What do you do if you’re not happy with your country? Start your own!
Peter Thiel, one of the billionaire founders of PayPal, some times back, helped to fund Blueseed, a floating city in international waters, 12 miles off San Francisco. The community will be home to high tech start-ups where every citizen need not pay tax, needs no work visa, and can run a global business from the high seas – while connecting to the brains and connections of Silicon Valley. The ship, effectively, is under the rules of no nation, and can set its own rules of how everyone lives, works, plays and pays.
In 2008, Peter invested $500,000 in the Seasteading Institute, to begin paving the way for floating sovereign nations in international waters. The Institute, set up by Patrick Friedman (the son of famous economist Milton Friedman) has set the mission of enabling “the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government. The most successful can then inspire change in governments around the world.”
WHY SET UP A NEW COUNTRY?
What’s Peter’s motivation for helping to fund a new nation? As he says, “The reason the seasteading question’s been so interesting is that a lot of people do think that we can do much better as a society. And if you run the thought experiment, could we be doing things better in our society, people may disagree on the particulars, but an awful lot of people think things can be done dramatically better.”
He also compares rethinking nations to rethinking business: “The reason people start new companies is because there’s a need to have a certain amount of freedom to explore doing new things. That’s why you’d start a new business. There’s a question: If you can start a new business, why can you not start a new country?”
WHEN DOES THE FIRST ONE START?
A little while back, Blueseed announced its funding from Peter and a list of 133 entrepreneurs who have already registered their interest to be the first residents of the Blueseed floating community. Blueseed was started by Max Marty, the previous Director of Strategy at the Seasteading Institute, who knew a good idea when he saw one.
The attraction? For startups with a global online business, the work visas and hoops to jump through to live and work in the US simply don’t make sense anymore. Being in International waters, they can set their own rules, have companies registered in any country, including tax-free countries, and run their businesses from day one as truly international businesses (while still having physical access to the networks of Silicon Valley with boats and helicopters connecting with the US mainland daily).
WHAT WOULD YOU CREATE, IF YOU COULD START YOUR OWN NATION?
What would you create if you could create the ideal community with its own rules? If, like Max, you went out to gather registrations, how many would be attracted into your world?
With seasteading, the question is no longer a theoretical one. The intent of the advocates of these new nations is to ‘give people the freedom to choose the government they want instead of being stuck with the government they get’.
If you think you can do better, well its a big sea out there.
Though blueseed is on hold pending funding, the concept itself is amazing and it has inspired entrepreneurs all over the world to, in Steve Jobs’ words, ‘Think Different’.
WHAT’S STOPPING YOU TODAY?
If starting your own kingdom or living in a new utopia are not exactly top of your to-do list right now, here’s a final thought:
If, while many people are blaming their governments or local economies for their woes, a small group of entrepreneurs can come up with a plan as bold and audacious as this, where the problems of government simply go away… What apparent obstacle are you currently facing in your business which, with a simple shift in solution, will make your obstacles simply disappear?
It brings a whole new meaning to blue ocean strategy.
Creative Advice from 11 World Famous Architects
As a creative entrepreneur, you’re probably no stranger to the ups and downs of inspiration. Motivation can come in waves, and when it’s gone, productivity can take a pretty major hit.
It’s impossible to stay constantly inspired all of the time. However, when we notice our creative spark fade, it’s important to engage in activities that rekindle the fire. Often, this means unplugging, pursuing a hobby, or talking with a friend or mentor.
Another great way to boost motivation is to look to other successful creatives. Architects, in particular, make great creative role models because of their ability to juggle multiple tasks and oversee projects like a pro. Check out the visual below for creative inspiration from 11 world-famous architects.
Is your daily routine mindful or mindless?
Is your daily routine mindful or mindless?
Do you serve a customer to make money? Or do you serve a customer to serve a customer? Do you wash dishes to get them clean? Or do you wash the dishes to wash the dishes?
Here’s a story from Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, about ‘washing the dishes to wash the dishes’ and the difference between mindful and mindless:
“In the United States, I have a close friend named Jim Forest… Last winter, Jim came to visit. I usually wash the dishes after we’ve finished the evening meal, before sitting down and drinking tea with everyone else.
