Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler is a roadmap on how to create extraordinary change in the world using exponential technologies, moonshot thinking and crowd-powered tools.
Both Steven and Peter’s energy and optimism is infectious. I enjoyed their ideas on 10x thinking and preparing for an exponential future.
The book is premised on the idea that exponential technologies are rapidly transforming the world, outpacing today’s linear-thinking organisations and individuals. Exponential technologies refer to any technology that is accelerating on an exponential growth curve.
“Without the right mindset, entrepreneurs have no chance of success. If you think you can or can’t – well, you’re right.”
Diamandis says thinking boldly is not just technologically difficult, it’s also incredibly psychologically difficult. The book suggests three psychological strategies for upgrading your mindset, and going big and bold.
1. Recondition your mental frame to pursue difficult goals.
“Big goals help focus attention, and they make us more persistent. The result is we’re much more effective when we work, and much more willing to get up and try again when we fail.”
2. Work in isolation.
“…isolation stimulates risk-taking, encouraging ideas weird and wild and acting as a counter-force to organizational inertia.”
Organizational inertia is the notion that once any company achieves success, its desire to develop and champion radical new technologies and directions is often tempted by the much stronger desire to not disrupt existing markets.
3. Rapid iteration (as a strategy to mitigate risk).
“…as most experiments fail, real progress requires trying out tons of ideas, decreasing lag time between trials, and increasing knowledge gained from results.” This rapidly accelerates the learning cycle.
Reid Hoffman (founder of Linkedin) says that if you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.
Peter Diamandis: Bold & Abundant Thinking
“The world’s grandest challenges contain the world’s biggest opportunities.”
“The road to bold is paved with failure, and this means having a strategy in place to handle risk and learn from mistakes is crucial.”
“We all learn from out mistakes, but until recently, mistakes were too costly for entrepreneurs to make with wanton abandon. This too has changed. Infinite computing demonetizes error-making, thus democratising experimentation. No longer do we have to immediately dismiss outlandish ideas for the waste of time and resources they invariably incur. Today we can try them all.”
“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. The same is true for ideas.”
“Moonshots, by their definition, live in that gray area between audacious projects and pure science fiction. Instead of mere 10 percent gains, they aim for 10x (meaning ten times) improvements—that’s a 1000 percent increase in performance.”
“Massively up the amount of novelty in your life; the research shows that new environments and experiences are often the jumping-off point for new ideas (more opportunity for pattern recognition).”
Steven Kotler Wikipedia
Anesh Kalan is a M.Sc. Information Technology student at the University of Cape Town.
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