Reading Abundance is like going to TED - the main TED, in Long Beach, CA. I first went in February of 2011, and I cannot wait to go again in February of 2013 (only my second time to go). Later in 2013, I'm also going to TED Global in Edinburgh for the first time. Going to TED is a life-changing experience. It was especially moving in 2011 because my wife, Debra, and I had just visited Africa - also for the first time. Africa was life-changing too, but in a very different way. Going to Africa gives you incredible perspective on humanity and what really matters in life. Debra and I went to see the high school we helped build, via the Pipkins, the incredible leaders at The Nobelity Project. Seeing how we had directly helped a small village in Kenya was a game-changer for us. In Africa, you see some of the most beautiful landscape and animals of your life, coupled with the depths of the most pressing problems for humanity. It is overwhelming and when you return there is a thought of, "the problems are too big for humanity to overcome". Going to both - Africa and TED, side-by-side - was especially thought provoking. TED, and the brilliant book Abundance, address this unproductive "too big to try" thought head-on, and that stokes my optimistic entrepreneurial energy in a big way. I think it will do the same for you.
I consider Mary Meeker's Internet Trends a must-follow report everytime she puts out an update. How smart it was for KPCB to hire her. She is world-class at research, and every technology entrepreneur and executive would be wise to religiously follow her reports.
Before she left Morgan Stanley for KPCB, I had the pleasure of having dinner with her and Morgan Stanley's CEO, James Gorman, a little over a year before our IPO at Bazaarvoice. It was an evening to remember - a live MBA case study, with James giving the insider's report of the financial crisis. Mary's perspective was fascinating too, not surprisingly.
Here is her latest update, presented on Dec. 3 at Stanford. There is too much to comment on here, and I recommend you study every slide. There are a thousand good business ideas in here for aspiring entrepreneurs that want to change the world.