Minutes from Brightness – The Innovation Manifesto
Near the bottom of this blog, you’ll find the first in a series of tested tips on raising capital for your innovative venture, whether at the angel level or VC level. But first, let me entertain and inspire you:
I care deeply about our future. Some tell us to live in the present, but I’d be a liar if I told you that’s all there is. That’s like telling a dog to ignore its nose or a hawk to ignore its vision. We as humans have a past and a future along with the present – memories, anticipations, and yes pleasures in the moment. And the gift is that every experience can be had three times – once anticipated, once felt, and once remembered. So let’s anticipate our future for a moment.
My hope for mankind is bright. The future is bright. I don’t see any point in expecting the doomsday darkness of nuclear or ecological winter. Prepare against it, yes; expect it, no. Just as some scientists parade their doomsday clock, I believe in the Brightness Clock. We’re minutes from Brightness.
What is this world of brightness look like? The brightness of science over superstition? The brightness of inquiry over inquisition? The brightness of discovery over stagnation? Go where no humans have gone before? Explore, discover, create, innovate?
Let me remind you about the world that Galileo lived in, only 5 lifetimes ago. It was near the beginning of the age of Enlightenment. Religious superstition still clouded the world. For promoting the notion the earth revolves around the sun while ridiculing the ruling church, the church grounded him for life (house arrest.) Such harsh persecution for new ideas is still commonplace in many places today. Openly disagree with approved belief in China today? You could be grounded for life. Don’t follow approved belief in Iran or ISIS today? Worse. Will you help me end persecution today?
Where there’s religious or ideologic persecution there’s soon war. Private persecution becomes very public. Either way, there’s terror.
What’s the alternative? Freedom to explore, discover, create, invent, make, believe, express, innovate. And not just freedom in theory, freedom lived. Outward and inward exploration on a large scale, applauded at all levels of society. Think Silicon Valley worldwide (though without the suffocating political correctness.) Silicon World?
See scientists, inventors, makers and entrepreneurs mixing freely in a celebration of creativity with artists, composers, and authors. That’s the world I see.
In such a world, self-expression, fed by hope, flowers.
Well, I’m not naive to imagine terror is going away anytime soon. But I do see a path toward that day. The hope of progress. How can this be when the world is in flames today?
From the Shawshank Redemption:
ANDY: Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.
RED: I find I’m so excited that I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel. A free man at a start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams.
As it was for Andy and Red, hope was not a dream; hope spawned new lives for them, new possibilities. This was simply because their hope was grounded in reality; it wasn’t just an idle dream or fantasy. As unlikely it seemed, there was a realistic plan of escape and the plan did work.
So as we create Silicon World, remember to create your new ideas grounded in reality. Innovation is grounded in reality. This is why we at Intelliversity focus on funding innovation. Yes, we want to see all deserving innovations funded. Yes, we are working to multiply the amount of money available for innovation. But the reason for focusing on funding is that smart investors fund entrepreneurs who are grounded in reality. What makes Silicon Valley so great is that entrepreneurs there teach each other how to launch and scale their businesses, not just how to write business plans.
And they teach each other how to demonstrate to investors that they can launch and scale their businesses.
Equally important, investors teach each other how to predict whether or not an entrepreneur really can launch and scale his/her business. When investors get really good at this, their success rate goes up from the abysmal 10% to 20% of most angels and VC’s to the 50% to 70% success rate selecting winners that my team and I enjoy. We teach and learn from each other constantly, through endeavors like the Entrepereneur$ Boot Camp and extensive due diligence assessment.
So this is the beginning of a manifesto to explore, discover, and create in ways that really do work in the real world — both for you the explorers, discoverers and creators — and for those of us who fund you.
Innovation is realistic creativity, useful creativity. It’s not enough to create something new; it has to work in the real world or have a reasonably good shot at working to be called innovation. This doesn’t mean that wild ideas can’t be good innovations. It’s just that extraordinary ideas require extraordinary execution. The wilder our ideas, the more capable must be our execution. Great Vision Masters require partnership with great Execution Masters. Think Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. Read about the immense power of great partnerships like Zuckerberg and Sandberg in my free Ebook “Born to Star.“
So, this is not the dream manifesto. This is not the fantasy manifesto. This is not the creativity manifesto. This is the Innovation Manifesto, where dreams really do come true.
This is an invitation to join me in bringing about a brighter world where all ideas are welcome, and where deserving innovations get funded. Will you join us?
Now for your tested funding tip of the week:
Tested Funding Tip #1
As Vision Master, express to investors your earnest intention to partner with an Execution Master, if not already so partnered. This demonstrates a degree of humility, awareness that you don’t know enough to execute your vision on your own. This makes you seem trustworthy. And trust means everything when it comes to investors. Your Execution Master can be given a post such as President or COO, but should as a general rule not be the CEO, unless you as Vision Master, are truly incapable of leading a team. You as Vision Master should retain the position of CEO. Here is what to look for in a great Execution Master.