Bold: Book Summary & Review

bold book cover

Bold is a book on entrepreneurial mindset in which author Peter Diamandis shares his “aggressively optimistic” recipe for entrepreneurs who wants to change the world.

Bullet Summary

  • Many disruptive technologies start relatively unnoticed as they “brew” for a while before hitting suddenly
  • This is the best time ever for you to take opportunities and change the world
  • Go for Moonshots: huge goals are better at motivating you and better at changing the world

Bold Summary

Part One – Bold Technology

In part one Peter Diamandis discussed the trends in technologies that are changing the world.

I found particularly interesting the 6 Ds of exponentials, analyzing how digital revolutions work.

The first period of digitization goes unnoticed. It’s because when a trend starts, even if it grows exponentially, it still won’t impact lives.

As the trend approaches a critical mass and starts having some visible effect… It will then quickly grow from “visible effect” to “disruption” at lightning speed as it keeps growing exponentially.

As a business becomes digital, money matters less. Peter Diamandis talks about Kodak: film quickly became useless with Megapixels.

Anything that becomes digitalized also becomes dematerialized.

As prices tumble and technology is more and more accessible to the masses, a democratization of opportunities takes place.

The Hype Cycle

Peter Diamandis talks about the Hype Cycle, which postulates that people tend to over-hype and overestimate the impact of new technology only to be disappointed when said technology takes longer than expected to deliver the hyped-up results.
We then have another sort of “negative hype”, where people are too pessimistic about the new technology.
Peter then says that for entrepreneurs it’s critical to understand when a technology is exiting its trough and starts rising up the enlightenment curve.

Disruptive Technologies

Peter then delves into 3D printing, robotics, AI, the Internet Of Things, and the land of opportunities that the Internet is going to be.

He gives an overview of the huge changes in optimistic, contagiously upbeat fashion. The content is not disruptive, to stay on topic, and it changes so quickly that going into the details is not worth it and I invite you to read the book for it.
However, the overarching message is this: the world is changing, is changing fast and deep, and it’s an opportunity feast for us all.

Part Two – Bold Mindset

Bold by Peter Diamandis dedicates the second part to looking for what gives us an edge mentally.

He mentions that setting goals makes us more productive and that big goals outperform small and medium ones. Goals are best when they align the desired outcomes with the individual values.

Peter Diamandis then talks about Google, Moonshots -huge goals between audacious projects and science fiction-, 10x and motivation -where he recaps Drive by Daniel Pink-.

Google’s Eight Innovation Principles

  1. Focus on the User.
  2. Share Everything: In a hyperconnected world,d it’s critical to be open, allow people to help you innovate, and build on each other’s ideas.
  3. Look for Ideas Everywhere: 
  4. Think Big but Start Small: you can start a company on day one that affects a small group but aim to positively impact a billion people within a decade.
  5. Never Fail to Fail: Fail frequently, fail fast, and fail forward.
  6. Spark with Imagination, Fuel with Data.
  7. Be a Platform: the most successful companies -Airbnb, Uber, Instagram- are all platforms
  8. Have a Mission That Matters: perhaps most important, does your company have a massively transformative purpose? Passion is key to progress


There are triggers or preconditions to help us achieve flow:

  • High-pressure work: we have to be willing to take risks;
  • An environment rich in novelty, uncertainty, and complexity
  • Clear goals: it’s a shortcut to the now. You know what you’re aiming at, so you can focus on the task
  • Immediate feedback: another shortcut to the now
  • Challenge to skills ratio: complex enough not to be boring, easy enough we can solve it
  • (groups) Familiarity: for groups, everyone is on the same page
  • (groups) Blending ego: no social climbers elbowing for the limelight
  • Autonomy and Mastery (Intrinsic Motivators)
  • (groups) Additive interactions: adding value to each other rather than confronting each other
  • Thinking differently

The skunk methodology relies heavily on the flow state to reach outcomes quickly.
For more on flow read “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Performance“.

Peter’s rules

Some of Peter’s rules I liked most:

  1. If anything can go wrong, fix it! (To hell with Murphy!)
  2. When given a choice—take both!
  3. Multiple projects lead to multiple successes.
  4. Start at the top, then work your way up.
  5. Do it by the book . . . but be the author!
  6. When forced to compromise, ask for more.
  7. If you can’t win, change the rules.
  8. If you can’t change the rules, then ignore them.
  9. No simply means begin one level higher.
  10. Don’t walk when you can run.
  11. When in doubt: THINK!
  12. Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing.
  13. The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live.
  14. The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself!
  15. You get what you incentivize.
  16. If you think it is impossible, then it is for you.
  17. An expert is someone who can tell you exactly how something can’t be done.
  18. The day before something is a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea.
  19. If it was easy, it would have been done already.
  20. Without a target, you’ll miss it every time.
  21. Fail early, fail often, fail forward
  22. If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
  23. The world’s most precious resource is the persistent and passionate human mind.
  24. Bureaucracy is an obstacle to be conquered with persistence, confidence, and a bulldozer when necessary.

Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos & Richard Branson

Bold by Peter Diamandis then goes on to analyze the exploits and different styles of Elon Musk, Bezos, and Branson.

What I love the most about this section is the differentiation between missionary and mercenary. Missionary is someone who loves the product and the customers, the mercenary is money-driven. Long term, usually the missionary makes more money than the mercenary.

Part Three – Bold Crowd

Bold by Peter Diamandis goes into the power of crowdfunding and community building and community power.

bold book cover


  • Symposium-style

I was surprised to find Bold takes a lot of time to discuss the current state of affairs of different technologies and current services.
Luckily Peter Diamandis can do it well and lightly and manages to add value, but on the other hand, I think it was too long.

  • Won’t age well because of the lengthy descriptions of current technology

The symposium parts in which Peter Diamandis reviews the current state of technology and the next disruptors will not age well.
10 years from now this book will be 70% outdated.

  • Geek-measuring approach to self-development

Diamandis is a typical Silicon Valley type of guy.
That’s generally a great thing, but it comes with some downsides. Including the tendency to fall for the trap of going extreme on “data”, “measurements”, “hacks”, latest trends and fads, etc. etc.

See a good review here:

  • Living forever pipe dream

Diamandis is often associated with the “life extension” or “living forever” goal (obsession?).

I’m not too sold on that and I tend to agree with Robert Greene: accepting death may be a better approach.

Bold Review

Bold is an interesting book on Silicon Valley thinking and can be helpful for those who struggle with “glass half-empty” type of thinking.

It may also help humanity by encouraging many entrepreneurs to risk big.
Almost all will fail, but those who succeed may truly help humanity move forward.

In a way, the biggest gift of Bold is Peter Diamandis’ mindset, which is:

  • Positivity
  • Opportunities mindset (as opposed to threats)
  • Moonshot thinking

On the con side, Bold does not provide a recipe to maximize your odds of success, which most likely you maximize in proven industries and learning and applying the basics of entrepreneurship to proven business models that have much higher odds of success (vs very unlikely “moonshots”).
See our review of Alex Hormozi and his book for more.

Get Bold on Amazon.

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