Innovation, the new buzz word

Einstein thinking

Since new PM Malcolm Turnbull, in his first address to the nation, challenged Australians to embrace change and innovate, everyone seems to be talking about ‘innovation.’

But what does it mean, and why’s it so important?

Technically, ‘innovation’ means ‘new’, as in a new method, a new way of doing something, or a new invention. It’s synonymous with being clever, successful and on the cutting edge. Turnbull, a successful businessman in his own right, has experience in these things. He went from lawyer to investment banker to IT entrepreneur and made multi millions in the process.

Rabbiting on about innovation is not enough, but grasping the challenge, seeing the positive and actually doing some different things, is important. As Albert Einstein reminded us – “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” He also famously said that the definition of ‘madness’ was trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

We have to try new things. You get points for trying. Seriously, you do. Because you learn, and no one will forsake you if you give something new a try. The Finnish company Rovio Entertainment spent 6 years and laboured over 51 failed games before their smash app hit Angry Birds came out in late 2009. Since then, its been downloaded 3 billion times – 3 billion! – plus various spin offs such as multiple versions, merchandise, a TV series, a movie and several theme parks. From an app. From a multiple-failed game developer. In Finland. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is.

Six years on, even Rovio cannot rest and is having to innovate further. They’ve recently laid off a third of their workforce, mirroring staff cuts at Zynga (who make the Facebook game Farmville) and King (Candy Crush). The more successful you get, the more imitators and competitors try to knock you off your pedestal. You knocked others off to get there. That’s how the world works.

Nice though Australia’s resources base is (many countries would kill for this, and, often, do start wars over this stuff), we are not a cheap place to do business, and need to occupy the technological heights if we are to remain competitive and continue living the life we’ve had so good for so long. 23 years of uninterrupted economic growth is under threat. It’s no time to rest on our laurels, or pretend that new things aren’t changing how the world works, fast. As the PM says, we need to embrace technological change “as our friend“.

Consider the following:

  • In latest Global innovation rankings, Australia is 17th, no change from our 2014 position. Sweden, Switzerland and the UK occupy the top 3. The US is 5th, Singapore is 7th … Germany and New Zealand sit above Australia
  • According to a Deloitte Report (2015) one third of Australian companies face imminent and substantial disruption by digital technology and new business models
  • Another report from 2014 suggests 25% of Australian GDP is under attack in next 10 years
  • San Francisco-based Uber has taken 9% of Aus taxi industry ($450m of $5bn) from a standing start inside 2 years (~ consider how well entrenched, regulated and supported this industry thought it was pre-2013)
  • In the Crossroads’ economic complexity map, Australia ranked 74th in world – we are just too reliant on too few traditional industries. Sweden is one of the most diverse.
  • In 2014, $47bn was invested in Australian resources while $1.5bn was invested in tech
  • In the last 5 years, Australian startups added 1.5m jobs. Meanwhile, large businesses are culling staff numbers. In the US 80% of new jobs (in a run lasting now 67 consecutive months of net job creation) have come from new/small business.

Consider further…

  • Singapore has allocated $14bn over next 5 years for investment in startups/tech
    – funded 15 incubators
    – matching funds 85% to 15%
  • Israeli government supports 22 incubators, invests ~ 85% of their budgets
    – has led to 5x private investment in follow on funding
  • Meanwhile, our WA government invested $6.9bn in royalties for regions, and $20m into tech startups
  • Other States in Australia have a Minister for Innovation, but not WA

We’ve got a way to go to catch up, but perhaps the message will get through. To the innovative belongs the future. It’s always been thus.


Can someone develop a complete car parking app please?

traffic warden

I try not to drive my car around the city for meetings; often it’s much easier to walk, take a CAT bus or use Uber. But sometimes, an event may be on the other side of the city in the late afternoon or evening, from which I want to get home afterwards. My only option is the car, and finding a nearby car park or spot on a side road.

Which got me thinking the other day – why can’t I park, and an app tell me how much I have to pay, with payment taken at the end of my time based on how long I was there for? (The ‘Uber of car parking’, if you like.) The app would estimate the charge for the time. Even if overshoot my time (say, the event goes on longer than expected), it need not matter as I would be charged when leaving (the app could let me know the new total charge – and I could decide to stay on or leave). The phone would know where I was, when I arrived and left the parking spot and therefore how much to charge. The funds would then be taken automatically, and go to the local council, or Wilson, or whoever (private car bays could be used as well). The app would take a small % as a enabling fee.

