Join Dean and Dan as the have a conversation about their conversations with procrastination.
Transcript: The Joy of Procrastination Ep047
Dean: Mr. Sullivan.
Dan: Mr. Jackson. Always a pleasure.
Dean: It really is always a pleasure. Are you in Toronto or Chicago today?
Dan: Yeah. No, I'm in Toronto and I'm sitting in the basement of the cottage house, which you liked so much.
Dean: Oh, nice. Love it.
Dan: Yeah. It's very good.
Dean: I do love that cottage house.
Dan: Very quiet down here. So, anyway, I wanted to tell you that we've just begun the interviews for the next quarterly book, which will be December, because the one for September is already at the printer and we'll be back in time for your workshop.
Dean: Uh-huh. Love it.
Dan: In February, and that's how I plan on…
Dan: Yeah. My Plan for Living to 156, and very excited about that, but the one for December is Who, Not How, which, of course, came directly from the center of our venture right here.
Dan: And you're actually the scout who brought back the news of Who, Not How. And we talk about that, we talk about that in the introduction, that you were the articulator of this possibility. The other thing is set we have a book contract with Ben Hurdy, who you know. So we have a New York publisher who is very excited about this idea, so this will be a major book next, in 2019.
Dean: A Capital B book, is that what it is?
Dan: A Capital B book, yes. And in both cases, the one in December and the book next year, except for headlines and subheads, I do none of the other writing whatsoever.
Dean: Right. Just the talking. The author-
Dan: Just the talking. I do the authoring, I do the talking, and Ben is actually going to use the structure and the context of our small book as the framework for the big book, so there's actually an additional big jump from the standpoint of a small book becoming almost like the fractal beginning for a big book.
Dean: Right. It'll be good to see how that all plays out. Ben shared with me a little while ago that you guys were doing that with the Who, Not How. And it's going to be a really interesting thing to see how version one goes on to become a bigger book. And that's really-
Dan: Yeah. First of all, this is kind of a breakthrough for us. I don't have any experience, so this is just a surprise that's in motion right now, so I'll also be fascinated. But if you step one further back, is the only reason that the concept got straightened in the first place was because we committed to doing this podcast series. Otherwise, Barack would never have come up. So, it was a creation of one platform that actually generated the idea, and actually, the real clincher was when you got up in a strategic coach workshop in a in a 10 Times workshop and actually explained it to everybody, and simultaneously I was able to formulate the actual graphic. You were talking and I was drawing at the same time, and that was the next jump, and then a little germ of an idea just kept growing and growing and growing, yeah.
Dean: Yeah. I think that fundamentally that shift is the shift that, especially now as we're moving to Prolandia, that's the play that's absolutely possible. We've never had it better than right now to collaborate with who's at scale for anything. So our access to the workforce is really something. I've been all over here, all summer, and one of the places I was was in California, and I was sharing at Taki Moore's event in Redondo Beach, this concept. And one of the things that I realize now that I didn't have a word for is that I've been sharing and coming from this place that it just feels like access to execution if we take ideas and execution as the two crucial elements for getting something done, that our access to execution is unprecedented right now, and it's really becoming commoditized, that the execution is really the thing that can be push-buttoned. It's not really that difficult to figure out now.
Somebody shared with me that they do a lot of work with, the term that he used was BPOs. And do you know what that is? I've never heard that term before.
Dan: No, I've never heard. I can't even take a guess.
Dean: So, it's a business process organization, and there are entire teams, offices in the Philippines and other offshore places, where they can basically infinitely scale a business processes that require people. It really tied into this idea that I have of the scale ready algorithm, the thing. If you're going to scale anything, the thing that is being scaled is like the yeast cell of this, right? The mother yeast cell that you're duplicating in the business process or the algorithm, as I call it.
