Newsletter: Elon Musk sets the internet ablaze | PLUS Oren Klaff, Jeffrey Gitomer, Napoleon Hill and more!

March 10, 2019
The new Future Squared podcast logo — wachya think?!

Welcome to another instalment of my weekly musings!

This week, I’ve got new podcasts, an epic 8,000 word blog post, stories from the trenches and of course, Elon Musk setting the internet ablaze, literally.

Cybernetic Facelift: You might have noticed that the Future Squared podcast brand has undergone a ‘cybernetic’ facelift, reflective of the new direction the show has taken. When I started the show almost 3 years and 274 episodes ago, it was all about entrepreneurship and corporate innovation. In the time since, the show has evolved quite a bit to explore myriad disciplines including technology, psychology, philosophy, economics, sociology, politics, biology, motivation, management, leadership, health, fitness and productivity.

As the new intro track says, the show is about more than just helping you innovate, it’s about helping you to think in a multi-disciplinary way so that you can make better decisions, kick goals in your professional and personal life and better navigate what is fast becoming a Huxleyian Brave New World. As such, the new brand was inspired by the Terminator movies and those eight simple words that Arnold Schwarzenegger utters as the T-800 cybernetic organism… “come with me if you want to live”, a reflection of this show’s underlying purpose.


Oren is Director of Capital Markets at investment bank Intersection Capital where he manages its capital raising platform. From 2003–2008 as he applied his pioneering approaches to raising capital and incorporating neuroscience into the capital markets programs, Oren raised over $2B in investor capital from high net-worth individuals and financial institutions for entrepreneurs.

We discussed:
1: How to place yourself into a position of power when selling, regardless of the social context
2: How to sell to large organisations who insist on dragging out things and involving various people and committees in the decision making process
3: How to get past people’s innate fear of uncertainty and the unfamiliar when selling new technologies and ways of doing things

Expect to not only learn lots about the science of persuasion but also hear some delightful profanity laden stories and learn about Oren’s extensive motorcycle collection


I took a lot of lessons out of this conversation and published seven in the imaginatively titled 7 Lessons on B2B Sales.


Jeffrey Gitomer is an author, speaker, podcast host, entrepreneur and the self-professed King of Sales.

Jeffrey has penned a number of books including the best-selling Sales Bible, which I am personally a huge fan of, the Little Red Book of Sales as well as Customer Satisfaction is Worthless. His forthcoming book,Truthful Living: The First Writings of Napoleon Hill, represents a brief departure from sales books. You’ll likely be familiar with Napoleon Hill as the author of the magnum opus Think and Grow Rich which went on to influence generations of people and personal development gurus that came after him. The book explores Hill’s self-help legacy, his long-lost original notes, letters and lectures — now compiled, edited and annotated for the modern reader.


Our final startups pitching to work with NTUC Income

NTUC Income Startup Matching
We recently wrapped up our Startup Challenge for Singapore’s only insurance cooperative, NTUC Income. The organisation sought access to high quality Australian and New Zealand startups that could help them solve problems across the following two domains:

1. Behavioural Data for Underwriting New Customers
2. Automation of Fraudulent Claims Detection

We developed a customer startup matching program and went to market, identifying, recruiting, evaluating and presenting the final startups at a pitch event in Melbourne. From almost 50 applications, eight were selected to present and NTUC Income is now negotiating proof of concept partnerships with several of the startups.


Innov8rs Sydney: One of the biggest corporate innovation conferences in the world is set to hit Australian shores in 2 weeks time. Come and catch me speak alongside names such as Scott Anthony (Innosight, the firm that Clayton Christensen founded), Dan Toma (author of the Corporate Startup Playbook) and myriad international and local talent.
Get 15% off your ticket using code ‘8-Steve’ during checkout.


Proptech Summit, Sydney
I had the opportunity to kick off proceedings at the PropTech Summit in Sydney last week, speaking alongside Charter Hall’s Aidan Coleman on the state of play of innovation and technology in real estate. Interestingly, global investment in PropTech has increased 10X since 2012, and is projected by some to grow by yet another order of magnitude by 2020 to hit US$20B in global investment. This is reflective of 100X growth in 8 years, which suggests that our prehistoric friend in the slide above will soon be exchanging his club for a VR headset.
To find out more about our own plans to invest in PropTech, check out Collective Capital and contact us to find out more.

As an aside, the PropTech Summit fell on my birthday and I kicked the day off with an attempted 6am surf at Bondi Beach (thanks Craig!). I also took the time to write an 8,000 word reflective piece on turning 35 and what I’ve learned about this thing called life. You can read When I Grow Up: Reflections on Turning 35 here.

Cool wheels bro!

Elon Musk Sets the Internet Ablaze
As a huge fan of both the Joe Rogan Experience podcast and Elon Musk, I (and millions of other people across the globe) could barely contain my excitement once I heard that Musk would be appearing on the show last week, and it didn’t fail to live up to expectations.

The pair discussed the threat of artificial intelligence, Musk’s ‘flamethrower’, how Musk actually works and what he actually does, human computer interfaces, whether we’re living in a simulation, Tesla, flying cars, electric planes, global warming, space exploration, love…but of course, one single puff of a marijuana joint seems to be the only thing the mainstream media cared to report, setting the internet ablaze, Tesla’s share price into a tailspin and meme creators into a fit.

Melbourne’s answer to Banksy, @Lushsux, put this street art together a day after the interview not far from where I live.


What I’m Reading

50 Philosophy Classics
I ‘ve been enjoying Tom Butler-Bowdon’s series of 50 Classics, having previously read his economics, psychology and business editions. A fantastic gateway drug to some of the more profound ideas of the past two millenia and an aide for those of you who lead busy lifestyles and need to 80/20 your learning.

Words of Wisdom
“If you want flying cars put wheels on a helicopter”
“The success of online systems is a function of how much limbic resonance they’re able to achieve with people”

Be nicer to each other. Give more credit to others. It’s easy to demonize people, but you’re usually wrong about it. People are nicer than you think.
- Elon Musk on JRE

Be nice to people.

10 Books That Changed My Life
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