Book: Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis

The world we live in is ripe with exponential possibilities.

“World’s biggest challenges are also world’s biggest business opportunities”

Exponential technologies are the ones that can be adopted at a rate of Moore’s law. The digitalization of technologies frees them from physical limits and moves them to Moore’s law limits.

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Exponential tools

  • Crowdfunding
  • Incentive competition
  • Technologies
    • Robotics
    • infinite computing
    • networks
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Synthetic biology
    • Crowdsourcing
  • Building communities

Anegdotes

  • Ray Kurtzweil estimates that AI will outsmart us by 2029
  • When Peter Diamantis founded X-Prize, he gathered a team of former astronauts, head of NASA and promised a prize that he did not know how to found. The stone soup strategy worked out splendidly –  now we have many commercial companies conquering space flight.

Quotes that appealed to me

  • “World of abundance”
  • MTP = Massively Transformative Purpose
  • 100x bigger is rarely 100x harder
  • Super – Credibility: To pull off something really spectacular you need to have goals so abitious that people stop wondering IF you could pull it off, but WHEN.

Lessons

  1. Agility will trump the size (Kodak > Instagram [ the same year ! ] )
  2. You either disrupt yourself, or someone else will [40% fortune 500 -> gone in 10 years]
  3. Reading an exponential roadmap is the key to success [interface moment!]
  4. Tech to change the world
  5. Bold Mindsets and Moonshots
  6. Secrets of going big: Super credibility and Stone soup
  7. Billionaire wisdom: Passion, experimentation, focus, optimistic thinking….
  8. Crowdsourcing
  9. Crowdfunding
  10. Building communities
  11. Incentive competitions

Skunkworks

 “enriched environment that is intended to help a small group of individuals design a new idea by escaping routine organizational procedures.”

Skunkworks was a Lockheed Martin Laboratory headed by Clarence “Kelly” Johnson. The group was tasked with a series of very high-profile designs including SR-71 and U-2 planes. There were one of the few military projects that were completed before time and under budget (only 143 for designing a jet!).

The lab itself was isolated from the rest of the Lockheed Martin Business, reducing overhead and bloated procedures. Their office was located close to a plastic factory that war responsible for fowl smell, hence the name “Skunkworks”.

The idea is that small, isolated groups are more efficient that big organisations. That was the premise behind:

  • Apple original Macintosh team
  • Google X
  • Amazon “2 Pizza” team approach

The engineers on these team benefit from a state of flow – consciousnes state that feel and perform at their best.

Skunkworks rules of innovation

  1. The Skunk Works manager must be delegated practically complete control of his program in all aspects. He should report to a division president or higher.
  2. Strong but small project offices must be provided both by the military and industry.
  3. The number of people having any connection with the project must be restricted in an almost vicious manner. Use a small number of good people (10% to 25% compared to the so-called normal systems).
  4. A very simple drawing and drawing release system with great flexibility for making changes must be provided.
  5. There must be a minimum number of reports required, but important work must be recorded thoroughly.
  6. There must be a monthly cost review covering not only what has been spent and committed but also projected costs to the conclusion of the program.
  7. The contractor must be delegated and must assume more than normal responsibility to get good vendor bids for subcontract on the project. Commercial bid procedures are very often better than military ones.
  8. The inspection system as currently used by the Skunk Works, which has been approved by both the Air Force and Navy, meets the intent of existing military requirements and should be used on new projects. Push more basic inspection responsibility back to subcontractors and vendors. Don’t duplicate so much inspection.
  9. The contractor must be delegated the authority to test his final product in flight. He can and must test it in the initial stages. If he doesn’t, he rapidly loses his competency to design other vehicles.
  10. The specifications applying to the hardware must be agreed to well in advance of contracting. The Skunk Works practice of having a specification section stating clearly which important military specification items will not knowingly be complied with and reasons therefore is highly recommended.
  11. Funding a program must be timely so that the contractor doesn’t have to keep running to the bank to support government projects.
  12. There must be mutual trust between the military project organization and the contractor, the very close cooperation and liaison on a day-to-day basis. This cuts down misunderstanding and correspondence to an absolute minimum.
  13. Access by outsiders to the project and its personnel must be strictly controlled by appropriate security measures.
  14. Because only a few people will be used in engineering and most other areas, ways must be provided to reward good performance by pay not based on the number of personnel supervised.

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