Friday, May 31, 2013

A very interesting man by the name of Elon

It is very rare for you to all-of-the-sudden get a serious desire to go out and buy a $70,000 car just by watching a short, but very interesting video of that car's CEO. But it just happened. To me. Maybe it will happen to you as well. Here is the interview of Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at D11 talking cars, space and internet. Check it out. It might make you very inspired to think BIG.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I own very few unique thoughts

I started this blog over 6 years ago. Most of the allure of blogging back then was distilling interesting thoughts that I came up with on my own and sharing them with the world. I have since realized that if I thought something up, chances are someone out there has also thought it up as well. But I can always rely on sharing with my unique perspective.
Here is the latest phenomenon I've come to find out is true: the inevitability of bloatage and excess in the lifespan of an organization or product. Take a disruptive product or company and you'll find a very efficient, elegant and focused methodology. The founders of the product or organization also usually have remarkable abilities and drive to produce an extraordinary product or culture. But then comes the hard part: growth to target other desired audiences or additional employees to sustain future growth. Sometimes growth can include not necessarily getting bigger, but adapting to changing markets. The bottom line is that it is very hard to do. Instead of growing, organizations instead either get gobbled up by the next darling to come along or by buying out the would-be competitor.
I have thought a out this principle a lot lately with regard to law firms. Sometimes I look at the way firms are structured and I think it can't be sustained. Clayton Christensen has researched this area of business extensively. I'll have to read up on his research sometime.
I've also thought about this principle with regard to the united States. Here was an extraordinary nation built by extraordinary people and principles. It has done remarkably well for many years, but the past few years have really highlighted some fundamental problems.  
We have a huge public debt. Ads and politicians have been stressing this point until blue in the face.  So it kind of loses its punchline.  But its importance cannot be overstated. We have a dangerously neglected infrastructure. 
We have a deterioration of morality.  Morality has sustained our nation as its lifeblood.  A faith in a higher power is what made our nation work and what has sustained us for the past two and a half centuries.  But this fabric is in serious decline.    
We have a greatly overextended system of criminal punishment. With limited resources, we need to pick our battles in fighting crime and we seem to not be picking them wisely. 
We have a seeming inability to come to grips with serious environmental problems such as global warming. And the results are everywhere. 
We have a very costly but inadequate educational system that fails to compete internationally despite multiple reforms. 
We have unsound immigration policies. 
We have an embarrassing obesity epidemic. Sure America may be improving in this regard, but it is still embarrassing how bad the epidemic continues to be. 
We have an excessively costly health care system. This is a problem that must involve both sides coming together. 
We have a possible rise in structural unemployment. One of the most disturbing aspect of the high unemployment rate during the past 4 years may be the large number of the unemployed who have been out of work for at least 6 months. These people need a break and it doesn't look good. 
We have a federal government that is borderline inept. Maybe this is an exaggeration. Maybe it is an accurate statement. I know that there are many good people in Congress, but I really don't think that the federal government was designed to be this big. And it shows in endeavors in which the government needs to come together. They don't.