Chapter One- The Challenge Of The Future 

The future is a period in which things will be different or more advanced than they are today. A set of moments yet to come. What makes the future distinctive is that it hasn’t happened yet. Theil says, “If nothing about our future changes in the next 100 years, then the future is 100 years away.” No one knows much about the future, but we do know that it will be different from the present and it will emerge from this day and age.

Progress usually takes place in two forms. Horizontal progress is when things are copied, going from 1-n, and vertical progress is when new things innovated or added to the existing product, going from 0-1. Thiel uses the following example to describe this. Taking one typewriter and building a 100 more is horizontal progress, and taking a typewriter and turning it into a word processor is vertical progress. A single word for horizontal progress is globalization, and for vertical progress is technology. This kind of progress is hard to imagine because it’s something that’s never been done before. most people believe in x, but the truth is the opposite of x.

Over the decades there has been rapid globalization with limited technological development, mostly confined to IT, this shows us that the decades ahead will bring more sameness. There is a division of countries according to developed or developing countries, and how the poorer countries need to catch up, we have limited resources, and our environment can’t endure the pollution that that level of ‘development’ would produce. Globalization without advances in technology would devastate the planet. The only area that has seen vertical progress is computer technology. New technology comes from startups as they foster innovation.