Everything is a technical problem.
It’s time we all start embracing our inner mechanic.— Me 😉
For all the thinkers, developers, thought leaders, and inner scientists out there, nothing is an inevitable destiny — but is merely a technical problem.
This is the case whether it’s death, tackling climate change, travelling to other planets, or even fatal disease. While the greater bulk of the world’s population coined with the terms “incurable,” or “impossible,” that’s exactly what it looks like for the people who dare to see beyond it — “incurable” and “impossible” — with an emphasis on the quotation marks. They’re the people that vision the impossible and make it possible.
But it really isn’t because they’re geniuses. It’s because they see things differently; kind of like through gears and shafts. Their brains are the magnifying glasses and tools to help them. Why?
Because every technical problem has a technical solution.
You don’t die spontaneously, but instead, due to technical failures. Plaque buildup and clotting in arteries can cause arterial thrombosis, which can lead to a heart attack. Shortened telomeres are also directly correlated with shorter lifespans.
But at the same time, thrombolytics can help dissolve the clots and clear your arteries to prevent this from happening. Telomerase could even possibly be used for preserving or restoring the length of telomeres to potentially extend lifespans. These are the wrenches and tools people are using to solve a malfunction in a system.
Who’s the “THEY?”
I keep on mentioning other people. But who are these people in the first place?
The thing is, IQ points don’t always determine your ability to solve big problems. You can have an IQ of 140 and still be working a 9–5 job in enterprise sales. But if this is the case, why isn’t everyone doing it?
Well, it boils down to mindset and perspective. If you tell yourself that something’s impossible, you will only look for the things that will prove something won’t work. In other words, if you tell yourself something’s impossible, it likely will be. But that’s just for you.
The greater implication for this is that we all have an ability to solve some of the biggest problems of our time, as long as we consciously flip our traditional thinking styles to how things work and can be solved. But to be honest, it’s easier said than done. Lucky for you, you have it in you! You just got to be a kid.
No, don’t go throwing tantrums in the grocery store because you’d much rather be at ToysRUs. And no, don’t suddenly transform your room into a Batcave and play with Legos all day long.
What I mean is that you need to start asking questions and embracing your inner curiosity. It’s always been there because children are scientists by nature, always conducting experiments and asking endless questions about why things work the way they work. They normally have fewer preconceived notions as well. When I was a kid, I asked so many to the point where my parents nicknamed me as the Question Bank!
This all might seem a little abstract, so picture this instead. Imagine 2 teams both locked in different rooms, tasked with the challenge of opening a door to escape. One of the teams was 6 adults above the age of 30, and the other was 6 toddlers. Who do you think would win? Surprise surprise, the little ones did.
The doors looked just like the front door to an apartment or house. They had a gold spherical knob on the side that you’d normally assume would need to be turned and pushed/pulled in order to exit or enter. Obviously, this is what the adults did and they had no luck of getting out. They even tried banging and kicking it in all directions to see if it would budge. No luck.
The kids, however, literally got out in less than 4 minutes. HOW?!! They pulled up…
It was their curiosity, creativity, and ability to abandon preconceived notions to help them think outside the box that helped them win! It was a technical problem that had a technical solution. The adults gave up and thought it was impossible. The toddlers didn’t!
Here’s what you can do now:
- Question things and don’t take answers at face value.
- Understand why things work the way they work and embrace lifelong learning. Read articles, learn about exponential technologies, and build cool stuff!
- Abandon preconceived notions that can impede your ability to solve problems. Leverage your skills to brainstorm different solutions, while also being your own devil’s advocate to solidify the scientific or technical rationale. It could definitely end up working, but only if you start taking action.
- Don’t forget the quotation marks in “impossible” 😉
So, how can we actually solve “impossible” problems?
Well first of all, who said it was impossible in the first place? 😉
Change your outlook on it and think of it as gears working together. If your car stops working, you don’t just give up. Mechanics look for what’s causing it in the first place and fix it accordingly with the right equipment and tools.
Similarly, we can start with identifying the root causes and tackle them accordingly. It really helps make hard sh*t a lot less daunting, while giving you a clearer outlook as to how you can combat something smaller to solve the bigger issue.
To do so, you really need to understand what the status quo looks like, how something currently works, and its inner mechanisms to locate the source of the problem.
Ideating the Solutions
You really have to be thoughtful about this and develop useful frameworks to optimize your outcomes.
- Determine your end-goal and make sure it’s specific, while also thinking big. For example, why just figure out a way to match energy generation to the current global demand? Instead, what about elevating everyone to US standards of quality of life?
- Break down the problem into smaller chunks and locate actionable sub-problems you will solve as part of the greater solution. Think of it like a puzzle piece. You can’t automatically put a puzzle together all at once, but you go piece by piece.
- Develop a thorough understanding about what’s happening today, how things currently work, and what solutions (if there are any) are currently being developed.
- Determine measurable and quantifiable solution metrics for what would help tackle your chosen problem.
- Exponential problems need exponential technologies to drive the solutions. Look at how these can be integrated in yours.
- Thoughtfully brain-dump.
- Rate all of your solutions as per the metrics you’ve created to see which will achieve the most optimal outcome.
- Hone in on the best option and go deep. If it fails, pivot.
- Be your own devil’s advocate and fill in the holes.
Remember, none of this has to be done alone! Work with others and build a team to collaborate and tackle a shared goal! Getting feedback and refining/pivoting accordingly is key.
Be creative and go beyond moonshots. Shoot for a ‘Mars’-Shot.
These don’t have to be limited to merely “industry problems” for things like optimizing supply chain and workflow models.
You, yes you, the one reading this, has the power to go bigger. We need more significant positive change happening around the world. However, the only way we’re going to make substantial progress on the challenging problems of our time is for smart people to drive the solutions.
A big barrier to work on many impact driven startups is the prevalent focus on ROI over impact. However, the same forces driving innovation and growth in the commercial sector can also drive transformational change on a social level. Humanity’s greatest challenges in education, health care, climate change, and even civil rights can all be viewed through a different lens as disruptive technologies energize creative problem-solving.
Problems are opportunities, and there are many of them. Issues in the housing crisis, depletion of food and resources as the population continues to grow rapidly, advancement in healthcare, and even developing education.
Cellularity is a biotechnology company productizing allogeneic cells and tissues derived from the postpartum placenta.
These materials have the ability to augment our immunity and longevity through amplifying the body’s ability to fight disease, heal, and regenerate itself. Who knows, you might be able to live like you’re 22 until you’re 80 or 90. Or even, extend your lifespan by a couple decades!
Mind = blown
So go for it. Think big. Don’t limit yourself. Embrace your inner mechanic & the kid within you.