Gdy znika twój ser… (ted#7)

Krótka historyjka „Kto zabrał mój ser” zrobiła światową karierę. Pokazuje jak się zachowują dwaj ludzie i i dwie sympatyczne myszki po stracie tytułowego sera, który był taki smaczny, był od tak dawna, do którego wszyscy się tak bardzo przyzwyczaili! Strata sera, który lubiłeś i który jadłeś codziennie – czyż to nie tragedia? Doświadczenie pokazuje jednak, że w wielu przypadkach sytuacja ta może wymusić zmiany, o jakich kiedyś byś nie pomyślał, a z których później jesteś bardzo zadowolony.

O książeczce „Kto zabrał mój ser” Steve’a Johnsona pisaliśmy już na tym blogu we wpisie z 21 kwietnia 2015. A w życiu co rusz każdy z nas doświadcza takich sytuacji. Może chodzić o bliskich ci ludzi, którzy znikają lub odchodzą, pracę, która jest nie zawsze, może twoją firmę która miewa lepsze i gorsze okresy, albo może chodzić o twoje ulubione hobby, którego od pewnej chwili nie możesz już uprawiać.

Dziś sugerujemy na TED-zie prezentację wygłoszoną bardzo niedawno, bo jesienią 2017 roku. Jej autorowi, po 40 latach pracy, zniknął ser… Stało się to punktem startu do nowego rozdziału w jego życiu. Dziś, gdy zbliża się do 70-tki, kiedy nagrodzono już go licznymi wyróżnieniami, a wielu jego rówieśników traktuje go jako wzór do naśladowania, pewnie już by do starego sera nie wrócił.

Oprócz traktowania opisywanego przykładu jako jednej z sytuacji typu „Stary człowiek a może…”, prezentacja daje do myślenia co do możliwości wchodzenia po raz pierwszy w biznes ludzi w wieku okołoemerytalnym. A już hasło końcowe „30 przed 30-ką” a „70 po 70-ce” (wyjaśnione w trakcie prezentacji), będzie dla wielu zapewne sprzeczne z intucyjnymi wyobrażeniami.

UWAGA: od dziś zmieniamy formułę materiałów dodatkowych do cotygodniowej prezentacji TED-a.

Pozostają bez zmian rozdziały II i III, w których są pytania sprawdzające, typu TRUE/FALSE oraz pytania otwarte. W części IV, w angielskim skrypcie wystąpienia, zamiast polskich tłumaczeń trudniejszych słówek i wyrażeń (jak to było dotąd), podkreślone są słówka i wyrażenia, które następnie, w części V, są wyjaśnione ale… także po angielsku. Wyjaśnienia te nie zastępują słownika, w którym podaje się zwykle szerszą gamę możliwych znaczeń danego słowa czy wyrażenia – tu podajemy tylko możliwie krótkie wyjaśnienie słowa, pozwalające na zrozumienie prezentacji.

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 Paul Tasner, “How I became an entrepreneur at 66”   (6:52 min)

Contents:

  1. Author, title, link, about the author
  2. TRUE/FALSE questions
  3. Open questions
  4. English script
  5. Explanation of selected vocabulary
  6. Answers to TRUE/FALSE questions 

I. Author, title, link, about the author

 

Paul Tasner, “How I became an entrepreneur at 66”

Oct 2017

 

 

about the author:

 

Paul Tasner is an Industrial Engineering graduate of the New Jersey Institute of Technology and holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Boston University. He was employed for 40 years in many corporations where he held leadership positions in procurement, manufacturing, and logistics in ventures ranging from start-up to Fortune 100.  Included among them are: The Clorox Company (consumer packaged goods), California Closet Company (home furnishings), Method Products (consumer packaged goods), Hepagen (vaccines), OM2 (supply chain consultancy), and the Reclipse Group (supply chain consultancy).   He is the co-founder and currently a CEO of PulpWorks.
 

