We are having dinner in Fes, Morocco. We are here with two of my six children, Leo (7) and Tom (19). Dinner is taking time to arrive and Leo has become a non stop asking machine. Fes puzzled him. He is shocked that Fes is so different from any other city he’s visited. That there are no cars and merchandise is moved around in donkeys, the tanneries where people used their bodies to tan leather seemed to him from another world. So now as we wait for dinner to come and the fantastic Riad Laaroussa, he is asking such questions as who came before, the Egyptians or the cave men? Why do the Egyptians don’t speak Egyptian now and speak Arabic. And how come we are here if the meteorite killed the dinosaurs. And many more sometimes impossible to answer questions.
As I struggled to provide answers a thought came to my mind.
Children are like spectators who show up late for a movie and part of your role as a parent is to make them catch up with the ever unfolding Story. Your objective is that eventually your children understand the script and get a role, maybe a star in this movie. But all this is a humbling experience because as your children grow up you grow to become a spectator.
…belong to two very different groups. The communicators and the strategists. When you meet the first kind you are in awe. Examples are Bill Gates, Marc Benioff, Jeff Bezos. Their success makes sense to you. They can articulate very well, how it came about, you buy it.
But when you meet a strategist you have the opposite reaction. You listen to them and wonder how could this person be so successful.
But the strategists did not become successful selling themselves or building alliances, nor convincing others to buy their products, they made it by making one good decision after another. They don’t make sales calls, they hire others to do that. They basically just think hard. And that process, the introspection, the deep analysis, is impossible to see in another person. The instinct to choose the right members of their team, to go to the core of complex situations, to see what’s coming, it is a process that is simply opaque to the world. Zuckerberg, Page belong to the second group. Highly intelligent, amazing analysts and builders, poor communicators.
Most days I come up with something that may be innovative but that I do nothing about because I feel I should focus on Fon and not be all over the place. So here is today’s idea. To convince bit torrent sites and search engines to include donation boxes next to each torrent, so if you like the content and feel bad about watching it absolutely free, you can compensate the creators. A lot of torrenting happens, not because people don’t want to pay for content. As Netflix and Hulu prove, if you give people reasonably priced or ad supported alternatives they go for it big time. Indeed where this alternatives exists torrenting goes down. So most torrenting happens because people just can’t find any other way to get to the content in a reasonable, affordable manner. So after “piracy” why not a donation?
Fon will launch a new product in April called the Gramofon. It’s a Fonera with a music player and other undisclosed features. It is a truly amazing new category killer product and we want to handle it like a start up inside Fon. We are looking for the start up CEO for this product, he or she must have experience in the music industry. The ideal candidate is somebody who had his/her own start up, got traction and sold it or even failed at it but learned a ton. The job can be in NYC, London or Madrid. Please write to email@example.com with your background.
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