“Perspective shifts will unlock more than smartness will.”
– Astro Teller
This is a very short, roughly 10-minute, episode. It explains how to 10x your thinking and your goals, or — put another way — how to escape incremental thinking and think truly BIG. I loved it so much that I now listen to it on a regular basis as a reminder. Perhaps you’ll end up doing the same.
The speaker is Dr. Astro Teller (@astroteller). Astro is currently Captain of Moonshots (CEO) of X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory for building magical, audacious ideas that, through science and technology, can be brought to reality. Astro is also co-founder and a current Director of Cerebellum Capital, a hedge fund management firm whose investments are continuously designed, executed, and improved by a software system based on techniques from statistical machine learning. Astro was also the co-founder and CEO of BodyMedia, Inc., a leading wearable body monitoring company that was sold to Jawbone in 2013.
Dr. Teller holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Stanford University, Master of Science in symbolic and heuristic computation, also from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a recipient of the prestigious Hertz Fellowship.
It was recorded as part of A360, a high-end membership group run by past podcast guest and Founder and Chairman of The XPRIZE Foundation, Peter Diamandis. For more on A360 and its digital version (Abundance Digital), please visit Diamandis.com and look under “Memberships.”
- Listen to it on Apple podcasts.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”
Want to hear another episode with another inspiring entrepreneur? — Listen to this interview with Debbie Millman, where we discuss how to recover from rejection, how to overcome personal crises of faith, class exercises from her most impactful mentors, and much more. (Stream below or right-click here to download.):
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Connect with Astro Teller:
- X — The Moonshot Factory
- Bletchley Park
- Manhattan Project
- John F. Kennedy’s Moon Speech at Rice Stadium
- Apollo 11 Mission Overview, NASA
- The Mutilated Checkerboard Problem
- Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
- Choice A or Choice B? [04:51]
- Context matters. [06:41]
- Historically, war has spurred innovation tantamount to the miraculous. [07:07]
- What is moonshot thinking — and why should we wait for a war to spur innovation on a Choice B level? [07:47]
- Are you creating the context for Choice B? [08:33]
- Switching perspective with the mutilated checkerboard problem. [09:40]
- Why going 10x bigger is more important and effective than going 10% bigger. [11:29]
- Imagine you’re Willy Wonka. Your chocolate factory should be staffed by Peter Pans with PhDs wearing t-shirts that say “Safety Third.” [12:21]
- It’s not just a moonshot when you choose to go big at the high level. [13:09]
- Perspective shifts unlock more than smartness will. [13:46]
- A business plan for embarking on weirdness is doomed from the start. Here’s a better perspective. [14:01]
Posted on: April 18, 2018.
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Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.