Steve Jobs got his ephanies on acid trips around the world (mainly india) .. Interesting
Ive been binge watching Y-Combinator speeches and noticed that lot of these guys (instagram, pebble) got their breakthrough moment.. their ah-ha while studying abroad. Bill and Melinda gates foundation was born on an Africa trip as well. So it got me wondering (and reassuring myself as I type from my apartment in San Juan, PR)
Do many great (tech?) leaders need to be out of their routine environment sometimes? What is it with these trips that make it such a turning point in their journeys ? (pun intended).
Growing up with a shitty computer (note.. having a computer period was amazing and pretty first world) and interacting with people around the world through Bulletin Board Systems, IRC and chat sites, make me see what was OUT there, and made me want to learn how to interact, on the regular, on the cheap. It really makes sense that my 12 year old self was so excited to communicate with the outside world, from our modest home in Jamaica and no was not an option.
This taught me about the inner workings of protocols (PPT and the winner TCP/IP) before my voice cracked, thus allowing me to organically diagnose network errors, optimize hardware and think about not just what was ON the screen but the hardware powering and facilitating this adventure.
Fast forward a few years and I just want to party im a reclusive extrovert. It doesnt make sense until we hang for a weekend. But I love my personal space and down time as much as I love massive crowds. But I need both.
Leaving my now natural environment of Miami FL and all that it comes with and spending time traveling through South America and South East Asia ive become to appreciate connectivity so much more. Learned to work offline (local stacks and push on connectivity) and my most important lesson: The world is doesnt blow up when your signal is lost.. you get back online and its like nothing ever happened.
I just had a conversation with my great friend (who ive never physically met haha) about the fact that I actually now put my phone in airplane mode for a few hours each day during simple activities like spending time at the beach, watching a movie, having a good conversation. its crazy. This habit started in Brazil where at the time data was expensive and I needed to save it while working on a fairly important financial crime educational project (long story). I was at carnival on the island of Florinapolis close to Sao Paulo and there was no way for me to get any more data, once my limit was reached. This new habit has stuck with me for the better of 5 years now, but it has led to me being able to think a lot more clearly, organize myself and help with my insane ADD without the use of opiates (synthetic anyway lol). As I type this, my laptops wifi is currently off, but I am sitting in my living room with the router a few feet from me but I know that if I get an iMessage notification my train of thought is through the door.
Its ok the flip the switch sometimes, youll be surprised at what you see.