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Silicon Valley Breathes Possibility

By Conscious Owl | Conscious Leadership

Nov 30
Silicon Valley Possibility

There are no limitations to the Mind except those we acknowledge.

-Napoleon Hill

It seems that every day we hear news of Silicon Valley. The global economy is now fueled by its technology. Every single industry and human endeavor has been impacted by its multiple waves of innovation.

Everyone who visits Silicon Valley asks themselves “What is the secret of Silicon Valley?”. Is it the beautiful scenery, the welcoming climate, the abundance of universities and institutes or the technical talent that streams here from all over the world?

Or is it perhaps an inner quality, a state of consciousness, that makes Silicon Valley the supreme standout?

What Is Possibility?

Werner Erhard, who pioneered transformation in San Francisco introduced first “space,” then “context” and finally “possibility.” Possibility is typically thought of as a pleasant, but improbable occurrence somewhere in the future. It is never now, but always far off. At best, you cross your fingers and work toward it.

Werner saw possibility as something much more real and immediate. Possibility is a present reality that you can step into and live. It is generated by language, how we conceptualize. It transcends time and space as another order of being. When you keep focusing on possibility, it has a tendency to materialize.

John F. Kennedy created the “New Frontier,” and committed to the possibility of a human landing on the moon. Martin Luther King had a dream of America as a universal brotherhood. Martin did not waiver in this dream, even though it cost him his life. We see abundant evidence that neither man died in vain.

Silicon Valley Breathes Possibility

Silicon Valley emerges wherever people LIVE possibility. It is as much a space as a possibility. Like Broadway and Hollywood, no dream is too wild. Rules are meant to be mastered, and then transcended. You stop walking around with “Why?” and start asking “Why not?”

Maybe it began with the Gold Rush in 1949. People came from all over the world to get rich and ended up falling in love with California. Hippies in 1967 created the Summer of Love with San Francisco as ground zero for alternative lifestyle. During the Dotcom Boom of the 1990’s, it became a center for digital innovation.

Silicon Valley has spawned wave after wave of technology, from chips to systems to platforms to Internet to mobile to cloud to A.I. Even though it has suffered multiple recessions, it always snaps back more powerful than before. Think of Netscape leading to Google and Google to Facebook and Facebook to Tesla.

Crash and Burn? No Problem!

In Silicon Valley, it is no shame to initiate a startup and bomb. Only one in ten venture-funded startups does really well, and VC’s only choose one business plan in a thousand. Even the banner startups may fail. Microsoft literally drove Netscape out of business, but not without Netscape permanently altering the landscape.

Steve Jobs is the perfect example, becoming a millionaire in his early 20’s only to get thrown out of the very company he had started. From there, he created an alternative to the Macintosh without having his NeXT computers even run a credible challenge to Apple. Then came Pixar winning an Academy Award. Steve finally came back to Apple and took it to the stars as the world’s most valuable company.

Crash and burn is the best educator. In Silicon Valley, you learn by doing with experimentation the methodology. You look at an ultimate success, such as iPhone, and ask yourself, “What’s next?.” In Apple’s case, it was a very smart Watch.

Better, Faster, Cheaper Leads to Excellence

Moore’s Law has been in effect for well over a generation where chips are continually being made better, faster and cheaper. They double in power in less than two years. This law has been in operation for decades to the point where the iPhone can now do trillions of operations PER SECOND.

Better, Faster and Cheaper means that you can leverage technology to accomplish seeming miracles. As has been often hinted in Sci Fi, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Apple added design and a passion for aesthetics. Even their boxes are souvenirs you never want to throw out. In Apple’s case, nothing less than Steve Jobs’ “insanely great” will do. It has done a stunning job of living up to that daring standard.

Silicon Valley talent

Stand Out AND Collaborate

Steve Job did an ad so powerful that it changed the financial course of Apple, moving it from red to black. He devoted his work to “the Crazy Ones,” people with the courage to stand out and be different. His motto was “Think Different.” He got a whole corporation to think different, while closely collaborating.

The secret is to stand out with a whole new possibility while building agreement. You see it, and then sell it. No matter that you are profoundly misunderstood and ridiculed. Regis McKenna, Apple’s first P.R. man, exclaimed, “Apple is not a computer, but a religion!”.

Most of the great startups were founded by just two people. With Hewlett Packard, with Apple, with Netscape, with Google. One of the partners is a technical visionary, the other is a master at how to sell that vision. One usually takes on the title of “CTO,” the other “CEO.” Neither could do without the other. Together, they are irresistible.

Your Ultimate Payoff? Change the World

When Jesus Christ promised the Apostle Peter, “Follow me, and I will make you a fisher of men,” He was taking a simple merchant and making him the head of His budding church. If you think back to Buddha and forward to Mohammad, you witness people with universal vision. They saw beyond their immediate circumstances to articulate a possibility for all humanity.

When Bill Gates left Harvard after his Freshman year for Albuquerque, New Mexico, he saw in the hobbyist electronics shop, not a primitive beast with programmable lights, but the worldwide emergence of personal computing. Like Steve Jobs, he envisioned a PC on every desk and in every home.

silicon valley startups

When Elon Musk started Space X, Solar City and moved over to Tesla, he was willing to sink his entire fortune in a single turn of the wheel. When Tesla was reeling in debt, he saved the company with his own bank account. Like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, getting superrich was not the driver, it was a shot at “putting a ding in the Universe.”

Bring Silicon Valley Back with You

Delegations of nations, provinces, cities and industries keep coming to Silicon Valley year after year to discover what makes it tick. They are seeking jobs for their people, but even more, the very ecosystem that creates employment. Time after time, they bump up against passion, vision and courage.

What is inescapable is what was referred to as Steve Jobs’ “reality distortion field.” Everyone near his gravitational field got totally swept up in his vision and accepted it as a sure thing. He had the knack of sensing what people want, and presenting it to them in a way beyond their wildest expectation.

You can live in the South or the Midwest, perhaps in a town or city that bores you to tears. It doesn’t matter. You can create a whole new possibility within yourself, systematically sharing it with others. That is what Conscious Owl, recently hatched in Silicon Valley, is all about. We maintain that consciousness, itself, may be just beyond the horizon as the final wave.

We look forward to your thoughts and stories.


About the Author

One conscious owl to another... sharing what we learned over the years, and from many wise owls before us.