Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. - John F. Kennedy
Think of a Polynesian Islander in a dugout canoe deciding one day that they were going to go that way. - the video, "Moonshot Thinking"
Do you use a kitchen microwave, a laptop computer or cell phone?
Would modern life even be possible without them?
Knowing that slide rules and vacuum tubes were an awful way to compute quickly in space, Apollo program leaders took the integrated circuit, an idea that existed largely in theory, and built a practical solid state command and control system that could navigate to the moon, and reliably and safely help human pilots land their spidery vessel on the lunar surface. In spectacular fashion, they ushered in the digital era. Forty-five(!) years later, daily life beats to the rhythm of its electrified heart, the integrated circuit.
That's some return on investment.
Can the benefits of "moonshot ideas" be measured and assessed beforehand? No! Are they useful? Yes, but their practical results won't be known for a very long time, and may come as a complete surprise to future generations. Moonshot ideas will take planning, engineering and execution to carry out. They will take a careful managing of constituencies and timetables. The dream leader will need accountants, squad leaders, sales and marketing, software developers and, in general, people who get things done.
But all that will come later. Do you have a moonshot idea? Here's how you can know: if it seems impossible, if you don't fully understand it, if you're bewildered, daunted, just a little afraid, congratulations! You might be on to something.
You're the Polynesian Islander millennia ago. You're not thinking straight. You've got a chance.