Why we’re going from “I’ve got an idea” to “I’ve got a billion-dollar company” quicker than ever before

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Why we’re going from

Disruption is creating myriad opportunities for entrepreneurs and SMEs according to speakers at this morning’s Creative Innovation Conference. 

Peter Diamandis, chairman and chief executive of XPRIZE Foundation and co-founder of the Singularity University told the conference the opportunities for entrepreneurs continue to expand.

Read more: The future is more predictable than you think: Five trends that will disrupt your business

“We’re going from ‘I’ve got an idea’ to ‘I’ve got a billion-dollar company’ quicker than ever,” says Diamandis citing Instagram and Uber as examples. “The ability to start a startup is so much cheaper … you are going to have more and more winners trying new business models.”

According to Diamandis technology is becoming “deceptively” simpler, which enables it to dematerialise. Thanks to dematerialisation, technology that used to take up a room now fits in our pocket.

“When it dematerialises it demonetises, the benefit of this is that it democratises,” Diamandis said. “You can no longer just reach a million people, you can reach a billion.”

Moore’s law is the observation that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.

Diamandis cites eight technologies that are riding Moore’s law right now: infinite computing, sensor and networks, robotics, 3D printing, synthetic biology, digital medicine, nanomaterials and artificial intelligence. “This march continues on,” he said.

“We are living in a world today of 12 to 20 billion connected devices and each of these devices has a dozen sensors,” he said.

“How you use this to make new business decisions and make new products and services is extraordinary.”

Facebook and Google are both working to bring the internet to more and more of the world’s population with predictions that there will be 3 billion new people online by 2020.

Diamandis says this is a key opportunity for entrepreneurs.

“If they’re not your customer, they’re your customer’s customer,” he said.

“The only constant is change, and the rate of change is increasing,” he said. “You either disrupt yourself or someone else will … competition is no longer the multinational overseas, it is the guy or girl in the next garage.”

Scott Anthony, strategic information and disruptive innovation expert, says most businesses pause in the face of disruptive change but entrepreneurs need to dive in.

He defines disruptive change as “an innovation that transforms an existing market or creates a new one by making the complicated simple, making the expensive affordable”.

Anthony says 3D printing is one innovation that is going to “upend” business models around the world. “If you are an entrepreneur trying to pick a space to get into that’s the one I would recommend,” he said.

But Anthony says disruption is not just the domain of startup businesses. “35% of disruptions are launched by existing companies,” he said.

For example, Google has launched self-driving cars, and Amazon, web services.

“Get busy living or get busy dying,” he said.

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Cara Waters is the former editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Cara was a senior reporter at the Financial Times website FT Adviser in London and she also worked for The Sunday Times in London.

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