Edited by @SimonCocking

download (2)

A different version of this review by Ron Immink @orangemanta first appeared at Bookbuzz.biz.  

If you are looking for inspiration, this is a book you might want to read. However you might also find it a little glib. There are many books to read on this subject with a perhaps a little more substance and practicality. Ron Immink, self confessed business book geek and founder of Book Buzz and Ulster Bank Small Business Can initiative takes us through how he found the book…

Bold, how to go big, create wealth, and impact the world : 

By Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler 2015

Beware or you will be extinct

If you are a large company, you are likely to get killed off the same way the dinosaurs went. Killed by exponential change in robotics, ICT, sensors, AI, synthetic biology, genomics, nanotechnology, 3D, infinite computing, to name a few of the coming asteroids.

2015-03-08 12.03.07

Entrepreneurs will survive

The same way the mammals survived the dinosaurs, so will the entrepreneurs survive the next wave of destruction. In fact they will thrive.

Your time to make a dent

For the first time in history a committed individual can have access to the technology, the capital and the minds to make a dent in the universe. But to make a dent in the universe, you need to understand how exponential works.


Exponential has become the new buzz word. The trend that makes everything possible. The trend that will change the world. Probably best described in “The second machine age”, though that book comes with a huge health warning. Exponential also means winners take all.

You can do it too

The winners have decided to jump on the band wagon and help others to win as well. It started with “From zero to one” and then “Exponential organisations” and now “Bold”. You can do it too.

The 6 Ds are the six horseman of the apocalypse

There is no doubt that digitisation leads to disruption, demonetisation, dematerialisation and eventually democratisation when it becomes available to everyone for nearly free (as predicted by Chris Anderson in his book with the same title). In between these 5 Ds is deception. You don’t see it coming and suddenly it is there. This is the phase where most large companies like to stay. For large companies the 6 Ds are the six horseman of the apocalypse and may also for your job too. 80% of the jobs can be done better by computers. So you might as well accept it, and become an entrepreneur or in case of a large company, disrupt yourself out of a job.


What do you need to do according to BOLD:

  • Learn from the old skunk works set up
  • Focus on business as unusual
  • Set high hard goals and create a higher purpose
  • Belief in what you do
  • Create a siege mentality
  • Isolate your team
  • Built for speed and for rapid iteration (if you are not embarrassed you launched too late)
  • Focus on at least 10X better (that why Google has a “captain of moonshots”) so normal assumptions are not applicable and you need to shift perspective
  • Cut ties between you and expert assumptions
  • Vocally commit so there is no way back
  • Create a family
  • Built a reputation
  • Always say yes, and……


When you strive for truly high goals you are tapping into the collective creative accelerant. If you are lucky it will result in flow, the moments of total absorption. Flow follows focus and follows clarity of goals. When goals are clear the mind does not need to wander. Entrepreneurs are more likely to achieve flow for those reasons. Novelty, unpredictability and complexity all add to this as well. So does passion. And finally a high challenge/skill ratio. Entrepreneurship is the ultimate computer game. Flow, particularly collectively becomes a critical success factor.

Golden rules

The authors then shares their gold rules. They mean well, but they are as glib as the “Create your own monopoly” from “Zero to one” by Peter Thiel.

  1. If anything can go wrong, fix it! (To hell with Murphy!)
  2. When given a choice—take both!
  3. Multiple projects lead to multiple successes
  4. Start at the top, then work your way up.
  5. Do it by the book . . . but be the author!

And so up up to #28!

Musk, Bezos, Branson, Page

Bold then takes some further lessons from Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Larry Page.

Passion, first principles, having fun, experiment, protect the downside, don’t leave anything on the table, go all in, and radical customer centrism. Disregard the impossible. Being negative is not a way to make progress. Experiment. Fail.

Ask the question “What is NOT going to change?”

Ask “Why not?” and “Why not bigger?”

Are you wasting your time

Are you working on something that is changing the world? If you are not, according to BOLD, you are wasting your life. 99.99999% of us are in that mode at the moment. Are you making a dent in the universe?

All building blocks are there

The authors argue all the building blocks are in place to allow you to do it. You have 5 billion people to have a collective conversation with, access to trillions of free hours and access to the best minds. The crowds are there (fiverr, Freelancer, 99designs, Gigwalk) the funding is there (Kiva, Kickstarter) and the technology platforms (Amazon, Google, Techshop, Etsy) are there for you to do anything you want. There are even the competitions to point you in the right direction (Xchallenge, Netflix, Qualcomm).

Do it

The only thing stopping you is you! If the purpose is transformative and interesting enough, others will follow and you will become a movement. Together you will start solving the big problems in the world. You will be expressing your creativity and passion and you will access the (collective flow). You will be happy and make a difference.

Taleb, Godin, Priestly, Robinson, Gratton, Kelly

Although it is highly unlikely you will become the next Elon Musk, Bold does confirm everything that Ken Robinson (The Element), Seth Godin (Poke the box), Nicolas Taleb (Antifragile), Jason Priestly (The entrepreneur revolution), Linda Gratton (The Shift), Kevin Kelly (Do it!) and many others are saying. Entrepreneurship is the future.

This book suggests you are running out of time and choice.


The book was reviewed on Newstalk. Listen to it here

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!