Once again I have failed. But at least this time I knew it was coming.
Four years ago I walked away from my last company. I engineered a chain of events that made it both possible and compelling for my former business partners to buy me out. It was to be my early retirement. The timing was perfect for me to ride out the recession, to take care of my parents' health and to spend more time with my teenage son to prepare him for college, who grew up knowing me only as a weekend dad.
But I knew my retirement couldn't last. I knew I have at least one more startup in me, not just for the money but for the joy of living the American Dream.
Today I announce my next project, The Man'ority Report.
I have lived in the United States for more than forty years, starting as a fresh-off-the-boat immigrant child when I was fifteen. Since I plan to live to be ninety-five, today is merely the midpoint of my life as an American.
I have watched America grow and I have watched America endure. I love America.
My experience is that America has become a much more culturally diverse society. My neighbors don't see me as an "oriental" anymore. They see me as a husband, a son, a father, an engineer or an entrepreneur who happens to have an Asian heritage.
But in my opinion, America has become overly timid and overly sensitive. And by being so polite and tentative, we have lost our competitive edge in the global marketplace.
It is tough to have a conversation, to crack a joke or to write a blog without offending someone. It is not acceptable anymore to just say what we think. Expressing our unvarnished thoughts is now considered impolite and inconsiderate.
Instead, we learn to couch our opinions and utter only what other people what to hear. We don't do that out of understanding. We do it because we are afraid that we might inadvertently say something that would insult someone.
We have accepted a zero tolerance policy to avoid any appearance of being a jerk.
Ironically, by wanting to be politically correct at all times, we actually turn our society into one that is potentially more intolerant. Since it is so easy to offend someone, our preference is to only speak to those who are more like us. And when we do speak to people who are different, we tend to yell in order to be heard.
I believe part of the reason is that in the last forty years, America has gradually become a victim society. It is now part of our institution. To stay out of trouble, we learn to be apprehensive about someone's gender, age, heritage, race, religion, physique, accent, sexual preference, animal affinity, dietary practice and social standing ... especially if we believe they might come from a historical background where they were once victimized, even if that injustice was done generations ago.
This has to stop. As a naturalized American, I have always been a minority. But I have never thought of myself as a victim. Given a choice, I would prefer to hear from someone who tells me what they think, and not what they think I want to hear.
I believe being brutally honest and speaking our mind is what had made America such a great country in the past. It is our frontier spirit. It was the reason the pilgrams sailed the Atlantic and the reason my ancestors crossed the Pacific.
According to some studies, as our population continues to age, men will become the new minority, both from birth and from death. I hate to think that in the next forty years, men would also become the next victim class, hiding behind some institutionalized shield.
I don't expect honesty on all levels. But I do expect honesty with myself. I have done it for the last forty years. I like to do it for another forty.
The idea of the Man'ority Report is simple. It is targeted for men or those who care about men. In other words, its membership is not restricted to men, just men's perspective.
The Man'ority Report will be an online community built on top of Google Plus. But given that Google Plus currently allows only participation from real people, it basically means that we are slightly ahead of our time. But I am confident that Google will allow branding soon so the wait should be a short wait.
The Man'ority Report will also be an opt-in experience. In other words, all published posts and subsequent discussions will be visible to only those who elected to be in our circle. If you are offended, then don't opt-in. Also, if you are just a jerk and have nothing interesting to say, we will opt you out. It's a free country.
There is no constraints to the topics to be discussed. Although I am guessing giving that eight baby bloomers are retiring every minute, most of our members would be youth-challenged as well as Estrogen-challenged. So we will talk honestly about health, wealth, family, technology, entrepreneurship, sports and politics, etc. Time will tell.
I am also hoping that we will make use of what we learned from LoveMyTool, that eventually some of its articles would be from regular contributors to be compensated by contributions from sponsors and advertisers. Again time would tell.
Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone.