Peter Diamandis is no stranger to the idea of thinking big. He is co-founder of Singularity University, a new-age school aimed at tackling issues that affect billions and creating business models around them. He started the X-Prize foundation which puts up prize money for the achievement of world altering endeavors. He is co-founder of Zero Gravity which lets people experience weightlessness by flying in a parabolic arch. He is co-founder of planetary resources which aims to mine asteroids. He is co-founder of human longevity inc. which seeks to provide preventative medical care and increase the average human lifespan. Additionally, he has co-authored two books, Abundance and Bold. Peter is truly a pioneer of our day and age with his ultimate goal to bring about plentiful resources to all of humanity.
All of these accomplishments would not have been possible if he did not think big which is best exemplified through how the X-Prize foundation was started. Since childhood Peter has been fascinated by space flight. After reading The Spirit of Saint Louis and the story of how the Orteig prize enabled Charles Lindbergh, a most unlikely pilot, to navigate from New York to Paris, Peter was inspired to do the same with space flight. He wanted to award a prize to the first private company or group to achieve spaceflight twice within two weeks using the same vehicle.
He had little money to do this. The prize was to be $10,000,000 and in 1995 when the idea was first proposed spaceflight was strictly for large governments with billions of dollars to spend. Even with very little in financial backing he decided to launch the prize anyways. At the time he was little known and had to present himself with having the credibility. In a fashionable way he got 20 astronauts up on a stage with him to present the prize and delivered a powerful message. It was from this that he was able to raise the prize money from the Ansari family and the prize became known as the Ansari X-Prize.
In all, 26 teams from 7 different nations competed for the prize. It was ultimately won in 2004 by Burt Rutan and his U.S. company Scaled Composites based in the Mojave desert. If it were not for Peter and his ability to think beyond limitations, space flight would still be reserved for large companies and governments. He has inspired an entire generation by showing that spaceflight is achievable at a drastically reduced cost and helped launch a $2 billion private spaceflight industry.
Peter has no regard for limitations. In his books he outlines exponential technologies and ways that we are already working to solve global issues such as clean drinking water, energy, abundant food, universal health care, and education for all. From vertical farming to virtual doctors, he sees solutions to problems where most will just debate the issue. It is not only the power of thinking big, but also the power of positive thinking, believing that technology will continue to make the future a better place.
His mindset is the most powerful tool that we can all benefit from. He does not think about why something can't be done, but how to accomplish the seemingly impossible. For a long time we have heard that funds cannot be solely performance based. From our perspective this misaligned incentives so we had to switch our thinking to turn common industry practice on its head. When your mindset shifts from can't to how, you will begin to see paths that were previously blocked and become creative in your solutions.
“If you think it is impossible, then it is...for you.” - Peter Diamandis