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But when you aim for a 10x gain, you lean instead on bravery and creativity — the kind that, literally and metaphorically, can put a man on the moon. You’ve all heard the story before: Without a clear path to success when we started, we accomplished in less than a decade a dream several generations in the making. We chose to go to the moon, John F. Kennedy said, not because it was easy … but because it was hard. Suddenly everyone from schoolchildren to the largest institutions were rallying behind the mission. Kennedy understood that the size of the challenge actually motivates people: that bigger challenges create passion.
That’s what 10x does that 10 percent could never do. 10x can light a fire in hearts, and it’s hard not to get excited and think that other, seemingly impossible things might also be possible.
Moonshot thinking starts with picking a big problem: something huge, long existing, or on a global scale. Next it involves articulating a radical solution — one that would actually solve the problem if it existed: a product or service that sounds like it’s directly out of a sci-fi story. Finally there needs to be some kind of concrete evidence that the proposed solution is not quite as crazy as it at first seems; something that justifies at least a close look at whether such a solution could be brought into being if enough creativity, passion, and persistence were brought to bear on it. This evidence could be some breakthrough in science, technology, or engineering that could actually make the solution possible within the next decade or so.
When I talk to people about it, everyone thinks moonshot thinking isn’t for them. We relegate the big thinking to someone else or some other organization instead, playing a weird kind of “not it” game. The small companies and startups think moonshots are a big-company thing because it takes a ton of money and resources, which they don’t have. The big companies think it’s a small-company behavior because it takes a ton of risk tolerance, which they think they can’t afford. Government organizations are under pressure to show immediate results on pressing, “popular” problems, so the longer term visions are hard to justify funding. And while academics love expansive, long-term thinking, their job is to publish the ideas and spread them, but not to do the system building itself. They can describe moonshots, but they don’t think it’s their job to take them on.
These moonshots aren’t just for the few experts in some moonshot inner circle. All of us can come up with solutions for society’s most intractable issues. We can train ourselves to make moonshot thinking not an occasional thing but a habit of mind. No one really knew how to build an airplane when they decided to build the first airplane — but they kept going and achieved it. We can ask the same hard, slightly crazy questions of our own and declare our own moonshots as individuals and as groups.
But we need to do more to encourage “moonshots in-progress.” We’re great at celebrating innovation when it’s already done, when the results are tallied, and when the benefits are obvious. Moonshots, however, don’t show results immediately: They take enormous persistence and willingness to take substantial risks over long periods of time.
So we should make sure those who have been brave enough to enter this kind of race have us there beside them … Celebrating the audacity itself, regardless of whether they ultimately succeed.
Originally posted by Tardacus
We live in a different world today nothing gets done unless there is money to be made.
Even the smallest challenges won`t be achieved or even taken on unless there is enough money in it.
Setting lofty challenges and then working hard to met the challenge just for the sake of pride can`t be done today because everything is about money.