Thank you, Robert. This is my life and dream now from the moment my eyelids open 7 days a week. I'll be crushed if we can't make major progress on these problems because I believe they are some of the world's most important problems now.
Each of us on Cake's team came to this in different ways, but for me it was the collision of several ideas.
1. Hearing Jeff Bezos say, when Amazon was just a bookstore, that people want to work for noble purpose. Amazon's was to observe that we've all read 5 books that really moved us. But we all have the feeling there are 100 more like that; the problem is finding them. If Amazon could help us discover them, Jeff said at the time, they would have accomplished something great.
I thought he was on his way when I discovered Touching the Void on Amazon because it knew I loved Into Thin Air.
We've all had some great conversations online, the problem is finding them.
2. Hearing Stewart Butterflied, who cofounded Flickr and Slack say the Internet's most powerful feature is finding people who share your interests. He grew up on a commune in British Columbia and his interest was philosophy. No one in his town was interested in it, but on the Internet he found people who were and it changed his world.
3. Hearing Richard Saul Wurman, the founder of TED, say on 60 Minutes that the greatest thing in life is a conversation between people. I got to talk to him about panel conversations wrt Cake for 2 hours and I will never forget it.
4. All of us seeing how incredibly great panel conversations can be when the audience expectation is it benefits us all to let the panel speak. We simply haven't had this format on the Internet (except video and audio, but not text) and it's a shame. Richard wrote in his latest book that he thought this was the greatest panel conversation ever: