Chris Powers is the Founder & Executive Chairman of Fort Capital. Fort Capital is a Fort Worth, Texas-based Real Estate Private Equity firm.
In 2016, Chris made the decision to focus on Class B Industrial full time and that is where the firm has dedicated the majority of its resources since.
After graduating in 2008, Chris started a leasing and property management business and flipped houses on the side. Wells Fargo gave him a $250,000 line of credit, and the plan was to keep flipping homes near TCU. Chris started buying foreclosed homes all over the Dallas Fort Worth area. From there, he started building high-end custom homes. He later got into land development and entitlement for several years, where he would assemble unentitled urban land and take the entitlement risk to develop from ground-up. He has since learned the value of focusing on a specific niche.
In this episode, Aaron and Chris talk about how he's built his team, how he balances the identity of investor and entrepreneur, and how focusing on a specific niche of real estate has led to stratospheric growth.
Chris Powers’ Challenge; if you don't have a mentor, go find someone that you trust that will pass their wisdom on to you.
Connect with Chris Powers
If you liked this interview, check out our episode with Brent Beshore. His firm, Permanent Equity, specializes in buying small businesses and has built that specialty niche focus.
David Tobin is the Founder and Managing Partner of TobinLeff, where they help clients convert business value into family wealth.
David is a serial entrepreneur who has founded, grown, and sold four companies. David has worked with over 100 businesses to build value, retain key employees, and achieve profitable exits.
TobinLeff is an M&A advisory and exit planning firm that assists business owners in maximizing enterprise value and converting it into personal wealth. They offer consulting services to prepare companies for transactions, M&A services for acquisitions and sales to strategic buyers and private equity groups, and exit planning services such as management buy-out plans.
In this episode, Aaron and David talk about how these mergers and acquisition transactions occur, who the important parties are, what the most important terms are as a part of these deals, and a whole lot more.
David Tobin’s Challenge; Do vision planning, and make sure you have a mission that truly ties to this vision.
Connect with David Tobin
If you liked this interview, check out our episode on How to Sell a Midsize Digital Agency w/ Amanda Dixon (Barney)
Kevin Kelly co-founded Wired magazine in 1993, served as its Executive Editor for its first seven years, and was a pioneer from the early days of the internet. He is an author of several bestselling books and is a return guest on this podcast.
Kevin’s book Excellent Advice for Living is a small book of wisdom, in a pocketable format with 450 tweetable bits of advice that he wished he had known earlier. Kevin was prompted to collect these thoughts after a recent birthday caused him to reflect on which lessons he could pass to his children.
In this episode, Aaron and Kevin talk about aphorisms, why it was important for him to write this book now, and the impact he hopes he has on his family.
Kevin Kelly’s Challenge; Think about how to be a good ancestor. Work on one good thing that you think your future generation will thank you for, or thank your great grandparents for something that they have done that you’re proud and thankful for.
Connect with Kevin Kelly
If you liked this interview, check out our episode about Four Huge Startup Exits w/ Jason Wolfe
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Aaron Watson [00:00:00]:
You're gonna love this interview with Kevin Kelly, the philosopher King of Silicon Valley. He co founded wired magazine has written multiple best selling books and his latest is what we talked about in this interview. Excellent advice for living, wisdom. I wish I'd known earlier. I devoured the whole thing and I pulled out a couple of my favorite little nuggets of wisdom that he included in the book. You should check it out because there's a ton of great stuff in there. We get into all of that. We talk about why it was so important for him to write this now and the impact that he hopes that it has on his children. as a fellow father, very inspirational of the why behind this book for me, and I think you're gonna take a lot away from it as well. Here is Kevin Kelly.
