Meetings in London (HSBC, Microsoft, solicitors, events…)
In the past few days I have had quite a few “interesting” meetings.
On November 26 I was invited to the Pre-Christmas Reception at HSBC corporate offices, along with other business owners/entrepreneurs: a weird mix of industries and interests (which I find a complete waste of business networking time). But one thing was completely homogeneous: wherever you looked, there were men. Middle aged, white, balding, dark suit-wearing men. Just like me.
I was not wearing a suit, though… but that does not make me any different. What makes me different is what’s inside my head.
It all felt so tired, so old-world, so old-fashioned, so WRONG.
The following days I met with several law firms (“solicitors”) as I explore investment opportunities. All of those offices were in impressive buildings, with impressive lobbies, impressive receptionists, and impressive meeting rooms with impressive views.
That’s how the whole system-to-facilitate-system works: compartmentalize power, restrict access, and let the “key holders” and “gatekeepers” make a fortune out of keeping the status quo safeguarded. Whether it is taxes, “intellectual property”, investments, corporate litigation… or politics, media, celebrities, recording industry, or pharma. It’s all the same: restrict info and access, to keep the system from being changed. But that will be its demise.
On December 1st I went to Microsoft Headquarters in the UK. Who would have thought!
They have really changed from the times when we were direct “enemies” representing opposing views of the software “industry” during European Parliament deliberations on Software Patents. Now they have demonstrated an interest for open source. Or rather, I should say, the world and technology industry has forced them to accept the new reality: free software, microservices, APIs… it’s a whole new world (and luckily a whole new Microsoft) out there.
The next day I was asked to participate in a GREAT UK Awards roundtable hosted at WeWork Spitalfields, to share my experiences as “serial entrepreneur” with a cohort of other “entrepreneurs”. More of the same. The machine churning out new recruits, fresh meat to grind and sacrifice to the same old gods: power and greed. All with the latest and polished 2.0 façade of technohipsterism. Hey, we are all in this for the money (although we all have other reasons, like in my case saving lives by applying break-through technology to healthcare delivery), and we are all dancing to the same tune. The only difference might be our ulterior motives. But more on that in a few months.