It wouldn’t be that hard to develop. Most of the effort would be in getting all the car bays loaded on, and the permission of those that owned them. You’d get the larger car bay companies and councils on board first (explaining how this was going to save them costs and ensure all bays were paid for, making them more revenue). Private car bay owners could then have an uploading and admin system built for them.

No more overdue tickets, no more fines, no more paying more for what you use, no more fumbling around for coins at the nearest ticket meter in the rain. Indeed, no more parking meters or ticket inspectors. (There would be a transition period during which you’d still have the existing system but overtime the old would be phased out, and we’d wonder why we ever had them.) If you tried to park without paying, you’d get a warning, and if you did not agree to the ticket you would be fined. Appropriate warnings would come as notifications.

A central command would know where possible bays are, and could guide you to them. They’d know who’s parked where, who’s paid and who has not. Totally efficient, no one would get away with not paying, indeed no one need be be fined. All done on an app, every time.

Over time, an efficient use of all car bays would make for better use of vehicles on roads, less time wasted trawling around for car park spaces, less angst, and a better use of all space available.

There are many car parking apps out there, but none of them do this. Some find car bays that are on their system, some try to hook you up (AirBnB style) with private spaces for hire, and some know how many bays are available in real time in the larger city parking spots. But no one pulls it altogether. Someone will, one day.

P.S. No, I have not been fined recently (!); I’ve just been mulling this over. Now, over to you…

Photo: Dom Joly’s Traffic War


Leadership is about taking others with you


There’s a line in an old episode of The West Wing that goes : ‘What do you call a leader that no one follows?    Just someone walking around.’

In the past week we’ve seen another change of political leadership at the top, our 5th Prime Minister in 5 years, which some refer to as “the new normal”, while others blame everything from the media, the 24 hour news cycle and even social media.

I see it differently. A leader is (by definition) someone that others follow. The art of leadership is to move other people in a direction, perhaps worked out together, that they would not have moved to on their own accord. They move en masse, as if led by an invisible force. A leader articulates the mission, where they want to get to, and why, and motivates and stirs the masses to action. Together, everyone achieves far more than they could on their own. It’s what Churchill did so well in the 1940s, what Lincoln did in the 1860s, and many others before and since.

Simply put, when a ‘leader’ (or someone in a leadership position) does not (or cannot) take the people with them, they are simply a person walking around. Leadership has disappeared, all but for a few rusted on acolytes. Ergo, Rudd, Gillard and now Abbott.

In 2007, and well into 2008 and 2009, Rudd took the Australian people with him. With his snappy freshness and Mandarin-speaking abilities, he looked like the ‘PM for the times’. A country weary of 11 years of the political machinations of John Howard, while still respectful of his achievements, cast the old aside and ushered in the new. Rudd had no real Labor stronghold, just his hold on the people, and when, after a few missteps, that waned in 2009/2010, his party unceremoniously threw him out before the end of this first term of office. How the mighty had fallen.

His replacement, Julia Gillard, Australia’s first female PM, was a feisty fighter, but the legitimacy (or lack of) her ascension and its anti-democratic nature (there was not even a caucus vote), plus her broken promise over the carbon tax (people do not like new taxes, as a rule, especially one you’ve promised on the eve of an election not to impose) saw her whittled away to an ultimately undignified exit. She never had the people, and never took them with her. After her minority government limped on through 2010-2013, the assassin turned PM was replaced by the PM she assassinated, and Rudd was back as PM, if but for a few months, as a damage limitation exercise to save the deck chairs as the ship sank to its inevitable defeat to Tony Abbott’s Coalition.

Two years on, for the third parliamentary term in a row, we witness another elected PM taken down before their first full term is up. Was Abbott more a Rudd or a Gillard? I would say the latter. He had the political apparatchiks behind him, but he never took the people with him. Pretty much anyone as leader of the Liberals would have won in 2013 after the disunity and tragi-comedy of the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years. The ‘I don’t like him but I’ll give a go’ nature of the Australian public allowed Abbott to sweep to power.

It turned sour pretty quickly. Never before had a 1st term elected government lost the popular support (as measured by polling) so fast. It took only 3 months. Three months! 30 polls in succession since bear witness to Abbott’s government falling behind in the popularity stakes to a rather blandly led Labor opposition with Bill Shorten as leader. Australians looked at both sides and switched off.

