Friday, September 08, 2017

Success in the New Economy

I was invited to a community brainstorming session focused on MSD of Decatur Township's plans to build an Innovation Hub.  This session was centered on Computer Science.  Decatur Township has been one of our most energetic partners in our efforts to bring maker centered learning to schools everywhere.

During the presentation, Dr. Chris Duzenbery screened this video titled Success in the New Economy. It's about how colleges have been oversold and the opportunity for schools to ‘re-frame’ education for careers is overdue.

In a rare moment of insight I suggested that rather than inviting business owners and employees of companies that offer job opportunities and examples of careers to students - schools should 'flip' career days and invite parents to learn about the changing landscape of college and careers.  The group seemed to agree with me.  This video explains it well.  The 'freshness' date of college for everyone has expired.

Monday, August 07, 2017

America's First Female Millionaire

America's first female millionaire was a African-American, lived in Indianapolis, and should be better known than she is.

The good news is that she is getting some overdue credit for her accomplishments.  A 2014 story in TIME Magazine was recently mentioned on Reddit (which is where I found it mentioned.)

The difficulties she faced: sexism and racism among them, make the trivial setbacks and challenges I have faced in my entrepreneurial journey seem insignificant. 

Madame C. J. Walker was born on December 23, 1867 to parents who were former slaves.  She made her fortune in the hair care products business. The building where she operated in Indianapolis is still there as a testament to her success.  I've visited it often as a volunteer with Business Ownership Initiative to help other entrepreneurs succeed.

She developed a sales agent program, leveraged the power of black media (in 1890!) and developed a multi-level marketing system BEFORE AMWAY!

A black mom, widowed at 20, she was making $1.50/day as a washerwoman when she came up with the idea for a hair tonic that helped her stop losing her hair.

Her brilliant marketing strategy was founded on sharing her success with her sales agents. Not only generous, but motivating. She created a source of philanthropy that has lasted for over 125 years!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Tesla as an inventor

Odd that I came across this quote from Tesla's autobiography by scanning tech news (on Reddit) and stumbling upon the National Governor's Association video of the governor of Nevada's introduction of Elon Musk.  Despite having written a lengthy introduction (he said) he simply quoted Nikola Tesla's Autobiography.

"The progressive development of man is vitally dependent on invention. It is the most important product of his creative brain. Its ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world, the harnessing of the forces of nature to human needs. This is the difficult task of the inventor who is often misunderstood and unrewarded. But he finds ample compensation in the pleasing exercises of his powers and in the knowledge of being one of that exceptionally privileged class without whom the race would have long ago perished in the bitter struggle against pitiless elements. . . ."

Those words so succinctly describe the life of the inventor.  "Unrewarded genius" (in the words of Calvin Coolidge, except that the rewards are the kind of joy one receives from discovery.  Such is the construction of man that shear discovery is ample reward for years of toil.

There is a great cautionary tale included Musk's remarks about Artificial Intelligence.  Worth watching just for that.  Start about here.