“Bold” is an instruction on how to become rich using the most effective latest tools: exponential technology.
Using real-life examples and step-by-step instructions, the author tells how to turn a startup into a multi-billion dollar company.
Peter H. Diamandis is the founder of the X Prize Foundation and co-founder of Singularity University, an engineer, entrepreneur, physician and space lover. He also co-authored the bestselling Abundance, Stephen Kotler.
Stephen Kotler is a journalist, entrepreneur, and writer who, in addition to co-authoring Abundance, has also published in The New York Times Magazine and Wired.
This book is available as:
Discover the Power of Exponential Growth and Learn How to Use It
The fundamental goal of each company is business growth, its rapid development. What’s the secret?
You must act boldly. A bold company is a company that has uncovered the power of exponential growth.
The book tells how a new technology reveals uncharted facets of exponential growth. The advent of the global Internet community has opened up new growth opportunities that almost 20 years ago existed only in dreams.
Crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, and other ways to harness the power of this community can take a startup out of depression to prosperity in a matter of days.
From the book you will learn:
- How Clarence Johnson designed the first US jet engine in just 143 days;
- How to encourage other people to finance the construction of the pool;
- How to make your plants talk about their needs.
The Exponential Growth of Technology Democratizes the Ability to Change the World
About 66 million years ago, the asteroid wiped out all dinosaurs from the face of the earth, leaving to rule on earth a new species of animals – our little furry ancestors, mammals. At the moment, another monumental event is taking place in the world – the heyday of exponential technology.
And like this fateful asteroid, exponential technology will erase today’s dinosaurs, that is, all the clumsy, denying the company’s innovations.
Our understanding of exponential growth was first formulated by Gordon Moore, the founder of Intel, who noticed that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles sequentially about every 12 to 24 months. This trend of exponential growth has been called Moore’s law.
To understand how Moore’s law affects the world, just think: our smartphones are a million times cheaper and a thousand times more powerful than a 1970 supercomputer.
When a tool or technology is digitized, for example, photographs were previously stored on film, and now exist as zeros and ones, their level of growth becomes exponential. After digitization, photography became so widespread and popular that companies were soon ready to pay huge sums to get into the stream. Facebook, for example, bought Instagram for a cool sum of $ 1 billion. Exponential technology, in addition to giving us such elegant gadgets as smartphones, democratizes the ability to change the world.
3D printing, for example, accelerates the democratization of production. Thanks to 3D printing, the manufacture of a new car project no longer requires the construction of a completely new factory. Having the necessary resources, almost everyone can do it. Today, parts printed on a 3D printer are in almost every car, and someday it will be possible to print the whole machine in one place.
On a smaller scale, some experts think that 3D printers will become a solid investment in the household. A 3D printer can quickly produce enough products to recoup its cost; if each of us had one, it would definitely change world production.
Exponential Technologies Offer the Greatest Business Development Opportunities in the World.
Today, an advanced entrepreneur needs to know which exponential technologies are on the verge of wide availability.
One such technology, Artificial Intelligence (IR), will soon become part of our daily lives. Some of these machines have already reached the level of almost human development.
For example, Ray Kurzweil, co-founder of Singularity University, is engaged in the development of IR with an understanding of natural speech. In other words, he teaches computers to understand the most subtle nuances in both oral and written speech. Its success will have significant consequences.
If they could ask our machines complex questions, and they could answer, basing their speech not only on logic but also on emotions, an understanding of the world of machines with IR could become equal or even surpass the human one. In fact, Kurzweil believes that machines will surpass us in terms of development until 2029.
Another technology that is on the verge of mass distribution is sensory technology. A sensor is any device that detects information, such as temperature or vibration. Connected to the network, these sensors can transmit the received information to us.
When sensor prices fall, our imagination will be the only limitation on how to use them.
With each technical breakthrough, the number of sensors increases. To get an idea of how many sensors exist now, imagine what will happen if you take all the iPads and iPhones of the world, remove the sensors from them and put them on the ground. In 2012, the total area covered by these sensors would be 2,000 football fields. In 2015 , this area will increase 3 times. In other words, there will be enough sensors on the ground.
With the increasing availability of sensors, new opportunities for innovation are emerging. On a small scale: for example, now there are devices that empower your home plants to send you messages that they need watering, and beer mugs can tell you how much beer you had during Oktoberfest. The possibilities are endless.
The skunk method helps entrepreneurs complete cutting-edge projects in record time.
In 1944, German military jet engines cut the skies over Europe, and the United States did not yet have the technology to help the Allies fight back.
Then came the Skunk’s Cabinet, a small group of engineers and mechanics who were given freedom of action to develop a military jet engine of their choice. They have achieved overwhelming success.
