Saturday, March 20, 2010

On the goat hill

This picture was taken in the "goat hill", which is a very nice hill below our neighborhood that is used for retreat into nature, 10 minutes walk from home, and many children activities. Alas, there is now a decision to build new neighborhood and destroy the nice hill, yesterday, the children active in the "nature protection society" including my daughter Hadas did a guided excursion to show people what is about to be destroyed, and help mark flowers, since the society is going to move the flower away at the end of the summer while they hibernate. Unlike some of the other cities in Israel that are built on sands and are just collection of houses, Haifa is a city that was built on a ridge that contains a collection of hills, with a lot of trees and flowers. There is a balance between the green and the grey. However, the green parts are getting smaller. When I was a child the ridge was much greener, the house that we live in now was a pine forest, some pine trees still remain among the houses, it is important to leave some parts of the city as nature reserves that will stay as they are. Sometimes the city leaders give in to greedy constructors, and the people of Haifa are fighting in multiple fronts against it; all we could do is to join the people who participated in this excursion, but it seems that there is no way to stop the new neighborhood construction.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Participating in entrepreneurship panel

Today was a rare event where people could see me walking around with a tie, this happened due to the fact that I was invited to participate in a panel in a big conference that was organized by the entrepreneurship institute at the Technion, which also organizes a students' entrepreneurship competition. I was invited to participate in a panel that dealt with "entrepreneurship everywhere", which included people who initiated various activities in various areas. I have shared with the audience some of my experience as intraprenuer. I heard that my usual kind of talk which involves humor and some provocative statement, was well accepted, although, as usual, some people were not happy from things I've said.
One person felt strongly that I really don't belong to panel about entrepreneurship, as a real entrepreneur is a person who takes person risks by investing his own money, the panel moderator did not agree with her. Well, I have never claimed to be entrepreneur, but I think there are some similarities and also some differences between entrepreneur and intraprenuer. Another person who did not like what I said approached me when I was leaving. When talking about my background I told the audience that I have been a faculty member in the Technion, and did not feel I have enough impact on the world by just writing papers, he said that there were people who had great impact on the world by just writing papers, like Einstein. I agreed with him and said that I have talked about the fact that I did not think that I can have enough impact on the world by just writing papers, and he said that I should have emphasized that it is possible to have great impact on the world by just writing papers. This is of course true, though in the area of computer software is not that easy.
When asked what is the most important advice for those who want to succeed in achieving things within large organizations, I quoted the rule: Remember it is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.