“Nothing great was ever achieved by those who were timid!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
My catchphrase has long been this:
Think big, start small, scale fast!
It could also be this:
Think big. Be bold.
The world is changing fast, and your approach to reality will define your future. You won’t get ahead by being small and timid when the biggest, boldest challenges in your industry are occurring all around you. We’re shifting to a world of 24-hour farming, cars and trucks are becoming battery-based computers, the energy industry is being decentralized, supply chains are being re-engineered for a new and different phase of globalization, oil is over, products are becoming connected and intelligent, financial services are being swept by new forms of monetary ownership and exchange. These are all seismic changes, and you won’t get ahead by dabbling around the edges and fooling around on the margins.
This is no time for thinking small. This is a time to think big and give it all you’ve got. The global economy is in the midst of its most massive change of all time as we head into the next phase of our new, connected, intelligent economy;. There is no magic switch that brings back the ‘world before’ big disruptive trends – there is only the ‘world after.’ You can’t prevent what is going to happen – you can only choose to participate. If you don’t understand that simple reality and don’t have plans for major transformations, you need to check your reality.
You need to be bold! Supply chains are being transformed, manufacturing processes are being analyzed, retail is dying before our very eyes while it is dramatically reborn, entertainment is virtualizing and transportation is localizing. Take any industry, and the changes are fast, comprehensive, and all-encompassing. In the old world, I would speak about disruptive trends as the harbinger of a world in which speed, agility, and flexibility mattered. Now at this moment in time, post-pandemic, disruption is still occurring, but it is accelerating, veering wildly, choosing a new and volatile course. It’s like a river on a floodplain, unleashed, overflowing the banks, carving a new river bed of least resistance.
If your mindset is that you will simply do what you did before, you are wrong. If you think you can ride it out, you are in for a rough ride. If you believe you’ll quickly go back to your previous business models, you are mistaken. If you think the skills you possessed before are still relevant, you are wrong. If you believe the process you used to create things will exist in the same form, check your reality.
Everything is different, nothing is the same, and our future will never be what you expected it to be.
And yet, it is full of massive opportunities for those who are prepared to be bold and imaginative.
To you, it might be unrecognizable. To me, it’s crystal clear and aligns perfectly to my core belief more than ever before.
As an aside, I’ve long shared this message of being bold. On stage at a massive manufacturing conference in Las Vegas in 2010, with a message for several thousand more manufacturing executives – engineers, senior executives, product innovation visionaries, and more.
And it was here that my story of Tesla Motors began to crystallize – the big thinker with bold ideas and disruptive concepts. And now, look at where we are today! It was 6 years ago yesterday that Elon Musk took the bold step fo announcing the Model 3, the car that now sets the pace in the global auto industry. Watch this clip where I talk about the importance of being bold!