Why Being an Artist is Better than Being a Good Techie

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How will technology change how you do things? Here is Picasso turning his back to his painting and painting with light… In 1949 Picasso was visited by Gjon Mili, a photographer who turned time lapse photos into art. The moment Picasso saw the photos he was inspired and, without hesitation, he picked up a light and asked Gjon to take photos of him as he ‘painted’ in the air. The photos were published in Life magazine and became a sensation. From that day Picasso changed from the painting style he is known for to larger public works and sculptures using …

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$2 billion in 2 years? At 21? Is he just Luckey?

Actually, yes: Palmer Luckey. Luckey just sold his 18-month-old company, Oculus VR, to Facebook for $2 billion. If you’re busy growing a business (for longer than 18 months, and you’re older than 21 years old) without $2 billion to show for it – you might ask what’s going on here… Is the Luck in Luckey’s name more reality than virtual reality? Here’s my take on it: The rapid success Luckey has had IS down to Luck – but the kind of luck we can create. I’ve always seen Luck as the product of four things, and here’s the journey Luckey …

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The WhatsApp Buyout for Billions

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This week Jan Koum just sold his 4 year old company, WhatsApp, to Facebook for $19 Billion(!) He drove to the North County Social Services office to sign the deal. That’s where he used to stand in line to collect food stamps not so long ago. Jan has gone from having no money to $19 Billion in four years (That works out at at every day in retrospect being worth over $13 million, day after day for four years). How did he do that and what can we learn behind the crazy-big numbers? Back in 2009 the idea was hatched …

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A Genius Insight: The Four Stages of Flow

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When was the last time you experienced true flow? When you connected to the genius within you? What if you had the process to tap in to your flow whenever you want? Getting into your flow state does not need to be by accident! I’m on a trip to the United States right now, and have had a chance to connect with a super-expert in Flow: Steven Kotler. Steven co-wrote the NY Times Bestseller, “Abundance”, with Peter Diamandis. His latest book, “The Rise of Superman” comes out this March. It is all about how elite athletes and extreme sportspeople get …

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How To Make A Billion Dollar Nest?

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How do you make a billion dollar nest? It took Tony Fadell just 3 years to do it, and in the wake of his success will come another 1,000 millionaires. Will you be one of them? This week, Tony’s 3 year old company, Nest Labs, raised $150m at a value of $2 billion. He is riding a new wave – “The Internet of Things” – where smart, connected devices (from fitness trackers to robot cars) will create a new economy bigger than the “Internet of Information” has created so far. Cisco forecasts there will be 50 billion internet-connected things by …

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The weird, slightly odd moment when I met Nelson Mandela…

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This week Nelson Mandela died at 95 years old. It was twelve years ago when I met Mr Mandela by accident. It was weird, chance meeting up in the sky that had something to do with butterflies, and angels. Here’s what happened… I was in the line in to the Aer Lingus flight from London to Dublin. Why was it taking so long to get on board? When I entered the plane cabin it became obvious why. Nelson Mandela was sitting in seat 1C. He was on his way to the Special Olympics Everyone was stopping as they passed him …

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How To Get and Forget $3 Billion in a Snap

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Two years ago Evan Spiegel came up with the app Snapchat as a college project. This week he turned down a $3 billion cash offer from Facebook to buy the company (!) What makes a 23 year old reject a $3 billion offer on a business which until today has had no revenues? How did one idea grow so quick so fast? What can you learn from a freak growth story like Snapchat’s? In September 2011 Evan and his partner, Bobby Murphy, came up with the idea of Snapchat as their class project at Stamford, and set up the company from …

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Is Your Life a Masterpiece or a Meaningless Existence?

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What’s the moment when your life becomes a meaningful masterpiece? I love this story from Jeff Bullas, about how Bob Geldof already had the seed of his life purpose at 13 years old, but that seed only turned into a flower 20 years later: Is Your Life A Masterpiece Or A Meaningless Existence? I had the pleasure to hear a keynote presentation from the enigmatic Sir Bob Geldof tonight and I was mesmerized by the passion, dreams and the vision that permeated his words. He told how his mother had died when he was six years old and how he …

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Evolution or Revolution? Is Genius Born Or Built?

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How much of your success is in your DNA? How much of it comes from skills that you can learn? Are we born into entrepreneurial success or can you shape your destiny simply by choosing to be successful? Here’s the expert’s verdict!! The Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, Amy Cosper, wrote this week on the subject ‘Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made’. She says “We can all agree there are several types of entrepreneurs: startup, serial, those who flip other people’s companies and those who start nothing but buy companies and make them better.” Julian Lange, Professor of Entrepreneurship at …

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Nikola Tesla

Today, we have Nikola Tesla to thank for our electricity system. Yet he believed there was an underlying system far more powerful that connected us, saying: “The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all previous centuries of its existence.” Do you agree? Tesla believed science would eventually prove psychic phenomena and that humanity is one. He said: “Can anyone doubt today that all the millions of individuals and all the innumerable types and characters constitute an entity, a unit? Though free to think and act, we are held together, like …

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