I had dreams and fantasies as a kid, like everyone else. Dreams that were way too ambitious. I wanted to be a space traveler, a billionaire philanthropist, a prime minister and the list goes on. My dreams seemed impossible and over ambitious, and just as I started growing up, I started giving up. No, I’m not here to crib about the society or talk about realistic dreams. I’m here to talk about the people who have gone beyond the ordinary and struggled to success as they kept building their dreams.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Google turned into Alphabet, a search engine to a world changing platform. Take a look at some of their dream projects, ‘Project Loon’- setting up balloons in the stratosphere providing internet access to every single human being. ‘Project Wing’- UAVs delivering drones and packages on ground(like Aliens landing), ‘Project Glass’- an augmented reality head-mounted display(those scenes from Ironman), Space Elevator(terminated for now), Verily- for study of Life-sciences, Calico – combating age and many more semi-secret projects under X labs.
SpaceX- a mission to make mankind interplanetary species, SolarCity – use of renewable source by making solar power the dominant source of energy, Tesla Motors – accelerate the world’s transition into electric mobility, OpenAI – promote and develop open source friendly artificial intelligence, Hyperloop – high speed transportation systems and his first two game changers – Zip2 and Paypal.
Revolutionized e-commerce industry through Amazon. Started Blue Origin with the aim of making space travel a commercial reality. Runs Bezos Expeditions to manage and invest in 50 odd blooming companies in every possible field.
From Newton to Einstein, Darwin to Sagan, Tesla to Musk, Jobs to Page, and Da Vinci to Mistry, the world has seen and will be seeing some of the biggest game-changers, greatest artists and passionate innovators. I’ve always wondered what drives these people and how are they so successful.
Nature, Nurture, Timing and Luck
For most of the game changers, their initial days were well-nurtured with a good influence from one of their parents. They built and experimented things at a very young age. They accomplished things and they didn’t wait for the world but got the world to catch up to them. Their ideas came into a time when the world was going through a revolution through technology especially computers. They were lucky to be at the right age in the right era which has shaped a new world.
You don’t need superhuman powers to change the world. You need to have a vision and a belief so strong. “Build up a vision so big that everybody around you laughs about it.” For visionaries like Musk and Page, time is not the deciding factor but distance is. How far can we go, not merely as individuals but species as a whole?
Unimaginable risks and failures
Now who would invest their lifetime earnings into a company that is on the brisk of breaking down? If only Nikola Tesla made money just by patenting his incredible works, I’m sure he’d have invested all his money into his unfinished projects for he believed in his dreams. And that’s exactly why Musk invested so much in Tesla as well as SpaceX and turned failing businesses into rising empires. Google at one point of time were on the verge of selling their company with no investment. The founders figured their finances on their own, valued their products (kept it a secret from the rest of the world) and then made Google the greatest monopoly in the modern times.
Have you heard them give a talk? For one, Musk believes such talks are not as productive and he rather work on his projects than give a talk. I was glued to his TED talk and whenever questions such as ‘do you believe it will happen/it will dominate’, all his answers would start with ‘I’m confident..’
Gone are the days, where developing a particular skill defined an individual. In the present day world, you need a set or combination of skills and the ability to put them all in use whenever required. The global future leaders like Gates, Page and Musk combine their skills in technology, entrepreneurship, design and taking calculative risk to lay their roads ahead of them. Well, multi-industry entrepreneurs existed in the past like Tata, Reliance, Nestle, P&G, etc but the world is headed for entrepreneurs who merge technology with change.
What excites you? The prospect of an ordinary world or an extraordinary world with highly upgraded technology that helps you evolve faster? Humans as intercontinental or interplanetary species? A human being with limited growth or transhuman evolution? An unsustainable world or sustainable world with limitless energy?
Basics over analogy
Humans have evolved to reason things with analogy rather than building from basics. The key to success for most of the high flying entrepreneurs is that they choose to build everything from the most fundamental of things and not picking up from where others have left their work.
What differentiates these world changers from the rest of us:
They are humble in the sense, they accept that their understanding of the world is next to nothing and then they start climbing the ladder step by step from the most fundamental things.
We are stuck fantasizing about achieving something worthwhile within the limited period we set for ourselves, while for them they are glued to the vision and do whatever is required for however long it takes to reach there.
ImageCredits- Google Images?