Thinking exponentially gets you anywhere fast

By Jovan Rebolledo-Mendez, PhD

Jovan Rebolledo-Mendez

There is a huge difference between thinking linearly and exponentially: when you think linearly, walking one meter at a time, in 10 steps you advance 10 meters, in 30 steps you will be walking 30 meters.  When you think exponentially, after the first step you advance one meter, after the second step you walk two meters.  After the third step you advance 4 meters.  And if you continue like that, after 30 steps, you would be walking more than 13 times around the Earth’s equator.

The current advances of technologies are based on the principle of exponential growth: double the power and reduce the price by half every 18 months.  The technologies that follow this trend are called “exponential technologies”.   Among those, there are AI, robotics, biotech, and nanotechnologies.

The advances in deep learning, for instance, have made investors in USA betting high for those startups that are based on that technology.  Soon, we will have in Japan a very affordable robot that will transform the way we interact, and will add so much value to the use of information in our homes.  There are some biotech companies, in Japan and abroad that are making it possible to alter compounds and convert them into new products or services.  We are also seeing nanotech applied in different fields permitting creating new materials or nano-functionalities that are starting to change the world dramatically.

There are a few places where you can study the different exponential technologies, and equally important, how to think exponentially.  One of these is Singularity University.  Every summer there is a Graduate Studies Program there, and 80 people from around the world gather to understand how to think exponentially, and how to use this thinking in solving the great challenges of humanity.

So far, there has not been any Japanese citizen in this program, but we are trying to reverse that trend. We are organizing a Global Impact Competition Japan.  The winner of the contest will be sent to NASA, in California, to learn directly from Singularity University faculty in how to think exponentially and how to create products and services that will affect positively billions of people.  If you are interested in changing Japan by helping in sending a Japanese citizen to SU, please feel free to communicate with me, Jovan Rebolledo-Mendez, PhD,

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and not those of Japan Update, Ryukyu Press or their employees.

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