Peter Diamandis, XPRIZE Founder, Author, and Futurist
When Peter Diamandis was a kid, there were two life-changing moments that shaped him into the person he is today: the launch of the Apollo space program and the release of Star Trek.
These two events inspired Diamandis’ love of space and taught him to always keep his eyes on the future. It’s no surprise then that Diamandis went on launch over 20 companies in the areas of space, longevity, venture capital, and education.
Diamandis has also dedicated himself to supporting others who make an impact on the world, which is why he founded the venture fund BOLD Capital Partners, the XPRIZE Foundation, and Singularity University—all organizations focused on promoting technologies that have the potential to improve society.
In this interview, he shares his thoughts on what it takes to build a sustainable business, his predictions for industries like education and healthcare, and what he’s most excited about in terms of future innovations. This is a conversation you won’t want to miss!
- Why Diamandis ended up going to medical school, despite his love of space
- How Diamandis carved out his own life path, which led to him starting 20+ companies in the areas of space, longevity, venture capital, and education
- His predictions on which industries will transition from a scarcity to an abundance mindset
- The golden rule Diamandis always follows whenever he prioritizes what to work on next
- Why Diamandis believes a person’s mindset is the most valuable asset they own
- The inspiration behind Diamandis’ latest book, The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives
- What excites Diamandis most about the future, and why he feels optimistic about what’s to come
Full Transcript of Podcast with Peter Diamandis
Nathan: I know we’ve spoken before and it was actually around this time last year. It’s crazy how fast time flies. But for those that are not familiar with you, how did you get your job?
Peter: Well, I don’t have a job. I am a kid playing and following my dreams. I grew up passionate about space, Apollo and Star Trek got me going. I wanted to become an astronaut and then a space entrepreneur. My parents wanted me to become a doctor. I went to medical school to make them happy but at the end of the day, I ended up really becoming an entrepreneur to make my dreams come true. I think there is a moment in people’s lives where you make a choice, am I going to follow my own drum beat, my own path or am I going to do things with other people on their drum beat and path. I was lucky. My first organisation ever, while I was at MIT, was a student organisation I started called Students With Exploration and Development of Space. Funnily enough, Jeff Bezos was the president of the Princeton chapter. I had such an incredible, emotional experience of creating a vision of something and then starting it and going and implementing it that I became hooked. That’s what I’ve been doing all my life.
Nathan: Wow. We’re going to talk about your latest book, The Future is Faster Than You Think, which is one of three books in the three part exponential series. You’re really, really well known as someone that is very, very, I guess proactive. All the companies that you either invest in or things that you do with the XPRIZE competitions, all around kind of emerging technologies and the wave of things that are going to happen as technology is changing. What compelled you to write this third book of the series, The Future is Faster Than You Think?
Peter: It’s a great question. I think people are scared of a future that they don’t understand and don’t know where it’s going. Fear is a terrible place to come from if you’re trying to create the future. This book is one that hopefully, as people will read it, will start to see where we’re going across all industries, in transportation, in finance and insurance and healthcare and education and retail and advertising and all of these areas. To see that we’re really heading towards a hopeful and abundant future. Yes, there’s going to be change. There’s always going to be change but the change that’s coming is enabling people to build an extraordinary world. This book is one that is a hopeful look at the future, an abundant look at the future and gives people a roadmap for where things are going so as a founder and entrepreneur, you have a sense of, “Okay this is the cool stuff I can go and create.” Or as an executive in company that’s more of an old school company, you can say, “Hey, this is how I have to future proof my company so it remains relevant and adds value in the decade ahead.”
My purpose, my mission is to inspire and guide people to create a hopeful and abundant future for humanity. That’s what I do, that’s what I focus on so that we’re really creating a world that we desire for ourselves and our kids. As a many time founder of companies and I love starting companies, that’s what my passion is, I believe that we’re alive during a time where someone can make their greatest dreams come true. That we’re going to create more wealth in the next decade then we have in the entire past century. It’s an amazing time to be alive.
Nathan: Yeah. I agree. I agree. Due to the power of the internet and everything that’s going on, this is one of the best times to be alive. There’s so much opportunity. More opportunity than ever. Would you agree?
Peter: Not a little bit, a huge agreement there.
