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Moonshot Thinking: Choose the Hard Problem

Stashed in: Google!, #greatness, Innovation

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Kevin Smith writes about Google X:

Recently, the head of the closed-door organization, Astro Teller, penned an article for Wired sharing some of his keys to success.

"It's often easier to make something 10 times better than it is to make it 10 percent better," Teller starts off his piece.

Basically, Teller argues that when you think about accomplishing goals that seem impossible, you're much more likely to achieve them. He uses the example of John F. Kennedy sending a man to 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.

This ideal is from a concept called "moonshot thinking." Moonshot thinking is the idea that if you're not thinking crazy enough then you're doing the wrong thing.

But Teller clarifies that not all moonshot thinking starts with picking a big problem and it doesn't all involve technology. Teller's point is that if we change our thinking and focus on moonshot thinking we may end up solving the right problems instead of the wrong ones.

Moonshot thinking is what motivates us to solve hard problems.

Do it BECAUSE the problem is hard. 

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