Pascal Finette

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

Read this first

Follow Your Fears

Building trophies in my soul…

Continue reading →

A Personal Update

Last year, on November 11th I joined 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...

Continue reading →

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:

Continue reading →

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...

Continue reading →

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:...

Continue reading →

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...

Continue reading →

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.


Continue reading →

On Mozilla

A lot has been written about Mozilla in these last few weeks. Some of it is thoughtful, thought-provoking, heartfelt, helpful and necessary. Some of it is politically charged and sometimes factually plain wrong.

I have a hard time reconsolidating all that has been done, happened, said or not said over the last two weeks. I spent more time at Mozilla than at any other organization; I met some of the most brilliant people there; some of my best friends are or were there. I had the great fortune to spend my last year at Mozilla working directly with Mitchell Baker, Mozilla’s co-founder and chairperson.

When I first joined Mozilla, after spending all my life in startups, around tech entrepreneurs and as an investor, it took me a year before I even began to fundamentally understand what Mozilla really is. How it is different. How it is not just a company or a non-profit organization...

Continue reading →

The World in 2035

A few weeks ago I attended the World Business Dialogue 2014 in Cologne, Germany where the organizers asked me to write an essay about how I see the world in 20 years from now for a book they published. Here it is.

The last 20 years in technology have been dominated by Moore’s Law: Intel’s cofounder Gordon E. Moore predicted in 1965 that over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years. In essence: Computers get twice as fast every two years.

Since the ENIAC, the first electronic general-purpose computer built in 1946, we have seen the rise and (partial) displacement of four main computing paradigms: Starting with mainframes in the 1940s, which took up whole rooms full of computing equipment and were only used by very few select organizations. Those early highly specialized computers were replaced...

Continue reading →

The (Tech) Startup Job Machine

According to Seed-DB, the excellent source of data for technology incubators and accelerators, the 191 programs they track worldwide have accelerated 3,284 companies (that’s 17 companies per incubator/accelerator). These companies received an impressive total of $3,883,835,645 in funding (about $1.1m of funding per company on average) and created 13,076 jobs in the process (which comes down to four (!) jobs per company).

This is precisely why incubators are broken (from a societal perspective) - We simply need more jobs. The World Development Report 2013 published by the World Bank, states that we need to create 600 million new jobs in the next 15 years to sustain current employment rates. 13,076 jobs, created at a cost of nearly $300,000 per job just doesn’t cut it.

I strongly believe that we need an entrepreneurship revolution to solve the large societal problems we...

Continue reading →