That, in a world, how all the things completely overlay on all the things that we talk about and that you introduced me to this concept of the levels of make it up, make it real and make it recur. And that's where my interest and my fascination and my motivation is in making it up, and with help, making it real. And that's really the thing, because I really have not had that much skill or aptitude in the scaling portion of it, which recur, multiplying it, making it recur. Because it's certainly a business process and discipline. It's almost like if you're on a level on a progression of creativity on one end, discipline on the other end, like rigor, discipline and rigor, that's really what that is is taking the creativity and sliding it along that scale all the way out to the end of disciplined rigor, that that's worth being executed. As a 10 QuickStart, it's not hard to see that my thing is on the creativity side.
Dan: Yeah, and similarly, because for 10 QuickStarts twins in this process, so it's very, very interesting that this is just a sub head in the outline. What I do as I set up a complete outline of mindsets, which really starts with eight mindsets, a screener that I have, which would be mindset scorecard for coach people who know what we're talking about here, but it's just a scorecard of what's the mindset foundation of a particular idea, for example Who, Not How, there's a mindset, and the first mindset is diagram explains everything. In other words, if you just look up the Who, Not How diagram, which is just an arrow which has the word "you" in it, and then there's a star that says bigger and better, and then out of the first arrow, there is an arrow that goes down that says how, and so you're tempted when you see something in the future that's bigger and better and you buy into it, then there's a temptation that you'll now do the how to actually achieve the idea.
And what I'm saying is you have to learn how to refrain from falling in that temptation, and instead switch your thinking. Okay, now, who's the who or whos that are going to do it. So that's the line that you're talking about. Making it up is actually seeing the bigger and better result. And you can get better and better at staying on your own side of the line, of giving compelling reality to something that's just in your head.
Dean: Yes. As soon as you can diagram and articulate it, then that's really ... and there's almost like the little ways of the transitions in between the make it up, make it real. I was thinking about it that the gateways to those, like between the make it up and make it real is a who armed with a clearly articulated impact filter. And the transition from make it up to make it recur is another who armed with a strategy circle.
Dan: This is exactly what we've discovered. I started my whole development of strategic coach as the very powerful one-on-one coaching, where I was coached, but the medium that I use for my coaching, which I still think is the foundational thinking tool in coach which is the strategy circle, and I did that full time one-on-one for about seven euros before I began to see that. It seems to me that about 80% of what I'm doing with everybody is exactly the same and I can now take this to a workshop setting, so instead of me coaching one-on-one, I can coach, in the beginning, one on 10 and then one on 20 and it's got bigger and bigger. And then other people could do that, so it's multipliers, there's a scale involved to it, but from my standpoint, my experience is exactly define what's the crossover tool between making it up and making it real. It's an impact culture, and the crossover tool for making it real to making it recur is the strategy circle.
Dean: Mm-hmm. So there we go. Today it's 2018, I did my first strategic ed workshop in 1997, so 21 years, and we've discovered the secret.
Dan: Yup. There we go.
Dean: And here we are.
Dan: There we go. We said we've just gone there right at the start.
Dean: Isn't that funny? But it's really…
Dan: Well, you know, you always do that. It's kind of funny what we do just to observe what both of us just did in this conversation. We tend to see where we started and see where we're ended, and then what we try to do is just economize backwards and say we probably wasted about 80, 90 percent of our time there. We could have done this with 10% of the time that we actually put in and to get to this point of the party, but in truth you can't.
Dean: Right. Well, even then, I think that when you look at what's changed even in that 20 years that ... the Internet was barely a thing then. And there was no such thing as a podcast. The by-products of us having these conversation and doing it in a way to be able to share it, it's so easy now for us. You think about what would have involved back even 20 years ago. Impossible.
Dan: Yeah, and the other thing is that communication such as the one where we're doing this would have been seen as very, very inappropriate in the 1990s where you and I using up an hour of other people's listening time, and it's very clear to them that we don't have any script for this, we don't have any pre-determined structure on how this conversation's going to go. And I can think of lots and lots of recording sessions that I was part of in the 1980s, 1990s, where you went into a big studio and you had technicians and everything else. You had had to have the script all worked out beforehand or it would be seen as wasting other people's time. If you don't know what you're going to say, and if you have two people, each of them knows what their role is and both of their roles are structured and scripted. But just think about the freedom that we have in 2018.
