A Bold new future awaits as a result of technological change being driven by exponential technologies, otherwise referred to as exponentials. Entrepreneurs are in a prime position to drive this change by entering the market at optimal times and leveraging emerging fundraising options such as equity crowdfunding. This is the theme of Bold by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler.
Bold is basically an instruction manual for the entrepreneur who is interested in taking their billion dollar idea to market. Those familiar with the authors’ previous title Abundance and other related book by Singularity University alumni, Exponential Organizations will know what to expect from Bold. In many ways it is more of the same, or rather building upon the same foundation – but I view this as a good thing.
The five exponentials identified by Diamandis and Kotler are Networks and Sensors, Infinite Computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, and Genetics and Synthetic Biology. The exponential growth of these technologies are driven by a convergence of increasing technological capability and drastically reduced cost over time – similar to Moore’s Law but across a number of key technologies.
Ubiquitous mobile devices are driving connectivity in the developing world which is allowing for an ever increasing number of once disconnected individuals to join in the creation of new businesses and solving existing challenges. The drastic reduction in sensor cost is allowing for nearly everything to be quantified which is allowing the world to improve overall quality of life through acting on sensed data. Developments in AI and robotics are freeing global citizens from toiling in mundane tasks and freeing us to pursue more creative and higher order activities. Finally, developments in genetics and synthetic biology are allowing for the modification of life in not only existing corporate and government settings, but through individual genetic programmers. Exponentials are driving change through individual accessibility.
Beyond exponentials, another key theme in Bold is thinking and acting exponentially. Instead of building a business with linear or incremental improvement, entrepreneurs should consider solving a problem that helps one billion people. The rationale is that the world’s biggest problems equate to the world’s biggest business opportunities. LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman once said that it’s just as easy to build a big, or scalable business as a small business. Solving a bold problem appears to be taking the scalable business concept to the next level. Exponential actions enable the entrepreneur to solve exponential problems.
Overall Bold is an excellent book for those who think big or have a desire to think big. Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler provide detailed instructions on how to develop your massively transformative purpose, or MTP, the exponential technologies that have the most growth potential, indicators for when to enter an exponential market, how to build and leverage a community of supporters, and how to bring exponential ideas to market through equity crowdfunding.
If you enjoy Bold, I highly recommend the authors’ previous work Abundance as well as the related Exponential Organizations. Exponential Organizations shares the primary themes within Bold and Abundance, but is geared towards existing companies. In my opinion there is valuable information for startup entrepreneurs as well. Exponential Organizations provides some great information on organizational design, especially in terms of leveraging existing assets in lieu of asset ownership as employed by traditional businesses. The organizational design aspect has an emphasis of small teams with high profit margins.
Prior to Bold I was familiar with Peter Diamandis’ work given his existing Evidence of Abundance articles on Medium and related Abundance 360 community. While reading Bold I started exploring co-author Steven Kotler’s work relating to improving human performance through tapping flow. My initial impression is that his work is very intriguing and I look forward to exploring his Flow Genome Project and The Rise of Superman book which both explore unleashing flow states in greater depth.
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