Speaker B [00:00:47]:
This is so your latest book, excellent, excellent advice for living, wisdom, I wish I'd known earlier, is is not only coming out at a time that's highly appropriate for for me, hopefully, for the audience as well. but reminds me specifically of another one of my all time. It's both a book and a a speech at first met me as a speech, which is Randy Pausch's last lecture. He was a professor here at CMU, and he gives this talk, as he's kind of facing terminal cancer, And at the end, he kind of reveals this is really for my kids, not for all of you, because I'm not gonna be there to to give them this advice as I go. and you dedicated this book to your kids. It was kind of inspired by your 68 birthday wanting to write advice to your kids. So can you just talk a little bit about the the kind of origins of wanting to pass that on to the next generation of of your kin.
Speaker C [00:01:39]:
Yeah. I've never been a very preachy person or when liable to give sermons and, to kind of mimic one of the bits of information and wisdom in this book is to, try to change your world through your behavior, not through your words because it words don't have that much effect. So so we've always tried to model behavior for kids rather than tell them things because growing up. We didn't pay much attention to what our parents said. It was much more what they did. So, so I didn't really was not in habit of kind of, giving advice, but, when I was 6 to 8 headed towards 70, I felt that there was a bunch of things I really, really did wish I'd known earlier. This took me all my life to kind of arrive there. And the bits of advice that I did have, I would use myself. I would repeat to myself. For instance, there's one bit about if you have something you own, you know, you own it, but you can't find it. And when you eventually do find it, put it back, not where you you found it, but where you first looked for it. That's something I always tell myself. So I like this idea of having these little mnemonic tweetable, transmittable things that could recall, and I decided that I would should write some down for my kids. And so on my 68th birthday in the kind of Irish edition of giving away presents on your birthday rather than getting them, I wrote down something I could just think off the top of my head, for my son, thinking of him first. And, I shared them and they kind of to the rest of the family and other kids and beyond. I got I eventually posted them, and they kind of went viral. And so that was encouraging me to to do some more. So I found it had more to say when I was trying to make them to this tweet of us. Now a lot of time try to reduce them down to a few words, take a whole book. of stories and whatnot and get it down into something transmittable and the little thing. I'll enjoy that part of trying to to steal them. And so I just kept going, and I found eventually every birthday sharing some more that it had 4 or 50 of them, and I really kind of wanted to make it easy to to transmit to give it to somebody younger, wishing that I had had them when I was older.
Speaker B [00:04:14]:
And that's one of the lessons, you know, if you read anti fragile Biden pellet Bios talks about the lengthy effect and these books that stand the test of time are probably more worthy of reading than, like, the latest newest best seller, pop science, whatever, give it some time to see if it passes through filters before you you spend the time consuming it. And really, this is, you know, despite being a new release of a book, it's advice that has served you well over decades and the idea of being able to have it be refined by you and your experience and say, this is the stuff that really matters. The experience is not the things, so on and so forth. And so it's just something that, you know, we all need to tap into. How did you tap into that when you were a younger man?
Speaker C [00:04:56]:
Well, I know I've I've collected, quotes, other kind of quotes. I liked the idea of I liked the form of a quote. And I used them. I found them as a tool. I guess maybe that's the easiest way is I I was always attracted to them, but I I guess I'd never felt I had much to say myself or teach what something that was new. And now, honestly, some of this advice is ancient. wisdom that the stoics, the Bible might even say. I've tried to put them into my own words and kind of my own tweet, basically. And that, helped me. So so so, I I think of of the end of having a heuristic with something that I kind of I'd like to when I was at Holworth, we'd like to take a whole book and extract out the few little lines that kind of represented it. You got got basically gut the book. So I like I've always liked trying to reduce things to a little heuristic, a little principle, a little rule of thumb that would you could use as a tool. And, I guess I'm completing that circle by trying to do my own version of them. make these little toolish, practical heuristics that you could rely on. And, I kind of have been doing that in my own head, and now I'm putting them into paper. Well, there's 450 of them. They're very good, and I'm gonna use them as a tool
Speaker B [00:06:33]:
a couple of them, couple of my favorites as a tool to let you know the ones that I really liked to kind of tease all the other good ones that are in there that we can't cover in a conversation so that people go check it out and also as a chance for you to expand on them. So, this one, this was so good. And I never really heard anyone say it this way before, right, it this way before. So let's start off with one of my one of my favorites tend to small things. More people are defeated by blisters than by mountains. I think a lot of people focus on the mountain. So can you can you tell us more about that? Yeah.
Speaker C [00:07:09]:
so first of all, That is literally true. I do a lot of walking, a lot of hiking. I have these, walk in talks that we do. I can talk about those. And there's some very fit people who, are just basically hobbled and have to quit because of blisters. And, the other rule, other advice to give it is, you know, don't break in old shoes. Any old shoes are better than any issues when you're doing a lot of the hike. So we we recommend it over and over again. Don't get new shoes where it's like you use some old shoes. And, so the metaphorical idea, of course, is that, Yeah. The small things pile up into the big things. You know, the whole here's for the want of a nail. The army was lost. I don't know if the word was lost. I may have heard that one. That was for the want of a nail because the nail is missing the horse. shoe came off. The horse had to stop. And because the horse had to stop, the cavalry stopped. And because the cavalry stopped, the battle was locked that I was lost. So there was this idea that this one little nail, which was not on the horse had caused the the water to be lost. And that's a similar idea that, you do want to not Always
Speaker B [00:08:39]:
only focus on the small things, but you just don't wanna forget the small things. And it's also just where you direct your attention because the way my dad will talk about it sometimes is he'll say, you know, how you do anything is how you do everything. So if you if you give that great attention to the application of the the horseshoe to the horse's foot, and every single person of your team has that, you know, degree of detail. Everyone's gonna operate in a much more effective way, and it's that kind of you know, standard.
Speaker C [00:09:08]:
But it, I mean, it is true that you cannot give your attention equally to all things. and you should give more attention to the really big things about where you're going. This is a Peter Drucker's version of this, which is that, it's known that you have to do the right thing, but you have to make sure you're I mean, you have to do the thing right. Do it well, but you wanna make sure you're doing the right thing. Otherwise, it's kind of pointless. And so that larger view may making sure you're working on the main thing, keeping the main thing the main thing, that is that that's worth a lot of of attention. So so you you you you do have to parse your attention. but you don't wanna forget the small things.
Speaker B [00:10:00]:
And that was literally one of the other ones that I highlighted. The may keep the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. a little -- Which is really hard to do.
Speaker C [00:10:09]:
Which is really hard to do. But, again, that's I tell myself that that's a little thing. A little matra, you know, the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. And, that of course, then, you know, that ends the second question. Well, what's the main thing and figuring out the main thing is not easy. And, I would say almost maybe I should modify that now that I think about it is, The main thing is to figure out what the main thing is. And then keep it the main thing. The whole -- Yeah. They keep it the main thing. Yeah.
Speaker B [00:10:52]:
you know, at least I had 2 instances of this last year where the certain things were stalled or I kind of, you know, unsatisfied or not you know, going the direction that I need them to. And sure enough, it was precisely that there was there was basically a pruning that needed to occur, much in the way that you were trying to extract these you know, essences or kind of key elements of a past writings into their, you know, most distilled form. The same type of thing is whether it's in life, because you relate things or you accumulate obligations or you accumulate, you know, projects with work that aren't really moving the ball forward. and your ability to just prune it down, prune out the 80% that actually isn't getting you towards the main thing and the stuff that's the highest leverage, or as you said, you know, the calendar of the to do list of the things that are, you know, preventing disasters and just keep that the main thing is is exceptionally hard to do, and it probably bears repeating often.
Speaker C [00:11:47]:
Exactly. There there was a quote not in my book, not my piece of advice, but a quote that I heard, which is that, yes, it's true. Everything has already been said. but nobody's listening, so we need to say it again. And, that's a little bit about these things. I think repeating these being reminded of them having it as a mantra is part of the the practice.
