When I was a kid, I used to stare into space a lot. I obsessed about space, going to the Moon and its stories. You can see these stories are still with me today. But as much as space was exciting, it’s also expensive. So why do we do it?
School books used to try and justify the billions spent on sending rockets to the Moon through the innovations they brought. “Teflon” they said. If it wasn’t for the Shuttle, they said, we wouldn’t have non-stick frying pans. Even as an 8 year old kid, I knew that was pretty sketchy reasoning.
It’s like when British Mountaineer George Mallory who died climbing Mount Everest was asked by journalists why he chose to take on the challenge, he answered, “because it’s there.”
You see, we don’t climb mountains or go to the Moon because there is some distant economic benefit that translates into our normal everyday lives. It’s the other way round. We build successful economies such that we can take on these challenges.
Going to the Moon isn’t a program to bring economic benefit, it’s the reward.
For me, Asia Tech Podcast wasn’t the means to achieve the end, it was the end. The means building a business that allowed me to do that every day.
And that’s how I encourage business leaders to think about their podcasts. Sometimes when I guest on other people’s podcasts and they ask me why I do it, I say, “This. I get to talk to you” What could be more rewarding than that?
How do I know?
I’ll only know for sure when I’m lying on my deathbed, when all the busy-ness of life has fallen away. It will be the experiences not things that will give me cheer.
Most of those will be the 3 of us – my family – writing our own story:
– There will be that time we went mountain biking around the volcanoes of Rotorua in New Zealand.
– There was finding a cheap tapas joint in the backstreets of Malaga in Spain one afternoon where they served lunch specials of 3 tapas dishes and a huge glass of red wine for just 8 euros.
– Then that morning my wife and I sat on a wall in Durbar Square, Kathmandu for 4 hours. We did nothing except watch local Nepalese get on with their lives. Time disappeared in all the exotic colors, smells and sights.
– Then there was the day my son and I spent at the waterpark in Bali, or the waterpark in Mackay Australia… days that lasted forever
– Then the time we sold all our stuff and traveled the world for 4 years
We still talk about all of these today, not what we bought, job titles, awards, size of our cars, what others thought of us or the hours we worked in the office. After all this time, we still talk about the stories and the conversations we made.
So, are we here to consume or connect?
Create conversations because they are the only thing that lasts.
The best things in life are not things.