Intellectual Transcendence and Entrepreneurial Opportunity Part 6: Who Am I? Putting the “I” in Internet

[Think of] the porous state of our Internet selves, the trail of electronic crumbs we leave every day.”

— Susan Orlean

“The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.”

— Bill Gates

Today I’m writing the final post in this tech-related series, inspired by the film Transcendence, which I liked almost as much as I loved the film I, Robot. As you know, I’m a Fem Geek who likes tech so much that I’ve been writing about 5 questions I have, which I’ve been trying to answer using my NICE lens. My raison d’être as both an educator and entrepreneur has been balancing humanity and technology and promoting change through humor and the careful calibration and balance of purpose and profit; things our present society so desperately needs. It’s why I have social entrepreneurship leanings, and wrote about using it, and humor, in my  book,  The NICE Reboot: A Guide to Becoming A Better Female Entrepreneur- How to Balance Your Cravings for Humanity & Technology in Today’s Startup Culture. It’s why I was so excited about Apple’s WWDC keynote last Monday, and blogged about it on LinkedIn, which you can read here.

We have officially entered the iEra of digital citizenship, where crossing the tech chasm and thinking like a child can provide new entrepreneurial opportunity; something I already wrote about for The Huffington Post. You can read my takeaways on technology here, and my takeaways from a child here. I believe that mobile technology, particularly Apple iOS8, will play a huge role in both the education and entrepreneurship arenas in the days to come. I will be monitoring both the big reveals and the fallout from the WWDC 2014, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I want to revisit the 5 questions I’ve asked in this series on WordPress, 4 of which I tried to answer. Today’s post is about the final question; which has particular relevance in light of Apple’s iOS8 tweaks such as Handoff, extensions, and the soon to be released OS X Yosemite for Mac.

My 5 questions to ponder, and 5 implications for entrepreneurship:

1. Do you ever really know another person? Implications for social media avatars and digital marketing trends i.e. storytelling
2. What does it mean to truly connect with others and understand their needs? Implications for marketing and problem solving
3. Are you self aware, how do you know? Implications for the ‘trep mindset and journey vs. outcome
4. How can technology be harnessed to further humanity? Implications for ed-tech startups and mobile app development, especially in healthcare and underdeveloped countries
5. Is the Internet the great equalizer because of ease of communication or because of ease of content curation? Implications for the glass ceiling and women entrepreneurship and thought leadership, especially in the current blogosphere

Is the Internet the great equalizer because of ease of communication or because of ease of content curation? Implications for the glass ceiling and women entrepreneurship and thought leadership, especially in the current blogosphere:

  • The Internet: The Great Equalizer?

The evolution of the Internet means changes to the future of work, not just how we live. It’s why it is watched closely and commented on by many people concerned about ramifications for The Internet of Things, The Internet of Everything, machine learning, and technology in general. While those things are definitely on my radar, the human aspect; how we use the Internet for the greater good and benefit of mankind, is really on my mind. The Internet is The Great Equalizer for people around the world who know how to harness its power for content curation AND communication….leading to greater entrepreneurial opportunity for ALL.

  • Implications for the Future of Women Entrepreneurship:

I believe that both service-based and product-based entrepreneurs are at a crossroads re: balancing humanity & technology, where the lines will be further blurred because of what the Internet can do for us re: productivity, education, politics, social technology and communications,  social enterprise, and social reform. 

This is great news for women entrepreneurs; many of whom have been at the proverbial “clubhouse window”, outside looking in. Why?Because of cultural factors impacting on career choice and access to venture capital. Because of biological realities re: motherhood. As the psychological and physiological gatekeepers of today’s dual income home, (which is a necessity and not a luxury!), and its subsequent juggling act re: work/life balance, (the real “longest show on earth”!), female entrepreneurship is riskier than male entrepreneurship; on so many levels.

I know many women entrepreneurs who’ve struggled to succeed and are constantly redefining what that success entails. Many have been subject to the glass ceiling because of the confidence gap, the gender gap re: leadership, and the mentor-sponsor gap so many of us experience. Many of us know the truth about the sacrifices it takes to be a female business owner in our current startup culture, which can resemble the set of The Hunger Games! 

Many of us learn (sometimes the hard way, and often after making mistakes and getting delayed or detoured) which questions we should really be asking when starting a business. Which questions to ask ourselves and each other, on a regular basis, kind of like taking one’s temperature. We owe it to the Sisterhood; past/present/future to use our “soft skills” and tech-savvy to help, promote, educate, and impact on female entrepreneurship as a whole.

That’s why I love these quotes which I’ve previously posted myself and shared on my Twitter feed, and told people at my recent book signing at BookExpo America at the Javits Center in Manhattan:

“Girls compete with each other. Women support one another.”


