Sleepless Nights; Midnight Lunch; Sheer Innovation; Edison’s Rules
December 18, 2012
Everyone a Salesperson; Dan Pink’s Latest Book; 4 Keys to Economic Growth; Ft. Myers Jan 9
January 3, 2013

Antifragile Children; Avoid Doctors; IBM’s Tech Predictions; Google Future

"…keeping you great"


It is not work that kills men, it is worry. Work is healthy; you can hardly put more on a man than he can bear. But worry is rust upon the blade. It is not movement that destroys the machinery, but friction.


Henry Ward Beecher

Antifragile Children — give your high school student a differential advantage – a year abroad — see below, but first:

Antifragile, Fortune's Review — notes the magazine "What sometimes goes unsaid about (Nassim) Taleb is that he's a very funny writer. Taleb has a finely tuned BS detector, which he wields throughout the book to debunk pervasive yet pernicious ideas. . . . Antifragility isn't just sound economic and political doctrine. It's also the key to a good life." Here's a link to Fortune’s clever summary of this breakthrough book I'm continuing to enjoy over the holidays (and he is very funny!). It is absolutely a MUST read – you won't see the world the same after reading.

Why Switzerland? — the strength of their currency and stability of their country is owed to the fact that there is not much of a central government, highlights Fortune in their review of Antifragile. Instead, quotes Fortune "dozens of sovereign mini-states squabble and fight constantly. This turmoil actually makes the country stronger because the Swiss get small problems out of the way before they can metastasize into something bigger like, say, a fiscal cliff." Small is beautiful; big is bad – and why ALL the healthy economies are small. My wish for the US is we become 50 truly sovereign economies as our founders intended.

Avoid the Doctors/Stock Options — what frustrates Taleb is how we've taken naturally antifragile things, like our immune systems, and destroyed them with over-medication; or our naturally antifragile economy and made it fragile through insane centralized policies; or the challenges to our companies posed by stock options. Again, Taleb provides all of us a unique lens through which to view many of the everyday decisions we make.

IBM's 5 year Forecast — each year IBM outlines their '5 in 5' predictions for the future of technology – and this year it's that computers will acquire five human senses (touch, see, hear, smell, see) within the next five years and experience the world as humans do – only more precisely. This means computers will replace many of the professional jobs handled by people – like reading x-rays or analyzing geological data – within this time frame. Here's Money magazine's look at the impact of each sense on the future.

Google Future — a couple weeks ago I struggled to discern anything meaningful from Fortune's exclusive interview of Larry Page, Google's co-founder/CEO. Several of you came to my rescue. My favorite response came from Ron Nakamoto with Bountiful, UT-based Empowered Wealth who summarized: "Page's vision is of an 'augmented reality' that anticipates the information that you'll need and want before you do, based upon your past behavioral patterns (derived from accessible data about you) and your current context (i.e., physical location, what you're doing, etc.). Think Google Glass with exponential improvements." Excellent insight! Thanks Ron.

Antifragile Children — immersion in Spanish (a great second language); international exposure to students from 41 countries; yet quality American education with a highly acclaimed International Baccalaureate (IB) offering – a way to differentiate your student from all the others competing to get into college. And if you're an entrepreneur, you'll get more accomplished working "on" your business if you're a few thousand miles away from the business – just ask David Rich, CEO of ICC/Decisions services who recently moved his family from NYC to Barcelona for a year. Here's a link to his blog where he describes the decision as the third best in his life.

Ben Franklin International School (BFIS)  — David, I, and a bunch of expat entrepreneurs from the US (mainly Silicon Valley) have our children attending this international school in Barcelona. Given the globalization of the planet, and the future our children will face, BFIS provides our children a great small school experience with students from over 40 countries – and at tuitions far less than schools in the US. And research is clear the impact second language acquisition has on brain development. Our children learned Spanish more quickly in one year in Barcelona than taking several years of Spanish classes in the US. Think about the power of exposing your children to a year abroad in one of the most dynamic cities in the world – plus the power and richness of the expat community we've met. "Plan your escape" for 2013-2014 school year. Your children might complain at first (like ours) but will thank you later. It's a positive stressor like this that makes your children and family antifragile!

Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.