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About The Guest
Salim is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, author, speaker, and technology strategist. He is the Founding Executive Director of Singularity University and the lead author of Exponential Organizations. In March 2017 he was named to the board of the XPRIZE Foundation.
Salim has been building disruptive digital companies as a serial entrepreneur since the early 2000s. As a prolific speaker, Salim gives more than 150 talks a year to audiences of all sizes around the world. He has been profiled across a vast array of media outlets including The New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, WIRED, Vogue, and the BBC. Salim is a sought-after strategist and a renowned technology entrepreneur who built and sold his company to Google.
- 00:00 — Intro
- 02:30 — Salim Ismail’s origin story
- 06:03 — According to Salim Ismail, what is the key to having influence in the biggest organizations?
- 10:20 — What is more important; training deans of different universities or training employees of the largest organizations?
- 11:36 — What is the result Salim Ismail is trying to achieve in Singularity?
- 16:51 — How does Salim Ismail hire his team?
- 18:15 — What’s the formula that has worked for Salim when going into big organizations?
- 21:11 — How does the formula of Singularity work?
- 30:10 — What does Salim Ismail mean by “we are going to break the world?”
- 33:35 — What are the last two levers that Salim Ismail pulls in an organization?
- 34:41 — Salim’s views on all these Gutenberg moments and technologies we’re seeing
- 36:40 — A huge opportunity
- 39:59 — What’s the time frame for disrupting a government?
- 46:13 — Salim Ismail’s advice for somebody to start his own organization
- 49:05 — What’s the difference between vision and the business model?
- 53:02 — What are the small companies that are finding pmf?
- 59:03 — How do dows work practically?
- 1:02:06 — What is Salim Ismail focused on right now?
- 1:07:00 — Is the ability to civilize only present in large organizations or in individuals as well?
- 1:12:55 — Some closing thoughts from Salim Ismail
- 1:14:23 — Where do people connect with Salim Ismail?
- 1:15:59 — The biggest challenge Salim Ismail had in his personal and professional career?
- 1:17:39 — How did Salim Ismail tap into 17000 people at Singularity?
- 1:20:30 — Who has been a mentor to Salim Ismail?
- 1:23:36 — A book or a podcast recommended by Salim Ismail
- 1:25:03 — What would Salim Ismail tell his 20-year-old self?
- 1:25:34 — What does success mean to Salim Ismail?
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Machine Generated Transcript
company, mtp, world, organization, model, build, years, big, singularity, idea, mothership, disruptive, technology, unbelievable, disrupt, apply, community, people, blockchain, innovation
Salim Ismail, Scott D Clary
Scott D Clary 00:00
Welcome to success story, the most useful podcast in the world. I’m your host Scott D. Clary. The success story podcast is part of the HubSpot Podcast Network and the blue wire Podcast Network. The HubSpot Podcast Network has incredible podcasts like my first million. My first million is hosted by Sam Parr and Shawn Peri, they feature famous guests. They discuss how companies made their first million and then some they brainstorm new business ideas based on the hottest trends and opportunities in the marketplace. Here are some of the topics he talked about. If you like any of these, you will love the show three profitable business ideas that you should start in 2020 to drunk business ideas that can make you millions, asking the founder of Grammarly how he built a $13 billion company or Sass companies that anybody can start. If these topics are up your alley, go check out my first million listen to it wherever you listen to your podcast. Today, my guest is Salim Ismail. He is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, author, speaker and Technology Strategist. He is the founding executive director of Singularity University and lead author of exponential organizations. In March 2017, he was named to the board of the XPrize Foundation. He has been building disruptive digital companies as a serial entrepreneur since the early 2000s. As a prolific speaker Salim gives more than 150 talks per year to audiences of all sizes around the world. He has been profiled across a vast array of media outlets, including the New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, fortune, Forbes, wired, Vogue, and the BBC. He is a sought after strategist and a renowned technology entrepreneur who built and sold his company to Google. So today we’re going to speak about all the things that Selim speaks on and teaches. We’re going to speak about the keys to disruption and innovation. We’re going to see why some of the largest organizations have trouble keeping up with some of the most smallest agile organizations and why small, disruptive organizations always seem to win. We’re going to speak about the immune response to evolution and disruption in organizations. How the world deals with multiple Gutenberg moments at the same time. We’re also going to speak about how Selene plans to break and fix the world we’re gonna speak about exponential thinking, disrupting government and the future of civilization and governance. So an incredible episode Hope you enjoy. This is Salim Ismail. He’s a serial entrepreneur, Angel, investor, author, speaker and Technology Strategist.
Salim Ismail 02:30
So first of all, great to be here. I’m originally from India, ended up in Canada when I was 10 years old. My dad hated noise, dirt, pollution and corruption. So India is not so great for that. Did School University there I went to Waterloo, the big tech university and I went to Europe from there for 10 years, doing five years of systems architecture, building large scale systems, and then five years of management consulting, and couldn’t start a business in Europe. So I came to New York City and built a the predecessor to Twitter, unfortunately, 18 months too early, very bad to be early in the tech space better to be late. When you’re early, you just teach teach the marketplace how to do it. And then somebody else comes along and rolls you over. But it got me well known ended up on the west coast as the head of innovation at Yahoo. And kind of hit across the fundamental problem that is driving a lot of my thinking now, which is when you try and being disruptive in a legacy organization, the immune system attacks you, because all of our organizations are built to resist change and withstand risk. And yet that’s the harder bit right. And I’d set up a relationship between Yahoo and NASA to do some interesting projects together. And when did the NASA people invited me to the founding conference of Singularity University, where they brought 70 thought leaders around the Bay Area and said, is it worth creating an educational institution only focused on accelerating technologies. I somehow had never met or come across Ray Kurzweil or Peter Diamandis or the XPRIZE, or even the singularity. And so I was kind of blown away asked a lot of questions. But two weeks later, Peter says, Do you want to run it? I remember getting off the phone. My wife goes, how’s your phone call? And I’m like, I’m a dean. I don’t know how that happened. In laws are permanently confused. And seven years of building a singularity, I think was incredibly seminal. Probably my secret superpower is that if there’s a lecture lab workshop discussion on blockchain or autonomous cars, or CRISPR, or drones or, or neuroscience breakthroughs, I’ve heard each one like 60 times. So as my wife says, I can pretend to speak about anything at this point. And that gives me an insight that we have 20 Gutenberg moments hitting us at the same time. The printing press in the 15th century, fundamentally changed the world. Well, solar energy fundamentally changed the world and then you have blockchain that totally changed or AI completely changes the world. In general, we’ve had these kinds of breakthroughs once every few decades. And we have I think we have 20 of them hitting us all at the same time. And this is blowing Our industries and blowing up are institutions globally. And I’m probably most focused on the structural change happening in society because of the massive tidal wave of these technology breakthroughs hitting us at the same time. And I wrote the book on the back of that basically saying, we need to organize in a completely new way. And we noticed that over the last 10 years, a completely new breed of organization was emerging, where they’d learned how to scale the org structure as fast as you could scale technology. We’ve learned how to scale technology very well, zero to a million users, Amazon cloud services, you can do it pretty quickly. But building the org structure in the actual organization, as any entrepreneur knows, is painfully incremental and linear. And so how we saw new breed of organization and basically analyzed 200 of the fastest growing companies, and said, How are they doing this? How would they? How is Ted scaling so fast using TEDx or Uber not hiring drivers or Airbnb leveraging other people’s assets. And that’s essentially where the XO model came from.
Scott D Clary 06:03
What’s interesting is even the examples that you mentioned there, there are organizations, where they birthed in these 20, Gutenberg moments, or were they organizations that were legacy because I don’t think Well, obviously, not Airbnb, and Uber and whatnot. And Ted, I’d actually don’t know when the inception point of Ted was, but all the examples you’re mentioning are companies that were sort of rowing, and going through awkward periods when all these technologies were available. So I feel like the people that were trapped to these organizations, even the leadership, they were a little bit more forward thinking. Now when you look at the largest organizations in the world, they’ve been around for 3040 5060 100 plus years. Yeah. So when we look at the the people that are making moves, and people that are disrupting they are the Airbnb isn’t the Ubers and whatnot, and the Netflix of the world. But have you seen and have you noticed with legacy organizations them trying to adapt trying to keep up? Or is this exponential thinking? Is it? Is it too much for a legacy organization to properly implement because of the insane amount of layers, the insane amount of accuracy?
Salim Ismail 06:59
So big question. There’s a few different answers to that, for the most part, they can’t figure this out. Right? When we encountered when we talked to the CEOs of a big company B, Dow Chemical or Caterpillar or Credit Suisse, it took on average, they hear about these disruptions, and then it took them three years to actually do anything about it. Right. So that’s kind of the opportunity of that cost of that three years is kind of inserted it Yeah, like when a big bank first use of our blockchain, it literally takes them three, because what will happen is they’ll hear about these and go holy crap, the CEO or C suite fellow will go back to the home office will sound like a raving lunatic, right? They’ll give him a white coats on medicine, ask them to stand in the corner while they do the important work. Eventually, he’ll be gone enough that somebody will be sent out to Silicon Valley, they’ll say, they’ll go back and go, Oh, my God, this is crazy. They’ll triangulate and go okay, we need to set up an outpost over there. So they set up an outpost with people in Silicon Valley. And people get the those people get excited. When they come back in. They sound like crazy people. So they get ignored, then the CEO changes and you start all over again. And that kind of pattern. It’s just, it takes a long time to turn it a supertanker, right, and then you turn the rudder and nothing happens for a while until the ship the ocean, it’s that same type of analogy. We do see a complete shift with younger CEOs and younger entrepreneurs, because they’ve grown up native to this environment, and are doing things in this way. There’s a great little story I have about this. When I we were building out singularity, we had, it was about six months, and the dean of one of the top two business schools in the world comes to visit. And he’s like super annoyed, because like he’s got a whole bunch of articles circled in newspapers about us. And he’s like, What the hell are you doing? There’s like $2 million of PR here and I arguably the best business school in the world. I can’t buy a newspaper article in newspaper. What are you doing? So we try and explain the model data data that are going through it? And at some point, he goes, Well, you know, how big is your team? And there was like five of us. And I said, Well, you know, it’s us. And his mind broke, like literally he was like, Ah, he goes, my personal staff in my office is 12 people. Like you can’t build a university with five people. And I’m like, Well, we are and there’s nothing special we’re doing. We’re using Google Docs for everything. We’re multi assigning multiple hats to multiple just start up stuff. He could not get his head around that about it. About 10 minutes later, he goes, Can we can we go outside and play Frisbee. And the next two hours, he was just playing frisbee outside, we’d literally broke his mind. And that really struck me I was like, Wait, like that guy’s running the biggest biggest school in the world and cannot get his head around this. what hope is there for any of this? Right? And one more very quick follow up. About five years ago, I did a talk a keynote to the conference of 700 Dean’s of business schools. Who knew but once you they all get together, organizer excitedly announces me and says hey, we’re gonna hear from Salim latest in the expo stuff, except what he sees as complete blank looks from the audience. And he notices that something goes off us. How many of you have heard of the echo? And out of 700 Dean’s of business schools like to put up their hands Now, if you’re a car designer, you may or may not like Tesla, but you should guide them know that they’re there. And they have no idea that this new paradigm exists. It just it was just unbelievable. Because every business school in the world teaches you how to build a 20th century organization. There’s simply no business school in the world that can teach you how to build Uber.
Scott D Clary 10:19
So what’s the what’s the lever? You have to pull? In your opinion? Do you think it’s to, to convince those Dean’s or to educate those Dean’s? Or do you think it’s going to the largest organizations in the world, you’re gonna have a trickle down effect into the business schools?
Salim Ismail 10:32
No, I don’t think you can fix it. Because academia has the worst immune system in the world,
Scott D Clary 10:37
more so than like fortune 500 way,
Salim Ismail 10:39
way worse. I think it goes like big companies, is a bad immune system. Our institutions like education and journalism, and health care have their own immune system, then you have academia which has its own immune system, and the probably the worst is religion, or the like, kill you if you don’t follow the relationship. So I kind of grade immune systems at that level. And we’ve got a great slide that was put together by Rhea SHA, the head of Global Learning at Ernst and Young, showing, here’s 60 things that you’ll hear that indicate an immune response, we can’t do it, it’s not a priority. We’re not set up for this. It’ll never work all of the normal, hundreds of reasons to say no to something, right. And there’s ways of beating this, we found ways the big companies can adapt. But it’s very rare to see overall, we’re pushing the envelope. And we’ve got a methodology now to transform big companies. But most actually don’t believe it, because they just can’t see how you get there.
Scott D Clary 11:36
So what is the what is the result that you’re trying to achieve with singularity? Like, if you said, for example, you’re talking to a big company like Yeah, and I would say, before we go down that rabbit hole and see how we can actually build the company that we should be building? Yeah. Are there companies that do is like an IBM?
Salim Ismail 11:53
Yeah, so we saw I’ll give you a great data point. When we wrote launched the book, we, we scored the fortune 100. Yeah, on this model, we said okay, to what extent does IBM use Lean Startup thinking to what extent is GE purpose driven not to what extent is, Procter and Gamble has has decentralized decision making, and we scored them because we have a survey a diagnostic that scores a big company. And I would did a segment on CNBC Squawk Box and publish this index here, the fortune 100, ranked by the flexibility, agility, scalability of their org structures. And it was a nice little marketing thing. We just finished a seven year trailing analysis of that index. And the numbers are unbelievable. So you’re comparing we’re comparing the top 10 most flexible, agile, scalable of the Fortune 100 compared to the least flexible, in our opinion, we track them over seven years, the top 10 up from the bottom 10, but like 3x on revenue growth 6.4 times on profitability 11 times on for return on equity, but shareholder returns, which compound annual growth rate, top 10 beat the bottom 10 by 40x over 70. Well, like you can’t make this up, right. And we actually did an r squared analysis to make sure this was statistically real. So because the umbrella thesis is pretty simple as the as the external world becomes more volatile, your ability to adapt is going to drive market value. And now we can prove it like six ways to Sunday. So the big challenge now becomes how do you take a big company and make it more agile? And we have some good indicators on some good precedents. Larry Page from Google came to me a few years ago said, Hey, your unit at Yahoo was really successful. Should I build an incubator at Google as a don’t, you’ll have the same immune system response. But do something like it, keep it stealth pointed into adjacent areas. And you see the result is Google X, where they have their core information processing capability in the mothership. And they use hardware, Google car, Google Glass contact lenses to go into adjacent areas, right. The master of this technique is Apple, obviously, hyper successful company. There, yes, they have a great design capability. Yes, they have a great technology supply chain. I will argue that Apple’s core innovation is organization. Because what they do, unlike anybody else in the world, is it will form a small team that’s really disruptive. It will take that team to the edge of the company. It will keep them secret and stuff. And they will say to that team go disrupt another industry
Scott D Clary 14:18
. And when you say secret and sell that, what does that actually so
Salim Ismail 14:21
like the main the mothership does not know what’s happening, like Steve Jobs when you put the Mac team
Scott D Clary 14:26
really in a Sunday and they give them their funding and their budget and they just say Do whatever you want.
Salim Ismail 14:30
No, no,no. They may say they will give the give them direction. Okay, go go disrupt payments. So here’s Apple works. They have a portfolio of teams investigating the future of cars, payments, retail watches, whatever education, you name it. And when they think an industry or product area is ready for disruption, they go into it and disrupt it and then they iterate their product very aggressively. Not only does nobody else do this, nobody’s even noticed that this is all they do. So when they think something’s ready for disruption, they go and there’s no limit to their market cap. Of course, when they hit a trillion dollars, I was the first person to say they will hit a $2 trillion market cap, just because they can just keep going to industry after industry using this model. When suddenly works, they fold it back into the mothership into the back into the iTunes platform does it nobody knows about it, nobody knows about it, or they’ll fail it elegantly, etc. But it gives them they’re essentially an incubator of breakthrough ideas with the platform of design and technology as key strength. But the key innovation is organizational. Right. Now, other teams, other companies are learning how to do this IBM, Microsoft has done an unbelievable job of switching from a product sale to a subscription model with Microsoft Office just just unbelievable. I think such an Adela so get like a Nobel Prize in business for doing this. There have been two times in history that we could track where this worked. And those two examples were IBM and apple in the 90s, and so on only when they were had a quarter or two left of cash. And they had absolute charismatic leader in Lou Gerstner or Steve Jobs, no other company in deep trouble has ever managed to make it. So you need a bunch of questions, we’ve been focusing on a tool set to transform legacy organizations and we’ve cracked it, it’s working. But getting a big organization to they have to first realize they’re in trouble to be believed that the path through it that actually then actually take on that path. It’s like a patient who first shares they have cancer, they don’t want and they live like they don’t want to know, right? And they’re not set up to no. And you have to kind of wake them up and shock them, etc, etc.
Scott D Clary 16:36
I want to unpack what that toolkit is because that’s very interesting. But I also want to understand, going back to that Apple model when they and I’m sure that some of this plays into the toolkit as well, but the people, so when you build out these, these teams that are separate from the mothership, and they’re doing their thing, and they’re investigating, and they’re trying to disrupt Yeah, what’s the what’s the person that you’re hiring for, for this particular role? Because I want to, I want to figure out that person so that somebody listening to this is like, if I want to build a company now, yeah, I need to be looking for these attributes of these traits.
Salim Ismail 17:04
Sure. So if you’re hiring for so the key concept here is you do not do disruptive innovation in the mothership. You do it at the edge of the organization pointing into adjacent spaces, okay? Really important. Now, how do you hire for that there’s two ways if hiring from inside, then every company has about 5% of people that are totally nuts, super smart, very loyal, but super hard to manage, and you never know where you’re gonna fire them, or they’re gonna quit anyway, those are the ones grab them, put them at the edge and go say go this way, right, Bill go and build an E XO, off the edge of the company, the best corporate analog we have as Nestle spinning off Nespresso. For about three years, Nestle ran Nespresso line of business, it was just a mess didn’t go anywhere, because it doesn’t fit inside the corporate structure of food processing, etc. Excuse me, you finally set it on the edge, separate independent, boom, multibillion dollar line of business, right. And so that’s the key formula is put it the edge into adjacent spaces. If you’re setting up a new CO at the edge, then you ideally want to hire from the outside. Because anybody from the inside that has any depth of experience will be useless for the future. Anyway, you need somebody as young as possible and as crazy as possible.