Probably neither of us really would have been capable of this 21 years ago, but we are now because we've done a lot of this. And the freedom just to start talking and just see where the conversation goes compared with very, very much more limited technology back then.
Dean: Yeah. Do you remember when you recorded How the Best Get Better?
Dan: I'm just trying to think of the year, because that'll tell me, probably late '90s.
Dean: I think it had to be even before that.
Dan: Because UK. It would have been.
Dan: It would have been '96. If you came in in '97 I would have done, yeah.
Dean: And I always like to remind Joe Polish that I found that, and then that I introduced to Jerry Ballanger and Terry Helofeld and that then got introduced to Joe, and that whole thing was very funny. I always wanted to remind him about it.
Dan: Well, Joe Stump, too. Joe Stump came in.
Dean: And Joe Stump. Yeah, yeah.
Dan: And Joe, of course, I just saw him at the end of July. He was in [inaudible 00:19:11] after.
Dean: A couple of days after I was there, yeah.
Dan: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I would go in and I would do it word for word from a written script. And even the book series that I started at the end of 2014, we're just getting back book 14 and 15 quarters, but I started off that for the first three or four books actually word for word from the finished book script. And then I said, "Well, this is kind of silly. If they want to hear the words, they can read the words. And so what we do now is the same outline that created the transcript for the writer to actually write the book, we use that same outline that Shannon Waller and I, or her interview, and we just go back over the interview, but meanwhile I've got knowledge that I've acquired from the first interview and now I take it into other dimensions. And we don't duplicate, in our recording of the books, what we already established in the text. I say, "Well, if you want the text version, read the text, and if you want this version, listen to it." It's a different dimension.
Dean: I love that.
Dan: Yeah. Of course you do. Of course you love it. But I have people who do not have 10 QuickStarts, they have seven, eight pathfinders, and they said, well, there's a real difference in the way you said that in audio and the way it is in the book.
Dean: Which is it?
Dan: Which is it?
Dan: I said it's both. And I said, well, you know, I'm seeing contradictions there, and I said, "Well, that's good for your brain."
Dean: It's good for your brain.
Dan: I said, "Do you do pushups in the gym?" He says, "Yeah." I said, "Is it sometimes hard?" I said, "It is." So I said, "And the reason is there's a difference between your muscle and gravity, there's a contradiction. It makes you stronger.
Dean: I love it. That's so funny.
Dan: Yeah. Yeah.
So, anyway, and then the cartoons are different again, and we do the cartoons, and Hamish's very interesting, since we've been doing all the cartooning on Zoom together. So we do all the cartoons together, and we have the text, which is easy to read, because each of them is just four pages, and then we'll say, "Okay, so what's the real center here if we're going to have a big visual here? What would be the center?" We're not going to follow it sequentially, were just going to say, "Okay, well they've read it, now what are we going to give them?" What used to take us five days of back and forth emails and drawings, we're now able to establish in about an hour, just actually trying the diagrams straight on the screen.
Dean: I love it.
Dan: And Zoom really wasn't all that obvious when I started the book process four years ago, but now it is. And we're able to do that.
Dean: So you're doing screen sharing while he's drawing as you're talking?
Dan: Yeah. Screen share, so both of us are on the screen, we can see each other and we can talk back and forth, but he can also just create a white space on the screen.
Dean: Like this? Yeah.
Dan: Yeah. Do the rough outline of the two pages of cartoons, and we just say, "Okay, I think this time, Hamish, the first page is just going to be a single cartoon and then the second page is going to be three cartoons. So the first thing I do is just get the spacing and I'm aware what the chapter before this looks like, so I try to always make sure that they're not in the seeing the same shapes or the same outlines from chapter to the other for variety's sake. First of all [crosstalk 00:23:44] and I don't want to bore anyone else. I'm really good at not boring other people, because I usually get bored before they do.