Speaker B [00:12:13]:
Absolutely. And and this is this is another one that I think everyone's heard before. But the way you you connect it together simulates something in me, the most counterintuitive truth in the universe, the more you give the more you get. That's the part people have heard before. Understanding this is the beginning of wisdom. I've never connected those 2 piece, of course, so tell me more about that. Right. So there is a sort of
Speaker C [00:12:38]:
foundational paradox. At at the core of our being in the universe and how it works. This really weird thing that is beginning of of, understanding how things work and how without, which is that you you give away that it's sharing and, ultimately, giving out in order to get anything or to grow everything else comes from this counterintuitive this sort of unbelievable, weird, nonsensical. gifting out. And yet we know that that that can you can count on it. It's so reliable. It's a business strategy these days, you know, giving away things for free, starting, but it's also a foundational aspect of us which is the default of humans is altruism and collaboration, and it's not selfishness. that that that that sure self interest occurs, but that is actually not the default position. And everything we have in the new in civilization, actually, is built on the same altruism and collaboration. And that I think later on, I make a little bit of advice, which is that, If you assume if you if you take on the default that that humans are good and trustworthy, There will be times when you are cheated, but that's a small tax to pay for the huge benefits you get from people treating you the best. So you're gonna get the best to people when you trust. And that outweighs whatever little cheating you get done no matter what it is. And so, pay the price.
Speaker B [00:14:32]:
And one of my one of my mantras for the last half year or so has been invert, always invert. So, yes, it's a small price to pay for all the good that comes from that kind of more -- Right. Right. -- altruistic perspective, but, you know, you never think of, okay. You're you're open. You're trusting. You you you kinda pay that little price. What does that compare to the alternative of being cloistered and closed up and always on guard and and and what's missed out from that. It's so hard to draw that parallel, but that is that is the calculation that is actually relevant.
Speaker C [00:15:03]:
Right. Exactly. Yeah. I mean, yeah, you you there's a there's a negative. You you you're you're deducted. You're subtracted. when you're closed. Yeah. You you have you can't you can't partake in this sort of exabollation, this this exuberance of people trusting each other and doing the best and giving their best. And you don't get to participate if you are always suspicious and don't trust people.
Speaker B [00:15:32]:
changing, speeds or lanes a little bit. Another one that just jumped out to me. And I think there's a there's a degree to which the ones that are jumping out to me are you know, advice that my dad's given me, but just kind of in a different wrapper. So I'm I'm probably kind of, you know, predisposed to have a jump out because before this is your this is yours before you are old, attend as many funerals as you can bear. Nobody talks about the departed's achievements The only thing anyone will remember is what type of person you were as you were achieving.
Speaker C [00:16:05]:
Yeah. I mean, that is just literally That's what it was. I have, you know, seen more. I've seen a lot more, funerals these days because of my age. And I was struck. this loo this is literally observation that I was there. I was struck that people were not talking about their 25 patents or, you know, the award that they won. It was who they were, what they were like. They made them laugh. they were kind. They were, you know, whatever. So it was like, oh my gosh. This is like, This is important. and I listened to, when I was growing up, there was a guy on the radio, Jean Shepherd, who every night for 45 minutes told stories that he made up. He later on wrote a couple of, shows when was the Christmas story about the written writer or rifle. But he used to say something every now and then there was just like, oh my gosh. He said, look. It's a certainty that in 5000 years, nobody will have any memory with of you whatsoever. He'll be completely gone. And I thought, oh my gosh. That is that's a hard That's a hard truth to accept is that we'll be forgotten completely, but So your achievements are just no matter what your achievements are, the best we can do is kind of, to be remembered for who we were and what we were like in the immediate time, because there are because our achievements there's very few people whose whose achievements will be remembered in 5000 years.
