X PRIZE founder Peter Diamandis teamed with science writer Steven Kotler to write a book that looks to be the start of a movement, not just a treatise on how to make the world a better place, though it is that too. It’s that powerful.
Diamandis and Kotler lay out four factors converging toward a future of abundance rather than scarcity. A future in which most of the world’s population will have its basic needs (water, food, medicine, etc.) met, resulting in the only wealth that truly matters: the time and luxury to dream and do rather than just scratch about for survival. The four driving factors are:
1. Exponentially improving technologies;
2. The increasing power of the do-it-yourself innovator;
3. The technophilanthropist; and
4. The Rising Billion
That last is a particularly intriguing concept; as more and more people throughout the developing world get online with increasingly affordable cell phone and other devices, we’ll see a rising tide of innovation from voices we’ve never heard from before.
Yes, we’re energy challenged now, but that’s not for lack of energy, not with 5,000 times the energy we need to power the world hitting the Earth’s surface over the course of every year. Sure, fresh water’s in short supply right now, but that’s only because we can’t desalinate sea water cheaply enough. And so on. The book’s cover image of an aluminum foil wrapper illustrates the point that aluminum was once scarcer than gold, and hence more expensive, and that other commodities are sure to follow the demonetizing curve as they are liberated by new technologies and ideas.
The book is told in Diamandis’s voice, but it’s clear that Kotler’s involvement was crucial to getting this project done. I know from interacting with Diamandis for my own book and article projects that he’s a tough guy to keep up with. I can only imagine the on-the-fly conversations that must have taken place as the two jetted from conference to energy startup to board meeting. Bravo to both for pulling this off.
Judging from the response since its release just last month (it’s currently number 2 on the New York Times best seller list, for example), I’m not the only one who feels that this is the right book at the right time with the right message to start a movement.
Pick up Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think. It’s the real deal.