Dean: I love it. You've got a new conversational cartoonist. Who knew you could create cartoons through conversation?
Dan: Yeah, it is. And we're getting freer and freer, and I'm noticing that Hamish is coming in and saying, "Hey, I got a really great idea on this," so he's getting freed up, too. He's not as religiously pulling the ideas coming from me. He's now seeing possibilities. And it's really great.
And it's kind of funny, because I'm a trained artist, and I don't do any drawing at all. I have to do it through my thinking and through my words and that actually makes me a little bit sharper about seeing interesting things and remembering them. I'm noticing, since we're doing this process every quarter, that I'm really on the outlook for a really, really interesting and unique kind of visual thing that maybe we could steal from. Stealing is very important.
Dean: Yeah. You talked about being freed up, and I'm really aware now of the speed of conversation really being the path out. I've started adding this to my procrastination check-ins of, "Okay, procrastinate, what have you got for me?" And immediately then, because I'd noticed that I would typically go in to a, "Okay, I need to block the time off for this, and it was going to require me doing something alone by myself, off by myself, but doing it and that's when I would subconsciously notice a lot of like wiggling going on, all these other distractions would get in the way. And I have really gotten into the habit now, or I'm building of as soon as vice say what the procrastinations are, I've chosen my top three is to not leave the scene of that without getting into or setting up the conversation that's going to further it. I really have it where I keep asking myself, to really get even deeper into getting everything done with a who.
Dan: Yeah. It's really interesting, because I've been listening to Joe Polish and his Genius Network over the last two or three years, especially as he's really zeroed in Genius Recovery, giving a new context of the whole issue of addiction, especially addiction among high performing human beings. Movie stars, creators, artists and everything else, but especially entrepreneurs.
And the one thing that's really left me is studying more and more about dopamine, the desire for dopamine as a tool for actually creating your future as a strategic tool. And my feeling is that Who, Not How or the line between making it up and making it real, is that you cross that line and there's a tremendous drop in dopamine. In your case, in my case, we've made up a really great idea, and brainstorming is one way. Brainstorming pumps dopamine and seeing procrastination as the indicator of what your top three priorities are right now actually pumps dopamine. And then if you then go isolated with yourself into the how, the dopamine drops and therefore you're subject to all sorts of distraction and that is more dopamine. Then you just identified. But actually thinking about who can do the how actually pumps dopamine. "Oh, I'm really excited. I've got a who can do this how," and then to actually give really clear directions knowing that you're not going to do any of the work, but somebody else is going to do the work, that actually keeps you in a dopamine framework.
So, the thing is, I'm going to give you an analogy here, is that you have to be a dopamine surfer. You're jumping from wave to wave-
Dean: I see a cartoon coming here.
Dan: Yeah, but you're jumping from wave to wave. You're not going below the water. If you go below the water, the sharks get you, the distraction sharks take a nip out of you. But I had never thought of that, this ability to self-generate your own internal chemicals as a way of designing and constructing your future as a strategic capability.
Dean: You know what's really, I get that now, but that's really resonant with me because that was along the same line of what led me to the idea of softening the verb that I would say, like, so seeing certain verbs either raise my energy or lower my energy, and I think what you're talking about is completely in that line there, that brainstorm is after dialing my QuickStart to 10.
And if I look at it as that, and what I would get blocked with is writing. Write the book is very different than brainstorm the book, and write is all those things fit into my implementor of one. Of course, anything to do with physically getting my hands on the tools and doing something is not going to a dopamine. It's going to be a negative, a drain on that, and to be avoided. So getting this up there, having the brainstorm there, the way you describe it, too, if I have the infinite capacity for making stuff up. I love to work on things. I love to solve problems. I love to do that. I love to do it. And I look at the ... it's not just like an adjacency to push it over into things for making it real, it's as if it's like you've got to go a moat filled with sharks and alligators to get to the other side, as I can understand, on the shore of the make it up, and I can see clearly what it looks like on the other side. But it's like I can't swim, or I don't have a conveyance to get to the other side.
