Ego vs Relevance

Would you trust this guy? (Photo courtesy of

A brief introduction to…

Ego — a common force behind such celebrities as Donald Drumpf and visionaries like Elon Musk — is driven by a complex cocktail of self-promotion, instinct and focus. It is the will and confidence to assert yourself, and your ideas, beyond your immediate surroundings. But like any power, or cocktail for that matter, it is to be handled responsibly, and guided by a greater purpose. But knowing that purpose, i.e. using your powers for good, can be trickier than it sounds. For guidance then, let’s dabble in a little millennial, entrepreneurial, wanderlust philosophy, shall we?

Why are we here, if not to create?

Can you think of anything more significant, anything more human, than to use the immeasurable power of our minds to create? To craft, generate, or devise. Conceive, invent, and imagine… Novelty is our unique ability in the animal world, going far beyond evolutionary necessity.

We are not biologically programmed to build bridges, yet we do.

We don’t need to go into outer space, yet we do.

We don’t need to go faster, higher and advance civilization ever-more forward.

But we do.

And I believe it’s ego. Without confidence and focus, and are our insatiable desire for more, we would not have these advancements. They are greater than questions of survival and happiness. They are trials of human innovation against the limitations of our natural environment. The ocean of potential is vast.

But here in the fish bowl…

A friend recently shared a website with me. It was for a marketing agency headed by one of the gentlemen from Shark Tank, that reality TV show created to pit entrepreneurs against each other. His website, which you can see here, is clearly based on his celebrity status and the fact that his business is called a “group” appears to be a total misnomer. The website is about him, a man undoubtedly powered by a strong ego, and vaguely about his “capacities” to improve your brand.

But what does this mean in the grand scheme of the world? Do you really think the people here in Italy have ever heard of this guy, or cared what he thought about culture and style? What is his value to the planet? What has he created?

What’s missing isn’t fame or ego, it’s relevance. I don’t know this guy, or his group’s work, but his branding is a direct affront to what I believe makes us valuable. The Shark Group is a modern, corporate fad entity that will only last as long as his celebrity glow. But let’s compare that to Apple or Tesla, companies that have had similarly egotistical founders and unquestionable celebrity status. What separates them from the “Sharks”?

Relevance. They have harnessed their egos for objectives that have had undeniable value to humanity. They have created products, lifestyles and social movements. So I posit that ego alone is not the enemy. In fact, it is a very capable vehicle of creating value. The balance that each of us must manage then, is to capture our strengths of personality and devotion, and apply them to the future value of the masses. Only then will we surpass the ego of now, and achieve relevance to posterity.

What can you create for the future? And why aren’t you doing this already?

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