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5 Lessons To Take Away From Kevin Kelly: Of Startups and The Future of Technology

Kevin Kelly co-founded the internationally recognized Wired magazine in 1993 and served as the executive editor of it for the initial 7 years of its run. He authored various books including “The Silver Cord” ; a coming-of-age graphic novel published in 2015 about self-conscious robots and angels and his latest “The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future” which expanses over how our technological advances will change our future forever in the coming decades.

“I love to talk about great tools for empowering individuals to make things happen” said Kevin Kelly in his recent AMA in ‘’. As a pioneer in setting the tone for the future of tech based news and thought provoking futurist forecasting; he is an influential figure in reporting what goes on in the pinnacle of the tech world.

1. On Wanting to Becoming Billionaires

“Success makes it hard for a person to move away from a local peak onto whatever newer and higher has come along. If you have a billion dollars, those dollars’ demand attention and energy that takes away attention from something small, and marginal -- but the next big thing. You might think a billion dollars would make one more risk friendly, but it usually does the opposite. And if you are a good person, the weight and duty of being responsible with the billions you have becomes a burden. And then it almost becomes criminal to pass that burden onto your kids. So what do you do with it, but pay more attention to the billions. It is very hard not to have it run your life.”

As often like in the hit Travie McCoy song “Billionaireshows how our culture perpetuates the golden goose of a billion dollar. Even though we chase the greenback that hard, the end result often us losing out on the hunger for the next big idea.

2. On Mythology and Technology
As a fast moving and ever changing space, we as human beings need to see a consistency in this disarray. As a result, we seek for new mythologies to make sense of the grandiose advancement and setting a philosophical tone to it helps us see that pattern of consistency.

“On new mythologies: Individuals don't create them; they are collectively and unconsciously built. But we can salute them as individuals. We can highlight myths we like and find helpful, and in that way feed the ones that work. One of the myths I am playing with right now is the myth of a global superorganism -- that we are all part of something very large composed of all of us. If this myth were true it would have major ramifications -- although what precisely is not clear.”

3. About Doing It All Yourself and Letting Other Help

“…. A better answer is that I work a lot, but my "work" is usually the kind of thing that also gives me deep pleasure, so I could say I also play a lot. The best answer is simply; the reality is that I have a lot of help. I hire people whenever I can. Mostly freelancers, not interns. I always pay fair. It took me a long while, but hiring others was a breakthrough. I am a big do-it-yourself believer and I still do a lot myself, but more and more I also hire the best expert or professional I can as well. That really ups one's productivity.”

As a writer Kevin Kelly has accomplished a lot and also being affiliated with various different related projects which keeps him occupied; he encourages taking help in order in productivity and churning out quality works despite being engaged with various sorts of projects.

4. On The Economy of Future

“I suspect (believe?) that economic growth can continue infinitely (even with declining human population) but I think it will be a different model than what we know of as modern capitalism today. It won't rely on making more quantitatively, but more qualitatively. Not more wine, but better wine. It may also be a post-money world; that is money may lose some of its dominance. Status and reputation may become the new currency.”

Quality over quantity and a society that will move beyond money, the economy in the future will be radically different from the consumerist capitalist norm of today. A valuation of one’s status and reputation could be a alternative that humanity might adopt as Kevin envisions.

5. On the Future of Humanity and Technology
Kevin is famously known for making his house with his own hands and proving his “jack-of-all-trade” credential but he retires to the reality of future when machine will overtake hand made products even though it will not be entirely wiped out it is thought to be by many.

“Yes, I did cut down trees to make a house. I've hauled rocks to make many walls. I've cut tile to make floors, etc. Using your own hands will continue to be an option, but only an option. Maker Faires and Etsy will continue to expand, but at the same time, they are never going to return to be the normal. Machine made things will be the norm. Artisan things will continue to be a higher priced option, or a do it yourself option, which is good.”

You can follow Kevin Kelly’s witty wisdom on his twitter and his website.

Samiul Alam is a recent graduate of International Studies from Monash University, divulging into various global issues pertaining to international politics, economic and social issues. Recently getting into the startup culture in Bangladesh and how it is developing from an insider’s perspective. An avid collector of graphic novels, fantasy coins and EDC gadgets, Samiul works as an Editorial Assistant at Future Startup.

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