Speaker B [00:18:00]:
Yeah. And another part of that, what's giving me back to to my dad is that he he says, you know, always go to the funeral. And particularly for the the stage that I'm in, it's rarely, you know, occasionally, it is the the folks you're really close with, but it's more often a second layer where it's someone's parent someone's grandparent. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You know, these kind of tangential relationships. And the other part of it that he always says is, yes. very important to internalize what you articulated there, Kevin, but also you will remember everyone that's at your parents' funeral, that's at your siblings' funeral, those people that are closest to you. And a lot of people, like, even you acknowledge it there, as many funerals as you can bear because -- Yeah. -- we are busy. It is hard. It's not it's not going to the amusement park or something. Right. Right. Right. but the fact that you made the effort to be there in that person's time of crisis and the forging of friendships and connections that comes from really great. She knows we're not for the departed. They're for the living. Yeah.
Speaker C [00:19:02]:
there's actually, the galley you have is is the galley. There was a couple of there's some additional pages added. and so there's a bit of advice that's not in the version that you saw which is kind of a evolution of my own thinking on this, which is that it's something I'm trying to do now. which is to let is is to not wait till the funeral to give the u eulogy for the person to do it in writing while they're still living and can enjoy it. because that's something else I've been kind of struck. It's like, why didn't we say these things? Yeah. When that person was alive, they don't get to hear this tribute and To be honest. And so, so I'm trying to to do that is to to not wait for the eulogy to share something about a person because it means and when I get a letter of that nature, it's just very powerful. very, very powerful. So why not share that while they're still living?
Speaker B [00:20:09]:
That's a beautiful sentiment. That sounds like a potential challenge for later in the we'll see if we can. There you go. so you referenced, you know, some of the advice in here is timeless from it's it's recycled whether, you know, the the the Bible or these other practices. And one of the things you said basically sounds like tithing to me When you give away 10% of your income, you'll lose 10% of your purchasing power, which is minor compared to the 110% increase in happiness.
Speaker C [00:20:38]:
Yeah. Yeah. It's it's it's, you know, not everybody can this is tough for many people who are struggling with just trying to make ends meet, but I know that one of the things we've tried to instill with our kids is giving, sharing, philanthropy, even when they're you don't have very much money. Right? Because that's the time to start. It's actually when you don't have a lot. And,
Aaron Watson [00:21:09]:
Speaker C [00:21:11]:
the the joy that you get 10% just like, well, you you might notice it. If you're on the edge, you will notice it. But for most people who have gone beyond the edge, 10% is something you can do. It's it's a it's a doable amount, but the satisfaction and the and the joy that you get from it is really hard to believe until you've done it, and it goes back to that kind of thing you said before about the this counterintuitive principle that you actually will get more back when you give away that 10% than you've given. And until you do it. It's kinda hard to believe that it works, but it does work.
Speaker B [00:21:51]:
Yeah. And, I mean, if you could buy an
Speaker C [00:21:55]:
increase in happiness with just Yeah. It's usually when we're in pursuit of with all that spending anyways or at least -- Right. Exactly. Right. It instead of the 10% going to a boat, completely. You don't want a boat. Give it give it away in in in a creative way, and you'll be much much happier.
Speaker B [00:22:13]:
Speaking of creativity, one of your ones is on brainstorming, improvising, jamming with others. You'll go much further and deeper If you build upon each contribution with a playful yes and, and example, instead of deflating
Speaker C [00:22:30]:
no but reply. Right. That's that's one of the first principles of improv. If you've taken any class on improv, that's the first thing they teach you. That's how you keep the game going. Is it you don't say, you know, someone has some crazy idea. You don't say, no. But Now you say yes, and you build on each other's. And, there comes a moment when you're trying to make something. that you have to begin to take away and say no other things, but in that creative beginning, the genesis You want to be yes and yes and. And I it'd been in many meetings where you're trying to make something creative. And believe me, the person in the corner who's objecting to everything, they're not invited back. The person who's like, yes, and let's do this. And list. Yes. And the same thing. And also, by the way, I do a lot of travel with people and strangers, and the person say, let's you wanna go down and and see what this at the festival? Is it if they say no, I'm tired. They're not coming back. But if they say yes, So I I've traveled with yes people. I've traveled with people who say yes to everything when you're traveling. Oh my gosh. That's what you want to be in. You wanna be in the yes and mode. for the creative energy of learning and experiencing instead of now, but So it's a good it's a really good heuristic
Speaker B [00:23:58]:
for when you're trying to create something and working with a team. And it's it's tied to the trust thing too because you you don't wanna be yes and whenever, like, the spam caller, you know, a yes and my Social Security number is blah blah blah blah. Like, not in that environment, but it's it's the pre, you know, the precursor of some degree of trust or relationship that, you know, creates all the space for that. Right. And and some of my advice is is the opposite there is to be totally skeptical
Speaker C [00:24:25]:
of, of scammers. and and and just to cut to the chase, the short answer is you wanna be in control of the channel. So if they're calling you, you tell them nothing. You cooperate nothing. anything you need for your account, you have to initiate. That's basically the the rule of thumb.
