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Mar 15th, 2017 Share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

The 10X Question

You surely heard of “Moonshot Thinking” — the fabled breakthrough way of thinking. In (formerly Google) X‘s own words:

Instead of a mere 10% gain, a moonshot aims for a 10x improvement over what currently exists. The combination of a huge problem, a radical solution to that problem, and the breakthrough technology that just might make that solution possible is the essence of a moonshot.

At Singularity University we ask our participants to develop solutions which affect a billion people in ten years…

So far so good — the question is: How do you do this? How do you change your mindset from 10% to 10x? What is the question you should ask yourself to get yourself into moonshot thinking?

Here’s my hack which works particularly well for entrepreneurs — and is something I do all the time when I have my VC hat on:

When you pitch your idea/product/company, you typically have a perfect sense of how much money you want/need to raise. Say it’s a million USD. You have a clear plan on what you want to spend the money on, what the milestones are you want to hit and where it will get you. When you present this plan to me, I will ask you a simple, seemingly innocent question: “What would change if I give you 10 million USD?”

That simple question — the 10x question — stupefies 99% of entrepreneurs I ask. They fumble around, tell me something about hiring more people, going into more markets in a quicker succession… Truth be told — this is never the right answer. The best entrepreneurs I encounter, say that they have to think about it. And once that question is in their heads, they rethink their assumptions, their strategies, the way they look at their markets and the way they think about their product. It’s an incredible forcing function to get yourself to moonshot/breakthrough thinking.

With that being said: Ask yourself — What would you do if you had ten times the resources?

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