Problems Worth Our Time.
Setting the table to look at problems worth solving. Big, hairy, complex stuff that needs a ton of energy and innovation.
Here's my list so far in no particular order:
1. Aging population 2. Income inequality 3. Economic development 4. Basic Needs for All, particularly healthcare 6. Happiness 7. Mobility 8. Climate
After looking at this for a while, I realize that the majority of effort to make progress against these is done by non-profits or through policy. This is totally backwards. We need to be incentivizing solutions targeting the bottom half of Maslow's pyramid, and ease off the celebration and capital flow into companies that are focused on 'convenience'. Throw a stone, you will hit one. [more on this concept in future posts]
Just take a look at SoftBank's portfolio to see what I mean. Tons of interesting companies transforming industries, advanced tech, etc., but nothing that is helping those who need it most. Search for the words, 'food', 'water', 'shelter', 'inequality' and you've got 0 results...however AI is mentioned 32 times just on that page. SoftBank's vision fund has dropped $70BN in companies and is now raising a new fund of $100BN...that's a demented amount of money. I don't want to pick on SoftBank as this is typical for the majority of venture funds. Maybe this is just what late-stage capitalism looks like. I have no idea.
It's taken a while to arrive at this perspective, and I'm not entirely certain what will drive growth in the right direction that helps lift up all of humanity. I would think we need the right alignment of economics, incentives, corporate/government policy, and good 'ol fashion creativity. In a way we need to disrupt capitalism or at least what is valued as 'investment success' to a degree to reverse the flow of capital and solution design to the other side of the economic chasm: towards the 99%.
More to come...