94-year-old John B. Goodenough made the news this week for creating a breakthrough battery that stores triple the energy and is safer than lithium-ion batteries.
John also happens to be the inventor of lithium-ion batteries, which he invented when he was 57 years old - 37 years ago. Today, lithium-ion batteries power all our smart phones, tablets and laptops - as well as electric cars.
His new battery invention will dwarf his first invention, as it will power our future solar powered and electric vehicles, homes and industries. It makes the current lithium-ion technology redundant (including Elon Musk’s brand new $5 billion lithium-ion battery gigafactory).
How do the new batteries work? They’re made of glass electrolytes, which are solid instead of the liquid electrolytes in lithium-ion batteries. They will allow electric cars to go three times the distance, and recharge in minutes instead of hours. They’re also far safer as they won’t explode, and they can operate in sub-zero temperatures with no danger of freezing.
At 94 years old, John still works as a Professor at the University of Texas, and he isn’t finished yet.
John believes humanity has a 30 year window to come up wth an even more powerful “super battery” to take us entirely off fossil fuels, before the environmental damage we are creating becomes irreversible and says:
"I want to solve this problem before my chips are in… I still have time to go.”
So if you’re ever thinking it’s too late to be successful, just remember John B. Goodenough.
Imagine if you accidentally created the next big thing - simply by sticking with your passion. That’s what David Baszucki has done by creating the biggest VR community in the world. Today he announced $92 million funding for his virtual world, ROBLOX.
David started ROBLOX in 2005 as an online playground similar to Minecraft, where you could build your own world and share it with others. He struggled to get the site going, and its growth never matched Minecraft’s in its early years.
In 2013, David’s co-founder, Erik Cassel died after a three year battle with cancer. Then, a year later, Minecraft was bought by Microsoft for $2.5 billion. At that point, after 9 years, ROBLOX had still only managed to raise $10 million.
David could have given up, and the story would have ended like so many others, with ROBLOX fading away. But instead, he doubled down with his vision of a 100% user-created world where anyone could turn their creation into a game or adventure and make money from their creations.
David built up the tools to build your own games, and the number of games - and users - doubled, doubled and doubled again. Today, ROBLOX has grown to 48 million users playing 22 million digital games created by 1.7 million game creators. The top ones now earn over $100,000 per month.
As David explains, “An eight-year-old, for a school project, could open ROBLOX studio, find a Roman Coliseum, paste it in, people it with zombies wearing togas, push it to the ROBLOX cloud, and immediately show it to their family and friends.”
The biggest move came a year ago, when Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear launched their VR goggles. David realised his 3D world was perfect for VR. So he made the move to make the entire ROBLOX world into 3D virtual reality and said “ROBLOX will be the largest VR social destination anywhere in the world.”
Suddenly, 48 million users had full access to the biggest virtual world in the world, and could now experience their own creations and all the games in life-size 3D.
That makes David’s ROBLOX now the leading VR social network in size, ahead of everyone else’s plans to create full 3D virtual worlds, from Facebook to Microsoft.
David says “Every month, 48 million kids from around the world come to play and create and imagine. They do it in an immersive, 3D environment created by the community”, adding “We have a big vision to create the world’s ultimate social platform for play.”
David’s perseverance has paid off. His $92 million funding today from the same VCs who funded Snapchat is a testament to that.
His key to success? To not only be patient enough to wait for the wave to come, but to surf it when it arrived.
“The two most important requirements for major success are: first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it.” ~ Ray Kroc
What would happen if schools invested in their students and their ideas instead of just charging them school fees? That’s what St Francis has done, and they just made $24 million this week because of it.
Barry, the father of St Francis high school student, Natalie Eggers, tells the story: “Almost exactly five years ago today, I came home from work and walked into my kitchen. My daughter Natalie and a few of her high school sophomore friends were sitting at the table. They were all absorbed in their phones and were laughing.
How big are you thinking? Will Marshall is thinking so big, he’s thinking out of this world. Literally. He’s just bought all of Google’s satellites with his 6-year old start-up, Planet Labs.
Paradoxically, Will can now think bigger because he began by thinking smaller.
In 2010 he asked himself “Why are most satellite images years old, and satellites so expensive?” (The NASA satellites launched at the time cost $850 million to build and launch).
The lightbulb moment came when NASA Director of Engineering gave a talk and pulled out his smartphone, saying it had a faster processor and better sensors than many satellites, at a fraction of the price.
That’s when Will, who was at the talk, said “Pete, don’t put that back in your pocket. We’re going to make that into a satellite”.
Will then launched Planet Labs with two NASA scientists with the mission "To use space to help life" and the goal “To image the entire planet, every day.” Their first goal? To launch a “phonesat” into orbit,and send back photos of earth in real time.
