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'Bold' is a guide for those who want to use exponential technology tools to succeed. The initial focus is on the concepts of exponential and disruptive technologies, and how you can take advantage of some techniques used by successful companies to succeed. Also, the book covers topics such as crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, and how you can take advantage of these trends, which do not seem to go away anytime soon! Learn from great examples and discover how to take advantage of innovative ideas and exponential technologies to grow your business.
Exponential technologies are those that not only grow linearly but continue to grow exponentially. Humans are not very good at understanding exponentials because growth is very small in the early stages and it seems like nothing is happening, and then that growth accelerates.
Thanks to computers, sensors and communication technologies, we are living and working in an exponential world, where the opportunities are fantastic and can explode in the next few years.
To give an example, if you take 30 successive steps starting from a specific point, you will reach 30 meters away. But if you take 30 exponential steps from the same point, you'll reach a billion feet away. The final stages of an exponential sequence generate impressive growth.
The best-known example of exponential growth is Moore's Law, created in 1965 by Intel's founder Gordon Moore. He stated that the number of integrated circuits in transistor doubles every 12 or 24 months. Moore's Law remains intact to this day and is one of the reasons why the smartphone is a thousand times faster and a million times cheaper than a computer in 1970.
To avoid underestimating exponential growth, use a framework called "The Six Ds of Exponentials":
Digital cameras are a perfect example of this phenomenon. In 1996, Kodak sold movies and had 140,000 employees and $ 28 billion in the market. Digital cameras came in 1976 (D1) but had no resolution until 20 years later (D2). After digital cameras passed the 2 million pixels (D3) barrier, people stopped buying movies (D4), and Kodak filed for bankruptcy in January 2012. After smartphones came on, people stopped buying digital cameras ( D5). These days, you can share photos for free (D6) with your friends on various websites.
From an entrepreneurial perspective, the perfect time to engage with an exponential technology is when it comes out of the starting part and begins its curvature. Indicators of this transition include:
Currently, five technologies are poised for exponential growth shortly:
In 1943, the American Department of Defense contacted Clarence "Kelly" Johnson, Lockheed's chief engineer, in a panic. German jets were rising in the skies of Europe, and the United States did not know how to respond. Kelly set up a group with her best engineers and sent them to a circus tent located near a plastics factory. Engineers began calling their secret workplace "skunkworks, " and the term continued to be used today.
Lockheed engineers succeeded in delivering the first US military jet to the Pentagon, 143 days later. What was the secret of their success? The Lockheed engineers were given a very important mission, they were free to design and were cut off from the world. And that great goal, saving the Nazi regime, inspired engineers to deliver crucial military equipment in a short space of time.
You probably will not be on a mission to save the world, but the reality is that this "skunk" approach has worked for many companies in the past and the present. Apple used this approach to build the Macintosh. Google uses it today with its GoogleX project, which is designed to take Google photos of the moon that may be useful in the future. An experimental laboratory is a catalyst for innovation.
A good experimental laboratory acts as an innovation accelerator. The three characteristics that make an experimental laboratory feasible are:
Bold ideas are always great. To be bold, you need to be prepared to have some great dreams that give you credibility.
If someone presents you with an idea that is below your line of credibility, you will quickly dismiss it as being ridiculous. If you are presented with another idea above the line, you will give the benefit of the doubt and see what happens. But there is also a line of super-credibility. When you hear a new idea that is above the line, you accept it and say, "wow! This idea is fantastic! How can I get involved? " Great ideas can be so compelling that your mind will accept them as a fact, and instead of worrying about the odds, you will begin to think about the implications.
To be bold, you need to have an idea that is above the limit of super-credibility, but that is divided into small, realistic subgoals. Your audacious goal becomes more possible as you reach your sub-targets. When you combine enthusiasm with a bold idea and realistic subgoals, you can achieve incredible things. You have to have the right mindset.
When you see successful entrepreneurs who have built multibillion-dollar businesses that have changed the world, you will notice that they all ran after bold ideas. Also, the billionaires think and act in scale.
Billionaires such as Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and Larry Page use the same eight mental strategies to think in scale:
In the next decade, approximately 3 billion people will start using the internet for the first time. And this will happen thanks to the communication technologies, which are becoming more accessible. This means that people are getting more connected and responsive.
