Taxi drivers are so cool

I thought long and hard about what the taxi driver said to me, about establishing a business based not on capital, but by ideas and persuasion.

In this short exchange I felt two things: empowerment and regret. Empowerment that the idea of an idea is an essentially powerful thing. As long as you are able to persuade individuals to believe strongly in an idea, the rest will fall into place. The lessons from TEDtalks, the marketing of ideas through a pitch, the development of Iskandar by showing investors a plot of land. The ability to enable strangers to imagine a piece of flat land as being more than just an empty space, to put in all the effort to believe and have faith in something so intangible is impressive.

I felt regret. Because I felt that I could have learned so many things from this taxi driver.  In a way, he is one of the transient people in my life who greatly impacted me, maybe even more so than the friends I have in school. He taught me to be concise: because there is no point telling a story that people cannot grasp in 15 seconds, because that is all the time you have to convince people of an idea or situation. It is the terms that you use that have to be accurate and concise. It has to be believable and it has to get the point across quickly. I find myself lacking in this area.

He seemed so educated. And I wish I had given myself more time to listen to him. Because what is even better than money? Knowledge. Everything can be easily accessed from the web or books, but nothing beats hearing about experiences from people themselves.

And after all, we all want to be heard.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course… We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead the stars come out every night, and we watch television.

-Paul Hawken