I've puzzled today over various ways to begin this journey and chosen to use the metaphor of the stage. Let me explain with a story.
In late 2002 I moved from New York to California and proposed to my wife-to-be. After we got married, I spent a year flying back and forth to Las Vegas where I consulted to Casino baron Steve Wynn (more on this later). My son was born and we decided to stay in San Francisco. Hilary went back to work and I took care of Theo. I needed to get a job but wasn't sure what would be interesting and exciting. Then I heard about a tiny company who had made a virtual world where the users could create whatever they wished. It had an economy, land barons and politics. I remember walking Theo in his stroller past the offices and thinking, "I don't know how I'm going to do it, but I'm going to be part of this". I managed to get an interview with their CEO; we hit it off and he gave me a job. The CEO's name was Philip Rosedale and the company was Second Life.
Which brings me to my point (finally). It's a very personal one, but a great way to begin this journey. I remember the mix of fear and excitement I felt as I agonized over starting that company. I felt deep down that it would be a great adventure and full of promise, but the future was uncertain. Virtual currency was just starting out, Facebook was small and Zynga didn't even exist. The future, both of the world in general and for me personally, was very uncertain. With two little children, the stakes were high. I decided to go for it.
As I hustled to launch the company, we were unknown and had no work to show. So I built a theater called the New Globe (pictured above). Why I chose a theater, I have no idea - my friend Barbara Romer was pitching a project to build one in real life in New York and she had drawings by the architect Norman Foster. It turned out to be a great choice - it led to projects and gave us a place to meet and even stage virtual plays.
But the metaphor is what strikes me the most. As I think about the future, I like to think of it as a story or play. We are both the playwrights and the actors rather than just the audience. Over the next 20 days, let's look back at the story so far, take stock of where we are in the present scene and consider how to write the future.