Being an entrepreneur for almost all my business life and coming from an entrepreneur’s family, it was no big surprise that one day I will support other entrepreneurs to become successful as well. After my wife and I decided to no longer run businesses ourselves, we decided to help young entrepreneurs build their companies, like we have been helped by mentors and investors to build ours.
Living for the longest part of our business life in Silicon Valley, we started the Society3 Accelerator in San Francisco in 2014 and ran eight badges so far. Since the beginning, we have been blessed with a 50% success rate, measured by external follow on funding of our portfolio companies. We were excited to have found a way to cut the average failure rate of 90% almost in half. During these years we founded the World Innovations Forum and expanded our reach into Europe, mainly Switzerland and Germany, Asia, mainly Vietnam, Nepal, and South Korea, and also into Africa, mainly Rwanda, Ghana, and Kenya. The most asked question was “How could you come up with so many innovative business ideas and make them successful?”
After a quest to find out how ideas are actually created, I came across an eye-opening TED-Talk from David Eagleman a neuroscience Ph.d. from Stanford. It inspired me to learn any aspect of thought creation and learning and composed a model how disruptive ideas were created, taking my own thought processes into consideration and trying to find correlations. Long story short, we gave up our retirement and founded yet another company BlueCallom envisioning building solutions to help pretty much everybody who is interested to become innovative.
“Impossible is my hashtag”
Innovation has captivated my interest since I was a boy. It never stopped driving me to innovate.
At age four, my father gave me a concertina. Being extremely curious, I cut it open to see what’s inside. It was disappointing to see nothing but an empty space. The only interesting thing was the metal pieces, but nothing that looked like creating music. When my mother found out she was about to be very angry, I was told later. But my father stopped her as he was very impressed with me trying to “sneak into this device to find out how it works. All that was left for me from this scene: It’s OK to be curious and trying to find out everything. Fast forward: My very first blog post was about innovation.
Innovation is the ART of technology. Creativity at its best – and when done right, innovation is useful for millions of people. Most importantly, it is the CORE ENGINE of any economy on this planet.
Eventually, I decided to find out what innovation really is, how it is made, where it comes from, and when innovation s really innovation. My first book about innovation, “Innovations Paradigm,” was more or less a collection of all thoughts, findings, relations, experiences, and effects from innovation I could find. On one side, it touches briefly on the 12,000 years of innovation history, and on the other side takes the latest understanding from neuroscientists how ideas get formed and composed in our brain. It became the base material for my second book (in the making), “Your Innovative Mind”.
“Impossible is my hashtag”
The future is the only timespan we can influence. And humans did so, for the past 12,000 years, once we understood to farm and harvest, built buildings, organized ourselves in larger groups, and later began with the industrial revolution. With an ever-deeper understanding of our mind, our neural network, our DNA, and more we are on the verge of an intellectual revolution.
When understanding our brain we understand the limits of our capacity. However since humans are designed to augment any of its limits through machines, we will also find ways to extend the limits of our intellectual capacity – without drilling holes into our respective sculls. That future is more intriguing than anything any human ever experienced. With the new intellectual revolution, we will be able to consciously think through challenges and opportunities that we cannot even comprehend today.
For instance, it is an undeniable fact that planet Earth will one day no longer be a good host for humanity. Yes, it may be far in the future, yet it may be closer than we are willing to accept. The natural denial process from most of us rejects them to even consider the situation.
Human evolution is nature’s best bet to let biological life survive beyond the lifespan of the planet it descends from. The research for alternative inhabitable planets has already begun. Earth is our nest – one day we will literally learn to fly and explore the universe for all reasons we already know today, limited space on earth, population growth, risks from asteroids, resource limitations such as water, fresh air, uranium, lithium, and so forth. Think big, think bold, and outside the nest (box). “Impossible is my hashtag”