Paul Kedrosky of The Kauffman Foundation muses on finance, venture capitalism, the money culture and technology. At the Canadian Innovation Exchange, Kedrosky offered sound insights from his areas of expertise and expressed his viewpoint that “The past is here, and it’s evenly distributed.” Kedrosky doesn’t believe in the idea that it’s the future that’s here in its uneven distribution, but that we have a preoccupation with the way people perceive us and our mental state. Kedrosky explains that humans have a fascination with normalcy and that we are constantly plaguing ourselves with the question: Am I normal? Kedrosky believes that in actuality, many things aren't normal at all, and it's normal for them not to be normal. When we think otherwise, we're in a world of trouble.
Kedrosky is a firm believer in taking risks. Afterall:
Innovators and entrepreneurs are motivated not because they want to be, but because they're scratching their own itch. The best comics are the ones who almost lose their mental stability. This relates to entrepreneurs in an economic sense.
The past is still here, but it's spread out so evenly that none of us see it. We're surrounded by it. The notion that the future is already here and that it's just not evenly distributed is false. The past is all around us, but one must be acutely tuned in to see it, according to Kedrosky. Most cities were built on pre-combustion materials and now, we live in a post-combustion world and are surrounded by products of the past. Kedrosky is the first to admit that we are re-wiring our society in really important ways, and it’s his assertion that speed will become even more important as we move into the future. As such, Kedrosky wants us to focus our efforts on fast starts.
In a world wherein we’re afforded a literally viral transmissibility of ideas, issues and problems, as the innovators and entrepreneurs and creative types we must be aware of the importance of ignorance, warns Kedrosky. What we really should be doing is trying to push ourselves away from the zone of comfort and the idea of searching for normalcy, because this new re-wiring of the world has allowed us to be more unstable. Kedrosky’s irreverent advice and notions are important in their posture as we navigate a world that’s changing before our very eyes. Kedrosky closes by stating this thoughtful perspective:
Necessity explains nothing. Desire explains everything and innovation is the ultimate driver.
For Kedrosky, it’s this perspective that will allow us all to push ourselves that much further.
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