Ask. Don't Tell." policy, had a successful career in finance, and now works as a psychologist in San Francisco. And one later studied theology at Harvard and now teaches mindfulness and improvisation.
Others have been successful entrepreneurs who are now using their wealth, time and energy to work for non-profits. Some are full time homemakers.
Despite all that they may have accomplished -- or not accomplished -- many members of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Class of 1996 are still trying to figure out what they'll write in the next chapters of their lives.
So, it occurred to me that I should ask you --
If you attended a reunion 20 years from now, what would you want it to be like?
Where do you want to be in your life?
Who do you want to be?
How do you want to be?
What legacy do you want to create, between now and 2036?
(Believe me, that day will come sooner than you can imagine! ; - )
I'd love to read your reply in the comments section!
Thanks, as always,
About Jim McCarthyJim McCarthy is an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker and leadership consultant. His workshops range from "operational" to "inspirational" -- often including scientific research, anecdotes, writing exercises, group discussion, action items, and daily practices. Audiences deeply appreciate Jim’s unique perspective — as a Stanford MBA, Internet pioneer, world traveler, father, and person living with a cancer diagnosis. Learn more here.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Jim McCarthy
Remember when subscriptions were just for magazines? Today, there are subscriptions for almost everything—music, wine, razors, jewelry ‑‑ even underwear! Ownership is out. The subscription economy is in.
Subscriptions are beneficial in many ways. For one thing, they’re convenient. You’ll never run out of razors, and you won’t get nickel and dimed every time you download new music. It can also serve as a great budgeting tool. If you use a meal preparation service, for example, you’ll always know your monthly food budget.
Until now, if you wanted to build wealth, you traditionally had two choices: pay a financial advisor a percentage of your assets to do this for you, or do it yourself with an online broker and pay a transaction fee on everything you buy. Both options can be unfulfilling, especially for young investors just starting their financial journey. A financial advisor is expensive (especially when you compound their asset-based fees over time) and typically makes sense if you have more than $500K to invest and require complex financial planning. Think of an online broker as a vast supermarket of products, where it’s hard to figure out what to buy, and paying per transaction can be punitive for small account balances. A subscription model can take away some of the friction to regular investing, and can actually help improve your portfolio’s performance with fees that don’t grow and compound with your returns.
That’s why we launched Motif BLUE, where the subscription economy and investing meet. Motif BLUE is designed to give investors the benefits of a subscription and apply the same philosophy to investing. For the cost of a Spotify subscription, you can invest as much as you want, as frequently as you like, in whatever investment models you choose. No transaction fees and no hidden management fees. We’ll even help you find the right investing model and regularly rebalance it. And a single BLUE subscription carries across all of your accounts—taxable and retirement. We plan to model BLUE after my favorite subscription—Amazon Prime—and will continue to add new services to this already rich offering.
The subscription model for investing is still in its infancy. But I believe it will soon become the dominant model because it offers investors so much value and convenience. It was great to see another Silicon Valley startup, especially one with a customer base comprised mostly of millennials, also launch a new subscription. I believe that as more of the industry adopts subscription models, you the customer will largely benefit. However, all that glitters is not gold.
While this other subscription is self-described as "basically a credit card for stocks", in the industry it's simply called margin trading. Margin trading is basically borrowing money from your broker to buy a stock in the hope that the value of your stock will rise and you'll repay the loan out of profits. It all sounds great except when it doesn’t. You could just as easily pick a dud as you could the next Apple, at which point you’re on the hook for paying back the loan—but without the windfall you anticipated. Odds on you picking that winning stock are not good, especially in this market. Even skilled hedge fund managers with serious informational advantages are struggling with their worst performance in 5 years. I’m not sure how millennial investors skilled with a basic single-stock trading tool are going to fare any better.
It gets worse. This program appears to continue to charge the subscription fee even when you pay down the borrowed amount unlike the traditional model of charging margin fees on only what you use. This isn’t your flat fee subscription that offers you a deal. So why would anyone sign up?
With A-listers pushing a subscription that encourages high-risk margin trading, it leaves me scratching my head. Not just because I'm Hollywood illiterate but because I'm puzzled why anyone would openly promote margin trading to a cohort that’s saddled with the largest debt levels of any generation coupled with lower financial literacyand income levels. It's almost unconscionable.
Millennials are already wary of investing, let’s make sure we give them the choices they need.
 Bloomberg News, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-30/hedge-funds-set-for-worst-first-half-since-11-on-global-turmoil
 Gallup, http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/188984/americans-big-debt-burden-growing-not-evenly-distributed.aspx
 PwC, Millennials & Financial Literacy Personal Finance
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Hardeep Walia
Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.