Scott D Clary 18:15
Okay, so let’s talk about the formula. So now those are the right people for that. But when you’re when you’re going into an organization, what’s the formula? And what’s the strategy that you found works,
Salim Ismail 18:23
so we need to do three things. Number one is, we have come up with a 10 week sprint that we have now open sourced that hacks culture at scale in a legacy organization, we found that’s absolutely critical. And what that means is so the, you know, if you look at the fortune 100 data, it’s pretty clear that we’ve stumbled across the organizational model for the next 10 years. By the end of this decade, every organization in the world, be it a big company, a start up a nonprofit and impact project, even a government department will be organized in this way because it’s just better. So the number one thing is to hack the mothership and change the culture to be more acceptable of this innovation at the edge, like Apple has done so Apple’s employees know, there’s crazy stuff happening at the edge. And their deals. Wait until there’s a reveal and they get to know what it is. If you tell them too early, they’ll instinctively try and find it. Okay. Like for example, at Yahoo, one of the challenges I had with my incubator is the company kept publishing what I was doing, and all the other teams at Yahoo were like, Hey, we’re doing that why is he get to do that? Does it other than just set up a horrible internal politics have to keep that stuff? Okay? The second is do disruptive things away from away from the core organization, if incremental innovation is best at the core, disruptive innovation at the edge. So we’ve created a 10 week process called an ESO sprint that hacks culture at scale in a big company. We piloted it with Procter and Gamble. We’ve not done it 60 times with big companies. average return on investment is like 70 Time’s running for running because the juices up the internal metabolism of the company, and allows them to accept disruptive innovation. So that cultural tolerance now sits that if something, somebody does something wacky at the edge, they don’t shut it down by default, they kind of go, wow, that’s interesting. And they leave it at every level of the organization, we found that it does. And I can describe why it works and how it works if you want. But we found we found a way of hacking culture at scale in a legacy organization. And 60 times in we’re pretty good that it’s a true cookie cutter process, we published a second book called exponential transformation, which is literally a handbook on how to do it, how you form the teams, what weekly assignments you give them, and it’s a 10 week elapsed process. Sweet Bonanza slot features a unique mechanism where symbols explode and are replaced by new ones, creating more opportunities for players to win big. There is also a free spins feature that can be triggered by landing four or more scatter symbols on the reels. During free spins in Bonanza slot, players can earn even more free spins by landing additional scatter symbols. In addition, there is a multiplier feature that can increase the payout for each winning spin. And the key metric we found is that we’re able to move leadership culture management, thinking three years ahead, in that 10 weeks. So that’s pretty cool. We found that when somebody had a great idea inside a company beforehand, they might get funded five or 10% of the time, after you run this process, they’re getting funded 95% of the time, because the company culturally knows now that disruptive stuff at the end needs to be embraced, and not shut down.
Scott D Clary 21:09
So it makes sense to me that, so I’m curious as to how this works. Because if you move the leadership along, that makes sense, but I feel like you know, especially in the Fortune 500. And if you’ve ever worked in one or worked with one, I mean, the issue is not always the leadership either. No, it’s not. It’s all the Midmark every every middle middle level management. Yeah, yeah. Do not want to change it definitely for 30 years.
Salim Ismail 21:32
Yes, I’ll tell you how it works. How we do, what we do is we work in in p&g, we work with a division that was 7000 people, pretty big division. In fact, it was shared services, which is the backend it provisioning. So that’s pretty conservative law, etc. So we, the we work with them. And what we do is we get the top 10% of senior management into a workshop at the beginning, the top two layers of senior management, and we do a singularity style shock, and I’ll blow your mind workshop, which is meant to freak them out. But completely hate, here’s the future. And it’s going to mess with you. For example, a huge amount of r&d of p&g goes into What shape should the shampoo bottle be to be attractive to for a potential shopper? Or what color should the Pampers box be right? To be attractive? Well, my wife has a diaper subscription to Amazon and doesn’t care about the box anymore, do realize this and you’re about to be disrupted around. So the subscription type models are completely disrupting the traditional merchandising model, etc. Just on a totally wacky idea. There’s a biotech breakthrough where you can spray certain bacteria in your armpits and you never need to use soap again. Because soap actually takes off a lot of the good bacteria that sits on your skin. It’s not great for you. So you just use the spray, and you never need the odor and you never need soap. Well, that’s kind of disruptive. And do you know about this at least trackit, right, or Soylent, which is totally nuts, etc. So we kind of give them that then we kind of leave them alone, because the legacy management is not set up for the future thinking. What we do is take 25 young leaders, future lieutenants of the business, and they actually do the work. So it’s kind of a coaching model. And they divided into four teens, two teams that sit at the edge of the company going what crazy idea can we launch to to blow this company opened TEDx, the second two teams sit inside the mothership and think about what would I do to change the mothership, which of the ACC EXR attributes or to implement internally, they do two five week innovation cycles report at the end. And we’ve pre allocated half a million an idea of senior management likes, the idea is a funnel. Now what happens is, the reason it works is when we’ve kind of shown the senior management the future, when the new ideas come, they don’t tag them. So that’s number one. Number two, when those young leaders go back to their day jobs after the 10 weeks is over, which takes about 30% of their time during the 10 weeks is non full time because you it’s hard to do that. But it takes you know, somewhere about a third of their time when they go back to their day jobs. In fact, everybody else with this thinking. So we’re essentially introducing a viral meme into a company. And the best summary of what we’ve learned how to do in the same way that say Tony Robbins, or landmark education or Neuro Linguistic Programming is able to make a subconscious state change in an individual. We’ve learned how to do that at an organizational level. And after 60 times, we’re pretty good at it.
Scott D Clary 24:25
Okay, so that makes sense to me. Just before we keep going, I just want to actually touch or ask a question about when when these companies create these, these little units at the edge and they’re innovating in disrupting I’m going to figure out the rest of the strategy as well. But is it not easier just to buy companies and put them at the edge?
Salim Ismail 24:50
You could? But the problem is the company can’t resist getting its sticky little fingers on it.
Scott D Clary 24:56
So I’ve experienced this before, of course, my last company
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Scott D Clary 26:04
was acquired by a large company. And we were supposed to be one of these disruptive units. Yes. And then an enterprise team started developing a product that was competing directly with ours, and trying to take it to market and we were fighting for resources. And then neither product actually worked out. Yeah. So that i It’s so interesting, because I’ve seen a lot of companies try and acquire and like create these little innovation labs within their organizations. But I’ve seen firsthand I’ve experienced it not working because of everything you just mention
Salim Ismail 26:31
it never ever, ever, ever, ever ever works. I’ve never seen disruptive innovation occur in the in the mothership Coca Cola a few years ago did something really amazing. They said, We’re going to do disruptive innovation transparently in the mother organization. I was like, wow, that’s super courageous, let’s fail miserably, but at least they tried. And the only way I’ve seen it work is is the Apple model, put it take your crazy people to the edge, keep them stealth, tell the rest of company, we’re not telling you what’s out there. But when we disrupt when we launch it, it’s gonna be really frickin cool. Yeah, right, and then launch it off the so that requires a different form of leadership than all this the the consensus driven leadership that exists in both most big companies doesn’t apply to this model. So you have to operate in a totally different way. And a large company. Here’s the simple reason why every large organization in the world is geared for efficiency, and optimized for predictability, they want to deliver the same barf soap in a million locations, if you’re Unilever. And when you come in from the side, it’s like a Roman army marching along in a phalanx formation with shields and spears chugging along, you come in from the side, it doesn’t matter how nice you are, you’re gonna get spirit. And what you experienced is you bring in this different animal, and the company can handle it. And I can give a couple of great little anecdotes because I, I’ve seen this before and telcos and banks and stuff, but I joined Yahoo. And I extracted five promises from Jerry Yang and senior management to join, I want to be off site, I want to be able to go off brand, I want to be free of HR and legal rules, I want to be able to build on my own technology stack not bound by the corporate stuff, Ruby on Rails, we should be built because we’re trying to be a startup type structure. And the last one was I wanted to be able to give equity in an idea to somebody had a great idea. Otherwise, you could just do a startup, especially in Silicon Valley. We got all sign off on all of these within two months, all five shredded beyond any possible recognition that they ever existed. I go to these the HR people and go, Hey, I want to give stock options to somebody has a great idea. And they’re like, We can’t do that we’re a public company with a regulator stock option plan. No freakin way. I’m like, but I got sign up from Jerry Yang. And they go Yeah, you tell Jerry to come down and run the stock option plan and deal with the regulators. No, we’re not doing it. I’m like you’re unlikely there’s literally rippled across all of these and it was gone. My favorite one was about I did get a separate office away from the mothership, but about sitting in the empty office with my developers. And about a couple of days in the doorbell rings. Go outside, there’s a huge furniture truck. And the guys I’m here to deliver the furniture, I’m like what for it, we didn’t order any he was on from facilities. And I’m here to deliver the furniture, we open up the back, and it’s literally full of cubicle, some corporate color couches, it’s like Dilbert help. And my guys are like, the hell with that. If that comes in, we’re out of here. We want a ping pong table and foosball and beanbags. This shit. Yeah. So so the guy is like, hey, my KPIs to deliver and furnish a new office within 48 hours of an opening. And I’m coming in. I’m like, so I’m like, okay, hold on a second. I’m on the phone with his boss and his boss’s boss. I’m on the phone with my boss and my boss takes half a day. Finally, I’m able to get rid of the guy who’s grumbling. He doesn’t want his bonus, dinged, they actually didn’t show up, etc, etc. And I’m like, Phew, that was like, you know, close, but we managed to get rid of them. My guys didn’t quit in protest, and all good but it shows you and shows you You know what this is like every everybody in a big company knows this story 1000 houses over, okay, here’s the crazy part two weeks later, doorbell rings, same guy, same truck, same furniture. And I’m like, Dude, I thought we went through this. He goes, Yeah, except my manager changed. Notice you didn’t have the tick box and mom now ordered to bring the furniture and have to start all over them right. Now, what’s key here? What’s really key here is he’s not being a bad guy. No, he’s just doing what his KPIs and his job description of the efficiency of the company operating on a certain metabolism is geared to do that thing. When you try and do something radically different, it can’t cope, it just can’t cope, it’ll spit it out. And so either one of two things happens with a disruptive idea in a big company. Either, it gets diluted so much that all the disruptive elements are gone. And you can, it’s vanilla and Mother mother’s milk at that point, and up Applehead and Mother pie, and it’s just part of the big company, or it gets spit out and rejected and you lose the either way, one of the two things happens. Large organization cannot handle this government’s handle it even worse. Institutions have to handle it even worse. And this is the nature of the world that we have to solve. If we don’t solve that we’re we are going to break the world.
