Graphic by K8 Strassman

Moonshot Momentum

ON THE UP: Momentum for Moonshots

Decode_M Proprietary MFactor Score
  1. Make goal posts both inspiring and attainable: The approach to lofty, long term moonshots can be applied to solving tangible and immediate problems. Challenge the status quo and shoot forradical solutions that align with your overall mission.
  2. Keep the proof coming: Keep consumers engaged by constantly showing new proof points that demonstrate mission progress. Go too long without making noise and people will lose interest in the conversation.
  3. Let skeptics fuel your mission. Not everyone needs to believe it will work. Hole-pokers will motivate you and shine a light on weak spots so you can solve them.
  4. Put a face on your race. Humanizing a cause increases support and deepens your connection / impact with consumers.
  5. Come together for the greater good: If we want to solve the world’s problems at warp speed, we need to unite. All rockets rise when we conquer moonshot visions in tandem.


Moonshots help align people & companies. They inspire them to take chances and have ambitious impacts. We have a light at the end of the tunnel but we are not there yet. Inspired by the moonshot to create a vaccine, it will be a new wave of moonshot visions and accomplishments that help get us to the future.

THE DOWN: Incremental Theory

There is no tolerance for incrementalism as we work to cure the pandemic.


Here’s how moonshot visions hit all 5 drivers of momentum.

DISRUPTION: Make goal posts both inspiring and attainable. Challenge the status quo and shoot for radical solutions that align with your overall moonshot vision.

  • Supporters of President Trump were drawn to his moonshot vision to make America great again. But he couldn’t land it in just 1 term and ended his presidency with a series of accomplishments that did not ladder up to his moonshot.
  • Now we are looking to President Biden to show us a moonshot vision that balances ambition with tangible accomplishments that solve our current crisis.
  • In one of Biden’s first days in office, he boasted a memorable plan for “100 million shots in 100 days.” While it at first sounded ambitious, many are calling this statement not as aspirational as it should be given Pfizer and Moderna’s promises for 200 million doses available by the end of March.

INNOVATION: Keep the proof coming.

Part of the moonshot is running directly into the unknown. That’s the mission of “X,” the moonshot factory of Google’s holding company Alphabet Inc. The motive behind “X” is to approach the world’s problems with new innovations that demonstrate they are taking the road less traveled.

  • “X” was in the news this past week as Google announced the closure of Loon, Google’s innovative Internet balloons designed to bring connectivity to rural & remote communities worldwide.
  • While the closure may ring as a failure for the company, this drives home an important point that the “X” innovation lab has always emphasized: Innovation doesn’t always have to succeed on the first try. Or the second try. A moonshot moment can change the trajectory of a subject in the public eye and highlight a challenge that needs to be solved,encouraging government expenditure, private investment, and public discourse.
  • While Loon may have graduated from Google’s moonshot factory, it has inspired X to continue their pursuit of worldwide connectivity in new ways. Such as their project “Taara,” which is working to bring affordable Internet access to more than 4 billion people around the world who are under-connected or unconnected using beams of light to deliver connectivity across long distances.
  • Lyft’s investment in self-driving vehicles is one example of their understanding of market opportunity and future consumer desires. They’ve partnered with some of the world’s leading autonomous vehicle companies to build their own self-driving system using the Lyft network. They’ve taken 100,000 self-driven rides to-date.
  • Lyft’s membership program, Lyft Pink, is another example of innovation aligned to their moonshot vision. Pink helps Lyft’s power users save money every month and get priority rides in certain areas. Can’t forget the surprise upgrades & offers via partnerships.

POLARIZATION: Let skeptics fuel your mission.

First, there was the race to get man to space. Now there’s the race to get space to man. Companies like SpaceX have been at the forefront of this literal Mars shot, with lofty visions of revolutionizing space transportation and making human life multi-planetary.

  • The famous Outer Space Treaty of 1967 has taken the great leap forward as NASA has adopted its principles in the recent signing of the Artemis Accords, designed to standardize the amount of nations looking at resource extraction and space development in the upcoming decade.
  • This is complicated by China who is the closest nation to extract resources from space. But they’ve yet to sign onto the Artemis Accords.
  • Private companies and governments have deliberately taken opposing stances when it comes to resource extraction and land rights. This debate creates momentum and speeds up the race as the first one there seems to be the first one to write the rules.

STICKINESS: Put a face on your race. Humanizing a cause increases support.

In the moonshot vision to get everyone vaccinated, it helps to have specific, trusted public figures associated to inspire others:

SOCIAL IMPACT: Come together for the greater good.

Mariana Mazzucato, recently appointed to head the Council on the Economics of Health for All by the World Health Organization suggests taking the moonshot approach to address society’s complex issues and create a more just & sustainable trajectory for Earth.

  • It’s clear that we have to collectively work together to repair the environment. Personal initiatives like recycling more or buying ethically aren’t enough to solve the current climate crisis.
  • Mazzucato of the WHO believes that we will be able to solve our complex issues by pivoting the Apollo program’s blueprint toward social impact. The Apollo mission succeeded because of political & private support from the top AND public interest. The public interest in the environment is already there. Now it needs that push from the top.



Momentum Maker, Author of Maximum Momentum, Founder & CEO of Decode_M

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Mike Berland

Momentum Maker, Author of Maximum Momentum, Founder & CEO of Decode_M