A Literacy of the Imagination

a deeper look at innovation through the lenses of media, technology, venture investment and hyperculture

This a model that I've evolved over the last several years, especially as I have gained more access to different sides of the business ecosystem, from innovating with new divisions inside of major corporations, to enabling startups that are looking to make an immediate impact within emerging markets.

I decided a while ago that it would be increasingly more important to do this kind of 'ecosystemic' work, and to do it beyond the normative functions of a 'mentor', 'advisor' and/or a consultant. For one, corporations are far more active in funding and developing startup companies. For another, startups are expected to understand the intricacies of the corporate/market landscape when building platforms and developing extensible business models. In my view, the interdependencies are abundant, constantly shifting and presenting new cultural contexts. Holistic thinking is a prerequisite for successful execution, as well as longer-term sustainability and revenue growth. Those who can not only skate to where the puck is going, but those who can create the skates, as it were, will become the perennial winners in a landscape that is not so much competitive, as it is co-opetitive.

I've also found that this construct suits my personality quite well -- I can play the roles of entrepreneur and an investor, so the companies with which I work can derive the maximum amount of value. For the venture groups with which I work (such as K5), I am the insurance policy for their investment. For the companies themselves, I become an integral part of their growth because the 'skin' I bring into the fold are years of experiences, experiments and applied learning not typically found inside of business schools, venture circles or within management consultancies.

While I do try build up the local ecosystem as much as I can (I live in Southern California), I have a truly global model with a global network of the some of the best and brightest in the areas of emerging technology, multi-platform storytelling, agile development, open design, 'big data' (or small data as some of us prefer to call it), natural language processing and collective intelligence, just to name some core specialty domains.