Built to Thrive: Using Innovation
to Make Your Mark in a Connected World 
by Jay van Zyl

"There are millions of people sitting around our dinner table with us, and somehow this does not seem like such a terrifying prospect."

Is it still "out of the box" thinking if you've forgotten the box ever existed? To an entrepreneur like Jay van Zyl, who chose to telecommute around the world from South Africa, box-like boundaries are a thing of the past.

In Built to Thrive, van Zyl explores what comes next in an increasingly connected business world. Although he disparages the concept of using old maps to explore new territory, van Zyl pays a significant amount of attention to human history in this ode to the future. In van Zyl's vision, human consciousness has gone through two megawaves of evolution and is well into a third. He theorizes that we have evolved from hunter-gatherers focused on personal survival, through an interdependent phase of group agriculture and industry, and into the present, where the collective experience predominates.

Citing examples from Wikipedia and free music downloads to burgeoning charity efforts and the environmental movement, van Zyl holds that we have extended the concept of self, and even family, to develop a "group consciousness." This is when true innovation will begin, says van Zyl, as young people enter society with native group consciousness.

Readers may not agree with many of van Zyl's grand proclamations, particularly when he seems to dismiss any lessons learned from the past as outdated thinking that is best left in the dust. But his thesis is that innovation is all about reshaping our thinking, reframing the commom questions posed by us. He asks his readers to question their assumptions and look at today's world through tomorrow's eyes.

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