04/03/16

Pascal on two Innovation Podcasts

Recently I had the great pleasure of not only being on one Podcast but two – each with a slightly different twist:

First I talked with Bill Murphy from the amazing Redzone Podcast about “How to use Exponential Technologies to Innovate at the Edge”:

And then I was on Donnie SC Lygonis' Constant Innovation Podcast, talking about… Innovation:

03/18/16

DIE ZEIT FESTIVAL ‘Smashing Ideas‘ 2016

A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of speaking at the DIE ZEIT FESTIVAL ‘Smashing Ideas 2016’ in Hamburg, Germany. My talk is a condensed version of what we are teaching here at Singularity University plus a short Q&A session with Manuel Hartung, Resortleiter Chancen at DIE ZEIT.

Hope you enjoy it.

03/13/16

Podcast – Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs

The other day Fergal Byrne interviewed me for his Podcast “Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs”. We touched upon topics such as:

You can listen to the Podcast in many different formats and mediums on the Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs Website.

10/26/15

Reference Check á la Google

The other day I was contacted by a Google recruiter to serve as a reference for a former colleague of mine. In the process Google asked me to fill out an online form with a set of questions. I found the questions very thought- and insightful so I figured I share them here for your own recruiting efforts:

  1. What is your current title, as well as the title you held when the candidate worked with you?
  2. Was there a reporting relationship, and if so how long did the candidate report to you?
  3. How long have you known the candidate? Were you the one responsible for hiring the candidate into your company? How did you happen to find the candidate?
  4. At what company did you work together? How large is/was your organization? How many people reported to you at the time you managed the candidate?
  5. Out of the direct reports mentioned above, how would you have ranked the candidate? (i.e. on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being poor and 5 being excellent)
  6. (if applicable) What kept the candidate from being the #1 performer on your team? (i.e. what areas could s/he work to improve upon or develop?)
  7. Can you tell us a bit about the candidate's strengths, both technical and interpersonal?
  8. Did you ever have the opportunity to give the candidate a formal performance review? If so, what scale did you use and what was the candidate's rating?
  9. Is there any other information that you would like to share that would be helpful in our consideration of this candidate?
  10. Assuming you had the role, budget, etc., would you want to hire this candidate again? Why or why not?
08/07/15

Guy Kawasaki’s Talk on “The Art of the Start”

I recently brought Guy Kawasaki to Singularity University where he delivered a fantastic keynote on "The Art of the Start".

Here's the video:

05/15/15

An Open Letter to Fast Company: Drop the Sexism

Dear Chris Gayomali, Dear Fast Company-Team,

I am extremely disappointed seeing you, a publication which self-proclaims to "inspire a new breed of innovative and creative thought leaders who are actively inventing the future of business", perpetuating a view of the world and fellow entrepreneurs which is sexist and one-dimensional.

Your recent article on Birch Box, the phenomenally successful ecommerce startup founded by Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna starts out with the following sentence:

"Birchbox’s co–CEO, wearing a dark monochrome dress that provides an understated canvas for her impeccable jewelry game [...]"

Reducing Katia to her "impeccable jewelry game" is offensive and sexist. I am sure you would never start out an article about a male founder with a statement about his "impeccable tie game".

Writing this as a white male - it offends me that you (and many of your colleagues) reduce my women entrepreneur colleagues to their choice of fashion instead of their incredible achievements.

Please live up to your motto and see people for what they do - not their gender, ethnicity or any other superficial distinction.

05/05/15

Entrepreneurship for Executives

Earlier this week I had the great pleasure and honor to present a modified/expanded version of my "10 Lessons for Entrepreneurs" talk at Singularity University's Executive Program.

10 Lessons for Entrepreneurs

more...

03/05/15

Here's What's Wrong With Tech

The other day I stumbled across the following headline on The Verge: "Stratos is not just another all-in-one smart card".

The product described in the article is a "smart" credit card which allows you to combine any three cards (e.g. your personal and business credit card plus your Starbucks loyalty card) in one Stratos card which is hooked up to your phone and allows you to select, with the push of a button, the card you want to use.

Useless products all around

more...

02/26/15

What Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Pitching

The following post is a summary of a series of earlier Heretic posts on the subject compiled into one comprehensive list - compiled by the wonderful folks at Unreasonable.is

Your pitch deck MUST start with a description of what it is that you’re doing. Your second slide (after the cover slide) is titled “What is NAME-OF-YOUR-COMPANY” (e.g. “What is eBay”). Explain in simple English what you’re doing. This is not the place to be clever, show off your extraordinary grasp of the English language or think that your pitch deck is a novel where you build tension and excitement in the first half and surprise the reader in the end.

If I (or any investor for that matter) don’t understand what you are doing in the first 10-15 seconds you already lost me. I know investors who don’t go past slide two if they don’t grasp what the company does.

more...

02/17/15

My Yesterbox Gmail Setup

In my potentially never-ending quest to get on top of the ever-growing email onslaught, I came across Tony Hsieh's Yesterbox method/manifesto. It's a deceptively simple but effective way to deal with your inbox: You only answer the emails from yesterday (plus the very few emails which require immediate attention). That way you get a chance to be on top of your email (as the number of emails from yesterday is finite) instead of being caught in an endless game of whack-a-mole. Plus people will get a guaranteed response from you in less than 48 hours - whereas in the past I often skipped more complex emails for days as I was constantly dealing with new incoming mail.

For a while I toyed around with different setups. Until I settled on the following Gmail configuration which works beautifully for me:

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01/12/15

No Matter What - You Have To Run

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed.

Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve.

It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or a gazelle - when the sun comes up, you have to run.

~ African Proverb

Gazelle

Photo by Morkel Erasmus under a CC-BY-NC-ND License

12/02/14

Funny Facebook Messenges Exchange

I just had an amazing Facebook Messages exchange with someone who asked me to write for his startup newsletter/website. Guess he's not quite as empathetic about entrepreneurs as I and many other are. But read for yourself:

Mr X:

Great to meet you Pascal
I am founder at ---REDACTED---
I would love to learn about your work

Pascal Finette:

How can I help?

Mr X:

I would like to invite you to write for ---REDACTED---

more...

11/20/14

Introduction to Exponential Thinking and Technology

A few weeks ago I had the privilege to deliver the closing keynote at GroupM's What's Next Illuminate conference in New York City. I gave a short introduction to exponential thinking (the stuff we teach at Singularity University) and then walked the audience through a whole bunch of examples (focussed on media).

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11/20/14

Community Building (Lessons from Mozilla)

Today I had the great honor and pleasure to teach a class on Building (Online) Communities at Electronic Arts' internal leadership development program. For my presentation I took a trip down memory lane and pulled out the key insights and learnings from my time at Mozilla.

Here's the deck:

10/28/14

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.

more...