The situation lurched on for another 18 months before Abbott’s ultimate denouement. The Liberals did not want to be seen to take down a sitting PM in their first term, in stark contrast to what the Labor party had done in recent memory. Unity and steadfastness was promoted as strength, making the ‘tough decisions’ that had to be made after the ‘disaster Labor left us’. However bad Abbott got, and he was not all bad by any means, this argument was his strongest suit. Surely the Libs would not ‘do a Gillard’ on their own 1st term PM?

Back in February, some disenchanted Liberal MPs called for a leadership election. This became a double embarrassment for Abbott, in that not only was this a back bench revolt (neither heir apparent Turnbull or deputy and potential rival Bishop initiated it hence could not be neutered by defeat), Abbott only won 60% of the vote against nobody. 39 of the Liberal caucus voted for “no one” rather than their leader and Prime Minister. Ouch. Abbott was mortally wounded after that, given another 6 months and then it was all over fairly swiftly.

Abbott’s leadership could have worked if he took the country with him, but he didn’t. In truth, he never really had them. They gave him a go, they suspended their worries for a while, but they never loved him, never even liked him. Most breathe a sign of relief now he’s gone, and it’s Malcolm Turnbull’s job now to see if he can communicate better to the people, persuade them that his way is the best way, and take them with him.

For a digital/business person like myself, I applaud the positive argument Turnbull made in his victory speech Monday night, about the future that Australia needs to become as digital disruption and technology becomes more and more important….

“We have to recognise that the disruption that we see driven by technology, the volatility and change is our friend if we are agile and smart enough to take advantage of it.

“There has never been a more exciting time to be alive than today and there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian.

In that brief statement, he articulated his vision and the battleground for the economy, and how he will distance himself from Shorten. Not beholden to old ideas, he will seek to argue we need flexibility, resolve and intelligence to win the day. He clenched his fist as he spoke, his voice rose and you could see the passion and belief come through.

This looked like leadership, born of someone who’s actually been there and done it in business. Let’s see if he can take the people with him.


What are your 5 top company priorities?

Tammy May

Yesterday I attended the ‘Entrepreneur’s Convention‘, run by the Entourage. Billed as Australia and New Zealand’s largest conference for entrepreneurs, I’d missed the previous two times it has been to Perth, so was keen to give it a look this time. So keen in fact, I bought myself a VIP ticket, which got me preferred seats in the front few rows, a VIP area with food and drinks in the breaks and a goodie bag.

I heard three speakers in the morning, all quite different. Jess Wilson was a young lady who had developed a fashion app, having been told she would never be able to do much in her life by her career counsellor. I think everyone in the audience (Riverside theatre was about 75% full) probably wanted to slap that counsellor. How could you crush someone’s dreams like that? However well intentioned. She showed us a picture of her sitting next to Richard Branson on Necker Island, where she’d visited earlier this year. A motivation story, and she came over as a genuinely resourceful and impressive young lady.

Next up was by far my favourite. Tammy May (see picture above) founded MyBudget in 1999, aged 22, and has since had 3 children (they were watching on admiringly) and grown the company 50% year on year to revenues of $35 million. While I listened to Jess as a nice motivational story, I took copious notes with Tammy. How she arranged her systems and procedures for growth, managed her time, her team, and spoke with passion about the things she got right, and her mistakes… incredibly useful insights.

You always pick up a few things from stories like this. Here are 10…

  1. Educate the market (use advertising and PR, free media)
  2. Grow yourself and your leadership team as leaders
  3. Delegate and have trust in your staff’s abilities
  4. Get the right people on the bus (Jim Collins, ‘Good to Great’)
  5. Continually update your systems and procedures to handle growth
  6. Make decisions on the data and your gut instinct – “what gets measured, gets done”
  7. Everyone should know the top 5 company priorities (management team, staff, suppliers…)
  8. Passion and enthusiasm are invaluable – keep a positive attitude, be genuinely nice to people, build relationships
  9. Continue to grow and learn
  10. Follow your instincts – often your first impression is right

And finally, enjoy it, spend time away from your business.

A better list of 10 things I could not imagine. I spent my whole time nodding. Probably my favourite was the ‘everyone should know the top 5 company priorities‘. These could change from time to time, but it ensures everyone is rowing on the same boat in the same direction. Great advice. I think I might just use that one.

