Conquering new frontiers, both mental and physical, has always fascinated humans. But what are the moonshots we need, and what can we do to push the world forward from the era of insecurity into the era of abundance? Steve Jurvetson, Partner at the venture capital firm DFJ and Naveen Jain, serial entrepreneur and Co-Founder of Moon Express, provided the Slush Day 1 audience with inspirational discussion on expanding one’s thinking over the linear world limits.
The new era needs limitless mindsets, novel ways of thinking and understanding our surroundings. Big targets, such as radical health care improvements, finding alternative agricultural methods and options for usage of fossil fuels are ambitious goals to accomplish, not to mention reaching a phase of interstellar travel and mining the moon and beyond. But how can we enable others to join the creation of abundant mindsets?
For a start, here are four points to take home from the discussion of bright minds on how to make a two-man mission a broader challenge.
Do: Remove the Barriers
How can we get there? What kind of collaboration is needed to reach the enormous targets? If entrepreneurs and technology are the ones disrupting the world, then what is role of government and institutions?
SJ: ”Just don’t screw up. Let entrepreneurs be entrepreneurs. These moonshots are not led by big companies doing big company things. The governance can be such a barrier for innovation, when we actually need inference-free places that allow innovation to happen.”
NJ: ”What we see, as a country matures, is that a country becomes more and more regulated. Due to these regulations and boundaries, the biggest innovations are moving to other countries, and if we are not careful, for example the western world will lose its innovational edge. So I completely agree with Steve on that we need innovation hubs that lack inference on innovational work and capital flows. All we have to do, is to get out of the way and let entrepreneurs be entrepreneurs.”
Do: Cherish the Culture of Failure
NJ: ”And more than just lowering the barriers, we should allow people to dream so big and be so crazy, that we create a culture where failure is not considered failure. An entrepreneur who never fails, has simply given up.”
Do: Think Exponentially
So how can entrepreneurs all over the globe reach this unique, exponential mindset?
SJ: ”I think we should simply spend some time contemplating the Moore’s law (where the line corresponds to exponential growth with transistor count doubling every two years). For some reason, we tend to approach things with a linear mindset, where we imagine things developing as on a straight line. I think we are incapable of internalizing exponential curves. Though, we should actually be thinking, for example, what a computer that is capable of doing something now, will be able to do in five years and then in ten years’ time if proceeding exponentially. And with this mindset, we should be building our business plans and products on a forecast that anticipates that exponential change.”
Do: Realize the Sky is Not a Limit
NJ: “Imagination is the only thing that prevents us from reaching big things. It’s not like the sky is a limit. The sky is nothing but a fragment of our imagination. If you go from here to the moon, you don’t call your mama ‘hey I just buzzed the skyline’. It’s simply our imagination stopping us from getting what we want. Most people are too interested in what something is, not what it is going to be. And what exponential technology does, is that it challenges the human mind to fetch what things are going to be.”
Photo credit: Sami Välikangas