Nathan: There’s three parts in your book, part one, the Power of Convergence, part two, the Rebirth of Everything, part three, the Faster the Future. I’d love to talk a little bit more about some of these parts. Let’s start with the power of convergence.
Peter: It turns out that we’re living in a time where it’s no longer sufficient to be an expert in any one technology. You know, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, you could be an expert in one area, networks or sensors or 3D printing or the early days of AI. But today, the real action is the new business models that are coming out of convergence. What is convergence? Convergence is the coming together of two, three, four different exponential technologies to reinvent an industry. Autonomous Ubers are ultimately going to be the convergence of sensors, of 5G networks, of machine learning and neural nets, of Google maps, of all of these different technologies enabling this future. Out of the convergence of those technologies, a new business model, autonomous transportation. Out of that comes amazing other business opportunities. I have a venture fund called Bold Capital Partners. We invest in converging technologies that impact globally at scale. We just had an investment in a company that I think is so cool. I’m having the co-founder and CTO close out my Abundance 360 conference this January. It’s a company called Relativity Space and they’re focused on a convergence of robotics, 3D printing, material sciences and machine learning. They dematerialized and democratised factory production.
They built this incredible factory, it’s a virtual factory with a 3D printer at the end of a robotic arm that can print in aluminium and . They are 3D printing entire rockets. I mean, these are not just small rockets. These are large, 10 foot diameter, two and a half metre diameter, I’m not sure what the height is, to launch a couple thousand pounds to Earth’s orbit. Ultimately that 3D printer can print a rocket in two weeks. If there’s something wrong, it can iterate and print a new version of the rocket two weeks later. There was just no tooling that produced and now has to be changed. This is a virtualization and by the way, if they print enough rockets, they can print a jet engine with that 3D printer or maybe an aeroplane wing with that 3D printer. This is a brand new game. This book is a look at how industries are changing. We’re reinventing education, entertainment. Healthcare will be completely transformed and the opportunities for founders, for young entrepreneurs, to play at a scale that was only possible by the largest companies is amazing.
Nathan: Yeah. I know you talk about many different industries in the book, in the Rebirth of Everything, I’m curious around the business component. In the future, because more than ever I believe the barrier to entry to start a business is easier than ever. What do you think is going to change?
Peter: Yeah, it is easier than ever. It used to be, I mean I’ll give you the example I love and I talk about in the book on the chapter of reinventing entertainment. We’ve gone from previously a scarcity mindset in almost every industry to an abundance mindset. In entertainment, the scarcity mindset used to be Hollywood Studios. Hollywood Studios controlled everything. A studio was the only place that had enough money to make a motion picture and it signed the biggest stars. Marilyn Monroe worked for this studio and not for the other studio. They had all of these sounds, the stages and the camera and the film. They were the only ones who could make entertainment. Or the TV networks had owned channel two, channel four, channel five, channel seven. Those were the networks. What’s changed is now we’ve gone from that scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset where now there are millions of YouTube stars. We’ve democratised the Uber creator. Now my kids couldn’t care a damn about studio created content. They are focused on YouTube content. The same thing is going to happen in everything industry. The barriers are coming down and it’s really what value do you add to a person’s life. How do you contribute to them? How do you make them smarter, happier, more passionate?
Nathan: Yeah, so if the barrier to entry is getting lower and will continue to get lower and all of these areas and industries are being democratised, does that mean the competition will be fiercer for attention?
Peter: There will be fiercer competition for attention. I think we see that right now. We are seeing 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 YouTube channels so to speak. But what’s also happening is that we have the ability to have a long tail of content where I, as an individual, will be able to have just a lot more options and find that thing that I want. For example, one thing we talk about in the book is we’re all going to have a version of an AI, a version like Jarvis in Ironman. I love that model. I love that concept, that vision of a personal AI. An AI software shell that is wrapped around you that you give permission to read your emails, listen to your conversations, look at your blood chemistry, through your augmented reality glasses it knows what you’re looking at. It knows what you pay attention to. You might come home and say, “I’m feeling kind of down.” You don’t have to say that, your AI knows it already. But you say, “Can you cheer me up?” Your AI will find content that you might not otherwise find that’s the perfect content for you. Our brains are not able to parse through 1,000 different options but an AI can. An AI knows what you see and what you’ve enjoyed and can deliver to you something that’s, the term I use is automatic and magical or auto-magical in this regard.