Antoine de St. ExuperyI remember launching a new filtering feature a Google within the AdSense product. At the time, we had hundreds of thousands of website publishers using our user-interface to accomplish many tasks. They might download reports of their revenue from running AdSense ads, configure ads to match their website’s style, and indicate their preferences for the content of the ads to be shown on their site.
Unfortunately, the feature we launched interested less than 2% of the current user base. A few weeks after the launch, I wondered to myself whether we should pull the feature. On one hand, a few hundred users benefited from our hard work.
On the other hand, we had introduced new complexity for the other hundreds of thousands of users. In addition, we had broadened the product and engineering surface area for testing and subsequent product design. In some way, we were introducing product debt.
Product debt is different than technical debt, a word that elicits shudders from engineers. Technical debt means having to go back and rewrite significant amounts of code because they weren’t built to scale or were written in an esoteric language. Creating is much more fun than rewriting or refactoring.
Product debt encompasses the collections of features that work well, but are used by tiny fractions of the user population. They introduce all kinds of complexity downstream. You can imagine when an publisher wants to filter advertisements that can destroy many different ways: they can filter by language, geography, keywords, demographics, platform.
Each of those filters has to be considered in combination with the others, creating an explosive combinatorial effect. A new filtering type that benefits only a small fraction of the population must be considered for every subsequent change in other filters or each incremental filter.
Designers have to invent new ways to communicate the complexity. Quality assurance teams must design rubrics to test everything is working properly. And product managers designing new features have more intricacies. Last and most importantly, users have to use the product with increasing complications.
In retail, there’s a concept called carrying cost, which includes all the costs to store inventory. It includes costs like the warehouse, the staff, the shipping, and depreciation of the merchandise. Carrying costs underscore the idea that more product isn’t always better, because there are costs associated with more.
And startups, there is an analogous idea of a product carrying cost. Each product and engineering organization must decided what product carrying costs they are willing to bear explicitly. What fraction of users must use a feature for it to remain? Or what fraction of revenue-generating users or total revenue?
Removing the features that don’t meet that criteria ensure product development organizations can move more quickly, reduce their product debt, and deliver to their users a more perfect experience, in which nothing else can be taken away.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Tomasz Tunguz
I generally don’t spend a lot of time pondering existential questions, but lately I’ve been struggling with a big one. To put it concisely, “What is it that makes us work?” There are some easy, obvious answers like “to earn money” or “to find fame” but those only get at the superficial part of the question. They don’t begin to explain the amount of time and energy we invest on the job – where most of us will spend the majority of our lives.
I worked at Microsoft for over 22 years and was fortunate enough to contribute to the growth of one great business (Microsoft Office) and lead the creation of another (Xbox). I worked long hours, traveled way more than I would like, and missed important family and life events as a result. And while I was certainly well compensated for my work and achieved some notoriety in certain business communities, there was definitely a great deal of tension around my work-life balance. Logically, once I left Microsoft (and the salary and prestige that came with the job), you would think my work pace would have declined.
I am here to report that some 6 years after retiring from Microsoft, I’m still working very hard, traveling more than I’d like, and have to plan my personal life very carefully. I am still motivated to put in the hours and effort required in a variety of different ventures and activities. In a world in which much of my work involves no compensation, I am left asking myself “why do I do it?”
In my book Xbox Revisited: A Game Plan for Corporate and Civic Renewal, I talk at great length about the importance of defining Purpose to create a north star for an organization’s strategy. When it comes to the “why” of work, I believe there is an analog to Purpose which I will call Impact. Beyond the money and status that comes with successful work lies a deep set need to believe we are having an Impact – on our family, in a business, or across society. If we want to understand our work habits and manage our work-life balance, we must understand the need for Impact.
What Is Impact?
There is no simple definition that adequately describes impact. Each of us experiences it in a different way based on our own particular talents and opportunities. For those who are artists, impact is creating something that moves people’s souls. In the science community, impact is changing the way we understand our world and how it works. Business leaders create goods and services that benefit consumers and other businesses. And civic and government leaders impact us by making our communities better.
So perhaps the best way to understand Impact is to ask ourselves a simple question: “Have I utilized the best of my talents, time, and treasure to improve the world around me?” And the corollary follow-up question is: “Have I maximized that improvement given the opportunities provided?”
Where Do We Find Impact?
