Step 1: dent the universe. Step 2: rewrite the universe.

July 26, 2018


Steve Jobs once famously said to Pepsi CEO John Sculley, in an attempt to lure him to Apple: “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?”

Or, as he later put it, “We’re here to put a dent in the universe.”

Jobs did dent the universe. He helped usher in the era of personal computing, and lived to see supercomputers in everyone’s pockets, which changed the world in ways that are continually surprising.

Practically, denting the universe was the most ambitious thing Jobs could aspire to as his life objectives were constrained to the technological tools of his time.

A new era is upon us; one defined by emergent tools to rewrite the universe, at every scale: atoms, molecules, DNA, proteins—the foundational building blocks of ourselves and everything in existence.

Step 1: dent the universe. Step 2: rewrite the universe.

The most significant constraint now? Our imagination and courage.

What can you imagine?


P.S. Being able to engineer DNA is nothing short of revolutionary. I recently spoke to two scientist entrepreneurs doing something equally revolutionary—computationally designing new proteins, the building blocks of life. Thanks Evolution, We’ll Take It From Here explains how they’re designing what nature didn’t evolve, and why it’s essential to our thriving.