Bold by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler

Bold

Summary

  1. Diamandis and Kotler walk you through how to take your Massively Transformative Purpose (MTP) into reality. The intersection of this passion of yours with exponential technology and certain trends has the power to help billions of people
Key Takeaways
  1. Exponential technology is reshaping life on earth. The “exponential entrepreneur” is taking advantage of this trend and will help change the world
  2. This book is meant to provide actionable steps to reach abundance
  3. Individuals can change the world. The biggest problems are the biggest opportunities
  4. This book is written for entrepreneurs who utilize moonshot thinking and want to have a global impact]
  5. Reading this book helps you realize the nearly limitless opportunities that are out there. People are doing amazing things and we often don’t hear about it
  6. Exponential technologies gives us the physical tools for radical change, the psychological strategies described are the mental framework for success and the exponential crowd tools provide all of the additional resources (talent , money, etc)
What I got out of it
  1. Inspiring book while at the same time pragmatic and actionable. It lays the groundwork and gives you real steps on how to take your dreams and your passions and make them reality. Great read for anyone but especially useful if there is a project or goal you are about to embark on and not sure how to get started. There are so many more options than most of us realize and the potential to help billions of people has never been higher.


Part 1 – Bold Technology
Chapter 1 – Good-bye Linear Thinking, Hello Exponential…
  • 6 D’s of Exponentials – trends that technology goes through
    1. Digitalization
      • Once product/service goes digital, it becomes exponentially empowered
    2. Deception
      • Early phase of when exponential growth goes unnoticed
    3. Disruption
      • Disrupt self or someone will disrupt you
    4. Demonetization
      • One of the easiest ways to make money is to give stuff away
    5. Dematerialization
      • The vanishing of the goods and services themselves
    6. Democritization
      • When costs drop so low than nearly anybody can afford it
  • If trends continue, by 2020, 3/4 of the companies on the S&P will be companies that we have not yet heard of
Chapter 2 – Exponential Technology
  • A clearly defined vision is vital for any leader in any field
  • 3D printing is ripe as exponentials in this field are about to take off – cars, airplanes, prosthetics, buildings, etc.
  • Recognizing when a technology is exiting the trough of disillusionment and beginning to rise up the slope of enlightenment is critical for entrepreneurs
Chapter 3 – Five to Change the World
  • Exponential tech – sensors and networks, infinite computing, artificial intelligence, robotics, synthetic biology
    • This technology has the potential to transform our lives, our economies, our world
  • There are two critical categories – information and automation
    • Infinite computing demonitzes error making and democratizes experimentation – iteration leads to better products/services
  • Integrating knowledge is absolutely crucial and arguably the most important and greatest entrepreneurial opportunity
  • Robotics is the fastest growing industry in the world, poised to become the largest in the next decade
  • “If I [Diamandis] were an exponential entrepreneur looking to create tremendous value, I’d look for those jobs that are least enjoyable for humans to do…Given that the global market for unskilled labor is worth many trillions of dollars, I would say this is a huge opportunity.”
  • Understanding the potential of these exponential technologies is critical if you’re going to succeed
Part 2 – Bold Mindset
 
Chapter 4 – Climbing Mount Bold
  • “Skunk Works” – when tackling huge goals, need isolation and iteration
    • Company’s innovative teams, such as at Apple and other innovative companies, purposefully separate their innovation team so that they can be completely focused and have a buffer between themselves and the rest of society\
    • Fail early, fail often, fail forward
  • Motivate with intrinsic motivators – autonomy, mastery and purpose. Money is often a poor motivator past a certain point
    • Our deep-seated desire to direct our own lives is our strongest driver (once safety is a no-brainer…)
  • Google’s 8 innovative principles
    1. Focus on the user
    2. Share everything
    3. Look for ideas everywhere – crowdsourcing
    4. Think big but start small
    5. Never fail to fail
    6. Spark with imagination, fuel with data – agility and nimbleness is a key discriminator against the large and linear
    7. Be a platform
    8. Have a mission that matters
  • Flow follows focus and there are 17 triggers that trigger flow (pair with Kotler’s The Rise of Superman). Increase flow on the job by increasing the amount of novelty, complexity and unpredictability in the environment
    • There are psychological, environmental, social and creative flow triggers
  • Big goals consistently and significantly outperform small goals, medium-sized goals and vague goals. Big goals help focus attention and help make us more persistent and results in us being more effective when we work and more willing to get up and try again when we fail
    • It isn’t intuitive, but going huge is easier than you first thing. Trying to make something 10x better is not 100x harder than trying to make something 10% better. You often may not reach 10x, but you may reach 2x which is a hell of an improvement
  • “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” – Reid Hoffman
  • A project’s success must be measurable and testable
Chapter 5 – The Secrets of Going Big
  • Super-credibility – the crowd accepts an idea as fact when enough credible people back a (even seemingly crazy) idea.
    • If an idea does not seem credible to the crowd it will likely fade out. However, when a new idea is above this credibility line, people immediately adopt it and want to get involved
  • Diamandis’ Laws – The Creed of the Persistent and Passionate Mind
    • If anything can go wrong, fix it
    • When given a choice – take both
    • Multiple projects lead to multiple successes
    • Start at the top, then work your way up
    • Do it by the book…but be the author
    • When forced to compromise, ask for more
    • If you can’t win, change the rules
    • If you can’t change the rules, then ignore them
    • Perfection is not optional
    • When faced without a challenge – make one
    • No simply means begin one level higher
    • Don’t walk when you can run
    • When in doubt, think
    • Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing
    • The squeaky wheel gets replaced
    • The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live
    • The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself
    • The ratio of something to nothing is infinite
    • You get what you incentivize for
    • If you think it is impossible, then it is for you
    • An expert is someone who can tell you exactly how something can’t be done
    • The day before something is a breakthrough, it is a crazy idea
    • If it was easy, it would have been done already
    • Without a target, you'[ll miss every time
    • Fail early, fail often, fail forward
    • If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it
    • The world’s most precious resource is the persistent and passionate human mind
    • Bureaucracy is an obstacle to be conquered with persistence, confidence and a bulldozer when necessary
  • The best people to help you with your next project are those who helped you or watched you succeed on your last project
  • Break your vision into executable, bite-size chunks, what psychologists call subgoals
  • People love passion. People love to contribute to passion. And you can’t fake it
 
