ESPN’s football/soccer podcast, “Men In Blazers” interviewed USA Soccer head coach Jurgen Klinnsman at South by Southwest in Austin, TX. At about 30 minutes in, in a light-hearted manner he talks about the US having a fan base that publicly shames players when they lose. He talks about how it isn’t enough for the players to be happy to be there – they have to want to win.
It sounds similar to the challenges encountered by NASA during the shuttle era. There accomplishments were significant, but there wasn’t a clear mission.
Driving a technology from concept to industrial scale deployment feels much the same way. In the early days those small wins are significant – you’ve achieved things no one else has done before. As time goes on and your experience grows, that just isn’t enough. Those technical achievements have to translate to revenue – the focus of the team has to be on winning, not just showing up.