Brilliant! Wisdom from Astro Teller of Alphabet's Moonshot Factory

April 27, 2022 Author: Ann Ralston

This week, I participated in the Abundance 360 Livestream with Peter Diamandis. Seeing the innovations in transportation, health care, longevity, Web3, DeFi, and hearing from the leaders of these companies and VC funds was awesome. (literally felt AWE

We live in extraordinary times.

Astro Teller, who runs the Moonshot Factory at X, Alphabet’s innovation lab, closed the conference with a presentation on creating a culture of Moonshots - a culture that lives and breathes experimentation. Experiments are a fundamental attribute of any company doing innovation - and face it, today, if you aren't innovating, you are standing still.

Properly-done, experiments DE-RISK new ideas. They help you learn what works and what doesn't work. From there, you quickly kill unsuccessful ideas so that you have the resources to invest in the proven initiatives.

My two favorite take-ways from Teller's talk:

  • cognitive bias in innovation, and
  • compost of innovation.

You don't learn from cognitive bias.

If you start with the mindset of “I'm right”, it will be hard for you to see that you aren't. Love the problem and disconnect yourself (ego) from the outcome.

Moonshot Compost is the residue of innovation.

Within the remains of an unsuccessful project is food for future projects. It's in the organization's people, the learning, the prototypes. And this compost is full of possibilities for the future. The mindset - the way the team members approach innovation - is infused into new projects. The technology left over from a killed project is harvested for new initiatives. The value of this compost is priceless to the organization.

Creating a culture of innovation is not easy. If it were, we all would have done it already.

Learn more about The Moonshot Factory's culture of innovation, here.

Ready to play? Learn to Experiment like X with this free handout.

Call me and we'll talk talk it through.

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