Celebrities in the Digital Age: Why James Bond Thinks the Kardashians are Idiots

In the upcoming January issue of British GQ magazine, Daniel Craig the latest James Bond incarnation will tell you why the Kardashians are lame. His Big Rant is about celebrities demanding privacy when they choose to sell out their privacy. (think back to Kim’s failed foray into marriage and her request for privacy.) To me it’s as simple as “If you don’t want the attention, then get off the stage.”

Regardless of whether you are a reality tv star or celebrity, is it possible to live privately in the digital age? Social networking sites are ubiquitous ~ Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and now Google+ permeate the Web. Technology is ubiquitous and I hardly know anyone who does not participate in online living. When was the last time you logged on? Can you imagine life without a smart phone and a computer? You can choose to remove yourself from participating in the online world but would that make you irrelevant?

The irony is that these non-private networks or online communities which can be built can also transform a nobody into somebody. Anybody can be somebody. Any human being can feel like they are a big deal. Let’s face it. People like recognition. Create a twitter profile, gain a massive following, become influential and you’re a star.

In the same vein that James Bond seems to perpetually be in his mid-thirties, creating an online persona presents an opportunity (and perhaps a danger) to create a fantasy. How do you distinguish a fact from an opinion, a self-labled journalist from an attention seeking fictional storyteller? Are opinions becoming construed as fact in the digital age? How many different truths are floating out there on the Internet?

I would add Daniel Craig’s Twitter handle here but I don’t know which one is real. There are also multiple James Bond Twitter handles.  In any case, the next James Bond movie “Skyfall” is scheduled for its United States release in November 2012.  Here are the worldwide release dates for globetrotters.

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The Link Between a Queen, San Francisco and Silicon Valley

I’ve developed a habit of checking my Twitter feed right before bed to check on breaking news or something to laugh about. Last night there was a stream of tweets from Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan about the power of education and its impact on women and children.

Here is the stream in reverse order:

(5) A child born to an educated mother is 50 percent more likely to reach the age of five. #EducationSavesLives
(4) 1 extra year of schooling for a girl reduces her chances of dying later in child birth by 40%! #EducationSavesLives
(3) Never forget it – education saves lives. #Education
(2) We were a gathering of enthusiasts from all walks of education… all trying to balance our education optimism with economic realism.
(1) Spent morning immersed in how aid for education needs global partnership. During times of crises there’s no better investment than in ppl.
Queen Rania summarizes the sad and unfortunate reality of the world today. That not all societies believe education is a basic human right.  Education creates hope and opens the doors to recognize opportunity. Ultimately it is the “investment in people” or human capital that fuels the innovation which fixes problems in society at large or improves the quality of life for an individual. Generally, the global innovation incubators are found in highly educated locations. San Francisco and Silicon Valley (San Jose, Sunnvyale, Santa Clara) are both in the 10 most educated U.S. cities or in the 10 best cities for educated workers.  I don’t see this changing any time soon. The driver for innovation in the Valley are immigrants who can call the Bay Area a new home offering a certain regional appeal of inherent beauty, optimal climate and cultural/outdoor lifestyle activities. If presented with the chance to experience the San Francisco Bay Area or some other innovation ecosystem such as New York/Boston or Austin where would talent recognize the best career and lifestyle opportunities? Given the proximity to the Asian markets perhaps the San Francisco Bay Area also offers a strategic advantage.
In summary, the power of education is the power to change the world and make a dent in the universe. Ultimately, education eradicates poverty which creates hope for an individual to pursue opportunity. This is not to say that everyone in America has access to opportunity but education is the foundation to begin any journey to change the world. You can follow Queen Rania @QueenRania

The Silicon Valley Ecosystem Now: Investing or Gambling?

I just read an article expressing Sean Parker’s opinion about an impending bubble in the Valley. Not sure why he posted it on his Facebook page (which I subscribe to) two weeks after it was published. Or perhaps it could be the result of the heightened chatter on the Web today of the Facebook IPO which could be valued at $100 Billion. Anyway, it brings up questions that anyone can ask themselves when they think they are making a good decision for a favorable monetary outcome. One of Mr. Parker’s assertions is that because there is so much money floating around, the talent is not playing the correct function on the team. So when making an investment are you approaching the right people to get the best possible advice? You may have access to a lot of talented people but how do you know who exactly is the best equipped to handle your specific objectives. Are they the right match? If you don’t know that you don’t know you are talking to the wrong people, then are you gambling?

Secondly, Mr. Parker asserts that there is a strong sense of entitlement to just be a player at the table and throw money at a project without considering whether certain elements are fully baked. Put simply, is your ego driving you to make decisions which are not based on logic or analysis? As human beings is it possible to make any investment decision without an emotional dent? When does investing become gambling?

My San Francisco Week in Review

Thanksgiving week was delightful and an eclectic bag of experiences from learning a new skill to spending time with important people in my life. I started learning how to code (so I can build something big someday), I went to the San Francisco Opera’s production of Turandot, I had German food in the Mission, I discovered this fantastic San Francisco stairway (think “street connector”) in my neighborhood for working out and I created my first set on this fabulous site called Polyvore which merges fashion, creativity and technology.  Brilliant to discover a smart fashion site making an impact in Silicon Valley. Polyvore also happens to be based in Mountain View, San Francisco’s backyard. The highlight of the week however was Thanksgiving Day ~ great food and discussion with an intimate group of old and new friends.

And the weekend was topped off when I enjoyed a nice Italian meal with a friend who I’ve known for 16 years but get to see maybe four times a year despite living in the same city! (you know who you are!) San Francisco is the best place to spend time with people who you are thankful to be in your life.

San Francisco Style ~ Forever Young

San Francisco Style ~ Forever Young

San Francisco is Full of Crazies and I Just Love It.

I just opened the November edition of San Francisco magazine (yes, I still read Print). Steven Dinkelspiel, the President of SanFranMag.com declares “The Bay Area is different from the rest of the country…..we have a reputation for being a place full of crazies –” In his one page commentary he points out that despite the crazies, SF seems to present a more respectable, “self-controlled” political environment per the mayoral race vs. the national stage “mudslinging slapstick”. Perhaps it is due to our ranked-choice voting system, or not, but one thing I am sure about is the “crazy” nature of SF is why I love this city so much. You can be whomever, whatever and not be judged. If you want to re-invent yourself, you can. Right here.