By Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler
A book review by Swen Lorenz
As seen in this month’s Master Investor Magazine
Simon and Schuster
Paperback GBP 7.69 on Amazon
In order for an investor to make a fortune on the markets, he or she really only needs to strike it big once or twice. Jim Mellon calls them “money fountains”, the venture capital industry speaks of unicorns – companies that grow so fast that their investors make 50, 100 or even 1,000 times their money in a really short period of time.
Peter Diamandis’ “Bold” explores the technologies that are disrupting today’s Fortune 500 companies and that enable start-up entrepreneurs to go from “I have got an idea” to “I run a billion-dollar company” in the space of just a few years.
His book is divided into three sections. In the first section, he provides exceptional and genuinely useful insights into the power of 3D printing, artificial intelligence, robotics, networks and sensors, and synthetic biology. In section two, Diamandis picks the brain of five iconic leaders – Larry Page (Google), Richard Branson (does he need an introduction?), Elon Musk (Tesla), and Jeff Bezos (Amazon). Getting down to practical matters, in section three Diamandis explores and explains how anyone can harness the power of crowd-fundraising, building communities involving a billion users, and making a fortune as an entrepreneur.
Bold is as much a book explaining world-changing trends as it is a manifesto for anyone who wants to become part of it all by becoming an entrepreneur. It’s inspiring, informative, instructive. At times, however, it’s also hard to absorb. So enthusiastic is the author for his subject, that he throws a tremendous amount of dense information at his readers. I found myself re-reading some sections on the day after I first read the book in its entirety – both for sheer enjoyment and to look back at some specific points.
What makes the book so authentic is the fact that Diamandis is not writing from the proverbial ivory tower. He has done it himself, through founding more than 15 high tech companies and getting the support from companies like Google to set up the Singularity University, a combined think tank, education facility, and business incubator where smart minds come together to attack the world’s toughest challenges. He has personally worked with every single one of the four billionaire entrepreneurs he interviews, and Fortune magazine once named him as one of the world’s top 50 leaders.
Bold has already garnered its fair share of publicity, with former U.S. President Bill Clinton declaring it to be a “visionary roadmap for people who believe they can change the world” and the head of Deloitte Consulting recommending it as “an essential navigation tool for any proactive CEO who wants to remain relevant.”
For investors, too, the book is relevant. Understanding the mindset of entrepreneurs and their approach to creating exponential growth companies is vital for identifying companies that can turn into the aforementioned money fountains. Being able to analyse a company’s figures is only one aspect of successful investing. Spotting promising entrepreneurs early on is another vital skill and can lead to making a killing on the market. This book teaches you how to do that.
Master Investor rating: Bold is a challenging read because of the density of facts and the authors being so ahead of the curve that it’s not always easy to follow them. But the book is all the more recommended for that very reason. It does what it says on the label! I have just sent several copies to personal friends as it’s been one of the most useful reads I have come across in months.