Chapter 6 – Billionaire Wisdom
  • Interviews Elon MuskRichard BransonJeff Bezos and Larry Page
    • Musk – passion and purpose, focus on probabilities x importance determines if he will pursue a project, first principles, solicit negative feedback
    • Branson – has always acted in a bold manner but has also always protected his downside, customer-centric everything, passion, every detail matters
    • Bezos – long-term thinking crucial, customer-centric, experiment and fail often, when you have something that you know is true, even over the long-term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it, be ahead of trends and position yourself to take advantage of it, missionary (love the company/mission) or mercenary (love money)?,
    • Page – there is less competition in bold areas, be rationally optimistic, do something that will change the world, think long-term, customer-centric, the things that people use often are really important to them and over time you can make money from those things, even if you fail in doing something ambitious, you usually succeed in doing something important
Part 3 – The Bold Crowd
 
Chapter 7 – Crowdsourcing: The Marketplace of the Rising Billion
  • Focuses on crowd tools – crowd powered capabilities now available to everyone
    • Amazing way to gage interest and passion of your project/service
  • FreelancerTongalreCaptchaDuolingo
  • Crowdsource tasks, creative/operational assets (Top Coder), testing and discovery, insights (uTestReverb-Nation)
  • Best practices on how to best use and find crowdsourcing
    • Research, get started, turn to message boards, establish context and be specific, prepare your data set, qualify your workers, define clear, simple and specific roles, communicate clearly, in detail and often, don’t micromanage and have an open mind for new ways of thinking, pay to play (quality over price), prepare for the flood and be open to new working methodologies
  • AbundanceHubCrowdsourcing.orgCrowdsortium
Chapter 8 – Crowdfunding
  • Helping to alleviate raising capital by traditional means
  • 4 different types of crowdfunding
    1. Donation
    2. Debt
    3. Equity
    4. Reward
  • Best way to determine the interest and likelihood of your idea/project/service/etc.
  • Who should do crowdfunding?
    • Product in late prototype phase
    • Team correctly assembled and capable of executing
    • Product is community focused and consumer facing
    • Team has access to a large community of followers
    • Product aims to solve a problem, improve an existing product and/or tell a new story
  • Reasons to consider crowdfunding
    • Market validation and real demand measurement
    • The raising of significant investment capital
    • The development of a paying community of customers
    • Cheap cost-per-customer acquisition
    • You’re passionate about your product
    • Public relations benefits
    • Cash-flow positive
  • Execution – 12 Key Steps
    1. Choosing your crowdfunding idea (product, service or project)
    2. Set fund-raising target
      • The success of the campaign is wholly dependent on creating early excitement and offering urgent, exclusive and value-added incentives
      • Threshold – crowdfunding not where you make a profit, it’s where you offset some of your expenses. SOME
      • Figure out the absolute minimum amount that if funded would be enough for you to move forward (consider additional fees such as platform and credit card fees)
        • Add 10% for platform and credit card fees as well as the cost of all rewards you need to fulfill
    3. Set campaign length and create a schedule
      • Tying the launch to a major announcement or anniversary that turns it into a news story can help you a lot
      • Baseline is 30 days and then add 30 days for each of these – building a team, community, less than $50,000, more than $250,000, more than $1M
    4. Set rewards/incentives and stretch goals
      • Get people to sign up
      • $10,000 rewards are away to get a strong jump and help create a super-credible launch
      • Scarcity helps
      • Add rewards and stretch goals
    5. Build the perfect team
      • Celebrity – face of the product
      • Campaign manager and strategist
      • The expert
      • Graphic design lead
      • Technology master
      • Public relations manager (optional)
      • Super-connector (optional)
    6. Sharpen your ax – plan, materials and resources
      • Preparation is everything
      • Have a very detailed strategy and logistics map
      • Campaign video of prototype product, crowdfunding platform web page, company or product web page, pre-written emails and announcements, physical promotional materials and handouts, logo and content designs, infographics, miscellaneous incentives and perks (T-shirts, posters, etc)
      • Can use FreelancerTongal99Designs
    7. Telling a meaningful story and use the right words
