“Hard Water”: The Magic of Learning & Mixing Across Sports & Other Disciplines
Just saw this documentary on the evolution of Big wave surfing. It traces the lineage via Nathan Fletcher who grew up in the surf centers of Southern California and Hawaii.
He was influenced by Jay Adams & Chris Hosoi; skateboarders who brought a “big air” style to surfing and flying, tactics from the ground to the water. There was clearly an interplay between surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding. Each influenced and borrowed from each other. Developing new conventions and standards. This is why Big Wave surfing is so impressive and such a high-skilled sport these days.
I think a lot about the growing diversity and ecosystems of the startup world. Silicon Valley has long been the center of the tech world since the 70s. Yet there was always an interplay between the San Francisco Bay Area and the other tech centers.
We saw many ecosystems growing in the 2010s across the globe like London, Paris, Portugal, Singapore, Jakarta, Dubai, Lagos, Mexico City & Toronto among many places.
The 2020 pandemic literally blew up Silicon Valley, expanding the mindset everywhere. The main vehicle of this was through the talent that was once so concentrated in the San Francisco Bay Area, now spreading out all across America and the world. They brought the energy, best practices and money with them. The top founders now also do not feel the need to come to Silicon Valley to build their companies as Remote work becomes more prevalent and common.
I anticipate that as many of these other ecosystems take off they will create many new & different forms of amazing startups. This will also lead to more best practices that will in turn influence new growth tactics and drive changes in various industries. We are already seeing that the most interesting Fintech companies are now coming from places like Mexico City, India and all over Africa.
I’m continually struck by how much there is to learn from the ever evolving world of big wave surfing & it continues to be a powerful metaphor for business. Like the surf world, the rising diversity and interplay of various ecosystems & industries can only be a good thing that will push the technology industry onto new highs.