Evidence of Abundance #9: Curing Addiction and Disease

Evidence of Abundance #9: Curing Addiction and Disease

Below are two powerful graphs in “Health Abundance” I wanted to share this week.

First is the massive reduction in smoking from 45% in the 1960’s to 25% today. The bad news is that smoking is still the #1 preventable cause of death in the United States. Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is about one in five deaths. Smoking causes more deaths each year than all of these combined: HIV, alcohol, car accidents and guns.

Second, is a look at the reduction of global malaria deaths, and the increase in funding allocated for research and development to cure malaria. Watch what happens all over the world when we devote funds to solve grand challenges:

As medical research continues and technology enables new breakthroughs, there will be a day when Malaria and most all major deadly diseases are eradicated on Earth.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s Evidence of Abundance.

Best wishes,

Please send your friends and family to AbundanceHub.com to sign up for these blogs — this is all about surrounding yourself with abundance-minded thinkers. And if you want my personal coaching on these topics, consider joining my Abundance 360 membership program for entrepreneurs.

How to Become a Billionaire

Want to become a billionaire? Then help a billion people.

The world’s biggest problems are the world’s biggest business opportunities.

That’s the premise for companies launching out of Singularity University (SU).

Allow me to explain:

In 2008, Ray Kurzweil and I co-founded SU to enable brilliant graduate students to work on solving humanity’s grand challenges using exponential technologies.

This week we graduated our sixth Graduate Studies Program (GSP) class.

During the GSP, we ask our students to build a company that positively impacts the lives of 1 billion people within 10 years (we call these 10^9+ companies).

Historically if you wanted to touch a billion people, you had to be Coca Cola, GE or Siemens.Today you can be a guy and gal in a garage.

I’d love to share with you some of SU’s most interesting 10^9+ companies from the past six summers and some of the new ideas presented from the latest class.

Some great SU 10^9+ Companies

Over the past years, here are some of the exciting companies that have developed out of SU:

1. Matternet: Matternet is building a network of drones (UAVs) to transport goods in places with inefficient or nonexistent road infrastructure (think Africa). Matternet’s drones can carry 2 kg packages such as vaccines, medicine, replacement parts or other critical goods for transportation in the developing world. Sound like Amazon Prime? Yes, but Matternet was founded 2 years earlier.

2. Modern Meadow: Modern Meadow uses stems cells and 3D printing to create “leather” and “meat” products that no longer require animal slaughter. Such cultured meat massively reduces the amount of land (by 99 percent), water (by 96 percent) and energy (by 45 percent) needed in product, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 96 percent.

3. Cambrian Genomics: Cambrian Genomics makes the first hardware/systems for laser printing DNA. Presently, researchers in academia and industry order or clone over a billion dollars per year of DNA. Cambrian Genomics plans to deliver high quality sequence verified DNA to buyers in this existing/growing worldwide market.

4. BlueOak Resources: BlueOak extracts valuable metals (copper, silver, platinum, etc) from discarded electronics (e-waste). Using existing scaled-up mining industry technologies, they capture value from the 40 million tons of e-waste that is landfilled or incinerated annually around the world, containing 70 billion dollars worth of precious and base metals.

5. Made In Space: This company has just launched the first zero-g 3D printer to the Space Station. Their hardware is able to manufacture materials and complex structures in weightlessness.

6. mirOculus: Cancer detection using microRNA biomarkers leading to the routine cancer screening will allow for early stage detection and prevention of millions of cancer deaths.

7. Organ Preservation Alliance: Transforming human organ availability through breakthroughs in cryo-preservation.

A few of this year’s 10^9+ Companies

This summer, the graduate students pitched over 20 new business concepts. Here are a few of the highlights:

1. Bibak: A drone-powered landmine detector that offers an effective, cheap and versatile way to autonomously detect live mines buried in the ground.

2. TriDom: A novel way to “print” full-sized homes and buildings by attaching a 3D printer to existing cranes. The kit would transform today’s crane into a fully functional, unconstrained printer, and allow builders to cheaply/quickly build houses.

3. Besense: Smart-sensors built into women’s hygienic pads, able to measure STD’s, vitamin levels and biomarkers in menstrual blood to provide valuable health insights for women.

