If you’ve ever wanted to game happiness, then do we have the Solve for Happy show for you.

Today I’ll be talking with Mo Gawdat, the Chief Business Officer for Google X and the author of an incredibly touching and powerful new book and treatise on happiness, Solve for Happy: Engineer Your Path to Joy.

And that’s just what I want to talk with him about today, how to solve for happy, and engineer your own path to joy.




Mo Gawdat is the Chief Business Officer for Google [X], a serial entrepreneur and author of “Solve for Happy.”

Mo has an impressive combined career of 27 years, starting at IBM Egypt as a Systems Engineer before moving to a sales role in the government sector. Venturing in to the UAE, Mo joined NCR Abu Dhabi to cover the non-finance sector. He then became acquainted with the consumer goods industry as Regional Manager of BAT. At Microsoft he assumed various roles over a span of seven and a half years, in his last role at Microsoft he headed the Communications Sector across Emerging Markets worldwide.

Mo joined Google in 2007 to kick-start its business in Emerging Markets. He is fascinated by the role that technology plays in empowering people in emerging communities and has dedicated years of his career towards that passion. Over a period of 6 years, Mo started close to half of Google’s operations worldwide.

In 2013 he moved to Google’s infamous innovation arm, Google [X] where he led the business strategy, planning, sales, business development and partnerships. [X] does not attempt to achieve incremental improvements in the way the world works, but instead, it tries to develop new technologies that will reinvent the way things are and deliver a radical, ten fold—10X—improvement. This leads to seemingly SciFi ideas such as: Project Loon, which aims to use high-altitude balloons to provide affordable internet access to the 5 billion people on every square inch of our planet, Project Makani, aiming to revolutionize wind energy generation using autonomous carbon fiber kites as well as Self driving cars, Google Life Sciences, and many more. The business team under Mo’s leadership has designed innovative business models analogous to the disruptive technologies [X] creates, and has created deep partnerships and global deals that enabled [X] to thrive and build products fit for the real world.

Alongside his career, Mo remained a serial entrepreneur who has cofounded more than 20 businesses in fields such as health and fitness, food and beverage and real estate. He served as a board member in several technology, health and fitness and consumer goods companies as well as several government technology and innovation boards in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. He mentors tens of start-ups at any point in time.

Mo Gawdat is the author of “Solve for Happy: Engineering Your Path to Joy” (2017). Through his 12 year research on the topic of happiness, he created an algorithm and a repeatable well engineered model to reach a state of uninterrupted happiness regardless of the circumstances of life. Mo’s happiness model proved highly effective. And, in 2014, was put to the ultimate test when Mo lost his son Ali to preventable medical error during a simple surgical procedure. Solve For Happy is the pillar for a mission Mo has committed to as his personal moonshot, a mission to deliver his happiness message to 10 million people around the world.

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


Mo Gawdat Online: Website | Facebook

Key Topics:

  • What exactly is Google X, now called X?
  • What’s it mean to fall in love with the problem, not the product?
  • What are a few things Google X is working on?
  • What’s the idea behind 10x’ing something?
  • What’s the importance of starting with a blank slate?
  • What are moonshots?
  • What did Mo begin doing at age 8 to accelerate his growth?
  • What was school like in Egypt for Mo?
  • What happened when Mo moved to Dubai?
  • What was life like as a trader?
  • How was he feeling at the time?
  • What happened after he bought 2 classic Rolls Royce’s
  • Why did he decide to game happiness?
  • When was his son Ali born and his daughter Aya?
  • What was Ali like?
  • What was his outlook on life?
  • What was the tattoo he wore on his back?
  • How did he like to play the game halo?
  • Where’d he end up going to school and what was it like having him so far away?
  • What did he begin asking people about in the last year of his life?
  • What happened when his son called him with a sense of urgency?
  • What did he sit down and tell his family when he came home to visit?
  • What happened to him during his visit?
  • Why did Mo decide to write a book on happiness?
  • What was the Arabic proverb Mo’s mom always taught him?
  • How do we set up the equation for happiness?
  • What’s the happiness equation?
  • What’s a happy list and how do we use it?
  • What can we learn from a classic Saab 900 about life?
  • What can we learn about the state of confusion?
  • What can we learn about the state of joy?
  • What’s the happiness model?
  • What’s it mean that I am, therefore my brain thinks?
  • What did his five year old daughter teach him about happiness?
  • What can we learn from tragedy about life?
  • What does living legendary have to do with anything?
  • What’s the importance of making a game hard?
  • What can we learn from the lyrics to the Portal game’s song “Still Alive”
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