Nathan: Interesting. It kind of makes me think, for people that are listening now that already have a business, let’s just say they’ve recently launched it or they’re a couple years in. They’ve got product market fit, they’re getting customers, getting sales. What should they be thinking about around building a sustainable business for the future? Because, I’m sure you can attest to this after starting over 20 companies, being a founder for a very, very long time. To build anything of true worth and significance really takes at least 7 to 10 years. What can people to do to build a sustainable business, keeping that in mind and keeping the future in mind?
Peter: You’re absolutely right. People have this fallacy that things happen instantly. That, in fact, it’s not the way it is. Things move extremely slowly. It does take sometimes a decade. I jokingly say a lot of my best successes were overnight successes after 11 years of hard work. You’re lucky if you have a product market fit. Your job is to continually be listening to the customer, building your brand, iterating, getting data and listening to the data. We’re living in a world today where you can run experiments and you can gather data and you can listen to the data. Through that data, to the customers to go bigger and better. It’s also important for you to understand where the world is going. In the entertainment industry, understanding where we’re going with AI, how much of this is going to be served up by Alexa or Google Now, how much of this is going to be in VR or AR. It’s really educating ourselves constantly and asking where might this go next. It’s not becoming complacent with what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.
But again, most importantly is what is your customer want? A lot of times your customer may not know what they want. You can ask but a lot of times you can actually, it’s just running constant experiments. If you think about the most amazing companies in the world, Amazon most definitely is one of those. Amazon will run thousands of experiments per year. I think that’s ultimately critically important. You’ve got to constantly be iterating and reinventing and reinventing, remaining true to your core because you don’t want to sacrifice your core but constantly looking at what else can I create. I mean, there are people who bet it all over and over again. Elon Musk is one of those individuals. At SpaceX, he built the Falcon 1, got it working and then cancelled the Falcon 1 and starting building the Falcon 9 only. Now he’s going to cancel the Falcon 9 and only focus on Starship. There is a point at which you burn your boats as well when you identify what you want to do next and focus on that. Hopefully you’ve got enough revenue and enough of a robust organisation that you can do that but if not, I think it’s the trapeze act where you’re running your company, doing the best you can, driving the revenue, meeting your customer’s needs and then running experiments to get the data to decide where you’re going next.
Nathan: Yeah, it’s a very difficult balancing act because if you follow or listen to a guy like you, Peter, you’re very, very ahead, ahead, ahead. This is what’s happening, this is what’s coming. A singularity. A lot of people just kind of have their heads down, you know and focusing on growth with something that they’ve found or how do I generate sales or they failed product market fit or they’re just trying to grow. A while ago I read this fascinating book, it was incredible by Jim Collins, Great By Choice. He talks about this concept of firing bullets, not cannonballs. Basically what he says is like, what you have to do is you have to follow this 20 mile march where whatever you’re doing, your company has to stick to that core, your core business. But then you shoot these little bullets, like little tests to see what’s working in the market because you want to ride that S curve because every business has this S curve where you can kind of ride that wave of numerous years. By the time that your core business starts to climb, you’ve already got the next product, the next revolutionary service, the thing that is not going to diminish over the next five years or in that point in time. You’ve got that sustainability. What are your thoughts on that?
Peter: I agree 100%. There are very few companies today whose revenue engine was their original business. Microsoft is not making their money on the disc operating system anymore. They were able to use the revenue driven by that to run experiments on the edge. I think those experiments are the equivalent of those bullets. They identified new product market fits in adjacencies. Amazon, for example, is a perfect example here. It starts by selling books and then starts verticalizing by not only selling books, by publishing books and then getting the business of delivering books and then in the air cargo business and then in the music business and then in the television business and then in the production of television business and then in the food business and the healthcare business, et cetera, et cetera. They’re moving up and down the vertical chain and then into adjacencies using their core capabilities. It’s the same thing for any company but you need to get your core business profitable, fine tuned, understand what you have as your assets and then move your march up and down, left and right.