One night, Jim asked if he might do the dishes. I said, “Go ahead, but
if you wash the dishes you must know the way to wash them.” Jim replied, “Come on, you think I don’t know how to wash the dishes?” I answered, “There are two ways to wash the dishes. The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes
in order to wash the dishes.”
Jim was delighted and said, “I choose the second way-to wash the dishes to wash the dishes.” From then on, Jim knew how to wash the dishes. I transferred the “responsibility” to him for an entire week.
If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not “washing the dishes to wash the dishes.”
What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes.
In fact we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink.
If we can’t wash the dishes, the chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future
– and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Are you focusing more at being successful, or being mindful? It is a conscious choice that shows up in your daily routine – Being present in every moment shows up in the quality of your products, your service, your communication.
Being aware leads to care. It’s the contrast of being careful and being careless. This care becomes quality, and that’s why greater mindfulness leads to greater success.
Your daily routine isn’t a means to an end. It’s an opportunity to experience the miracle of life every day.
“Be here now.”
~ Ram Dass
5 Quotes for Successful Entrepreneurship
Being a successful entrepreneur is a dreamcometrue for a lot of people out there. Being your own boss, benefiting from your own ingenuity and hard work, as well as creating a legacy are all reasons enough why so many people try to start businesses of their own. However, the majority of these entrepreneurial attempts end in failure. In order to avoid meeting the same fate, you need to examine these five quotes that reveal the entrepreneurship essentials.
1. The secret of getting ahead is getting started. – Mark Twain
It’s incredibly easy to come up with a million excuses for why something is not worth doing. After all, the business world is a scary place. Gathering the right team is hard, raising funds can be even harder and with the current state of the economy (this is probably the most common excuse), what are your realistic chances of success? The truth is that you just cannot know and you never will. All you’re doing by procrastinating is wasting your own precious time. Instead of wasting energy and creativity to come up with a myriad of excuses, you need to try looking for solutions.
2. Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it’s the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill
There’s probably no better person in the world to stand behind this statement, seeing as how there aren’t a lot of people in history who had more drastic ups and downs. Winston Churchill’s involvement in WWI resulted in a disaster and, had he given up, the horrendous Gallipoli Operation would have been what history would remember him by. Instead, nowadays he is known as one of the most defiant and victorious characters in human history. Other than this, there have been so many wildly successful entrepreneurs who went bankrupt at one point in their career. Henry Ford and Walt Disney belong on this list.
3. The problem is not a loss of money or credit, it’s a loss of trust. – David Perry
One of the things that a lot of entrepreneurs seem not to understand is the fact that their reputation and their word seem to be their most valuable assets in the business world. If you underpay your staff or fail to deliver on what you’ve promised, the word will get out. Make one faulty promise to a client and your reputation will quickly be ruined for good. You also have your share of responsibilities when it comes to various financial organizations and if you fail to meet them, you’ll find yourself in a world of trouble. This will primarily reflect on your credit score. The next time you need some funds, it will be a lot harder to obtain them.
4. If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. – Henry Ford
Doing market research is a pivotal tip to making it in the business world. In fact, about 42 percent of startups fail because there’s no market need for what they’re selling or intend to sell. The biggest problem with this, however, lies in the fact that someone has to be first. At one point in history, Blockbuster refused to buy Netflix for $50 million, due to the fact that they failed to realize the potential behind this business model within the entertainment industry. We all know how this story ended. When it comes to innovation, you sometimes have to listen to your own instincts.
5. Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. –Jayce Meyer
Succeeding in the business world takes time, however, time alone changes nothing. Developing the right strategy and then ensuring that it’s adhered to is something completely different. You see, in order to make time have any value, you need to set things in motion and then wait for them to unfold. Keep in mind that, in the business world, time is money. This means that making it, in the long run, is a question of financial endurance, as much as it’s a matter of your mental stamina.
To wrap things up with yet another celebrity quote, Mike Tyson once said that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. What this means is that regardless of how organized or motivated you are, at one point, you’ll have to start altering your plans and adapting to the situation at hand. How quickly you and your business can evolve is something that will determine the success rate that you’re bound to face in the business world. This alone is definitely something worth bearing in mind.
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