New Year’s Eve Day

Day 365 Week 53 Q4  Saturday, December 31, 2022

What a funny phrase. Christmas Eve day or New Year’s Eve day? In some faiths, holidays begin the day before.  In any case, a year is a big hunk of time, and when it is gone, it is gone, so if there was netting you had planned on getting done in any particular year and it is the last day, well, hopefully, you are close, and in my case I am. I wanted to launch a new version of the Silicon Valley Innovation Institute, and yes, it appears that I am going to do so.  Therefore today is the last day of an active SVII, and tomorrow is the first day of an active SVIII. 

As a few of you know, SVII was incorporated on June 16,  2005, as a California Corporation. It was subsequently granted 501c not-for-profit status by the IRS a year later. Seventeen years ago, as you might expect, the world was a different place in terms of what dominated the news. The innovation landscape has not changed very much in terms of how hard or easy it is to make something new happen, for this is dominated by human nature, which has not changed much at all in the last couple of thousand years for most of us.

If you insisted on trying to foment change by talking about insights, you were not going to have an easy time of it then and also now.  And, for a good reason, change is hard to cope with or looked at another way; why would a reasonable person try to rock the boat if everything was going along very well? If you were highly vocal about your insights, you were likely to get in trouble and perhaps even killed. Then I ask why a person should bother incurring the wrath of those resistant to change.

And the reason is ……… that things could be better than they are, and you know it, and I know it, and pretty much everyone knows it, but most are not so willing to admit it. The reluctance is understandable, for if things change, they might worsen. And almost no one wants to take the chance to increase risk. Well, there is one group, and they are the ones with nothing to lose. These are the people who foment revolution because they find the conditions they are living in impossible. 

The point is it is pretty reasonable for those among us who promote new directions to experience rejection and resistance. So why bother? Because we want to make things better? Better for who? Better for ourselves, better for others, or better for both? Well, this is where the notion of delivering value comes in.  Change has to be of value to someone to stick. Not necessarily everyone, but at least someone. If a greedy, insecure person sees their path as to be an exploiter, then they might be likely to follow it.  I guess they would create value for themselves but not necessarily anyone else. However, there will always be others who think if they follow these types of people, they will benefit, and sometimes they do. 

But remember, during these last two thousand years, many empires based on suppression and exploitation came into being and then perished. Who ran the world? Well, it depends upon which century you ask the question about. Which company dominated the market? When? Which leader was in charge? Again when?

Is it possible to create value for both yourself and also for others? Of course, it is. Invent something useful! Why do you think the US Patent and Copyright Office was created? To provide a temporary monopoly as an incentive for people to put forth inventive energies. Hey, and guess what? It worked very well. A lot of value was created, and a lot of people benefited. 

But, and this is a big but, there was a lot of failure on the way. If you are a creative outlier, for this is the population I believe I am attempting to address, there are two paths – keep quiet and don’t rock the boat or move forward. Hardly anyone will mind or give you a hard time about quitting or will support you in moving forward, except for other creative outliers like yourself, who can see the potential value of what you are considering.   

Where will you find such people? This is why SVII was founded in Silicon Valley as a regional in-person entity nearly twenty years ago when there were no other college Innovation Institutes.  Today as we move from 2022 into 2023, after seventeen and half years, SVII is becoming SVIII, an International Innovation Institute