Irn Guru

I am no great fan of the Gordon Gecko school of ambition; if everyone plays dog-eat-dog, there’s won’t be much hope for civilisation. That said, most Scots still have some way to go to get the hang of entrepreneurship. In this field, the US has blazed an uncompromising trail. While we need not follow blindly, there are nonetheless lessons for us to learn.

Despite many charlatans, some Stateside gurus are worth studying. Despite once stalling my career for daring to gift my boss In Search of Excellence, a short cut to learning still involves absorbing someone else’s experience/insight to dust off your own cobwebs. A more recent example of this is Peter Diamandis‘ new book Bold. Eleven key points he highlights seem worth consideration—even among those like me who branched off the road to billionairedom some way back.

  1. Agility will trump size: In the same year that Kodak went bankrupt (2012), another company in the digital imagery business (Instagram) was acquired by Facebook for $1 billion, but Instagram had only 13 employees. As the rate of change continues to increase, large, slow-moving linear companies will be unable to keep up with rapidly experimenting, exponential entrepreneurs.
  2. You either disrupt yourself, or someone else will: 40% of today’s Fortune 500 companies will be gone in ten years. Products and services are being dematerialization and demonetization. The entrepreneurs who win are those who can think exponentially, digitize a service (think Uber and Airbnb), then dematerialize and demonetize the marketplace.
  3. Reading an exponential roadmap is key to your success. How do you predict when technology is going from deceptive to disruptive? One key is looking for the creation of an ‘interface-moment’ (e.g. Andreessen’s creation of the Mosaic browser for the Internet) which allows entrepreneurs to build new businesses. Today’s 3D printing software is just one example of an interface-moment that will disrupt a trillion dollar industry.
  4. Tech to change the World: Robotics, infinite computing, synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, networks and sensors are the technologies that will produce the next group of billionaires. These technologies gives each of the the capabilities only available to governments and the largest corporations just 20 years ago. While you don’t need to be a technologist to play this game, you do need to have a Massively Transformative Purpose (MTP) that attracts a talented team.
  5. Bold Mindset & Moonshots: Both Lockheed Skunkworks and GoogleX show us how to go 10x bigger, rather than 10% bigger. Taking a Moonshot inside of your Massively Transformative Purpose is the fuel you need to go big and bold. Moonshot thinking is100 times more worth it. And it’s rarely 100 times harder.
  6. The Secrets of Going Big: Super-Credibility and Stone Soup are two terms you probably don’t know, but exponential entrepreneurs depend on both to punch above their weight class. This chapter offers a step-by-step roadmap for starting, building momentum, and attracting the right people to your big idea.
  7. Billionaire Wisdom: Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Larry Page and Jeff Bezos share eight key strategies that help them think at scale. Passion, experimentation and optimistic thinking are three of the eight. Your mindset matters. Here’s a glimpse of what it takes to play on a global scale.
  8. Crowdsourcing: With five billion people online by 2020, the most successful entrepreneurs and companies will use the power of the hyper-connected crowd to source their latest ideas, products and solutions.
  9. Crowdfunding: By 2020, $100 billion of capital is coming on-line from Crowdfunding. Bold offers a proven and detailed how-to guide to turn the crowd into your personal cash machine for funding your next product or service.
  10. Building Communities: Communities built Wikipedia and Linux (both valued at tens-of-billions). Communities can design your next products, spread your video to millions, or finance your next company.
  11. Incentive Competitions: Incentive Prizes let you tap into the world’s smartest people to help you solve your biggest problem. Best part you don’t pay until after it’s solved.

About davidsberry

Local councillor, tour guide and database designer. Keen on wildlife, history, boats and music. Stood for the Scottish Parliament 2011; lost by 151 votes.
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