In just 143 days, the Skunk’s Cabinet presented the United States with its first American military jet engine; they are 7 days ahead of schedule. Usually, developers do not have enough of this time even to complete the necessary documents!
The team continued its activities and began construction of the most famous aircraft in the world, including U-2 and stealth fighters.
These developments helped the United States maintain its position during the Cold War and inspired many companies that wanted to be innovative and daring by creating their own “skunk cabinets”. Steve Jobs, for example, created the first Macintosh by renting a small building and inviting 20 brilliant developers there.
The skunk methodology promotes the development of bold, exponential entrepreneurship by setting a clear goal, isolating the team from corporate bureaucracy and then supporting the state of flow, that is, a state of consciousness in which people feel one hundred percent and work accordingly – a state of complete immersion in the current worker process.
The person who invented the Skunk’s Cabinet, Clarence “Kelly” Johnson, worked according to the set of rules, which set his team a clear goal (to save the world from the threats of Nazism). He also provided them with the isolation that was necessary for productive work. Free from corporate shackles, his people were constantly experimenting, and successes, failures and insights quickly replaced each other.
The ability to quickly give out ideas for goods is the goal of the skunk method. Entrepreneurs who hope to use it, need to give free rein to immerse themselves in work. Only in this way will they be able to enter a state of flow that will increase concentration and add drive to expand the boundaries of innovation.
To Succeed in Your Idea, You Have to Conquer People With Your Super Authority
To realize any grandiose, bold idea, you will need support.
You need to surround yourself with a large number of people who not only believe in your idea but find it so impressive that they want to join you. To win people, your idea will need super authority.
To understand what it takes, just think: the author and his partner, Eric Anderson, have devoted 3 years to develop the credibility of their planetary resources company, which specializes in the industrial development of asteroids. All this time they kept the existence of the company a secret, throwing all their strength into giving credibility to the idea.
One way was to create a group of billionaire investors who wanted to finance the project and become its co-founders. By the time the company began its work, these wise businessmen with the help of several highly qualified space engineers made the project, not just trustworthy, but super-authoritative.
But it’s not necessary to attract billionaires and “know-it-alls” to give credibility to the idea of the project. These three simple steps will help you achieve your goal: start with those who have already seen your success, slow down and carefully plan your idea.
Coming back: when the author was a college student and had no connections with investors, he was nevertheless able to realize his bold dream – he discovered new space areas. He was very upset that NASA turned out to be a very closed agency, in which there were only military-industrial vacancies. Therefore, he founded his own organization – SEDS (Students for Space Exploration and Development).
The success of SEDS allowed him to gain credibility for the next step. He slowed down to have enough time to organize a conference to discuss the idea of creating an International Space University (ISU).
The secret of the super-credibility of the project and the embodiment of MKU into reality was the way of presenting the information. A detailed plan was presented at the conference, reflecting the future structure of the MCU, and the presentation of this plan was made by the most experienced and respected project consultants. It is important to conduct a study and present it correctly.
Exponential Entrepreneurs Need Passion and Optimism
If you want to know what worldview is needed to create a world-changing multi-billion dollar company, you need to look at the already accomplished success.
Turning to some famous entrepreneurs of our time, we can understand what psychological strategies exponential businessmen need.
Take Elon Musk, for example.
He is a serial entrepreneur who has turned the banking world upside down and built 4 multibillion companies – PayPal, Tesla Motors automobile company, SpaceX aerospace company, and SolarCity energy company. He constantly sets long-term goals and is always enthusiastic about new projects.
Musk believes that the main secret of his success was a passion, determination and an optimistic approach to his own creativity.
After studying business and physics in college, he was unable to get a job at Netscape, which he considered the only interesting Internet company. But instead of being upset, he simply began to study coding on his own and created Zip2, an application that allowed companies to publish online content, such as maps and directory listings. This startup was so successful that Compaq eventually bought it for $ 307 million.
Another example of an optimist who made himself is Sir Richard Branson.
The notorious rebel, known for his courage, Branson always maintained an indomitable disposition, which became the cause of many adventures. He founded Virgin Music, which he turned into one of the largest record companies in the world, and Virgin Airlines.
Branson leads the thirst for adventure, which became his main engine at the initial stage of his career. Maybe this explains the fact that he founded about 400 enterprises!
His rationale is this: if he likes something, for example, high-quality airlines, which make people scream with delight, it means that someone else will like the same thing.
Crowdsourcing Allows an Online Audience to Do All the Work for You
Making your yellow-handed startup grow exponentially is a pretty daunting task. Fortunately, there are some great tools at your disposal. New communication technologies, for example, bring people together around the world and open up a world of possibilities.
One of these tools is crowdsourcing, that is, the transfer of authority that was previously performed by company employees to the hands of a large and often anonymous group of people over the Internet through a preliminary open request for help.
