If You Do Anything, Be Legendary

It's not often we mere individuals get to do something so significant, so dramatic, that it actually shifts the dial on global change. As Shakespeare said: “Some are born to greatness, some aspire to greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

But here's the thing, it takes such a little effort to be legendary in everything you do, that it's worth choosing that path. Then when greatness comes knocking, or that global dial starts shifting, you fulfill your purpose and make an impact (and pay back all the oxygen debt you've incurred.)

You could fly. Or take a road trip. The road trip might take a couple of days longer, but the experience is 100 fold, 1000 fold than just getting there. In a life of travel, the trips I remember are on motorbikes in foreign countries, crossing oceans on yachts, and yes, commuting as a hitchhiker in my teens and twenties.

This isn't just true for travel, but for every aspect of your life. You could take a corporate job to pay the bills, or join the start-up that changes the world. And when you choose the start-up, choose the legendary one. Not the next mobile payments voucher app, but the one that revolutionises communications, or transport, or food production, or education. Take a look at the latest United Nations Social Development Goals, and do something that turns the dial on one of those.

Yes, you can be legendary in a corporate (or traditional) job too. Have to give a presentation? Be legendary! Don't do the standard 57 “death by bullet point” presentation, do a TED style talk, or an IGNITE, or make it a movie. Build something together with the audience. Use audio, video, games, comedy, story.

Have to fix a broken pipe? Be legendary! Be early, polite, considerate, go an extra mile, clean-up the mess, offer to check the rest of the pipes.

Have to run a meeting? Run it like Bruce Wayne would.

Parenting a child? Be legendary! Go waterskiing, or hiking, or cycling. Learn something new together. Travel, read bedtime stories from your childhood, or your ancestory.

What if you can't? What if your eagle wings cannot spread because of the turkeys you're surrounded by, then leave. Yes, leave. Resign, quit, take the path less travelled. Forego the golden handcuffs of society. Be the best person you can be, not within the constraints, not event in spite of the constraints. Simply change the playing field.

Don't settle for the societal lie. Don't settle for mediocrity. Don't, whatever you do, take the easy choice.

Rather take the hard path. The right choice. Take the yacht of your life out of the harbour and fulfill the potential of your purpose in the doldrums and storms of life. Taste the spices and flavours of the world. Suck the marrow out of life.

“But what if I fall?” O brother (and sister) “What if you FLY??!?”

Listen over a billion people live on less than $1 a day. You have the privilege of having everything you need to affect real change. You have a responsibility.

As Barney Stinson says: “This is going to be legend-wait for it-ary!!”

Fame Enslaves and Wealth Sets You Free

In a recent survey of millennials over 50% of them wanted to “become famous” in their career. In the start-up (& disruptive innovation space) we like to talk about Uber, AirBnB, Snapchat, and previously Facebook, Twitter etc. Of course who we don't talk about are the GoCatch, VRBO, MySpace, and Jaiku's…

Fame enslaves. Not only is everyone competing to be bigger and better, but there are other constraints about being public. You become a target, for the public. Speak to any movie star about papparazzi.

Wealth on the other hand, sets you free. Quietly go about your business, and use resources to solve problems, and continue to build your business.


Why You Don’t Want to Be in Car Insurance Anymore?

As you know, I'm a passionate advocate for the driverless car. Whilst I love driving, and have driven well over 1m kilometres in my life in dozens of countries, it is clear that the biggest point of failure in a car is the human controlling it. Take the bug out of the system, and improve the system. Inestimably.

From a purely selfish PoV, we're pretty much at the limit of the speeds we can drive. If we want to go faster, and I do, we need to take the SPOF out of the system.

The technology in the car can absolutely deal with faster speeds. But the Mk I eyeball, hearing system, reflexes, and simple attention system of the vast majority of drivers on the planet is stretched to the max. Start adding alcohol, drugs, fatigue, traffic, and emotional state, not to mention mobile phones, navigation systems, and dynamically changing speed enforcement and the system begins to break. This exhibits through both traffic enforcement and accidents.

But driverless cars will drive 2 effects that will entirely invalidate insurance:

1. Zero Liability

On the one hand if there is no (or negligible) chance of an accident, because the systems are so good, no-one will buy insurance. Heck, I didn't take the most expensive insurance (that reduced excess to a less eye-watering sum) when renting a motorbike that I'd not ridden before, in a foreign country that drives on the right, in the pouring rain. And I think you'd agree there was a fair risk there.

So (virtually) no chance of an accident, why would you ever buy insurance?

