The Magic Bike Company


Welcome to the Magic Bike Company! Where students discover methods for turning thoughts into ideas and ideas into business plans. Hopefully, these plans create new innovative companies that produce products and services that surprise and delight.
There’s something fundamentally good about entrepreneurship: Starting a business can help people improve their livelihoods, and new ideas can improve standards of living. Entrepreneurship isn’t entirely fair (some people will always have more advantages than others), but it does provide a crucial avenue of economic mobility. Let's get started with a lesson from Steve Jobs!
Quote Icon I think one of the things that really separates us from the high primates is that we’re tool builders. I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to move a kilometer. And, humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing, about a third of the way down the list. It was not too proud a showing for the crown of creation. So, that didn’t look so good. But, then somebody at Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of locomotion for a man on a bicycle. And, a man on a bicycle, a human on a bicycle, blew the condor away, completely off the top of the charts. And that’s what a computer is for me. What a computer is to me is it’s the most remarkable tool that we’ve ever come up with, and it’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds. Quote Icon ~ Steve Jobs
Quote Icon Sure, profit is important, but 'sell more stuff we already have at greater margins' is hardly an idea that will set the world on fire. And setting the world on fire is why we’re here, it is why we get up in the morning. Maybe not the whole world, but our own little corner of the world, for sure. This might sound corny, but the best companies, products, and brands never forget a simple truth: Though we all need to pay the bills, we also need life to feel magical and wondrous at the same time. And that’s where the real long term value lies. Quote Icon ~ Hugh MacLeod at gapingvoid art
Quote Icon It's not that everyone should start a company, it's the fact that a career ladder is no longer a reliable model for how you do your work and pursue your career. The Good grades — Good university — Good career path model has been broken for years, by globalization and technology's disruption of industry. The model for how to think about your life, career, and work is different. How entrepreneurs think about product market fit, product differentiation, creative risks, all apply to how you, as an individual, live your life. Quote Icon ~ Reid Hoffman
Quote Icon To survive in today’s complex world, organizations need to generate, embrace, and execute on new ideas. That takes creativity and a creatively capable workforce. It’s the secret sauce, or in evolutionary terms, it’s what keeps you fit. Organizations without it can’t compete. When we first think of creative organizations, design firms, advertising agencies, or tech startups typically come to mind. Building a creative workforce takes more than hiring a bunch of designers and hosting happy hours. It requires a mindset shift that begins with leadership. Holding a curious mindset is a great starting point when you’re leading your team or organization. If you’re in a truly new space, you won’t always know the answers. Your team won’t either. You’re going to venture into the unknown together. Asking questions is one of the best ways to practice a curious mindset — questions that challenge assumptions, inspire others, open up a broader context, and cause reflection. Quote Icon ~ Ideo Design Thinking
Steven Johnson author of Where good ideas come from - The Natural History of Innovation, posits that
Quote Icon Patterns of innovation deserve recognition in part, because it's intrinsically important to understand why good ideas emerge historically, and in part because by embracing these patterns we can build environments that do a better job of nurturing good ideas. We can think more creatively if we open our minds to the many connected environments that make creativity possible.Quote Icon
Innovation is often remixing and cross-pollinating ideas. Most discovery starts with curiosity. Can this be done? Can this be improved? Why won't this work? The main difference between innovators and the rest of us is that innovators ask more and better questions “and they are more driven to find answers and embrace them, even if the answers are first not what they wanted or expected to find.” - Amanda Lang author of The Power of Why
To be an artist is to live suspended above the abyss between recognition and artistic value, never quite knowing whether your art will land on either bank, or straddle both, or be swallowed by the fathomless pit of obscurity. We never know how our work stirs another mind or touches another heart, how it tenons into the mortise of the world. We never know who will discover it in a year or a generation or a century and be salved by it, saved by it! That is the personal risk you take being creative!
Quote Icon To my mind, one of the most important aspects of a college education is that it provides a vigorous stimulus to independent thinking. The desire to know more about the different side of a question, a craving to understand something of the opinions of other peoples and other times mark the educated man. Education should not put the mind in a straitjacket of conventional formulas but should provide it with the nourishment on which it may unceasingly expand and grow. Think for yourselves! Absorb knowledge wherever possible and listen to the opinions of those more experienced than yourself, but don't let anyone do your thinking for you.Quote Icon — James Bryant Conant, speaking to Harvard undergraduates just two years after Hitler had come to power in Germany.
And, that is the purpose of the Magic Bike Company. To teach you how to think for yourself!