Corentin Derbré


Bold: How to Go Big – Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler

ISBN: 1476709580
Date read: 2016-06-07
How strongly I recommend it: 8/10
(See my list of books, for more.)

Go to the Amazon page for details and reviews.

Good book about new ways of doing things like crowdfunding and exponential growth. Gives simple how to's for each point made. An easy to read and inspiring book.

my notes

But for me, the most important telltale factor is the development of a simple and elegant user interface—a gateway of effortless interaction that plucks a technology from the hands of the geeks and deposits it with the entrepreneurs.

If you wanted to be a great artist, you had to have years of experience applying paint to a blank canvas. Now, with our coloring-book approach, if you want to be supercreative, all you have to know how to do is color between the lines.

Infinite computing demonetizes error-making, thus democratizing experimentation.

It is better to be a pirate than join the Navy.

These innovation accelerators are always about business as unusual. They are created to tackle the Herculean, purposefully built around what psychologists call “high, hard goals.” And it’s the difficult nature of those goals that is actually the first secret to skunk success.

Big goals significantly outperform small goals, medium-sized goals, and vague goals.

successful entrepreneurs need a buffer between themselves and the rest of society.

rapid iteration—which is one of the best risk-mitigation strategies ever developed.

companies now release a “minimum viable product,” then get immediate feedback from customers, incorporate that feedback into the next iteration, release a slightly upgraded version, and repeat.

But once tasks become slightly more complex—such as shaping those nailed boards into a house—once they require even the slightest bit of conceptual ability, money actually has the exact opposite effect: It lowers motivation, hinders creativity, and decreases performance

when you plot happiness and life satisfaction alongside income, they overlap until $70,000—i.e., the point at which money stops being a major issue—then wildly diverge.

Three in particular stand out: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Autonomy is the desire to steer our own ship. Mastery is the desire to steer it well. And purpose is the need for the journey to mean something.

Combine the rules for isolation and rapid iteration discussed in this section with the value-aligned big goals from the last and you end up with a great recipe for autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Failure isn’t a badge of shame. It is a rite of passage.

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 to perspective-shift and supplant all that smartness and resources with bravery and creativity.

data or death

measurable and testable

good data to separate the worthwhile from the wooly.

top executives report being five times more productive in flow.

The lover must be willing to risk rejection to enter this state. The athlete must be willing to risk physical harm, even loss of life, to enter this state. The artist must be willing to be scorned and despised by critics and the public and still push on. And the average person—you and me—must be willing to fail, look foolish, and fall flat on our faces should we wish to enter this state.

Move fast, break things.

increasing the amount of novelty, complexity, and unpredictability in their daily life.

learning through doing

Clear goals tell us what we’re doing; immediate feedback tells us how to do it better.

So how to precipitate group flow? This is where social triggers come into play. These triggers are ways to alter social conditions to produce more group flow.

blending egos

Always say “yes, and . . . ,” means interactions should be additive more than argumentative.

One of the most well-established facts about flow is that the state is ubiquitous—meaning it shows up anywhere, in anyone, provided certain initial conditions are met. What are these conditions? These seventeen triggers—it really is that straightforward.

annual “What’s Next?” retreat

our first step was to organize a conference to “study” the feasibility of a space university.

What makes stone soup work is passion. People love passion. People love to contribute to passion.

And that’s why it’s important to write down your own laws. You’re essentially creating an external hard drive for when your internal hard drive is guaranteed to crash.

Thinking always ahead, thinking always of trying to do more, brings a state of mind in which nothing is impossible. The moment one gets into the ‘expert’ state of mind a great number of things become impossible.

If anything can go wrong, fix it!

When given a choice—take both!

When faced without a challenge—make one.

Don’t walk when you can run.

When in doubt: THINK!

The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live.

If you think it is impossible, then it is for you.

Fail early, fail often, fail forward!

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

  1. Risk taking and risk mitigation

  2. Rapid iteration and ceaseless experimentation

  3. Passion and purpose

  4. Long-term thinking

  5. Customer-centric thinking

  6. Probabilistic thinking

  7. Rationally optimistic thinking

  8. Reliance on first principles, aka fundamental truths

Thinking in probabilities—this business has a 60 percent chance of success—rather than deterministically—if I do A and B, then C will definitely happen—doesn’t just guard against oversimplification; it further protects against the brain’s inherent laziness.

The brain is an energy hog (it’s 2 percent of our mass yet uses 25 percent of our energy), so it’s always trying to conserve. As it’s way more energy efficient to think in black and white, we often do. But outcomes exist across a range. “The future is not certain,” continues Musk. “It’s really a set of branching probability streams.”

Even if the probability for success is fairly low, if the objective is really important, it’s still worth doing.

How I decide which projects to take on depends on probability multiplied by the importance of the objective.

Don’t leave any dollars in reserve, you can always feed yourself, but don’t leave money on the table. I spent it all.

When he first told Virgin Music CEOs of his idea to use one-third of last year’s profits to start Virgin Atlantic, his justification was that the risk was worth it because it was “fun.” “They weren’t happy with the word fun,” Branson recounted in his appropriately titled quasi-business/biography/philosophy book, Screw It, Let’s Do It. “To them, business was serious. It is. But to me, having fun matters more.”

“What’s going to change in the next ten years?” And that is a very interesting question; it’s a very common one. I almost never get the question: “What’s not going to change in the next ten years?” And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two—because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.

When you have something that you know is true, even over the long term, you can afford to put a lot of energy into it.

Word of mouth remains the most powerful customer acquisition tool we have

I think the amount of useful invention you do is directly proportional to the number of experiments you can run per week per month per year. So if you’re going to increase the number of experiments, you’re also going to increase the number of failures.

His favorite questions were “Why not?” and “Why not bigger?”

Clearly I was dealing with someone unaccustomed to limits.

I know it sounds kind of nuts, but it’s often easier to make progress when you’re really ambitious. Since no one else is willing to try those things, you don’t have any competition. And you get all the best people, because the best people want to work on the most ambitious things. For this reason, I’ve come to believe that anything you imagine is probably doable. You just have to imagine it and work on it.

Being negative is not how we make progress.

Hey, I want to work in this very niche area in technology. Maybe there’s no jobs locally, but now I can work for a global client base and earn fantastic income.

building a great team is the most important step in building a great product or company

Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.

This is one of the most telling features of the web—the somewhat humbling fact that no matter what oddball notion you’re deeply passionate about, well, there are plenty of folks who share the same passion.

It’s also important to remember that people join communities because it reinforces their sense of identity (see below), but they stay for the conversation. This is also why the very best communities actually force their members to interact with one another

if you’re the person organizing a new community, then driving a high level of interactivity must be your primary responsibility.

Research shows your early adopters tend to become your most ardent supporters. Get the ball rolling by personally handpicking your first ten to fifteen members. Be sure to engage these folks in the community-building process. Ask for their advice. Integrate their input.

Establish a Newcomer’s Ritual.

Ignoring the fact that the web is a visual medium will only hurt you. People expect a certain degree of eye-candy online today.

And while this will no doubt lead us down the road to abundance, it also has the potential to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of the few. To navigate the turbulent times ahead, we will need a new breed of ethical leaders who are not corrupted by such absolute power.

© 2018 Corentin Derbré.