Nathan: Yeah. I guess the tricky part is, is that new stuff is fun and it’s exciting and focus is key sometimes.
Nathan: How do you know when you can kind of step a little bit about and start exploring some of these new technologies and the way things are going to go? Because in your latest book and in your series of books, this is really fun, this is really exciting stuff but it’s kind of like a timing thing. Even myself, our company is doing okay, we have around 40 staff. We have a lot of different things going on but I, myself, I’m still thinking around core business day in and day out.
Peter: Yeah. Listen, that’s 100% is you’ve got to have your core business solid. When you have it fine tuned, when you understand your business, I think once that level of confidence and understanding is in place. Then the other thing is that as the CEO, you need to be honest about what excites you. If you’re getting bored with your business, maybe it’s time to start to reach out. I mean, as a founder, I find a responsibility to bring extraordinary passion to the table. That passion comes from excitement and creativity. The challenge becomes and I suffer from this and many folks do, where you become scattershot. Where you’re doing too many things. But it’s a balancing act.
Nathan: Are you a very disciplined person?
Peter: I am extremely disciplined in certain core areas. I’m disciplined in my morning routines, I’m disciplined in how I respond to people and make yes or no decisions on my time. I am not as disciplined about doing less. That’s part of my challenge is I spread myself a bit thinner than I should because I get excited about this or that opportunity.
Nathan: Yeah, I could imagine that. You must have so many ideas, especially in the world that you play in that you want to execute on because you know the way that technology and things are going to change over time. You kind of have this playbook in everything that you do for Singularity University and you’ve got so much going on. How do you know what to execute on?
Peter: I think that’s, again, it comes down to my personal passion. If I’m interested in something from a perspective that’s great. I might have my venture fund look at that for an investment. If I’m passionate about something, it’s like, “Oh my God, that is aligned with my massively transformative purpose.” Doing anything big and bold in the world requires huge amounts of energy and time. You know this and every founder ultimately knows that. There are very few overnight successes that were easy. I was just talking to Joe Gebbia, one of the founders of Airbnb yesterday. He’s the chief product officer there. He used to be one of my speakers at my CEO summit called Abundance 360. Folks can find out about it at A360.com. I’ve got Joe Gebbia and I’ve got Chad Hurley, who was the founder/CEO of YouTube. We’re going to be talking about the realities of starting something that has global impact. Airbnb is a perfect story of the ups and downs, lefts and rights. People forget Airbnb is 11 years. It’s overnight success after 11 years of hard work. It died a thousand deaths in the process.
Ultimately, unless you have a level of passion for something and it’s not just about making money, it’s not a get rich quick scheme. Anything I’ve ever gone after just to make money I have killed it. I let it go because it was not my purpose. But I’ve become clear about what my mission and my purpose is in life. My mission, my massively transformative purpose, is to inspire and guide a hopeful and abundant future for humanity. I think about that. I say that at least 10 or 20 times a day in the back of my mind or in the morning in my shower, my incantations in terms of I get the most I can out of inspiring and guiding people. The work that I do with the XPRISE foundation, with my Abundance 360 digital community, with Singularity University. All these things are about inspiring entrepreneurs and guiding entrepreneurs. Why? For them to create a hopeful and abundant future. Because ultimately, creating hope and abundance in the world is why is going to make the world a healthier, happier place and allow us to really navigate the next couple of decades ahead.
Nathan: Your purpose really resonates with me. I align a lot of that with the work that I do. I’m curious around, you said that you started companies before just to make money. I’m curious just to dive a little deeper on that because I think that’s a common trap that people do fall into, but at the time, sometimes people do start companies maybe with the idea to make money but then they fall in love with the problem and they fall in love with the business and the model. You don’t really strike me as someone that would have ever done that, to be honest.
Peter: They were never companies that came to fruition because I killed them. If I saw something that was an opportunity, I was like, “Oh that would be cool.” I’ll go and think about creating a business there because I love the art form of creating a business, of writing the plan, of getting the economics, of figuring out the product market fit and so forth. But after some time it’s like, you know that just isn’t meaningful to me. I killed that. Ultimately I’d learned to follow my heart more than anything else. I think yes, of course, I’ve started a number of nonprofit organisations and probably two-thirds of my companies, three-quarters have been for profit. I’m clear that making money is fundamental to … Profit is not evil. Profit is a way that you can measure that you’re adding value to people’s lives. Creating something that is profitable and in fact some of the most successful, what I would call philanthropic companies in the world are for profit companies because they’ve got a business model that generates revenues that allow them to become vibrant and grow and have a better impact on the planet.