II. TRUE/FALSE questions

 

  1. The speaker has no children.   TRUE/FALSE
  2. Throughout his professional carreer the speaker mostly worked in small companies. TRUE/FALSE
  3. The decision to leave the corporation, at the age of 64, was made by the speaker. TRUE/FALSE
  4. The speaker was looking forward to relaxing at retirement. TRUE/FALSE
  5. The speaker believes that plastic pollution is a big problem nowadays. TRUE/FALSE
  6. To start a company at the age of 66 turned out to be an easy task. TRUE/FALSE
  7. The speaker was living in the San Francisco area so when applying for external funding he has not had any competition. TRUE/FALSE
  8. In the first five years of company operataions, the company revenues were stable. TRUE/FALSE
  9. The speaker feels his work now is rewarding and meaningful. TRUE/FALSE
  10. The author would be happy if a group of people was established where elderly first-time entrepreneurs could meet and interact. TRUE/FALSE
  11. Most people at the age of 65-70 think about creating a new company. TRUE/FALSE
  12. In the year 2050 there will be 20% more people in the retirement age as compared to the situation today. TRUE/FALSE
  13. Elderly first-time entrepreneurs have comparable success ratio to entrepreneurs in their 20’s. TRUE/FALSE

III. Open questions

 

  1. What do you think about firing people at corporations, when these people turn 60?
  2. Some people say that it is impossible to reach a retirement age at a corpo. Whoudl you agree?
  3. What are the chances for success when an elderly first-time entrepreneur competes for funding with a young (20+) entrepreneur?
  4. How do you explain the buzz word “70 over 70 and 30 under 30”? Do you find it ironic?

 IV. English script
NOTE: words and expressions underlined are explained in Section V

00:12

I’d like to take you back about seven years in my life. Friday afternoon, a few days before Christmas 2009. I was the director of operations at a consumer products company in San Francisco, and I was called into a meeting that was already in progress. That meeting turned out to be my exit interview . I was fired, along with several others. I was 64 years old at the time. It wasn’t completely unexpected. I signed a stack of papers, gathered my personal effects , and left to join my wife who was waiting for me at a nearby restaurant, completely unaware. Fast-forward several hours, we both got really silly drunk.

00:57

(Laughter)

01:00

So, 40 plus years of continuous employment for a variety of companies, large and small, was over. I had a good a network, a good reputation — I thought I’d be just fine. I was an engineer in manufacturing and packaging. I had a good background. Retirement was, like for so many people, simply not an option for me. So I turned to consulting for the next couple of years without any passion whatsoever.

01:31

And then an idea began to take root, born from my concern for our environment. I wanted to build my own business, designing and manufacturing biodegradable packaging from waste — paper, agricultural, even textile waste — replacing the toxic, disposable plastic packaging to which we’ve all become addicted. This is called clean technology, and it felt really meaningful to me. A venture that could help to reduce the billions of pounds of single-use plastic packaging dumped each year and polluting our land, our rivers and our oceans, and left for future generations to resolve — our grandchildren, my grandchildren.

02:18

And so now at the age of 66, with 40 years of experience, I became an entrepreneur for the very first time.

02:26

(Cheers)

02:27

(Applause)

02:30

Thank you. But there’s more.

02:34

(Laughter)

02:39

Lots of issues to deal with: manufacturing, outsourcing, job creation, patents, partnerships, funding — these are all typical issues for a start-up, but hardly typical for me. And a word about funding. I live and work in San Francisco. And if you’re looking for funding, you are typically going to compete with some very young people from the high-tech industry, and it can be very discouraging and intimidating. I have shoes older than most of these people.

03:13

(Laughter)

03:18

I do.

03:20

(Laughter)

03:21

But five years later, I’m thrilled and proud to share with you that our revenues have doubled every year, we have no debt, we have several marquee clients, our patent was issued, I have a wonderful partner who’s been with me right from the beginning, and we’ve won more than 20 awards for the work that we’ve done. But best of all, we’ve made a small dent — a very small dent — in the worldwide plastic pollution crisis.

