Astro Teller (Captain of Moonshots, Google X) was interviewed in this BBC news article. He said, “Being afraid to fail is almost a guarantee of the glass ceiling of what can be achieved.”
So what is a moonshot? It is about solving problems to make the situation ten times better in ten years. Astro Teller and his team have audacious goals that he says ‘sounds mostly crazy’. First, they identify a problem. Then they look for solutions that border on science fiction to stretch their imagination and approach to solving the problem.
This is transformation thinking at its best. This mindset is what propelled huge strides in innovation in the past century. Consider the problem of real-time communication between two people over great distances. From writing letters to the first telephone to today’s smart phones, video-conferencing and internet-based communications. What big leaps! Even the trusted washing machine came from aspirations of doing the washing faster, better, and more economically. Astro mentioned the problem of high death toll on roads. The idea of driverless-cars to reduce human error is now not that far-fetched.
Why not adopt this approach to high-impact problems we face, either at work or at home? Choose one and go for a moonshot. It may not require science fiction to solve it. But if you can make the situation ten times better then that is your moonshot!
- What assumptions and limitations have I challenged?
- Are there ‘invisible barriers’ that were created in the past that are still affecting my current thinking and actions?
- Am I waiting for others to solve it?
- Am I just watching on the sidelines as others struggle to solve the problem?
- Am I creating room in my calendar for reflections and helping others?
- And have I challenged, ‘Why not?’
One does not have to be at Google X to have this mindset.
Have you achieved your moonshot lately? Tell us about it.