It is relatively easy to fall into the trap that somehow equates impact with fame, notoriety, financial success, or other obvious measures. While those are nice tangible goals, not everyone (or even most people) will be rich or be famous – and even those that achieve some tangible success will tell you that it is not totally fulfilling. Moreover, as we move through early, middle, and late stages of our professional lives, our motivations do shift. So we all must search for impact in many different ways:
1. All in a Day’s Work: The truth is that almost all adults are going to a job each day (including some weekends) because that is how they earn a livelihood. We certainly have to find impact in this daily (mostly unglamorous) work. We have to see the small, incremental wins for what they are – actions that we pursued that moved the ball down the field in the right direction. Finding satisfaction in the daily grind is not always easy or obvious, but it is an important secret to longevity and self-fulfillment.
2. Glory in the Crooked Path: At various points, we all have life plans that define what we want to do and where we want to be in five years. Visually, I think of this as the prototypical line that goes up and to the right in a linear way. The challenge, of course, is that life intervenes and takes us on a serendipitous path that wanders all over the graph paper. And there is nothing wrong with that, because during that journey we will find plenty of new ways in which we can make things better. We should all have a plan but then see new Impact opportunities as the adventure unfolds.
3. Don’t Polish the Trophies: We all have egos and recognition is gratifying – so when someone gives you credit for something positive, enjoy the moment. But don’t let that take away from the joy and pleasure of all the other Impact moments you create that others never notice or recognize. The reality is that most of the positive things you do won’t get seen or measured by others – and yet that in no way diminishes their importance or meaning. If all we valued was the trophies in life, we would miss most of the Impact opportunities we have.
4. Leveraging the Second Derivative: While I passed calculus in college, I’m not sure I really understood the entire point of it in the end. But I did learn the importance of second order effects, and impact certainly works that way. In many respects our achievements in one area – such as a well-compensated career or a position that gives us additional influence – enable us to have real impact in another area. “Paying It Forward” is all about taking some form of success and utilizing it to make things better for someone else. If we all did this, the collective Impact would have an exponentially favorable effect on our communities.
5. Life’s Work: By using the word “work” in the title and body of this blog post, I’ve actually laid out a great source of confusion. So often we think about our “work” as the things we do when we earn money for our efforts. But if we limit our Impact to when we “go off to work”, we will have missed much of the point. Our “life’s work” is not circumscribed by what we do “at the office”. Instead, Impact is about the accumulation of things we do on a job, at home, and in our communities. Each of us may add value in different proportions across each of these areas, but our Impact is the collection of our efforts across all of them.
It is worth noting that if we can’t find Impact in what we are doing personally or professional in these areas or in some other way, perhaps that is an indicator that we are actually focused on the wrong “work”.
Why Does Impact Matter?
Don’t be confused – I understand that money and recognition are important both as motivators and as measuring sticks. This is certainly at the heart of a capitalist, achievement oriented economy and culture. We talk about metrics, accountabilities, and KPIs on the job as if they are part of our God-given, genetic building blocks. Ironically, in the non-profit world, they use these terms to “measure impact.”
But I also know that sustained, enthusiastic effort must be fueled by other energy sources. I concluded a long time ago that I enjoy work – whether that is a traditional corporate job, volunteering for a non-profit, or doing chores around the house. I love the challenges it creates for me physically and/or intellectually, and I genuinely enjoy “finishing”. And even though I get frustrated upon occasion like everyone else, I’m slowly realizing that the real goal is Impact. And I can find meaning and self-worth in that in both the great and the small of my daily “work”.
Originally posted on Linked IN by:Robbie Bach
In this series, professionals attending Next:Economy share their insights on the future of work. Read the posts here, then write your own. Use #NextEconomy somewhere in the body of the post and @mention Next:Economy conference panelists when sharing. For more insight and news on the Next:Economy, sign up for the weekly newsletter here.
Lately there’s been a lot of talk about the future of work. People want to know what kind of economy we’re building. Or how changing the way people do business today will affect society 10, 50, 100 years down the line.
While most of the answers are unknowable, something I have come to strongly believe—because I see it every day—is that the entrepreneurial spirit of independent professionals and small business owners is the most precious resource we have as a society.
At Thumbtack, when I think of companies, entrepreneurs, and workers, I think beyond the offices and tech employees all over the Bay Area and beyond the scooting valets, fist-bumping drivers, and smiling couriers we’ve come to rely on.
The companies, entrepreneurs, and workers I think about every day aren’t disrupting industries or building venture-capital-funded empires. They’re the professionals working hard to serve their customers and ply their craft. They’re building lives for themselves and their families.
And together, they’re most certainly transforming the economy.
The opportunity for technology companies is to enable everyone with the desire to succeed and the passion to push hard to achieve their dreams.
