• Madani Sahari

Do not be afraid to share

At the end of 2016, I wrote a three-part series on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry

4.0) and future global landscape.

The series discussed the development of big data management and the Internet of Things

(IoT) framework — something that was still an elusive concept within the domestic

boundaries at the time.

In only three years, Malaysians, in particular the youths, have become well versed with on-

demand ride-sharing, food delivery, shopping, workshop services and other activities using

cloud technology driven by big data analytics and IoT. Such is the speed of technology

development, driven primarily by bold companies such as Apple Inc, Samsung,

Inc, Microsoft Corp and Tesla Inc, which have aggressively created market demand by

planting the need for a digital lifestyle — from being a luxury to a necessity.

All of those companies, now valued at billions of US dollars (Apple and Amazon were the

first trillion-dollar companies), started with humble beginnings — they weren’t born into

riches or plentiful opportunities, yet in just a few decades, built the digital wonders of the


Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple with US$1,350. In fact, they sold off their

possessions to raise the small capital. The question is: what made the difference? If it was

education, then Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did drop out of their tertiary education. If it was

inheritance, many of the founders were not even sons of millionaires.

I would argue that it is self-belief and exposure — in our thinking, actions and the setting of

our strategies—that make a difference between staying comfortable in the middle class and

having the will to push the boundaries.

This year — actually, this new decade — we need to re-examine our values and what we

should value. For example, the many seasons of the American Idol franchise were

interesting, not just because of the great talents who won the competition, but also those

who came to the auditions believing they could sing and make something out of the

opportunity that was given to them. While it was entertaining to watch, it also underlined

an important aspect of the people in the American society — they believed in their abilities.

Because of this strong self-belief, those with the right capabilities and talents became

winners in what they did, moving on to become mega stars on the world stage.

The American brands I mentioned above were products and testaments to the

aggressiveness shown by the Americans. Frankly speaking, the inverse often takes place

within our borders. Ambition is often met with ridicule and negativity, retarding and

suppressing further progress or improvement.

In this decade, let us change this. Let us create an ecosystem where one can be aggressive,

progressive and innovative. Let this person get the right support if he or she is good, or be

met by constructive criticism and improvement opportunities if otherwise. The inverse is

the same for those trying to achieve greatness — speak not of what should be done for you

but take new steps, create new ideas and implement aggressive strategies without fear of

ridicule or rejection. To change our paradigm, we must change our ecosystem. That does

not just mean to change the circles we are in, but also expand our circles to get involved

with people who achieved greatness.

Aim high, because even if we were to miss our aim, the result would still be better than

what we expected. Do not be afraid to share our knowledge, wealth and progress — there

will be a time when our own resources render us irrelevant and we will rely on others to

share theirs with us. Shared prosperity must be preceded by shared ambition, shared

innovation and shared assertiveness.

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