When will the world see the first trillionaire? And are the likely candidates alive today?
It wasn’t too long ago that a billion-dollar company was unimaginable. Today, the business landscape is riddled with companies pulling in not just billion-dollar valuations, but billion-dollar revenues on a quarterly basis. The times have certainly changed, and with the help of inflation, globalization, and increased levels of human capital and technology, it’s almost underwhelming to hear that there’s a new billion-dollar company in play.
But to steal a quote from Justin Timberlake’s character in the movie The Social Network, in which he portrays entrepreneur Sean Parker, “A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool?”
“A billion dollars,” replied Andrew Garfield, portraying Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. (Today, 34 yr old Eduardo Saverin is worth $6.9 billion because of Facebook).
Experts don’t just expect one trillionaire on Earth pretty soon – they expect about eleven of them within the next 60 years. As the annual Global Wealth Report from Credit Suisse said last year:
“Two generations ahead, future extrapolation of current wealth growth rates yields almost a billion millionaires, equivalent to 20 per cent of the total adult population. If this scenario unfolds, then billionaires will be commonplace, and there is likely to be a few trillionaires too,
eleven according to our best estimate.”
So far this all looks on course, with the most recent Forbes rich list showing that to reach the trillionaire mark last year, you’d have to add together the net worth of the top 51 richest Americans – this year that number is down to just 37.
Some experts postulates that the first trillionaire will be an inventor, someone who creates something world-changing, like Bill Gates did with the PC.
“It might be a solution to a global problem, such as the lack of fresh water,
or something the world didn’t know we needed, like Facebook.”
Solving a global problem is a likely way to hit the trillion mark. Some ambitious entrepreneurs and scientist are already working on big solutions to global problems. Anyone that could produce a cheap alternative energy source like Nuclear Fusion (the type that powers our sun), or transform the ever increasing and damaging carbon dioxide in our atmosphere back to fuel, will definitely change the world.
Others also believe that the first trillionaire may be an entrepreneur who may be able to do interplanetary mining, or asteroid mining. Visionaries like Peter Diamandis, are already strategizing on the best way to mine asteroids and other space bodies. Scientist has predicted that asteroids holds hundreds of trillions of dollars of rare resources like platinum and rare earth metals. Obviously anyone who can commercially set up such interplanetary mining operation, will be a trillionaire.
Imagine the idea of being a trillionaire, I mean inexhaustible, infinite wealth. What can one do with such power.
The rate of wealth increase is expanding despite the economy. Just 10 years ago, No legitimate Nigerian business man was worth anything near a billion dollars. Today, Nigeria has 5 billionaires in dollars (Aliko dangote, Mike Adenuga, Folorunsho Alakija, Femi Otedola and abdulsamad Rabiu). Also 10 years ago, who will dream of buying a car for N100million, but just this December, Linda Ikeji bought a Land Rover Autobiography for roughly N99Million.
The point is that wealth is rapidly increasing, but not the distribution of wealth. Generally, the rich gets richer while the poor continue in poverty or even gets poorer due to inflation.
It takes strategic planning, creativity, innovation, knowledge and the use of technology, to cause a disruption that will allow the poor to overtake the rich.
Take for instance the hotel industry. Before now, only very rich real estate and hotel magnates can play in the industry. The likes of Hilton hotels dominated the landscape, but with the help of technology, creativity and innovation, airbnb came into the scene, and although they own no hotel, they have used technology to overtake the entire barons of the hotel industry. The same thing is happening with UBER. The technology company though it owns no taxi, is now the largest taxi company in the world, and it accomplished this feat in very little time.
So if you want to join the next wave of Wealth generators and titans of industry, you need to change and update your thought patterns. Albert Einstein said that a problem cannot be solved at the same level of thinking it was created. A mad man is someone who keeps doing the same thing, but expects different result. If what you are doing before now is not working, stop, apply critical thinking, gain new skills, innovate, change and ensure that you join the next of wealth creators, and not just be a spectator.
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