Becoming an Exponential Executive Is Easier Than You Think – I’ll Show You
Today, each of us has access to more capital, more technological tools, more information, more talent, and more computational power than the CEOs of the world’s biggest companies did just two decades ago.
Let’s dive in…
1. YOU *MUST* UNDERSTAND EXPONENTIALS
We’re local and linear thinkers in an exponential world.
Our brains haven’t had a significant upgrade in over two million years, whereas our technology is doubling in power every 18 to 24 months.
I often talk about my “6 Ds” framework—it’s a lens, and a roadmap, through which I contextualize all technological change and opportunities.
The 6 Ds Progression
- Digitized: Anything that becomes digitized enters the same exponential growth we see in computing. Digital information is easy to access, share, and distribute–it can spread at the speed of the internet. Once a product or service can be represented as “1s and 0s”—from biotechnology to music—it becomes an information-based technology and enters exponential growth.
- Deceptive: Once something is digitized, its initial period of growth is deceptive because exponential trends don’t seem to grow fast at first. Doubling .01 only gets you 0.2, then 0.4, and so on. At this phase, everything looks like “zero.” But exponential growth really takes off after it breaks the whole-number barrier. 2 quickly becomes 32, which then becomes 32,000 before you know it.
- Disruptive: The existing market for a given product or service is disrupted by the new market that the exponential technology creates because digital technologies outperform in terms of cost and effectiveness. Once you can stream music on your phone, why by CDs or records? If you can also snap, store, and share photographs, why buy a camera and film?
- Demonetized: Money is increasingly removed from the equation as the technology becomes cheaper—often to the point of being free. Software is less expensive to produce than hardware and copies are virtually free. You can now download any number of apps on your phone to access terabytes of information and enjoy a multitude of services at costs approaching zero.
- Dematerialized: Separate physical products are removed from the equation. Technologies that were once bulky or expensive—cameras, GPS, phones, maps—are now all in a smartphone that fits in your pocket.
- Democratized: Once something is digitized, more people have access to it. Powerful technologies are no longer only for governments, large organizations, or the wealthy.
Exponential entrepreneurs use the 6 Ds as a technological road map to predict where technologies are going and when to capitalize on the opportunities.
The framework gives them an unfair advantage over competitors.
How can you use the 6 Ds framework in your business and industry?
2. YOU SEE ABUNDANCE—NOT SCARCITY
Exponential entrepreneurs understand that technology is a force that transforms things from scarcity to abundance.
They have an Abundance Mindset.
Exponential tech is creating a world of Abundance in almost every major arena, including computation, education, energy, finance, healthcare, and transportation, among others. Once these industries transform from scarcity to abundance, their products and services become cheap (or free) and their quality goes through the roof.
Many things that we paid millions of dollars for just two decades ago are now available for free on our smartphones.
The challenge is that our minds evolved during a world of absolute scarcity, and most people are trapped in an unhealthy “Scarcity Mindset.”
In a world of scarcity, there is a limited pie. If your neighbor gets a slice, it means that you get a smaller slice. But with an Abundance Mindset, rather than slicing the pie into thinner and thinner pieces, we just bake more pies—millions more pies.
Exponential entrepreneurs also know that scarcity-minded, closed business models ultimately fail, and that open platforms ultimately win.
3. YOU LEVERAGE EXPONENTIAL TECH
Exponential entrepreneurs experiment constantly and have a deep sense of curiosity about a group of exponentially growing technologies:
- 3D Printing
- AR, VR & Spatial Web
- Artificial Intelligence & Computation
- Biotech & Longevity
- Material Sciences
- Robotics & Drones
Exponential entrepreneurs understand that these are the technologies that can transform and disrupt industries.
They see how these technologies are allowing individuals to do what was previously only possible by governments and the largest corporations.
And further, they know that today, you don’t have to become a technologist yourself, but instead take the first step: to understand the potential and implications of the technologies.
4. YOU HAVE AN MTP AND A MOONSHOT
Exponential entrepreneurs and executives must have a Massively Transformative Purpose (MTP) that drives them to power through hardship and attract the best talent to join them.
The most successful entrepreneurs then use their MTP to power their Moonshot: a product or service that allows them to go 10X bigger or better while everyone else is pursuing incremental change.
Most businesspeople and companies ask questions such as, “How do we reduce costs by 10%?”
Going after Moonshots means applying 10X thinking (or 1,000%) to all your efforts and challenges.
