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  • Gunjan Syal

Succeeding In The Space Economy

Updated: Dec 21, 2022


Earth From Moon - NASA
Photo Credit: NASA

If you have seen my latest blog post and social feed, you know that I have been obsessed with the recent Artemis-1 launch and NASA's journey to this point. The secret to NASA's success towards this goal can be boiled down to a collaborative ecosystem with a highly innovative, clearly defined common goal of permanently positioning humans on the Moon (and beyond). Artemis-1 is the first phase towards this multi-year goal. This comes with high risk, complexity and failure costs. Prior to the Artemis-1 launch, I interpreted the space economy as a bunch of disjointed projects taking place around the globe with a set of close-knit organizations in the aerospace and defence industry, along with specialized policy makers. Most of the world's population currently works outside this ecosystem and has little intersection with these initiatives.


With Artemis-1 launch now part of our history, the space economy will need to expand. Every business in every industry will need to consider their role in the human civilization as we head to the Moon and the ways of human life change. This will accelerate major changes in many business models - an exercise that already began with the pandemic and the disruption of supply chains. Last year, I wrote about my own mindset-shift from a transformation focus to innovation. In a recent conversation, I had the opportunity to verbalize the difference between the two. Having witnessed 30+ businesses, I define transformation as a preservation of the current business model. Transforming organizations are focused on leveraging business processes and technology to cut cost, bring in operational efficiencies and/ or improve their customers' experience. Under transformation, the first principles of a business model and the overall contract with the customer does not change.


In contrast, innovation is a fundamental shift in the way the human customers, partners, policy makers and the society interface with the organization.

Innovation is a disruption in the way a business promises to create value for every stakeholder involved, by taking risks and expanding the moon-pie. Brand new business models can be created that elevate both the collectives and individuals responsibly.

As the investors, board and C-level leaders investing in innovation, you will need to look past the operational efficiencies and short-term gains to re-imagine the business model. What type of organization will you lead as humans move to the Moon and beyond? The answer to this question shapes the trajectory your business is on today. Post-pandemic and post-Artemis-1 world will continue to evolve consumer lifestyles. This creates a major shift in the role of business, technology, and policy makers/ governing bodies. Consumers and individuals are already demanding more ownership, trust and transparency over their data. Services and products that succeed in future will be those that have inclusion and circularity built-in by default. Consumers are demanding more input in the type of experience they receive from organizations. Data and responsible innovation have a key role to play in this goal. I first introduced the concept of data-driven innovation in January 2022.


Data-driven innovation is an industry-agnostic shift for organizations from a transformation-mindset to repeatable innovation.

At GoEmerald, this is our focus - to enable innovation at our client organizations, starting with a focus on enterprise-wide data. We're not waiting for humans to land on the Moon to work on this. We want to work with you - the boards/ C-Suite leaders, your organization, the public sector and your human users to enable the future business models. If you are a forward-looking leader responsible for the direction of your business, let's meet and work on the following question together:


What type of organization do you want to be - today, tomorrow and when humans head to the Moon?

PS: This starts with a special focus on data and strong leadership.


PPS: A very Happy US Thanksgiving!

Innovation produces IRL impact with a happy team and a grateful leader.

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