PlatformG & The Funky Bunch

Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google (the Four Horsemen) are some of the most successful organizations in history. They’ve created enormous value for consumers and stakeholders and wield the influence of nation states. I aspire to be uber cool/successful just like them.

So what can be learned — how can one emulate these firms and follow their example? My plan:

— I’d rather not pay taxes. Why? Because I’m fucking awesome and don’t need to. I’ll establish a corporation, PlatformG, Inc., encompassing all my professional activities — teaching, speaking, writing, glass blowing (retirement), man-whoring (weekend gig), and choreography (next life). PlatformG Inc. will incorporate in Ireland and will transfer all IP to the Irish entity. I’ll go through the 200+ cards collected at the DLD Conference in Munich this week (#awesome) and find one with a clover on it — Irish government big wig, there’s a gaggle of them at DLD. I’ll ring them up and cut a deal for PlatformG Ireland to be taxed at a rate of 4-8%. The Irish entity will then charge the US entity a licensing fee for use of the IP — the near-exact amount of US profits, thereby suppressing/increasing profits in the US/Ireland and lowering my effective tax rate, a lot.

— I will then, on behalf of all concerned about privacy, take a principled stand and, even if there are acts of violence/terrorism in my class, I will refuse access by the FBI or government authorities to my classroom. What happens in my classroom is private, and just too precious to be subject to search, even under court order.

— I don’t want to be accountable for all the stupid things I say, even if they are false/fake, regardless of the damage they do to others, or to society. I absolve myself of this responsibility, as I am not a professor, entrepreneur, or citizen, but a “platform” for ideas.

— I’m good at what I do and, having access to more capital than most of my colleagues at NYU Stern, I can systematically invest in technology that makes me more efficient, like teaching more students, so that fewer professors are needed at Stern, and I can capture most of the tuition dollars at NYU Stern. To achieve this without my colleagues, NYU unions, or regulators slowing my march toward domination, I must become more likable… cute even. I will engage an army of PR consultants and wrap myself in progressive causes. Let’s face it, progressives are perceived as nice but weak — a great cover.

— Finally, I’ll change my social handles from @ProfGalloway to @PlatformG_and_the_FunkyBunch.

Our Greatest Moment

I’ve never met Barack Obama, but hope to someday, to say thank you. I wish my sons were a bit older during his presidency, as he is a great role model for young men. His humility, devotion to wife and daughters, and respect for colleagues and country are how I hope my sons approach their personal and work lives.

Two days after 9/11, I was stopped by a middle-aged couple and what appeared to be their teenage daughter, on the corner of 5th Avenue and 15th Street. The parents were short, wore modest clothes, spoke with heavy Eastern European accents, and looked tired. The mother handed me a flyer, similar to the kind you see stapled to a utility pole about a lost pet — with pictures of a young man in cap and gown and in his waiter’s uniform. The top of the flyer read “missing” in big bold type. After handing me the flyer, the woman looked at me expectantly, as if there was a real chance I knew where her son was.

I treasure the notion that Osama Bin Laden spent his last moments, before receiving a bullet in his eye, separated from his own children registering we had found him. The leadership, courage, and skills of our President, intelligence community, and Special Forces gave our country its greatest moment since the invasion of Normandy.

Life is so rich,
Scott

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