I am fascinated by space and the universe.
Recently I discovered Google Maps Space View. You can access it by going to Satellite view and then zooming all the way out (only on desktop).
You can turn the earth, see where the sun is and what parts of Earth are bright or dark.
As you can see, Earth is nothing else than a cabriolet spaceship, floating through darkness, lit by a burning star.
The Stoics advise us to regularly zoom out and watch things from the cosmic perspective. It helps to see things more clearly and not take ourselves too seriously.
So, sit back and enjoy the ride through darkness!
It’s an essential habit for the 21st century. A principle I have to learn and re-learn:
No matter what challenge you have, anything. Google is your friend!
Have a problem with your computer? Google it and find a solution.
Don’t know how to disable the answering machine? Google the manual and get it done.
Annoyed by a tedious workflow? Google it and find a better one.
Need to repair something? Google it and find a walkthrough video.
Suffering from pain under your shoulder blade? Google it and find out what you can do about it. (Been there, done that.)
Never hesitate or ruminate. Challenge? Google. It needs to be a reflex. And too often, it isn’t.
Silicon Valley is mission-driven, pure, about making a dent in the universe. Abundance mindset. Copying is shameful.
China is market-driven, hyper-competitive, survival of the fittest. Scarcity mindset. Culture of copying.
In Beijing entrepreneurs often joke that Facebook is the most Chinese company in Silicon Valley, for its willingness to copy and its fierce competitiveness.
While you might be somewhat repelled by the aggressive, gladiator-style entrepreneurship in China, the results compared to the USA speak for themselves:
- Rides on shared bikes 300:1
- Mobile payments 50:1
- Food delivery 10:1
- E-commerce purchases 2:1
Let’s also not forget that Uber lost against Didi, eBay lost against Taobao, and Meituan is more successful than its role model Groupon ever was.
According to Marc Andreessen, the winning companies 20 years from now will be enormously large, maybe 10 or 100 times the size of today’s Google or Facebook. I’m pretty sure that a lot of them, if not the majority, will come from China.
It’s foolish for us Westerners not to watch China more closely. I know that Charlie Munger does. And that’s what I’ll be doing as well.
(I learned this lesson from AI Superpowers by Kai-Fu Lee.)