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Hardest Problems In the World?

Hardest Problems In the World?
By Adam Draper • Issue #65 • View online
What are the hardest problems in the world?

A lot of venture capitalists say things like “We want to invest in the entrepreneurs solving the hardest problems,” Heck, I have said this exact phrase… I say it all the time. It sounds awesome, like we are being bold! However, I just started thinking:
How would I personally come to the conclusion on what a ‘Hard problem’ is? How would I rank the problems in the world in difficulty?
Naturally the first thing I did is search Google. Google is great for finding lists.
“Millennials rank the top 10 hardest problems facing today.”
Geez, the media loves putting the word ‘millennial’ in everything. To me it always sounds like they are blaming millennials for something, but at the same time, their ads are mostly targeting millennials, a great self-fulfilling prophecy. The circle of ads.
Have you heard about millennial’s replacing the void in their hearts with plants? Article here:
Millennials are filling their homes — and the void in their hearts — with houseplants - The Washington Post
There are hundreds of articles like this, It seems that Millennials are taking a step in the right direction if they believe Global Warming is one of the important problems of today! More plants! I digress.
How do you assess the most important problems to solve in the world today?
I believe that most people would have differing opinions on the most important problems. The first step is to ask questions:
What changes are happening in the next 10-1o0 years that will impact the world?
What is the most humanity threatening problems?
Where are the largest sources of friction for the planet?
What causes the most fear? What causes the most violence?
Where can we create more freedom?
Do you think that each generation feels different problems are more important than others?
I’m still having a issue grading severity of problems, but I believe that “Humanity Threatening” problems should be at the top of the list.
  • Prevent Bubonic plague type disease outbreak, which is estimated to have killed 25 million people in the 1300s
  • Climate Change, those ice bergs aren’t going to re-freeze themselves.
  • Global Nuclear War, feels like we are going to destroy ourselves, and then I watch some TV and the world keeps spinning.
  • The Unknown Disasters (Asteroids…), this is the most fascinating of all.
The interesting thing about these fatalistic issues, is that they aren’t things that impact us every day. It’s either we exist because these things have not happened or we don’t. It’s not a “Market”, it is existence, these markets are the result of binary outcomes.
So the next way to rank the scale of “Hardest” or “Most Important” problems would be problems that plague the most people every day. So the persistent problems of the world, that you encounter every day.
  • Food: The battery of humans.
  • Water: The oil of humans.
  • Security: Space to think.
  • Happiness: The best ideas.
  • Translation and understanding: The friction in understanding between humans and tribes of humans.
  • Mobility: Experience more.
These aren’t problems on the surface, they are things that every person needs to survive. The problems surface when you attempt to hit scale of these concepts. By the year 2050, there will be estimated 9.7 Billion people on the planet!
How do we provide enough water for 10 Billion people.
How do we provide enough food for 10 Billion people?
How do we provide security for 10 Billion people….
These scale issues are not binary outcomes, we evolve humanities model as needed, but it is not humanity exists or it does not. This is where humans are attempting to provide an equivalent service to all people through the use of technology.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Adam Draper

I ponder as a VC.

It's a quick one minute read to make you think, smile, or laugh.

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