Need an example? Take Josh Downing. He always wanted to run his own business, so in 2014 he took the leap and launched general contracting company, Direct Movement Group. In just two years, he’s earned more than $2 million in revenue from Thumbtack customers alone. He brought the hustle and the talent, we brought the technology and the interested customers, and he hasn’t slowed down since.
Professionals like Josh put everything into building the businesses of their dreams and work tirelessly to ensure their independence. That drive and ambition is what makes me so proud to work at Thumbtack and be a part of their journey.
Over the past few years I’ve gotten a pretty unique glimpse into the “future of work.” And from where I’m standing, I’m certain that technology companies can play a vital role to help the tens of millions of independent professionals do what they do best, grow their businesses confidently, and live truly remarkable lives. Their success is the foundation for the booming economies of tomorrow, and that’s something we all should be investing in.
I’m personally excited to see more tech companies placing human achievement at the core of what they do. Because I believe building a bright future is all about empowering the people in it today.
And you know what else? The future is not so far away.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Marco Zappacosta
As the U.S. presidential candidates lay out competing visions for the country, I have been thinking about a topic they have not yet discussed in detail: what political leadership can do to accelerate innovation. Innovation is the reason our lives have improved over the last century. From electricity and cars to medicine and planes, innovation has made the world better. Today, we are far more productive because of the IT revolution. The most successful economies are driven by innovative industries that evolve to meet the needs of a changing world. From the advances that put a computer on every desk to the discoveries that led to lifesaving vaccines, major innovations are the result of both government investments in basic research and the private-sector creativity and investments that turn them into transformative products.
I’ve heard some people argue that life-changing innovations come exclusively from the private sector. But innovation starts with government support for the research labs and universities working on new insights that entrepreneurs can turn into companies that change the world. The public sector’s investments unlock the private sector’s ingenuity.
I was lucky enough to be a student when computers came along in the 1960s. At first they were very expensive, so it was hard to get access to them. But the twin miracles of the microchip revolution and the internet—both made possible by U.S. government research—completely changed that. It’s no wonder that today most of the leading hardware and software companies are based in the U.S.
Accelerating innovation requires both political leadership and private sector leadership. As U.S. voters decide which candidates they want to elect to fill national, state, and local offices, and as many countries around the world undergo similar political transitions, I think we should consider what kind of leaders can drive the innovations we need.
The best leaders have the ability to do both the urgent things that demand attention today and at the same time lay the groundwork for innovation that will pay dividends for decades.
As a country and around the world, we confront a wide array of urgent issues that our leaders must address—from terrorism to job creation to migration. Our next president will be part of a new group of global leaders who will wrestle with these urgent problems. Those leaders can either prioritize alleviating poverty, making everyone healthier, and accelerating economic growth—or they can let progress stall. The key to prioritizing progress is support for innovation.
When we innovate, we create millions of jobs, we build the companies that lead the world, we are healthier, and we make our lives more productive. And these benefits transcend borders, powering improvements in lives around the world. Our global culture of innovation has been most successful at those moments when science, technology, and great leadership come together to create miracles that improve modern life. I believe we are in one of those moments.
One of the most indelible examples of a world leader unleashing innovation from both public and private sectors came in 1961 when President John F. Kennedy spoke to the U.S. Congress and challenged the country to put a man on the moon within the decade. That speech came at a time of cultural and political turmoil, when national and economic security dominated the headlines. President Kennedy believed looking to the skies would inspire the country to dream big and accomplish huge things.
That speech didn’t just launch humankind on a successful journey to the moon. It also inspired America to build a satellite network that changed the way we communicate across the globe and produced new forms of weather mapping which made farmers far more productive. In the face of fear, President Kennedy successfully summoned our country to harness American ingenuity and advance human progress.
It’s important to remember what made the moonshot the moonshot—that is, what transforms political rhetoric into game-changing breakthroughs. A moonshot challenge requires a clear, measurable objective that captures the imagination of the nation and fundamentally changes how we view what’s possible. And it requires marshaling the resources and intellect of both the public and private sectors. When we do that, we chart a course for a future that is safer, healthier, and stronger.
Because we are at a pivotal moment when the conditions are ripe for transformative innovations, there are many important things this new group of national leaders—including whoever is elected in the U.S. in November—can accomplish over the next decade. There are four objectives I think we should prioritize:
Last year, the U.S. and 20 other countries committed to doubling their energy R&D budgets, and 28 investors pledged to invest in the output of that research. This is only the start. By increasing government support for clean-energy research, presidents and prime ministers could attract more private investors to the field. As early-stage ideas progress, private capital will pour in to build the companies that will deliver those ideas to market.