Finally, the best entrepreneurs subscribe to Google’s eight innovation principles, making them central to their startup mindset:
- Focus on the user
- Open will win
- Ideas can come from everywhere
- Think big, but start small
- Never fail to fail
- Spark with imagination, fuel with data
- Be a platform, float all boats
- Have a mission that matters
5. YOU LEVERAGE THE CROWD FOR EXPERTISE, SOLUTIONS & CAPITAL
Exponential entrepreneurs and executives can crowdsource nearly everything they need—ideas, capital, design, software—to grow their company.
And they take advantage of these abundant resources.
We live in a hyper-connected world of 4.5 billion, growing to 7 billion+. Around the world, cognitive surplus can help you build your products, services, and drive innovation—regardless of your company’s size.
As Bill Joy, cofounder of Sun Microsystems once said, “No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else.”
With current technology, people can work from anywhere in the world at any time, and large corporations can tap into this global knowledge base to improve their systems.
Perhaps one of the most powerful aspects of the crowd is its ability to provide you with capital: either in the form of equity or advanced market commitments. Crowdfunding has grown into an opportunity worth multi-tens-of-billions of dollars, providing more capital to today’s startup game than any time ever in human history.
Access to startup capital is no longer scarce.
There are proven ways to run a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign. For exponential entrepreneurs, these capabilities are second nature.
Finally, you can create incentive competitions through platforms such as HeroX.com that allow you to crowdsource technologies, designs, solutions… whatever you want. This is an important tool in your tool chest.
All you need to know is exactly what you want.
If you do, in most cases, the crowd can do the rest.
6. YOU LAUNCH YOUR VISION, EXPERIMENT & DISRUPT YOURSELF
Exponential entrepreneurs and executives must bring their ideas to life.
These entrepreneurs and executives understand the importance of action, rapid iteration, and experimentation. They follow Reid Hoffman’s philosophy: “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
As such, exponential entrepreneurs understand the importance and means for rapid experimentation and iteration. They push tirelessly to reinvent and disrupt themselves.
They drive idea exchange and create a culture of idea interaction capable of fostering creative solutions to previously unsolvable problems.
They understand where, when, why and how breakthroughs happen inside the communities they create.
They know how to constantly keep their companies, ideas, and processes focused on the future, moving forward, and leveraging the latest exponential growth techniques in the pursuit of even bigger goals.
We live in incredible times.
The potential for entrepreneurs to disrupt industries has never been greater. Let’s talk about your disruptive technology.
Contributor: Peter Diamandis, Founder, X Prize Foundation and Chairman of Singularity University, with edits by Cliff Locks, Investment Capital Growth, Managing Director and Executive Coach
Cliff Locks is a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor to CEOs, C-Level Exec, and high-potential employees to help them clarify goals, unlock their potential, and create actionable strategic plans.
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I am a trusted mentor, confidant, and advisor available by Zoom and by phone to be your right-hand man, who will make a significant contribution and impact on your way to success.
As a Trusted Mentor, Confidant, and Advisor, I support you, along with your company’s strategic and annual operating plan. This plan may include marketing, sales, product development, supply chain, hiring policies, compensation, benefits, performance management, and succession planning.
Most successful leaders enjoy talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a Trusted Confidant—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas without fear of sharing too much or being judged by the people they lead, or their colleagues and superiors. I am a sounding board who will help you to better develop and see your ideas through to fruition.
The most effective Executive find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. Bill Gates uses Steve Ballmer in this way; Warren Buffett turns to vice chairman Charlie Munger. In the end, both the Executive and their organizations benefit from these relationships.
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What many executives feel is missing from their busy life is a trusted business person who understands the holistic complexity of both their business and personal life.
I strive to provide solid financial, business, and family expertise and serve as a dispassionate sounding board, a role I like to call “Executive Confidant.”
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The job of an Executive can be lonely. For various reasons, confiding in colleagues, company associates, family members, or friends presents complications. Powerful, successful, and wealthy individuals often isolate themselves as a protective reaction because of their inability to find people they can trust and confide in.
Successful people are often surrounded by many people, yet they insulate and isolate themselves to varying levels of degree. This isolation factor is not often discussed in the same context because the assumption is that success and wealth only solve problems. The false belief is that it does not create more problems, when, in fact, sometimes it creates a unique set of new challenges. Success and wealth do not insulate you from the same pitfalls that the everyday person faces. It may give you access to better solutions perhaps, and that is what I can help you achieve. Financial business success can create unique vulnerabilities, often overlooked as most people feel that the “problems” of the wealthy are not real-life problems.
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Who can you turn to when you need to find clarity? Who is your “Executive Confidant”?
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