Naveen Jain, the $2-billion-man and controversial Internet mogul who apparently immigrated to America with only $5 in his pocket, has some simple advice for anyone looking to follow in his dollar-bill-making footsteps: figure out how to solve a $10 billion social problem.
"If you want to make $1 billion, all you have to do is think about how to solve a $10 billion problem," Jain says in a video on Business Insider Strategy. "Go out and find a way to provide fresh water to humanity. Go out and find and find a clean sort of solution for energy. Go out and find a solution to agriculture. Find a solution to poverty. All of these are $100 billion problems. But don't think of them as problems, think of them as a great entrepreneur opportunities."
Not bad advice. Yes, attempts to figure out how to feed the hungry, clean up the environment, improve education, and speed up transportation and communication could net billions. But even if they don't, the world would benefit from a greater effort to create healthier and more efficient societies. Especially, if would-be billionaires combine Jain's advice with billionaire Charlie Munger's advice: grow a basic sense of worldly wisdom.
What $10 billion problem is Jain attempting to solve? How to unlock interstellar resources. After extensive consultations with the Federal Aviation Administration, the White House, the State Department, NASA, and other federal agencies, Jain's company, Moon Express, received approval to pursue a lunar mission in 2017. It is the first commercial company to have access to the moon.
"The sky is not the limit for Moon Express — it is the launchpad," Jain said. "This breakthrough ruling is another giant leap for humanity. Space travel is our only path forward to ensure our survival and create a limitless future for our children. In the immediate future, we envision bringing precious resources, metals, and Moon rocks back to Earth."
Jain's big dreams definitely become a reality. Despite his ups and downs in business, it may be worthwhile to heed his advice.