“There’s a special place in Hell for women who don’t help, and especially sabotage the Sisterhood”. 

  • Implications for Thought Leadership for Women in Business

Thought leadership used to be considered the domain of educators, something I shared in this Slideshare deck. Thought leadership is and content curation are essential to the modern, tech-savvyy female entrepreneur as well, who provides leadership and virtual mentorship because it’s the right thing to do, not just a social media marketing ploy or attempt to be transparent. That’s why I created this book trailer for my NICE Initiative, which surprised many people, even women! That’s why I blog; here, on Tumblr, on LinkedIn, and for The Huffington Post. I feel that blogging is an important collaborative and educational tool in a woman entrepreneur’s toolbox that can be wielded to:

  1. Provide emotional resonance by showing other viewpoints and that you “get” them, especially when you cite other people’s posts in yours, which is how we learn, how we display social media etiquette, and happens to be one of my stylistic structures (as well as providing 2 quotes to start each post 🙂
  2. Showcase the power and pitfalls of today’s startup culture; especially for women founders!As someone in the educational and entrepreneurial arena I’ve been pondering my physical and psychological workflows and how to bridge my posts. What do networking and blogging via social media have in common? Content Curation for sharing purposes. To add value to “the conversation”, and to grow one’s Theory of Mind and multiple intelligences.

But how does that facilitate creativity/innovation, something needed in ALL professions and in all individuals, to forestall inertia/stagnant thinking? Because the Internet, especially social media, allows for both greater access to content, and to networking opportunities.

Networking is an active process that’s needed for today’s global economy and fast paced, technologically driven culture; physically and mentally. Much is written about the benefits of networking and content curation for thought leadership and social media marketing purposes; two areas integral to the workplace. But learning style, Theory of Mind, and episodic memory all shape/color the lens that a person uses for networking, professional development, and content curation. That’s why I’m active on several digital platforms and invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter! (I’m great at responding to messages 🙂

Content curation is also an active learning process needed for today’s global economy requiring increased collaborative synergy and digital citizenship. Both require honing one’s creativity, which many erroneously believe is a spontaneous outcome of experience. I believe that it’s actually an organized response to EFFORT!

The evolution of the Internet has been propelled by human thought AND action, much like small business success. It takes initiative and travel, implementing the five stages of creativity,  and integrating digital thought leadership with entrepreneurial opportunitiy to truly succeed in today’s startup culture. To actually increase efficiency, harness time, and build better female role models; one day and blogpost at a time.

We are all here to build better versions of ourselves, to make a memorable contribution to the world, and to share our story with others. To create a cohesive and and creative symphony with those who cross our paths. To implement our individual user-interface AKA UI in a more seamless and collaborative manner using our humanity and technology, especially mobile apps and advances in artificial intelligence AKA AI. It’s something Apple has always understood, and why I think it wanted Beats, a worthy acquisition. It’s something that every entrepreneur needs to learn and internalize.

So here’s to learning, to your intellectual transcendence, and to increasing your entrepreneurial opportunity! Here’s to balancing your humanity and technology in today’s startup culture! Here’s to reframing your Story, your successes and failures, and your overall mission. Here’s to growing; professionally and personally, and making each day count! Thanks to my Twitterati pal and colleague Arlene Newbigging Grady for sharing the Lifehack quote by Anthony D’Angelo (below) and to one of the Internet’s greatest gifts – Pinterest, for the other photo at the bottom of this post!

To borrow that immortal line from Walt Whitman’s poem, made timeless in the film Dead Poet’s Society and again by Apple and in the iPad Air commercial featuring narration by Robin Williams……

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.


What will your verse be?








About penina4niceinitiative

Penina Rybak MA/CCC-SLP, TSHH, CEO of Socially Speaking LLC, is the author of "The NICE Reboot: A Guide to Becoming a Better Female Entrepreneur". She is an Autism specialist and educational technology consultant turned social entrepreneur. She is also a pediatric speech therapist and the creator of the Socially Speaking™ Program & iPad App. Her second book, "Autism Intervention in the iEra" was published in 2015. Since 2010, Penina has been a national/international speaker about social communication development, balancing humanity and technology, and best practices re: mobile and social technology. Connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more. You can also find her on Twitter: @PopGoesPenina, Facebook: Socially Speaking LLC, Google+ at The NICE Initiative for Female Entrepreneurship, and Pinterest and YouTube as well.
This entry was posted in Balancing Humanity & Technology, Digital Footprint, Female Entrepreneurship, Musings on Humanity, Social Entrepreneurship, Social Media & Entrepreneurship, Thought Leadership and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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