In the UK currently we’re coming to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – while at the same time everyone’s talking about how our country needs to be more innovative and entrepreneurial. But might not the first rule out the second?
The more we celebrate Royalty and take days off to do this, the more we acknowledge we know our place, and believe that privilege and wealth are to be accidents of birth. Hardly a philosophy that encourages us to aspire and innovate and to seek reward for invention, hard work and risk-taking.
Instead we are encouraged to gawp and admire, contrast ourselves and feel vaguely disatissfied with our lots in life. We compare, when we could be creating.
Now William and Kate are all well and good for the profits of Hello, OK and the Daily Mail : but they are about as inspiring to innovation as a couple of cookware department managers in John Lewis (excellent service, mind you). They are middling intelligent, middling attractive and with massive Middle England appeal… but when was entrepreneurialism ever middling?
No, I’m much keener on stories of people like Joel Hughes, a web developer who has been pootling about in Newport market with his company Jojet for several years.
Last Friday, Joel held Port 80 a ‘a pow-wow for web folk’ over at Newport University.
A couple of hundred geeks filled a lecture theatre to hear about the importance of speed on a site, how to create content strategy and whether an app is the right choice for clients or responsive design.
Varied and fascinating speakers created an atmosphere where you could almost hear the synaptic connections snapping together as neurons fired up. No posturing, intelligent questions and fabulous learning.
So Joel’s reinvented himself, whether he wants to or not, as a web learning ninja. He’s intending to hold more events like this and good luck to him.
I can’t help thinking that local and vivid reinvention like this is much more constructive for progress, and a better role model for our kids, than the envy and complacency induced by Royalty.
God save the bold.