Tom Friedman’s Imagined in America op-ed in Wednesday’s New York Times points to a dangerous fact: Americans have lost the fire in their bellies and that competitive spirit – probably as a result of being number one for too long and getting a little too
comfortable at the top. And yes, imagination may be the primary domain of a child – but this is no child’s play. In fact, maybe it is here where the child teaches the parent.
Imagination and innovation may have lapsed in the USA and there is a reason why:
resting on our laurels of being #1 for too long has created the mindset of a loser, or someone who seems to be content with 2nd or 3rd place. What America needs a reminder of is something very simple and is at the forefront of every true competitor’s mind on sports fields, stadiums,and yes – some boardrooms and offices across the country. Even Charlie Sheen knows what that is – duh, winning.
The competitive outdoor swimmer featured on the October 22, 2011 cover of the Sports section in the New York Times in Walden Pond does not go to practice at nine, go to
lunch for an hour, and return to practice for the afternoon and leave at five. He does
not take two week vacations or go in and out of an office each day collecting benefits.
He eats, drinks, sleeps, and lives swimming. He does not get out of the water because
he is tired and cold, although his body tells him otherwise. His mental stamina,
commitment, and focus on achieving his goal will help him to become number one in his sport. If America is to remain #1, then the American people must innovate,
revolutionize, and yes – compete as if we are all going for that gold medal. That wide
world of sports is not the only playing field where we can achieve it either.
The X Prize Foundation fosters innovation in education & global development,
energy & the environment, the life sciences, and exploration through high stakes ($1,000,000 to $10,000,000+) competition. In fact, teams just competed in the
Wendy Schmidt Oil Spill Cleanup X Challenge to develop new technology for oil spill
cleanups. Guess who won? An Illinois-based team, Elastec/American Marine,
proving that “Made in America” is very much alive and well. It just needed that extra
carrot dangled in front of it. In the end and in the words of the winning team, it was not
about the money, but the sense of achievement and making the impossible, possible
that made Team Elastec go that extra mile to create the winning technology that
captures an unprecedented 4,670 gallons per minute. Duh, winning!!!!
The X Prize just announced a three year multi-million dollar partnership with
Shell to promote exploration of land, sea and space. You can see the press conference
The Archon Genomics X Prize sponsored by Medco is a $10,000,000 competition
for teams to design and build a rapid and inexpensive technology proving they can
accurately sequence the whole human genome. The X Prize is making an
announcement related to this prize this coming Wednesday in New York City. In 2004,
the Ansari $10,000,000 X Prize gave birth to an entirely new industry –
private space travel. Now, the stakes are even higher: the $30,000,000 Google
Lunar X Prize will go to the first privately funded team to send a robot to the
So whatever it is the American people prize – whether it’s clean oceans, space or
deep ocean exploration, finding a cure for cancer, eradicating poverty,
educating every child, building affordable homes for disaster and/or
impoverished areas -the X Prize is offering American individuals and corporations
a gold medal opportunity.Now let’s get to work and keep reaching for that gold.
Resting on laurels and being a spectator is not an option in the mind of a winner.
Now each one of us has the opportunity to ask what we prize and know that yes –
making the impossible, possible and winning that gold medal is still very much within
By the way, given the ratings on Two & a Half Men and Charlie Sheen’s payout, recent interviews and a big dose of reality, it seems like the tides have turned again and
Charlie Sheen might be back to winning again. Who is going to have that last laugh is
yet to be determined, but right now it seems he might have been on to something. But
life is not a dress rehearsal and The United States of America is no Two and a Half Men.
We have a great team, so let’s get to work on winning again and making Made in
America our anthem once again.
President, Ammo Communications
I Prize Made in America