Starting right now…
It is essential that we administer serious attention toward building new innovations that will directly help how we learn, educate, build, lead, communicate, and be thriving humans. If you are a thinker, builder, connector, leader, or investor that has the fortitude to shape new habits and innovate, this is your time. There is a revolution underway.
The human condition is all of the characteristics and key events that compose the essentials of human existence, including; birth, growth, emotion, aspiration, conflict, and mortality. In the last few thousand years, this has not changed much. Unfortunately, after birth, we are not very good at being human.
Simply look at the current political landscape, or the loneliness epidemic, or how we handled a crisis like covid. What are we doing? Instead, we continue to look to outside inputs (fame, fortune, recognition, security, belonging…) to find fulfillment. We attach our aspirations, emotions, and growth to these things. Then, we trick ourselves into thinking that new technology will fix everything for us. We need instant solutions to our problems and choose to fix our pain with a bandaid versus real systemic change. We try to grab hold of something that can make sense to us, but our world is changing so fast that we are no longer able to keep up.
We do not have the principles and mental models to thrive. This reality could scare you, or you could decide that right now is the greatest opportunity we have ever had.
Marc Andreesen wrote a now-famous piece, back in April 2020, titled It’s Time to Build. I love the article, but his “call to arms” is not enough! We need to build, but we need to re-align on what to build.
If we look at the data, the amount of money invested in startups over the past decade has skyrocketed, but success rates are still only around 8% to 10%. This is astonishing, and yet we forge ahead and continue building more technological tools to solve our problems.
According to a recent Cigna study, 22% of Americans report that they are lonely most of the time, and 54% report that no one in their life knows them very well. Similar percentages can be found across the rest of the world. And as I write this, on November 6th, 2020, we are seeing the US elections unfold and we are reminded again just how divided this country is.
People are unfulfilled at their work, even at senior levels, with 63% of c-suite executives looking to leave their job for a contract opportunity (Mavenlink whitepaper on the gig economy). Companies like Cognician, attribute some of these problems to a lack of proper coaching and behavioral change management. For the fortune 500 companies that Cognician consults with, they are seeing an average of 5% revenue growth year over year from their applied coaching programs. That is significant!
If technological products will not solve our problems alone, what will?
Our conviction is that the next wave of paradigm-shifting innovation will come from the development and forward progress of our uniquely human skills. We are now at a convergence of human and machine, with the opportunity to more deeply use the tools at our disposal to improve our human capabilities.
These unique human skills include abilities such as; empathy, leadership, creative problem solving, communication, adaptability, and learning to learn. Yet we are not properly equipped to excel at these skills, and we often get distracted by the pursuit of fame and fortune. Perhaps, as a society, we have been tricked into thinking that the act of gaining more experience would make us wiser and more equipped to adapt and evolve. But experience is overrated, usually by old men who nod wisely and speak in rhetorics. Experience is more like fashion… an act that worked today will be unworkable and unpractical tomorrow.
Only principles endure. And in order to educate and understand how to apply the principles that will lead us to a better place, we must prioritize our entrepreneurial efforts towards these goals. This is how we begin to improve our uniquely human skills.
The startup studio model is our chosen vehicle to help build this future because it adheres to a responsible and tested set of principles and frameworks. Additionally, it aligns the entrepreneur, resources, and investor from day one. This enables everyone to be the best version of themselves and build the things that were previously thought to be not possible. This is why many of the top thinkers, creators, connectors, leaders, and investors are also choosing the studio model to use as the vehicle of innovation (2019 GSSN Whitepaper). What is your vehicle of choice?
See you on the road!
— Rustin Sage Coburn