03:49

(Applause)

03:54

And I am doing the most rewarding and meaningful work of my life right now. I can tell you there’s lots of resources available to entrepreneurs of all ages, but what I really yearned for five years ago was to find other first-time entrepreneurs who were my age. I wanted to connect with them. I had no role models, absolutely none. That 20-something app developer from Silicon Valley was not my role model.

04:24

(Laughter)

04:25

I’m sure he was very clever —

04:27

(Laughter)

04:28

I want to do something about that, and I want all of us to do something about that. I want us to start talking more about people who don’t become entrepreneurs until they are seniors. Talking about these bold men and women who are checking in when their peers, in essence, are checking out. And then connecting all these people across industries, across regions, across countries — building a community.

04:51

You know, the Small Business Administration tells us that 64 percent of new jobs created in the private sector in the USA are thanks to small businesses like mine. And who’s to say that we’ll stay forever small? We have an interesting culture that really expects when you reach a certain age, you’re going to be golfing, or playing checkers, or babysitting the grandkids all of the time. And I adore my grandchildren —

05:18

(Laughter)

05:19

and I’m also passionate about doing something meaningful in the global marketplace.

05:26

And I’m going to have lots of company. The Census Bureau says that by 2050, there will be 84 million seniors in this country. That’s an amazing number. That’s almost twice as many as we have today. Can you imagine how many first-time entrepreneurs there will be among 84 million people? And they’ll all have four decades of experience.

05:48

(Laughter)

05:49

So when I say, „Let’s start talking more about these wonderful entrepreneurs,” I mean, let’s talk about their ventures, just as we do the ventures of their much younger counterparts. The older entrepreneurs in this country have a 70 percent success rate starting new ventures. 70 percent success rate. We’re like the Golden State Warriors of entrepreneurs —

06:15

(Laughter)

06:16

(Applause)

06:19

And that number plummets to 28 percent for younger entrepreneurs. This is according to a UK-based group called CMI.

06:28

Aren’t the accomplishments of a 70-year-old entrepreneur every bit as meaningful, every bit as newsworthy, as the accomplishments of a 30-year-old entrepreneur? Of course they are. That’s why I’d like to make the phrase „70 over 70” just as —

06:43

(Laughter)

06:44

just as commonplace as the phrase „30 under 30.”

06:48

(Applause)

06:49

Thank you.

06:50

(Cheers)

06:52

(Applause)

 

  • Explanation of selected vocabulary

 

  30 under 30 (here:) 30% success ratio for people under 30
  70 over 70 (here:) 70% success ratio for people over 70
  addicted (of sb) who does sth often and cannot stop
  biodegradable that will decay without problems
  bold brave, not frightened
to check in to arrive
to check out to leave
  debt a sum of money that you owe to sb
  discouraging causing sb to feel less confident
  exit interview a meeting between an employee and his boss when the employee leaves the company
to fast-forward to move forward
to fire sb to remove sb from his/her job
  funding money obtained from an external source for a project
  Golden State Warriors an American professional basketball team
  grandkid grandchild
  intimidating making sb feel frightened
  lots of company lots of other people
  marquee client key client
  meaningful useful
  newsworthy interesting enough to be published in press
to outsource (of a company) to arrange that some part of the work is done at another company
  peer sb in the same age
  personal effects things that belog to sb
  checkers a game for two people, played on a board with black and whote fields
to plummet to fall down
to pollute to make dirty
to resolve to solve
  resources everything that can be used by sb
  revenues the income
  rewarding (adj.) giving satisfaction
  role model a person whose behaviour can serve as a suggestion for copying
the Small Business Administration governement agency that deals with small businesses
  small dent a small step towards a goal
to take root to appear, to show up
  textile (adj.)   made of cloth
  the Census Bureau the government agency responsible for gathering statistical data
  thrilled very happy
  venture new activity, new business
  waste unwanted material, left after some activity
  whatsoever very much so
to yearn for sth to wish, to want

 

 

VI. Answers to TRUE/FALSE questions

 

True: 5, 9, 10     False: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13

 

 

 

 

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