A challenge of a generation

Aside from climate change one of the most daunting trends facing us in the Western world is the thought that for the first time in generations, there is every chance that our kids are NOT going to be better off than we were compared to our parents and the generations before that.

In the US, which has always been the land of hope, dreams and opportunity, this has long tilted, and it is happening in Europe too (article in Danish) with the Mediterranean countries ‘leading’ the pack; growing economic wealth and prosperity as a function of time is by no means a given anymore.

As if that is not bad enough in itself, we’re at the same time filling our kids and youth with the exact opposite story: Everything is available for you, you choose, and your choices are (almost) free – except the luxury items and experiences you can also get and which you can get due to costs saved in other places and the access to cheap capital.

So in reality you could argue that our youth is living a lie, we helped them create, and that one day they will wake up to a staggering bill. When that happens, and consequences need to be reaped, there is no telling what will happen.

Now, this is not a doom’n’gloom piece even though I admit it looks like one. It is – as most of my other writings – a piece about opportunity for creative visionaries to take stock of the problem, go back and figure out how we’re going to solve one of the biggest generational challenges, we have probably ever faced.

I will admit I don’t have the answers. If I did I would probably be busy trying to set the right things in motion. But what I do know is that the opportunity is there for people with products and services that look to galvanize our youth and limit the future impact of the trajectory we’re seeing.

It could be in terms of new kinds of savings products. It could be about education ensuring an ability to ride the development and be presented with new opportunities. It could be about simple living and making that into ‘cool’ living. The list of opportunities are endless.

And there will be a huge need and market for it, once reality hits. An excellent way for the right people to combine a very strong purpose with a once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity.

(Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash)

Life, death and memories

Today is the birthday of my youngest daughter.

It is also the anniversary of my mother-in-laws passing.

And co-incidentally it is also the date where my beloved Blackburn Rovers back in the day signed one of its greatest players ever and my personal favorite, Matt Jansen.

Why mention all this?

Because sometimes when someone or something dies, it’s an opportunity to also celebrate the birth of something new.

Furthermore it’s also an opportunity down the line to pick out the memories that stand out and decide for yourself:

Do you want to remember the things that were sources of happiness, joy and love or the ones that were sources of sadness and pain?

The choice should be fairly obvious. It is to me.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)

Ego eats impact

You either love life or you are afraid to die.

That’s how a Danish politician tried to frame the peoples response to Covid-19 on Twitter yesterday.

Naturally, it is both a false, primitive and superficial way of putting it.

I could just as well say that there are those that are full of themselves and only care about what’s good for themselves – and then there are those who think about others and want to look after each other. And I would be equally right. Or not.

It got me thinking though. About what kind of personality it takes to build and grow something for the benefit of others; a startup that can truly get to a point where it delivers the maximum impact.

Can someone obsessed with ego do that? You could argue, yes. History is full of them: Steve Jobs of course comes to mind. Maybe our own Jesper Buch too. But are they the norm, or are they truly outliers?

I ask because I don’t know. But I am both fascinated and curious about it.

My logic would assume that in order to truly due something for others and have the opportunity to create real impact, you need to be able to put your own needs and wants to the back of the cue.

Exceed for the need to do something good for others, of course. Call it having a vision, if you will.

I see a lot of talented people in the startup community struggle and (sometimes) fail, because they are more obsessed with living the startup ‘dream’ than they are with putting the needs of others – their customers – first.

It remains a recurring theme and one of the primary reasons why so many startups end up failing.

And it is just a crying shame, if your ego and inability to serve others before yourself end up being the thing that kills you.

(Photo: Pixabay.com)