Scott D Clary 31:14
Why do you think we’re going to break the world? What does that mean?
Salim Ismail 31:17
Well, all the institutions by which we run the world were set up in the middle ages. Understood, right EO Wilson, the noted biologist said, we are we have Paleolithic emotions. We have medieval institutions. And we have godlike technology, right. And there’s a big impedance mismatch between those three simple example is you education was set up a few 100 years ago designed to take a young child train them through the early 20s to be ready for the existing job market. Well, the world is changing so fast, we have no idea what the job looks like, in five years, what are we teaching, and you try and update education, and watch the fun whilst the immune system reacts, you will get viciously butchered by the existing system, teachers, unions, book publishers, regulatory people, etc. They can’t cope. And it’s the same in every major institution, journalism, the business model is broken. Democracy is even breaking, because the metabolism of a democracy was set up at a time when information moves really slowly and was very scarce. If you were in Washington, DC, you had no idea what was happening in California, the speed of a horse was the fastest. So we had a Congress meets occasionally to give people time to literally ride across the country, and say, here’s what people are thinking. And so you could design a structure with things changed over like decades. And slowly you bring the population along, make broad changes, like women’s rights, or abolishing slavery or civil rights movements or whatever. Well, the world is changing every few months right now, we don’t have time for that we have an abundance of information gets misused, misinterpreted, faked. And the metabolism of democracy does not work with the speed of change in the world today. So every major democracy in the world is broken. I’m from India, originally broken, Brazil broken. The UK broke three years ago, US breaking in front of our eyes right now. Right? So this is a, this is true, I have not been able to find a single institution. There’s about 50 major institutions like healthcare systems, legal suits, I have not been able to just find a single one that survives this, in the same way that I don’t believe a single big operating company will survive this future.
Scott D Clary 33:27
That’s very bleak.
Salim Ismail 33:29
No, no, no, no, you have to you can look at it. But I’m not
Scott D Clary 33:31
saying that it’s incorrect. I’m just saying that well, it’s all I’m thinking in my head is how are you going to go into the US government and change the way that their organization? You?
Salim Ismail 33:41
Don’t you don’t do it that way? Or you do so let me address the bleak question versus the thing. Because it looks you we always relate to that as the loss of an old structure as bad. Okay. What you remember have to remember is on the other side of that disruption is massive opportunity, just unbelievable opportunity. And what’s happening in the world at the highest like metaphysical level, is we’re going through a transformation and an inflection point of running the world from scarcity to running the world from abundance. Our entire history, like take business for 10,000 years, if you didn’t have scarcity, you didn’t have a business. And expos are actually the inflection point. For the first time in history of people finding business models around abundance. Airbnb is tapping into an abundance of extra bedrooms lying around Uber, an extra bunch of extra cars lying around weighs extra GPS capacity, whatever. And we’re finding business models around abundance. So that’s this inflection point happening. But almost every government policy is based on scarcity. Every industry is based on scarcity. Energy, which has been scarce for the entirety of human history is about to become abundant. And we can’t cope, basically. So we need to update all of our things. But the future is incredibly magical. We just have to figure out how to get them.
Scott D Clary 34:59
So let’s talk Talk about the last two last two levers that you pull in organizations, because we talked about the culture. And then I think that was like the main that was the first.
Salim Ismail 35:08
Yeah, so there’s three pieces you do transfer. Number one, we offer free training on the Exo model, all EXO foundations, we basically say that companies have all your employees go through this to three hour video training. And that gives lays the vocabulary down, okay, number two, run a sprint to change the culture and allow disruptive innovation to occur culturally in the organization, that’s number two. And the third is you take your crazy people to the edge, and spin off crazy ideas off the edge, those three done in in sequence will solve the big company and turn the metabolism around. And as I said, we’ve done it 60 times as we’ve now got a very tried and true.
Scott D Clary 35:46
So talk to me about all these Gutenberg moments and all the technology that we’re seeing. So where does that play into what you’re dealing with it?
Salim Ismail 35:54
That’s the that’s the trigger point that’s driving this disruption. Okay, so just take let’s use autonomous cars. Google comes out with the autonomous car in 2008. And the entire car industry looks at that says that cute research project was like $200,000, a car for all the sensors and GPS, and Lidar and radar and all that stuff. No, we’re commercializing that two years, laters $100,000, according to the latest $50,000 Because dropping exponentially and the entire Congress, it still goes 50k is going to spend 50k for all the sensors, then it drops from 50 to 25 to 12 to 63. It is now below $1,000 a car for all of the sensors to do an autonomous car and now everybody’s freaking out. Right? The ones that jumped on it early Waymo, Elon Musk are way, way, way ahead of the market now to assent to this gonna be very hard for the market to catch up. That’s the that’s the that’s happening in industry after industry, be it healthcare, beat education, be it whatever educational systems, all our universities or educational systems are pushed based, get a bunch of kids in a classroom trying to cram algebra into them. They’re mostly thinking about lunch. Just the simplest idea how much of your university degree did you really work use when he got into the workplace? And the answer is like near zero. Okay, what we’re moving to subconsciously without realizing it is a pull based learning model. When you take on a new job or role, you pull down the skills needed to run that function and do that function. And that’s how we’ll be running the world going forward. Well, that’s very different from our old push based systems. And how do we deal with that? So those are the kinds of tensions that are occurring in this massive inflection point, the 20, Gutenberg moments or the or the tsunami that’s washing away these old structures, and forcing us to do things in a new way.
Scott D Clary 37:44
Okay, so then I then I want to go back to the point you made about, there’s huge opportunity. Yes. So what does that opportunity look like? Because when I, when you originally said, we’re going to break things where things are breaking democracies breaking, and you look at all the other, all the other countries in the world where democracy has broke to some extent, yeah, I don’t see today in 2022. A net positive because of that, yet, so what so how do we Yeah, so about that,
Salim Ismail 38:13
so let’s follow the model. Yeah, existing system. It’s starting to break. And then you see an innovation at the edge. Okay, what happens, you don’t try and bring the innovation in the middle, you let that become the new gravity center over time. Let me give you an example. Our monetary systems are breaking. The reason is we created a debt based structure, we floated off the gold standard in the 70s. And we grew the economy with debt. Okay. And that structure for didn’t realize that technology was deflationary. Because up to the entire history of humanity, advanced technologies cost more. So you could grow the economy with a debt based environment. Well, since Moore’s Law showed up, advanced technologies cost less, because you apply computation and because solar panels become cheaper your TV is, is twice as functional a year later, your MacBook is functional, and that blows the debt based monetary system. Now the only option is to print more money to keep up that increases the debt. So now you’re in a spiral. Yeah. Okay. How do you break that you can’t break it from inside the system. Right at the 2009 crisis, Bitcoin appears. Bitcoin is the innovation at the edge that operates a true regulatory free monetary system that’s deflationary. Okay, and nobody can hack it. Nobody can control it. Now, people will try they can’t etc. Jeff booth who’s for me, the the chief economist of the abundance age have had Waipio Vancouver wrote this book called The price of tomorrow. And he said what Bitcoin gives you is money velocity without debt. All our economies and monetary systems give you money velocity by increasing debt. And now we have money velocity without debt. And that’s the new model, we will shift to that over time. It’s inevitable. Now, you you can go elegantly you can go kicking and screaming, but you will go because the existing system can’t sustain.
Scott D Clary 40:11
So you see in various countries so you see some countries that are banning it. Well, El Salvador is adopting embracing it. You see some country, it’s interesting when you mentioned, you know, the the response, because like the immune response to it, because it’s
Salim Ismail 40:24
talking to any banker Buy Bitcoin and watch them get hives. Right. Yeah. People doing like their own digital currency. Exactly. So as we asked for the first time, yeah, innovation in in currencies, which we haven’t had for hundreds and 1000s of years, right? Or it’s or if you did, it was always state, state backed innovation that goes to the individual. So everybody’s like, I can launch blockchain. Let’s go for it. Now, they may not all work, but at least you have innovation there. We have right now Cambrian explosion. I think the when I looked at Coinbase, sorry, coin market cap, there are 19,100 tokens listed on them. So all of them doing fascinating innovation in different ways.
Scott D Clary 41:03
And when you when you think, because I look at this, and I see some companies that are building like, like these 19,000 companies, or the air b&b or the Ubers. But when you look at disrupting a government, What’s the timeframe on that? Because you still, like is it in our lifetime or not? Because when I look at like, Okay, so we’re trying to move towards the centralized currency, and that’s going to be the best possible solution for society. You can’t even have someone’s grandmother who can purchase it right now without help if we’re getting there. But we’re not there yet.
Salim Ismail 41:37
No, no,I can’t even I’ve been navigating this NFT world on these discord channels, etc, etc. I’m still trying to get my head around a smart contract. It’s a very, very different. There’s some bylaw, you have to be under 25 years old to use the blockchain. Right. So that’s an issue. That’s a huge issue. But here’s what happens. We look at a bunch of different things that lead to disruption. Peter calls them the six DS you digitize is very disruptive for a while deceptive, then it becomes disruptive, and a D, materializes, democratizes, etc. And you have this curve, the key to going from deceptive to disruptive, and really making a big difference in what happens turns out to be usability. So Steve Jobs made the smartphone usable, those old Nokia ‘s were not that they were clunky, they weren’t there, you he made it usable, boom, we had exponential disruption. Bitcoin is not quite usable yet. Coinbase has allowed you to purchase Bitcoin, but not too much else with it. There’s other blockchains trying for this, somebody at some point will crack the usability. And when they do, then things take off in a massive way.