Three years later, the first three were launched for just $7,000 each. Will called them “Alexander, Graham and Bell”.
The team came up with the phrase “Agile Aerospace” where they improved their “flock”, which became known as “Doves”. In 2014, 28 Doves were released from the International Space Station. Each even sent a “Tweet” via Twitter once they turned on.
By 2016, Will said "We have launched 133 satellites to date, which is the largest constellation in human history… We can track deforestation, we can track the ice caps melting. We can help people respond to natural disasters like earthquakes and floods.”
And that’s Will’s big dream - to save the environment by being able to prevent the damage before it happens. For example, with the Amazon: "If you wait until the end of the year to take a picture - which is the typical rate - at the end of the year you have a big hole in the Amazon. If you take it every day, you can catch people in the act who are logging in the wrong place and send the co-ordinates to the response team who go and stop them."
So how did Will end up buying Google’s satellites? Google realized Planet’s small team were doing a better job than they were at managing satellites. So they sold their $300 million satellite company, Terra Bella together with their seven high-res SkySat satellites in orbit to Planet in return for shares and a long-term licensing deal for all Planet’s images.
So while many startups dream one day of being bought by Google, Will has done the opposite and bought from Google.
Are you thinking big enough?
What would you do different if you were thinking 100x bigger?
When asked what advice he would give startup entrepreneurs, Will said “Check that the idea can be 100x better (/lower cost etc) than anything out there - there will be all sorts of practical reasons you've not thought of and if it's only a 10x that will be eaten up.”
In the meantime, Will isn’t resting after his big buy. He has another 88 satellites being launched this Valentine’s Day. When your business is in space, the sky’s no longer the limit.
"If people aren't calling you crazy, you aren't thinking big enough." ~ Richard Branson
Are you playing to win? Or are you playing not to lose?
The difference has never been more stark than in the most incredible comeback in Super Bowl history that just took place today.
With just 8 minutes remaining in the game, the Atlanta Falcons led the New England Patriots 28-12. No team in history had ever made a comeback from 10 points behind. Until today…
It's been an amazing eye-opener into the future, and I wanted to share some of it with you.
Heres' 3 amazing facts from his top trends on how fast the future is arriving:
Mark Cuban said “I’m out” and Richard Branson said “I’m in” to entrepreneur, Jamie Siminoff.
Today, the change in that one word became worth over $28 million after Ring, the company that Jamie founded 5 years ago, raised $109 million from Goldman Sachs and Qualcomm Ventures.
This, after an amazing 5 year journey that brought Jamie face-to-face with two of the world’s most recognized billionaires.
In September 2013, a year after launching “DoorBot”, Jamie got on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ trying to raise $700,000 for 10% in equity for his company
He pitched his product - an app-controlled smart doorbell and video system for your front door - but then Mark Cuban and his fellow sharks all closed the door on Jamie.
‘Mr Wonderful’, Kevin O’Leary, was the only one who gave an offer. He had no interest in buying equity. So instead he offered the $700,000 as a loan, repaid from 10% of all sales and then once paid off, he wanted 7% of all ongoing sales forever. Plus he wanted 5% equity for free thrown in.
Siminoff said no and Kevin replied “It’s that moment when I say you’re dead to me”.
After leaving the Shark Tank, Jamie turned the mass rejection into a positive, saying “We think we got at least $5 million of additional sales through the airing of ‘Shark Tank’. Everything just popped after that.”
Jamie rebranded the company as “Ring” and doubled down on his focus. He grew the smart doorbells into app-controlled security devices with motion-detection technology and said “We’re definitely focused on the ring of security we can build around a community, around a home. We’re stopping one burglary a day, and we’ve caught multiple burglars, so we’ve already become a very important part of homes."
Then by luck, one of his new customers ended up on Necker Island, sitting next to Richard Branson when his smartphone rang. A delivery person was at his door. The customer spoke to him and then with one press of a button the app let him in.
Richard was so impressed, he got Jamie’s number and called him, wanting to invest. What was Jamie’s reaction?
"When Richard Branson asks if he can invest in your company, I think there's only one answer you can give”.
Richard invested in the company, and in August 2015 he led a $28 million funding round for Jamie.
That was followed by a $61 million round in March 2016. Then, today, Jamie raised another $109 million at a likely valuation of around $500 million.
That means if Mark or any of the other sharks had taken Jamie’s 10% equity offer just over three years ago, their $700,000 investment would have grown after dilution by around 40x to $28 million today.
Jamie, who’s products are now in 100 countries worldwide, is now aiming for an IPO at the end of the year. By then, the cost of that “no” could be between $50 million and $100 million.
While billionaires like Mark Cuban won’t suffer greatly from missing such a multi-million dollar opportunity, this story highlights the greatest cost in business: Opportunity cost.
