Mo Gawdat – Solve For Happy

Mohammad is the author of the book Solve For Happy. He manages Google’s business in over 50 countries.

Mohammad’s background is as an Engineer, paired with an MBA degree from Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands.

He has an impressive combined career of 23 years, starting at IBM Egypt as a Systems Engineer before moving to a Sales role in the government sector. Venturing in to the UAE, Mohammad joined NCR Abu Dhabi to cover the non-finance sector. He also became acquainted with the consumer goods industry as Regional Manager of BAT. He then assumed various roles at Microsoft over a span of seven and a half years, in his last role at Microsoft he headed the Communications Sector across Emerging Markets worldwide.

Mohammad joined Google in 2007 and continues to focus on his biggest passion; Emerging Markets and the vast degree of diversity and challenges they face. He is fascinated by the role that technology plays in empowering people in these communities and has dedicated his career towards that passion. Over the years, Mohammad has started close to half of Google’s operations worldwide.

Outside of work, when he’s not reading up on business and the latest technology innovations and trends, Mohammad spends his time drawing charcoal portraits, doing mosaics, carpentry and indulging in his passion for restoration of classic cars.

He is also a serial entrepreneur who has cofounded more than 15 businesses in his career. He actively serves as a Board Member in several technology, health and fitness and consumer goods start ups as well as several government technology and innovation boards in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
Considering his vast background, Mohammad speaks Arabic, English, German as well as some Turkish and Russian.


00:00 Trailer.
01:56 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:58 Brian’s introduction.
05:34 The 10 million happy mission. When the goal is worthwhile and it’s working, why hold back.
08:54 The why is the absolute core when upscaling a project like the happy mission.
12:26 We need to think about our values as the coming robotic machines will mimic our characteristics.
17:13 It is up to each one of us to think about how we impact on the happiness of others.
21:10 How can we be happy when the values of our national leaders do not reflect my own?
29:01 Engineer Mo’s rationale behind Solve for Happiness and the 10 million mission measurements.
35:35 Six grand illusions; seven blind spots; five ultimate truths.
43:09 How Mo dealt with his negative thoughts when his son Ali died from a mistake whilst in hospital.
48:04 Mo speaks movingly of his son Ali.
56:40 The concept of Moonshots inside Google X.
1:00:33 if the happiness mission doubling function works, the world will quickly become a better place.
1:04:50 Removing the recent updates which are not good for our operating system.
1:06:42 How pleasure seeking inhibits our ability to find happiness.
1:09:37 What Mo means by blind spots in his book Solve for Happy.
1:12:19 What the ultimate truths are for Mo.
1:14:53 The daily practice that Mo has found beneficial.
1:17:55 The person Mo thinks of as successful.
1:18:24 What keeps Mo awake at night.
1:18:53 What scares Mo.
1:19:51 The two amazing choices Mo made in his life which affected his career and success.
1:21:59 Happiness is integral to the success of Google.
1:22:59 What Mo has changed his mind about in the last few years.
1:24:34 Success secrets
1:25:01 Best advice Mo has ever received.
1:27:36 Advice to the 20-year-old listening.
1:29:49 Brian’s summing up.

Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy

Solve for Happy website


Mo Gawdat on Facebook
Solve for Happy on Twitter
One Billion Happy website
Mo Gawdat TEDx talk

Mo Gawdat on Wikipedia

Topics discussed:
Google X
In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works and Shapes Our Lives
Gross National Happiness (GNH)

People mentioned in this episode:
Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek – Start With Why

Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly – The Inevitable

Sergey Brin
Larry Page
Malcolm Gladwell