Scott D Clary 42:41
I just find it interesting. Because if you have regulatory come down on this, like if you if you think of things that were like, like marijuana, for example, yeah. Like if there’s an if there’s some regulatory immune immune response to it, or anti immune response to it. And they put it into law. Yep. Then you’re, you’re stuck for 50 years, are you not?
Salim Ismail 42:59
You are? But yes, you are. It’s a huge issue. And what’s happening is the they’ve tried to regulate these cryptocurrencies. But it turns out, you can’t. And I’ll give you a simple example. This is the this is the thing that
Scott D Clary 43:11
people do. China, this, China did that. And they saw the miners move out of China. So sure, but then
Salim Ismail 43:17
you kill all innovation. Right? You’re basically centralized, top down autocracy, which end, which they are and now they’re having crack down mass more and more, and they’ll have to keep cracking down more and more. No autocracy is ever succeeded. No, no democracy has ever succeeded, either. But as Winston Churchill said, democracy is the fourth form of government except for everything else, right, at least you have some modicum of freedom, etc, etc. The challenge we have in the US is that a democracy relies on an educated population. And the population is not educated in terms of what’s actually happening in the world already. So
Scott D Clary 43:53
again, brings us back to the information it does, it breaks it breaks us. So now, what’s the future?
Salim Ismail 43:58
I think the future is micro democracies, city states, rather than nation states, because we run nation states because they have they were successful because you could have lots of natural resources under one boundary. You had critical mass and multiple industries and that big thing, just like a big company, but now the future is, if you look at the pandemic, the most successful responders to the pandemics were small countries, big countries were uniformly a mess. Okay, Russia, China, India, US, Brazil mess, all the small countries because they have homogeneity and move quickly. They can get their populations to adapt. People listen, they have a higher trust levels, boom, hugely successful in little countries. In the same way. You don’t need access to resources today. If you have solar energy, vertical farming, you don’t need a national grid. You don’t need centralized energy pipelines and supplies chains etc. So therefore a city state is we think is the future of, of organizational model for society. And that’s where we sing. When you think about when I think about Trump or Brexit. It’s not about left versus right. It’s urban versus rural. Really? That’s the that’s the fight.
Scott D Clary 45:09
Well, it always is, right? That’s always a you have like the coastal cities that the left is pandering to. And then middle America is wondering where the hell they’re being included in this. And then it’s no longer. It’s no longer political ideology. It’s just Why are you focusing on people that aren’t going to help me?
Salim Ismail 45:24
Yeah, but here’s the incredible point. And this is why we tend to be so optimistic. You throw in solar energy and a water filter that can extract clean water the of the year, and healthcare that can be looked up on the internet, and education that can be looked up on the internet, you can be self sufficient anywhere, you don’t need the centralized government in any way, shape, or form. So you can now really be self sufficient. You’re not dependent on this. There’s a huge irony in that the red states take more from the central government than the blue states. Was that true? Oh, yeah. They get massively more benefits to the red states and blue states, the blue states tend to be attacks, negative tax income, they get the given more and they take it out less than the red states tended to get more subsidies and give more give less donate because it’s supposed to be the other way around. Yeah, that’s just the US in its you know, all of the magic of the I live in Florida and Miami these days. And you know, there’s a whole phrase in the news called Florida man, right? Yeah, Florida, man tries to kiss alligator, right? Like, there’s a level of madness that maybe comes with the heat and humidity and people do just the most ridiculous things against their self interest. We saw that with them, masks and so on. I just want
Scott D Clary 46:33
to take a second to thank the sponsor of today’s episode HubSpot. And as a leader, you’re always on the lookout for more ways to arm yourself with knowledge, the books, the seminars, and most importantly, the podcast and help you make the best possible decision for you, your company, your customers, because when you know more, you can apply more. And you can grow with HubSpot CRM platform, you can store, track, manage and report on all the tasks and activities that make up your relationships with customers. With a bird’s eye view over all your customer interactions. HubSpot empowers your decision making like never before, so you can give your business and your customers all the good. You’ve got learn how to make your business grow email@example.com. So let’s let’s talk about starting organizations. Yes. So you’re an entrepreneur, you want to start something? Yeah. What’s your advice for somebody starting something? Is there a way that they should look at?
Salim Ismail 47:30
Absolutely. Before we go to that, let me just finish one big thing that if you apply this model in big organizations, it really got them works. I’ll give you an easy example. Amazon has a policy inside Amazon called the institutional Yes. Is it realize the immune system problem and big companies realize this really easy to say no. So they created a policy where if you have an idea, inside Amazon, you come to me I’m not allowed to say no, my default answer has to be yes. If your idea. If I want to say no, I have to brand a two page thesis on why it’s a bad idea, and posted publicly on an intranet for ridicule and shame. So they crossed friction. They’ve increased the friction of saying no. Meaning it’s much easier for me to go yep, I’ll do it. You’ll fail downstream. I don’t believe in your idea. But go for it. Yeah, right. One of the results, the attitude you have to which the view and one of the results of this policy was Amazon Web Services, nothing to do with their core strategy. Nobody could figure out on how to say no to it. Now one of the most successful products of all time that delivers 75% of Amazon’s profits, just by stopping the immune system and mitigating someone. I’ll give you one last example is very powerful in the corporate world, Marriott Hotels is worth about $50 billion. Today. If Marriott had launched TripAdvisor, booking.com, Airbnb, their market cap would be $250 billion 5x Higher. The US reason I used to say this is all of those ideas are inside Marriott, but the immune system didn’t let them out. So for fear of cannibalizing the existing business, they leave 5x market cap on the table. So just let that register for a bit. Okay. So that’s why we’re pretty clear. You have to be organized in this way. So then how do you start any XO Yeah, we have a very clear and very simple model for how to build and it’s now being followed by 10s of 1000s entrepreneurs around the world. Number one, most importantly, what is your massive transformative purpose? What fundamental problem are you trying to solve? The founders of ways are trying to solve traffic, Google’s MTP is organize the world’s information. Uber is everybody’s private driver. It’s a single statement that kind of encompasses here’s the challenge. Here’s what we’re trying to solve. Here’s what we’re about. Paul Polman at Unilever read the book ordered every brand and Unilever to have an MTP and after three, four years, the five most profitable brands are the ones that have adopted at the most so we can see the model bike. What that does is gives you a clear statement. To the outside world, here’s what we are about. Here’s the fundamental problem that we’re trying to solve. The community then appears around that Google organizer, Uber, as everybody says, driver dependent
Scott D Clary 50:09
on that. Can you help me understand for somebody who’s listening to this? They’re like, well, what’s the difference? I know I have to have a vision and a mission. And these are all things that I’ve heard other people say that I should have as a as a founder. What’s the difference?
Salim Ismail 50:21
The vision could be, I want to see a MacBook and everybody’s home. Okay, that’s the vision. It doesn’t tell you what problem you’re trying to solve. Understand the MTP is think differently, right? Uber can say we want to be in 5 million cars have 5 million drivers, whether that’s vision, but the problem they’re trying to solve is everybody in the world should have a private driver. So it’s the problem statement that you’re getting attached to. Not the outcome solution. You get attached to the problem, leading indicator there the MTP cure cancer. Yeah, right. And it’s not that I’m going to cure cancer. It’s like, it’s a call to action. We are collectively going to cure cancer. Now. So that’s number one. And most important, every EXR we ever saw has an MTP. So simply, we’ll be hiring now but in the future based on the organizational MTP and your MTP, right, natural fit, we’re starting to see that already, especially the younger generation is very purpose driven, etc. Of course, once you hire hire them, you have to figure out and manage them, which is a whole other podcast episode that has passed my paygrade. But so number one, you do that and then you join a great community are on that MTP or join existing communities if my MTP is cure cancer, lots of existing communities that can tap into it, that’s step two. Now you’re part of a group and ecosystem, a hive mind trying to go after that problem. Step three, find a founding team. We think for roles you need to have a visionary, a product guy, an engineer and a business guy. Those are the four and they can be under over five people. Four people, two people could buy more multiple hats. Those four roles have to be covered. And you get a founding team excited about that MTP. Step four is what is the breakthrough idea, or product or service you want to bring to market. This is really important because almost everybody in the history when we’re building a business, we go, wow, look at this Bluetooth technology. Let me see how I can push this out into the world. Okay, so they’re trying to push system to succeed, they found a great technology, they think solve lots of problems. Exos tend to be problem driven. And then you find a breakthrough solution that matches then you’re agnostic, like Elon Musk, his MTP is go to Mars. And whatever it takes to get to Mars, that’s the technology he will use. He’s not found, oh, we have 3d printed rocket engines. Let’s use these and get these out into the world. So it’s problem driven very key. And that breakthrough idea or your product or service that you bring to market has to be minimum 10x better than the status quo in the marketplace. If it’s 10% Better, the market will ignore it. If it’s 10 times better, the market cannot ignore it. How do you how do you measure that? Give you an example a typical combustion engine car has 2000 moving parts in the drive train, the Tesla has 70. My listings per employed Airbnb is 100 times more than the rooms per employee in Marriott. So there’s a bunch of ways you can metrics you can apply per industry per vertical to decide my healthcare. My cancer detection device can do cancer detection. 10x better than a mammogram, etc. So there’s easy metrics and depending on the problem statement, now you have your product or service, then you do your then you follow the lean startup methodology, MVP, lean startup Canvas Business Model Canvas. Once you’ve got that going, and you’re iterating, then you add in the other EXR, attributes, dashboards, OKRs, lean startup thinking, decentralized orcs structures, eventually leading to douse, etc, etc, build algorithms into the product, etc. And you finish the tick list. And then you keep running that model. And like
Scott D Clary 54:06
the most the most critical thing in startup, which is finding that PMF is so much easier now because you haven’t tied yourself to that one product. Exactly. That one product that you think is a good idea. That’s right, you just trying to solve the problem. You want to solve the problem. Very smart. And talk to me about companies that are doing this well. So as people can look to examples outside of like the big ones like like newer ones that are starting.
