“When Someone Tells You Who They Are, Believe Them”

April 28th, 2020

https___cdn.evbuc_.com_images_82051393_1People often talk about certain groups of immigrants that have come to America and wonder why some groups are so successful.

One of the reasons is that it is a self-selecting population. To escape one’s country, whether it was fleeing Germany in the 1940s or Cambodia or Vietnam in the 1960s or Central America today, takes a remarkable degree of perseverance and courage.  It’s often a high-wire act, that requires a do or die mentality.

But it has a dark side. What happens when that same drive is carried too far? When bending the rules to survive becomes bending the rules to succeed. Then it's like that old adage that “behind every great fortune is sometimes a great crime.”

This certainly is true for the Trumps and the Kushners. And we all may be the victims. Andrea Bernstein tells this story in American Oligarchs: The Kushners, the Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power.

My conversation with Andrea Bernstein:

Our Evolution Is A Graveyard of Ancient Viruses.

April 16th, 2020

BeFunky-collage-ns.jpgPerhaps at no single moment in modern time have we been more self-aware about the human body and human anatomy. I suspect that all of you have a new understanding of how viruses work, how RNA duplicates, how generic material plays a role in the evolution of disease.

Therefore it becomes the perfect time to zoom out from that personal insight to look at the broad evolutionary perspective of how we got here to this time and palace. How did our vulnerable lungs and respiratory systems evolve and what does that evolution tell us about life now, our collective future and our own evolution prospects? And most of all in this age of cutting edge biological and genetic science, what control do we have over any of it?

Neil Shubin is the Robert R. Bensley Professor of Organismal Biology and Anatomy at the University of Chicago. provost of the Field Museum of Natural History and his latest work is Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA

My conversation with Neil Shubin:

When We Come Back, Every Business Could Be A Startup: Here Are Some Rules

April 7th, 2020

Screen%2BShot%2B2020-04-07%2Bat%2B8.36.1When we do come back from the current crisis, in some ways every business will be a startup. Sadly, some business will not make it through. Others will struggle to come back. And in some cases innovation will prevail. That is, new problems will result in new business opportunities. Disruption, innovation, and the desire and the will to succeed will drive entrepreneurs to imagine whole new companies and whole new ways of relaunching old ones. And some will be wildly successful and maybe even become household words.  

It makes you wonder, is there a formula for start up success. Are there rules or at least a framework? There is what Jim McKelvey calls The Innovation Stack.

My conversation with Jim McKelvey: