Category Archives: Book Review

Eyewitness Account of Navy Seal Heroes

Cover of "Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness A...
Cover via Amazon

Osama Bin Laden is dead and today I recall the feelings I had on that fateful day in 2001. Although I am admittedly filled with thoughts of joy about how this evil is wiped off the face of the earth, I still cannot seem to shake the sadness that continues to live on with those who lost loved ones over the past 10 years. And although the Seal team executed this operation with surgical movie-like precision, there have been other Seal teams that did not have the same fortune during this extended war against terror.

And it is with this in mind that today I recall the story of Marcus Luttrell, a Navy Seal who was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions against the Taliban during Operation Redwing. During Operation Redwing, Marcus lost his closest friends and was quite literally a Lone Survivor in the mountains of Afghanistan.

From the book description – Lone Survivor:

Four US Navy SEALS departed one clear night in early July 2005 for the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border for a reconnaissance mission. Their task was to document the activity of an al Qaeda leader rumored to be very close to Bin Laden with a small army in a Taliban stronghold. Five days later, only one of those Navy SEALS made it out alive.

This book tells the story of Marcus and his team from SEALs training in Coronado to their military assault in Afghanistan. It details their experience, their brotherly bond, and their ultimate sacrifice that has led us to this day. A day when we can celebrate justice and remember those who gave their lives in pursuit of that justice.

Today I think about all of those that lost their lives on September 11th, but I also think about those individual Seals and servicemen that gave their lives so I didn’t have to.

If you are enamored by what life is really like as a Navy Seal and want to pay tribute to those that were not so fortunate in this war, please go buy the book Lone Survivor. Any proceeds made from this post will be donated to the Lone Survivor Foundation.

Below are the names of those lost their lives during the operation (courtesy of Wikipedia).

 

Name Age Action Hometown
SEALs
LT Michael P. Murphy 29 Part of 4-Man Seal Team killed in an ambush Patchogue, New York
STG2 Matthew Axelson 29 Part of 4-Man Seal Team killed in an ambush Cupertino, CA[18]
GM2 Danny Dietz 25 Part of 4-Man Seal Team killed in an ambush Littleton, Colorado[18]
FCC Jacques J. Fontan 36 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down New Orleans, Louisiana
ITCS Daniel R. Healy 36 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down Exeter, New Hampshire
LCDR Erik S. Kristensen 33 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down San Diego, California
ET1 Jeffery A. Lucas 33 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down Corbett, Oregon
LT Michael M. McGreevy, Jr. 30 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down Portville, New York
QM2 James E. Suh 28 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down Deerfield Beach, Florida
HM1 Jeffrey S. Taylor 30 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down Midway, West Virginia
MM2 Shane E. Patton 22 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down Boulder City, Nevada
160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment[3]
SSgt. Shamus O. Goare 29 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down Danville, Ohio
CWO3 Corey J. Goodnature 35 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down Clarks Grove, Minnesota.
Sgt. Kip A. Jacoby 21 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down Pompano Beach, Florida
SFC Marcus V. Muralles 33 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down Shelbyville, Indiana
MSgt. James W. Ponder III 36 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down Franklin, Tennessee
Maj. Stephen C. Reich 34 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down Washington Depot, Connecticut.
SFC Michael L. Russell 31 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down Stafford, Virginia
CWO4 Chris J. Scherkenbach 40 Killed aboard the helicopter when it was shot down Jacksonville, Florida

 

 

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Billions Of Dollars Will Be Made From The Cognitive Surplus

If you want to understand where wealth creation will come from in the coming years then you should read Clay Shirky‘s latest book called Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age.

His argument is so simple but so profound and that concept is this:

“A trillion hours a year of participatory value are up for grabs. That will be true year in and year out.”

If you think about how most of us spend our time, you’d recognize that it’s probably spent  consuming media. We spend hours watching TV, checking Facebook statuses, reading articles, watching YouTube videos, but only recently have we begun to collectively contribute and generate our own content. When added together, this aggregate thinking and aggregate contribution, or “cognitive surplus” as Clay puts it, can add up to value that we are just beginning to fathom.

However, that value is only as meaningful as the organizational pieces put in place to harness its true power. And this can all be done without spending significant capital.

“Organizations designed around a culture of generosity can achieve incredible effects without an enormous amount of contractual overhead.”

If you were to closely examine companies like Groupon, Kickstarter, Wikipedia, or FashionStake, you’d quickly find how they each leverage the power of groups, aggregate thinking, or aggregate financing. This is where true value lies. Being able to align the cognitive surplus in an elegant fashion so that it benefits both the community, the individuals, and the organizers.

Like I said, I think there are billions, literally billions, of dollars to be made with this mode of thinking.

Watch Clay’s TED talk here and get a hold of his book.

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Dear Jeff Jarvis – Here’s Some GoogleJuice

I recently finished reading What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis.

This book is important for so many reasons, but the most important point of the book is that fundamentally, business in general is changing. Economics, supply and demand, manufacturing, education, fashion, government, finance, all of it is changing and unless you understand these changes and adopt a newer way of thinking, you will be in for a rude awakening when you realize everything you learned in Econ 101 no longer applies.

From Jeff’s Book:

Many industries built their value on scarcity. Airlines, Broadway theaters, and universities had only so many seats, which meant they could charge what they wanted for them. They were scarce and thus more  valuable. Newspapers owned the only printing press in town and you didn’t, so they could charge you a fortune to reach their audience. Shelf space in grocery stores was limited, so manufacturers paid for the privilege of selling their boxes there. Television networks had finite number of minutes in the day with only so many eyeballs watching, so advertisers competed to buy their commercial time. Scarcity was about control: Those who controlled a scarce resource could set the price for it.

Not anymore. Want to sell your product to a targeted market? You don’t need to fight for a spot on the shelf in 1,00 stores; you can now sell to anyone in the world online. Looking for a dress everyone else doesn’t have when everyone else shops in the same mall? Today you can find no end of choice only a click and a UPS delivery away. Don’t want to buy The New York Times on the newsstand or pay for access to WSJ.com for news on your industry? There are countless sources of the same information. Even if The Journal reports a scoop behind its pay wall, once that knowledge is out – quoted, linked, blogged, aggregated, remixed, and emailed all over – it’s no longer exclusive and rare. It’s no longer possible to maintain that scarcity of information.”

As the world becomes flat we all become equalized and democratized. Success requires newer business models, stronger brands, and deeper focus. Google is only the beginning.

Well done Jeff. Well done.

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