Overall, the conference was OK. Not great, but OK. I felt a bit like it was a bit self congratulatory, verging on the cult-like, especially when Entourage founder Jack Delosa took to the stage (twice, before lunch). He came over well, but there was not a heap of content, and he didn’t tell his own story, nor many stories for that matter. The best bits from him was when he spoke about the Einstein theory (1916) that was later proved correct in the famous 1919 experiment, that showed that light did bend around the sun due to gravitational pull. “The gap between where you want to be and where you are now, will be your greatest motivation.”

All a bit hands in the air, let’s clap together, and motivational for me. And of course, the ‘sell’ then came in later, asking attendees (most of whom were there for free) to attend one on one training sessions over the ensuing days at a (greatly reduced) fee.

However, Tammy May’s session made it all worthwhile for me. I gave away my VIP ticket for the afternoon for a staff member.


Farewell iiNet

Michael Malone looks on as iiNet shareholders vote in favour of sale to TPG

Tomorrow TPG take over Perth’s (as yet only) billion dollar tech startup, Australia’s #2 internet service provider iiNet, with financial settlement on the deal.

Founded in his Mum’s Padbury garage in 1993, because newly graduated Michael Malone wanted to continue to use the internet post university, the rise of iiNet is testament to Michael’s audacity, vision and hard work, and in latter years, as an example of a company that truly understood (and lived and breathed) that the customer was always at the centre of things.

In the mid and late 1990s, with government-owned Telstra slow to get into national broadband, a whole host of small ISPs were established in Perth. iiNet was quick to soak them up as it grew to its own IPO and beyond. Michael took the company public in 1997, acquiring Wantree, Networks and Net Trek along the way. In the 2000s, a dozen other acquisitions occurred including Malcolm Turnbull’s own Ozemail, and New Zealand’s iHug.

As iiNet grew so it went head to head with Telstra, and then, in 2005/6 a stutter occurred, which was almost terminal. Due to some accounting problem post a recent takeover, results sent to the market were later revised, causing the stock to be suspended for weeks, and a decimation in share price. This brought in new board members and the sale of iHug.

It proved to be a mere misstep, from which the subsequent acquisitions of Up’n’Away, Westnet, Netspace and Internode pushed it past Optus into 2nd place in the residential broadband market in Australia, with only the now privatised Telstra ahead of it.

In 2008, peering from afar was an unlikely foe – the Hollywood movie industry. In attempt to knock off a small fish on the other side of the world, as some test case for further legal action elsewhere, a class action was brought against iiNet by 34 movie and TV companies including the mights of 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros and Village Roadshow. They claimed iiNet should have done more to prevent illegal downloading of movies by its customers, which iiNet argued was akin to blaming road building companies for every car crash. iiNet famously won the case, and two subsequent appeals. Other ISPs around the world breathed a sigh of relief.

After 20 years in charge in 2013/14, Michael took 6 months off to go mountain climbing and respected former Brit and CFO David Buckingham took over in an interim role. When Michael returned, his heart was not really in it, and he left for good in mid 2014, still a major shareholder and no less passionate, but with other things on his mind. He remarried and moved to New South Wales, buying himself a large mansion in the country. He joined a few startups as a board member.

When low cost provider TPG made an offer to iiNet earlier this year Michael was incensed, claiming the board had lost all growth plans for the company and were folding too easily. In a prescient warning, he said the board and TPG were “appalling silent on the impact this would have on our staff and customers.”

Michael had made ‘serving the customer‘ the be all and end all of the company. Everyone, including him, was remunerated on NPS (net promoter score) – a gauge of how evangelical your customers are with your service. iiNet won award after award for this.

A few months later a rival bid came in from M2 which prompted TPG to up their initial offer. In July Michael bowed to the inevitable and 95% of shareholding went along with the deal. He looked saddened (see picture) but also must have felt pride in the final valuation.

2 weeks ago the deal passed its last administrative hurdle, with the ACCC allowing the merger to go ahead. The following week TPG acted swiftly, removing the CEO David Buckingham, and many management reporting lines were changed. An interim board was put in place, which disbands tomorrow. The swiftness of these moves were a shock to many inside, and outside, the company.

Time will tell if the customer-focus essence of iiNet will remain. Many fear that if their well renowned devotion to customers drops away, so may the client base. 600 staff inhabit 502 Hay Street in Subi – how many will be there by Christmas, or the same time next year?