Dan: Yes. While we're creating this bridge over troubled waters.
Dean: Right. Yes.
Dan: Well, the thing is, about this, is that this has been an eternal problem for humans and it goes back right to the beginning. We're talking about something that isn't ... I mean, we have a different reality to work with in this, our particular time because of technology. Thank God ... I was going to say thank God I was born now, but when else would I have been born?
Dan: Well, think if you were born in 1600. I said, "Well, I don't think it would be me. I think there was somebody born in 1600. It just wasn't me, you know what I mean? People often say, "Well, thank God you were born when you were," and I said, "No. When I was what I had been born."
Dean: You're right.
Dan: Yeah. People said, "Just imagine if you were in their shoes." I said, "Well, if I were in their shoes it wouldn't be me but it would be them."
Dean: Right, exactly.
Dan: So the thing about this is that I've got that phrase, and it's worth a small book, it's play to win with the cards you have. I mean, that's all that anybody has ever had in human history, is you've had the possibility of playing the game with the cards you have, and one of the blessings living in your own time is that you have no comprehension what's going to be available ahead of you, say, 10 years. "Gee, I wish I had what was available 10 years from now." I said, "Well, that's meaningless. It's just a thought. Right now you've got a reality, you've got opportunities, you got thoughts, you got aspirations and you've got cards to play with. Just play the game fully, but there are some rules to the game. You can win if you play the cards this way, and you'll lose if you play the cards that way."
Dean: Yeah. Right now we've got access to so many great cards. When you think about the tools that we have now as the availability, I love that our last Game Changer workshop talked about how many miles away from freedom are you?. That's really what it comes down to, that it's really a matter of the right whos. Who are the whos that's path to freedom for you. Somebody, really, that put them in a trance, and then at the end of the day they were realizing the big breakthrough for them was realizing they're four whos away from freedom.
Dan: Yeah. The interesting thing, I think that was in March, so we're an August right now, and that was roughly about six months ago, and I saw him. He's a UK client called Kasell Dine, and I saw him and May, so two months later, and I had him as Pamela's for a presentation I was given in London, and he had already knocked off three of them. As a matter fact, he had knocked out three of them within the first two weeks after he was in Chicago, and he was just working on the fourth one. And then he came back in July and he had for them and he said, "You can't believe what's happening." Simply because I had that insight and I have this measuring stick called the who, and I use four impact elders to trigger them, and he said, "I can't believe the amount of talent and resource I have available to me going forward that I didn't realize before I had the insight in March."
So, first of all, it's just the thought that something's possible, and then you don't cut yourself off the knees by trying to self-implement your vision.
Dean: Mm-hmm. Yeah, that's it. And, I mean, that you realize that it almost feels so counter intuitive that the less that I actually do, the more I get done.
Dan: Yeah. I started a thought some minutes ago, but it's in the outline that I'm doing on the Who, Not How book, and it's not one of the major headings that's a subhead. A subhead says "Test: Can you do nothing?"
Dean: I like the sound of it already.
Dan: Yeah, and what it means is that when you get the vision, the bigger and better result for yourself, test yourself out whether you can get that results by doing nothing. Test out, and then if you got to do something, okay, so what's the least I can do to get the result? The least I can do in my world is to do an impact cover. That's the least I can do, and then have a conversation about impact of it. So there is this testing immediately of your goals that I say, "Test: Can you do nothing?" And then you say, "I can get rid of 90% of it pretty quickly." But if you don't test yourself and actually apply a yardstick to it or some sort of tilt to it. You're likely to get tempted into doing this stuff, but if there's a clear cut recognition with this project out of the 100% required to achieve this, I can get away with 5%. And the 95% is handled by others. And I think that's a very useful upfront measurement. It's a pre-measurement. You want to measure your results at the end, but there's a pre-measurement just how much you can restrict your own engagement and involvement in the project and still get the result that you're visualizing.
Dean: Yeah. I've been thinking about in terms of another level of it. I've almost looked at it as different levels of altitude on it. Like speaking about, in a way, as you go up it's almost like from entrepreneur, you think about the level from an employee to entrepreneurial where you're doing something, all the work yourself, to somebody who is now focusing on you need team work, and then a self-managing company kind of thing, and going all the way up that there's almost like a mogul level where when you think about, you used the entertainment industry, if you think about the film industry or movie industry, there's the person who's got the idea to write the movie and then direct the movie and act in the movie and do the editing and do all the doing of the thing, but then one layer up from that is like a studio, a studio head who's empowering people under him, the green light projects, and then there's somebody above that who owns the studio. All of these things are happening and they're not doing anything of it.
Dan: Yeah. And then our world, again, it's called land is Netflix, because Netflix is the studio of studios. Every studio in the world is trying to get its stuff on Netflix. I was looking at some of the salaries. Game of Thrones, which is probably an outstanding example, it's final season is number eight, I think? Number eight? It might be number eight, but it's roughly 80 movies, basically this film series is, like 80 one-hour movies. And there are more really great television hour is incredibly better written, incredibly better directed, incredibly better acted than the typical two-hour movie theater movie, especially when they're part of a series where the chapter, and the reason is they can really dive deep into the dialogue, the character and everything else because they've had time to develop this hour and they've got a lot of hours after this.
But those actors, it's about five who are sort of constants from the beginning, they make a million dollars an episode. They do 10 episodes a year, they get $10 million, and they're so crucial to the future that they're more or less guaranteed. So let's say the top actor, and now they get royalties, too, besides what they're paid upfront, so they're sitting there with $80 million, let's say, the really key players, they're getting 80 million over an eight-year period, plus they're doing other things. That's not the only thing they're doing that year and they get royalties coming in.
Dean: Yeah. It's pretty good. And the guys who create these shows and write the shows, they are getting amazing deals right now. I forget who the guy-
Dan: George Martin is the writer. George Martin is the book writer, but he's not the person doing the script for-
Dean: Right. Somebody just signed to a $300 million dollar deal to bring his work over to Netflix.
Dan: Yeah. Yeah, and I was talking with Peter Diamandis on a podcast about two weeks ago, and he said that this year Netflix will spend, I think the number is $6 billion on new, original content, six billion that's a very, very significant amount of money.
Dean: Especially you think about global, no matter where the distribution that it's not ... When you think about how much actual content is being streamed, it's like our access to things, even 20 years, the distribution that we had, the output channels is if you wanted to watch a show, you had to be in front of the TV on Thursday night at nine o'clock when Seifield came on. And you'd mix that up by the three networks, and the primetime hours that are available, there was a very limited output of the things. But I think if you look at how many minutes are being streamed on Netflix now of all of the content, people having access to all of it at any time, the marketplace, our demand and desire for these long form series is, I find it insatiable. Even though of all of the things, I still have an appetite for more.
Dan: Yeah. And this is endless, because the standard bearer, that's basic to anything that gets better and gets bigger is that it's faster, it's easier, it's cheaper and you get a bigger result of it. It's all four happening. That's where breakthroughs, and if you know if you go back 20 years ago, there were people who've made money, and this is true in the world in general, it's kind of Newton's Third Law. Newton's Third Law was for every action there's an opposite and equal reaction. Well, in the world, there's people with great innovations that they can see very clearly, and they're very excited about it emotionally and they get people to invest in this. But there's people whose entire job is for that not to happen. And what I mean is that people who are already making money out of the status quo right now are very resistant to something bypassing the status quo.
So, I'm sure the Hollywood was resisting this whole Netflix thing. They're using lawyers, they're using everything they possibly can, but they didn't recognize that earlier, Blockbuster, the famous Roadkill, and they got wiped out in about 10 months. And Blockbuster itself was a threat to Hollywood. It was a distribution system that initially bypassed the movie theaters.
