Change agents are heroes.
Hollywood does villains wrong.
My favorite movie is Van Wilder. It’s about a guy who has actively tried to stay in college for 7 years and then his dad cuts off his tuition payments, and he has to invent ways to make money in order to continue to stay in school. It’s an entrepreneurs story which is why I love it, I have an affinity for movies where they build products, teams, or revolutions. I do also enjoy watching things blow up … Die Hard is the best Christmas Movie, maybe not for kids.
The problem with Hollywood movies is that the villain of almost every movie is some business person who wants to change the world: James Bond does this ruthlessly, Superman vs. Lex Luthor is an infinite story of maintaining balance vs. changing human potential, Star Wars - the empire is literally just the ultimate interstellar monopoly! I’ve never seen Titanic but I assume that the iceberg is actually just a metaphor for a business person.
When I’m in “Movie Watching mode” I ignore all of these factors and just want to be entertained, but these stories and characters influence humanity’s perceptions in the real world. Some people have probably never been in a “business” setting and assume that these represent real systems in the world. This makes it easy to turn on people like Mark Zuckerberg, Travis Kalanick, and Elizabeth Holmes in the media, because at the core, who they represent is the “Empire.”
Do you know how hard it would be to change the media industry like Zuckerberg, or the Taxi Industry like Kalanick did? My prediction is that Elizabeth was the first but not the last to try and change the blood industry. (Obvious side note - no one could do these things alone, they have incredibly talented teams)
Travis Kalanick changed the way that society perceived contract workers, and suddenly started a conversation around what a career really means.
Mark Zuckerberg has pushed what it means to truly connect the people on the planet, and where 10 years ago the word “Social Media” was a joke, today the conversation is that it is TOO powerful.
Elizabeth attempted to challenge what changes could be made to blood testing and started a philosophical conversation around blood tech and and where to draw the line.
At the end of the day, anyone who is trying to change the world for the better is a hero. As a society we like to vilify change, when it is the only constant. Success on some level is condemned in our culture. Once you have transcended what was imagined to be possible before, there is less empathy for you.
We are on space ship earth, and those who are agents of change will be powering our society forward.
Starting a company is hard. Succeeding at a company is harder. Changing society is next to impossible.
Villains are the complacent, not the change agents.
By Adam Draper
I ponder as a VC.
It's a quick one minute read to make you think, smile, or laugh.
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