Salim Ismail, Founder, Singularity University & Former VP, Yahoo on Massive Transformative Purpose
Salim Ismail is a sought-after speaker, strategist and entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He travels extensively addressing topics including breakthrough technologies and their impact on a variety of industries. Salim has spent the last four years building Singularity University as its founding Executive Director and current Global Ambassador. SU is based at NASA Ames and is training a new generation of leaders to manage exponentially growing technologies. Before that, as a Vice President at Yahoo, he built and ran Brickhouse, Yahoo’s internal incubator. His last company, Angstro, was sold to Google in August 2010. He has founded or operated seven early-stage companies including PubSub Concepts, which laid some of the foundation for the real-time web. In his recently released book, Exponential Organizations, Salim looks at a new organizational structure allowing companies to grow at unprecedented rates. He has studied and worked with entrepreneurs (like Quirky, Uber, Airbnb) at Exponential Organizations (ExOs) – companies whose impact (or output) is disproportionally large (at least 10x larger) than peers because of the use of accelerating technologies. One of the similarities he identified is the Massive Transformative Purpose, or higher, aspirational purpose. In the book, Salim says: Fast-growing companies all think BIG. Look at the position statements of existing Exponential Organizations:
· TED: "Ideas worth spreading"
· Google: "Organize the world's information"
· X Prize Foundation: "Bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity"
· Quirky: "Make invention accessible"
· Singularity University: “Positively impact one billion people”
They are very aspirational and, years ago, may have seemed preposterous. None states what the organization does, but rather what it aspires to accomplish. They aim to capture the hearts and minds—and imaginations and ambitions—of those both inside and (especially) outside the organization. This is the Massive Transformative Purpose, or MTP—the higher, aspirational purpose of the organization.