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My Themes for 2015. Yours?

Posted on Thursday, Jan 1st 2015

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Yet another new year has begun. As I write this, I am looking out on a glorious, sunny day. There has been rain these past few weeks, after many years of draught. This morning, the sunlight shines beautifully on orange and yellow leaves – the last few on the pear tree in our garden. There is a sense of well being in nature.

Is there a sense of well being in the world at large?

The question doesn’t meet with an unambiguous yes. War. Destruction. Terrorism. Children being killed. Rising inequality. Looming water crisis.

In our personal lives and choices, it is important to remember:

“It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”

As I think about our sphere of work – the industry, technology, entrepreneurship, business – I carry much the same feeling with me.

And with that sentiment, here is a reflection on some of the themes I am pondering for 2015.

  1. Let’s start with the inequality issue. It is coming at us from many angles, and needs to be dealt with, somehow. Economists and philosophers are proposing various different solutions. My contribution: This Is How to Create Wealth for the Middle Class.
  2. Artificial Intelligence has been on many minds. Mine as well: Artificial Intelligence, Over Engineering, Zombie-Filled Planet. It will be one of the prime contributors to inequality.
  3. Education is key to addressing inequality. My take on The Future of Education: 10 Trends to Watch.
  4. Entrepreneurship, of course, is key to addressing inequality, and a key trend there is Bootstrapping Startups Using a Paycheck. I expect to see a huge rise in this phenomenon around the world in 2015 and beyond.
  5. Small ideas fueling mass scale entrepreneurship is vital to addressing the inequality question. Read: Do You Agree With Peter Thiel?
  6. Along those lines, we need to decouple financing and entrepreneurship, so that the fruits of a healthy, robust, democratic, distributed capitalism can find mass adoption. Read: Entrepreneurship Does Not Equal Financing.
  7. And, we want more women to participate in the wealth creation process. Read: Talented Women: Please Do NOT Quit.
  8. First-time entrepreneurs need to survive, not die in the vine chasing windmills. Read: 10 Avoidable Mistakes First-Time Entrepreneurs Make Constantly.
  9. A deeply concerning issue needs attention: the pervasive rise of free-riders. Read: Entrepreneur Dysfunctions in Cartoons: Obsession with Free. Also: Will Capital Kill Capitalism?
  10. And last, a personal priority for me amidst the hubris, cool-aid peddling, and bubbly drinking of Silicon Valley: not to lose perspective on Art. On Truth. On an internal compass. Read: The Path I Chose Lets Me Create Art for Art’s Sake.

I wish you a happy 2015.

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