As a direct consequence, crowdsourcing is flourishing. There are some very powerful tools available to everyone, and crowdsourcing companies are growing. Some of them are:
You can outsource all types of business tasks, creative accesses or operational assets, run tests and discover projects, and many other things using only your credit card and crowdsourcing services. The possibilities are endless.
So how can you use crowdsourcing? The 12 best practices of crowdsourcing are:
One of the most powerful mechanisms available to the exponential entrepreneur is incentive competitions. The concept is simple: you offer a prize to the winner, and let people get organized and work.
Incentive competitions are very powerful. They attract visibility, new ideas and financial support for potential solutions. Sponsors and advertisers love incentive contests. Also, these competitions attract a lot of people and that's exactly what you want.
One quality of incentive contests is that you only pay the winner, but you also get the ideas from the other competitors. And that gives you a great advantage and a great platform for finding solutions. If your premium is large enough, your competition can feed the market and create a demand for the solution.
However, remember that incentive contests are not a solution to every business challenge you have. They only work if you have a clear goal in mind but do not yet understand how to get there. Competitions need to be in a field where there are innovative people and teams that are able to solve the challenges. If you go after something that needs a lot of capital, the competition will probably not be a good way out. You will also need to be flexible about the intellectual property generated by the competition.
Remember the three great motivators that will attract teams to compete: money, recognition, and frustration with the current situation. You need to design your competition so that it manages those motivators.
You will also need to specify a goal, but leave the process open on how to achieve the goal.
The best practices for creating an incentive competition are:
Raising the money needed has always been one of the great barriers to starting a new business. And that's changing thanks to crowdfunding. Millions of supporters have already put billions of dollars into startups through crowdfunding, and that trend will grow exponentially. Experts predict that $ 15 billion dollars raised through crowdfunding in 2015 will increase to at least $ 300 billion in the next few years as crowdfunding grows.
The great thing about crowdfunding is that it offers a social proof of market demand. It also allows an entrepreneur to start working. You can fund and launch a project at the same time, using crowdfunding. There are already over 700 crowdfunding sites online today, and that number will double in the coming years.
The four main types of crowdfunding are:
Donations usually work well for social causes and political campaigns. Debt financing is best considered for local projects that benefit a community. Capital financing is the new type, and it is still too early to know how this kind of crowdfunding will work in practice. The crowdfunding of reward or incentive now has a great track record of success and has proven highly effective for creative projects and products.
For obvious reasons, crowdfunding is not for everyone. The best crowdfunding campaigns usually have these characteristics:
From your perspective, crowdfunding will give you market validation and a measure of actual demand. A good crowdfunding campaign can see a community of consumers emerge, who can buy the products for a low cost. Crowdfunding usually works best if you are enthusiastic about your product and want to get the project done quickly.
The twelve steps involved in a good crowdfunding campaign are:
Your chances of doing something bold increase if you build an exponential community. Today's online communities can handle impressive, scaled-up tasks. A current community can deal with the types of projects that were previously uniquely owned by large corporations or governments.
A strong point of communities is that they can be self-organized. People like to do things that impress their peers and increase their reputations. If you build a community that is dealing with an important task and then provides opportunities for individuals to excel in that community, you will be impressed with the energy and creativity generated.
One of the most interesting tools on the web is called "The Law of the Niches." No matter what your passion, there are countless people who share your passion. Communities are a way to find other people and to create a platform that will suit your needs. You can take advantage of this community to build a business, or to deal with difficult challenges.
Building a vibrant exponential community involves eight steps or stages of development:
You define your transformative process - what you are trying to achieve with the community and how you want to make a difference. Tell your story.
Taking advantage of exponential technologies is the secret to having a successful business in the technological world of today and the future. As stated before, take advantage of the moment when the technology begins its curvature and leaves the early stages (D3), and engages with one of the five technologies that are prepared to grow in the future - sensors and networks; infinite computing; artificial intelligence; robotics and synthetic biology.
An important point about exponential technologies is that its cycle is fast and complex, so if you realize an opportunity, do not wait to take advantage of it! Use crowdsourcing and crowdfunding tactics as well as virtual communities to get the most out of your business!
Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler also wrote Abundance. They talk a little about how to use exponential technologies to solve humanity's greatest problems! Let's read it, too?
Peter Diamandis is an engineer, entrepreneur, and physician. He is known as a space exploration enthusiast, futurist, and co-founder of Singularity University. Diamandis sit... (Read more)
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