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5 min read

Scaling Abundance

Aug 24, 2023

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Peter Thiel famously asked, “What important truth do you believe, that very few people agree with you on?”

Despite all the dystopian news, concerns about climate change, deadly pandemics, and other crises… I believe that now is, by far, the best time in all of human history to be alive.

Today I’m launching a new blog series based on my forthcoming book Scaling Abundance. The book will be a sequel to Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think, which I co-authored with Steven Kotler and published just over a decade ago.

Having an “Abundance Mindset”—realizing that every year brings increasing opportunity—is more important than ever. And thanks to exponential technologies that continue to convert scarcity into greater and greater abundance, we have more evidence than ever to be hopeful about the future.

I call this data-driven optimism and we’ll provide you with a ton of it throughout this series.

In this first blog of the series, I’ll share the story of how I first developed an Abundance Mindset and discuss the importance of stepping back and taking a broader perspective.

Let’s dive in…


The Origin of My Abundance Mindset

On February 29, 2012, I stood on the TED Stage red dot in Vancouver to deliver a talk called Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think, the title of a book I had just spent the last two years writing with my talented co-author Steven Kotler.

Nervous as hell, I had practiced the speech for two weeks straight and had the timing dialed in to come in under the famous 18-minute limit. In front of me stood 1,500 TEDsters from over 50 countries, including some of the biggest and most influential tech moguls and thought leaders—and I wasn’t quite sure how they would feel about my optimistic message.

That book, Abundance, began its journey two years earlier on the Moffett Field campus of Singularity University in conversations with Ray Kurzweil and Neil Jacobstein discussing the simple question, “Why are certain parts of human existence getting better?”

When examined over the course of a decade or two, the changes in society were obvious and impressive. People were living longer. Child mortality rates were down. Population growth rates were dropping. Access to food, water, shelter, and health was rising dramatically. Even global democracy was increasing.

But why?

Were these improvements the result of better politicians or governance? Were we humans getting smarter? Or maybe, just maybe, was it the result of technology becoming more powerful and democratized?

I was taken aback by the simplicity of the initial question and something significant clicked in my mind.

That question began a two-year deep dive that changed the way I saw the world.

Rather than seeing problems everywhere, I started seeing opportunities—challenges worth solving.

Rather than a future of dog-eat-dog, I saw a world of increasing abundance, a world where we could actually imagine uplifting humanity and using technology to meet the needs of every man, woman, and child.

My team and I began collecting “evidence of abundance” to empower “data-driven optimism.” Much of this effort followed in the footsteps of the pioneering work of Hans Rosling, MD, a Swedish physician, academic and TEDster. Rosling, a professor of international health at Karolinska Institute, had founded the Gapminder Foundation, which promoted the use of data (and data visualization) to explore development issues and tell a positive story of humanity.

My experience of telling the abundance story on countless stages and around a multitude of dinner tables has been fascinating.

I found that some people snapped into an Abundance Mindset instantly, seeing abundance or the potential for abundance everywhere.

Others resisted.

They wanted to believe the idea, they truly did (after all, who doesn’t like good news?), but the story I was telling didn’t match their own internal worldview.

The idea of abundance was counter to so much of their personal experience and counter to what they saw every day on the evening news.

It was this struggle to help shape an Abundance Mindset that’s led to writing this blog series, and a sequel to Abundance.

In the same way that the original book Abundance was driven by a simple question, this book is also driven by such a question: “Why isn’t the Abundance Mindset more obvious to the extraordinary people I spend time with every day?”

And it’s this question that is central to the beginning of this story. 

It’s been 12 years since I stood on that TED stage in Vancouver, and despite a bevy of global issues and growing challenges, the basic drivers of abundance and its implications have only gotten stronger and more impactful than ever before.

Evidence of data-driven optimism is everywhere we look (we’ll explore numerous examples later in this series).

The underlying exponential technologies and Metatrends shaping an abundant future are not slowing down.

This is not to say that technology isn’t causing its share of significant problems on Earth (we’ll also explore these in the series), but on balance, ask yourself: Would you rather live today, with our current challenges, or back in the early 1900s?


Why This Matters

The last few years have felt chaotic, unpredictable, and downright scary at times.

But when we pause, zoom out, and take a broader perspective, it’s clear that we are in the midst of the most exciting period in human history.

Your job as an entrepreneur and a leader is to consistently turn scarcity into abundance, fear into optimism, and to find juicy problems to solve.

So, now the question is: What challenge are you going to solve? What will you create?

In our second blog in this series, we’ll look at why your mindset—and keeping an optimistic and hopeful perspective—is so important.



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I discuss topics just like this on my podcast. Here’s a conversation I recently enjoyed:

A Statement From Peter:

My goal with this newsletter is to inspire leaders to play BIG. If that’s you, thank you for being here. If you know someone who can use this, please share it. Together, we can uplift humanity.

Peter H. Diamandis

Written by Peter H. Diamandis


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