Nathan: I agree. I agree. That was something I was told early on, like the amount of revenue your company generates is a byproduct of how well you’re serving. Talk to me around, I guess, mindset. People would look at you, Peter, and be like, “Wow. This guy is crazy.”
Nathan: Many find that hard to relate. What do you do to cultivate your mindset? Have you always thought this big?
Peter: Again, a lot of my origin by luck, by circumstance is whatever it might be, was a result of the Apollo programme and Star Trek. I was born in the 60s. Apollo showed me what was possible. I mean, pretty magical to be having the human race going to the moon and actually pulling it off over and over and over again. Then here comes this, I love calling it this scientific documentary called Star Trek that is showing us where humanity is going. It’s this hopeful vision of the future and I bought in. I became super excited about that. My blueprint for life, which was we’re going to the stars, we’re creating this amazing world ahead, didn’t actually line up with the circumstances I was in, applying for NASA, trying to go to medical school, mostly to make my parents happy. Whenever you have a misalignment between your blueprint for life and what’s actually happening, you can either become sad, angry, pissed off or you can change your blueprint or change your circumstance. I did effectively both of those things. My blueprint was one of going through NASA or going through tradition. I was like, “Screw that. I’m going to create my own mechanism for getting to the stars.”
Then I started changing my circumstance, which I started starting companies in that arena. I started this group called, SEDS, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. I was the chapter president at MIT. I became the national chairman of this organisation. Jeff Bezos was a Princeton chapter president. SEDS was amazing. I learned all about starting companies and organising people in this nonprofit, in this afterschool, after college programme. Then I started at Space University and I started a rocket company. I had successes, I had failures. But I became enamoured with the idea that I’m not going to accept what is. I’m going to create what I desire. I think that the luck I had in the early days of creating my global student space organisation, SEDS, gave me the wherewithal to know that it was possible. I became addicted to that. As a fellow entrepreneur, you can see and feel, as many listening that being an entrepreneur, being a founder of a company is an amazing thing. It’s hard and it’s super rewarding. Once you’ve done it, I don’t think you ever want to do anything else. That’s what drove my mindset.
I’ve created mindsets and I think a person’s mindset is the most valuable thing they have. By far. It’s not their assets, it’s not their connections, it’s their mindset. You take an amazingly successful entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk and you take away everything from them but allow them to keep their mindset and they are going to regain their wealth. They’re going to regain their incredible position on the planet. But if you take away their mindset, they’re lost. Be prepared, be protective of your mindset. I don’t watch the news. I don’t pick up a newspaper and read the newspaper. I don’t want the fear mongering of CNN or Fox or any of the newspapers shaping my mindset. I have an abundant, positive mindset. I look at the data. I have an exponential mindset. I understand how rapidly things are moving and the power we have. I’ve got a longevity mindset, I’m very clear about the ability to create vitality and longevity in our lives. Anyway, that’s what I think about mindset.
Nathan: It’s interesting. Someone once told me that if you think you can do it in you mind and you’re already 100% convinced, like you just know that it’s already done, that’s half the battle. It’s already done. Do you agree with that?
Peter: 100%. If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right. If you believe you cannot do something, you’re screwed. You’re never going to do it. There could be luck. There could be other circumstances but honestly, there is extraordinary power in a person’s mindset. When someone comes to me with this mindset of, they know they’re going to do something, people love supporting people who’ve got that level of conviction. Of this positive mindset. Think about the people that you like to hang out with and support. Not people who are cocky or are irrational or just ridiculously exuberant but a sense of believe and confidence. They’ve done the work, you’ve gotten the data, you know that this is possible from first principles thinking. Then you’ve executed before and they believe, “Okay, I believe in this person and I’m going to back them.”
Nathan: Yeah, no, I know exactly the kind of person you’re talking about. You mentioned first principles thinking. Just for the audience, can you give some clarity on that?
