As I have often said, “Cancer saved my life”. When I was 51 years old, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Several months later I was treated with radiation therapy. It has now been almost 12 years and I seem to be fine. Many would say I was cured. But back in 1996 when I was learning about prostate cancer, I realized that while you can know you have prostate cancer you can never know that you do not. It can come back even 20 years later. I decided to make major changes in my life. At that time I was a Corp. Vice President at Intel, managed a multi billon dollar perfolilo venture capital investment perfolilo, was a key interface between Intel and the media industry as well as the communications industry. I was a major spokesperson for the company and keynoted lots of great conferences. I sat on the board of a few entertainment companies as well as a few non profit organizations. I was financially secure. But that was not enough. I was about to start an investment partnership with friend (he actually did it and that company become very successful). The cancer gave me a very different prospective on my life. I decided I would make every decision as if I only had ten years to live. So the first thing I did was to end my discussions about starting an investment company. Then I decided I would leave Intel not to retire per se but to explore the things I thought were interesting and to find out what I could do on my own so in 1999 I went out on my own. My balance had changed. I was exercising a lot, eating better, spending time with family and friends and continuing efforts to make the world better for others. So hat does this have to do with the world economic crises?
Over the last forty years the USA had become increasingly materialist. It was all about a bigger house, a better car, the rights schools and lately right technology. We no longer dreamed of sending people into space but instead we dreamed of larger flat panel TV’s. In the meantime the rest of the world was following our materialist lead. Probably because of the success of our media industry, billions of Chinese and Indians dreamed of owning a car for instance. One of the results of all this is our problems with climate change. Another is the transfer of wealth via oil purchases to countries that are not friendly or democratic. And we borrowed billions from the Chinese. Our life style was killing us and killing the world as well. The result of our greed is the financial mess. It was created in part by people that could not get enough material things. People that measure their success by the size of their private plans or their country homes. Even though we had the worse president maybe in all of our history, a man who may be a criminal if not a fool, Obama may have not been elected if the market crash did not happen. Now we have a leader I believe that can help us balance our country and can hopefully inspire other countries as well. And he can operate in a time when the crises has weakened other countries even more than it has weakened ours. Iran is weaker. Russia is weaker. China is weaker. The crises provides us with a historic moment in which to realign our priorities. And yes, it is very painful for all of us an especially painful to those that have lost their homes and their jobs. But out of all this may come great opportunities especially for our children and their children. I would be happy to give up a 60 inch flat panel for that.