Anything new and different is initially going to be misunderstood.”

How to go big, create wealth, and impact the world.

“Today the shift from ‚I’ve got a neat ideas‘ to ‚I run a billion-dollar company‘ is occurring faster than ever. This is possible, in part, because the structure of exponential organisations is very different. Rather than utilize armies of employees or large physical plants, twenty-first-century start-ups are smaller organizations focused on information technologies, dematerialising the once physical and creating new products and revenue streams in months, sometimes weeks. As a result, these lean start-ups are the small furry mammals competing with the large dinosaurs – meaning they’re one asteroid strike away from world dominance.“ (p 21)

„All three of these rules are ways to increase rapid iteration – which is one of the best risk-mitigation strategies ever developed. If you’re looking for a quick and dirty definition of the term, try the unofficial motto of Silicon Valley: ‚Fail early, fail often, fail forward.‘ Bold ventures – especially the world-changing type we’re advocating here – require this kind of experimental approach. Yet as most experiments fail, real progress requires trying out tons of ideas, decreasing the lag time between trials, and increasing the knowledge gained from results. This is rapid iteration.“ (p 77) 

„Once we pay people enough so that meeting basic needs is no longer a constant cause for concern, extrinsic rewards lose their effectiveness, while intrinsic rewards – meaning internal, emotional satisfaction – become far more critical.“ (p 79)

„While a 10x improvement is gargantuan, Teller (Astro Teller, GoogleX, Captain of Moonshots)  has very specific reasons for aiming exactly that high. ‚You assume that going 10x bigger is going to be ten times harder,‘ he continues, ‚but often it’s literally easier to go bigger. Why should that be? It doesn’t feel intuitively right. But if you choose to make something 10 percent better, you are almost by definition signing up for the status quo – and trying to make it a little better. That means you start from the status quo, with all it’s existing assumptions, locked into the tools, technologies, and processes that you’re going to slightly improve. It means you’re putting yourself and your people in a smartness contest with everyone else in the world. Statistically, no matter the resources available, you’re not going to win. But if you sign up for moonshot thinking, if you sign up to make something 10x better, there is no chance of doing that with existing assumptions. You’re going to have to throw out the rule book. You’re going to have a perspective-shift and supplant all that smartness and resources with bravery and creativity.‘“ (p 82)

 „Deep embodiment is kind of total physical awareness. It means paying attention with multiple sensory streams at once. …Don’t just read about that lighthouse, go out and build one. By working with your hands alongside your brain, you’re engaging multiple sensory streams at once, grabbing hold of the attention system and forcing focus into the now.“ (p 89)

Clear goals, our first psychological trigger, tell us where and when to put our attention. They are different than the high, hard problems of big goals…Clear goals concern all the baby steps it’s going to take to achieve those big goals… When goals are clear, the mind doesn’t have to wonder about what to do or what to do next – it already knows…

Immediate feedback, our next psychological trigger, is another shortcut into the now. The term refers to a direct, in-the-moment coupling between cause and effect. … Clear goals tell us what we’re doing; immediate feedback tells us how to do it better…

The challenge/skill ratio, the last of our psychological flow triggers, is arguably the most important. The idea behind this trigger is that attention is most engaged (i.e., in the now) when there’s a very specific relationship between the difficulty of the task and our ability to perform that task… This sweet spot keeps attention locked in the present. When the challenge is firmly within the boundaries of known skills – meaning I’ve done it before and am fairly certain I can do so again – the outcome is predetermined. We’re interested, not riveted. But when we don’t know what’s going to happen next, we pay attention to the next. Uncertainty is our rocket into the now.“ (p 91) 

„The more flow created by a start-up tam, the higher the chances of success. In fact, if your start-up team is not in a near-constant group flow state, you will not succeed. Peripheral vision gets lost and insights don’t follow.“ (p 92)

„This means, for those of us who want more flow in our lives, we have to think different, it’s as simple as that. Instead of tackling problems from familiar angles, go at them backward and sideways and with style. Go out of your way to stretch your imagination. Massively up the amount of novelty in your life; the research shows that new environments and experiences are often the jumping-off point for new ideas (more opportunity for pattern recognition). Most important, make creativity a value and virtue.“ (p 93)

„The very best people to help you with your next project are those who helped you or watched you succeed with your last.“ (p 101)

„Musk (Elon Musk)… consistently strives to broaden his view by thinking in probabilities… ‚The future is not certain,‘ continues Musk. ‚It’s really a set of branching probability streams.‘ How Musk chooses which streams to explore depends on the relationship between those probabilities and the importance of his objective. ’Even if the probability for success is fairly low, if the objective is really important, it’s still worth doing. Conversely, if the objective is less important, then the probability needs to be much greater. How I decide which project to take on depends on probability multiplied by the importance of the objective.’“ (p 122)

„Bezos (Jeff Bezos) also understands that the only way too really succeed with his long-term customer-centrism is via experimentation. As he recently said… „The way I think about it, if you want to invent, if you want to do any innovation, anything new, you’re going to have failures because you need to experiment… And if you’re going to invent, you’re got to be willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time. Anything new and different is initially going to be misunderstood. It will be misunderstood by well-meaning critics, who are worried that it might not work out. It will be misunderstood by self-interested critics, who have a profit stream connected to the old way. Either way, if you can’t weather this kind of misunderstanding and criticism, then whatever you do, don’t do anything new.’“ (p 133)

„Insights are invaluable to your business. They can shape the goals and operations of the entire company, dramatically improve and optimise performance, and provide you with counterintuitive ideas orr hidden idea data for a strategic advantage over competitors.“ (p 160)

„But crowdfunding does more that put an end to the never-ending fund-raiser’s dilemma, it also provides entrepreneurs with a significant psychological boost: the ability to start by starting.“ (p 171)


BOLD – How to go big, create wealth, and impact the world. Peter H Diamandis and Steven Kotler, 2015, PHD Ventures, published by Simon and Schuster Inc.


We provide our insights through quotes directly taken from books, articles, videos, info graphs and other media. We do not add, comment or reflect on the topics highlighted or represent the media in its intentions or as a whole. We hope to inspire you to dig deeper, discover and fall in love with your own eureka moments.

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