Whatever happens will not diminish the achievements  of this son of an Irish fence maker, who built up a billion dollar company from scratch, taking customer calls by his bedside at all hours of the night in that Padbury garage back in the early 90s. Over 20 years this brought him many admirers, amazing experiences and enormous wealth. It’s been quite a ride.

Photo : Philip Gostelow


Beware the superchickens

International businesswoman Margaret Heffernan took to the TED stage a few months ago in Monterey, CA, to deliver an impassioned plea to business to remove the ‘superchicken’ culture. ‘Success comes from collaboration, not from competition’, she implored.

In the video above she begins with the evolutionary scientist William Muir’s experiment with chickens at Purdue University. He studied their productivity (by counting the number of eggs they laid), separating the best performers from the normal. After 6 generations, what did we find? What did the coop of ‘superchickens’ look like, and how were the normal chickens getting on?

Well, the normal ones were all plump and fine, and in fact had increased production nicely. Meanwhile, the more productive ones (the superchickens) were a dispirited lot, what was left of them. Only 3 were alive, as their aggression and over-competitiveness had led to the others being pecked to death. Not many eggs were being laid.

What does this tell us about organising people at work? Quite a lot, it would seem. In studies on human productivity in teams (at MIT), the best team results came from groups not with super stars in them, but those that had 3 things:

  1. High degree of social empathy (team members looked out for each other);
  2. They gave roughly equal time to each other (everyone’s voice was heard, and valued);
  3. They had more women in them (!)

Social connectedness was the most important element.

Does this sound like your workplace? Do you have a superchicken environment, with some high performing alpha people running around roughshod, or do you have a true team environment where everyone’s input is valued and used? Real teamwork, you might say.

I would argue that if you have superchickens pecking each other’s eyes out (figuratively of course, I expect this literally does not happen), it’s important to get them out. Before too long they will start to alter the culture of the organisation, play to their own rules, and be almost impossible to manage. The amount of money they bring in, or work they do, will dictate to the organisation in such an extent that they will make the group beholden to them, not the other way around. Everyone else will hate the environment. Results will drop off. Good people will leave.

If the superchicken(s) can’t be retrained (some can), then they best just flock off. Organisations have enough issues and problems to deal with these days without waging internal battles among their staff. We need to work together, respect each other, and the leader at the top needs to insist on this as the approach. The best results always come from collaboration, not from competition.

As Margaret says: “We have big problems to solve. They can’t be left to a few supermen and superwomen. Now we need everybody. It is only when we accept that everybody has value, that we will liberate the energy and imagination and momentum we need to create the best beyond measure.”


Ecosystem done. What Perth startups need now are success stories

Startup Weekend

Almost exactly three years ago I attended the first Startup Weekend in Perth. 100 plucky individuals bought tickets to attend. 40 or so got up on Friday night to make a 1-minute pitch (if they went one second over, they were stopped in their tracks). From these 40 pitches 15 or so teams formed by 9pm that night, and they were off and running.

By Sunday evening the teams had to pitch their ‘completed’ ideas to some judges. Some had almost complete products out on the web, or in the Google play store. They had branding, cool designs, working products, had engaged in customer validation and had learnt a tremendous amount. Perhaps 6 or more months of learning had been crammed into a frenetic 48 hours. Most would wake up a little bleary Monday morning and return to their day jobs.

I was one of the mentors on that first weekend, and I remember the ‘Breakeven app’ who I worked with ended up in 2nd place. The leader of the team had attended two Startup Weekends in New York previously and thought Perth’s one was better. Better in terms of the quality of the attendees, mentors, judges and ideas.

Wind on three years and there have been 5 startup weekends. There are now 5 tech accelerators in Perth (a year ago, there were none). There have been 3 iterations of Founders Institute. There are half a dozen co working spaces. The Perth morning startup meetup has 1500+ members. I have accumulated a list of 250+ startups that I know of (there are probably way more, and I am finding out about new ones every week).

The ecosystem is full and vibrant. None of this existed 3 or more years ago.

A well known Perth-based VC Matt Macfarlane told me once, “first comes the ecosystem, then the success stories, then the investors.”

We’ve got the ecosystem, now we need some success stories.


Newspaper circulation falls, and falls, and falls (again)

Circulation on the downer

The latest newspaper circulation figures for Australian media organisations make for more sorry reading. Every title, no matter how they try to dress it up (and, boy, have they tried) is in the red, as the graphic above shows (courtesy: ABC News).

Fairfax media seem to have totally given up on print’s future, calling the newspaper circ numbers a “historical production metric” (translation: they are so bad, we are not going to pay much attention to them anymore, in fact, they are a thing of history).

The bright side in all this is the growth in digital subscriptions to newspapers… err, sorry, media organisations.

‘Digital only’ paid subscriptions to the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age now surpass the ‘print and digital’ offer (interesting) and are almost as large as the ‘print only’. Total subscriptions though are well down, although the pace of decline has slowed.

Even our local print monopolist, the West Australian (apparently the most expensive, and best performing daily in the country) has seen subscriptions fall another 4.3%.

The Fin Review has (so I am told) 15,000 digital subscribers (not many for a national product) and the Australian around 55,000. Meanwhile, the Financial Times has 700,000+ print/digital subscribers around the globe, 70% of them are digital mix or digital only. The New York Times has 800,000 subscribers, and a team of 300+ staff to manage them.

A migration to digital platforms is now gathering pace. People who want quality news, specialised news, niche news, are increasingly OK with paying for it. Most people get their general news from free web sites, TV news broadcasts and (increasingly) Facebook feeds (i.e. the news that friends of theirs post daily). Facebook has even begun experimenting with its own Facebook news product (‘Instant Articles‘), so publishers can post directly onto newsfeeds of its 1.1billion or so users.

This major ‘print to digital’ trend is now the main game in news media organisations, and within digital (now the largest media category) there is a move to social and mobile.

Will print die? Interestingly, some commentators think it might still have a role ‘in the mix’. Albeit a smaller one.

When a wily investor like Warren Buffet forks out US$344 million for 28 local newspapers in the States (in 2013), then you know there is something of value still there. His reasons for this included the power local papers have to disseminate news to a community, who, bored of the depressing nature of the global news, turn to something they are a part of, and can understand. Newspaper organisations with a ‘sensible Internet strategy’ will do the best and can still make good earnings.

We live in interesting times.



Farewell Jon Stewart, #jonvoyage

Jon Stewart

Jonathan Stuart Lebowitz (aka Jon Stewart), from New Jersey, the world’s foremost satirist, did his final ‘Daily Show’ this week, after 16 years spent poking fun at, and laying bare, political absurdists, buffons and bulls**t artists.

Not a hard job, you may ponder, but done with the precision of a supreme Zen master. Jon used a deftness of touch, warming up his favourite topics of derision with a few minutes of ‘following their logic’ only to expose their stupidity and two facedness with a mix of acidic wit and explosive evidence.

Everyone from the loons at Fox News to those running for (or holding) high office would be laid bare, their own words skewering their own arguments, with Jon just playing the conductor, interlacing clips with biting interjections.

No one was safe, not those on the left, right or centre. The right certainly gave him plenty of fodder every night, but he went after everyone. In the era of ‘sound bite’ politics, where slogans masquerade for political debate, thank goodness for the cutting exposure of The Daily Show, a program I think I watched (almost without missing an episode) these last 10 years or so.

Along the way, Jon brought us Steve Carrell, Stephen Colbert, Aasif Mandvi, Al Madrigal, John Hodgman, Lewis Black, Kristen Schaal, John Oliver, Jason Jones, Samantha Bee,  Olivia Munn, Rob Corddry and Ed Helms. Without The Daily Show there would have been no Colbert Report (who is now taking over the Letterman Show) or Last Week Tonight. Downunder, Charlie Pickering does a pretty good Aussie version on the ABC on Wednesday nights with the ‘Weekly Show’.

Without JS, we now have to smell the BS for ourselves. As Jon himself said, there is a lot of it around. Be aware of it, don’t let it defeat you. “The best defense against it is vigilance”.

His last 4 minute monologue puts it perfectly, and is well worth a watch.

Thanks Jon, #jonvoyage.


The Internet in real time

Click the animation to open the full version (via http://pennystocks.la/).

This animation keeps things in perspective!

Watch as the number of tweets, youtube posts and watches, Linkedin searches, Skype calls, Instagram photo uploads, Google searches, App downloads, Facebook likes, emails sent, Dropbox files saved, Amazon items purchased, Netflix views … and much more, changes in real time in front of your eyes.

And to think most of this did not exist 10 or 15 years ago, and none of it was around 20 years ago.

Back in 1995 the internet was new, a mess. No Google. And scientist Clifford Stoll wrote a piece in Newsweek called “The Internet? Bah!” pouring scorn on its future. What could we do without it now?