Only a few contributors were businesspeople, but entrepreneurs recognized the importance of Whole Earth from its beginning. Steve Jobs famously closed his 2005 Stanford University commencement speech by praising Whole Earth’s influence. “It was Google in paperback form,” he said, “35 years before Google came along. If you built a business career through conventional means you may not have come across Whole Earth in. Its various incarnations including the magazine Coevolution Quarterly but nonetheless. It has shaped what you do in profound ways. It has Germany Email List certainly shaped what I do. Founder Stewart Brand hired me in 1980 to help manage. The research for the Next Whole Earth Catalog the 608-page revival edition. I ended up staying through 1988. It was there that I learned my professional craft.
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Stewart was, of course, a well-known figure by then, particularly in the Bay Area he had driven the bus in Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and was an influential writer, commentator, and creator of flamboyant experimental ventures. (Six years later, as a cofounder of the Global Business Network, he would become a business consultant. Working with him, and others at Whole Earth, I learned to trust the independent eye of a leader: to respect cultivated, thoughtful human judgment, without having to rely on established academic or gulf email list institutional credentials. I also learned how to distill knowledge to its essence. Among his other celebrated qualities, Stewart is one of the world’s great book reviewers. By enlisting us in the never-ending task of reviewing books (how-to books in particular.
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he forced us to develop the skill of summing up a book or idea in a paragraph or two, in a concise and helpful way, without being glib or facile. It’s hard to remember how difficult it was to find good, practical advice back then. Most of the guidance on a new field was written by professionals for professionals in other words, written to obscure and exclude. But at Whole Earth, we were finding books and tools that could help people try things out on their own starting a new venture or learning a new craft or building a home themselves, with no experience but a book to guide them. If people want to consider that kind of thing, they need to be able to browse rapidly through the possible ways they might change their life.