I learned that from Mo Gawdat in the Power MBA
Career, founded companies & learnings from Mo Gawdat
Everyone knows Google. But very few people know Google X. Google X is a subsidiary that pursues so-called Moonshot projects. Google Glass, contact lenses that measure blood sugar, balloons with WiFi – all of these are Google X projects.
Mo Gawdat was Google X’s Chief Business Officer from 2013-2018. He holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and an MBA from the Masstricht School of Management.
After the death of his son, Mo Gawdat dealt intensively with the subject of being happy. He wrote the book the “Formula for Happiness”. From this arose his mission to make one billion people happy.
5 Learnings from Mo Gawdat
2. You are not your thoughts. Our thoughts have a very big influence on our mood. I’ve never doubted that the voice in my head isn’t me. But according to Mo this is only our brain that generates these thoughts. This is not the real you
3. Your expectations make you unhappy. It’s one of the easiest ways to become happier, especially in times of a global pandemic. If you approach a topic with high expectations, disappointment is usually inevitable. Set your expectations as low as possible or, better yet, have no expectations at all. This will make you calmer and happier.
4. Good leaders start with themselves. Only those who can lead themselves can lead others. Look for the right balance in your life. Only when you have your body, your mind, your work and your family in the right balance can you inspire other people and show them the way. 5. Mindfulness is a tool. The best algorithm is only as good as the data it is fed with. The same goes for you. Be mindful of the input you get every day. Only with the right “data” can you move your mind and body forward.
The story of Google X
The X in the company name stands for the X in 10x (ten times). It refers to finding solutions to hard-to-solve problems, with 10-fold effects.
Often projects that want to eliminate such big problems fail because of the business model or the necessary environment to even implement such ideas. Google X offers this space to inventors and companies.
The two Google founders launched the company in 2010. The term Moonshot is also frequently associated with Google X. This means projects that come close in their ambitions to the first moon landing. Science fiction – something that cannot be imagined today. Google X has set three criteria for their projects:
- A big problem in the world that affects millions or billions of people.
- A radical, science fiction sounding solution that seems impossible today.
- A technological breakthrough that gives us a glimmer of hope that the solution could be possible in the next 5-10 years.
Here are 3 projects that have been successfully implemented by Google X:
Internet access means technological progress and prosperity. There are still entire countries that do not have a functioning internet. Google X’s answer to this problem? Gas-filled balloons in the stratosphere. These supply the most remote places with Internet.
The supply of goods or the last mile are a major problem in developing countries. There are no roads or narrow mountain passes to cross. With the help of drones, goods will be transported in the future, if Google X has its way. The drones deliver the goods even to the furthest corners of the world. Test flights are currently taking place in Australia.
Self-driving cars are within reach in 2021. Autonomous driving was one of Google X’s first projects. This has now become Waymo. In parts of the US, self-driving cars such as taxis can be ordered using the app. Science fiction has become reality.
Here`s what you can learn from Mo Gawdat in the Power MBA:
- The way to lasting happiness
- What it takes to be a good leader
- Leadership in the 21st century
The life story of Mo Gawdat
Mo Gawdat was born in Egypt in 1967. He completed the Bachelor of Civil Engineering. He did his MBA at the Masstricht School of Management. He had his first job at IBM Egypt as a systems engineer. He also worked as a day trader and was able to earn a lot of money thanks to his math skills.
He and his family moved from Egypt to the United Arab Emirates. There he worked for companies such as NCR Abu Dhabi, BAT and Microsoft. In 2007 he started his career at Google. There he was responsible for getting Google up and running in emerging markets.
In 2013 he started his career at Google X as Chief Business Officer. There he managed to develop innovative business models with the team members and to transform the Google X products into profitable companies.
During his career as an employee, he managed and founded over 20 companies in the health, fitness, food and real estate sectors. He also oversaw many startups to help them grow.
Despite the steep career, Mo felt more and more unhappy. But he already had everything you could want. A wife, two children, financial freedom and a great job. But still he was depressed. So he started looking at the subject of happiness. As an engineer, he approached the subject very analytically. He saw his body as a machine and wanted to find the problem, why this machine was not working properly. He read every book there was on the subject and attended countless seminars.
By making small changes, he was able to notice more and more improvements in his state of mind until he had managed to overcome his depression in 2010. But in 2013, his son Ali died of routine surgery at the age of 21.
Instead of falling into anger and sadness, the family dealt with Ali’s death very differently. They were grateful that he was allowed to live. They invited all friends and relatives over and celebrated Ali. 17 days after Ali’s death, Mo wrote incessantly on the subject of happiness. He went to his agent with 600 pages of manuscript. In 2017 his book Solve for Happy was published.
The book was so well received and touched so many people that he started the One Billion Happy mission. His personal goal is to make one billion people happy over the long term. If every seventh person in the world is permanently happy, many problems and sufferings in the world would disappear, according to his thesis.
Since 2018 he has only dealt with this topic and can be seen as a speaker at many events. He also started a podcast called Slo Mo, which is exactly about this topic.
Occasionally, he still advises companies and young entrepreneurs on business and leadership issues.