Especially when you could probably slap a liability class action on the car manufacturer if there ever was an accident.

2. Infinite Liability

Let's say that a number of driverless cars were hacked, and used to cause mayhem and carnage on the roads? You have no idea the extent of the damage, what could possibliy go wrong in the future, how many more cars could be hacked? In short, now the liability is infinite!

With infinite liabilies, no insurer would underwrite a policy.

Managing Risk

With no-one buying insurance because of the neglibile probability of an accident; and no-one selling because of the devastating impact of a massive event; you simply wont be able to buy (or sell) car insurance.

But no-one will be buying a car anyway…

…They'll be subscribing to “Car as a Servise

How Much Are Your Memories Worth?

I have a friend, let's call him Xavior, who recently lost his laptop bag in a car break-in. In the bag was his laptop, with all of his photo's of his young family. All of the photos. They're all digital, and all stored on the laptop. And there were no other computers with these photos.

Yes there was a backup, in case the laptop failed. This was stored on an external USB Hard Drive, that unfortunately was in the same laptop bag.

You can imagine how crushed Xavior is. Tragic. As he put it, “This is not about replacing the stolen laptop. I hope the thief is happy with all of our only memories of our children.”

Which leads me to ask (philosophically), “It's 2016, why isn't there a back-up in the cloud?”

To which the most common answer is: “The 'free' accounts aren't big enough for all my data, and I can't afford a premium account.”

Of course there are other answers, e.g. “I don't trust my personal photos on a Public Cloud Provider that could be hacked.”

So here's a couple of questions:

1. How much would you pay to retrieve your data?

Let's say you couldn't access your photos because of a computer failure, or a corrupted SD card. How much would you be willing to pay to retrieve the information? Chances are, if these were your only memories, this would be a very high figure.

More than you would pay for backup sw.

In fact, quite apart from synchronised drive providers (Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, GoogleDrive) that have a freemium account model, you can get CrashPlan from Code42. For Free. This will automatically back up all the files on your PC or Mac (or Linux box) daily. If you want you can attach a HDD to your computer, do a full backup. Then plug this HDD in a friends computer on the other side of the Internet, and your files will autormatically backup to this drive. Daily. For Free.

If you want to add continuous backup, plus unlimited cloud storage, plus mobile phone access, this will cost you a whopping $5 per month.

So I ask again, how much are the thousands of photos worth? $60? I'd say so.

2. What is More Secure?

What is more secure? Duplicate copies in a public cloud provider that could potentially be hacked? Or, all of your valuable information on a physical machine?

With regard to hacking: It is extremely unlikely that anyone is going to hack you. Period. Unless you're a celebrity that has saved naked photos. Are you? Have you?

I thought not.

But even then, your HDD crashing, or your laptop failing, or your car being broken into? Those are far more likely events.

Actually if I was to glean valuable information from you (which doesn't include your photos) I would hack your home computer a long time before hacking a Public Cloud Provider.

Seriously, the cloud is more secure than your PC at home.

3. Why Do We Think Everything Should Be Free?

This is my big question for today. For some reason there seems to be a “everything should be free” culture.

  • I'm willing to create a personal website of all my photos and videos and thoughts and events, but I'm not willing to pay for this website.
  • I'm willing to download apps or songs or movies as long as they're free.
  • I think it's ok to synch my files on a cloud service for free as long as I don't have to pay anything.

You Always Pay

As Xavior found out, you always pay for security. Either before disaster strikes, or afterwards. Afterwards is always more expensive.

This is true for other 'free' services. We actually pay far more for them than a financial sum. Our attention (time) is far more valuable than the $10 per month it would cost to host your own website. Your email address is far more valuable to a marketer over time, than the $100 for a 'free' report.

Take Action

Put in place a process to automatically backup your important files. Pay for a Dropbox subscription (that boosts you from 2GB to 2TB), so everything is just synchronised, securely.

Or a MS OneDrive, or a Google Drive, or S3 on Amazon Web Services

Or Crashplan. Which, again, you can implement for a daily, remote, automatic backup for free!!

And the next time you sign up for a 'free' account, take a moment to figure out just what you're actually paying.


I suspect for Xavior all is probably not entirely lost. There'll be photos posted to Facebook, and Twitter. No doubt some were emailed to family and friends. Then there's photos others took that will be both online, and offline on home computers. Perhaps even some left on the Camera.

I rather suspect there won't be anywhere near as many photos, but it probably won't matter. The curated collection will be just as valuable. Consider this an unplanned editing event. Based on the premise that all the best shots where shared already.

Protect yourself.