- University of MilanPhysics, 1987 - 1990
- University of PaduaPhysics, 1984 - 1987
- Network Society VenturesManaging Partner, 2016 - present
We built interconnected platforms that span the globe – of communications, trade, culture and language. Millions of people already use them to develop and test solutions to problems about which they are passionate. There are unbounded opportunities. Soon there will be billions empowered by these tools and emancipated to deploy them for the betterment of their communities. The startup model, brought to a high art in Silicon Valley, is inspiring personal initiative and entrepreneurship everywhere.
As I travel to speak at conferences in Europe, Asia, North and South America (yeah, still have to go to Africa and Australia), I always revel in the opportunity to meet with local entrepreneurs, incubators, accelerators. There is a richness in ideas that is hard to measure, stemming from deep knowledge of local issues. These are now more and more frequently implemented through the agile Silicon Valley startup model that encourages rapid testing and iteration, measuring the results and then scaling the venture based on success. The growth of the resulting enterprises is further fueled through progressively larger investments of venture capital.
While still concentrated largely in the US, this model has spread in the last twenty years in Europe, Asia and nearly everywhere else on the globe. It is rapidly replacing traditional routes to lifelong employment, which are getting increasingly scarce even in those countries where they have long been part of the social contract. Not everybody starting a new company or corner store should define themselves as a “startupper” for sure. Not every idea can scale to the level where it can attract venture capital investment. But those that can are found everywhere now. It is important to scout them alertly, vet them diligently, understand their value and help them grow – in search of the grand solutions that can scale globally.
Those who ask that question are often thinking at a more comfortable time interval, an addition of a few decades maybe. How will it be to live to 120 years? Instead, I think of a different question. What if you lived a billion years?
There were about 13 billion years in which the atoms of the universe did not compose you. There are going to be perhaps hundreds of billions that will not involve you. Between these two time intervals immeasurably larger than the length of your life, living 50 (if tomorrow I go under the bus), 100, 1000 or one million years, in the end, makes no difference.
The stunning wonder of living in a world where, at some point, matter wakes up and opens its eyes to the world, to be its witness and protagonist … This basic human condition already transcends any possible further metaphysical consideration.
That is why the time is now – to think, to do, to be.
Originally published on davidorban.com
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