Where do you get your best ideas for new companies? Products? Problems you want to solve?
For me, inspired ideas come from reading books.
Three books have inspired me to take my moonshots and to try extraordinary things:
- The Man Who Sold The Moon by Robert Heinlein inspired me to start the Google Lunar XPRIZE and Planetary Resources.
- The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil motivated me to co-create Singularity University.
- The Spirit of St. Louis by Charles Lindbergh inspired me to launch the $10M Ansari XPRIZE.
Recently, an amazing author, Julian Guthrie (who wrote Larry Ellison's biography, The Billionaire and the Mechanic) approached me about writing my biography and the story of the XPRIZE.
I'm humbled and proud to say that she wrote an amazing book called How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, An Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight.
The book has a foreword written by Sir Richard Branson and an afterword by none other than Prof. Stephen Hawking.
My greatest hope for this book is that it inspires entrepreneurs around the world to take their own moonshots and solve big, bold problems, in the same way that the three books above inspired me.
PAYING IT FORWARD… It's for this reason that I want to help Julian (and her publisher Random House/Penguin) get this book into the hands of as many people as possible. The book tells the story of big dreams, huge risks, eye-opening innovations and history made. It shows the power of small teams to do big things.
They're Launching a Competition
To promote and publicize the book, Julian and her publisher Random House/Penguin have launched a competition (with $100,000 worth of prizes)… sort of their own mini-XPRIZE.
While there are >100 prizes in total, below are some of my favorites, to give you a flavor of what you can win:
- A Zero Gravity (Weightless) Flight: Fly in Zero Gravity Corporation's specially modified Boeing 727-200, and I'll be there as your personal guide.
- Meet John Carmack: Meet one-on-one with video game legend John Carmack, who is now CTO of Oculus Rift.
- One-on-One with Burt Rutan: Meet one-on-one with aviation legend Burt Rutan, who is our greatest living aviation designer and the designer of the world's first private spaceship.
- Fly with Mike Melvill: Fly with Mike Melvill, the world's first commercial astronaut and the pilot of SpaceShipOne, in his homebuilt Long-EZ.
- Hangout with Pilot Erik Lindbergh: Erik Lindbergh is the grandson of Charles Lindbergh. Hang out and hear his incredible stories, or have him speak at your school, business, or community event.
- Hang Out with Me for a Day: Join me in Los Angeles at XPRIZE HQ and shadow me for a full day, where we'll also talk about your ideas and moonshots.
- A Keynote by Brian Binnie: Experimental test pilot Brian Binnie was the pilot who flew SpaceShipOne and won the $10M XPRIZE. Have him come and speak to your school, business, or community.
- Hangout with Anousheh Ansari: Have a private Google Hangout with the world's first female commercial astronaut, Anousheh Ansari.
- Rocket Sculpture: Win a Signed Rocket Sculpture Made Out of Gorgeous Refinished and Reshaped Driftwood by Erik Lindbergh
- And much more!
How do you win?
Simple. Go to this website.
Watch the video and then register for the competition.
You'll get a unique Amazon code that you can send out to friends, family and colleagues. Every time a member of your community buys a book, you'll score points.
The competition is live now, and will run until October 5.
You'll be able to track your progress on a leaderboard, and Julian will award prizes to over 100 winners. The person who sells the most books gets their choice of any three prizes from the list. The next finisher chooses two from what's left, and so on.
Plus, everyone who participates and sells at least 5 copies of the book before Sept. 20 will join me for a VIP Google Hangout where you can ask me any question you want.
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY…
For every book you sell, Julian & Random House will deliver a free additional hardcover copy of the book to a high school STEM student.
Specifically, the goal is put a copy of How to Make A Spaceship in the hands of the top 4,000 high school FIRST Robotics teams (Dean Kamen's competition) to help inspire the next generation… for me, this is part of the "pay it forward" mindset.
So please get involved, and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.
Go here to learn more.
Register, tell your friends, win prizes, pay it forward.
Onward and upward.
P.S. – Julian is using the HeroX platform to run this prize competition. HeroX is a spin-out from XPRIZE, which allows anyone or any organization to desire, run and award incentive prizes.