Steve Jobs once asked his prospective CEO “Do you want to sell sugared water for the rest of your life? Or do you want to come with me and change the world?”
I think most businesses operate at a subsistence level–they do just enough to fulfill a market need. Even if their managers wanted to, many businesses don’t truly innovate and change the world. Why? It can be capital intensive to create a viable solution in many industries.
There’s an incentive towards finding low hanging fruit rather than making earth-shattering changes. Conversely, making earth-shattering moves is more interesting and inspiring when it comes to attracting a highly motivated team, some of whom may be willing to make similar sacrifices to pursue a big idea.
I think many people who build successful businesses have a proven set of project management skills that can be used to solve significant problems–not just make a profit. There are likely hundreds of thousands of eligible entrepreneurs capable of solving big problems. You can make a profit doing many different things that may involve hard work, helping others, and creating value but they may not necessarily significantly advance mankind.
The following are just a few big ideas:
- Assembling a team of smart medical professionals with programmers who can map out every known medical problem and test out simulations to solve them
- Creating an alternative, more free form of government/citizenship that is lean and not inflicted with bureaucracy, massive debt, and human error.
- Applying simulations to solve the puzzle on exactly what would make the most nutritious food, and how to consume it
- Applying simulations to solve the puzzle on exactly how much and how to sleep
- Applying simulations to solve the puzzle on how to travel across galaxies
In almost every field, breakthroughs are found through testing, analyzing data, and testing again.
Right now, humans are only limited by our speed of testing.