Jonathan Olsen’s Blog

Media, Technology, and Entrepreneurship Changing the World

These Katrina Pics are shocking.

These Katrina Pics are shocking. Just last month, a shipment arrived in New Orleans with supplies from the federal government, three years late…

July 12, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Robo Sapiens: Where’s the line between human and human-like?

This article in Stanford Scientific Magazine makes me think harder about the barrier between robots and humans. Maybe we are all converging to singularity.

June 9, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Hello world!

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

June 7, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A Note of Inspiration

This is the blog about visionaries that make their dreams reality. This is set of stories about inspiration and those who have had the courage in the face of great risk and uncertainty to leave “new footprints in the snow” (David Ignatius – Editor, The International Herald Tribune). This is the blog about actualization, and it begins with people and ideas.

So-called “visionaries”, before they were given such lofty titles, had the determination and persistence to pursue a path with the faith that it was the right direction. Though the path was sometimes windy, sometimes rocky, sometimes foggy, they pressed on. They did not fear failure and embraced wholly new situations, adapting to make the best of them. People like to think of good leaders and politicians as chameleons, able to adapt advantageously to any situation. But what separates a visionary leader from a conventional coach or politician, I think, is a child-like curiousity about the world. A humbly foolish approach to the world – something Steve Jobs, in his June 2005 graduation speech at Stanford, evoked when he reminded students to “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”

We need to ask the question “Why not?” For any nascent idea, the environment is almost never favorable or convenient, partly because most people prefer to live in a world that is comfortably predictable and based on a shared set of assumptions about the world. Innovating is a building process that uses the resources at one’s current disposal to drastically reshape these assumptions of the status quo majority. At the heart of an innovator is the recognition that you may very well be the only person who thinks that way – the rest of the world just has yet to catch on. It is important to listen to the would-be customers to know what their needs are and the jobs they are trying to perform. However, customers and even peers and supporters are sometimes caught in existing patterns of thought. Henry Ford once said, “If I asked my customers what they wanted, they would have asked me to build a better horse.” Sometimes, you have to create a product and then create the demand. The key is to get started and believe in what you are doing. Then follow through.

Margaret Meade once said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” The process of creating change or innovating is rarely a solo pursuit. Inherent to being a visionary leader is working with a team that also believes in the vision. Working in a team or an organization can be much more powerful than the sum of each individual’s efforts.

And so I make a committment to pursuing opportunity in the form of new or disruptive ideas. It begins with a small, committed team dedicated to a shared vision with the courage to chase a dream in the face of increasing risk. Why not?

October 25, 2005 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment