“It’s really about how Silicon Valley built a model for business.”
This is how Tempe-based author Aaron Bare explains the specifics of his bestselling book Exponential Theory. More generally, however, says Bare, the theme of the book is summarized in its subtitle: The Power of Thinking Big.
The tome, co-written with N. Forbes Shannon, describes how digital technology has changed the pace of business, both advancing and expanding at a, well, exponential rate. Using examples like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, it details both the enormous potentials for profit and the equal potential for sudden failure, setback and even obsolescence.
Bare has a background that qualifies him to speak on these matters. The Indiana native, who attended Indiana tech, then Indiana University for his Master’s and the Thunderbird School of Global Management for his M.B.A., founded and ran a “digital strategy firm” called Buzz Mouth in 2009. It was acquired in 2014 by marketing powerhouse LaneTerralever; since then Bare has worked as a consultant and speaker for businesses in “90 countries and all 50 states.” He also authored (with Shannon) the 2020 book Reimagining Innovation.
All of these experiences and observations led Bare to a conclusion.
“It all comes back to this common theory,” he said. “The leaders (of these game-changing, innovative companies) thought exponentially.”
This led Bare to write Exponential Theory, which has reached No. 4 on the Wall Street Journal’s Nonfiction E-Books Bestselling List, and #102 on USA Today’s Bestselling Books List.
The stories of Amazon, Microsoft and the like are important and interesting, certainly, but what can reading Bare’s book do for ordinary wage slaves and hustlers like most of us? Plenty, according to the author.
When you learn to follow the tactics in his book, says Bare, “You stop sweating the small stuff, and you think in big ideas. Once you’re thinking in big terms, small stuff becomes very easily overcome”
One of the strongest strategies for success, says Bare, is workforce diversity.
“In the future of the shortage of talent,” Bare said, “the real opportunity is diversity, and bringing up everybody.”
The author acknowledges, of course, that none of these approaches assure success.
“Nothing is foolproof,” he said.
Even when the ideas behind the business are solid, “the person that creates first doesn’t necessarily reap the benefits.”
He points out, for instance, that the Segway underperformed when it was introduced in 2009, but that personal transportation remains an area of keen interest to innovators. He also points out the Apple Pocket Crystal of 1989, a project which foreshadowed the iPhone.
For that matter, noted Bare, “No one would have thought when Facebook started that MySpace would have lost its dominance.”
Bare also observes that a failure to achieve a specific goal doesn’t necessarily mean that the effort is wasted.
“Elon Musk talks about going to Mars,” Bare said. “If he never gets to Mars, he probably still got to the moon.”
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