Friday, September 6, 2013

Ray Kurzweil Emphasizes Getting More with Less

It's not just positive mental attitude to say that failure is success deferred, as Ray Kurzweil points out.  It's also a fundamental truth of any new or tough endeavor.  More likely than not, our efforts are not going to work the first few times, may be not for numerous attempts.  But to the extent we learn something more each time about what will and will not work, then that so-called failed effort is actually a stepping stone or two toward success.

What Kurzweil describes, and gestures with his right hand, is actually not an exponential curve, but a geometric progression.  Price-performance refers to a product's ability to deliver performance for its price.  It's a ratio that, once again, based on Kurzweil's description should be stated as performance:price or performance-price.  Whether it's information or computing technology, that product costs less and less over time, just as it performs better and better.  The upward curve is a geometric progression.    

Just as Peter Diamandis emphasizes, Kurzweil points out that Facebook and Google had their start on just a few thousands of dollars.  The well-known originators behind each - Mark Zuckerberg, and Larry Page and Sergey Brin - proved that the concept would work.  Then, of course, investors came, more confident that they could produce the results at an even bigger scale.

In keeping the theme of these short talks, Kurzweil points out that we entrepreneurs and innovators can do so much, with so little and for minimal costs, because of the computing (and digital) power we have at our disposal.  We live in a day-and-age where everyday people can be producers, distributors and consumers all at once, because of easily accessible and affordable tools.  These tools have an increasingly greater performance-price ratio over time.

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