As I was unpacking from a recent trip to Australia, I placed a gift on the shelf and it got me thinking. There’s a story behind this and it involves two former colleagues (and great friends) who borrowed a book from me, but it never came back. At risk of discriminating, I blamed them both equally for it. One of them, Daniel O’Shaughnessy, probably the less guilty of the two (sorry Luke), came through for me, and found a matching, first edition copy of Blue Mars to re-complete my favorite trilogy (Mars Trilogy - Kim Stanley Robinson).
Why is this worth blogging about? Well, for a few reasons. As soon as I saw the cover of the book I was reminded of a great passage in which a physicist and mathematician are discussing whether they have arrived at the point at which we know so much about physics that there is nothing more to discover. The response of one of the characters is humbling: “Although we might work out the fundamentals,...every level of emergence above that creates its own problems…It’s like chess – we might learn all the rules, but still not be able to play very well because of emergent properties. …Pieces are stronger if they are out in the centre of the board. That’s not the rules, it’s the result of all the rules put together.”
I loved this from the first time I read it, and still do, but now I slightly wish that the author hadn’t used the word “problems” in the first sentence. While it is true that emergence creates problems, I think it is worth noting that emergence can also be a powerful solution solving force in which a unique combination of products, services and people can create solutions that another person or company simply cannot replicate – no matter how much they try. From this perspective it’s really about being stronger than the sum of your parts.
All told, this trilogy is the most inspirational, epic and detailed pre-history for man’s colonization of Mars. Rather poignant now given that people are competing to be part of the “first four”. I’ll be honest, I prefer the idea of the “first one hundred” as presented in the Mars Trilogy, but I guess, rather disappointingly, no one has the ambition these days to live up to the old adage of life imitating art…
Talking to the Industry
It’s been awesome talking to the industry in Australia about what Koda can do. The ideas are flowing – more so than ever. Koda is looking forward to collaborating on new projects – taking itself and the industry to some new levels of excellence.
Koda thinks that its collaborations can provide some emergent value to itself and the projects it works on.
Since the New Year Koda has been busy helping promote and sell Save the World Brewery’s amazing beers. Save the World Brewery is a not-for-profit brewery from just outside of Austin. The owners are great, they brew great beer and they have a fantastic purpose.
We’ve been volunteering and doing tastings all around Austin, and whilst it is satisfying to be able to contribute in some way, it’s also been great to meet so many people from the area. Once we start telling our story it often encourages people to share theirs.
I admire the passion and focus of the owners – and I hope Koda makes people feel that way too. Koda has a purpose, some great ideas, commitment and is focused on making things better.
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Until next time, KODA