Be a “Learn-It-All, not a Know-It-All”

One Door Closes, Another One Opens:

Throughout the arc of Empower, the Learn-It-All (“LIA”) in me was extremely busy. Diving into new areas of learning: electrical engineering, hardware manufacturing, process control, supply chain management, quality control, reliability testing, manufacturing test, managing Sino-American relationships, hardware breakdown cost analysis, energy storage and (unfortunately) the orderly Wind Down process. In this Empower LIA process, I credit and thank my friend, Professor, Heir Doctor Mika Nuotio (Empower’s CEO and my co-founder) for accelerating this course. What remained constant, in the highest peaks and the darkest hours, was my curiosity, creativity and trust in myself.

Now with two fantastic children, I feel the gravity and responsibility to give them guidance and lessons through example. Not to struggle, but to seek learning and growth everywhere. I have always been a curious person with a unique ability to learn quickly and become an expert in the topic of choice. By partnering with amazing business people, engineers, scientists, thinkers, lunaries, I synthesize details and identify patterns to make big picture realizations and specific strategies to win. There is a slightly obsessive part of this learning curve, but that is a topic for another Medium article.

A tip off by a Stanford Energy friend and also, more recently, lauded by Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, directed me to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck’s best-selling book, Mindset. Her book plowed me into discovery and exploration mode concerning this interesting life education concept of “learn-it-all” vs “know-it-all”. Yes, this applies to work, as seen above, but is an equally good framework for inspiring childhood education and best practices.

The Tipping Point:

To this end, my wife and children will be departing in September 2017 on a nearly full-year, round-the-world learning journey. Our learning adventure will pass through much of Western Europe, northern Africa, sub-Sahara Africa, India, Southeast Asia, Japan, Canada and several points in Equatorial South/Central America, over a 10 month period. We are in the process of creating a rich curriculum of “traditional” education for our children (augmented by remote tutors + online tools) and, of course, the out-of-the-box learning of the day-to-day experiences, in situ. If anyone has experience in homeschooling/travel schooling, please reach out.

During this journey, my professional intent is to share business ideas/observations/musing on LinkedIn and Medium, seek advice from my community, solicit feedback and dialog with friends on topics of interest. In the same spirit as the entire trip, I will be in professional “Learn-It-All” mode with an open canvas of topics and direction. My history will have some bearing on the topics of interest, but I am opening up new avenues of discovery.

Currently on the list of topics of interest:

  • renewable energy
  • energy storage
  • electric mobility
  • recycling
  • water
  • agriculture/food
  • cybersecurity
  • virtual and real community building
  • raw materials (coffee, cocoa)
  • real estate
  • finance
  • technology

As the 19th century naturalist John Muir was fond of saying, the best way to prepare for a trip is to “throw some tea and bread into an old sack and jump over the back fence.” Well, here we go!

Stay tuned for updates and wish us “Bon Viaje”…”Sichere Fahrt”…”Buen Viaje”…”رحلة سعيدة”…”Safari Salama”…”பாதுகாப்பான பயணம்”…”การเดินทางที่ปลอดภัย”…”安全な旅”…”一路平安”!

Stay in touch with me.

Our blog:


Our Path:

  • If you are in our path, please get in touch as we would love to share our journey with you.
  • If you have friends in our path, please make the introductions.
  • If you have been on our path and want to share experience or knowledge, please be in touch.
  • Important stuff, like your best place to get amazing sambar in Tami Nadu or your special Temple-side Tea House in Osaka or the entranceway to the Roman ruins under Lisbon

SFO: September 2017

Europe: September — November 2017

  • France
  • the Netherlands
  • Germany (yes, of course Oktoberfest)
  • France
  • Spain
  • Portugal

Morocco: November 2017

Tanzania: December 2017

Southern India: December — January 2018

Southeast Asia: February 2018

  • Thailand
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Vietnam

Japan: March 2018

Canada: March 2018

Ecuador: April 2018

Panama: May 2018

Mexico: May — June 2018

SFO: June 2018

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