Salim Ismail 54:27
There’s almost every startup today is following this methodology one way or the other. Soylent is a great one. Yeah, right. Solve nutrition. Not can ever better food product. Solve nutrition in some way, shape or form. The easy TED is a good one. Let me use Ted as a little case study. I’ll give you two case studies. Ted is when Ted has been around for a while. 1000 people a year are going to Monterey in California. Chris Anderson takes it over. He does three things establishes an MTP ideas worth spreading. Then he gives all puts all the TED talks on YouTube for free leveraging rich media. Then he allows anybody in the TED community to go create a TEDx event. And boom, in 10 years, he’s created a global media brand. Nobody’s ever created a global media brand that fast before. And his cost of doing this was near zero. So you can take an established environment bloat open to a global level at near zero cost. So that’s a good example of an ESL, okay, I’ll give you a slightly more newer model. There’s a if you if I asked you used cars, how would you disrupt the used car market? It’s not that obvious, you might have a better app, maybe I can deliver the cars to somebody, maybe I insure the car that it’s give a better warranty. So people have used cars, you have Carvanha, and a few other models that are popping up, okay, Chinese company called gwazi says, Okay, we’re gonna attack these car market, they show up at somebody wants to sell a car, they take 250 data points, photo, video audio, they’d have an audio of the engine, a machine learning algorithm listens to the engine perturbations, and is able to detect if there’s any issues with the engine by the sound pretty easy over millions of engines sounds they can map figure that out pretty quickly. And it gives them a real time on the spot price of that, what they what the engine thinks the AI thinks the car is worth. If it’s worth $10,000, I should offer you $9,000 10% Less, that will go beef it up and try and sell it for $11,000. Okay, that’s it, that’s their model. But that real time pricing is very attractive to the seller. The buyer also knows that they’ve got this they’ve done all the research and due diligence, and they’re not the marginal, not that higher than not trying to sell 50% More, or 10% more. So the buyer goes, I’ve got confidence in this. The company is seven years old. They’ve captured 80% of the used car market in China. Wow. to 2 million cars a month. Okay. And I will suggest you that anybody in the real world, anybody in the car use car industry cannot get their heads around that statistic? Well, because 80% market share in seven years,
Scott D Clary 57:03
which is insane, which is the absolutely not. But so the problem they were solving is friction. Yeah, it’s a friction problem that they solve for. I’m just trying to read into, like, why they captured 80% In seven years, because everything you’re doing is good. But 80% In seven years is absolutely insane.
Salim Ismail 57:19
Yeah, it’s impossible. Yeah, right. People will say you’re not, you’re never gonna do that. This is an enormous challenge with the Exos because you get outcomes that people literally can’t believe. So you can’t tell people that you’re going to do that. Because they won’t believe investable. If you just look at Think about this, I did this thought experiment, Chris Anderson, if you would launch TEDx in a traditional way, you’d say all right, we’re gonna do for TEDx events this month. The next month, we’re gonna do four more, we’ll do eight. following month, we’ll do form we’ll do 12, maybe the following quarter, we’ll do 20 And then 30 a month, then 50 a month. That’s all the crazy 50 TEDx events a month, 100 a month, 200 a month, okay, over a period of three, four years, we’ll get to maybe 1000 expensive to do a month, etc. And who’s gonna do all this, who’s going to set it all up, etc. And if he told the team you’re going to do, instead of what he did was, here’s the MTP ideas we’re spreading. Here’s the rules on how you set up a TEDx event. You can go follow the rules, self provision, from the mothership, the signage, and the rules, etc, off you go. In five years, they ran 20,000 TEDx events. Now, if you went to an investor, and so we’re gonna run 20,000, they’ll go, I’m sorry, you’re not, if you told the employees on the team, you’re gonna run 20,000, they’ll quit. They’ll just go You’re barking mad, you’re I’m out of here. I don’t need to be deal with that kind of stress, right? So it’s really tough, because if you actually lay out the projections, you will lose everybody. If you try and be reasonable, you’ll leave so much on the table. And let me give you the best example of an ex entrepreneur we have today, which is Elon Musk. His methodology is really, really simple. It looks at a technology it’s growing exponentially. Solar energy, battery technology, neural implants, whatever. Where will that technology be in 10 years on a doubling pattern. And then let’s build an EXR to intercept that curve over a 10 year period. That’s it. Just rinse and repeat. So you build builds community based environment around a Tesla around SpaceX, etc, because he hasn’t looked he looks, it looks that he’s got an MTP, go to Mars, solve energy, solve solar energy and solve neuro link, whatever. So you set your MTP you look at the technology is going to give you 10x Or doubling patterns over that period of time, have the courage to go okay, that’s where it’s going to be in 10 years. For example, when he launched the Tesla in 2010, battery prices were x by the end of the decade, lithium ion batteries are 90% cheaper than 10 years ago. Okay. Now the car industry does not dare make that projection. Okay, and no car executive will go those batteries are gonna be 90% Less they can’t get their heads around. exponential thinking. So entrepreneurs today have all the advantages. Big companies have all the disadvantages.
Scott D Clary 1:00:08
The one thing that I thought you touched on a few times it was interesting that I’ve seen a lot of the things you’re speaking about. In real life. I’ve seen a lot of these companies deploy like the XL model. Yeah. But the one thing that I haven’t seen yet, is Dows, and decentralized organizations. So that’s very interesting. It’s a very interesting idea. Yes. How does it work in practice? Because even even Ilan ‘s of the world are not Dows.
Salim Ismail 1:00:34
Yes. So Dows are non trivial. It’s like a Big Co Op running on a blockchain and coops have governance issues. Right? The challenge of the Dow is the benefit is you can scale very, very fast people, you set a set of rules, that TEDx is essentially a Dows type structure, somebody can self select, agree to a set of rules come in, take the kip go build any go build a TEDx event on their own, with very little damage as a franchise. So you could call it a franchise a franchise an old model of doing this. And the Dow is similar. Blockchain based smart contracts governed, do the governance etc. The challenge was with Dows are or exclusively have to do with governance. Nobody’s ever seen. Austin Hill who runs block stream actually totally set it well for me. So think about a public company annual shareholders meeting, yeah, with little grandmothers waving their chairs around going, what the hell you’re doing. And it’s like, it’s a stretch, okay, language, and now skill that the internet skill. Yeah, that’s a bow governance,
Scott D Clary 1:01:38
right. So that very, very, very scary trying to actually build something, what you have
Salim Ismail 1:01:42
to do is slowly migrate your community, and do governance over time and bring them along with the journey. So they, you build more and more governance into the community. And so we are building with the XO, basically, a decentralized McKinsey’s, where people can do consulting on the EXR model, they self provision on training, they can go apply those tools to their local companies go, we now have 17,000 consultants, and 130 countries, you’re starting to apply this. And we’re Yeah, so now we’ve we’ve been steadily moving for four years, to try and become a doubt. And it’s taken us four years to get the community voting, the governance somebody does we have a bad actor in the community? What do we do with him? Yeah, it’s not good for us to say we look like the bad guy for you say the community should vote. What should we do with that person who’s creating a competitive thing, because they’re not used to it. They’re not used to it takes a long time to do so you have to train them into getting involved, you have to figure out the right how many people should be on the Governance Committee to decide that. It’s really, really it’s going to take us a long time to work out the governance models for Dows it’s, it’s a non trivial right now we’ve got the burst of irrational enthusiasm, oh my God, everything great in the world would be downs. And it’s like the peak of the hype Gartner Hype Cycle, right? We’ll go through the the chaos of the the crazy expectations, and people go, Oh, my God, this will never work. And then it’ll just start happening as all technologies go through. But we’re right now at the PICO hype cycle of death.
Scott D Clary 1:03:11
With everything that you’ve worked on with Excel with singularity, what are the problems that you’re trying to solve right now? So what are you most focused on right now that you’re concerned about this keeping you up at night that you’re seeing in organizations? or, or? Or is it just is it just the you’ve just kept building a singularity? You’ve kept deploying this in companies, and you’re just trying to scale that effort up?
