Pascal Finette

Managing Director Startup Lab @ Singularity University. Posse Leader @ The Heretic | GyShiDo. Also @ eBay | Mozilla | Google | Entrepreneur | Coach | Speaker.

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The Open Source Disruption

Yesterday I gave a talk at Singularity University’s Executive Program on Open Source Disruption - it’s (somewhat) new content I developed; here’s the abstract of my talk:

The Open Source movement has upended the software world: Democratizing access, bringing billion dollar industries to their knees, toppling giants and simultaneously creating vast opportunities for the brave and unconventional. After decades in the making, the Open Source ideology, being kindled by ever cheaper and better technologies, is spreading like wildfire - and has the potential to disrupt many industries.

In his talk, Pascal will take you on a journey from the humble beginnings to the end of software as we knew it. He will make a case for why Open Source is an unstoppable force and present you with strategies and tactics to thrive in this brave new world.

And here’s the deck.

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I’ve Seen the Future - and It’s Virtual

More than 20 years ago I first experienced virtual reality in one of those large-scale 3D rigs which was traveling the country, setting up shop in the local multiplex cinema and charging you a small fortune to step into a 4-by-4 foot contraption, strap on a pair of 3D goggles, grab a plastic gun and hunt down some aliens in an immersive 3D environment.

Early VR Set

It’s funny - as unimpressive as the graphics were, as much as the delay between movement and visual update was puke inducing – I still have vivid memories of the game and the incredible experience of literally stepping into a new world.

Fast forward to last year: Oculus revived the whole Virtual Reality (VR) scene with their Rift headset – cobbled together with cheap off-the-shelf components and some clever hardware and software hacking. The first time I tried the Rift I was hooked. It was the exact same crazy experience I had...

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Robots are eating our jobs

Shahin Farshchi wrote a piece for IEEE Spectrum, the flagship magazine of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, on “Five Myths and Facts About Robotics Technology Today”.

In the article he states:

Robots are intended to eliminate jobs: MYTH – Almost every major manufacturing and logistics company I’ve spoken to looks to robotics as a means to improve the efficiency of its operations and the quality of life of its existing workers. So human workers continue to be a key part of the business when it comes to robotics. In fact, workers should view robots as how skilled craftsmen view their precision tools: enhancing output while creating greater job satisfaction. Tesla Motors is just one example of using robots [pictured above] to do all the limb-threatening and back-breaking tasks while workers oversee their operation and ensure the quality of their...

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Follow Your Fears

Building trophies in my soul…

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A Personal Update

Last year, on November 11th I joined Google.org. Exactly 90 days later I quit.

My plan for 2014 was to take some time off and focus on the things I love doing most - which is the magic which happens at the intersection of entrepreneurship, technology and impact.

I founded/co-founded two non-profits: POWERUP and The Coaching Fellowship. I did a ton of public speaking and mentored a whole bunch of entrepreneurs. I spent a week in Boulder, CO, working with the incredible Unreasonable Institute. I worked with a couple of very large companies on their innovation strategy. I became an executive coach working with some of the most inspiring individuals I’ve ever met.

And then everything changed.

For a long time I’ve been a huge fan of the work being done at Singularity University. Their mission of leveraging bleeding edge technologies to solve for the most intractable problems in...

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On Happiness

This morning I had the great pleasure and honor to hold the closing keynote at the Symposium Oeconomicum in Münster, Germany.

The theme of the day was “the leap into the unknown”. The organizers asked me to wrap up the day with an inspiring message. And what better way to send off 600 students, than to talk about happiness?

Here’s the video:

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An Entrepreneur’s Call to Arms

We are living in incredible times. Incredibly scary and incredibly exciting: On one hand we face issues such as three billion people living in poverty, 2.5 billion people without access to sanitation and 800 million people who don’t have access to clean drinking water. On the other hand we experience innovation happening at an ever increasing pace, allowing us to touch more people in less time. There are now seven billion mobile phone connections on a planet with 7.1 billion people; we grow human tissue in a petri dish; we program DNA and 3D print complete houses out of concrete in less than 24 hours.

The American psychologist Abraham Maslow (who created the famous “hierarchy of needs”) once said: “Everyone I know who is happy is working well at something they consider important.”

You have an incredible opportunity. You, more than any generation before...

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Anatomy of a Speech

A few weeks ago I was invited to speak at the World Business Dialogue in Cologne, Germany on “Tech for Good”.

As part of my speech I prepared speaking notes for the deck I was using. Below you’ll find the raw notes – this is the completely unedited version I wrote to prepare myself for the speech a day before the event itself.

I figured it might be fun to get a peek into the ugly underbelly of making a public speech.

[1] Good afternoon. Let’s talk a bit about what I mean when I talk about technology for good, why it’s important and why I am so passionate about it that I spent considerable amounts of my time working on it.

[2] Over the last century we experienced a rapidly accelerating curve of progress - all driven by technology. We long left the linear growth path and are on an accelerated exponential curve.

You might have heard of Moore’s Law:...

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Never Walk - A Talk About Entrepreneurship And Running

Part 1 - Roger

2011-10 Startup Week Presentation Never Walk.001.jpg

This is one of the most inspired moments in the history of athletics: Roger Bannister crossing the finish line on 6 May 1954 during a meet between British AAA and Oxford University at Iffley Road Track in Oxford, United Kingdom, where he became the first human to run the mile in less than four minutes. An extraordinary achievement which was, at the time, considered impossible. Seeing the picture of Roger crossing the line gives me goose bumps. Each and every time. This picture evokes so many emotions in me - in a lot of ways it’s the perfect capture of the perfect moment.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. For now - keep Roger in mind, we will meet him again later.

2011-10 Startup Week Presentation Never Walk.002.jpg

“Reaching the finish line, never walking, enjoying the race. These three, in this order, are my goals.” — Haruki Murakami

This presentation is a story about running, running a...

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Technology Trends (April 2014)

Earlier this month I was asked to present my thoughts and observations on “Technology Trends” in front of a group of Dutch business leaders. A lot of my thinking these days circles around the notion of “exponential growth” and the disruptive forces which come with this (full credit goes to Singularity University for putting these ideas into my head) and the notion of “ambient/ubiquitous computing” (full credit to my former colleague and friend Allen Wirfs-Brock).

In summary I believe we are truly in the midst of a new era with fundamental changes coming at an ever increasing pace at us.

Here’s my deck – it mostly works standalone.

Vodafone-WIP.jpg

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