4. Mitera: A device that allows early cancer and disease detection from a single drop of saliva. The device uses carbon nanotubes and biomarkers to detect hostile cells. When used on a weekly basis, the device can monitor changes in the patient over time and develop personalized medical treatments based on the data.

Larry Page on Changing the World

While most of today’s entrepreneurs and VCs are thinking about the next great app, too few are working on solving humanity’s grand challenges.

In 2008, at SU’s founding conference, Larry Page stood up and made an impassioned speech that SU must focus on addressing the world’s biggest problems:

"I now have a very simple metric I use: are you working on something that can change the world? Yes or no? The answer for 99.99999 percent of people is ‘no.’ I think we need to be training people on how to change the world. Obviously, technologies are the way to do that. That’s what we’ve seen in the past; that’s what driven all the change."

It’s about time we all started to think at this scale.

What problem are you solving? How many lives are you positively impacting? What can you do to make the world a better place?

Each week, I write a blog on exciting emerging technologies and trends. Sign up at AbundanceHub.com to ensure you don’t miss them.

Evidence of Abundance #8: Increasing Health

Nothing is more precious than life… especially the life of your child.

Which is why my report today about “abundance” and “health” is so powerful.

Let’s start with the fact that in the U.S., infant mortality rates have plummeted significantly since 1900.

In fact, when you look at today’s numbers, they’ve never been lower.

The most dramatic change we see is in infant mortality among African-American babies.

In 1900, 180+ out of every 1,000 African-American babies died.

Today, that number is in the single digits.

The next graph shows another, important and related trend: family-size around the world is shrinking.

In many cultures, a large family to work the farm was a necessity.

And high child mortality rates meant you had extra babies to make up for those who perished.

In the 1960s, 110 countries had averages of six or more children per family.

Over the last part of the 20th century, however, we’ve seen drastic improvements in healthcare, agriculture and education.

More children are living to adulthood, and this has directly translated into smaller families.

What’s especially interesting about this graph is that the numbers continue to drop. By 2090, most families will have three children or less.

As you always hear me say, there’s never been a better time than now to be alive… and things are only getting better.

Please send your friends and family to AbundanceHub.com to sign up for these blogs — this is all about surrounding yourself with abundance-minded thinkers. And if you want my personal coaching on these topics, consider joining my Abundance 360 membership program for entrepreneurs.

Humin: The Next Billion-Dollar App?

I decided to invest in my first app.

It’s called Humin, and it launched this week (and was the #1 trending App on launch day).

It is going to make life easier (and it’s going to be the next billion-dollar company).

Allow me explain why it’s so epic…

Context is key. Where did you meet that guy?

How often do you run into someone and can’t remember when, why, or how you met them?

It happens to me all the time. I travel a lot and I’m meeting people constantly, and adding people to my list of contacts in my phone just doesn’t cut it anymore.

In our new world of abundant information, social networks, and exponentially improving technology, I really need more “context.”

This is why Humin is brilliant.

It organizes your relationships (i.e. contacts) in the same way you think about them — by their context – not just in alphabetical order.

For example, Humin will know when and where you met someone.

It will show you their picture and pull data from their social media profiles. It also organizes your contacts based on the city you are in and the strength of the relationship you have.

My favorite part — you can search for people with phrases like: “That guy I met at TED in Vancouver,” or “the woman who I met last week who works at Google and is from New York.” Humin finds the person that matches those criteria.

Ultimately, Humin will replace the “Contacts” apps on your phone with a much more powerful and intuitive piece of search software.

Download the iOS app here: Humin.com

Big data and machine learning win

Platforms that leverage automation and machine learning software (like Humin) will win in the long run.

At its core, Humin uses machine-learning algorithms to understand and make sense of the data surrounding your relationships.

The app learns with whom you communicate the most. It keeps track of the strength of your relationships. It can even predict when you might want to get in touch with someone again, based on where you are and how you talked to them in the past.

Time and time again, we see that automated, algorithmic platforms can make life easier by adopting to your needs.

Humin gets it right.

Interface moment: Designing for the human experience

It is also beautifully designed.

I’m not talking about just the interface. I’m talking about the human experience.

The Humin team has spent that last two years testing, iterating and testing to understand exactly how we use and want to use our contacts app.

I often talk about interface moments catalyzing an increased rate of technology adoption. A major piece of this “interface moment” is the user experience.