Such networks began to form when unemployed specialists began to hang on nothing on the Internet. In fact, these cyber job seekers have become the genesis of crowdsourcing.
In 2000, two 19-year-olds realized that they could use these many talents by running the weekly T-shirt Design Competition. They paid the winner $ 100 and then sold the winning design t-shirts on their website. A few years after its launch, Threadless.com began to bring in more than $ 20 million a year.
Crowdsourcing has since spawned a variety of different commercial applications, from 99designs that allow users to create their own designs — for example, a new logo — and then provide an opportunity for the audience to compete on their platform, and to Gengo.com, which offers crowdsourcing translators.
For just a few thousand dollars, crowdsourcing will help an entrepreneur turn his idea into a multi-billion dollar company, and do it all comfortably right from home. Listen to the entrepreneur Simon Klausen, who created PC Tools (the production of antivirus programs), using crowdsourcing to develop the first version of his antivirus application. The Indian company did it for a thousand dollars, and he certainly paid back his expenses; before the sale, his company reached an estimated value of $ 100 million.
Today, there are thousands of crowdsourcing platforms. For example, if you need to perform some simple tasks, such as digitizing your drawings, go to the Fiverr online site. For more serious tasks that require specific skills and will not tolerate errors, you can try your luck at Freelancer.com.
Crowdfunding is One of the Best Ways to Attract Investment Available to Modern Entrepreneurs
Until recently, many large-scale tasks were inaccessible to the average person due to the fact that they required large investments. However, today you do not have to be rich in order to become a successful businessman. You just have to know how to use the means available to you.
Crowdfunding is an exponential growth tool that allows anyone to use the resources of potential associates and customers.
Crowdfunding platforms began to appear in the mid-2000s, they were mainly used by musicians and filmmakers who were looking for ways to finance creative projects without the participation of a famous label or studio that could affect their creative vision.
Essentially, crowdfunding implies that entrepreneurs are simply asking potential investors for financial support. This can be realized in several forms: donations or loans (payable with interest), or money (possibly in exchange for shares or some other incentive).
Thanks to more than 700 crowdfunding sites on the Internet, this tool has become a significant economic engine for almost any project.
Even non-traditional projects, such as + Pool, raise large sums of money thanks to crowdfunding: + Pool raised more than $ 270,000 using the Kickstarter platform. Their project? Building a pool that floats in the middle of the East River in New York.
Crowdfunding is especially useful for entrepreneurs who run community projects and services. Thoughts about public benefit allow them to launch projects as soon as possible, showing potential customers a simple prototype.
A common feature of most crowdfunding projects is that the product or service is aimed at solving a problem or telling a story related to a larger community. If you are engaged in such a business, you can get financing for almost anything, from films and art galleries to promising NGOs and advanced developments of useful equipment.
To Cope With Ambitious Tasks, You Must Create a Community of Dedicated and Capable People.
An audience is not the same as a community. The audience is represented by every potential buyer or associate from outside, while your community consists of those people whom you have chosen from the crowd and with whom you are building a working relationship.
With the help of dedicated, skillful people, you will be able to cope with tasks that will be impossible to cope with alone.
Take, for example, Kevin Chavinsky, Ph.D. in astrophysics, who identified galaxies by searching for data in Sloan’s digital sky survey, a project whose goal is to explore and map the universe. To help with the project, he created an online community of astronomers called Galaxy Zoo, which has since attracted 250,000 interested people who want to contribute to real science by visiting the site and classifying galaxies.
TopCoder, a developer competition, is another example. They publish the problem on their website, and then the coders wanting to compete for the fight for prizes, trying to offer the most suitable solution in a short period of time. The TopCoder community does not solve trivial problems. But at the same time, they helped find solutions for some large companies such as Best Buy.
But how to create a community?
To do this, you will have to play the role of a facilitator who takes care of the participants in the dialogue.
Communities should boost the human sense of individuality, inspiring them to engage in important conversations. As the host of this conversation, you take the responsibility to ensure that this conversation is conducted about how your community will look.
Building a community means identifying your own mission when you realize what you’re fighting for. You are responsible for involving community members in this mission. But you also need to make sure that they are actually involved in the discussion.
Instead of owning a large group of observers, you should carefully select the first members of your community and involve them in the process of building it, asking for your contribution and give feedback in order to create the necessary opportunities for participating in the conversation.
The Final Words
Success in entrepreneurship requires a look into the future. Today, this means taking into account exponential technologies and their application in personal life, business and society.
The essence of the “skunk method” is to immerse yourself in work, enter a state of flow and drive.
Internet users are cheap labor. Use it through contests.
Why You Should Read “Bold”
- To start an entrepreneurship practice with the right approach.
- To become a wealthy businessman.
- To change the world and make money on it.
This book is available as: