November 26

Inventing the Future

Monday’s Big Idea

Today's Big Idea: Disruptive Innovation

How do we re-accelerate technology in the coming decades? Peter Thiel breaks down two different mindsets that people have. The optimists say everything is working, don't change anything. The pessimists, on the other hand, say our situation is hopeless. Since, there's nothing we can do, "just be a hipster ice cream salesman," Thiel says.

To translate these viewpoints into what our views of 'American exceptionalism' may be, Thiel says the pessimist is essentially saying that it's fine for America to be ordinary. The optimists, on the other hand, are like people "who've taken too many self-esteem classes," Thiel says. "We're the best, and we don't have to do anything."

Thile rejects both of these mindsets. "We should accept there has been stagnation," he says, "and we should find ways to fight hard" to change our prospects for the future.

 

  1. 1 Bits Versus Stuff: Peter Thiel As...
  2. 2 Why Small Moves, Smartly Made, Ca...
  3. 3 Creative Destruction: From Genesi...
  4. 4 Peter Thiel's Hyper-Libertarian C...
   
  1. Bits Versus Stuff: Peter Thiel Asks Why Has Innovation Stalled

    Bits Versus Stuff: Peter Thiel Asks Why Has Innovation Stalled

    We have a background assumption that we are living in a technologically-accelerating civilization. Peter Thiel has a different view of where we are headed, and he says we need to fight hard to improve our future prospects. 

    Read More…
  2. Why Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Change the World

    Why Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Change the World

    From an evolutionary standpoint, which traits are most adaptive to a historical moment in which old certainties have vanished and anything is possible? According to Seely Brown, they include bravery, creativity, and a sense of play.

    Read More…
  3. Creative Destruction: From Genesis to Picasso to Apple Computers

    Creative Destruction: From Genesis to Picasso to Apple Computers

    According to Jeff DeGraff, half of the challenge for innovators "is having the courage, the temerity, the will to actually stop doing something, which is infinitely harder than starting something new."

    Read More…
  4. Peter Thiel's Hyper-Libertarian Cartesianism

    Peter Thiel's Hyper-Libertarian Cartesianism

    In some ways, the brilliant Thiel might be our instructive Cartesian today, because he has no democratic illusions about the Cartesian “I.”

    Read More…