Develop a vaccine for HIV and a cure for neurodegenerative diseasesWith the right leadership and investments over the next decade, we can discover and deliver a vaccine for HIV. Many have forgotten about the scourge of AIDS, treating it like a disease that can be managed instead of the deadly virus that kills more than 1 million people worldwide every year. Based on recent progress, I believe world leaders could help make an effective AIDS vaccine a reality within the next decade. And with a vaccine, we would be on the path to ending the disease altogether.
We can also make tremendous progress on ending neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. These diseases are devastating for the people and families that they affect. They are also huge drivers of out-of-control health care costs, which deplete government budgets that could be used for other critical functions. New digital tools and the rapid advancement of science are providing new momentum and hope in the search for cures.
Protect the world from future health epidemicsGlobal leaders should be proud of their role in bringing the Ebola crisis to an end and helping the affected countries recover. Many agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. military, did exemplary work in the face of significant risks to their own safety. Other leaders around the world mobilized their infrastructures as well. But the Ebola epidemic and the rise of the Zika virus also highlight the need for new advances. There is a significant chance that a substantially more infectious epidemic will come along during the next decade. If one does, we will need to be able to detect it, develop a test for it, and produce cures very quickly. Using advances in biology, scientists are developing these capabilities. With vision and support, we will be able to identify and prevent epidemics before they devastate families, communities, and economies.
Give every student and teacher new tools so all students get a world-class educationEducation is one of the areas in R&D that is often overlooked and can have immediate payoff. The world can develop technologies that can help students learn in ways that are more tailored to their needs. But that is just one part of the equation for educational success. High-quality online courses are still in their infancy. So is personalized learning, which combines classroom time with digital tools to let students move at their own pace. Technology can make teachers’ jobs easier and their work more effective by letting them upload videos of themselves in the classroom, connect with other teachers, watch the best educators at work, and get real-time feedback from their students. The private sector has started work on these ideas, but funding for government research budgets would boost the market and help identify the most effective approaches, giving teachers and students new tools that empower them to do their best work.
I hope our leaders seize these world-changing opportunities by investing in great research institutions, which translate into big opportunities for innovators.
When these ideas help shape a future that is healthier, more productive, and more powerful, it will be because world leaders stepped up to do the urgent and the important at the same time.
This was originally published at gatesnotes.com.
New Census Bureau data released in September revealed that the wage gap between men and women is the narrowest in U.S. history. But before you applaud the progress we’ve made, take a look at the numbers: more than 50 years after the women's liberation movement, women working full-time are earning just 80 cents for every dollar men make.
The pay deficit in Silicon Valley -- a place known for breaking boundaries and creating change -- is even worse. Women there are earning 61 percent less than their male counterparts. While these sobering numbers have been a catalyst for unparalleled transparency in the form of countless company diversity reports, these strategies simply measure the degrees of failure or success.
To move past the diagnosis, we must implement real, long-term programs. This starts with collaboration. Instead of competing over the same, limited pool of currently available and diverse talent, the tech industry should come together to create new, larger pools. We should combine efforts to solve the lack of diversity and equity at a foundational level. We need more programs that support STEM education, vocational schools and skills training for underrepresented groups. Pooling resources to empower the next, more diverse generation of the workforce grows the pipeline of potential candidates for everyone down the line.
We also need to determine whether the people we already employ are being paid fairly. We need policies that make salary a non-issue. My company implemented a clear compensation philosophy based on third-party salary data. We do not perpetuate past biases, we pay each individual according to the market rate for their skills and experience.
Gender-related issues are particularly visible in the Valley because of the intense spotlight on the tech industry. Tales of male-dominated startups that espouse “brogrammer” culture and the fact that the high-paying STEM jobs at the heart of the industry suffer one of the greatest gender imbalances among the U.S. workforce do not help. Instead of a zero-sum game that pits forward-thinking companies against each other with the presupposition that the “winner” will be the company whose diversity numbers move up and to the right, we should be working together to create a more diverse and balanced industry.
In the echo chamber that is Silicon Valley, it can be very difficult to see past whatever ideology happens to be in vogue. To move this issue forward we must adjust our thinking beyond short-term and proprietary gains. At best, they fail to create long-term solutions that address the root issue. At worst, they create a zero-sum game that pits forward-thinking companies against each other with the presupposition that the “winner” will be the company whose numbers move up and to the right.
Instead, we must choose a path that treats every person equally and be maniacally consistent about following it. And above all, we must not waste our opportunity to create opportunity and foster equality for people who don’t currently have it.
Originally posted on Linked IN by: Kelli Dragovich
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