March 26, 2015

Thinking up new ways for success

Thinking up new ways to succeed. Photo credit: Joe deSousa / Flickr Creative Commons

This article is going to show you how to become a billionaire and change the world.*

At least, there’s a chance it will. It’s not a huge chance, percentage-wise. After all, it’d be strange if thousands of world-changing billionaires all owed their success to one article. (If that happens, however, everyone here at Innovation Hub would love some sort of kickback.)

But author, entrepreneur, and all-around tech heavyweight Peter Diamandis does have some advice for potential entrepreneurs wanting to create the next earth-shattering company. Diamandis is a pretty good person to get advice from: he started the X-Prize, he’s the chairman of Singularity University, and he’s a co-founder of Human Longevity, Inc.

So, here are three take-aways that will definitely** make you a billionaire.

Be Optimistic

Aside from luck, Diamandis argues, the thing that separates billionaires from the wretched souls who don’t own a private island shaped like a dollar sign, is a way of looking at the world. Diamandis finds that pessimists are less likely to invest in risky projects, and it’s those types of bold endeavors that change the world and make people Scrooge McDuck-esque rich. The people that become billionaires are “willing to take big shots, what my friends at Google call 'moonshots.' They’re not thinking about 10% bigger, but they’re thinking 10x bigger. And that’s more and more possible these days.”

Diamandis also argues that risk-taking — and succeeding — is more possible in today's world than ever before. Back in 2000, the cost of getting an Internet business was around $5 million. Now Diamandis thinks you can start your company with $5,000. On top of that, crowd-funding can be a major resource for a budding entrepreneur or creative type, with billions being raised in the past couple of years. And the growth of accessible technology like search engines gives lots of people access to a preponderance of information and resources. Diamandis, then, believes it’s a great time to be optimistic about the future, which is exactly the mind-set he thinks people need to become as wealthy as Smaug.

Do What You Love To Do

Now, if what you really like to do is - to pick a completely random example - produce engaging public radio, this might not strictly apply. That aside, Diamandis thinks the only way to become successful is to find what you enjoy doing, and then go forth and do it.

“Any time I’ve tried to start something just to make money, or just become someone told me to, it’s either failed or it’s not been fun. It’s [all about] what do you love doing, what are you passionate about, what would you want to do if no one paid you? Go do that. Because you can make a dent in the world, and you can make a business out of anything these days.”

Problems Can Be Wonderful

Since we don’t live in Thomas Moore’s Utopia, the world is probably always going to have problems. In Diamandis’ mind, that could be the key to amassing as much money as Charles Foster Kane. “Ask people what the biggest problem in their life is, and then solve it. Problems are goldmines. If you’re saying there’s no great ideas left, it’s like saying there are no problems left.” 

Beyond the ‘you too can be a tech billionaire’ rhetoric,*** he thinks that cool and interesting new ideas can be a truly positive force. In his words, “stop working on another photo-sharing app, and go and solve the world’s biggest problems.” Though, if you’re able to solve the world’s problems and still gain as much money as Richie Rich, that’s a bonus.

*Innovation Hub cannot be held responsible if you don’t become a billionaire and change the world. 

**Once again, you might not change the world, this is just good, interesting advice from a respected entrepreneur

***Refer to the slightly tongue-in cheek tone of this entire article, if you’re looking for an example.

Peter Diamandis, billionaire, Culture, entrepreneurship, Kara Miller

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