Fresh Dialogues attended the New York Times Global Forum last week, where Tom Friedman assembled some of his favorite columnists, colleagues and CEOs to share their wit and wisdom about the brave new world of hyperconnectivity.
Friedman has five pieces of advice for how to survive and thrive when the Internet of Everything rules our lives. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin...
1. Think Like a New Immigrant
Friedman advises us to "Lean In" to this world of hyperconnectivity. (Yes, he's another guy in awe of the multi-talented Sheryl Sandberg.) Specifically, Friedman urges us to be "paranoid optimists," i.e. pursue opportunities more energetically, persistently and creatively than anybody else; and act with the YOLO attitude of a new immigrant while remembering that anything can be taken away in a flash.
2. Think Like An Artisan
Friedman was obviously inspired by Steve Jobs here. He says: do your work every day with so much pride and extra effort that you want to carve your initials into it.
3. Always Be In Beta
Always think of yourself as a work in progress: iterate, polish, iterate. Think of FINISHED as a four letter word. Friedman thanks LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman, for this Silicon Valley pearl of wisdom.
4. It's A 401K World
Friedman says it's a world of free opportunity with defined contributions, but not defined benefits. The divide is no longer just digital; but motivational. Get motivated!
5. Think Like A Waitress
Not just any waitress, specifically the waitress at Perkins Pancake House in Minneapolis (Friedman's hometown). On a recent visit, the waitress demonstrated her entrepreneurial spirit by bringing Friedman and his colleague extra fruit. As Friedman explains, "She didn't control much, but she could control the fruit ladle. That was her source of 'extra.'" Result: She earned a 50% tip.
Moral of the story: try to become Friedman's waitress on his globe trotting travels, and don't forget those extra ladlefuls...of everything.
But seriously, just try to emulate that savvy waitress: Be relentlessly entrepreneurial, change whatever you have control over, and find that new business or opportunity.
Friedman finished his speech with advice for President Obama:
1. In this new world of hyperconnectivity, there will be a growing number of "have-nots," so safety nets will have to be reinforced and extended.
2. Get yourself a decent narrative to inspire the country, like President Kennedy did in the 60′s with space exploration. e.g. Make America the platform where everyone in the world will come to launch their own moonshot.
Check back soon for an exclusive Fresh Dialogues interview with California's Leuitenant Governor Gavin Newsom who was taking copious notes in the front row. He shares his passion for action on climate change and why he wants to be governor one day.
This event took place at City View, Metreon in San Francisco, June 20, 2013.
Follow Alison van Diggelen on Twitter: www.twitter.com/FreshDialogues