Dean: Yes. Yes, we start to see that pattern. We've seen that happen where Blockbuster was the VCR. That whole thing really was the disruptor to the movie industry, and even to scheduled television. And you start to see that now everything has landed at Netflix and on-demand stuff. We've seen in the music industry, that everything, the CD and the MP3 especially, and now Spotify and streaming services are where everything has landed. It's really great times to see where we've come in to digitize lives, access to everything we want at any time.
And speaking of digitized stuff and downloading, I had a really great life lesson. It just happened just a couple of weeks ago, and I wanted to tell you about it because it fits with what we're talking about with our three things. I got a new iPhone, and my new iPhone, of course was then restored from my iCloud backup of the previous iPhone. You don't have to do anything to start up. It just draws everything, and, okay, we're over on this device now. And in the process of that, all of the apps and all of the things that I had on my phone need to download or restore, and so you see the placeholder for them, but they're greyed out where they haven't yet downloaded. And I was looking at a whole screen of them where it was all just greyed out placeholders for where the apps are, and if you push on that app, you click on that app, then it will download and you see a circular progress bar like a pie chart that's getting bigger and bigger as it's getting closer to 100% downloaded.
So I had a screen of them, and I pushed them all, I just went one, two, three, four, five, there's 24 of them on the page here. And what was really interesting to watch was that it didn't download all 24 at the same time. What happened was it progressively went, it downloaded the first one and only when it got to about 80% complete on the first one did the second one start to, you could see some movement over there, and then as it finished up, all the energy went to downloading the second app and then the third and then the fourth. It wasn't downloading 24 things all at once.
And I thought that's a really great metaphor or simile or whatever would be the appropriate thing there for the way that our attention bandwidth is, that if we think about all the 24 things that we can possibly do, and we've narrowed it down to three for today, and then just go incrementally through those, there's more evidence that that's the most efficient way, or effective way of taking a limited attention resource.
Dan: Yeah. Well, the interesting thing that I talked about, and this is the basis for probably a whole podcast, but Kevin Kelly, he started Wired magazine, Kevin Kelly's been around for 20, 25 years, and he's been a futurist, but also just about technology period. It's not just about a particular technology, it's sort of a philosopher of technology. But I came across a fascinating article, and we included the quarterly book club here in Toronto with about a dozen strategic coach clients, and every quarter we meet and we're now into our 17th year, so every quarter for 17 years. And what we do is we get the book for the quarter, and then we also submit articles, and I have a team member and coach who takes the articles from wherever they come. She just gets the links and then she creates a 8.5 x 11 format, and we create a spiral bound book, and that book is about 30 articles and they're all common format, so it's actually a fascinating book when you get the article book. It's usually more interesting than the single purpose book that somebody else has written.
But the article that we did from Kevin Kelly was why artificial intelligence will never surpass human intelligence. And it was the most cogent, and he said the reason is the whole premise of artificial intelligence surpassing human intelligence is that it comes down to a single thing that's either true or not true and that is that humans have general intelligence. And therefore, if we have general intelligence, then we had chess intelligence and artificial intelligence now surpasses us in chess and then Go and Jeopardy everything else, but his point is, Kevin Kelly says, but there's absolutely no evidence whatsoever that there's the thing called general intelligence, because we would share it and nobody shares it. In other words, we're resonant minded, you and me, Dean, but if you actually went into Dean's universe and followed what he thinks about every day and then go over to Dan's universe and followed what he thinks about, there would be absolutely no similarity to the thinking that we did that day. We're both narrow thinkers, and we have particular things that we follow, and those things are not predictable, really from one to day. We cover old ground every day, but we also explore new ground every day.
And he said, "Well, this is true of all nature, and he said the great arrogance here is that somehow we're at the top of the thinking chain that's developed from microbes, but he says actually there's a vastly expanding the circle, and human intelligence is just one of the rays coming out of the center of this intelligence. And he says that there's vast amounts of other intelligence in the natural universe, he said, "I'll give you an example. Squirrels, the average squirrel, like the ones we have here in Toronto can bury 1000 nuts over a three-year period and have an exact memory where each one of those nuts is buried." Show me a human who has that type of recall, and you'd be hard pressed. So, that squirrel in relationship to that type of thinking is infinitely superior-
Dean: Inevitable, too, which was really great.
