Mike Maples Jr — Building a Breakthrough

Getting out of the present and standing in the future is the first key to finding a breakthrough.

  • "Breakthrough builders are visitors from the future telling us what's to come." e.g. Steve Jobs. Elon Musk. Design a category and teach us how to think about it.
  • Most friends, advisors, and investors will be useless in helping you identify a breakthrough.
  • An important job of a breakthrough builder is to persuade an early, like-minded movement (both employees and early customers).
  • Breakthrough ideas are usually disliked at first — too radical for the masses to believe.
  • They live in the future and pull today's world to realize their vision.

Backcasting is living in the future, forming beliefs about the future, and figuring out how to get the present world to realize that future.

  • Look for inflections — technology, adoption rates, regulatory, beliefs (contradicting long-held beliefs)
  • → A form of technology inflection may be primitives — i.e. phone camera = early Instagram.

    → Understand inflections long before markets. You arrive at the breakthrough market opportunity by following the inflections.

  • Backcast from potential futures — plausible, possible, preposterous.