In his recent Book Peter Diamandis describes why the future is faster than you think. At the heart of this phenomenon is the Acceleration of acceleration. The Convergence of multiple forces is driving this very fast future. As these Intersections occur, that pathway to a very different future opens wide. In the case of acceleration, Mr. Diamandis identifies seven forces that in effect accelerate the current acceleration dynamic. These are:
SAVED TIME: technology has removed friction, as a result, all of us have saved time. According to Diamandis, this time saving isn’t just a benefit of technology, it’s also a driver of innovation – or a key force accelerating our acceleration.
AVAILABILITY OF CAPITAL: it is much easier for innovators to find funding than ever before – And this abundance is financing even more innovation. I’ve described the notion of Techno-Philanthropists before, but the book describes another piece of this story: crowdfunding. By democratizing access to capital, crowdfunding allows anyone, anywhere, with a good idea and access to a smartphone, to seek the cash they need to get going. According to Mr. Diamandis, venture funding rose from $8.1 billion in the U.S. in 1995 to $61.4 billion in 2016. And then came the banner year of 2017. In the US, investments reached $99.5 billion (the second highest total in history, with the highest being $119 billion spent in 2000, during the dot-com boom).
GENIUS: In one of his previous books, our author described this phenomenon as the Rising Billions. He believes that one of the by-products of our hyper-connected world is that extraordinary individuals will no longer be casualties of class, country, or culture. The opportunity costs surrounding lost brilliance is about to drop. But they are not the only ones that benefit from our increasing inter-connectivity and the exponential explosion of networks. All of us can contribute towards innovation resulting in more breakthrough ideas, faster innovation, and greater acceleration.
LONGER LIVES: Mr. Diamandis asks a good question. How many of us die before we’re done? He asks specifically; what might Ada Lovelace or Albert Einstein or Steve Jobs have accomplished with an additional thirty years of healthy life? How many of us wish we had the wisdom we have later in life in our earlier years? As we experience Healthy Life Extension, those gray hairs contribute to the acceleration phenomenon.
DEMONITIZATION: also from a previous book, demonitization is one of the 6Ds of exponential technologies (Digitization, Deception, Disruption, Demonetization, Dematerialization, and Democratization). Thanks to demonetization, nearly every basic need – energy, education, manufacturing, transportation, communication, insurance, and labor – is growing exponentially cheaper. This drop in marginal costs is fueling acceleration.
COMMUNICATIONS ABUNDANCE: the book provides statistics to support the various arguments. One such statistic supports this thought of communication abundance. From the book: In 2010, roughly one-quarter of the Earth’s population, some 1.8 billion people, were connected to the internet. By 2017, that penetration had reached 3.8 billion people, or about half the globe. Mr. Diamandis has spoken about the efforts underway to connect the rest of humanity, adding 4.2 billion new minds to the global conversation. The result: all eight billion of us, every single human, will be networked together at gigabit speeds. His conclusion: If network size, density, and fluidity have turned cities into the best transformation engines we’ve yet managed to create, then the fact that we are about to link the entire globe into a single network means the whole planet is just a few years away from becoming the largest innovation lab in history.
NEW BUSINESS MODELS: a revolution in business models is well underway. These basic rules for creating and capturing economic value were once fixed in place for years, even decades, as companies tried to execute the same business model better than competitors did. But business models like our mental models have a short shelf life. New mechanisms for value creation and capture fuel the acceleration phenomenon.
I will share more from the book in various posts. But for now, let’s appreciate some of the reasons that leaders everywhere find the pace dizzying.