This past week I saw the future, and I was astonished. I was blessed to have the opportunity to visit the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES may be the most geektastic event this side of the San Diego Comic-Con. Whether it was 4K TV’s, wearables, “smart home” technology, autonomous drones, self-driving cars, stereolithography, (also known as 3D print technology), 170,000 attendees or the over 3,600 exhibitors, I was simply blown away by the spectacle of it all.
Perhaps what was the most impressive to me wasn’t the technology alone, but the 375 startup companies demonstrating their technology to consumers and potential funding sources. Some of these entrepreneurial companies were spending more money to participate at CES than they had spent on start-up costs. From start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, the key to the entire conference boiled down to what it always has, the relationships and the people. Without people, without a culture, companies are simply a name. They can’t create a thing without smart, talented, people with big dreams and big ideas.
Everything is a relationship. Some of the greatest minds to conceive of tomorrow’s technology would go nowhere with their bright ideas without the support of other people who have the funding to make manifest these brilliant ideas. There are people who possess the intellectual gift of being able to engineer an idea, and there are people that are stellar at selling the idea and finally there are thankfully people who are equipped to fund the idea.
A lot of relationship time and energy goes into taking a product to market and all of these relationships and the ability to forge and foster them are critical to everyone’s success. Walking down one aisle of an exhibit hall at CES will reflect the work of hundreds if not thousands of people working together as a team. No man is an island. No person can achieve incredible success alone. All of us powering our businesses, and personal lives through the connectivity of a cellular phone have in essence, been given a great power to wield and we stand upon the shoulders of those who have made it possible to text home an, “I love you,” or shoot a message to a client, “meet you at….in 30.”
So much of what we can accomplish and experience both personally and professionally is due to technology keeping our relationships healthy and vibrant though connectivity in a second, anywhere, anytime.
Are any of you old enough to remember pre-cellular phones? Remember the pager? Remember waiting for a payphone to return an urgent business page when all the hotel payphones were occupied, or finding the nearest gas station to pull over and find the payphone? Yes, we sure have come a long way and it’s easy to forget how spoiled and blessed we are to have a cell phone at our fingertips! Someone conceived it, someone engineered it, and someone funded it. Incredible relationships that changed all our lives forever.
While I was swimming through pools of technological innovation at CES in Eureka Park, also dubbed startup city at Tech West, I was even more impressed with the raw power of human ideas. Dreams coming to fruition, dreams that were conceived by people. These trail blazers represent the idea: no matter what your dream, how big or audacious it may seem, dreams do come true. Whatever we can conceive and put action behind, can come into being. All of the inventions on-display at CES were at one time simply an idea in someone’s mind. This ides was converted to a sketch, perhaps even on the back of a napkin, then nurtured and developed by a team of dedicated people to create something momentous.
At one of the breakfast’s I attended with digital expert and corporate strategist, Shelly Palmer, he shared a piece of wisdom from the platform which will stay with me forever, “We all, each and every one of us in this room, are the architects of the future.”
I was moved by Shelly’s speech, I was moved by the people surrounding me at circular tables covered with white linen table cloths, I was moved by humanity, humbled by our frailty, our vulnerability. And then I was moved by our power.
Is there a more powerful statement than Shelly Palmer’s? We are the architects of a global future along with our own personal future. Our choices create our outcomes. No matter what happens in our life, even failure, leaves us with a choice of how we will deal with life events. Will we rest, cower and make excuses or will we choose to make changes, adapt, and stand in our personal power to make manifest the dreams of our future? How we choose to live our lives now, the choices we make today, the action we implement this day, directly impacts the future we create for ourselves and those around us. We are interdependent upon one another and we are all co-creating the future. Together. Now.
So when you are taken aback and amazed by the latest technology, remind yourself that a human being, a person, someone like you, someone like your kid, dreamed up an idea to create what you are now holding in your hands. At one point just a series of electrical nerve impulses traveling in sequence bathed in neurotransmitters within a human brain, is now made manifest in the physical realm. A thought conceived is now made form. These forms we are creating are impacting our experience and our future. You and I, and our children, (yes those video game heads), are the architects of our future. What future will you choose to make manifest in your reality? We are infinitely more powerful than we can conceive. And all of us are creating in every moment whether we are conscious of it or not.