To rapidly gain expertise on this complex matter, I initially opted to gain proximity to, and learn from, industry leading startup participants—innovation platform operators, noted startup investments participants, celebrity business actors, and business development academics—to discover how they had solved this challenge. The objective was to gain inspiration from the work they had conducted on creating platforms designed to identify the best, even if non-traditional, innovators within our communities and help them deliver their disruptive ventures to market. I was truly disappointed to find that not a single one could provide inspiration on this issue.
Additionally, I was somewhat surprised that for some of the most successful venture capitalists—those seemingly most incentivized to conduct successful founder prospecting—an understanding of the tremendous potential and lucrative ingenuity residing in all individuals was not part of their construct of reality. This was despite many of these individuals being lauded as the most intelligent, imaginative, and efficient wealth creating agents of business.
Truthfully, the more I surveyed these individuals, studied their models, read their books, listened to their interviews, analyzed their investment strategies, identified the patterns behind their successes and failures, etc., the more I got the impression that they were not interested nor believed in prospecting for brilliant insights amongst the common people. There was a perceptible dose of misguided elitism in their thesis. Basically, the premise was often that the majority of people were just too un-redeemable and unremarkable; destined to find value primarily as consumers—they join a long list of celebrated economic theorists in this belief for that matter. This mode of thinking suggests that we should not be too concerned about common people’s actualization and what becomes of them.
Beyond being shortsighted, such an appreciation—or dis-appreciation—of people is simply unintelligent, not least because our shared reality is that we each exist as an integral node of a single network. Simply put, whatever happens to them, happens to the network, and invariably happens to each of us. Therefore, un-actualized potential diminishes and costs us all.
As a consequence, I set out on a decade-long expedition that exposed me to more than 50 cities around the world—studying, working, and brainstorming with thousands of innovation actors, and testing and learning from their best and worst practices, in order to shape my understanding of this issue.
Interestingly enough, it was often the unusual suspects from around the world that had solved pieces of the problem. These people intuitively believed that the human capital in their communities could yield promising returns, engineer sustainable economic development, and be the key to prosperous societies.
Completely self-financed, the trajectory of this learning process was simple: continue as long as necessary to crack the model, while supporting my efforts by successfully monetizing my expanding knowledge and solutions library—through mandates with startups, investors, and other startup participants.
The tools and methodologies I have developed over the years, using advanced quantitative startup processes–enable great humans, regardless of their origins, to tap into their innate genius and use it to create impact-ventures.
The disruptive and expanding founder-centric innovation platform I am building creates wealth by leveraging the most valuable, abundant, and yet under utilized resources found at our disposal: human ingenuity.
As a sophisticated capitalist, I am an ardent believer in the capacity of entrepreneurship to elevate our world. Productive capitalism can be the single most powerful agent of positive change in the world. By empowering great entrepreneurs to deliver ingenious, elegant, and lucrative solutions to important problems, we can make things better while delivering the healthiest return on resources.