It Could Be Very Interesting...

... if we survive long enough.

Morning friend.

I’m glad you’re okay. Seriously. I called and I texted and you didn’t answer. And!! When you did… there was a real sense of relief. Please don’t die yet because I’m going to need your friendship this year.

Seriously. I mean, this is going to be the year, right!? Last year was interesting… this year is going to be nuts (at least that’s what we keep telling ourselves).

I hadn’t gotten around to sharing this with you yet but I want this to be the next topic of our convo, mmmmmkk? It’s a chat between Bill Gates and Andy Grove and it’s been blowing my mind.

This made me laugh:

A portable, put-it-in-your-pocket device could be very interesting.

Bill Gates, Founder, Microsoft

Seriously. This chat between Bill and Andy back in 1996 is fucking with my head! It’s utterly-fascinating to see what they got right and what they got wrong. It’s more interesting to think about how they got to those conclusions because it requires a ton of serious mental horsepower to draw-out those types of thoughts.

I love the idea of “tidal wave” events; I think it’s neat to think — and know — that these events are happening all around us, at this very moment, and only “some of us are more aware than others.” I hope you’re one of them friend. I want to be one of the ones that are infinitely-more aware.

This is how great (and profitable!) businesses are built. Ah, there are too many gems, but, this one stood out for me as well:

What really worries me, then, is this: Let’s not let this industry get boring.

Andy Grove, CEO, Intel

And look at where they are now

… huh.

As you know, I don’t often think that far in advance of where I am currently with my business but this convo between two very good friends got me really thinking about how far I could go and how long it would take for those things to become real and, most importantly, how interested I am in going that far for that long.

Decades, I’m thinking.

If we start with community, then, I see the opportunity extending to every major software and hardware stack. The question would become profoundly-simple: What industry wouldn’t YEN be in… really?

Both of them chattering on (I hope you and I can be like this as we get older and wiser… maybe):

GATES: We’ve seen many, many examples of companies who weren’t open-minded. We saw companies like Lotus or WordPerfect ignore the graphical interface. They could have afforded to put five people on the thing–even if their CEO thought it was stupid.

Every day we get up and say, “Hey, what should our company be more open-minded to?” I mean that is an absolute mindset. Why over the years have we been having all these meetings about PDAs and set-top boxes? Because we can afford to…

GROVE: Also, because we can’t afford not to.

Being ruthlessly open-minded while staying focused and mission-driven is insanely difficult… but, apparently, not impossible.

I am certain of one thing above all else after I concluded the read: Strong relationships — like the one between Gates and Grove — is a fundamental and uncompromising ingredient for long-term success and sustainability.

This is how you win, not just professionally but also personally.

This is why I’m committed to writing this newsletter… for years… decades even. We have something strong and I’m not interested in getting rid of that anytime soon.

Have a great one friend; I already miss you.

To infinity & community,

— john