Salim Ismail 1:03:32
No, we’ve successfully applied EXR. Now in 1000s of companies around the world, and people are still works. And it’s blood. Well, it’s working, and people are taking up the model. For example, the Minister of oceans in Mauritius called me up a couple of years ago and says, Hey, I run my ministry on your book. I’m like, wow, that’s a little crazy. So we’re starting to see the model bite in kind of all sorts of fascinating and unexpected places. And the model is, it’s just because it’s better. Yeah. And we and importantly, we didn’t invent this, right? We analyzed 200 companies of the fastest growing car, and just tagged what they’re doing and created like a tick list for people. So there’s no massive innovation, we’ve just brought all of the attributes people are using into one place. So they can and given some prescriptive path as to how to apply these ideas. And people are following that model. So So that’s off to the races. What I’m fascinated by and most passionate about now is how do we transform society? Because we have to move society Small Fry, well, MTP you have to go big, right. And so my MTP is to transform civilization. And it actually came from something my dad said, I do this late night talk on metaphysics, philosophy and the meaning of life. That’s what I’m known for at Singularity. I did it for every class. Every year we do this, because you come across all these technologies, and you really ask the big questions, synthetic biology, robotics, AI, what does it mean to be human? When I have a pig’s heart inside me and all my organs are from my brain and memory or you’re on my smartphone, etc. Right? At what point? Am I non human human? What is the purpose of life? What’s the future of longevity? You’re really stressed or God, you really start asking big questions. We found the students couldn’t couldn’t apply themselves. So in the middle of every class, duration, we would do a late night French salon, alcohol mandatory on metaphysics philosophy in the meaning of life. And it’s led me to this level of thinking that systematically, systemically we have to change the world. If you look at civilizations in the past, the Romans, the Incas, the Mayans, they got to a very sophisticated societies. Then they hit a boundary condition, and they literally fell off a cliff and suddenly collapsed every single one. No, no, civilization has not gone through this process. You talk to the Yuval Harare, he’s in the Neil Ferguson’s of the world. Those conditions exist right now. So now how do we prevent that collapse in some systemic way and minimize the damage the downside? not end up in several 100 years of the Dark Ages. We have two choices as humanity today Mad Max or Star Trek. And our politicians are sending a straight down Mad Max. But with all the technology abundance, we’re actually have the opportunity for a Star Trek world. And I’m interested in how do you make that pivot. So I did one of these late night sessions. My 90 year old dad is at the session. Somebody goes I really liked your talk fixing civilization. We’re talking about this immune system problem. My dad’s hand goes up, because Can I Heckle? Like, yeah, of course, he goes, I totally disagree with your talk. I’m like, Oh, do you do nothing? We need to fix civilization. Because yeah, of course we do. But that’s not the problem. Problem is not the fixing part. The problem is the civilization part. It was like, What do you mean? He goes, he goes, we have not civilized the world, we materialize the world. Now we have to do the work to civilize the world and wisdom of the elders come home, right? And the whole audience while yep, yep, that’s it. I lost all credibility. And I was like, wow, he’s right, we actually still you look at the political discourse in the world today, or in the US, or in England, or in the Russia, Ukraine war. We are not, we are apes with more and more tools, or apes with nuclear weapons, we actually have to do the work now civilization of civilizing ourselves. And I think it starts with this immune system problem, we get used to a particular pattern. And we have to undo the old thinking and apply new thinking to embrace abundance of energy, just that changes that will So fundamentally, that none of our existing systems institutions, business structures can deal with that simple fact. So we have to come up with a new models, which is essentially how we think about this. The really great part is that Clay Christensen, With Innovators Dilemma identified and created a valid theory for disruptive change in disruptive innovation. We’ve now developed the toolset for applying disruptive change prescriptively. So we can do that in companies first, which is the easy part. As we learn how to apply that to institutions and to government, then we can navigate cleanly through this future to ending up in a Star Trek world rather than the Mad Max world.
Scott D Clary 1:08:05
Do you think that the the the the ability to improve civilization or to civilize rather, will be through large organization? Or is there a version? Well, there’s a version of what you’re doing that has to be deployed for the individual, not the organization? So how do you do that?
Salim Ismail 1:08:21
So I’ll go back to my city versus state issue, we think it’ll operate at a city level. We think people self provision with these new tools and just go do it. And over time, that will become the default model in the world. So for example, Puerto Rico is deploying micro solar micro grids with solar energy, battery power, Philippines, the same thing. People are self provisioning on these models. You look at in the gaming world x infinity 10s of 1000s of families pulling themselves out of poverty. It’s the biggest it’s essentially wealth redistribution, using a gamified environment. There’s an unbelievable reasons to be optimistic in the world. There’s a really important part, a piece that Peter Diamandis, identified in the book abundance. In the back of our brains, we all have this little organ called an amygdala. And it’s a evolutionary mechanism that we evolved in the plains of Africa. If you’re, if you hear a noise in the bushes, you run Yeah, because bad news can kill you. Good news does not kill you. Right? If I miss some good news, I might miss some fruit that I could eat. I miss something like that. If I missed a piece of bad news, I could die. So we’re actually 10 times more likely to pay attention to bad news versus good news because of the survival threat from when we evolved. Okay? This is why all you hear in the news is bad news because you pay attention to bad news. This is why Fox News does very well. If you watch Fox News, you’re going to die this week. If you’re lucky last night next week, but then you’re gonna die next week. If you watch a Peter called CNN, the crisis news network, when you can track every bank robbery in real time High Definition Stream to 20 devices. Do you think the World is gonna go to hell, and you vote based on that fear and then you end up with Trump or Brexit or whatever. The world is actually, in an infinitely better place than we have ever seen it on all the data that you want to pick any data you want to pick were infinitely better. Longevity, life cycles, maternal mortality, infant mortality costs to telecommunications, transportation are all 1000s of times cheaper than they were a while ago, I’ll give you the simple statistic to there’s, there’s a cost of what we mean by extreme poverty, it’s on $2 A day of $2,011. If you get less than $2,000, that’s called a screen poverty. So they use that parity equivalent across the ages 200 years ago in 1894 94%, so not 18, or 1820 218 20 94% of the world lived in extreme poverty, less than $2 equivalent a day at the time, 94% of the population that has dropped steadily over the decades, we’re down below 10%. Today, we’re about 8.9%. Right now, you don’t hear that in the news. It’s good news doesn’t sell. Right. And Bill Gates predicts we will eradicate extreme poverty in this decade, you will just not see this in the news. What you hear in the news is Oh, my God autonomous car killed somebody. And so we have to overcome the natural evolutionary thing of our amygdala. It’s very difficult to say, if it was gonna be easy people have done by now. But at least we have a really clear idea now of the problem space, we really understand the problems with we’re not sure the problem space, it’s actually pretty easy. And the here’s why I’m so optimistic. These new technologies for the first time in human history cost a little very little. Throughout history, advanced technologies always cost a lot. And only a big government or corporate lab could afford to do r&d launch new products and services. But look at today’s solar energy is cheap sensors are cheap, the blockchain is open source and free. For the first time in human history. Entrepreneurs with no money can radically innovate Vitalik, Butyrin, 18 years old, ignores his professors, half a trillion dollar industry, I will suggest to you that no banker in the world can get his head around that. I can’t get my head around, right? How does an 18 year old created half a trillion dollar ecosystem, that’s just unbelievable. But that gives me unbelievable optimism. Because when you have 1000s of entrepreneurs now innovating at low cost, magical things are going to happen. And there’s nothing anybody can do to stop
Scott D Clary 1:12:34
- And you’ll have more of that good that will permeate.
Salim Ismail 1:12:37
Yeah, I’ll give you this last data point, which is okay, I can create a new innovation, will I do good things with their bad things with it? Right. So when Craigslist and eBay merged, there was a really interesting question, will you have positive transactions or negative transactions. And for the first time, I can have an open system where I can do good or bad or I can easily on eBay, post a picture of a MacBook, you send me 1000 bucks, and I’m gone, I can post I can mask my email address pretty easily. So anthropologists and sociologists have studied the systems, what’s the actual ratio of fraudulent versus constructive transactions on eBay, Craigslist, they’ve studied these systems quite detailed equally, I can do either. Turns out the actual ratio across all of these systems is something like 1000 to one. So on eBay, there are 1000 Positive transactions to each fraudulent transaction. That should apply to the general population. So that means if you have something like drones, 1000, people will do something positive with it, and one person will do something negative. That means that one person is really easy to spot and be given the 1000. But wishes let anybody do whatever the we want to do with drugs, except our regulatory based on fear says, Oh, my God, drones, you might use it for something bad. ban all drones until we can slowly open that tap. And it’s taking us a very long time to take advantage of these new technologies.
Scott D Clary 1:14:00
I would even want to go down the path of figuring out some of those, those high level esoteric conversations that you have in that group. But I think that’s like a,
Salim Ismail 1:14:10
that’s a whole different one. And that requires some alcohol, you can do that to to gin and tonic minimum,
Scott D Clary 1:14:15
you can do that one time. All right. Okay, let’s close this one off for now. Because we’ve gone through a lot of stuff. I just want to give you the floor. Is there any other things that you want to bring up the highlight that sort of tie in to the conversation that we have? And then I’ll do a couple rapid fire at the end? Sure. Last point.
Salim Ismail 1:14:29
Well, I think we have a very clear prescriptive path for any company to turn itself into any Expo now. And it’s largely a Swiss freeze, you want to make it free training on the expo, take the sprint and run it for yourself if you want. And we’ve laid out the methodology for people, the companies that are using these processes are getting 70 times a return on investment from this effort from just the work of transformation. So we and it’s you know, when we first started this conversation 10 years ago about what We have new, nobody believed in, we didn’t understand we didn’t have any data points. Tesla wasn’t rapidly successful. Uber and Airbnb were just getting started, it was tough to say, hey, those are the world’s getting disrupted big companies like Yelp, you don’t see it at all. Now, it’s a very easy conversation, much more than that we have a prescriptive path on how to transform. And I think that’s the unbelievable opportunity that’s attend to be this why we’re so excited about the future?