      • Make it cohesive, fill a need or desire (people want to be associated with inspiring people), focus on the why, not the what, connect your vertical (truth is always the very best story) words and phrases associated with reciprocity and authority produce the best responses while those that focus too much on the need for funds fail
    8. Create a viral video – three use cases, shareability and humanization
      • Target 1-3 markets, show and don’t tell, keep it under 5 minutes (3:11 average of winning a campaign) and get feedback
    9. Build your audience
      • Find your most enthusiastic fans and put them to work. They love helping and their contribution can be invaluable
    10. Super-credible launch, early donor engagement and media outreach
      • Hype, engage the media, create a list of relevant bloggers/journalists
    11. Week-by-week execution plan – engage, engage, engage
    12. Make data-driven decisions and final tips
      • Ask friends, family, colleagues, complete strangers (especially important) what they think about your product/service/idea. Do this way before launch
      • Ride trends
      • Add engagement value at each reward level so backers become a substantially larger part of your movement when they level up
      • Ask questions and listen to your community – segment the audience, ask only one question, expect exaggeration
Chapter 9 – Building Communities
  • DIY and exponential communities
    • DIY = group of people united around an MTP
    • Exponential community = group of people who are immensely passionate about a particular exponential tech (3D printing, machine learning, etc.)
  • People join communities because passionate and want to contribute
  • Today, there is almost no niche too small or obscure
    • Community does not need to be huge to do huge things
  • Best reason to start DIY community – unrequited love. Others will or do share the same passion
    • First mover advantage very powerful and if you don’t have it, ask what twist or value you’re adding
  • Interactivity and engagement are vital
  • Low-friction (Facebook) vs. Deep (emotional) engagement
  • KloutStackOverflowTopCoder
  • Engagement is always about getting a conversation going and keeping it going
  • Stages of Community Building – Identity (what is your MTP?), designing portal, community-building resources, early days of building your community, creating community content, engagement and engagement strategies, managing your community, driving growth, monetization
    • Who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing
    • Ask for their email
    • People join for 4 main reasons – sense of belonging, support network, greater influence and a way to sate curiosity/explore new ideas
    • Be the first mover
    • Handpick early members, establish a newcomer’s ritual and listen to feedback and change when necessary
    • 5 most useful engagement strategies – reputation, meet-ups, challenge your community, have great visuals and be a connector
    • Be a benign dictator
    • Need a mission, a movement, a place that people want to go
    • Be transparent if trying to make money
Chapter 10 – Incentive Competitions
  • Set a clear, measurable and objective goal and pay the first person to achieve it. Examples include the XPrize
    • Creates tremendous leverage ($10M prize can funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into achieving it)
    • Billion dollar companies and startups compete head to head
    • Leads to innovation and new ways of thinking
  • While winning is these team’s first goal, a close second is seeing the goal fulfilled since they are all working on their MTP. This leads to much more cooperation in these types of competition
  • The time limit of a prize competition serves as another liberating constraint
  • Only constant is change, rate of change is increasing, if you don’t disrupt yourself, someone else will, competition and disruption are no longer coming from some multinational company overseas, find a way to tap into the smartest people, must harness the crowd to remain competitive
  • Benefits of incentive competitions – attracting new capital to innovators solving the problem, pay only the winner, crowdsourcing genius, increase public awareness and visibility of a problem, overcome existing constraints, change the paradigm, launch an industry with lasting benefit and impact, provide financial leverage, create market demand, attract new expertise and cross-disciplinary solutions, drive regulatory reform and inspire hope and risk taking in others
  • When do you launch these competitions? – have a clear target but not sure how to get there, large enough crowd of innovators to tap into, small teams are capable of solving the challenge, flexible on timeline, types of solutions and who might wine, flexible on who owns the intellectual property at the end
  • Big 3 motivators – significance/recognition, money and frustration
  • Make the competition hard to cheat – make the outcome explicitly clear
  • Cost of operating the challenge often equal to the purse itself

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