Humin has done a phenomenal job at refining their user experience. It’s fun and intuitive.

It’s an exponential organization!

I’ve known Humin’s founder and CEO, Ankur Jain, for a long time. He’s a member of the XPRIZE Innovation Board.

He has put together an impressive team with many features of an exponential organization, and Ankur is certainly an exponential entrepreneur.

After years of testing and data-driven decision making, Humin has finally launched.

How to download

If you’re an iPhone user, give Humin a try. I predict you’ll love it. Download the iOS app here: Humin.com

The Android version is coming soon (within the next few months). Stay tuned.

Why I invested

I’m constantly looking for the top exponential entrepreneurs and exponential startups to back with my time and money. At my Abundance 360 Summit, I’ll be sharing with my A360 community some of the hottest startups in areas like big data, machine learning, drones/robotics, crowdsourcing, and more. If you’re interested in learning more about A360 you can apply here.

Best of luck to the Ankur and the Humin team on their launch!

Each week, I write a blog on exciting emerging technologies and trends. Sign up at AbundanceHub.com to ensure you don’t miss them.

Top 10 Reasons Drones Are Disruptive

If you think today’s drones are interesting, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Drones are in their deceptive phase, about to go disruptive. Check out where they’re going…

What makes today’s “drones” possible?

The billion-fold improvement we’ve seen between 1980 and 2010 is what makes today’s drones possible, specifically in four areas:

  1. GPS: In 1981, the first commercial GPS receiver weighed 50 pounds and cost over $100K. Today, GPS comes on a 0.3 gram chip for less than $5.
  2. IMU: An Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) measures a drone’s velocity, orientation and accelerations. In the 1960s an IMU (think Apollo program) weighed over 50 lbs. and cost millions. Today it’s a couple of chips for $1 on your phone.
  3. Digital Cameras: In 1976, Kodak’s first digital camera shot at 0.1 megapixels, weighed 3.75 pounds and cost over $10,000. Today’s digital cameras are a billion-fold better (1000x resolution, 1000x smaller and 100x cheaper).
  4. Computers & Wireless Communication (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth): No question here. Computers and wireless price-performance have gotten a billion times better between 1980 and today.

10 Industries Using Today’s Drones:

  1. Agriculture: Drones watch for disease and collect real-time data on crop health and yields. This is an estimated $3B annual market size.
  2. Energy: Energy companies monitor miles of pipeline and oil rigs with autonomous drones.
  3. Real Estate and Construction: Drones photograph, prospect and advertise real estate from golf courses to skyscrapers; they also monitor construction in progress.
  4. Rapid Response and Emergency Services: Drones aid in search and rescue operations ranging from forest fire fighting to searching for people buried in rubble or snow using infrared sensors.
  5. News: It’s faster and safer to deploy drones to cover breaking news/disaster/war zones than news crews.
  6. Package/Supply Delivery: Companies like Matternet (founded at Singularity University) are building networks of UAVs to deliver food and medical supplies to remote villages around the world.
  7. Photography/Film: Visual artists use drones to capture beautiful new images and camera angles.
  8. Scientific Research/Conservation: Drones assist in everything from counting sea lions in Alaska to conducting weather and environmental research to tracking herd movements on the Savannah in Africa.
  9. Law Enforcement: Drones can be used during hostage situations, search and rescue operations, bomb threats, when officers need to pursue armed criminals, and to monitor drug trafficking across our borders.
  10. Entertainment/Toys: Good old fun.

So, Where Next?

What happens in the next 10 years when drones are 1000x better? Or 30 years from now when they are 1,000,000,000x better? What does that even mean, or look like? Here are some directions for your imagination:

  • Smart and Autonomous: Drones will have a mind of their own… thinking, doing, navigating, avoiding, seeking, finding, sensing and transmitting.
  • Microscopic and Cheap: Think about drones the size of a housefly, sending you full-motion HD video. Think swarms of drones (hundreds) where losing half of your swarm won’t matter because another hundred are there to replace them. How much will they cost? I would be shocked if they price doesn’t plummet to less than $10 each… maybe $1.

Top Future Drone Applications?