What is the cost of you saying “no” to the right opportunity?
What is the cost of following the wrong opportunities?
What is it costing you by delaying or avoiding action?
Whenever you’re worry about the cost of taking action, remember that the cost of not acting is often far greater.
“There's no wrong time to make the right decision." ~ Dalton McGuinty
Imagine you came up with an idea that could get people healthy and help the environment. Imagine you quit your dream job, launched a startup around the idea and 2 years later had turned the idea into a billion dollar company.
That’s exactly what David Wang has just done.
Two years ago David quit his job as General Manager of Uber in Shanghai after thinking “Why don’t I create an Uber for bikes?”
When I opened my Facebook and Twitter feeds today, they were filled with messages of conflict and intolerance. I looked for wise words to make sense of what's going on. I found it in "The Sneetches" - Dr Seuss' children's story uncannily playing out in real life today. I hope we make it to the same ending.
The Sneetches. By Dr Seuss 1953 ***************************************
Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches Had bellies with stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches Had none upon thars.
Those stars weren't so big. They were really so small You might think such a thing wouldn't matter at all. But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches Would brag, "We're the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches."
With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they'd snort “We'll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!" And whenever they met some, when they were out walking, They'd hike right on past them without even talking.
When the Star-Belly children went out to play ball, Could a Plain-Belly get in the game...? Not at all. You could only play if your bellies had stars And the Plain-Belly children had none upon thars.
When the Star-Belly Sneetches had frankfurter roasts Or picnics or parties or marshmallow toasts, They never invited the Plain-Belly Sneetches. They left them out cold, in the dark of the beaches. They kept them away. Never let them come near. And that's how they treated them year after year.
Then ONE day, it seems...while the Plain-Belly Sneetches Were moping and doping alone on the beaches, Just sitting there wishing their bellies had stars... A stranger zipped up in the strangest of cars!
"My friends," he announced in a voice clear and keen, "My name is Sylvester McMonkey McBean. And I've heard of your troubles. I've heard you're unhappy. But I can fix that. I'm the Fix-it-Up Chappie.
I've come here to help you. I have what you need. And my prices are low. And I work at great speed. And my work is one hundred per cent guaranteed!"
Then, quickly, Sylvester McMonkey McBean Put together a very peculiar machine.
And he said, "You want stars like a Star-Belly Sneetch...? My friends, you can have them for three dollars each!” “Just pay me your money and hop right aboard!" So they clambered inside. Then the big machine roared
And it clonked. And it bonked. And it jerked. And it berked And it bopped them about. But the thing really worked! When the Plain-Belly Sneetches popped out, they had stars! They actually did. They had stars upon thars!
Then they yelled at the ones who had stars from the start, "We're exactly like you! You can't tell us apart. We're all just the same, now, you snooty old smarties! And now we can go to your frankfurter parties."
"Good grief!" groaned the ones who had stars at the first. "We're still the best Sneetches and they are the worst. But, now, how in the world will we know," they all frowned, "If which kind is what, or the other way round?"
Then up came McBean with a very sly wink And he said, "Things are not quite as bad as you think. So you don't know who's who. That’s perfectly true. But come with me, friends. Do you know what I'll do?
I'll make you, again, the best Sneetches on beaches And all it will cost you is ten dollars eaches.” Belly stars are no longer in style," said McBean. "What you need is a trip through my Star-Off machine.
This wondrous contraption will take off your stars So you won't look like Sneetches who have them on thars." And that handy machine Working very precisely Removed all the stars from their tummies quite nicely.
Then, with snoots in the air, they paraded about And they opened their beaks and they let out a shout, "We know who is who! Now there isn't a doubt. The best kind of Sneetches are Sneetches without!"
Then, of course, those with stars all got frightfully mad. To be wearing a star now was frightfully bad. Then, of course, old Sylvester McMonkey McBean Invited them into his Star-Off Machine. Then, of course from then on, as you probably guess, Things really got into a horrible mess.
All the rest of that day, on those wild screaming beaches, The Fix-it-Up Chappie kept fixing up Sneetches. Off again! On again! In again! Out again! Through the machines they raced round and about again,
Changing their stars every minute or two. They kept paying money. They kept running through Until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew Whether this one was that one...or that one was this one Or which one was what one...or what one was who.
Then, when every last cent Of their money was spent, The Fix-it-Up Chappie packed up And he went.
And he laughed as he drove In his car up the beach, "They never will learn. No. You can't teach a Sneetch!"
But McBean was quite wrong. I'm quite happy to say The Sneetches got really quite smart on that day, The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches. That day, all the Sneetches forgot about stars And whether they had one, or not, upon thars.