There’s enough for everyone!
Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler hooked me with their book Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think. Let’s focus on the good news – not doom, gloom, death & destruction (aka the 6 o’clock News). They reeled me in with statistician Hans Rosling’s TED Talk “The Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen” (very cool) – and then landed me with Moore’s law, Ray Kurzweil, exponential technology and signs that we’re living in the “Elbow of the Curve” – NOW . Today . like Kurzweil predicted in 2010.
My favorite quote from the book is by Neil Jacobstien, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) expert:
“Exponential technologies may eventually permit people to not need jobs to have a high standard of living. People will have many choices with how they utilize their time and develop a sense of self-esteem—ranging from leisure normally associated with retirement, to art, music, or even restoring the environment. The emphasis will be less on making money and more on making contributions, or at least creating an interesting life.”
That’s what I’m talking about – no “J.O.B.” – Choose how I spend my time, make contributions – live an interesting life! No need to retire. “Retirement” – Bah! Tell me! What can I do – how can I help create this vision?
When their new book BOLD; How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World came out last year it went on my must read list. When I finally cracked the cover, I was completely absorbed, excited and energized. There are BIG thinkers out there. I want a part of that. I’d already made the decision to “retire” early . . veering off the usual path to follow my personal passions. Am I thinking too small? Or is my part just the right size?
Diamandis and Kotler explain that in the past life was “linear . . nothing changed over centuries or even millennia .. . today we live in a world that is global and exponential. The problem is that our brains—and thus our perceptual capabilities—were never designed to process at either this scale or this speed.” What a great time to be alive.
To help us think BOLD … they provided a road map to understand what they call the “Six Ds of Exponentials: digitalization, deception, disruption, demonetization, dematerialization, and democratization.”
- Digitalization – “once a process or product transitions from physical to digital, it becomes exponentially empowered.” Check out: Moore’s Law.
- Deception – “a period during which exponential growth goes mostly unnoticed.” This is the long, slow, excruciating slog where Seth Godin would ask you to consider if the effort is “dip worthy.”
- Disruption – “innovation that creates a new market and disrupts an existing one.” Disruption follows deception; beware the “original technological threat often seems laughably insignificant.” Who remembers the first digital camera?
- Demonetization – “the removal of money from the equation.” What? Pay for long distance? Crazy – get Skype!
- Dematerialization – “the vanishing of goods and services.” Hello Smart Phone – Goodbye “video cameras .. GPS .. records .. tape recorders .. maps .. calculators.”
- Democratization – “the end of the exponential chain reaction” – When prices approach “zero” and “free or ultra-low-cost Internet access to every human on Earth” is imminent.
As I gear up for my next adventure, it’s time to spell out what Diamandis and Kotler call my “MTP – My Massively Transformative Purpose.”
“Passion is the differentiator … throw up a flag and be very clear what you stand for … be as specific as possible.”
Then of course they go and quote Jeff Bezos of Amazon: “… you’ve got to be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.” Seriously? Direct hit on the Emerson Rule. How can I resist?
“Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — `Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson