I went to law school. And I can’t remember any of the law that I learned back then. But the one thing they do teach you at law school is how to find stuff, and how to think. Now, back in 2009, I was living in Western Australia.
My other businesses that are gone, South global financial crisis was upon us, I have a million and a half Australian dollars invested in a software company that was just starting to turn revenue, and then the GFC hits, and then nobody was going to buy it. And that represented seven years of financial and intellectual endeavor. So effectively, time was running out for me, and I needed to do something. So understanding that everything else that I had ventured into that never made me any money was probably a strategy I ought not to follow. I remember the advice that somebody wants gave me and has been ultimately confirmed by one of my intellectual heroes, Charlie Munger, that if you want to be successful in life, you should stick to your knitting, find one thing that you’re good at, and do it better than everybody else. And it’s so true.
So along this journey, as I’ve found stuff all available freely on the internet, and listen to what smart people have to say about what’s really going on. And then having enough experience in business down the years to put two and two together pretty quickly, you realize that the world is changing. And you can do things today that are just unparalleled from an opportunity perspective. I mean, if if I can come from really underwater, with everything, everything at risk, and have barely any capital, and just understand that I’ve got an expertise in a particular thing, and then go on the incident and look for the smart way to parlay that into something profitable and big. And, as we’ll see, ultimately generous. If I can do that anybody can do it. That’s the truth. So I call these gentlemen my heroes.
Don Tapscott is a Canadian futurist. He wrote, the digital economy, he coined the phrase, Wikinomics. This gentleman, his crystal ball is absolutely turbocharged. He’s identified things like Uber, and Spotify. He identified all these years and years and years ago. So here you have a man whose wisdom in this space is so profound. If you’re really able to sort of take in what’s going on, you can start to pull together what’s really, really valuable at what he has to say.
And then there’s Seth Godin. Has anybody heard of Seth Godin? Okay, okay, everybody in this room, should immediately after this presentation, go and watch every video Seth Godin has ever made, and go and read all these books. This man is a marketing genius. That’s all I can describe in house. And you’ll see throughout the rest of this presentation, that these ideas have been reflected very squarely in the way that we’ve constructed our business model. So the great world’s greatest marketing man, in my view, Seth Godin.
Then there’s Kevin Kelly, Kevin Kelley in 1996, wrote a book called Tony rules for a new economy. And what he did was he projected forward 40 or 50 years as to what he believed was going to happen as a result of the advent of the modern internet. So he wrote his book in 1986. This is now 40 or 50 years forward, and I picked this book up in 2011. And I look back and I say, what does he said was going to happen between 2011 and 1996. And guess what? Everything that he said was going to happen, that happened. So you don’t have to be Einstein to realize, well, okay, if he’s been right this far, what the hell is he saying about the next few years? And how what he’s saying about the next few years? How does that jive with my thinking about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it in the way that I am.
So, Kevin Kelley, then also wrote this book, some years later, called, what technology wants, and I’m going to discuss that in a moment. But Kevin Kelly’s profound insights, together with what Dan top Scott top Scott’s had to say, and Seth Godin throughout just means that the intellectual powerhouse that’s available for free on the internet. It’s just there if you go look for it. I certainly unheard of these people too much before I went and found what I found. And then finally Charlie Munger, who is Warren Buffett’s business partner, who’s in his late 80s.
Now, Charlie Munger is the world’s second richest man. He’s done everything. When Charlie Munger opens his mouth, what comes out is pure wisdom. And because he’s a man in his 80s, he has doesn’t have too many words to say. So everything is pure, pure gold. And so for me, Charlie Munger was that was an opportunity for me to actually validate the decisions that I was making and the way that I was thinking. So now, automatically when I’m making the decision in business, I think to myself, What does Charlie Munger think about this incredible wisdom out there for you. So these are my intellectual heroes, and they appear all throughout everything else. I’m going to present with you today.