Speaker B [00:24:43]:
Got it. well, I I've got one more here that I I wanna explore as, you know, a a much younger father than you, but One of your vices is don't be the best, be the only. And, you know, I I to some degree, It's never too late to change that, but I think particularly as a father cultivating that, protecting that, nurturing that, in kids -- Yeah. -- to help them avoid, you know, conformity and and and that kind of thing that we do.
Speaker C [00:25:16]:
The thing about But that's don't be the best. Don't aim for don't aim to be the best, aim to be the only. That is that would take all your life is is what I'm gonna say. This is a lifelong project because it is the highest bar. And it's very, very, very, very, very difficult to understand what it is that you're the only about that you only you can do is taking me, and I'm still working on it 70 years to figure out. And most There are occasional some child prodigy who will immediately have a sense of what they can do that nobody else can do, but most of us it takes all our lives working at this. And it's not a matter necessarily of just being unconventional or alternative. It actually requires tremendous help from outside. It's this is why we have families why we have communities, why we have neighbors and friends and colleagues is to help us figure out what it were, what we are the best and only about because we can't do it by ourselves. It's something you really cannot do on your own. is to arrive at this idea of what it is that that I can do that nobody else can do. And so, and so that so that's a long process. And and and with your own kids, you'll be one of several different forces helping them see that. It's it's it's a it's a sort of a business of trying lots of things. It's a business of being so trying to cultivate self awareness so that you have some idea of some you can listen to feedback It's an idea of, striving inhibition. There's there's lots of things that go in it. But, anyway, Yes. It's good to start when there are kids, but I think you should not expect to see results too much further on down the lines. And, It is it is the goal that we can arrive at our, you know, the day before dying and say, yes. I have fully become myself. I am the 1 and only. That is what we're aiming for, but I think it takes most of our life to get there.
Speaker B [00:27:40]:
Yeah. Well, it seems almost like by definition, it's up to them to be the only that you can't have someone do that on on on your behalf, but it it, you know, the the ability to, you know, at least the stories you hear, like, maybe, like, the Colson Brothers, like, any obscure book they wanted their parents just go get for them or find a way to help them, you know, get that orthogonal piece of literature or whatever the thing was that was part of where their curiosity he was leading them. Right. Right.
Speaker C [00:28:08]:
That's the business of kinda like they're a blank slate a little bit in the sense of of us knowing what it is or them knowing what it is. and you kind of want to ex you wanted to maximize exploration to see if they have musical talents to see if they have athletic talents to see if they have intellectual talents. And so we you don't know. And so that that is the business when they're young is really to kinda keep exposing to them and feeding whatever native ambition or appetite they have for things as a one one way to do it. though, in our own experience, the kids can be very interested in one thing when they're young in turn. almost like they kind of satisfied that and turned later on. So, Yeah. It's it's it's a ongoing journey for their life. So it's a lifelong project. Let me put that way.