  1. Pollination: Imagine bee-sized drones pollinating flowers (in fact, we’re actually doing this now);
  2. Personal security: In the future, your children will have a flotilla of micro-drones following them to school and to playgrounds at all times, scanning for danger;
  3. Action sports photography: Imagine 100 micro-drone-cameras following a downhill skier capturing video from every angle in real time;
  4. Asteroid prospecting and planetary science: On a cosmic scale, my company Planetary Resources is building the ARKYD 300 — effectively a space drone with 5km per second delta-V. PRI plans to send small flotillas of four to six A300 drones (with onboard sensors) to remote locations like the asteroids or the moons of Mars;
  5. Medical in-body drones: On the microscopic scale, each of us will have robotic drones traveling through our bodies monitoring and repairing;
  6. High Altitude “Atmospheric Satellite” Drones: Google recently announced Project Loon to provide a global network of stratospheric balloons, and then acquired Titan Aerospace to provide for solar powered aerial drones, both of which could blanket the entire planet to provide low-cost Internet connectivity, anytime, anywhere; and,
  7. Ubiquitous surveillance: Combined with facial recognition software and high-resolution cameras, drones will know where everybody and everything is at all times. Kiss privacy goodbye. Are you a retailer? Want to know how many people are wearing your product at any time? Future imaging drones will give you that knowledge.
  8. Military and Anti-terrorism: Expect a significant increase in defense-related applications of drones in war zones and in your local backyard, sensing and searching for dangers ranging from biological to radiation.

So, What are the Challenges?

Technical challenges aside, we’ll have to address many sociopolitical challenges before drones become disruptive.

There are concerns over privacy and spying, interference with planes/helicopters, drones aiding illegal activities, safety and potential crashes, noise and cluttering the skies, theft and commercial use.

I recommend looking at the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 to get a glimpse of the legal landscape surrounding drones.

This bill expires in September of 2015.

In other words, pending major legislative changes, expect 2015 to be a big year for drones.

Why are drones going to be disruptive?

Besides all of the use cases outlined above, drones represent an interesting convergence of three exponential technology areas:

  1. The Internet of Everything: Drones will be a key part of our trillion-sensor future, transporting a variety of sensors (thermal imaging, pressure, audio, radiation, chemical, biologics, and imaging) and will be connected to the Internet. They will communicate with each other and with operators.
  2. Advanced Battery Technology: Increases in energy density (kilowatt-hours per kilogram) will allow drones to operate for longer periods of time. Additionally, solar battery technology is allowing high-altitude drones to fly for weeks at a time without landing.
  3. Automation Software and Artificial Intelligence: Hundreds of teams around the world are working on automation systems that a) make drones easier for untrained users to fly, but more importantly, b) allow drones to fly and operate autonomously.

This is just the start.

At my Abundance 360 Executive Summit in January 2015, we’ll discuss this in much more detail and talk about potential investment opportunities in this arena. If you’re interested in joining me, there are only a few slots left. Apply here.

All the best,

Every weekend I send out a blog like this one with my latest insights on technology. To make sure you never miss one, head to www.AbundanceHub.com to sign up for this and my Abundance blogs. And if you want my personal coaching on these topics, consider joining my Abundance 360 coaching program for entrepreneurs.

Stories of Abundance: The Robber Barons

Today, we don’t blink an eye when the world’s wealthiest individuals donate enormous sums of money to charitable causes. In fact, we expect them to do so.

But large-scale philanthropy hasn’t always been a part of history. If you look back 600 years ago, royals’ sole goal was to keep their wealth within the family.

What changed? The emergence of robber barons like John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Richard Sears and Henry Ford.

I wrote about this tremendous shift in Abundance — the excerpt follows.

If family and friends want to receive these “Stories of Abundance” as well as the “Evidence for Abundance” email I sent on Tuesday, just have them go to AbundanceHub.com and sign up. I’d love to have them in the community!

***Beginning of Abundance Excerpt: The Robber Barons***

It’s the morning of April 16, 2011, and the X PRIZE Foundation is holding its annual Visioneering meeting. This, in our parlance, is the process of brainstorming incentive competitions to solve the world’s grand challenges. To help us do the big thinking, we invite top entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and CEOs for a weekend best described as a cross between a mini-TED and Hurricane Katrina.