Scott D Clary 1:15:27
Where do people go website, social, all that our website or YouTube for you as well. So
Salim Ismail 1:15:32
my website is Salim ismail.com. And you can search for me on YouTube. And you’re lots of armies fighting on our website for the platform and our communities open eso.com. And on there, we offer a free diagnostic where somebody could score their own company and see where they are. The training is free. We have to pay a charter but for the certification because we have to do some work to certify that the video training is free. And we’ve open sourced in an exponential transformation. How do you run the sprint? And actually Peter Diamandis and I are now co authoring the second edition of the E XO book. And that’s essentially going deep into the model and saying, what is an exponential organization with the characteristics and how do you start one, and that book is coming out in a few months, we’ve just finished the main writing for it. I had to rewrite the whole damn thing after NF T’s and blockchain came up, because it split things change. You look at you look at you take a community and you apply crypto economics and boom, the results are on the engagement level is unbelievable.
Scott D Clary 1:16:31
Actually, I mean, I didn’t even mention this, but when you mentioned figuring out your MTP and building a community around that that’s what I that’s what I found. Like, if we look at all the most successful companies and projects, at any stage, it’s all about community building it completely
Salim Ismail 1:16:44
look at all the successful blockchains community plus crypto economics
Scott D Clary 1:16:49
and now now transcends blockchain to like, it’s completely it could be CPG company, it could be service, you can build community, which is that’s like, everyone’s like, okay, the buzzword is community. But how the hell do I do it? Well, you galvanize people around a cause? Bingo, MTP Yeah, exactly. Okay, bringing it back to you. Yeah, you’ve had an incredible career. What was the biggest challenge that you’ve had in your own personal life? Or professional, but how did you overcome it? What do you learn from it?
Salim Ismail 1:17:13
Biggest challenge was, I found that every three, four years, my career would just end in a disaster. And I had to reinvent myself. And I used to look at that as negative and Oh, my God, my career just ended disaster. And then I found that’s actually a massive positive transformation, because the next thing was always 10 times better than before. I joined Yahoo, super excited about hacking a big company. Find a can’t hack the big company, Microsoft tries to buy it. This is a nightmare. I leave singularity with 100x. But singularity is unbelievable world’s top thinkers, I’m interviewing them all on stage moderating events for four years, I’ve got the world’s kind of information in my hands, and being able to transmit that to 10s of 1000s of students incredible. The EXR book was 10 times better, because now we can say, here’s what you can do about it. And now we can give people some guidance and a prescriptive path to managing transformation. That was unbelievable. But now we have a community of like a hive mind of 17,000 people that are the most incredibly inspiring people I’ve ever met. And I can ask a question to that community. What do we think about x? And I’ll get this most unbelievable, like almost a doctoral theses of hey, here’s why. Here’s what I disagree with. And we get this kind of dial dialogue and dialectic discussion. on some topic. Autonomous cars are what do we think Elon mastered by Twitter? You just get this rich discussion that makes everybody tech smarter.
Scott D Clary 1:18:44
And actually, just to follow up on that point, when you built out singularity. How did you like you had your MTP for singularity? And I’m sure that’s what helped you build the community around. But how did you? How did you tap into the 17,000 people when I don’t think there’s ever really been much done like what you’re building before?
Salim Ismail 1:18:59
So singularity did two things. So the main brainchild behind singularity was Peter Diamandis, he built International Space University, and he read a prize as well. That’s as prizes, Peter, I’m on the board of XPRIZE. Because it’s it’s actually worth touching on this. The reason these extra prizes work is when you put up a $10 million prize on space. It turns out about 30 teams will spend $150 million in r&d trying to win the $10 million. Wow. So it’s the best leveraged innovation model ever found. And the collective innovation has created a $2 trillion space industry that didn’t exist before. So you put up a $10 million prize, and you launch a $2 trillion industry. That’s unbelievable, right? So if we’re optimistic and enthusiastic about the world, this is why we see these structures with these technologies. We see these breakthroughs so I joined the board a few years ago and it’s been fascinating to watch that community spread. This what happened with singularity is when the idea was can we train the world’s leaders on the future? And the idea was, let’s bring the young students the 30 year We’re also going to be running the world in the next 10 years in arm them with the future of technology and awareness of what’s world blockchain being 2357 years. Where are these technologies intersecting? What are the inflection points you should be tracking, and send them back to their home countries. And when they get to positions of power, they should be making better decisions than our horrible, crusty eight year old leadership today, right. And that’s now proving to be the case, in countries around the world. Once we have the the kind of platform of that thinking around the world, the prescriptive aspect of E Axos. And how do you now organize for this, not just private sector, but public sector becomes really powerful? Now we can transmit that layer, say, here’s how you organized for this, and there’s enough people around the world in different countries, like Minister of Oceans and Mauritius. That’s, that’s right. And get that out there. And now we can feed that platform that yet so platform, have incredibly bright people around the world with new ideas and say, Hey, who wants this? Who wants that? Who needs what, who needs what, and we’re turning that into a doubt. And as we move towards kind of governance and thing, it’s just because it’s easier, we’d have to manage it. It’s a nightmare to manage it. corporate community is really in multiple languages. Yeah. And we speak 46 languages. So this is a huge challenge building this ecosystem. I think we want to get to about 100,000 trained people in the community. And then I’ll feel comfortable that we’ve gotten enough critical mass to then attack institutional transformation. And that’ll be the next layer around this.
Scott D Clary 1:21:34
You’ve had a lot of people in your life mentors in your life, people that have had huge impacts on you, if you had to pick what was it? Why is why is it that person? And what did they teach you?
Salim Ismail 1:21:43
I can’t just pick one I’ll pick to pick two, okay. Peter Diamandis has to be one of them, is his incredible energy and ability to think at scale think of, he’s the one that’s moved most of us from scarcity thinking to abundance thinking, right? And he’s got this unbelievable, like, when he runs no problem, he just executes his way out of it. And that sheer gumption of just hacking away through it, like when you tried to launch XPRIZE, nobody would fund a prize, the financial system was crashing, and he just tacked away at it until it’s sort of until he got there. There. So that’s kind of an incredible or inspiring model. The second I would say is somebody who passed away recently, Lawrence Blum, who is the I think he was the first chairman of the World Economic Forum has been thinking in a systemic change level of how is evolutionary consciousness changing. And he kind of showed me there was a whole large group of people that are thinking in this way, but they don’t know the path to get there. And so it’s been incredibly inspiring to see that there’s large groups of people that think about systems change. And we’re providing the toolset and capability to to navigate, and to support that group and changing the world. And the final thing I would think is the younger generation today is unbelievably inspiring to me. They’re really driven by, like, good things in the world. And I’m unbelievably optimistic about what’s happening in the world. In general, you see the unbelievable outpouring for helping Ukraine, etc, we can now transmit Camac compassion around the world, and I think is really exciting. There’s so there’s so easy to focus on the negative, but we forget to focus on the unbelievable positive nature, or give it the smallest example, if you went back before, so people complain about all the damages cell phones during etc. We have a 10 year old child. And if you’re raising a kid, 20 years ago, and you had a babysitter coming, you have no idea if you’re gonna be late, is he gonna be late? Are they gonna get there on time? What if they’re, if they’re late? Are they actually coming? Are they just late? So you end up with all the stress and worry about what’s going on? Now you’re texting back and forth, I’ll be there. I’ll be in six minutes late, my bus is late, whatever, and you have infinite knowledge. And you can you get infinite, more peace of mind, because you have so much more data about the world. People forget that people forget the unbelievable benefits from the magic of all the technology we have. Allowing us to video anywhere in the world for free with my son and with people everywhere. It’s just an under the world is such an incredibly magical place. We get super excited by the future. And try not to get trapped in the past. So the younger generation Lauren’s blue, you mean, and Peter and then my wife who holds the spiritual foundation, you know, I used to make a lot of money and then lose a lot of money and make a lot of money, lose them, I’ll do well totally mess up. Then I met my wife and I do well not mess up do well not mess up. She was this like foundation that stopped me from totally messing up, then I’d go to the next link not mess up. And so that’s been profound because the depth of potential is just increased in me massively
Scott D Clary 1:24:40
credible. If you had to pick a resource, a book or something that’s had a big impact on your life. What would you recommend people go check out?
Salim Ismail 1:24:47
I do suggest to one of the Zen in The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was laid down and kind of noticed over 1974 I laid out an overview of all the different philosophical schools of thought Yeah, it was is incredibly powerful but more powerful Was this the sequel to it called Lila published I think 95 We lays out here’s the metaphysics of how the world works. And that just blew my mind. So that would be one. The second would be the power of myth by Joseph Campbell. Just laying out here’s comparative mythology. We have the same myths and all of our different societies, and what what is human aspiration all about? And then the third would be probably the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, that gives you a deep snapshot on how to be present and the importance of being present. Those are all kind of fairly spiritual books. I have a degree in theoretical physics. So quantum mechanics I find fascinating. Well, I’ve got a great little suggestion for your viewers. There’s a 11 minute video on YouTube. It’s called the delayed quantum choice experiment. Okay? If you ever think somebody is spouting out about quantum mechanics and thinks they know what they’re talking about, go, well, we’ll send them to this video called The delayed quantum choice experiment and just blows your mind.
Scott D Clary 1:26:02
Okay, good. So I’ll find it. I’ll link it in the show notes. It’ll be good. There you go. If you had to tell your 20 year old self one thing, what?
Salim Ismail 1:26:12
Playful out, just go play full out and the hell with the consequences. Don’t worry about what society thinks of you. And back then, when I was growing up, there were a few role models to to indicate how to live and so I had to rely on fate chucking me around and beating me up and like often today, we have the Elon Musk we have the photonics, we have people doing radically crazy things and teaching the whole world. Go nuts. No one life limit.
Scott D Clary 1:26:39
And last question, yeah. What does success mean to you?
Salim Ismail 1:26:43
Success for me, I think it I like the best definition of leadership I’ve ever seen as the opportunity, the potential to serve the potential and people around you. And I think for us, for me, the success is creating a potential for every human being on the planet to live fully