How to Create a Breakthrough with Shane Parrish on Starting Greatness with Mike Maples

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Key Takeaways

  • Commit yourself to think differently about the world
  • Breakthroughs start with insights –unrecognized truths
  • People think the future is just an extension of the present – it’s not!
  • Get out of the present – adjust your state of mind
  • A forecast is a projected future, a backcast considers alternate futures
  • Find inflections – turning points that foreshadow a significant change
  • “If you’re unwilling to look like an idiot with your crazy idea, you’re never going to do anything amazing” – Mike Maples
  • You know an idea is hot when it’s the last thing you think about at night and the first thing you think about in the morning

Intro

Shane Parrish (t: @ShaneAParrish) is the founder, curator, and wisdom seeker behind Farnam Street and the host of The Knowledge Project Podcast.

Host: Mike Maples

How to Create a Breakthrough?

  • Start with insights – unrecognized truths that could lead to breakthroughs
  • Commit yourself to think differently about the world
  • People in the present think the future is just an extension of the present – it’s not!
  • Breakthrough thinking is a choice – an intentional choice
  • It’s what we need now because the present isn’t working
  • Overall, there are about 20 great insights a year
  • Act on your vision, hustle, and don’t give up!

What’s the Difference Between a Breakthrough and An Incremental Improvement?

  • A breakthrough means breaking free of the current set of rules
  • Don’t bring baggage from the past with you
  • But the present is stubborn – it has a strong gravitational pull

How Do We Break Free of a Present Mindset?

  • Step 1: Adjust your state of mind – “The future is what we make of it, it happens because people have the determined idea of what a better future looks like and then they convince other people to join that movement” – Mike Maples
  • Ordinary people can do extraordinary things – we don’t stumble into the future, its what we make it
  • Step 2: Get out of the present – adjust your frame of reference

How to Think Forward When Stuck in the Present?

  • There are people who are seers – they live in the future
  • A forecast is a projected future
  • A backcast considers alternate futures that are plausible, possible or preposterous
  • Seers expand the realm of possibilities- it matters to have the right conversation with the right people

Additional Ways to Identify Breakthroughs

  • Find inflections – a turning point that foreshadows a significant change
  • Inflections give the entrepreneur the multiplying power to change the future
  • Develop a set of inflection ideas
  • Have conversations with practitioners who live in the present and then seers who tend to live in the future

Going From Possible to Plausible

  • The future can be changed by highly determined people
  • Listen to the right people – you can’t unhear good ideas
  • When you’re “living” in the future you see what’s missing

Classic Mistakes

  • Most people who want a breakthrough start a mundane startup
  • They interview people to identify their problems and then try to solve that present pain point
  • But you’re in the present- even if you’re right, your idea will be small
  • It’s likely someone has already tried it – too obvious

How to Bring People Into the Future?

  • An entrepreneur is a time traveler- he/she goes into the future, develops a perspective on a future that is more likely than people realize, then comes back into the present and convinces people to join
    • Elon Musk
    • Steve Jobs
  • It becomes a movement which becomes a market; a startup which becomes a company
  • This explains why entrepreneurs must have a distorted vision of reality

Are There Higher Rewards for More Preposterous Ideas?

  • Not always
  • But the more preposterous the idea, the more rare the product idea usually is
  • It helps to break free of mundane insight
  • “If you’re unwilling to look like an idiot with your crazy idea, you’re never going to do anything amazing” – Mike Maples

How to Know When You Have a Hot Idea?

  • You know when it’s the last thing you think about at night, and the first thing you think about in the morning – you can’t not think about it
  • You can make a breakthrough happen – you can find your lever to move the world” – Mike Maples
  • Anyone can find a breakthrough – regardless of their field of knowledge
  • But execution is important as is building a strategic team

Starting Greatness with Mike Maples : , , , , ,
Notes By EWerbitsky

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