Two major takeaways from a book I read (Important)…

I was absolutely mind-blown by the book “The Future is Faster Than You Think” by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler🤔

Why?

Because it forced me to REALLY think about how drastically our world is going to change in the coming decade…

And there are two really interesting thoughts I want to share:

1. The Law of Accelerating Returns. 
 
This comes from futurist Ray Kurzweil.

The Law of Accelerating Returns basically states that as we develop new technologies, they actually accelerate the development of even newer and more powerful ones. 💪

​​So there’s a positive feedback loop happening. 

​​For example, we use AI to create even more powerful AI…

Two major takeaways from a book I read (Important)…

 

We use new computers to create even more powerful computers, etc.👨‍💻

You may have heard of this concept before (it’s kind of like Moore’s law, but on a much broader scale)…

But the part that really stood out to me in the book…

Is when the authors mentioned how, after doing the math…

​​Kurzweil found that we’re going to experience twenty thousand years of technological change over the next one hundred years.

So, in other words, we’re going to go from the Agricultural Revolution (~10,000 BC) to the birth of the internet TWICE over the next century.

Can you imagine what this means?

What the future will look like?

The things that are important and essential today will become irrelevant and non-existent in the future…

It's already happening. ​​

In fact, Yale professor Richard Foster recently estimated that 40% of today’s Fortune 500 companies will be gone within 10 years of now – to be replaced by startups nobody has ever heard of.

And if you hear this and feel resistant, I get it…

But let’s look at the facts:

There are obvious examples, like smartphones and computers…

But there’s also a quiet revolution happening right now in AI, transportation (think self-driving cars, hyperloops, etc.), data, 3D Printing, materials, medicine, and more.

That’s not going away…

It’s only going to accelerate…

Which is why, while we shouldn’t ignore the present…

You do need to set yourself up to be Antifragile (a la Nassim Taleb, who wrote the book Antifragile, which is essential reading in my opinion)…

By embracing change…

A​nd understanding that everything you’re doing today will either be transformed or go extinct in the next 10 years.

2. A Direct Response Marketing Truth.

Okay, and then my second takeaway is much more immediately practical.

This is really just an interesting tidbit, but it has implications for us as marketers.

You may have heard the expression “sell to the bleeding neck”…

Meaning that when it comes to direct response marketing…

It’s better to offer to solve an immediate and urgent paint point that the consumer has…

Compared to some longer-term existential threat.

So in health, for example…

Selling a weight loss product…

Is always going to do better than selling a heart attack prevention product.

The reason why:

People who are overweight are living with that pain right now…

While someone who is at risk of a heart attack knows this on some level…

But still isn’t motivated to make big changes.

People buy cures, not preventions…

And what I found really interesting as I was reading The Future is Faster Than You Think this morning…

Is that the authors actually provided an explanation for why this happens, based on neuroscience.

You see…

It turns out that studies done with fMRI show that when we project ourselves into the future…

Two major takeaways from a book I read (Important)…

 

The medial prefrontal cortex of our brains shuts down.

This is the part of the brain that activates when we think about ourselves…

And what brain researchers have found…

Is that the further into the future we project ourselves…

The more this part of the brain switches to “off.”

 

Why?

Your medial prefrontal cortex treats your future self as a stranger…

So, from your brain’s perspective…

The experiences that you’re imagining aren’t happening to you…

They’re happening to someone else.

And that’s why, even when we tell a smoker that they’ll end up with lung cancer…

Or you warn a 50 year old man about the dangers of prostate cancer…

Neither the smoker, nor the 50 year old man, is super likely to take action…

Because their brain doesn’t imagine those negative outcomes happening to them…

Instead, it seems like something that would happen to a stranger.

So, there you go…

A little neuroscience + direct response for you.

And here are a few more applications of this:

First, sell to the bleeding neck whenever possible.

Second, if you’re tasked with selling a prevention-focused product…ignore that​ and still focus on addressing the immediate pain point.

​​For example, blood sugar support is a very profitable category in the health supplement space.

​​On the surface, this wouldn’t seem to make sense since diabetes is a long-term problem.

​​But I believe the reason it does well is because the people who buy blood sugar supplements are trying to solve immediate pain points:

They hate ​​not being able to eat the right foods, pricking their fingers, getting lectures from their doctor, paying for expensive medications, being guilted into lifestyle changes by their spouses, etc.

So even though diabetes is a long-term problem…

People buy diabetes products because they’re hoping to alleviate the immediate pain points that go along with it.

For this same reason, blood pressure support supplements do pretty well…

But a product that provides general “heart support” is super hard to sell.

 

– SPG

 

P.S. This post originally came from an email I sent to my private list. If you want to see more stuff like this from me, you can apply to join my list using this link 

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