The things that keep me up at night. How are things going to get better?

There are a handful of things that continue to popup in my weekly peruses around the web and trends that I follow.  Rather than try and write them out in-depth, I just throw them out there as one-liners:

– Let’s start with the billionaires.  They need to pay their way.  They aren’t mega-rich in a vacuum. Their wealth is on the backs of the people.  They need to help the people whose work they depend on

– Capitalism needs a reboot. The race to the lowest price is over. How much more squeezing of resources, efficiency is there to go and at what cost?

– We need to raise taxes in the United States – and no not on the middle class.  Let’s just practical, raise taxes on the very rich please.

– The mainstream media are consistently burying the headline. Technology, re-urbanization, the end of urban sprawl growth, the end of ‘everyone owns a home dream’ are all converging. (We are at the beginning of a sea-change in the way we live. 30 years from now, we’ll see this was the beginning.)

– Despite doom and gloom, things aren’t that bad and could be worse.

– News cycles are shorter and shorter.  No sooner do we have a one international disaster (Gulf coast oil spill, Japan earthquake, Haiti, US tornadoes) that another comes up with the older disaster being forgotten.  This is an issue because the problems all pile up. Lots of lives are being affected with no one talking about them.

– Banks and the financial crisis of 2008 are still heavily affecting the psyche of the US. Somehow Americans seem to have let the financial institutions get off scott free?  Strange. 

– Technology entrepreneurs think far too highly of their contributions. They are changing people’s lives somewhat, but are not changing the world.  Humans are still humans. Change needs to come from people on the street.  Posts, tweets, Facebook fans and the like have never, NEVER overturned a government.  Real change comes from breaking glass, throwing punches, marching and conflict.  That hasn’t changed for time in memorial. (See A Peoples History) 

– There is a lot to learn from sports and apply them to work.  Deliberate practice, drive to win, helping others succeed helps you succeed etc.  All the classic sports metaphors apply to business. If you read a sports success book, you’ll see that the most of the same themes crop up.  See Bill Simmons on Bill Russell.

– The United States, while one country is not the same regionally. We’re more fractured than ever.  It feels to me that we used to be a bit more connected as citizens. There were touchstone events that bound us together.  That does not seem to happen as often. (Media options abound) The rich are much richer, the poor are poorer and the middle is shrinking.  People in cities (New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco) are succeeding disproportionally to rest of the country and developing our own senses of self.

– Complexity abounds yet we continue to think there are easy answers.  News outlets and politicians will have us believe there are black and white, binary solutions to our complex problems. Well there aren’t. The world of easy answers has disappeared. It now takes vision, focus and nuanced understanding to even see an issue as a whole. (See healthcare, education and the Middle East)

(You can understand why I don’t sleep.  I think of this sort of stuff all the time)

This post is long with lots of juicy stuff. Feel free to pick it apart.


Originally appeared from

By Laurent Courtines

I'm here and I am ready to go. Been doing my homework and I have things to say.

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