“Being realistic is the most common path to mediocrity.” ― Will Smith
“When people say, ‘You’re thinking too big,’ be smart enough not to listen. And when they ask, ‘How can you do that?’, look them in the eyes and say, ‘I’ll figure it out.’” ― Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Alphabet Inc.
10X thinking involves asking yourself these questions:
- How can this product or service be 10 times better than it is now?
- How can this product be 10 times better than the competition’s product?
The larger and more established the industry, the better your product or service has to be to effectively compete with the trusted brands in that industry. When you think in 10X, you enable yourself to create products that are radically different from competitors’ current offerings. It enables you to imagine and create products now that otherwise would not have existed until 5–10 years later or longer. Google, one of the most innovative companies the world has ever seen, lives by the gospel of 10X when it creates new products.
10x Thinking is one of the most effective innovation techniques you can possibly use. That is because it forces you to change your perceptions about what’s technically possible at a fundamental level. For example, if you aim to make $60,000 per year, you’ll likely need to take a traditional approach that many others take: go to college, choose an in-demand major, and acquire an internship. If you 10X that goal and aim to make $600,000 per year, you’ll likely need to take a more original approach, solve an important problem that hasn’t been solved before, and continuously revise your strategies.
If you imagine how a product can be 10x more effective and/or faster than it currently is, you’ll realize that nearly everything about that product would need to undergo significant modifications. In fact, an entirely new product would need to be created from the ground up to take its place. The following features may require a major overhaul:
- Physical components
- Associated technologies
- Physical size and dimensions
- Contexts in which it can be used
- Target market
So to cap, ask yourself the following questions:
- What would you accomplish if your goals were 10x bigger?
- What would your favorite products and services look like if they were 10x faster and more effective?
- How can you make cumbersome tasks 10x simpler and faster? What kind of products and services would help you do that?
- What kinds of products and services would make reaching your goals 10x easier and faster?
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” ― Albert Einstein
“Everything you can imagine is real.” ― Pablo Picasso