Speaker B [00:29:08]:
Well, as we aim towards wrapping up here, Kevin, I I wanna ask about the connect between imagination and optimism because you've also written a bit about just, you know, being optimistic, future is defined by the optimists. Yeah. And it requires imagination to really be able to execute on that. And if you find yourself being negative, it's almost like a, like a you know, people I always love, like, when people say something and they don't realize that they're saying the other thing. It's like, if if they say they're not optimistic, it kind of is a tell that they don't have a ton of imagination. So tell me more about that. Well, well, one of the things I say in in in the book of advice is that,
Speaker C [00:29:48]:
Imagination is one of the things you can improve, and it is the genesis. It's the beginning of almost any great thing someone imagining it first. And it is something we're really one of the few things in life where you can't ignore in a certain sense what other people have done. Most of the time you can't for deduce science and history and other lots most of the Earth and the work that we need to do, we rely on with come before us. But when you're imaginative, there is a degree in which you're unleashed. from what has come before. And, I I find this actually, and and people who who teach it, trying to become imaginative, find that it's the the the thing, the hardest thing actually is From what we know, and then kind of in curious way, some of the people who are most knowledgeable have the most difficulty being imaginative. And we did this thing with wiring when we had the, experts kind of predict advances. in their own field. And by and large, they were wrong. It was outside people who are better at predicting new things because the experts knew too much. They knew how difficult they were. that that they had them way far away because they thought they were gonna be really, really hard because they know new so much. And so Knowing having some idea about the future is actually one of the hardest things to overcome if you actually want to get better at trying to imagine what it will be. And so, it's we we found that it's really hard to kind of really become imaginative because you kind of have to believe the impossible, some in some ways. You have to go out of what is known and what you know and what people expect. And that is actually hard for people who know a lot. It's actually hard for some of the smartest people. And that's why practicing your imagination, using exercising your imagination, in other forms is really great even for what it is that you're doing. And, I think it's a skill that's not trained enough. It's not copulated enough.
Speaker B [00:32:19]:
How do you practice it?
Speaker C [00:32:26]:
By very deliberately. So, I'll do exercise We we have these things called scenario workshops and others. And, I have a there's a couple little tricks. It's like anything else. There's a skill. There's a craft. There's some tricks. One of the tricks is to is to assume that the official version of things is completely wrong. Okay? So there's a little exercise. Okay. I I assume I'm a 100% sure that AI is gonna be the big thing, but let's assume for the moment that were, I'm totally wrong, and the AI is just a little fat to go away. So we say, well, how would that happen? What could what could possibly be responsible for that? What How would that play out? So you you do the counterfactual. You you imagine and play with the counterfactual to kind of force you to take a different route. So that that idea of, like, confronting me if possible, what what Brian, you know, and I called Unthinkable. What are the Unthinkable? And you take the Unthinkable and you kind of say, what if they were true? So that's so so there are tricks like that, like trying to, the other thing that some people do. I think I was convinced that Marvin Minh he did this on with my habit. he would he would look at the world as if he was not a human. as if he was a robot. So, like, he would say, like, music. What's this music thing? Why why are humans Why are they why do they cry when I listen to music? That's so weird. I don't get that because he can't hear easy. He can't hear music. So He's sort of exploring. So, like, what it would so your view, it's it's a self distancing. You kind of you're outside the your martian or your robot, and you're coming to view things. And so you have no preconceptions. So that actually helps with the imaginative work of, again, letting go of what we expect to help us see beyond. So, There are there are kind of tradecraft in that sense.
Speaker B [00:34:43]:
Interesting. because I've always
Speaker C [00:35:21]:
There's there's one of the things we're seeing right now, and this is a larger topic with his AI, artificial intelligence, generative AI, which is generating new things. And, I say it's they have artificial creativity. but it's lower case creativity. It's creativity that of a kind of sense of what a logo designer would be doing. They're designing a logo company and they want to be creative, and it's a small, see, creativity. It's a little bit better, you know, so something new, but not a breakthrough. For the breakthrough, creativity, the capital secretivity, you know, the understanding DNA, same what DNA would like or relativity or some of these breakthrough capital c creativity. That should be not a matter of more information. That's that's just being able to see from completely different view. Just it's that's a work of imagination that's Not because there was any additional information there. It was just a different view. And that's much harder for AI to do now. And so, so I I think the the the we can be assisted in the lower case criteria, which is needed. and good. zoning another book cover for a book. but if you wanted to do if you wanted to invent something that was not a book at all or not a cover, then that's where imagination kind of comes in.
