Welcome to Nathanael’s blog! Sharing thoughts, personal news and other stories.
Charles Caleb Colton

April is one of the best time to be in Miami. Happy Easter!

Beautiful and extremely rare “blood moon” visible tonight in the Los Angeles sky.

The phenomenon known as “tetrad” gives the moon a red glow as it receives the refracted light that spills over the Earth’s circumference.

We will have the chance to see three more of these eclipses in the coming months with the last one in September 2015.

The next tetrad will be in 2032 so you might want to see this now!

TechCrunch meetups in Los Angeles.

Nice event where 10 companies where invited for a 60 seconds pitch. Plenty of people showed up in LA and nice ideas where presented.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Great fun this morning with a trampoline session at Sky Zone. After more than a decade not jumping on a trampoline, this is quite a workout…

Greatness is often found at the intersection of expertise.

Today more than ever, it is key for our professional development to be a “specialist”. Companies are often looking for individuals who can perform at their best in their specific function and who can be considered as expert. This reinforces the simple idea that you should try to be the best at what you do and this obviously requires a large degree of specialization and focus.

On the other hand, when analyzing the most successful and innovative individuals and companies, we often find that “greatness” arises at the intersections of several and distinct competencies. By mashing expertise, personalities and experiences, innovation takes place. Diversity has become one of the core attribute of a successful organization.

It is therefore key for organizations to search and retain individuals who have a strong expertise in their field of work but who can also demonstrate a capacity to collaborate effectively with individuals with various backgrounds and personalities. One way to spot such individuals is to look at their work history and see if they have been capable to successfully work for different industries and in different positions throughout their career.

Finding individuals who have demonstrated a capacity to be agile while acquiring mastery in different domains is a big plus. Such collaborators will usually have an easier time to adapt to their new environment, foster innovation and bring fresh perspectives to an existing business. You want to find people with a strong sense of curiosity and interest for others’ work for the communication to flow efficiently. 

At the end and as usual, it is a question of balance. We need to have the right expertise and level of specialization but also present diversity in our profile to have the chance to become a unique talent.

The Runyon Canyon hike offers beautiful views of Los Angeles and is fairly accessible.

Living on another planet.

When people think about life, they usually think about their current life on earth. One big revolution which will certainly come our way during the 21st century, is the possibility and the need for some of us to go live on another planet.

We are well aware of the many challenges that are facing earth and its sustainability. Issues such as global warming and overpopulation are forcing us to think about alternative solutions for the future of human life. By 2050, the world population should reach more than 9 billions. At current pace and with existing technologies, the world as we know it today would lack some essential resources. The world would also be overcrowded.

All around the world, people and organizations are looking for innovative solutions to these challenges. Those range from synthetic food production, alternative energy to new concepts for city planning among many others.

One solution which is often overlooked as it appears to be too distant in the future is to actually use another planet as a place to live. The reality is that this idea might become a reality faster than most people think. Our knowledge of the solar system and space is rapidly advancing and will only accelerate. The cost of space transportation will continue to rapidly decrease in the years to come. The speed of travel will only increase. Planets which are far away today might be within our reach tomorrow.

One of the most likely candidate to be the first planet for interspatial immigration is Mars. The red planet offers certain properties which makes it more similar to earth than most other planets we know of. Mars is half the size of earth and not too distant when compared with other planets in our solar system. At night, Mars gets very cold with temperature that can reach minus 180 degrees Fahrenheit. But by day, the temperature on Mars can reach 59 degrees. With some intelligent solutions and innovations, we can believe today that people could perfectly live on Mars.

Thinking about it, we can also be sure that other planets will play, one way or the other, an exceedingly more important role for the future of human kind. So maybe one day, instead of asking strangers from which country do they come from, you may find yourself asking where in the universe do they live.

The golden age of smartphones is over.

Google selling Motorola to Lenovo is another indication that the smartphone market has reached a certain maturity. The two largest player of the industry, Apple and Samsung, are repeatedly expressing the need to shift their focus to the East to maintain the sales growth of their smartphone. The western world is no longer the future for growth and all the other manufacturers have already their eyes riveted on Asia and South America. These markets will as well get to saturation in the near future.

Much like television, smartphones have reached such levels of penetration that sustaining high growth is increasingly complicated (note that as the world continues to accelerate, this penetration has been reached much faster than TVs in their time). Sales cycle are today also well known and established with usually one flagship handset per manufacturer per year.

Obviously, smartphones and more importantly the myriad of applications they sustain are far from over. We are all going to continue using them day in day out and we can expect much more in terms of software innovation in the future.

On the other hand, the market on the hardware side is clearly slowing down. Innovations and technological breakthrough could fuel its growth once again but this seems unlikely in the short-term. Big manufacturers are already moving their attention (and wallets) towards new industries such as home automation (Google acquiring Nest) and the big trends in wearables and portable health (iWatch / iOS 8; Google Glass).

This is a profound and important shift. As investments in new categories are rapidly increasing, the “post smartphone” era is about to begin.