Are you a missionary or a mercenary?


What the moonshot masters can teach us about thinking big, creating wealth & impacting the world.

Being bold

In their 2014 book Bold Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler set out a visionary roadmap for people who believe they can change the world. It’s a great foundation in moonshot thinking, the power of technology and making our wildest dreams come true.

Whilst researching the book they spent time with four of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs at thinking big , and crucially, succeeding at an exponentially large scale — Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos and Larry Page.

But even though they have all accumulated huge wealth in the billions, money hasn’t been their motivator, but rather a by-product of their mission. As it turns out they are driven by something deeper…

Elon Musk

‘Solve a problem’


I didn’t go into the rocket business, the car business or the solar business thinking this is a great opportunity.
I just thought, in order to make a difference, something needed to be done. I wanted to have an impact. I wanted to create something substantially better than what came before.

Richard Branson

‘Make it fun’

Virgin Group

When we started Virign Atlantic my justifcation to our senior team was that it was ‘fun’. But they weren’t happy with the word ‘fun’. To them, business was serious. It is. But to me having fun matters more. I use it a strategy for thinking at scale — both as a fuel and as a first principle. I assume that if it’s fun for me it will be fun for everyone else.

Jeff Bezos

‘Be a missionary’


I tell people that when we acquire companies, I’m always trying to figure out: Is this person who leads this company a missionary or a mercenary? The missionary is building the product and building the service because they love the customer, because they love the product, because they love the service. The mercenary is building the product or service so that they can flip the company and make money. One of the great paradoxes is that the missionaries end up making more money than the mercenaries anyway. And so pick something that you are passionate about, that’s my number one piece of advice.

Larry Page

‘Think bigger’


I have a very simple metric I use: Are you working on something that can change the world? Yes or no? The answer for 99.99999 percent of people is no. I thought we need to be training people on how to change the world.

So when starting out take heed from these moonshot masters and:

  • Make it fun
  • Solve a problem that needs fixing
  • Do something you’re passionate about
  • Think bigger

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