“You Can Never Think Too Big”

Published on: Feb 5, 2016 by Michael SnyderNo comments

Outside a Scaled Composites hanger in the Mojave Desert, a bulletin billboard proclaims: “You can never think too big.” This year is shaping up to be a year of big things – even “giga-projects.” What about you?

You can never think too big.Consider just a few gigantic projects coming on deck in the next few months: the billboard refers to the colossal winged Stratolaunch, the world’s biggest aircraft. Due to launch soon as part of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Vulcan Aerospace venture, the massive aircraft– with a mind-boggling 385-foot wing span and six gigantic jet turbofans– is designed to loft spacecraft high into the vapor-thin stratosphere for quick and dollar-saving launch.

Thinking big enough yet? Despite its destabilizing financial turbulence, China continues to think big, particularly in joining the venture to listen to the Universe for faint signs of life.  The 500-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (go here for mind-expanding photos), known as FAST, will fire up its 1,600 feet of  active curved optic “ears” later this summer to seek answers to dark mysteries of the Universe beyond our limited visual spectrum. More than a mile in diameter, the FAST radio telescope will take the top spot for gargantuan earth-bound probes, eclipsing the current record-holder, Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, which is only a mere 1,000 feet (500 meters) across.

And back in the USA, where there is a bronzed history of thinking big, 21st century industrialist Elon Musk drives forward with his solar-powered Gigafactory, a $5 billion manufacturing marvel that is touted to lead the world in lithium ion battery production by 2020. When he’s not competing for who owns the sun with billionaire investor Warren Buffet (as  related by BusinessWeek), Musk – together with his 10 million sq. ft. factory and a credible challenge for commercial space traffic – continues to emulate the Steve Job’s model of being crazy enough to believe he can change the world – or at least put a major dent in the universe.

So in this year of giga-thinking, what about you? What about your company?

Are you thinking big?

We’re not talking about daft ambition or sloppy wishes packed in ice. This is about dialing it up to best possible speed, lifting limits, and pushing the imagine throttle all the way in.

How about your goals for the year? Do you even have measurable goals? Whether you do or not, why not – right now – dust them off or set them up. Do you review them every morning and fix them in your mind as the day begins? Are you goals big enough? Do they stretch you?

What about your team? Are they on board with thinking big? Or are they more interested in living in a personally defined comfort zone? As LifeHacker put it, a limiting comfort zone is a “behavioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes risk and stress.” Stepping out of one’s comfort zone can temporarily heighten a bit of stress and even anxiety, but it pays off.

Are you or company practicing limited thinking, or thinking big? Is just enough good enough? Earth-moving brand development requires big ideas. Big ideas come from big thinking.

If you’ve read this far, here’s an invitation. Stop worrying about the economy. Start thinking about possibilities. What will you remember this year for?

Remember, you can never think too big.

By Michael Snyder, Managing Principal, The MEK Group

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