Dan: So the whole point is that each of us every day is exploring vastly new territory with our particular version of narrow intelligence. And we're exactly backing up this principle, because of the Who, Not How concept. Why do we not take on the implementation? Because we don't have general intelligence that can do anything. You and I have really, really well developed intelligence for making stuff up, and chatting. We've developed chatting intelligence. Both of us are well developed chatters. I remember the first time I met you at the restaurant up on Avenue Broke and I says, "Oh, God. This guy can really chat."
Dean: That's right. Yeah, that was fun. I remember that night. That's true. Yeah. We've always had that ability to have those kind of conversations.
Dan: And not everybody does, not everybody does.
So, anyway, but I find this enormously refreshing that there is just a vast multiplied, vast variety of infinitely differentiated narrow intelligences, and can you use your narrow intelligence to get involved with a lot of other narrow intelligence, and that's really what we're talking about here.
Dean: I love that. Every time we have these conversations, I just get so in awe, really, what the potential is. You never had more well you look at it and you see it all the time. Right now there's never been a time in history where companies are going zero to a billion dollar valuation in less than three years. This is a unique time, and I think it's really because of our ability that people have created these kind of outlets, conduits, for us to tap into the execution collectives in very specialized ways and just putting them together.
Dan: Here's a really interesting measurement about what you just said. Basically the US economy will really have momentum and have a lot of headway going if in a year, 20 companies have become billion dollar companies. They were smaller at the beginning of the year, but during the year they became billion dollar companies. If that's true, you had 20 who surfaced, the economy is strong and if it's less than 20 it's slowing down.
Dean: I wonder how many there are normally, like how many go through that.
Dan: How many companies actually?
Dan: There's very few that get to a billion. Not billion in valuation, a billion in actual sale results. That's GDP is based on sales. A lot of billion dollar evaluations, but a billion dollar valuation isn't GDP, that's just a hope for the future.
Dean: That's kind of funny, is that some of the biggest valued companies, like if you take Facebook and Google for instance, nothing then do would show up on the GDP scales right? They're not producing anything on the measures of GDP. Aren't they talking about a real like goods and exports and that kind of thing?
Dan: Yeah. It's sales. GDP is based on sales rate, if something gets sold. I mean, Apple is just trillion dollar, well that's not revenue.
Dean: No, that's valuation.
Dan: That's just our valuation. In other words it's a future projection. And Musk is always fooling around with us trying to get his valuation up. You actually got to produce some sales.
Dean: And different currency.
Dan: Yeah. Yeah, and there's nothing wrong with that. You need that. You gotta be selling hope in order to have investment.
Dean: Yes. You're right.
Dan: And that's why it's always, "I'm going to invest now for a bigger result later." Well, you've got to have that. But if he's working 120-hour weeks, there's a growing disparity between the hope and the actuality.
Dean: Yeah. That's it. That's it.
Dan: Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, we just really blew through this. But, anyway, closer you come to that line, but do not cross it, the better off you are.
Dean: I think you're right.
So I am heading to Australia on Tuesday. I'll be coming back to Toronto, so the next time that I see you would be when we are sitting beside each other live in Toronto doing the great live episode. I'm very excited about that.
Dan: Yeah, we're very excited. We're very excited. Yup. Four Seasons, is it?
Dean: Oh, no. It's at the Convention Center. This is a part of Giovanni's Archangel Academy. I'm doing a day afterwards just for real estate agents.
Dan: Oh, fantastic.
Dean: It'll be great.
Dan: Yup. All righty.
Dean: Oh, thanks, Dan.
Dan: Thanks a lot. Have a great trip.
Dean: Thank you. I'll talk to you soon.
Dan: Okay, bye.