It is almost 50 years ago that we first landed on the moon. Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins were the crew of Apollo 11. I wasn’t born at that time so I haven’t seen it live on TV. 1/5 of the population on earth at that time, about 600 million people, watched it while it was happening. Landing on the moon was the culmination of the space race between Russia and United States. John F. Kennedy addressed United States Congress in 1961 saying: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth”.
When you look at the achievement of landing on the moon at that time, 50 years ago, it is absolutely huge. Technology at that time was quite different. The Internet, or more accurately it’s treated assessor ARPANET, was nascent at that time. Nothing was remotely like what we have now. Computers were big and, compared to today’s standards, not that powerful. Even with today’s technology, a space expedition landing on the moon is a masterpiece of technology and engineering. Imagine the technology that they had in the 60s. Of course, there are also people who doubt that we ever were on the moon. That everything was produced in Hollywood. But what has Moonshot and API Management to do with this all? Read on and I will tell you.
But apart from the Space Race being about (to put it mildly) “bragging rights”, many technologies and products who were developed for the Apollo project are still in use today. To mention a few: space blankets, freeze-dried food, memory foam but also general advancement in the area of microcomputer chips and computers.
But it looks like were going back. “We” as in the United States but also China, India, Israel and Europe. It seems everyone want to be on the moon (again). The guardian has a nice article on why we would like to do it, the essence of it is that it is partly the extension of our exploration of space and partly bragging. The timeframe for NASA in this case is 2024, about five years from now. Realistic? Some say it is, some say it isn’t.
Moonshot and Technology
Because of the ambition of putting man on the moon in the 1960’s, a moonshot has become a name for an ambitious project. Moonshot innovation projects are ambitious and push the boundaries of what is accepted that we can do. This blog post from the company 352 explains quite nicely what Moonshot innovation is. In some organizations moonshots are used to go beyond incremental innovation (which on itself is not bad) and purposely aim higher than you would normally do. The rationale behind it is (of course) that even if you don’t make it, you bound to be further ahead than you would normally be.
Also at Yenlo we have our own moonshot innovation going on: Making integration easy (again) by delivering middleware as-a-service. So, in our case a WSO2 Cloud Solution running on Amazon, 24/7 managed and operated by Yenlo. Highly innovative with API Management and API Gateway technology, as well as Enterprise Service Bus and Identity Management, and by that complete total fit in the moonshot philosophy.
Regardless of your business, innovation in many cases includes or involves technology (especially in the case of Digital Innovation), software and computers. Whether it’s something with big data, putting up IoT sensors that will measure environmental conditions in your factory or plant or designing a new portal to let employees access the HR systems: technology is always involved. And, as you know, when you try to connect systems you will find that there will be issues regarding to communication, data exchange, security and service level agreements. When you want to innovate, whether it’s incremental or a moonshot, you will encounter the nitty-gritty of system integration: the need to be able to transform, mediate, manage, monitor and perhaps even monetize your API's.
Moonshot and API Management
It is no coincidence that these five words (transform, mediate, manage, monitor and monetize) are the keywords of the WSO2 API Manager as part of you digital transformation. This open source product can be essential to your digital innovation or moonshot as the decision to do it. It all matches our vision around an API First, Open-Source First and Cloud First approach as the magic ingredients to become a successful digital company.
If you want to know more about the WSO2 API Manager download the API Manager Selection Guide white paper.