Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) is a popular goal-setting framework companies like Google, Uber, and Twitter use. Within the world of OKRs, there are two types that aim for big, transformational goals: moonshots and roofshots. What exactly are they, and what’s the Difference?
A moonshot OKR is meant to articulate a bold, ambitious objective that seems impossible at first glance. Think along the lines of John F. Kennedy’s goal to put a man on the moon. It’s something that has likely never been done before by your company or industry.
Moonshots tend to have longer time horizons, often 5-10 years out. They aim to achieve a breakthrough that would completely disrupt your business or market. The path to success is unclear, so moonshot OKRs focus more on direction rather than predetermined steps.
Example Moonshot Objective: Build an electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle for mainstream consumer travel by 2030.
A roofshot OKR also seeks to set ambitious, transformative goals. However, a roofshot goal feels just barely out of reach but doable with an extra push.
Roofshots shoot for what your company could achieve in 2-3 years with an aggressive effort. The objective is still highly ambitious compared to typical goals, but it leverages existing capabilities and assets.
Example Roofshot Objective: Increase market share in the ridesharing industry from 15% to 30% by the end of 2025.
Timeframe: Moonshots are longer-term (5-10 years), while roofshots are medium-term (2-3 years).
Feasibility: Moonshots start out seeming impossible. Roofshots seem extremely difficult but within the realm of possibility.
Approach: Moonshot efforts focus on trying new things and learning. Roofshots make ambitious pushes on existing work.
Metrics: Moonshots use more qualitative progress metrics as the path is uncertain. Roofshots use quantitative metrics.
Both moonshots and roofshots bring the visionary thinking required to spur real innovation and breakthroughs. Companies need a balance of both when setting their objectives. Shoot for the moon, but keep your feet on the roof!