Visiting our customers and business partners is the key to maintain excellent relationships. This kind of communication strategy is a part of the Host1Plus two-year road-map, which our CEO Vincentas Grinius and CTO Aistis Zenkevičius have been carefully following. During their last customer and partner visit overseas, they stopped by the John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), one of NASA field centers, to look around.
Located on Merritt Island in Florida, NASA launch facility embodies powerful results of science, devotion, and imagination combined. There was tremendous excitement vibrating in the air when the guys visited KSC – it was only four days left until Falcon Heavy, the most potent SpaceX rocket launch, on 6th February 2018.
Falcon Heavy lift off the ground from NASA‘s Launch Complex 39A – the same spot Apollo astronauts launched from during their missions back in 1961-1975. Therefore, it is the place where history meets the future. Kennedy Space Center visitors provided with a wide variety of experiences from exploring the most critical space missions and rocket launches to having dinner with real astronauts and seeing a rocket launch up-close at KSC.
John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, after whom the NASA field center named, stressed the importance of hard work and dedication during his famous speech in the Rice University football stadium (1962): “We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard”.
These words come to fruition every day at the Kennedy Space Center – it is where NASA heroes of today fulfill the dreams and imagination of humankind. Observing that up-close, Aistis and Vincentas noticed similarities to our daily practices at Host1Plus. Hard work, dedication, and continuous learning, the inspiring critical elements of NASA philosophy, all appear in ours too. The “failure is not an option” mindset is a part of our culture, helping us to focus on our business-critical solutions and avoid bike-shedding.
The term bike-shedding, describing discussions about minor, marginal issues while overlooking more serious ones. Simply procrastination was coined as a metaphor to illuminate the Parkinson‘s law of triviality. Parkinson provides the example of a fictional committee, working on a nuclear power plant. Most of the time, the committee members discuss minor issues, such as what materials to use for the staff bike shed and procrastinating the significant tasks, like planning the design of the plant itself.
In our case, getting stuck in the bike-shedding zone might be dangerous for both our customers and ourselves. To avoid it is vital to identify core values, set significant goals, and build a road-map, guiding us towards them. Focusing on the primary issues does not mean we fail to remember essential details. Vincentas and Aistis observed the Falcon Heavy prepared for the launch – even carrying the rocket to the launch site is a carefully planned and optimized process. Seeing the real-life examples of NASA‘s working principles, when the tiniest details so precisely arranged and work simultaneously in complex mechanisms of enormous size, was a huge boost to keep on planning and effectively to work towards our goals.
Gathering all our team members working together for one purpose – when everybody has their mission and believes in it – is a model we would like to borrow from NASA. Instead of procrastination, we have been working hard to analyze and identify our main business priorities and now concentrate on them.
While visiting the Kennedy Space Center, our CEO and CTO saw several rocket launch sites. Their supreme precision and ultimate efficiency have made Vincentas and Aistis wondering – how many experiments conducted in the past to find the optimal solutions for building rocket launch sites precisely this way. The site is all surrounded by water, to reduce the thrust produced by a rocket engine during launch.
Kennedy Space Center visitors have a unique possibility to see the famous Saturn V – the massive rocket, which carried all Apollo lunar missions. The super heavy-lift launch vehicle is a symbol, still reminding about Apollo missions and to date, only successful crewed landing on the Moon. President John F. Kennedy and the USA had the vision to go to the Moon, and they made it come true. Achieving the result was not easy though – absolute focus, huge investments, failures throughout the process – but it was all led by reaching efficiency.
What can we learn from NASA here? To start with, having a vision is crucial in every business. It helps to go further by building the company strategy around it. Already knowing the direction where we are going, we can create an action plan. Although following the steps by itself will not guarantee efficiency, as long as there are no strict due dates. Controlling the calendar allows avoiding the unexpected.
Finally, it is essential to focus on efficiency while delivering solutions. Being the key in every business, it helps to accomplish tremendous things that might even seem unbelievable in the very beginning, just like lunar exploration.