Moonshot Thinking

by Todd McDonald on February 11, 2014

If you were ever lucky enough to set foot in the Google X facility (a not so secret lab with the sole purpose of disrupting complacency in technology), chances are you might come across a whiteboard diagram or two of a space elevator (a rocketless elevator designed to travel to a space station via a cable tethered to Earth).

While the Google X facility has produced some “out of the box” breakthrough innovations (such as self driving cars, air balloons that beam 3G internet speeds to remote places and it’s newest unveiling, smart contact lenses that can measure glucose levels in diabetics’ tears), as you may suspect, the space elevator is theoried to not actually be a real Google X project. Instead it is thought be be more of an inside joke of sorts, a way to keep people guessing about the next developments, as well as a reminder to all of the Google X mantra of “moonshot thinking”.

What is moonshot thinking? 

It is thinking that focuses on changing the world by developing radical solutions for huge problems. As quoted in Elyse Betters’ recent Pocket-lint article, Google X Explained: What’s Really Going on at Google’s Secret Lab? Eric “Astro” Teller, Google X’s Chief of Moonshots best explained moonshot thinking by explaining that this type of thinking matters because “when you try to do something radically hard, you approach the problem differently than when you try to make something incrementally better. When you attack a problem as though it were solvable, even though you don’t know how to solve it, you will be shocked with what you come up with. It’s 100 times more worth it. It’s never 100 times harder.”

While we don’t claim to have the level of unbridled innovation and pure genius housed at Google X’s two small red brick buildings in Mountain View, California, we are truly inspired by Google X’s shoot for the stars mentality.

Our problems might not be on the scale of providing better internet speed to rural areas or fighting diabetes, but at TEQ we embrace packaging challenges head on – whether that means:

  • Developing a proprietary material and conducting our own ISO 11607 compliant stability study so that we can provide the data customers need to switch materials and save up to 40% on production costs
  • Making an already environmentally-friendly material even more sustainable by working with our partners to transform web scrap into 100% recycled sheet with a heat history equivalent to that of virgin material
  • Developing a supply chain and network of partners to onshore operations for a global healthcare manufacturer and deliver over one billion parts with zero defects in the field

What about you? How does your company or business embrace moonshot thinking?

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: