Business Management Ideas and Getting Back to the Moon
Since we are talking about commercialization of the Moon, we must be willing to talk the talk of business.
Business management ideas
Any space settlement must also be a business to have any longevity at all. Any discussion of space settlement must therefore include the latest business management ideas. Such ideas often sound to technical people as slogans and claptrap without a basis in our beloved hard science. We need to get over it. Many business ideas now are based on science, particularly brain studies, so the situation from our stand point is definitely improving. In any event, we must talk with business people so we must talk their language. Many of the key ideas below are taken from management studies.
Having a Plan
Having a good working plan based on sound experience and good science will substantially improve your chances of achieving a goal. The great planers of our times would like you to think that their style of plan will improve your chances of success by 100% or even 200%. The truth is a good plan increases your chances of success by a reliable 5%.
In situations of great competition and on very difficult tasks, that 5% makes all the difference in the world and defines the winner. With Lunarpedia, we are going after that 5%.
Ask the Customer
The classic approach to designing a product or service requires you to go out and ask your customers what they want and then provide it to them. In recent times this has proved difficult because most new products are designed to fulfill new needs. This is our case. Nobody needs to go back to the Moon just as nobody needed Apollo to the Moon in 1965.
The best you can do to define a new need is to get possible customers and other knowledgeable individuals talking and then listen carefully to what they say. Deep needs often come out through language but only after few minutes of exchange. This conversation to uncover needs is one purpose of Lunarpedia.
Don't ask them to wear your straight jacket
Often we show up at their place but are wearing a straight jacket made up of our old and preconceived ideas from the past. We then ask them to put one on too. After all it looks so smart, was once in high fashion, and has our company logo. We then ask them to show us how they use our product and how it can be improved.
We do way too much of this. With Lunarpedia we seek to, at least, loosen up all our straight jackets and let everyone think more freely.
Go where they live
If you want to communicate a big idea to someone you must go to them; you must go where they feel secure; you must go where they live. To date, the back to the Moon idea has not caught on. We proponents have only gone where we feel safe. For the idea to move forward, we must make the effort to go out to where people live. In our day, one place people live is on the Internet.
Feed them what they eat
To get people in action on a new idea you must also present the idea in a way that they can accept; you must feed them what they eat. To date we have only offered people what we eat and what we all ate 40 years ago during Apollo. This is simply not working.
To offer people what they eat, you must know what they eat. Right now we simply do not know what to offer. One way to find that out is to simply ask, but you must ask in a way that helps them to form an answer from vague ideas and in language. The Wiki format lets people do this by modifying what you first offer into what they really need. This is an active iterative process.
One of the key purposes of Lunarpedia then is to gather feedback. We need reliable information on what people need from a back to the Moon movement and that information is not easy to come by. A wiki can be a powerful tool for this purpose.
Engineers and Entrepreneurs
People mistake these two activities very often. Engineers solve problems. Entrepreneurs exploit new possibilities. In a technical project these activities get all mixed together, but they require very different skills, outlooks, and mind sets. What we are doing here is being entrepreneurs. We are making the most of new possibilities, of our time, and of our technology to do great things. In that effort we will also do some engineering along the way.
Let's hear it for Bureaucracy
Big bureaucracies are the devil we know, that we love to hate. Even so, we must understand their power because we must deal with them both government and corporate. Bureaucracy is the most efficient way that human beings have developed to get large projects done. There is no other way to get space settlement done. We must appreciate both their power and their necessity before we can work effectively to address their deficiencies.
Because bureaucracies have power, their deficiencies are hard to deal with. Their weakness, which is a big problem for us, is their inability to deal with out of box ideas. They develop a group think that is a key to their great efficiency, but it results in their simply not being able to see or hear possibility. We simply need to keep at it until we are heard.
There are a lot more ideas on the Purposes List.