“More is accomplished by will than by capacity”
A few months ago, when starting the school year, I got an email from my son’s middle school principal:
Dear Blach Families,
I always put a lot of thought, time, and energy into the start of each school year and this year was no different. My goal was to have our kick off staff meeting be part informative, part interactive, and part inspirational. Based on teacher feedback, I think I met my goal. I want to share with you the inspirational portion that I shared with the staff.
It’s an amazing video called Moonshot Thinking. As we watched this, I asked teachers to record quotes that spoke to them, along with any questions that sparked thinking. Here is just some of what was recorded and later shared:
When you find your passion, you are unstoppable.
Have the courage to try.
When we become afraid of trying new things, we stop inspiring people.
What couldn’t we do?
Moonshot thinking is choosing to be bothered by thinking something is impossible.
We are a species of moonshots.
How might we think differently about that?
Have courage and persistence.
I hope you are enticed enough to want to watch this video for yourself. At just 3.5 minutes or so, it is chock full of great inspiration. We also decided as a staff do do a similar activity with the kids during Homeroom, so all students will be watching this video at school and discussing it as well in the coming weeks.
When we are challenged with the task of redesigning education and preparing kids for a future we know nothing about, a little moonshot thinking certainly is required.
Here’s to being moonshot thinkers in everything we do!
There have been many efforts by multiple authors explaining why Silicon Valley is Silicon Valley, they all conclude similarly that it works because it has an ecosystem favorable to entrepreneurs. An ecosystem? we all hear that word all the time right?. Our friends from Wikipedia define ecosystem as: “An ecosystem is a community of living organisms (plants, animals and microbes) in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water and mineral soil), interacting as a system.”
So, yes… we have the lawyers, the mentors, the VCs, the advisors the blah.. blah.. blah… but the fuel of this ecosystem is people who truly believe in what they are doing and they take each other very seriously.
We at Yattos are trying to reinvent the worldwide broken financial system. Too much?? Too ambitious? Every day when I wake up I see myself in the mirror and think…“what the hell are you doing” and then I remember the email from Sandra, my son’s middle school principal. Moonshot thinking… Right ?
Everything that we have today, all these technologies that fuel a modern way of life, all started as an idea and a few people who believed in it. Can you imagine a world without Google? If 15 years ago I told you that we wanted to create a company that will put all the knowledge of the world in one single place and will be accessible through a mobile phone in matter of seconds, I bet you would say “you are crazy!!!”… Right?
I actually did the experiment, I counted the times I used Google in a single day… 178…. Thanks to Google, today there is no question (other than some philosophical ones) that cannot be answered… and answered in a matter of seconds.
People ask me all the time why I moved to Silicon Valley? The reason is a very simple one. Here, no matter how crazy your idea is, how impossible it looks, how high the wall appears to be, if you look hard, you will find some advocates that can help you make it happen.
All it takes is a couple of guys with an idea, somebody that believe on them and Voilá!
People here are able to believe… because they were taught to believe. Because the Sandra’s of this area are doing their job!
So, next time you are hearing about the educational reform that its happening in Mexico, or that you attend a PTA meeting in your private or public school… think.. are they teaching our kids to have moonshot thinking ? if not, we need to do something about it.
Want to finish this post with a quick story:
Last week I was having a meeting with one of my advisors, we are discussing the regulatory framework that exists on the US and how the ROSCAs (Rotating Credit and Savings Associations) that Yattos is doing can fit in such an environment. So he tells me: “You need to buy a bank!”….
Then the silence broke when he said… “Are you ok, what’s wrong?” and I told him, “BUY A BANK ? ARE YOU CRAZY? WE ARE A STARTUP.” And he replied back: “buying a bank is no different than buying a bicycle,” to which I said: “that’s not true, a bank is too large, it requires lots of money, lots of diligence, lot sof…” He interrupted me by saying: “it’s only different because you think is different.”
A small smile appeared on my face and I said: “Yes Jedi Master…”
Leo, thank you for sharing this story…very interested to see your next steps for Yattos. 😉
It is good to read both of you on this Blog. Saludos!
Thanks Avikk, the best is yet to come…
I love this post. Very uplifting and positive. Best wishes on your endeavors!
Thanks for your thoughtful comments…
Very inspiring! If entrepreneurship is difficult enough in advanced ecosystems like Silicon Valley, navigating the myriad additional uncertainties in our countries across Latin America make the challenge even more daunting. Having said that, half the story is actually deciding to embark on the journey. Once embarked, you’re busy making it happen… Enjoy the ride!
Hope we can hear from more journeys soon, thanks Ralph!
Nice post Lenny! I’m quite sure you will have a successful company with Yattos. I know your are absolutely accomplished by will. Congrats!
Thanks Alex, hope we can see new startups emerging from your new fund!