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Softbank and the Long Now

Sprint Product Ambassador

Brian Schaefer brought up a 30 (or 300) year plan from Softbank in todays Ops review.  For the impatient, you can find the slides or a 2-hour video of Masayoshi Son presenting his 30 year vision.

What's this all about?  It's a long term vision - not quite on the 10,000 year scale of the Long Now Foundation but far more forward thinking than the typical quarter by quarter lurching of modern Fortune 500 publicly traded companies.  What is the vision all about?  Not profits, income or OIBIDA, but human knowledge and satisfaction with life.

Personally I've always worked toward making Wireless better for people.  Not selling phones, not checking boxes on spreadsheets, but making the whole wireless experience better for humans.  Helping people communiate with other people.  Do that right and you'll get the sales, the retention and the trust that makes a company profitalble. 

SOFTBANK works to make people happy

through information revolution.

The presentation starts out starkly - death, lonlieness, suicide and despair, quickly moving to what makes people happy - reaching directly into Maslow's Hirearchy of Needs, speaking to connecting with people and self actualization. After a quick comple slides on the company past and metrics, they jump right into some rather unique goals for a corporate entity:

Endeavoring to benefit society and

the economy and maximize enterprise value

by fostering the sharing of

wisdom and knowledge

gained through the IT revolution.

After a brief review of the past 300 years, they dive right into the Singularity.  Softbank forecasts our computational power will exceed the human brain in just 6 years; far faster than Ray Kurzwiel or Vernor Vinge or other futurists are predicting.  Softbank doesn't mince words - they simply state that one of their goals is to bring the brain / computer to life.  Son and Softbank aren't just futurists or tinkerers like Kurzweil; they are directly working to bring the future to life with cloud computing, instant speed networks and unlimited bandwidth.

They close out with this from Albert Einstein:

We exist for our fellow-men

- in the first place

for those on whose smiles and welfare

all our happiness depends,

and next for all those unknown to us

personally with whose destinies

we are bound up by the tie of sympathy.

-Albert Einstein

Are *you* excited about the coming Softbank merger?