More than 10,000 people came out to the Tech Fair event yesterday in downtown Los Angeles. The line was around the block. Inside was a packed madhouse of exciting conversations, talks, and opportunities. Usually these types of events are not my thing, but I wanted to see with my own eyes the state of being for this city as it relates to entrepreneurship and tech. After a couple hours of roaming and listening and soaking it all in, I randomly ran into my buddy Ryan Gill (one of the most well connected young people I know) and had a mind-blowing chat about blockchain and the future. We ran into some people he knew (unsurprisingly) and talked to an excited ambassador at Gem, a new venture-backed startup based in Venice that focuses on deploying data driven solutions like smart contracts, P2P protocols, databases, and cryptography within blockchain technology. Do yourself a favor, and watch this TED talk by Don Tapscott and this video from the Institute of the Future to get a brief overview to what this technology could mean for human value, authenticity, and progress. It’s one of the few things giving me an amazing gut feeling of achieving an ideal world of equal and decentralized opportunity, access, and trade. YES!
After that conversation, I went home. Fulfilled. Overwhelmed. Excited. Hopeful. Exhausted. I didn’t care that I missed the raffle for a pair of the new Snapchat Spectacles. Something clicked. I came for nothing, but Ieft with what I needed.
Well done Mayor Garcetti and Jason Nazar for supporting this initiative and I hope you explore other options/setups in the future for this type of event. LA is owning up to hype of being the SoCal Silicon Valley — aka #SiliconBeach.
The future is unclear. It’s unfair. It’s equally exciting and scary. Almost every industry is being disrupted by some sort of new platform or system driven by technology mixed with new philosophy. People are losing jobs, people are gaining new skills and perspectives, which in turn create new jobs (although I think the definition of that term will change quite a bit over the next decade). Will people be lining up for opportunities or seeking problems to solve from their laptop anywhere in the world? We shall see. Optimism is key. And one thing is for sure…change is the only constant. Nothing is forever. And change is fast right now.
I’ll be honest, I heard a LOT of complaining from folks seeking jobs, opportunities and networking. Waiting for change. Avoiding risk. Blaming others: politics, Trump (or people like him), bad people, circumstance, even themselves. I heard someone say that it was “unfair that a millenial gets more attention/opportunity than an older person does simply because of their digital skills.” But I also heard a LOT of inspiration + hope. People willing to do whatever it takes to learn, be a better person and create value. People finding their “why” and looking for deeper meaning and fulfillment regardless of their level of money or “success.” I heard someone say “I will keep learning and adapting because I love understanding the world we live in and how I can contribute more.”
Like I said, change is constant, nothing is forever, and let me add: Technology is part of us…it IS us. We build it. So it’s our responsibility to create art, products, services, software and movements that aid in our learning, exploration, and advancement. Cheers to all the tech freedom fighters carving a path in this new infinite opportunity. Is it, as a whole, unfair? With the wrong attitude, yes. Whether you are creating or using technology, it can seem unfair. But if you flip the script and look at it differently, you quickly realize that that hope outweighs the sorrow. The short term inconvenience pales in comparison to the long term gains. And if you have the means (a laptop and an internet connection), then you can discover your own unfair advantage, and ride this wave of change, and share it with the world in a positive way so they too can rise up! That sounds fair to me. Moreso than any society we’ve ever experienced as human beings.
I just started reading “Tools of Titans,” written by Tim Ferriss, author of a pair of lifestyle-elevating, mindset-bending smash hit NYT bestselling books that you’ve probably already heard of. This, his latest work, reads like an anthology of sorts, which compiles all of his years of interviews, podcasts, blog posts, meetings, and interactions with “billionaires, icons, and world class performers” into an encyclopedia of “tactics, routines and habits.” What I love about it, is that he focuses on each person, one at a time, and distills their best knowledge bombs alongside his best context. I think it’s a disruptive and refreshing way to write a book, let alone to read it. The reason I bring it up? Well, in the section/chapter focused on Seth Godin, he starts with this quote:
“You are more powerful than you think you are. Act accordingly.” -Seth Godin