An Abundance of Insights from Day 1

by Carlos Dominguez

Wow! Great first day at the Executive Symposium. Post your own perceptions here in the comments field: I really want to hear what you think.  My favorite nuggets of wisdom from the day came from Peter Diamandis, founder of the XPrize and co-founder of Singularity University, author of Abundance: the Future is Better than You Think.  Executives I spoke with afterward had mixed reactions to his view of the future: cortical implants (gulp!), global literacy (yes!).  

  • As soon as things or services are digitized, they harness exponential growth and then are subject to dematerialization (books and CDs on the phone for example); demonetization (e.g. free maps and directions; craigslist’s impact on classified); and democratization (now everyone’s a movie producer).

Dean Kamen’s invention of a product to purify any type of water no matter how polluted or salinized.  It’s the size of a dorm fridge (as opposed to enormous desalination or purification plants), costs just $2,500 to manufacture and the water costs $0.02 per liter, with the ability to produce 1,000 liters per day.  He calls it Slingshot in honor of the weapon David used to slay Goliath and it has potential on that scale: addressing the needs of the 783 million people without access to clean water.  He’s recently partnered with Coca-Cola to place his machines throughout Africa and Central America in hopes of eliminating the millions of deaths each year related to waterborne disease.

Diamandis outlined the six areas where we can next expect exponential growth:

  1. Computation/Networks
  2. Artificial Intelligence
  3. Robotics
  4. Synthetic Biology
  5. Digital Medicine
  6. 3D Printing

In perhaps the most controversial statement of the day, Diamandis said “if you’re relying on innovation from inside your company, you’re dead.”

What do you think?