For anyone unsure what to do after finishing a book
If you have ever felt overwhelmed or confused when trying to apply what you have learnt from a book then this post is for you. Business books are an excellent source of inspiration for new ideas or strategies but reading can never substitute for action. Using Bold by Peter Diamandis as an example I will show you the general principles needed to get the most out of your reading.
How to be Bold
The first half of the book explores the opportunities on the horizon for entrepreneurs. It discusses the industries primed for disruption and the change of mindset required to take advantage of these opportunities. While his ideas are certainly optimistic, I found myself agreeing with most of his points. Backed by solid reasoning he argues that over the last century the quality of life globally continues to improve due in part to the rapid development of technology.
At this point the book moves on to discuss the industries Peter feels have the most potential for growth. These include 3D printing, robotics and artificial intelligence. Once he has established how you can exploit these high growth opportunities he then discusses the strategies you can use to raise funds and build a customer base.
The book advocates outsourcing technical tasks and emphasises that anyone is capable of creating a disruptive company. In spite of this in my experience it is difficult to find a business idea without a good understanding of the industry.
How can you expect to start a 3D printing company if you have no idea of the applications and limitations of the technology?
How can you come up with a solution if you dont know the current problems users face?
So this is where the following courses are useful. By using them to supplement your reading you can start finding those opportunities.
This relatively short course shows how you can turn an idea into a finished product using 3D printing. As 3D printers become more ubiquitous it will become possible to design and then print your own prototypes. All of this can be accomplished at a fraction of currrent costs and without requiring access to a factory. Lauren takes you through the process which will provide plenty of inspiration for creating your own.
Artificial intelligence is a widely misunderstood and misapplied term. AI continues to get more media attention because of its vast range of potential applications. As these algorithms are able to self correct and recognise patterns they can be used for anything from software engineering to investment banking.
This course will give you a fundamental understanding of the different elements of AI. Also involves a practical element where you can learn to design your own algorithms. These can be used to design strategies for games like chess and tic tac toe.
In his book Peter mentions how sensors will become more prevalent in nearly every aspect of everyday life as time goes on. This technology has a number of potential applications from checking stock levels to automatically adjusting heating systems. This industry is currently in its infancy so there is plenty of potential for growth. If you can be one of the first to correctly apply this to your products it should provide a huge competitive advantage.
Coursera offers this excellent six part course on robotics. It starts with a general overview and then discusses specific applications. For those interested be aware that it does require significantly more commitment and the most technical knowledge prior to starting. In spite of this by taking course you will be in a unique position. The knowledge gained will highlight a range of opportunites in this upcoming industry.
Hopefully this remedies the disconnect between consuming information and taking action. If you came into this post with no idea about the potential in these industries hopefully you now know how to remedy that. Once you are equipped with this knowledge you can then start finding problems to solve. Remember though starting a business does not mean you need to know everything as once you have an idea, start hiring technical specialists to help you build your company. As Peter suggests in Bold your job as an entrepreneur is to organise and make use of the technical knowledge of others.
Rather than predicting the future create the future