Speaker B [00:36:56]:
Aaron Watson [00:36:58]:
Well, you have, not only design, but written a heck of a book here, Kevin. You've written many great books, but I really enjoyed this one, and it it got my wheel spinning. There are many, many, many more. Yep. There it is. For those watching on the video. excellent advice for living and, a lot of, you know, good time less stuff in there, that can that can help people. And I love that the challenge of pass it on to someone younger if you, you benefited from it. So I will be trying to do that. I hope that, folks will grab the book and and do that as well. You can find it on Amazon,
Speaker B [00:37:28]:
but what other, links do you wanna direct people to to learn more? Yeah. So so,
Speaker C [00:37:33]:
I I have a website homepage with my initials, kk.orgk.org. where I kinda try to keep current. So, the one other way to kinda keep current is, We've had a newsletter for 6 years now every week on Sunday morning recommending. 3 of us, me, and Mark, and Claudia, we make recommendations. He's very low a little paragraph of sentence, tweetable kind of thing, of something that we recommend. something to read, watch, follow, go places, something useful tool, whatever. And, that's a good way to kinda keep up. That's or commendo with that with one end, but also you can find that, kk.org.
Speaker B [00:38:23]:
Beautiful. We're gonna link it on the show notes in the app. We're probably listening to this right now or going deep at there in dot com slash podcast for every single episode of the show.
Aaron Watson [00:38:31]:
My URL is a little bit longer than Kevin's. He got the 2, there's 2 letters there, but, we're we're trying our best. Kevin, this has been fantastic. Like I said, I really enjoyed it, and I just enjoyed talking to you. It's even whatever pathways go down in terms of different ideas. I'd love to wrap this up with a challenge for the audience, give you the mic one final time, to, set us off with something to do.
Speaker C [00:38:55]:
I'm Nicole Chair of the Lownow Foundation. we tried to cultivate long term responsibility and imagination. Trying to think for long term, take a long term perspective. In short, what we're trying to do is to be a good ancestor. And the challenge I would have is to think about how you could be a good ancestor. What you could do. A very simple thing is you complain a tree. As you know, the old saying that the best time to playing a tree was 25 years ago. 2nd best time is today. So, think about, what your great grandchildren might want from here, from the world, or from you, and, kind of work. Just do one little thing that might that future generations might thank you for in a curious way. Or, and by the way, you might wanna thank your great grandparents themselves or something that they've done that you're kind of benefiting from today. And and most of as I look around, most what I am seeing was done by somebody else, not me, from the roads, to the buildings, to this structure to the plumbing. They were all it was all done by somebody else, and they have, and thank you. for this civilization around this. So, anyway, so think about, how you might be a good ancestor.
Speaker B [00:40:30]:
It's a beautiful nurture up on Kevin, and I am, grateful for the challenge, grateful for you sharing your time with us and grateful for the new book. I hope you have,
Speaker C [00:40:37]:
lovely day. Well, thank you so much. It's my pleasure.
Aaron Watson [00:40:40]:
Thanks for the great questions. We just went deep with Kevin Kelly. Open out there has a fantastic day. Hey. Thanks for listening to the end of my interview with Kevin Kelly. if you enjoyed it. I think you'd also enjoyed my past interview with Jason Wolf, the serial entrepreneur behind giftcards.com, and dozens of other businesses. He talks about how he's thoughtfully structured his companies and the lessons he's learned along the way to multiple eight and 9 figure exits. I took a lot away from that interview. I know that you will as well. Go check it out.