This year the meeting is being hosted by the chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, Jim Gianopulos, at its Los Angeles studios. The only room large enough to hold everyone is the commissary. The walls are flat white, decorated with photographs of film icons from Cary Grant to Luke Skywalker, but it’s a different kind of crowd, and few pay these images much mind. Nor does anyone have much to say about box office returns or points on the back end, but there’s a lot of talk about creating African entrepreneurs, reinventing the technology of health care, and increasing the energy density of batteries by an order of magnitude.

Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to host many similar meetings and meet many similar people, and what seems to unify them is exactly what’s on display today: a high level of optimism, a magnanimous sphere of caring, and a hearty appetite for the big and bold. Perhaps this is to be expected. These are the same captains of the digital age who, with the stroke of HTML code, have reinvented banking with PayPal, advertising with Google, and commerce with eBay. They’ve seen firsthand how exponential technologies and the tools of cooperation can transform industries and better lives. They now believe that the same high-leverage thinking and best business practices that led to their technological success can bring about philanthropic success. Taken together, they constitute a significant force for abundance and a new breed of philanthropist: a technophilanthropist; a young, idealistic, iPad jet-setter who cares about the world — the whole world — in a whole new way.

Large-scale philanthropy, based in the private, not the public sector, is a relatively recent historical development. Going back some six hundred years, wealth was concentrated within royals whose sole goal was to keep that money in the family. This sphere of caring expanded during the Renaissance, when European merchants tried to mitigate poverty in big trading cities like London. Two centuries ago, the financial community got involved. But it was the titans of industrialization known collectively as the robber barons who really rewrote the rule book.

The robber barons were transformative. In less than seventy years, they turned America from an agricultural nation into an industrial powerhouse. What John D. Rockefeller did for oil, Andrew Carnegie did for iron and steel, Cornelius Vanderbilt did for railroads, James B. Duke for tobacco, Richard Sears for mail-order retailing, and Henry Ford for automobiles. There were dozens more. And while robber baron rapaciousness has received much attention, contemporary historians are in agreement: it was also these gilded age magnates who invented modern philanthropy.

Certainly scholars have gone back and forth about most things robber baron, including the nature of their charity. Not long ago, BusinessWeek wrote: “John D. Rockefeller became a major donor — but only after a public relations expert, Ivy Lee, told him that donations could help salvage a damaged Rockefeller image.” Great-great grandson Justin Rockefeller, an entrepreneur and political activist, disagrees: “John David Sr., a devout Baptist, started tithing from his very first paycheck. He kept meticulous financial records. His first year in business was 1855. His income was ninety-five dollars, ten percent of which he gave to the church.” Either way, that $9.50 donation was only the beginning. In 1910 Rockefeller took $50 million worth of Standard Oil stock to create the foundation bearing his name. By the time of his death in 1937, half of his fortune had been given away.

Carnegie, though, was an even bigger donor, and it’s to Carnegie that most of today’s technophilanthropists trace their roots. When Warren Buffett wanted to inspire philanthropy in Bill Gates, he started by giving him a copy of Carnegie’s essay “The Gospel of Wealth,” which attempts to answer a tricky question: “What is the proper mode of administering wealth after the laws upon which civilization is founded have thrown it into the hands of the few?”

Carnegie believed that one’s wealth must be used to better the world, and the best way to do so was not by leaving the money for one’s children or bequeathing it to the state for public works. His interest was in teaching others how to help themselves; thus, his major contribution was to construct 2,500 public libraries. While “The Gospel of Wealth” wasn’t popular in Carnegie’s time, much of his philosophy is now shared by many of the technophilanthropists, though, as we’ll soon see, exactly who to help and how to do so is where today’s generation and yesterday’s benefactors diverge.

***End Abundance Excerpt***

Evidence of Abundance #7: Empowering Women

This week, our Evidence of Abundance focuses on empowering women.

Over history, women haven’t had equal access, but data today is showing an extraordinary shift in this paradigm.

The following graph depicts the percentage of degrees awarded to women, using data from the U.S. Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics.

As of the mid-90s, over 50 percent of women have a bachelor’s and master’s degree, compared to about 35 percent and 30 percent, respectively, in 1920.

The shift in professional degrees is even more dramatic. In the 1920s, hardly any women had law or medical education. As of the 90s, the number of women holding these degrees has risen to some 40 percent of the population.

In terms of education, women are entering their own world of abundance.

Here’s another one that shows we’re closing the gender gap. This shows the ratio of women’s wages to men’s wages by age group and year.

We’re starting to close this gap. Women are getting equal rights in the workforce to men today, and this will only continue.

Here at XPRIZE, I’m proud that the majority of senior management are women. They represent a part of the workforce, a part of the human intellect that will make one of the biggest differences on the planet ever.

Women, we’re entering your age of abundance. Men, it’s time to join the movement.

Click here for a video version of this blog.

Please send your friends and family to AbundanceHub.com to sign up for these blogs — this is all about surrounding yourself with abundance-minded thinkers. And if you want my personal coaching on these topics, consider joining my Abundance 360 membership program for entrepreneurs.

It Takes Courage to Be Disruptive

It takes courage to be disruptive.

It’s one thing to understand what this means… but what does being courageous actually feel like, and why is it so hard?

To help answer this question, let’s look at the world of 3D printing.

Right now, 3D printing is in a disruptive phase. One Deloitte report projects 300% market growth over the next 5-6 years:

Sales of 3D printers will approach $5 billion in 2017, up from $1.7 billion in 2011, as demand expands for everything from consumer applications to markets such as automotive, aerospace, industrial and healthcare.

Every day, it seems, we see a new 3D printing project announced and funded on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. And 3D printers are on sale now in thousands of stores.

As a proud board member of 3D Systems, I am lucky enough to witness this explosion firsthand!

But we have only been talking about 3D printing in this way for the last few years.

As a result, people think of it as an overnight success.

The fact of the matter is that it has taken over 35 years of persistence and courage to bring this technology to the masses.

In the early 1980s, Chuck Hull invented 3D printing, after developing a process called stereolithography and constructing his first 3-D printer. He then founded 3D Systems to develop and commercialize the technology.

This was no easy task.

Over the next 20 years, development was slow (deceptive), incredibly expensive, and burdened with complicated user interfaces. All three factors prevented widespread adoption.

By the early 2000s, despite their enormous “first mover” advantage, 3D Systems was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Fast forward to today, and the company, led by my good friend and CEO Avi Reichental, is worth $6 billion.

So why was it so hard in the early days? And why did it take so much courage to push forward?

In my mind, disruption takes courage for the following key reasons:

1. It takes vision.

In many cases, as an entrepreneur, you can see the ultimate potential of your venture. But it takes much longer a) for the rest of the world to see that vision, b) for the marketplace itself to develop and demand your product/service, and c) for your vision to materialize.

This was the case with Chuck Hull and 3D printing.

2. Everyone will fight you.

Almost everybody (investors, colleagues, and even family and friends) will doubt you and many will think you’re crazy. If you are really innovating and creating something completely new, most people simply won’t believe it until they can hold it in their hands. And even then, they might be skeptical of its potential in the market.

3. Obstacles are everywhere you look.

The road to disruption is rife with challenges. Technological. Financial. Mental. Social.

And this isn’t just for new entrepreneurs.

It’s also extraordinarily difficult for already-established CEOs and companies to disrupt themselves. On top of the normal cohort of doubters, they have to face their boards of directors, employees, existing customers, and fellow executives.

And, as I always say, unless you are disrupting yourself, someone else is disrupting you. The pressure is certainly on.

So what’s the best way to think about this?

It’s easy to say “stick to your guns and believe in yourself through it all.”

But that doesn’t cut it.

Dan Sullivan’s 4 C’s

My friend Dan Sullivan has a good framework for thinking about this. While I often speak about the six D’s, Dan talks about 4 C’s.

The first is to make a commitment.

This commitment gives you the willpower and energy you need for the second C: courage.

With commitment and courage, you have the power to create capability.

And finally, armed with commitment, courage and capability, you then have confidence to execute your vision.

This cycle continues: the confidence you gain from seeing your original commitment through inspires you to create new commitments.

One of the best ways I’ve found to realize the 4 C’s is to surround yourself with the right people.

I am lucky enough to have surrounded myself with an extraordinary group of positive entrepreneurs and implementors. In all of my companies — Planetary Resources, Human Longevity Inc., XPRIZE, Singularity University and PHD Ventures — my teams make it easy and fun to push the boundaries.

I wish you the best of luck in finding your team. If you want to join mine, apply to be a part of A360.

Best wishes and happy summer, 

Every weekend I send out a “Tech Blog” like this one. If you want to sign up, go to www.AbundanceHub.com and sign up for this and my Abundance blogs.

Stories of Abundance: Think Different

In Abundance, I wrote that you have to be a little crazy to change the world, and you can’t really fake it.

Without this commitment to innovative thinking, true breakthroughs can’t happen.

I’ve included the full excerpt below for some inspiration.

***Beginning of Abundance Excerpt: Think Different***

In 1997 Apple introduced its “Think Different” advertising campaign with the now famous declaration: “Here’s to the crazy ones”:

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes … the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.

If you were to just hear these words, they’d seem like bravado — marketingspeak from a company not known for marketingspeak. But Apple coupled sight to sound. Accompanying those words were images: Bob Dylan as a misfit; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a troublemaker; Thomas Edison as the one without respect for the status quo. Suddenly everything changes. Turns out this campaign is not all bluster. In fact, it seems to be a fairly accurate retelling of historical events.

The point, however obvious, is pretty fundamental: you need to be a little crazy to change the world, and you can’t really fake it. If you don’t believe in the possibility, then you’ll never give it the 200 percent effort required. This can put experts in a tricky situation. Many have built their careers buttressing the status quo, reinforcing what they’ve already accomplished, and resisting the radical thinking that can topple their legacy — not exactly the attitude you want when trying to drive innovation forward.

Henry Ford agreed: “None of our men are ‘experts.’ We have most unfortunately found it necessary to get rid of a man as soon as he thinks himself an expert because no one ever considers himself expert if he really knows his job … Thinking always ahead, thinking always of trying to do more, brings a state of mind in which nothing is impossible.” So if you’re going after grand challenges, experts may not be your best coconspirators.

Instead, if you need a group of people who thrive on risk, are overflowing with crazy ideas, and don’t have a clue that there’s a “wrong way” to do things, there’s one particular place to look. In the early 1960s, when President Kennedy launched the Apollo program, very few of the necessary technologies existed at the time. We had to invent almost everything. And we did, with one of the main reasons being that those engineers involved didn’t know they were trying to do the impossible, because they were too young to know. The engineers who got us to the Moon were in their mid to late twenties. Fast-forward thirty years, and once again it was a group of twentysomethings driving a revolution, this time in the dot-com world. This is not a coincidence: youth (and youthful attitudes) drives innovation — always has and always will. So if we’re serious about creating an age of abundance, then we’re going to have to learn to think differently, think young, roll the dice, and perhaps most importantly, get comfortable with failure.

***End of Abundance Excerpt***

Evidence of Abundance #6: Reduced Violence

Last week, I shared two key datasets showing that global violence is going down.

This week, I’ve got even more proof for you.

This is one of the most important areas you can share with your friends and family, especially if they have a negative mindset.

Nothing gets us down more than watching violence on television or reading about war and brutality in the newspaper. The truth is, there’s a massive reduction in the amount of violence around the world.

The following graph comes from data in the FBI National Crime Victimization Survey. It depicts the rapes reported in the Bureau of Justice Victimization between 1970 and 2010.

On this curve, and in the next curve, you’ll see the impact of the World Wide Web on violence.

You might hear people decry the loss of privacy in today’s world, but radical transparency is dramatically reducing violence everywhere. Most violent things happen in the dark when no one’s watching, whether it’s an oppressive dictator or someone causing violence in the inner city.

As sensors and networks continue to expand around the world, we’ll see violence drop even further. After all, when there’s a danger that your actions can be caught on tape and shown around the world, you’re more responsible for your behavior.

Here’s another one that shows the impact of transparency. This is trends by armed conflict and the impact on the World Wide Web. We do see an increase in violence here from the 1960s to the 1990s. Watch what happened in 1993 when the Web started reporting this violence, though.

This last graph is the rate of non-fatal firearm crime between 1993 and 2011. Again, watch what happens as the World Wide Web gains popularity: gun violence plummets.

The Web and level of transparency has an extraordinary effect on what people do or don’t do in public.

I hope you share this with your friends and family. Because regardless of what the news media will tell you, we are living in a world that is more peaceful and more abundant than ever before.

Click here for a video version of this blog.

Please send your friends and family to AbundanceHub.com to sign up for these blogs — this is all about surrounding yourself with abundance-minded thinkers. And if you want my personal coaching on these topics, consider joining my Abundance 360 membership program for entrepreneurs.