I’m in New York for a couple of months, working on a combination of business and personal projects.  I’m loving the experience…..

The year started with a chance to see one of my favourite authors, Seth Godin, speak about his new book “The Icarus Deception”.  The Video below gives you a nice flavour of what the books (and the overall project) is about.

At Seth’s talk at the Haft Auditorium in Manhattan, his focus was on how people needed to find their art. It’s a continued theme in Seth’s writing to not conform, not be a cog in the machine, be unique, be a linchpin. He talked passionately about the “Power of Connection”. That the “More we connect – the “richer” we get!”. This resonates so much with the work I am doing with Climbing Fish – my new venture with John Lynch.

Seth also talked about the new “Connection Economy” and how it is created by the generosity of individuals mixed with their art.

It was a great couple of hours – and I got to shake hands with the great man (smaller than me – but we share the same hairdresser!)

Seth Godin and Phil O'Brien at launch of "The Icarus Deception"

Seth Godin and Phil O’Brien at launch of “The Icarus Deception”

In the evening, I attended one of Seth’s Icarus session in New York via Meetup. The room at NYC Alley (by coincidence my new co-working space for the next month) was filled with Seth Fans who did an individual pitch of their “art” for 140 Seconds. Mine is below…. Thanks Seth for making me stand up and share my art….

Good evening – My name is Phil O’Brien. As you can tell from my accent, I am an Englishman living in New York for a while.

My art is connecting people. I like to help connect the dots of people’s lives. It gives me energy – it’s my passion. I love listening to people, strangers. Trying to find something of their essence – and then connecting them to someone I know, or another stranger that I meet, a person who has a fresh perspective that will help each of them to grow.

I’m working on a project called Climbing Fish. The name comes from the Einstein quote: “Everyone is a Genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid.”

I’m trying to develop and refine my “off-line” connecting art – and see if there is any way to take what I’ve learnt to accelerate connections on-line. I believe that conversations with strangers help people discover new paths, rewire their thinking, help their quest to rediscover genius. Sadly we’ve lost the appetite for serendipitous conversations in this time managed, too many meetings, over connected world.

I’d love to chat with any of you strangers/you geniuses – let me buy you a coffee or a beer.

I want to help you cast off your LinkedIn “game face”, your CV, your resume. Leave behind for a little while your Family/Facebook/Friends who often don’t want you to rock your boat – or indeed theirs.

I’d like to help you explore through conversations with strangers your undiscovered genius, maybe add fire to your “mild rage” or give you a whole new perspective. I believe this could change you, the people you meet and maybe the world for better – and help us all rediscover our art!

Let me see if I can help connect some dots for you. I’d appreciate you helping me to become a better connector – and to practice my art.

Please do come and say hi – or email me at [email protected]. And if you are the cautious type and you want to learn more about me – please go to philobrien.com. Thank you