Independent Thinking Blog

6 Business Lessons from Beyond the Kuiper Belt

Voyager 1 has left the solar system.

It’s the first man-made object to reach interstellar space.

While you’re still absorbing that (admit it–WOW), let me tell you what makes this even more amazing: Voyager 1 has less computing power than the original IBM personal computer. That PC, released in 1981, had two 5 ¼-inch floppy disk drives and 256 kb of memory.

And yet Voyager 1 is now beyond the Kuiper Belt.

Voyager 1’s success offers 6 key lessons for business success.

A Fast Company Design article looks at “three strategies that give the Voyager probes their staying power”:

1. Iterate
2. Simplify
3. Back up

Janet Sternberg, whose voice is on the Golden Record, added three more:

4. Long-term thinking
5. Delayed gratification
6. Collaboration

So often in business we make things more complicated than they need to be. We spend months crafting the perfect plan. We add product features no one wants or needs. We’re constantly in reactive mode. We obsess over quarterly financials. We hoard data and live in departmental silos.

If Voyager 1 teaches us anything, it’s that you can simplify and still succeed.

Which of these lessons have you applied in your business?

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