Peter: Yeah. First principles thinking is a really important concept. The people that have done the greatest is again, Elon Musk where, when he set out and I knew him during this time. I had met him back in 2000, 2001 when he just sold PayPal to eBay. He was becoming passionate about space. A long story but when he starts his first rocket company, he looks at this from first principles, which is, what should be possible? How cheap should it be possible to build and launch a rocket? What is possible with reusability? When he convinced himself of what was possible, he then was able to create and build the company and raise the capital and ultimately completely revolutionise launch industry. The same thing true from Tesla and building that automotive company.
You have to look at what your vision is and understand what does physics tell you is possible? What is the cost of materials tell you is possible? What are the trend lines? First principles thinking should tell people that we’re heading towards an all electric economy. We have 6,000 times more energy coming from the sun that hits the surface of the earth every single day than we consume in a day. Look at the trend line of the cost of installed solar and wind is plummeting and that the cost per kilowatt hour is dropping. You can start to say, “Okay, I’m going to predict that in 5 or 10 years time, this is going to be possible. I’m going the skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it is right now.”
Nathan: I love that idea because sometimes, when it’s already done in your mind it can be easier to know that you can do it if you can see somebody else doing it or you can see another company doing it, you see it’s been done before. But if it hasn’t-
Peter: Yeah, I mean this is the breaking of the four minute mile. This is the company that pulls something off that is extraordinary and then people say, “Why didn’t I think about that?” Why didn’t Hyatt and Hilton and Intercontinental come up with Airbnb as an idea? Why didn’t Avis and Hertz come up with Uber as an idea? A lot of times it’s the quality of the questions you ask yourself. I’m always telling my eight year old boys, “Ask great questions today.” I’m telling CEOs in the boardrooms I’m speaking to, “It’s more important the quality of the questions you ask, not what you know.”
Nathan: Yeah. I think that’s a really great quality that a leader possesses, the bed of the questions. Like, really asking great questions.
Peter: Yeah. 100%.
Nathan: Okay. Look, we have to work towards wrapping up. I really enjoyed this conversation, I could talk to you all day, man. Let’s just kind of swing things back to the book. Just going back to the book, I’m curious around, I guess what is the area that you are most excited about personally that you think is going to change?
Peter: First of all, thank you for bringing it back to the book. For those interested, FutureFasterBook.com is the website. We have huge amounts of bonuses for folks who do a pre-order for the book, including you’ll get a copy of my last two books as well, Abundance and Bold. I’m doing a day-long video webinar with Ray Kurzweil and Steven Kotler and myself. There’s just a tonne of stuff. There’s 750 bucks off of my digital course. It’s 50% off for people who buy . FutureFasterBook.com. The stuff that I’m super excited about and I’m excited about all of it in the book and I go industry by industry. There’s a chapter on the future transportation industry which is between Hyper Loop where I was a founding board member, Uber Elevate, the flying car companies, the autonomous car companies, drone deliveries. We’re completely reinventing where we live and where we work and how we spend our time at future transportation.
I think as a father of two eight year olds, I’m super stoked about how we’re going to reinvent education, which hasn’t change in 100 plus years. Our educational system right now sucks. It’s built for an industrial age where we have to teach certain skills and then the bell would ring and then it’s like an assembly line, students move to the next part of the assembly line and the next part and the next part. We’re teaching to the test. I mean, when’s the last time anybody ever factored fractions or look at a multi-variable equation. We teach stuff in school that you never use the rest of your life. Why do we do that? Why don’t we teach stuff that is actually useful and valuable, like finding your purpose and learning about empathy and how to tell a great story and how to lead. These things that, in a world of technology, is critical.
I have two chapters on the future of healthcare which I think is going to become massively transformed this decade. I think the healthcare industry is lumbering and going to collapse under its inefficiency and weight. Something much more beautiful will come out, probably led by entrepreneurs, by companies like Apple and Google and Amazon. Tim Cook just recently said, again, that decades from now, Apple is going to be known for its contributions to health. They get it. That’s where they’re going.
Nathan: Yeah, wow. Interesting. Do you do much flat out research for this kind of stuff or do you just know it because-
Peter: 100%. … I am reading every day. I literally have built, I’m going to be releasing it soon, an AI engine that is my search engine. It is my Who. It is doing research and bringing to me content on the subjects that are, it looks for convergences of multiple exponential technologies focused on food or health or education or insurance. Whatever topic I want. It goes and it finds those and it brings those to me and summarises them to me. I hae an incredible engine working for me and I have a team of a dozen who do this. I am constantly reading all the time and I have my venture fund. We have a quarter of a billion dollars that I’m investing in exponential technologies. I see a lot of deal flow there.
Nathan: Yeah, I was going to say, the people that run in your circles, you would see the emerging tech that’s coming through and what’s possible. I was really curious because you see so far ahead. But a lot of this stuff it feels like it’s still so far away.
Peter: Well, it feels that way but it’s not. We forget how extraordinary the world we’re living in today. It’s like watching something boil or how can I say it? I mean, we forget that our cell phone, you, like I, probably just bought a new cell phone in the last year. Your old cell phone is probably sitting in a drawer but you think nothing of it but that’s a freaking super computer from 20 years ago that the KGB or CIA would have abducted you to get. We just forget how amazing the technology we have changed the world is. I don’t know. I think we take a lot for granted and we just sort of accept it as the new normal. But all these things are happening very fast.
Nathan: It’s a really good point you make, if you look at the past five years of technology, how things have changed. People weren’t ordering Ubers. You don’t really even need a car anymore, do you?
Peter: No, you don’t. When autonomous vehicles come online they’re going to be four times cheaper than an Uber and four times cheaper than owning a car and far more efficient. You’ll turn your garage into a spare bedroom, you’ll turn your driveway into a rose garden. Your AI will always make sure you order your Uber. Your AI knows where you’re going next and it will have one show up for you before you know you need it.
Nathan: Yeah, crazy. Um, look, a couple of last questions and we’ll wrap. Sometimes when it comes to this stuff, you read stories around it being too early. People are working on designing the future, products and industries that are changing and there’s an element of luck to it and timing. What’s your take there?
Peter: There is an element of luck and timing. I think it’s important for people to realise that. Bill Gross, who runs Idealab has a beautiful Ted talk on this subject in which he looked at 100 companies that have succeeded, 100 companies that failed. He looked at the variables and said, “Hey, was it the experience of the CEO, was it how much money they made? Was it the size of the marketplace? What was it that led to their success?” What he does brilliantly is basically show you that a lot of the success is timing. Were they there at the right time? My takeaway is, build a company that can live long enough to live forever so that you’re alive and doing well when the timing hits. I am famously starting companies way too early. The result is therefore, I need to start a company that is revenue generating so that it’s not dependent on constantly raising capital. If it is, then you’re not going to be there when the timing is perfect. But if you’ve got something that’s revenue generating, even if it’s just the first phase of your vision, you can be around when you can pounce on the opportunity to go to phase 10 of your vision, if that makes sense.
Nathan: Yeah, it does. Final question. Just if you want to recap, where is the best place people can find out more about yourself, your work, everything that you’ve got going on across, you’re next project, everything and yeah, we can wrap there.
Peter: Sure. Very kind of you to offer. First of all, this book, I’m very proud of it. It’s called the Future is Faster Than You Think. If you go to www.FutureFasterBook.com, at FutureFasterBook.com if you pre-order the book there’s a whole slew of massive benefits. You’ll get a copy of Abundance and Bold, my first two books which are the first two in the exponential mindset series plus a whole slew of other elements. It’s worth it to go pre-order it versus order it later. Diamandis.com you can learn about all the companies, I’m very deep into longevity world. I believe one of the most important things we can do is add 20 or 30 healthy years on our life. Make 100 years old the new 60. Then I mentor entrepreneurs. I have a programme called Abundance Digital and if you go to Abundance.Digital about 3,000 entrepreneurs. I’m on four webinars a month with them. We have an app that I mentor them in. If people are interested in this exponential abundance mindset, Abundance.Digital is where you’d go. There you’ve got it. Thank you for your work. I’m grateful for it.
Nathan: Thank you so much, Peter. I really appreciate your time and yeah, we’ll speak soon. I hope you have a fantastic day.
Peter: Hopefully next year this time.
Nathan: Let’s do it. Awesome. Have a good day mate.