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👀 An honest look in the mirror
This week's newsletter is a bit different.
We are doing a tough evaluation of the work we've done, and what we intend to change.
That article is found here and also directly below in the newsletter. This week's other articles and news are found beneath it.
The Angry Optimist
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💡 My failures, and what we are doing about it
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
– Thomas Edison
We launched Warp News in late 2020 and, in a little over two years, we’ve built a strong platform and an amazing audience — but we have not broken through.
We are still too small. We need to grow faster if we are to have the positive impact we strive for.
Therefore we are making some changes.
Here is a look in the mirror of what we’ve done right, and wrong. The good, the bad and the ugly. And what we intend to change.
Change the mindset of humanity
We exist to make the future come sooner.
To do that the mindset of humanity must change.
Too many people are pessimistic about the future. Yes, there are still big problems in the world, but in the last decades, almost all of them have gotten a lot smaller. And within the next few decades, we can solve them all. It won’t be easy, but it is possible.
But most people think the world is getting worse and worse.
That is wrong.
This is something the pessimists have fooled them into believing. And the biggest pessimist of them all is the news media.
The news media spreads an unbalanced, overly negative view of the world.
This affects the way we think and the decisions we, as humanity, make.
That must change. And that is our mission.
The good, the bad and the ugly
We have written over one thousand fact-based optimistic news.
We have published some of the smartest people on this planet: Oxford professor David Deutsch, best-selling author Johan Norberg and the rational optimist Matt Ridley. Our most read article is The Case for Optimism by Wired founder Kevin Kelly. It has also been turned into a TED talk with over two million views.
No one has done more to gather the facts we base our optimism on, than Steven Pinker. He is a paying member, a Warp Premium Supporter! As is Wall Street legend, Jim O’Shaughnessy. Sweden’s first astronaut, Christer Fuglesang, is another.
Among our Warp News experts, we find the brilliant minds of Doctor Mouna Esmailzadeh, food tech expert Daniel S. Ruben and DeepMind’s head of public policy, Nicklas Lundblad.
We are backed financially by Stripe founders John and Patrick Collison, the inventor of Google Glass Babak Parviz, and Pet Valu CEO Richard Maltsbarger.
The open rate (a way to measure engagement) of our free newsletter is in the top percent of newsletters worldwide. So is the conversion rate from free to paid membership.
Whenever we are seen in other news media, like on a morning show on tv, we get hundreds or thousands of new readers and subscribers.
We’ve achieved this with very small resources.
The little motor we’ve built is running very nicely.
But the motor (probably an electric motor, right)? is not getting enough power. To few people know that Warp News exists.
That has been our number one failure.
The reasons for that failure are numerous and would make this into a very long text, so I’ll just cut to the number one reason: Me.
The mission of Warp Institute (the foundation behind Warp News) started with me. When I was a Member of Parliament I met so many people creating a better future. Innovating and finding opportunities. I felt such strong optimism.
But when I read about their ideas and inventions, I found only negative headlines and pessimists who called them naive. That made me really angry.
I became an angry optimist.
And out of that, the mission to change the world was born.
I founded Warp Institute and quit Parliament.
When I became a co-founder and CEO of Warp News I made several errors:
- Too many projects.
- Bogged down in administration.
- Too many experiments, but not enough follow-through.
- I didn’t scrutinize and question people enough, so we ended up wasting money on things we shouldn’t have.
I could go on, but you get the point.
My main fault though, was that I didn’t do enough of the thing I’m best at: Spreading the mission of Warp.
Actually, we haven’t done anything ugly. I just threw that in to get your attention. Negative clickbait works. Sorry.
The fix is to focus
Steve Jobs once said about focus: “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are.”
That is what we are doing now.
- Warp Institute is cutting all (good) projects except one: Project Energy Society.
- Warp News will focus on growing the newsletters (and at the same time keeping the strong engagement.)
My time will mostly be spent on spreading the mission of Warp. I will do that by writing much more content for Warp News, giving talks and being seen and heard more in other media.
I can’t spend all of my time on this, there are still administration and meetings. But instead of spending 80 percent of my time on admin, I will spend 80 percent on spreading the message.
You (and hopefully the rest of the world) will hear much more from me, The Angry Optimist.
We need your help!
Since you are reading this you are very likely part of our community, or considering to be. You think the world needs more fact-based optimism. Not that we should ignore problems, but not let them overwhelm us.
There are several things you can do to help:
- Send an email to ten friends and ask them to sign up for our free newsletter.
- Share a news article on your social media.
- Retweet a tweet.
- Like us on Facebook.
- Subscribe to our YouTube channel.
- Book me to give a talk.
And most importantly:
- Subscribe to our free newsletter.
If you join our Referral Program you get points for everything you do, and can win stuff. A so-called win-win 😊
My life’s mission
If I can say so myself, I had a pretty promising political career. When I decided to quit I had just been named to the most powerful committee in Parliament.
But the decision to quit was a no-brainer for me.
I had found my life’s mission.
I was a really angry optimist, and that made me want to change the mindset of humanity. To one where we celebrate optimists, and find pessimists naive.
That is the fastest way to improve the lives of all humans and everything that is living on this planet.
When we have achieved that I won’t be an angry optimist anymore.
Just an optimist.
Here's to the optimists
Other news and articles
🧠 Why are people so pessimistic about the future? Part 3 - our own brains
Our brains are on high alert when it comes to perceived danger. That was great thousands of years ago, but today the world is much less dangerous, and now our instinct makes us pessimistic.
📰 The fear-mongering news media... invited me
Warp News was invited to talk about optimistic news for the newsroom at Expressen.
Fact-based optimistic news of the week
📈 Record numbers of seal pups on the Norfolk Coast
Since the winter of 2019-2020, the number of seal pup births has doubled. This year 3 796 pups were born on the Norfolk Coast.
🧬 "DNA passport" can reduce side effects from medicines by 30 percent
An analysis of genes that code for enzymes that metabolize drugs in the body can help doctors dose drugs so that they don't cause side effects.
⚡ Scientists convert scrap metal into electricity
Combustion of metal powder makes it possible to store energy from solar and wind power and get electricity from it when we need it most.
🍄 Fungi and bacteria will help industry reduce emissions
The same process that breaks down rock into gravel can be used to capture carbon dioxide from industry.